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Fake quote has South Africa’s agriculture minister blaming white people for cold weather

It’s currently winter in South Africa. And a screengrab circulating on Facebook claims the country’s minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana, gave strange reasons for the weather.

“Our forefathers wore animal skins because South Africa was not this cold. But whites came with their gadgets and now we have these cold fronts,” the minister is quoted as saying.

The quote was posted to Facebook by News Updates South Africa, an infamous false news website. But that hasn’t stopped it being widely shared on the social network.

‘Blatantly fake articles’

In October 2018, South African news site News24 exposed the individual behind News Updates South Africa - a 30 year old man living in Mpumalanga province. It found the website published “blatantly fake articles” using clickbait headlines.

The focus of many of the site’s stories was on inept government officials and absurd statements by politicians. News Updates South Africa was also behind odd fuel-saving advice supposedly given by deputy minister of transport, Sindisiwe Chikunga, which Africa Check found to be false.

The quote attributed to Zokwana was published online in July 2018. Khaye Nkwanyana, a spokesperson for Zokwana told News24 the department had noted the fake news reports about the minister.

“We confirm [it] as fake and our IT unit is busy tracking the source of this generation of fake news. This is the second of its kind in two months. We are trying to establish the political motive behind this.”

The News Updates South Africa website no longer exists but screengrabs such as this one continue to do the rounds online. - Africa Check

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