The South African government has issued a strict warning regarding the spreading of misleading information on social media about the recent xenophobic attacks
South Africa President, Cyril Ramaphosa in a tweet warned against spreading old and misleading videos on social media, stating that fake news about the protests could see social media users prosecuted.
Ramaphosa said the misinformation was sowing further conflict and called on people to stop fuelling a climate of fear and confusion.
“We must act responsibly and stop disseminating fake videos, photographs and messages, especially on social media, with an intention of negatively portraying our country and its people,” he said.
The South Africa president further warned that creation or distribution of false videos, pictures or messages could open users up to prosecution.
Govt urges vigilance about social media messages that contain alleged warnings of planned violence against foreign nationals. Creation & distribution of such messages potentially open social media users to prosecution, as fake messaging intends to instil panic and cause disorder. pic.twitter.com/XW1JwJ9SbM
— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) September 8, 2019
“Government urges vigilance about social media messages that contain alleged warnings of planned violence against foreign nationals. Creation and distribution of such messages potentially open social media users to prosecution, as fake messaging intends to instill panic and cause disorder.”
“Recycling old video material on social media, as well as ‘war talk’ by certain individuals, only seeks to fuel tensions between South Africans and other Africans. The police will continue their work to restore order and government urges all law-abiding citizens to work alongside SAPS (South Africa Police Services) to isolate these criminals,” he added.
Meanwhile, the number of Nigerians willing to leave South Africa has risen to 640.
In a report by The PUNCH, the Chairman, Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, who confirmed the number in Whatsapp chat said the intending returnees would be evacuated from South Africa by Air Peace in two flight operations.
“Six hundred and forty Nigerians have registered to come back home from South Africa and Air Peace will transport them home in two operations,” she stated.
South Africa in recent days has seen a spread of xenophobic attacks across the country, killing at least 10 and destroying the livelihoods of foreign nationals, especially Nigerians.
Attacks in South Africa against foreign nationals are not new.
Datas from Xenowatch, the website, which tracks such incidents, state that more than 500 attacks occurred between 1994 and 2018.