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No, 17 year old not electrocuted hanging election poster in South Africa

An October 2020 Facebook post claims that a 17-year-old teen was electrocuted in South Africa’s Gauteng province while trying to hang an election poster for the ruling African National Congress (ANC) higher than a poster for the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) opposition party. 

“A 17 year old young man in ward 60 Ekhuruleni lost his life yesterday (electrocuted) while attempting to put a poster of anc higher than that of the EFF on a pole,” it reads.

It shows a photo of an electricity pole with two posters on it – one for the ANC and one for the EFF. An emergency response vehicle is next to the pole. 

But did this really happen?


‘Think twice about any trusting story’

A Google search reveals that the story was published on the Opera News website. The site does not have an “about” section or any contact information.

The Know News tool, developed by watchdog Media Monitoring Africa to assess the credibility of websites, warns Opera News may contain dodgy information. “Think twice about trusting any story. Think thrice about sharing,” it says. 

The supposed electrocution was not covered by any credible news organisation. Although Africa Check could not verify the origin of the photo, the claim that a 17 year old lost his life after trying to hang up an ANC poster is false. – Africa Check


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