Media release

Government condemns posting of fake news

30 October 2018

30 October 2018

Government condemns the posting of fake and sarcastic information on challenges affecting South Africans and attributing them to political principals. These posts are intentionally false and are misleading readers and deter the country’s efforts to effectively address challenges experienced by South Africans.

In recent posts online satire is used on issues such as selling of matric certificate and rhino poaching, amongst others. Faux news, such as these, is detrimental to those involved and the rest of its consumers. Government cautions the public to guard against these websites and interrogate the content they receive, as it has the potential to create negative and uncalled–for effects.

Acting GCIS Director-General, Phumla Williams, said: “Government has always stated that we respect the rights to freedom of expression and that of the press; however, this right must be used responsibly and without infringing on the rights of citizens, which include Ministers and Deputy Ministers.  Political principals are representatives of government and associating them with fake commentary and quotes has an impact to the brand of South Africa.  The media is central in creating an informed and participatory citizenry, and together with bona fide media houses we must stamp out fake news.”

Williams added, “An informed public is crucial to any operating democracy; and incorrect information is especially damaging in news which appears to be authentic. We are cautioning people to refrain from spreading fake news as government policies are misrepresented on these fake websites.”

Ms Phumla Williams
Cell: 083 501 0139

Issued by: Government Communications

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