A photo shared on Facebook in January 2021 shows people crossing a muddy river while others watch from either side.
Its caption simply reads: “Zim/SA border” – the border between Zimbabwe and South Africa. It has been viewed more than 22,000 times.
South Africa’s borders are under “severe pressure” during the Covid-19 crisis, as thousands of people reportedly try to cross into the country. Twenty land borders have been closed under new level 3 lockdown restrictions.
The Limpopo river runs along South Africa’s border with Zimbabwe. But what does the photo show?
Ficksburg border in 2019
Africa Check could find no evidence that the photo was taken at the border between South Africa and Zimbabwe. Instead, a reverse image search returned results suggesting it was taken in Lesotho.
The earliest version of the photo we could find was posted on Twitter on 22 December 2019.
#LesothoBorder @Julius_S_Malema @tito_mboweni
undocumented Basotho crossing Mohokare to go home for Christmas @HomeAffairsSA Minister Aaron Motsoaledi won’t open Special Permit for new applicants
Lesotho govt still thinks there’s need for a border...
Photo by @MmMoea pic.twitter.com/oNauYXMddQ
— Nthakoana “Queen Mosia” Ngatane (@nthakoana) December 22, 2019
Africa Check could not verify exactly where and when the photo was taken. But all available evidence points to it being near the Ficksburg border post – not on the border between South Africa and Zimbabwe.
And it was taken more than a year ago, before the Covid-19 outbreak.
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