Gauteng police

Screenshot from the “fake news” video.

Gauteng police dismiss video of mass immigrant arrests as “fake news”

Bheki Cele will have to wait a little longer for a Bells.

Gauteng police

Screenshot from the “fake news” video.

With great information technology, comes great misinformation potential. Gauteng police have moved to denounce a viral video doing the rounds on Thursday, which claims viewers are seeing a mass arrest of criminals and illegal immigrants.

The footage shared to YouTube showed SAPS officers orchestrating some sort of large-scale operation. Many people are lying on the ground in handcuffs, surrounded by the authorities.

The camera pans across the scene, revealing more people being marched into police vans. The 90-second clip was posted with the following caption:

“Boksburg Hostel dwellers, 22 arrested linked to heists, 40 linked to farm murders and household robberies, R47 million found, 76 Zimbabweans, 44 Mozambicans, 120 Nigerians. In one day operation. Give Minister Bheki Cele and Team a BELLS.”

No, Gauteng police didn’t just arrest 300 immigrants

Such a bust would have been an incredible feat by any law enforcement agency. However, those wishing it was all true will be left ultimately disappointed.

Following inquiries lead by, SAPS Captain in Gauteng, Mavela Masondo, has confirmed that this is a case of “fake news”.

Looks like Cele will have to wait a little longer for his whiskey, then. Masondo lamented the “mischevious” intentions behind the post and condemned those who actively seek to distort the truth:

“We wish to confirm that the ‘Boksburg Hostel’ video is fake news and in fact, mischevious. Social media users have been cautioned on numerous previous occasions to refrain from irresponsible behaviour on social media, even if it is their own personal accounts and devices.”

Where does the video come from?

We asked Mathapelo Peters – also of Gauteng police – what the footage is actually of. He confirmed they had “no idea”, as “sources of fake news go to [great] lengths.”

The “fake news” post is beyond problematic. It effectively blames farm murders and cash-in-transit heists solely on immigrants, whilst reeling off random numbers and nationalities in a bid to purposefully spread lies. Hence, we won’t be sharing the link.