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South African Leader Says 'Burn Indian Houses'? No, Video is Clipped

·3 min read

The video of a man calling for 'killing people and burning houses in Indian and White neighbourhoods' has gone viral with a claim that a South African leader urged for violence against these communities.

This comes amid reports of unrest over the arrest of former president Jacob Zuma that widened into an outpouring of anger over the inequality, unemployment, and poverty.

However, we found that the video was clipped from a longer version of the speech and was edited to create a false narrative. In the longer version of the video, eThekwini Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda, can be seen calling for peace in the community. The viral clip was from the part when Kuanda was reading out social media messages that were being shared among rioters.


The clip was shared with a caption that read, "Go to Indian communities, go there and kill Indians and burn their houses. Dear friends This is one example of what is going on against Hindus in South Africa. Why is international media silent? (sic)"

Similar captions were used by several other social media users.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>An archive of the post can be found <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">here</a>.</p></div>

An archive of the post can be found here.

More posts with the same video were shared on Facebook and Twitter, archives of which can be found here, here and here.

Also Read: Old 2018 Photos Shared as Protests Related to COVID-19 in France


While going through the comments section, we found people calling out the users who shared the edited clip and one user shared the original clip.

The video was posted on eThekwini Municipality's Facebook page on 14 July. The man in the video, Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda, was seen talking to community leaders in his area, asking them to stop the violence and racism. He also asked the community leaders to work together to stabalise communities amid ongoing violence in the country.

EThekwini Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda has called for calm and stability in eThekwini following public unrest. He is...

Posted by EThekwini Municipality on Wednesday, July 14, 2021

"There was a voice note that was being circulated on social networks. That voice note said, go and loot all shops and malls everywhere. Once you are done with that looting, go to Indian areas, it's not me saying that, I am saying the call was saying that. Go to Indian communities, go there and kill Indians and burn their houses. Go to White areas, go there and once you are done looting, go there and kill the White community and burn their houses. That call has landed on our ears," Kuanda said in the longer version of the clip, which was broadcast live on the Facebook page.

The next day, on 15 July, the eThekwini Municipality's Facebook page put out a post where they cautioned the community members about a "manipulated video clip" that is circulating on social media.

According to the post, the mayor had asked the law enforcement agencies to trace the origin of the clipped video as it "incites violence against the Indian and the White communities".

“Over the past few days, I have observed a disturbing trend by some members of the public of deliberately distorting information to fuel racial tensions in the community. This is mischievous in the extreme. In this particular instance someone has used five seconds of a 30-minute speech and manipulated it to incite violence,” the Facebook post said quoting Kaunda.

Evidently, a clipped video of Mayor Kaunda was shared with a false claim that the South African leader was for calling violence against Indian and 'White communities'.

Also Read: AI & Prompts: Can They Help Tackle Misinformation on Social Media?

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