Fake news peddler arrested

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The SA government welcomed the arrest of a 55-year-old male suspect for allegedly circulating a misleading video clip on COVID-19 test kits.

The suspect appeared in a Western Cape court on Tuesday.

In a statement, government said the suspect was charged in terms of the Disaster Management Act regulation prohibiting publication of information through any medium, including social media, with the intention to deceive people about government measures to address COVID-19.

Government reiterated all testing kits and other equipment used by the Department of Health and medical institutions are of high standard and approved by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS).

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

Government Communications (GCIS), in collaboration with key social media platforms, continues to work on curbing disinformation practices in public information systems.

“We call on communities to work with government and report people who mislead the public with the wrong information.

“Help combat COVID-19 and combat fake information and misinformation by reporting to Real411.org,” said government.

Reliable and trustworthy information on COVID-19 can be accessed and verified from government and other sources, including media platforms such as www.sanews.gov.za; www.gov.za/Coronaviruswww.health.gov.zawww.nicd.ac.za.