The Department of Health says Minister Zweli Mkhize does not own a personal protective equipment (PPE) manufacturing company.
The department released a statement on Monday in response to messages that appeared on various threads on Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp, claiming the Minister owns a PPE manufacturing company,
“We would like to categorically state that Mkhize does not own a PPE manufacturing company nor is he involved in any way in the manufacturing of PPE.
“In anticipation of any further emergence of fake news, we also categorically state that nobody in Minister Mkhize’s family is in the business of manufacturing, selling or distributing PPE,” the department said.
Creating or advancing fake news remains an offence under the National State of Disaster.
“The Department of Health will not hesitate to take action against those found to be creating or perpetuating fake news. This kind of content is damaging to the reputation of honest, hardworking members of the executive. It distracts from and undermines the important work of fighting Coronavirus.”
The Ministry has called on members of the public to be circumspect in their engagement with social media content and not find themselves becoming agents of fake news and misinformation.
“We are still in the midst of a pandemic and the best way to fight it is by arming ourselves with facts and sound knowledge that empowers us to defeat Coronavirus.
“We hope that this clarifies the matter and that all individuals that are either the originators of this content or those who have advanced the content by sharing or commenting will take the opportunity to immediately remove the content from their platforms and issue an apology to the Minister and to the public for advancing fake news.”