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Yes, vehicle covered in grass discovered at South African border post

“Somebody in Mpumalanga lost a Ford Ranger,” reads a post shared on Facebook in South Africa. “It was found in Komatipoort close to at the boarder of Mozambique. Let's circulate this until the owner finds it!”

A photo shows a vehicle on the back of a truck, partially covered with bundles of grass. It says “Ranger” on the back of the vehicle. The Ford Ranger is a midsize heavy-duty pickup truck, or bakkie, popular in South Africa. 

The 5 December 2020 post has been viewed 2 million times since it was created and shared hundreds of times. Does it show a stolen bakkie at the border between South Africa and Mozambique? We checked.

Manhunt launched for suspect

A Google search using key phrases from the claims ( “ford range thatch border”) revealed a number of recent news reports about the incident. 

South African news website Eyewitness News reported on 6 December that “photos of the bakkie disguised as a pile of thatch grass went viral on social media after police spotted the suspicious-looking truck at the Lebombo border post”. The border post, located in the town of Komatipoort, connects South Africa and neighbouring Mozambique. 

The vehicle was reported to have been stolen from a garage in Sandton, Johannesburg, nearly 500 kilometers away, on 30 November.

The South African Police Service tweeted a number of photos of the incident. They announced that they were searching for the suspect. – Africa Check

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