Tell a South African a fishy, secondhand story, and they’ll tell you’re talking kak.
Write a long, investigative piece that shows corruption from their favourite political party, and they’ll cry ‘fake news’.
But throw one voicenote out there, which was forwarded by your aunt who received it from her neighbour whose uncle used to work for the police, and we’re in a queue outside the nearest liquor store within minutes.
We’ve seen it before, and we’ll probably see it again.
All that was missing from yesterday’s panic was the promise of a Nigerian prince leaving you a vast fortune.
Then again, we carry the scars of previous alcohol sale reversals, and the thought of enduring lockdown sober is too much for many.
Yesterday saw another booze sales ban panic sweep the nation, off the back of a voicenote doing the rounds that said liquor stores would shut up shop once more from close of business on Tuesday, with a Ramaphosa 8PM special lined up to break the news.
Some bloke called Sean / Shaun is mentioned, as is Quinton, which might give some clues as to where this originated.
(We’ll gloss over the hushed whispers that the voicenote was a ploy from alcohol industry insiders to boost sales, because those, too, aren’t rooted in anything other than hearsay.)
Ironically, the voicenote also says “not a bullshit story”, but that’s exactly what it is, and the government isn’t impressed.
This from eNCA:
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs spokesperson Lungi Mtshali says an investigation has been launched to track the source of the voice note.
“The fake news is not only compromising people’s lives but it is also setting us back in the fight against COVID-19,” Msthali said.
Mtshali says the matter has been escalated to the police.
Mtshali appeared on eNCA for an interview on the matter:
No offence, SAPS, but I wouldn’t be shaking in my boots if I was the person behind the voicenote, given your pretty average record of securing arrests and convictions.
It’s also true that law enforcement officials across the country have spoken about cracking down on drunk drivers, with roadblocks expected in large numbers this coming weekend.
Perhaps the biggest lesson to learn here, for the umpteenth time during lockdown, is not to forward information on that you can’t / have not verified.
Yes, I’m sure you thought it was interesting, and just wanted to be sure, but you’re only aiding the panic and behaving irresponsibly by doing so.
Ask where the person that forwarded it to you got it from. Ask them to ask the person who sent it to them where they got it from. Keep that chain of questioning going.
To summarise, stop this kak, man.
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