Five of the best South African

Five of the best South African April Fool’s articles

Spoof stories testing the gullability of South Africans included the new red Springbok kit and an exclusive tour of Nkandla.

Five of the best South African

The ‘Rooibokke’

Absa – official sponsor of the national rugby team – had thousands of Springbok fans fooled this morning with the spoof announcement that the team’s kit would change from green to red as part of a rebranding based around the bank’s colour scheme.

Current player Pierre Spies was in on the joke and told Eyewitness News: “It’s a massive shock to all of us and times are changing in South Africa but the most important thing is that the badge of the Springbok is still on it and that’s what represents our rugby in the country. Obviously we’re sad we lost the green and gold but we have to adjust to the new one.”

The announcement met with shock and outrage on Twitter, with one fan writing: “The new Springbok jersey makes me wish I had Ebola.” Another wrote: “I’m shocked. I guess money is more important than tradition in the business of sport.” Absa revealed the hoax at noon, explaining that the joke was part of their campaign to raise awareness regarding the new kit which will be released later this year – although there will be no colour change!


In response to President Zuma’s R246million investment of taxpayers’ money into developments of his Nkandla private residence, the Democratic Alliance today announced that the provincial government was planning to use public funds on improvements to Helen Zille’s private residence in Cape Town. The initial estimated budget was R20 million, but Western Cape Finance MEC Alan Winde said “everyone knows these things often run way over budget, so the Western Cape Government has set aside R246 million for inevitable cost overruns”. Zille tweeted: “I am absolutely determined to relocate my neighbours. I have always coveted their house.”

The DA said that the redevelopments were focused on security and said in a statement: “The full details of the upgrade are classified, but the Project Manager for the upgrade, Mr Tell Us Nxesi, is able to confirm that Zille’s new home will include a ‘decontamination Jacuzzi’, a ‘security surveillance theatre’, an ‘underground safety gym’, and an ‘emergency helipad that will also serve as a tennis court’.”

M&G gets tour of Nkandla

Mail & Guardian journalists claimed that they had been given an exclusive tour of President Zuma’s Nkandla residence. The story reported how “the whole compound is off-grid and run from a mix of bio-energy from cow manure and hot air,” as well as claiming that “the department of public works has set money aside in the 2014/15 financial year for a major operation where several Nkandla structures will be moved brick by brick to key government prestige properties in Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban.” They also “exclusively” reported that:

  • the fire pool at the compound is not, in fact, on fire;
  • the visitors’ centre features a number of arcade games to compensate for long waiting times to see the president, including Dance Dance Revolution; and
  • what has come to be known as the “cattle kraal” is actually [REDACTED FOR REASONS OF STATE SECURITY]

Zuma Resigns

The Sowetan’s attempt at comedy was a story about President Zuma resigning because “following the recent Nkandla scandal, Zuma has said that he is calling it quits as he cannot handle the pressure following recent events.” This story was also parodied by ANC_YOUTH’s twitter account, which tweeted: “BREAKING: President Zuma will resign today…To retain political stability, Treasury Zweli Mkize will be sworn in as the President of the Republic this evening.” However, two hours later they then tweeted: “Only April fools would celebrate a resignation from Zuma. He will be resident for 3 terms!”

Mamphela Ramphele changes name

Yahoo South Africa reported that leader of the Agang party, Dr Mamphela Ramphele, was planning on changing her name to Ngoxolo Ramphele to ensure that South Africans were able to pronounce it. Referring to the reasons for the change, it was reported that Ramphele said: “It has come to my learned attention that many of my fellow South Africans do not know how to say my name correctly. And so I am taking this brave step as a sign of my commitment to bringing reconciliation to the people.” She also revealed that it was in fact her son who had planted the idea in her head when he told her about the fact that P Diddy was reverting to Puff Daddy.