Muslim Judicial Council distances itself from fake Covid-19 message

23 March 2020 - 15:38
By Philani Nombembe
The MJC has called on authorities to investigate the origin of a fake message.
Image: GALLO IMAGES/AFP/BERND THISSEN The MJC has called on authorities to investigate the origin of a fake message.

The Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) has distanced itself from a fake message being widely shared about Covid-19.

The message, which was shared on WhatsApp at the weekend, claimed the source of the information was the MJC.

It read: “Please be advised our first patient passed away from the virus earlier today in South Africa. What's more scary is that he is a Muslim from Cape Town. The minister will make the announcement later. Source is from the Precidency [sic] of the MJC.”

The MJC said it would report the message to the authorities “and hope that the perpetrators will be brought to justice”. 

On Monday, MJC deputy president Abdul Khaliq Allie, described the message as “rubbish” and added that it had caused the MJC leadership to have sleepless nights.

“We found this particular message on social networks — somebody sent it. It’s rubbish. It has created a headache for us as the MJC,” said Allie.

“Now people from far and wide want to find out if this message is true or not. We have no knowledge of this.”

Allie said the government has set up proper channels of communication around the Covid-19. He called on authorities to find the perpetrators.

“The authorities need to clamp down on anyone who circulates fabricated news relating to the coronavirus. This is not a time to mess around,” said Allie.

“The ministry of health has been very meticulous about making the necessary statements.”