DON'T MISS : Talking Africa Podcast – Nigeria’s Obiageli Ezekwesili: ‘Get interested by politics, or be ruled by idiots.

South Africa: Leaks and deepfakes shaping the race for ANC presidency

By Anna Maree
Posted on Friday, 16 April 2021 18:54

Students protest in Johannesburg
Ace Magashule, the secretary general of South Africa's ruling African National Congress in Johannesburg, South Africa, March 11, 2021. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

In South Africa, manipulated audio recordings have been leaked from recent meetings of the governing African National Congress’s (ANC) leaders, raising the temperature ahead of the party’s elective conference next year.

“Whoever is doing it, it was very professionally done,” said ANC deputy secretary general Jesse Duarte in a radio interview with Eyewitness News on the leaked recordings on Thursday 15 April. “It was cut and spliced very carefully to give a particular impression of a very sober conversation in the meeting of the officials of the ANC.”

One of the leaks contained a purported recording of Duarte’s input at a meeting between the ANC’s top six officials and former president Jacob Zuma at the end of last month. The party is trying to persuade Zuma to testify in front of the commission of inquiry into the large-scale corruption during his tenure, dubbed “state capture”, but he continues to refuse.