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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

[Source: Business Day by Jonny Steinberg.]

How easy is it to generate fake news in SA? How easy is it to shove nonsense down gullible throats? The thought struck me as I read a disturbing conversation on Twitter in the wake of the publication of Jacques Pauw’s book, The President’s Keepers.

“It’s interesting that elements like #Pauw who believed that the ANC was a terrorist organisation 25 years ago,” the tweet that began the conversation went, “are now worried about its survival beyond 2019.” A flurry of angry responses followed, but some of the corrections introduced new errors.

One person said Pauw worked for the SABC under apartheid and thus had an employer that believed the ANC to be a terrorist organisation. Another counselled that Pauw’s previous support for apartheid should not discredit his research. Others said that the original tweet was wrong because its author was a foreigner, thus throwing a dose of xenophobia into the confusion. And so I wondered: is it as simple as that?

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South Africa at a Glance
56 500 000 (mid 2017 estimate)
5.1% y/y in September 2017 (CPI) & +4.2% y/y in August 2017 (PPI)
2.5% q/q for the 2nd quarter of 2017
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