Fake news alert: Trump did not tweet that he asked Ramaphosa to conscript South Africans for war in Iran

2020-01-08 21:32
US President Donald Trump. (Getty)

US President Donald Trump. (Getty)

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No, US President Donald Trump did not have a conversation with President Cyril Ramaphosa about conscripting South Africans as tensions mount in the Middle East after the US drone strike which killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani.

A screengrab of a "tweet" purporting to be from Trump did the rounds on South African social media on Wednesday, but this tweet is false.

"Just spoke to Cyril, South Africans will be conscripted if we need them. Let's stop Iran!" read the fake tweet.

As if the lack of spelling errors, use of normal punctuation and grammar weren't a dead giveaway, an official from the Presidency also debunked the fake news.

Using two of Trump's favourite phrases on Twitter, with the accompanying all-caps and several exclamation marks, the Presidency's head of digital communications Athi Geleba tweeted a picture of the false tweet with the following: "PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!!! FAKE NEWS!!!"

Her tweet was also retweeted by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation's official Twitter account.

Conscription – the compulsory enlistment of people in military service – has a controversial history in South Africa.

In 1967 the apartheid government made military conscription compulsory for all white men in South Africa over the age of 16. In the 1980s, as resistance to the apartheid regime, the End Conscription Campaign encouraged young white men to resist conscription and the organisation was banned in 1988. Conscription was abolished in 1993.

Read more on:    donald trump  |  cyril rama­phosa  |  south africa  |  us  |  fake news
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