Back to Africa Check

Nigerians facing deportation in South Africa in 2019? Video posted in 2018

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 rows of men lying face down on the ground in front of a large building. Behind them, more men can be seen walking in single file with their hands raised while South African police officers give instructions. 

The video is captioned: “Nigerians facing Deportation In South Africa.”

Raid at Boksburg hostel in 2018?

We captured a screenshot from the video and searched Google for the image. 

First in the list of results was a May 2018 article by the Citizen newspaper. Following a cash-in-transit heist in Boksburg, a city in the east of Gauteng, police chased the perpetrators to the George Goch hostel, where a search was conducted and four men arrested. 

The Google search also picked up a tweet from May 2018 in which a user posted the same video. The caption, translated from Zulu, reads: “It’s bad at the hostels, hands up men.” 

We contacted the Gauteng South African Police Service to find out more. At the time of publishing, they were yet to respond to our queries. (Note: We will update this report when they do.)

Although the exact details around the incident are unclear, the video was shared online in May 2018 – more than 15 months before the latest flare up of violence. So it can’t possibly show events in September 2019. – Africa Check


Republish our content for free

We believe that everyone needs the facts.

You can republish the text of this article free of charge, both online and in print. However, we ask that you pay attention to these simple guidelines. In a nutshell:

1. Do not include images, as in most cases we do not own the copyright.

2. Please do not edit the article.

3. Make sure you credit "Africa Check" in the byline and don't forget to mention that the article was originally published on

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.