Back to Africa Check

No, photo shows South African woman, not Kenyan accused of stealing cooking oil

A photo of a woman standing in what looks like a courtroom was posted on Facebook in Kenya with the claim she was charged with stealing cooking oil from her boyfriend.

Under the heading “Nairobi: Woman arraigned In Court for Stealing 3ltrs of Cooking Oil After a Sleepover”, the post claims the woman was arrested in Mwiki, a suburb of the Kenyan capital Nairobi. 

Many Facebook users commented on and shared the photo, which was also posted here.

In Kenya, the price of cooking oil rose sharply in March 2022 and in April there were reports of shortage of the commodity. The rise in food prices was also reported to have led to shoplifting and stealing food.

But does this photo show a Kenyan woman who stole cooking oil from her boyfriend? We checked. 


Photo of South African woman

At the bottom of the photo is the logo of Algoa FM , a South African radio station which broadcasts in the Eastern Cape province.

Using the Google reverse image search we found the photo on Algoa FM’s Facebook page. It was posted on 30 March 2022. 

The caption notes that the photo shows a 31-year-old woman who stole R800,000 after R14 million was mistakenly paid into her bank account by the country’s student financial aid scheme

She was sentenced to five years in prison and the story was widely reported in South Africa. Her photo was published in major South African media outlets here and here

We could not find any such story in any Kenyan media outlet.

The photo shared on Facebook does not show a Kenyan woman and the story is unrelated to the cooking oil shortage and high prices in Kenya.

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.