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South Africa’s ruling ANC ‘appeals’ with former president Jacob Zuma? No, newspaper front page is fake

IN SHORT: A newspaper front page reports that South Africa’s ruling party has appealed to former president Jacob Zuma “not to de-register them”. But be warned, the headline is fake.

Facebook posts making the rounds in South Africa claim to show a front page story by daily newspaper the Star.

The StarThe text on the front page reads: “ANC APPEAL WITH ZUMA NOT TO DE-REGISTER THEM.”

“Can someone explain this?” one caption reads. “Zuma is holding all the cards,” says another. 

On 29 May 2024, South Africans will vote in national and provincial elections. 

Polls suggest that the ruling African National Congress (ANC) could win less than 50% of the vote for the first time in 30 years. 

Former president Jacob Zuma has been in the spotlight since supporting a new political party, uMkhonto weSizwe (commonly known as the MK Party), which was formed in 2023.

The ANC has put together legal bids to prevent the MK Party using the name and logo of the defunct armed body of the ANC, which had previously played a role in the struggle to end white-minority rule in South Africa.

But did the Star report that the ruling ANC had appealed to Zuma “not to de-register them”? We checked.

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‘Below is a fake poster’

The lack of credible reporting by other media platforms on what would be a newsworthy story raised our suspicions.

A quick search of the Star’s official social media platforms to establish if the post was authentic led us to an X (formerly Twitter) post in which the paper said the front page was fake.

“All our posters are on this page and posted every night ahead of the paper the next day,” the Star said. 

“If a poster is doing the rounds on social media but is not seen on this account, posted by The Star, it is fake! Below is a fake poster,” it added.



As the elections approach, false claims about the major political parties are likely to spread on social media. Head to Africa Check’s South Africa Election Information Hub to help you cut through the noise.

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