The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has denied claims that it has cancelled its members festive season leave in the name of duty. This came after a fake news message began making the rounds on social media.
SANDF ACCUSED OF CANCELLING MEMBER’S LEAVE
Well if you haven’t seen or heard about the fake news message, here’s what it had to say along with the signature of Chief General L. Mbatha and a SANDF emblem.
“Attention to all uniform members of the SANDF we bring you an important signal given out yesterday by the Chief General L. Mbatha. Apologise for cutting your leave short, but your country needs you, yesterday our President was given a report back of the COVID-19 charts that was taken over a period of 10 days of how the COVID has reached its highest peak since the start of the festive season,” it said.
“It seems as though our plan of cutting the celebrations short by 22:00 didn’t work out as planned, our citizens are failing to comply to the rules and regulations set up to minimize the spread of the virus,” it added.
It then went on to say that a command was given yesterday that all uniform members of the SANDF (including the MSDS) must report back on 29 December to start with the preparation of giving the SAPS support on the streets, for the minimization of the spread of COVID-19.
“That is 22:00 every civilian must be at home, all gatherings, clubs, parties or entertainment areas must be closed down by 22:00,” it added.
Some Twitter users said it was most definitely fake news due to the message’s bad spelling and grammar.
FAKE MESSAGE BLASTED
Director Defence Corporate Communication Brigadier Gen M.P.M Mgobozi, on Monday 28 December, said SANDF was aware of reports that were making the rounds on social media about the cancellation of leave for its members.
“These reports on social media platforms are not true. The SANDF would once again like to caution the public not to spread incorrect and irresponsible information,” it said.
When The South African contacted SANDF for further comment on the fake news that was distributed, there was no response.