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Can you read for a BSc in Witchcraft in South Africa?

No. An article on the website Ihlaya News reports that the University of Venda is planning to introduce a course on witchcraft that will include classes on “lightning” and “thunder”.

The article was flagged as possibly false by Facebook’s fact-checking system. But it’s not false - or true. It’s satire.

A disclaimer at the bottom of the page reads: “1. Posts on this website may contain traces of truth. 2. All articles on this website have insufficient truth. 3. The truth in our articles is nowhere to be found. 4. The prophecies in our articles are accidental. 6. I accidentally wrote 6 before 5. 5. Fiction, poor satire attempt and news parody. 7. Don't tell people about this website.”

The satirical story has been so widespread it prompted the university to issue a statement on their website in October 2019, condemning the article as misleading and “fake news”.

Reports of witchcraft being offered as a qualification at South African universities are not new.

In 2016 an article on the Nigerian tabloid Pulse reported - falsely - that South Africa’s minister of higher education, Blade Nzimande, had proposed the introduction of a bachelor of science degree in witchcraft. 

Headlines such as "BSc Degree in Witchcraft - South African Varsities go spiritual" were soon published and republished by blogs and junk news websites across Africa.


More: No, South African university not offering witchcraft course - it’s just satire

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