Back to Africa Check

South African actor Ben Kruger died of Covid – not after vaccine jab

The death of South African actor Ben Kruger, known for his role on Afrikaans soap opera Binnelanders, was announced on 26 May 2021. 

News of Kruger’s death was shared by KykNet, the network that produces and airs Binnelanders.

But shortly after the announcement, posts began to appear on Facebook claiming that Kruger died shortly after receiving a vaccine against Covid-19. The most common version of this claim is an image with a photo of Kruger and the words: “DOOD NA COVID INSPUITING… 3 DAE.” 

This is Afrikaans for: “Dead after Covid injection… 3 days”.

But this is false. Kruger’s death has been attributed to Covid-19 complications. And a fellow Binnelanders cast member has said Kruger never received a Covid-19 vaccine.


Claims called ‘propaganda’ by Kruger’s co-star

Soon after the false claims started to appear, fellow Binnelanders actor Germandt Geldenhuys took to Facebook to refute them.

“Ben Kruger is NIE oorlede a.g.v ‘n inenting teen COVID nie,” Geldenhuys wrote. “Hy het nooit so inenting ontvang nie.” 

This roughly translates as: “Ben Kruger did NOT die following a vaccine against Covid. He never received such a vaccine.”

Geldenhuys went on to say that Kruger did not deserve to have his death used as “propaganda”, and repeated that, as reported elsewhere, Kruger had died of Covid-19 complications.

Kruger is not the first well-known figure whose death has been falsely linked to a Covid-19 vaccine. Africa Check recently debunked a claim that several celebrities had died shortly after vaccination. They included the rapper known as DMX, who does not seem to have received the vaccine.

Covid-19 vaccines have undergone strict trials to ensure that they are safe, and effective at preventing Covid-19. 

To learn more about how the vaccines are approved, read our factsheets on the vaccine approval process in South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya.

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.