The South African website which published an article titled “Two arrested over 80,000 ballot papers already marked as ANC votes” on 1 August is in deep trouble.
The African News Updates article stated that “Two suspects were arrested in Tembisa after police stopped their panel van and discovered almost a 100,000 ballot papers marked as votes for the ANC during a roadblock”.
The article received around 20,000 Facebook likes, which translated into tens of thousands of page views for the website.
The article also attracted the attention of the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), which slated the fake report.
“Statements made yesterday on fake news websites which claimed people had been arrested with large quantities of ballot papers already marked for a specific party are a hoax,” said the IEC.
“Despite the photograph of the marked ballots clearly being a national ballot paper for the 2014 National and Provincial Elections, this destructive story spread and was also picked up by some media organisations.”
The Electoral Commission reminded voters and the media that it is an offence in terms of Section 69 of the Municipal Electoral Act for anyone to make intentionally false statements with the intention of disrupting or influencing an election.
“A case has been opened with the SA Police Service to investigate the source of the false reports and for referral for prosecution.”
About African News Updates
The AfricanNewsUpdates.com domain was registered by Thulani Msibi from Witbank, and is hosted by Hetzner.
Msibi told the Mail & Guardian he did not own or operate the website, and that it was owned by “a client”. He would not name the client.
African News Updates has this statement in its About page.
African News Updates is Africa’s leading real and satirical news website. Giving you all the hot news from around the continent.Please note that some of the content on this website is submitted by the general public, we do not take responsibility of such content. We do however encourage people to not publish content that is offensive or misleading.Please Note: We are not associated with any websites linking in or out of our website.
The website continues to publish fake articles, which include “Malema accidentally votes for the ANC”, and “Malema apologizes for voting for the opposition”.