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No evidence offered for list of ‘some of the judges paid by CR17 campaign’

A meme claiming to list “some of the judges paid” by the “CR17 campaign” was shared on Facebook in South Africa in September 2019.

“CR17” refers to current South African president Cyril Ramaphosa’s 2017 campaign to become president of the ruling party, the African National Congress. 

The meme also provides amounts and the dates when the payments were allegedly made to six people, promising that “many more” will follow. 

The meme claims the campaign made payments to a number of judges, of who it provides a list.

Some of those mentioned are High Court judge Lettie Molopa-Sethosa, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem “Navi” Pillay, and National Director of Public Prosecutions Shamila Batohi. Batohi has not been a judge in South Africa however.

The post was also shared on other social media platforms like Twitter.

But no other evidence is offered that Ramaphosa’s campaign paid those on this list.

Claim denied by Batohi

On 10 September 2019, the day after the meme was posted, Batohi denied the claims, according to South African news site Times Live.

Batohi also responded to the rumours in a television interview on the South African national broadcaster, the SABC.

Batohi said: "It is utter rubbish. It's a lie."

"I think these are tactics to try to distract you from doing your work and this is the start of it. There is going to be a lot more and I realise I have to fortify myself against these attacks.”

Inaccurate information and lack of evidence in claim

The information about the people mentioned in the meme is not all accurate.

Pillay, who is claimed to have received R100, 000 on 15 July 2018, retired from her role as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2014.

On the date Batohi was allegedly paid, 14 March 2018, she was not the national director of public prosecutions. The position was then occupied by Shaun Abrahams. Batohi was a senior legal advisor at the International Criminal Court in the Hague, Netherlands, before she was appointed as NDPP in February 2019 .

The post lacks any details and evidence, and is not backed up by any legitimate documents that might prove the claims. – Butchie Seroto


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