Zimbabweans go to the polls on Wednesday to elect a president and a parliament in an election that many fear will not be free or fair. President Robert Mugabe, leader of Zanu-PF, is seeking to extend his 33-year grip on power. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of Movement for Democratic Change, is hoping to unseat him. What do the two parties stand for? And what do they promise if they win?
South Africa is in the middle of its annual “strike season” which runs from June to September. Frequently the media, government and mining houses refer to “illegal strikes”. Is this accurate? Can a strike be illegal? Not in terms of South Africa’s labour law.
The numbers of people seeking asylum in South Africa have declined dramatically over the last two years. But the country continues to be described as the largest recipient of asylum applicants in the world. How true is the claim? The data is flawed, inaccurate and sharply contradictory.
South African musician Steve Hofmeyr has claimed that the number of white South Africans killed by blacks would fill a soccer stadium, that white Afrikaners are being killed “like flies” and that a white farmer is murdered every five days. But the claims are incorrect and grossly exaggerated. In fact, whites are less likely to be murdered than any other race group.
A number of leading Malawian newspapers and websites have unquestioningly championed a supposed “wonder herb” that supporters claim can cure HIV, Aids and numerous other diseases and ailments. The claims are untrue, irresponsible and should be condemned.
Officials in Cape Town have claimed there are “only 600 bucket toilets in circulation” in the city and everyone has been offered an alternative. Municipal water and sanitation reports show both claims are wrong.
A recent South African newspaper headline suggested that the herbal ingredients of traditional medicines would now be subject to testing. The statement is a misleading example of “churnalism”.
A recent article published by a South African newspaper made a series of claims about the medical use of dates, the fruit of the date palm. In the first of series on health reporting and quackery, we examine the perils of peddling false information.
Johannesburg is well known for its splendid trees but does this make it the world’s largest man-made forest as many claim? Unfortunately not. After checking with dictionaries, experts and satellite images, we find it is an urban myth. Read why.
Do 400,000 whites live in squatter camps in South Africa, as claimed in a recent BBC report. Are there really 80 “white squatter camps” dotted around Pretoria? The answer to both is no.