South Africa has well and truly boarded the fake news train, with as many as a dozen websites mixing in real news with completely hogwash stories.
Some of this stuff takes a lot of creativity to make up, though most of it is pretty awful.
If you’ve come across any of these stories this week or had a friend tell you about it over a beer, then don’t worry, this stuff isn’t real, or at least we’re pretty sure it’s not. South Africa is a crazy place, but surely not THIS crazy.
1. Caster Semenya’s penis transplant in South Korea
Yes, MzansiLive would have us believe the recently wedded Olympic gold medallist has been taking hormones to transition to being a man and will be travelling to South Korea to get a penis. Absolutely disgusting rubbish, but one of the website’s most popular stories this week.
2. The police successfully collected R60m in bribes, health benefits of swallowing semen, Nkandla is doomed and the sangoma who helped Conrad Strydom
African News Updates was on a roll this week with one story claiming that the police minister, Nathi Nhleko, had said at a press conference that the cops had had a very successful festive season, collecting millions in bribes. But the public need not worry about the fairness of the situation, as the money was apparently shared equally among everyone on the force. Obviously hogwash. Amusingly, they misspelt “bribes” as “brides” in their headline.
According to the site, Nhleko said (though let’s be clear he DIDN’T really): “What do you do when someone gives money to you? You take it. But I can reveal that we split the money equally among police officers, no one was robbed.”
The site also had fake stories about the minister of health, Aaron Motsoaledi, encouraging women to swallow semen for health reasons, a supposed prophecy by TB Joshua that Nkandla will be washed away in floods and a sangoma who supposedly helped South Africa’s top matriculant to achieve his amazing grades. Amazing, unadulterated claptrap.
3. Teenager bleaches her baby to convince light-skinned man he’s the father
iMzansi had a fake story about a woman from Limpopo being arrested for bleaching her baby (to the point that its skin started peeling off) because her boyfriend was suspicious about its skin tone. Horrible. Fake.
4. Cassper Nyovest neglecting his son
Mzansi Stories made up an article about the rapper not only having a child with a woman from Potchefstroom, but apparently shirking his responsibilities to look after him. Nasty lie.
5. Some condoms don’t stop Aids and Sfiso Ncwane’s teenage girlfriends
iMzansi had the health minister supposedly saying that not all condoms are equally reliable. Some brands have “tiny holes” in them, and they even the listed the brands that you should get an HIV test for if you were using them. Nonsense. Duh.
They also ran with photos of two young women the late gospel star Sfiso Ncwane supposedly impregnated. Insensitive hogwash.