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No, South Africa hasn’t signed WHO pandemic treaty – post from parody X account and treaty still a draft

IN SHORT: A screenshot of an X post is circulating on South African social media, attributed to the Western Cape province premier, suggesting the country has signed an international treaty “more important than South Africa’s sovereignty”. But none of this is true.

“BREAKING: South Africa signs new Global WHO Pandemic Treaty,” reads a screenshot of an X (formerly Twitter) post circulating on social media since 10 May 2024.

In the screenshot, the name of the X account posting the message is “Premier Alan Winde”.

The post continues: “International health regulations are more important than South Africa's sovereignty and I fully support this essential development to ensure our future medical safety and vaccine readiness.”

The pandemic treaty, also known as the pandemic agreement or pandemic accord, has been negotiated by the World Health Organization’s 194 member states for over two years.

Its aim is to “prevent, prepare for and respond to pandemics”. The need for the treaty came out of the world’s lack of preparation before the global Covid-19 outbreak and poor cooperation between countries during it.

But there have been concerns that the agreement would force nations to abandon their sovereignty, giving the WHO the global power to declare lockdowns, impose travel bans, force vaccines on people and more.

Sovereignty means a government has full control of its country’s affairs without outside control.

Alan Winde is the premier of the Western Cape, the only province out of South Africa’s nine to be governed by the Democratic Alliance (DA).

The other eight are under South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC).

The country is set to hold national and provincial elections on 29 May, in a year that marks three decades of ANC national government.

Other `major contenders in the elections, considered by many the most important since 1994, are the Economic Freedom Fighters, the uMkhonto weSizwe Party and the Inkatha Freedom Party.

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WHOTreaty_False

Social media users angered

Several commenters to the X post suggest that the DA, the country’s largest opposition party, is secretly working with the ANC.

The screenshot has been posted with comments such as:

But is the X post really by the DA’s Alan Winde? And has South Africa’s ANC government really signed the WHO-coordinated pandemic agreement?

‘Woke Dick-tator of WEFtern Cape DICKTATORIAL Alliance’ parody account

The screenshot obscures the full name of the X account: Premier Alan Winde Sith Lord Parody.

Here’s the original post, still live on X:

 

 

A Sith lord is a fictitious villain in the Star Wars science fiction movies. A parody is an exaggerated impersonation of someone, often meant as satire.

But when satire and parody are used or interpreted as fact, they can become disinformation.

The account’s handle is @AlanWinde666. Its bio reads: “Woke Dick-tator of WEFtern Cape DICKTATORIAL Alliance … Cape INDEPENDENCE will fail! Evil will always triumph, because parody is dumb!”

A search of Winde’s verified X account, under the handle @alanwinde, confirms that the post is not his.

More than this, South Africa can’t have signed the pandemic agreement because it’s yet to be finalised. It would be impossible for any country to sign a draft treaty.

And as Africa Check explained more than a year ago, the pandemic agreement doesn’t require countries to hand their sovereignty over to the WHO. Any laws that might come out of it would have to be passed by individual countries.

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