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Kenya’s Odinga spent millions on witchcraft and human sacrifice? No, newspaper front page doctored

“Kenyan Odinga spends millions on witchcraft ahead of polls,” reads the headline of what appears to be the front page of the South African newspaper, posted on Facebook on 20 September 2020.

A summary below adds: “South African witch doctor claims he was paid handsomely for a ritual that involved human sacrifice.” The cover shows a photo of Raila Odinga, leader  of Kenya’s Orange Democratic Movement opposition party.

Data from CrowdTangle, Facebook’s insights tool, shows the post has been shared more than a dozen times in groups with thousands of followers.

But did the South African really publish this as news? We checked.

Feature on photographers

A reverse image search reveals that the cover is a manipulated version of an 11-year-old front page. The original was published on 21 July 2009. Its age is indicated by a photo of Zakumi, the mascot of the 2010 Fifa World Cup held in South Africa, in the top right of the page.

The real headline for that day was “Picture perfect”. The newspaper featured an interview with a South African couple about their photography career. The pair then posted the front page on their website, Segerius-Bruce Photography.

The South African was a print newspaper for expat South Africans in the United Kingdom, before moving exclusively online. Archived editions can still  be read on the Issuu website. – Dancan Bwire


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