IN SHORT: A ridiculous quote attributed to new police commissioner Fannie Masemola comes from a supposedly satirical Facebook page. But satire circulated as fact is disinformation.
“If criminals kill you during a robbery, don't attempt to avenge yourself, wake up in the morning and call the cops. We will come and take a statement.”
The photo indicates that the absurd quote is by Masemola.
The graphic has been reposted on South African Facebook pages with comments such as:
- No hope for SA…..
- O no fu!!!!k, we are doomed
- Can't take south African police serious anymore
- My God what's going on with SAP
- I GIVE UP
These indicate that Facebook users believe Masemola actually said it.
Another user commented: “You just can't make this crap up.”
But you can. The quote is entirely made up, and comes from the supposedly satirical Facebook page “The News Vine South Africa”.
A cover for false information
In its about section, “The News Vine South Africa” describes itself as “South African Satire”. It adds this additional information: “If it looks like satire and it sounds like satire, it's probably satire.”
The Facebook page links to the website Clowns in Suits, which also describes its material as satire.
Satire is, according to one dictionary definition, “the use of humour or exaggeration in order to show how foolish or wicked some people's behaviour or ideas are”.
There is no humour or exaggeration in the quote. It is simply false.
Republish our content for free
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.