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No, US president Trump didn't tweet about South Africa's high unemployment rate

A screenshot of a tweet shared on Facebook, supposedly by US president Donald Trump, claims South Africa has the “biggest” unemployment rate in the world. 

“The South African President is failing to deliver, instead of creating new job for the unemployed, he is busy stealing money from his own people,” the tweet reads

Trump has commented on South Africa’s government before. In 2018, South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa announced plans to begin the process of land expropriation without compensation. 

Trump then tweeted that he had asked his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, to “closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers”.

Has Trump now criticised Ramaphosa directly on Twitter? We investigated.

No record of tweet 

The tweet is dated 1 August 2020 and the profile picture is the one used on Trump’s real account. 

But the Twitter handle, @pres_realtrump, does not match Trump’s real handle, which is @realDonaldTrump. And the tweet does not include the blue tick seen on verified Twitter accounts.

The tweet does not appear anywhere on Trump’s Twitter account is a database that stores every communication from Trump’s social media accounts, interviews, and the White House, the US presidency. The tweet does not appear here.

If Trump had tweeted about Ramaphosa and South Africa’s unemployment rate, it would have been widely covered in the media. But no major media outlet, either within South Africa or internationally, has reported on the tweet. The screenshot is a false, manipulated graphic. – Africa Check


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