#LockdownSA: Police arrest ‘prophet’ for circulating fake news

Prophet arrested for circulating fake news during covid19:(File photo)
Written by Ndivhuwo Mukwevho

A self-proclaimed prophet has been arrested by the police in Thohoyandou, Limpopo, for circulating a video defying the regulations put in place to help combat the spread of Covid-19 in South Africa.

In the video, an individual who goes by the name ‘prophet Shane’ can be heard saying that the lockdown measures will not yield any good results.

“Lockdown as much as you can, we can lockdown for the rest of the year, or lockdown for five years, it’s not going to stop it. Even though we are staying in the house we are not preventing anything. Because of the flu we sit at home, we do nothing, they do not even believe in prayer including your president,” says the man. 

South Africans began a country-wide lockdown on March 26 as a precautionary measure to help combat the spread of Covid-19. The lockdown has since been extended a further two weeks.

The prophet was arrested following a tip-off from members of the public. “The police got a tip-off from members of the public who were complaining about the video… of a man who calls himself a prophet… denouncing the call by the state president of staying at home during the national lockdown,” reads the statement from the department of health. 

Health MEC, Dr Phophi Ramathuba has welcomed the arrest, saying that her department will not tolerate anyone spreading fake news. “As the department of health, we welcome the swift action taken by the South African police service in apprehending the alleged prophet immediately after we alerted them. This will serve as a deterrent to many people who think it’s business as usual to spread misleading information and fake news. The department will not tolerate anyone spreading fake news,” she says. –Health-e News

For more information on Covid-19 in South Africa, you can call the toll-free line on 0800 029 999, or you can send a message that says “Hi” on WhatsApp to the number 060 012 3456. You can also visit the SA Coronavirus website.  

About the author

Ndivhuwo Mukwevho

Ndivhuwo Mukwevho is citizen journalist who is based in the Vhembe District of Limpopo province. He joined OurHealth in 2015 and his interests lie in investigative journalism and reporting the untold stories of disadvantaged rural communities. Ndivhuwo holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Studies from the University of Venda and he is currently a registered student with UNISA.