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South African actor Ben Kruger died of Covid – not after vaccine jab

The death of South African actor Ben Kruger, known for his role on Afrikaans soap opera Binnelanders, was announced on 26 May 2021. 

News of Kruger’s death was shared by KykNet, the network that produces and airs Binnelanders.

But shortly after the announcement, posts began to appear on Facebook claiming that Kruger died shortly after receiving a vaccine against Covid-19. The most common version of this claim is an image with a photo of Kruger and the words: “DOOD NA COVID INSPUITING… 3 DAE.” 

This is Afrikaans for: “Dead after Covid injection… 3 days”.

But this is false. Kruger’s death has been attributed to Covid-19 complications. And a fellow Binnelanders cast member has said Kruger never received a Covid-19 vaccine.

Kruger_False

Claims called ‘propaganda’ by Kruger’s co-star

Soon after the false claims started to appear, fellow Binnelanders actor Germandt Geldenhuys took to Facebook to refute them.

“Ben Kruger is NIE oorlede a.g.v ‘n inenting teen COVID nie,” Geldenhuys wrote. “Hy het nooit so inenting ontvang nie.” 

This roughly translates as: “Ben Kruger did NOT die following a vaccine against Covid. He never received such a vaccine.”

Geldenhuys went on to say that Kruger did not deserve to have his death used as “propaganda”, and repeated that, as reported elsewhere, Kruger had died of Covid-19 complications.

Kruger is not the first well-known figure whose death has been falsely linked to a Covid-19 vaccine. Africa Check recently debunked a claim that several celebrities had died shortly after vaccination. They included the rapper known as DMX, who does not seem to have received the vaccine.

Covid-19 vaccines have undergone strict trials to ensure that they are safe, and effective at preventing Covid-19. 

To learn more about how the vaccines are approved, read our factsheets on the vaccine approval process in South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya.

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