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No bomb blast at South African embassy in Nigeria

As xenophobic attacks continue to smoulder in South Africa, social media users have shared a video with the claim it shows a recent bomb blast at the country’s embassy in Nigeria.

The video was posted on the Facebook page Vairo Note Media on 6 September 2019 as “breaking news”. The post reads: “Bomb blast at the South Africa embassy in Lagos many feared dead.” It has been shared more than 2,700 times.

Another Facebook post claims the bombing was at the South African embassy in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Blast near shopping mall in 2014

But the video is more than five years old. Africa Check traced it to the well-reported bomb blast near Banex Plaza, a popular shopping mall in Abuja, in June 2014. 

The mall is in Abuja’s  Wuse district, more than 10 kilometres from the South African High Commission. 

Debunked by police, government and embassy

On 7 September the Nigerian police said it had no record of any recent bomb blast.  The country’s minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, accused the opposition of creating the “fake news” of the bombing. 

The South African High Commission in Nigeria also debunked the claim on 7 September, saying its missions in Abuja and Lagos were intact.

The acting high commissioner, ambassador Bobby Moroe, reportedly said: “Both South African missions in Nigeria remain intact; all our staff members are safe and no reports of intimidation have been brought to our attention.

“The careless use of social media is a ploy to create tension and panic among our peoples of South Africa and Nigeria.

“We condemn in strongest terms such acts of deception, as they seek to destroy the very essence of our relations with Nigeria and further fuel tension and confusion within society.

“We encourage social media users to be responsible, sensitive and always verify the authenticity of sensitive information before it can be circulated.” – Allwell Okpi

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