Government welcomes the arrest of suspect who peddled fake news

7 April 2020

Government welcomes the arrest of a 55 year old male suspect who circulated a misleading video clip on COVID-19 test kits. He has already appeared before Court in the Western Cape, on Tuesday 07 April.

The suspect has been charged in terms of the Disaster Management Act Regulation 11(5)(c) which prohibits  publishing  information through any medium including social media with the intention to deceive people on government measures to address COVID-19.

Disinformation is unacceptable and dangerous to our society. Such acts should be condemned by all South Africans who remain committed in fighting the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.  All of us have a responsibility to desist from peddling fake news.

Government Communications (GCIS) in collaboration with key leading social media platforms continues to work towards curbing disinformation practices within our public information systems. We call on communities to work with government and report any person who misleads the public with wrong information. Help combat Covid-19 and combat fake information and misinformation by reporting to Real411.org.

We wish to reiterate that all the testing kits and other equipment’s used by the Department of Health and the relevant medical institutions are of high standard that have been approved by the  South African Bureau of Standards.

Reliable and trustworthy information on COVID-19 can be accessed and verified from government and other sources including media platforms, www.gov.za/Coronavirus; www.health.gov.za; www.nicd.ac.za, etc. Any suspicious and fake news can be reported to https://real411.org.za

 Enquiries:
Phumla Williams
Acting Government Spokesperson
Cell: 083 501 0139

Year: 
2020
Media Statement date: 
Wednesday, April 8, 2020