An image has been making its way around social media showing an SABC news bulletin which says that liquor stores will be allowed to open at certain times. The South African Police Services has warned citizens that this photo is doctored and is fake news.
“Social media users are warned against circulating further this doctored television screenshot as doing so could lead to criminal charges,” SAPS said in a social media post.
The image, which is an edited photo from one of the press briefings by Minister of Police Bheki Cele, appears to say that liquor stores will be allowed to trade during certain times and these will be announced on April 13 at 8pm. However this is not true, as the alcohol ban and closure of liquor stores and shebeens is still in place.
— SA Police Service 🇿🇦 (@SAPoliceService) April 12, 2020
Alongside the concern around deaths and number of COVID-19 cases, South Africa has been facing an unprecedented spread in fake news and rise in looting of alcohol stores.
The closure of liquor stores has been a particular problem, with citizens looting stores to access alcohol as the lockdown continues. According to Business Tech, 16 liquor stores have been looted in the Western Cape alone since the beginning of the lockdown.
Liquor associations, such as the The Beer Association of South Africa (BASA), have called for off-consumption sales to resume, especially since the lockdown has been extended for a further two weeks.