Back to Africa Check

No evidence South African opposition leader Julius Malema called for Nigeria's break-up

IN SHORT: The result of Nigeria's presidential election is being challenged in court. But the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters, Julius Malema, did not suggest the country should break up - a Facebook post to that effect is a fabrication.

Nigerians hate themselves but yet find it difficult to separate peacefully. At least that’s the startling comment attributed to South African opposition leader Julius Malema by a Facebook post.

The post claims that Malema also said: “After watching 2023 Nigeria election, I am still wondering the reason Nigeria is still living together as a country.”

Malema is the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters, the second largest opposition party in South Africa.

Bola Tinubu was declared the winner of the February 2023 presidential election. He ran on the ticket of the governing All Progressives Congress party.  

But the result has been challenged in court by the opposition, a process that could take months to conclude.

The country also voted for governors on 18 March 2023.

The claim was also shared on other Facebook pages including here, here and here, as well as on Twitter.

But has Malema made such strong remarks about the political affairs of another country?


No evidence to support the claim

The posts do not give details of where and when Malema made the comments attributed to him.

We found no coverage of this in mainstream news outlets. As a public figure with a large following in Africa, such comments by Malema would have been widely reported.

A search of Malema’s Instagram account and verified Twitter page shows that he has not commented on the Nigerian election since the presidential vote. The Facebook post attributes fabricated comments to Malema.

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.