Back to Africa Check

No, Orlando Pirates hasn’t fired player after arrest for rape of 12-year-old

Trends Daily is at it again.

The platform publishes on at least two websites – and – and three Facebook pages: Latest Football News, Latest News South Africa and Mzansi Football.

But one thing stays the same, as Africa Check has found. Its “news” can’t be trusted.

We’ve already busted its false stories on South African football. But this time Trends Daily has taken a real and tragic report on the rape of a 12-year-old girl in the Eastern Cape province and used it for clickbait.


Story copied from News24 report

“Pirates Terminate Their Player Contract After He Was Arrested For Raping 12-Year-Old Girl,” reads the Trends Daily headline. (“Pirates” is short for Orlando Pirates, a major South African football club.)

The story begins: “A 27-year-old man who identified himself as Pirates player has been arrested in Butterworth, in the Eastern Cape, on Sunday for allegedly raping a 12-year-old girl, police said.” It was published on 19 February 2019.

Except for the headline and first paragraph, the story is a word-for-word copy of a News24 article published on 18 February under the headline: “Eastern Cape man arrested for rape of 12-year-old girl”.

That article begins: “A 27-year-old man was arrested in Butterworth, in the Eastern Cape, on Sunday for allegedly raping a 12-year-old girl, police said.” There is no mention of the man being a Pirates player.

And no credible news reports of Orlando Pirates terminating a player’s contract after his arrest for the rape of a child can be found.

Photo  is five years old

Trends Daily posted its story on all three of its Facebook pages. The photo in the post shows a handcuffed man climbing into the back of a South African police van.

But a reverse image search shows the photo has been online since at least 2014.

It was used in an EWN news report, dated 10 November 2014, on the arrest of police officers in Parow in the Western Cape province. – Mary Alexander (21/02/19)


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.