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Tag: Fake News

ANCYL opens case for fake news about Covid-19 treatment

The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) crisis committee open a case against one of its own, yesterday at the Brooklyn police station for allegedly peddling fake news about Covid-19.

Yesterday, four members of the committee – which included Ronald Maela, Vutomi Nkuna, Katlego Mamabolo, Koena Mpya and Silence Sibiya – opened a case against the ANCYL in Tshwane for spreading false information.

This follows a social media campaign by the region that had encouraged steaming as a preventative measure or cure for Covid-19.

“We call upon our people to embrace an old African remedy which comes at no cost,” reads the post. “Steaming two or three times a day, whether tested positive for Covid-19 or not. Steam using eucalyptus oil, Vicks, and hot stones. The virus becomes paralysed under extreme heat,” the Tshwane ANCYL claimed.

A poster used widely on social media also claims that there are “Covid-19-fighting pH foods”, including bananas, lemons, avocado, watercress, pineapple and garlic.

“All we have to do to eliminate the virus is to consume more alkaline foods above the acidity levels of the virus,” it claimed.

According to the crisis committee’s Musawenkosi Ngobese, the charges are against the whole regional executive committee.

“This is bogus and voodoo science which has not been researched and analysed. So we condemn this type of misleading information as it could be deadly to those who apply it. It portrays a lack of sensitivity regarding the dire situation,” he said.

Ngobese said that they could not merely resolve it, as an organisation, among themselves instead of involving the police.

“Absolutely no, this is not just an organisational problem, it affects the country. In fact, it affects the world. And if needs be that we expose one of our own for the greater good of the country, then so be it.”

He said under the Disaster Management Act, publishing fake news linked to the coronavirus was illegal.

“Anyone that creates or spreads fake news about the coronavirus (Covid-19) is liable for prosecution.”

National News – Cele Calls for More Arrests

Bheki Cele, minister of police, on Wednesday said he was hoping for more arrests following the protests outside the Senekal Courthouse earlier this week.  On Tuesday, farmers poured into the Free State town of Senekal where the two accused in the Brendin Horner murder appeared in court.   A 52-year-old farmer was arrested for his alleged involvement in torching a police vehicle.

The protesters demanded justice and eventually stormed into the courthouse.  The demanded the suspects to be handed over to them.  The Minister’s spokesperson, Lirandzu Thema, said in a statement: “Police Minister Bheki Cele has welcomed the arrest of the first suspect involved in the violent demonstrations by a group of farmers outside Senekal Magistrates Court.  Minister Cele is encouraged that a 52-year-old farmer has been arrested for his role in the alleged torching of the police vehicle.”

“Cele is calling for more arrests as it is clear the criminality that took place was a collective act that threatened the rule of law.”  The minister’s response to Tuesday’s events has sparked outrage in the community with several allegations of double standards being made.  The Senekal demonstrations was compared to the EFF Clicks demonstrations and many said that the same laws did not apply there.

The brutal murder of Brendin Horner has been met with outrage.   Tuesday’s protests saw several people carrying placards with the words “Enough is Enough”, “Remember their Names” and “Bheki Cele Must Fall”.  Meanwhile a video has been doing the rounds on social media claiming that the man’s involvement is fake news.

The two suspects will appear in court again on 16 October 2020.

News: Police investigating voicenote that caused a booze buying frenzy on Tuesday.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) confirmed they would be investigating a fake voice note which sent South Africans into a panic about the reinstatement of the alcohol ban.

The message claimed that bottle stores would be closed and that President Cyril Ramaphosa would address the nation about a renewed ban on alcohol sales.

The news sent hordes of South Africans to their local liquor stores to restock on Tuesday.

“We are trying to analyse that voice note and trying to establish its origin,” national police spokesperson Brig Vishnu Naidoo told News24 on Thursday.

Several people have been arrested and fined for spreading fake news.

Naidoo warned that spreading fake news remained an offence under the lockdown.

They state that any person publishing any statement through any medium, including social media, with the intention to deceive any other person about Covid-19, the Covid-19 infection status of any person or any measure taken by the government to address Covid-19, would be committing an offence.

A person found guilty of an offence is liable to a fine or imprisonment not exceeding six months, or to both a fine and imprisonment.

“Spreading of fake news still remains a
contravention in terms of the DMA. We are appealing to anyone who knows who is responsible for the manufacturing and distribution of the message to call 086 00 10111 or via MySAPSApp.”

“All information will be treated with strictest confidence,” Naidoo said.

Sources: News24, TimesLive

Message that cigarettes are going back on sale is fake news

According to the Citizen, Fita says a Whatsapp message claiming that the courts have now said its OK to sell cigarettes is simply wrong.

The Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita) have debunked a Whatsapp message claiming that cigarettes will go back on the shelves on Wednesday.

Fita say the message, which has been widely circulated, is incorrect and is misleading.

The judgement is set to be emailed to the parties, with Fita warning that misleading messages circulating on social media have incorrectly stated that the judgement has been handed down.

“We have been made aware of a number of communications doing the rounds on different social media platforms claiming that the Pretoria High Court has made a ruling on the cigarette ban matter. This is not correct and is misleading,” Fita said.

“We will make the necessary announcement once we are in receipt of the judgment from the Pretoria High Court. We thank you as always for your continued support throughout this entire period.”

The Association is currently locked in a court battle with government over the ban on cigarettes.

The fake message claims the courts have now given the OK for the ban to be lifted, despite the ongoing court case which has seen the government argue in favour of the ban, claiming that smokers are more likely to get a serious case of Covid-19.

Sources: Citizen, BusinessTech


Sale of liquor will not be banned – Fake News

On Monday, News24 reported on Whatsapp voice notes and messages that were circulating which claimed a decision had been taken to re-impose the prohibition on the sale of alcohol.

This comes after Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane told News24 he would lobby the national government to reinstate the ban in the province due to a surge in alcohol-related incidents since the start of Level 3.

According to Mabuyane, the Eastern Cape had recorded 3 141 cases linked to alcohol from 1 – 7 June.

This included, 25 of culpable homicide, 94 of murder, 335 assaults with grievous bodily harm cases, 42 of attempted murder, 51 of drunk driving and 25 of accidents under the influence.

Lungi Mtsahli, the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs spokesperson confirmed the rumours were nothing more than misinformation.

“The cabinet has not even met since the regulations came into effect, so there hasn’t even been a discussion on the matter,” Mtshali said.

The Beer Association of South Africa (BASA) has called on all South Africans to refrain from spreading fake news. These rumours regarding the ban on the sale of alcohol will be reinstituted, is not only a criminal offence but could lead to panic buying.

In a statement BASA reiterated liquor sales would not be suspended this week.

“We call on all South Africans to refrain from spreading fake news.  Not only is it a criminal offence, it could lead to panic buying of alcohol, which will not only put a risk on the supply chain but undermine safety and social distancing measures implemented at outlets. We also urge consumers to drink responsibly at home.”

“BASA, along with the rest of the alcohol industry, remains committed to working with government to address any contravention of the lockdown regulations and ensure the safe and responsible trading and consumption of liquor during the Covid-19 outbreak.”

Source: News 24

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