Fakes News Alert: SA schools will NOT close for 4 weeks following coronavirus outbreak
Cape Town - The Department of Basic Education has dismissed the notice circulating on social media saying that schools will close for 4 weeks from Monday as fake news.
The Education Department issued a statement on Sunday stating that there is no truth to the document making the rounds across social media.
"South Africans must ignore the misleading document as it was not issued by the Department. It is not a formal circular. The signature of the Director-General was lifted from the guidelines sent out to schools earlier this week.
"The fraudsters who created the document must face the full might of the law for causing confusion leading to the mass hysteria," the Education Department said.
"The Department appeals to South Africans to always check the source of the documents and information they receive before sharing it further.
"The fake news is hurting the country’s efforts at managing the coronavirus pandemic which the government is seized with at the moment."
According to the fake circular:
"Due to the situation we are facing in our country pertaining the COVID 19 (corona virus) schools will be closed four four (4) weeks to prevent this virus to reach others. Department of health has confirmed that the circulation of this virus will increase by 45% in South Africa, therefor people are advised to stay in their homes and avoid overcrowded places including shopping malts, churches and schools etc.
"All public schools will be closed as from Monday the 16th of March 2020."
Director-General of the Department of Basic Education, Hubert Mathanzima Mweli took to twitter where he advised South Africans to disregard the circular: "Pease note that this document is not genuine. It has my signature but it is a fake document. Please ignore it."
Deputy Minister of Education: Dr Reginah Mhaule said: "Even at a time of difficulty facing our nation, people find time to mislead the public. Please be vigilant."
Earlier on Sunday the Health Minister confirmed that 13 more people had tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the number of confirmed cases in South Africa to 51.
#CoronaVirusUpdates— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) March 15, 2020
Don't fall victim to fake news.
The @DBE_SA distances itself from this fake circular doing the rounds
For regular updates go to: https://t.co/MVp3AxRaY0#covid19SA https://t.co/h25IyNlPPH
The Department of Health has announced the launch of a special website and Whatsapp group for the public to stay informed about the coronavirus in South Africa.
Visit: sacoronavirus.co.za/ or join the WhatsApp group on 0600 123 456.IOL