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No, video of South African politician Ace Magashule endorsing president Cyril Ramaphosa is not from March 2023 but from 3 years earlier

IN SHORT: The politics of the ruling African National Congress may at times appear topsy-turvy to South Africans, but this video does not show suspended member and former secretary-general Ace Magashule supporting president Cyril Ramaphosa in March 2023. It was filmed in January 2020.

A video shared several times on social media in March 2023 supposedly shows South African politician Elias “Ace” Magashule rallying support for the country’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa. 

Some social media users have claimed that the video was taken at the funeral of Tate Makgoe, the former head of education for South Africa’s Free State province. The funeral service was held on 12 March 2023.

Magashule once served as premier of the Free State. In the video, Magashule can be heard singing “phakama, Ramaphosa”, isiZulu for “rise, Ramaphosa”. Ramaphosa stands a chance of being reelected in South Africa’s 2024 presidential elections.

But Magashule has been a vocal opponent of the president, particularly since his 2021 suspension from the ruling African National Congress (ANC), on the basis of a rule which Ramaphosa implemented. Ramaphosa is also president of the ANC and Magashule served as secretary-general of the party from 2017 until his suspension.

So, does this video really show Magashule endorsing Ramaphosa in March 2023, and what is the context behind it?


Video old but former ANC-member Carl Niehaus also wrong about when it’s from

The video is genuine, but it was not filmed in 2023.

The background of the video obviously does not match the setting of Makgoe’s funeral, and there is no evidence Magashule spoke at the funeral. 

Another controversial former ANC member, Carl Niehaus, pointed out the missing context on Twitter. Niehaus said: “This is not a recent video, it was taken years ago in 2018. Stop distributing fake news!” But Niehaus may also have the context wrong.

Niehaus didn’t say exactly where the video was filmed, so Africa Check went looking for it. We didn’t find any evidence that it was filmed in 2018, though we did find signs that it was filmed in early 2020.

Video originally filmed at the 108th anniversary of the ANC’s founding

In the video, Magashule wears a yellow shirt with the ANC logo and distinctive circular patterns on it. Very few photos or videos show Magashule wearing the same shirt – there are almost none shared on his official Facebook and Twitter accounts. However, Magashule is pictured wearing the shirt in several photos and videos taken in the Northern Cape province around the time of the ANC’s 108th anniversary in January 2020.

Magashule wore the shirt on a visit to the town of Jan Kempdorp, near Kimberley, the capital of the Northern Cape, where the ANC’s 108th anniversary celebrations were held. In photos of this 9 January 2020 visit Magashule wears khaki trousers, not the black trousers in the video.

Another photo of Magashule in the same shirt was shared to his official Facebook page on 7 January. This appears to have been taken during a visit to Britstown, also in the Northern Cape, that same day, although Magashule is shown wearing different shoes to the black-soled shoes that can be seen in the video.

We kept searching until we found a video which was broadcast live on the ANC’s official Facebook page on 8 January. In this video, filmed in the Northern Cape town of Colesburg, Magashule can be seen speaking to and leading a crowd in song.

Here Magashule’s clothes and the details in the background match the video shared in 2023. The clip of Magashule singing in support of Ramaphosa can be seen beginning at the 40 minute and 35 second mark of the 2020 video

The video is not evidence of Magashule, who remains suspended from the ANC, supporting ANC and South African president Ramaphosa in 2023.

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