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Gruesome video from January 2019, not September xenophobic violence in South Africa

In September 2019, xenophobic unrest flared up in parts of South Africa’s Gauteng province

But a number of videos and pictures circulating online, supposedly showing the violence, are unrelated to the events.

A video posted on Twitter on 2 September shows a man on fire. (Note: It may be viewed here. Viewer discretion is highly advised.)

A large crowd is gathered around the burning man, watching as he struggles. As he stumbles and falls to the ground, a cardboard box is placed on top of his body. 

The tweet is captioned: “Inside the #SouthAfrica Xenophobia, The nationals don’t want [no] citizens, Today it is Johannesburg and Pretoria, next is Durban.”


‘Man set alight in Hillbrow’ in January 2019

Using a screenshot from the video, we searched Google for the image. 

Some of the results suggested the video was from an incident of mob justice in Hillbrow, Johannesburg. 

A further Google search for the terms “man set alight Hillbrow” picked up a January 2019 article on News24. The article includes a photo the burning man between a white car and a man in a white vest, which can be seen in the video.

The incident took place after two men allegedly stole a woman’s handbag. Residents caught the men and took matters into their own hands. Their nationality is unknown. - Africa Check


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