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‘Most learners fail because they do not pass’? Quote from satirical site, not South Africa’s education department

“‘Most learners fail their grades because they do not pass’, Education department reveals.” That’s the odd claim in a screenshot posted on the Facebook group page “South Africa Has Fallen” on 23 September 2020.

It shows a photo of Angie Motshekga, South Africa’s national minister of basic education.  

The screenshot has been viewed more than 300,000 times in five days, drawing angry reactions. But did Motshekga, or anyone from the education department, actually say this?


Dependent. Unreliable. Satire

The screenshot is of a 17 September Facebook post by the SA Vine, which describes itself as a satirical site, but anything that could identify its origin has been cropped out. The SA Vine’s Facebook page prominently uses the word “satire” on its cover photo and in all its posts. The word does not appear in the screenshot.

The SA Vine website also has a bold disclaimer on its home page: “Dependent. Unreliable. Satire.”

When satire or any attempt at humour is reused as real information, it becomes disinformation. The education department did not say “most learners fail their grades because they do not pass”. – Africa Check


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