Does This Photo Show Protests Over Farm Murders in South Africa?

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An image was shared on Twitter purportedly showing a large group of people protesting farm murders in South Africa.

Piga Firimbi has found this claim to be false as the image is from an earlier protest in Lithuania.

Background

On July 31, 2020, Police Minister Bheki Cele announced the annual crime statistics covering a period from April 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020. The statistics showed an increase in rape and carjacking, while murder reached the highest in a decade. Among these murders were those that took place on farms.

Verification

It is true that there was a protest against farm murders in South Africa. On August 29, 2020, thousands of South African bikers rode to the Union buildings in Pretoria to take a stand against gender-based violence, racism and farm murders, as reported by SABC News.

However, a Google reverse image search shows that the image used is about protests in Lithuania, one of the Baltic States in Europe, at a solidarity rally for Belarusian reformists. The image was shared on Twitter on August 23, 2020 by a Belarusian website with the caption, “Beautiful scenes from Lithuania today where 50,000 people formed a solidarity chain from Vilnius to the Belarusian border.”

It also appears in an article by The Baltic Course dated August 24 that reads in part, “Almost 50,000 people in Lithuania joined hands on Sunday evening to form a human chain from Vilnius to Medininkai, a town close to the Belarusian border, to express their solidarity with Belarusians fighting for democratic changes in their country.”

According to the article, symbolic events to support Belarus and the Freedom way also took place in 30 other countries. The chain was formed on the anniversary of the historic Baltic Way of August 23, 1989, when over one million people sent a message to the world on Lithuanian, Latvia and Estonia’s aspiration to end the Soviet rule and restore independence.

Verdict

The image shared on Twitter purportedly showing farm protests in South Africa has been used in the wrong context, as it is actually from a different protest in Lithuania, making the claim FALSE.

This story was produced by Piga Firimbi in partnership with Code for Africa’s iLAB data journalism programme, with support from Deutsche Welle Akademie.  

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Peris Gachahi

Peris Gachahi is a reporter at Africa Uncensored.She is passionate about human interest stories told through in-depth documentaries, data stories and digital storytelling.