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News24 falls for fake Malema Twitter account

This is awkward. News24, South Africa’s largest online publisher, has quoted a Julius Malema spoof account as coming from the EFF leader himself.

The falsely attributed Tweet was used in the news organisation’s ongoing coverage of admissions by senior members of the ANC that the Gupta family had offered them positions in cabinet. The tweet was not only included in an article, but also quoted in a headline posted on the News24 site as these tweets by advertising news site Marklives show:

News24, has since corrected its story, noting that:

“*A post from Julius Sello Malema on Twitter discrediting Atul Gupta’s statement on Mcebisi Jonas, was not from EFF leader Julius Malema’s official Twitter account.

News24 retracts the earlier headline: “Don’t bull**** everyone. You offered me a job in Parliament”

While it would be easy to dismiss the error as the result of rushed deadlines, a simple click on the account would have shown that it’s a parody.

Interestingly Malema hasn’t always owned the account that he now tweets from. It was handed over to him in 2012 following extended consultation with people around Malema.

Author | Stuart Thomas

Stuart Thomas
Stuart Thomas joined the Burn Media team in 2011 while finishing off an MA in South African Literature. Eager to prove his geek credentials, he allowed himself to be thrown in the deep and did his best to stay afloat. When not fused with his keyboard, you can find... More