Back to Africa Check

Photos of counterfeit soft drink factory from Pakistan, not South Africa

A Facebook post widely shared in South Africa warns people against buying soft drinks from “Indian and Somali shops” and “Pakistan related stores” like Cambridge, Boxer and Nizams.

It claims “all those indigenous shops” get their soft drinks from fake factories. Instead, people should “make sure” they “buy cold drink” at Spar, Shoprite and other stores.

The post includes over a dozen photos of a dark and dirty-looking fake soft drink factory.

Allegations of fake food products sold in migrant owned shops have fuelled xenophobic sentiment in South African townships in recent years. But a quick reverse image search of the photos from this particular post shows that the images are actually from a District Food Authority raid in the city of Gujranwala, Pakistan in 2015.

Reports of fake Coca-Cola products have prompted the Coca-Cola company to issue statements urging people to report counterfeit products. But as of August 2018 the company had not received any official complaints about fake products from customers in South Africa.

There is no indication such a small factory in Pakistan could be involved in exporting counterfeit products as far as South Africa. We rate the post as false. – Africa Check (09/04/19)


Republish our content for free

We believe that everyone needs the facts.

You can republish the text of this article free of charge, both online and in print. However, we ask that you pay attention to these simple guidelines. In a nutshell:

1. Do not include images, as in most cases we do not own the copyright.

2. Please do not edit the article.

3. Make sure you credit "Africa Check" in the byline and don't forget to mention that the article was originally published on

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.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.