Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa has formally apologised to Britain after slamming the country for its alleged comments on the expropriation of land without compensation, after finding out it was only fake news.
The minister’s office on Monday said he, in March, read media reports saying the British government had expressed reservations about South Africa’s intention to expropriate land without compensation.
Mthethwa, during his speech on the 58th commemoration of the Sharpeville Massacre, slammed the British government and emphasised South Africa’s right to self-determination.
Now, Mthethwa’s office has said it is withdrawing the minister’s speech after receiving new information showing that the British government never uttered those words.
“In light of official communication that the British government does not hold the views reported and that the reportage of these statements is ‘fake news’ – Minister Mthethwa wishes to unreservedly withdraw the statements he made in his response.”
“It has now been officially communicated to me that the reported allegation is in fact ‘fake news’ and that the British government has not expressed any misgivings in respect of South Africa’s stance on the expropriation of land without compensation.”
“Accordingly‚ I hereby revoke and recant the assertions made in this regard‚ in full recognition and appreciation of the excellent relations and deep bonds of friendship that exist between Britain and our republic,” Mthethwa’s office said in a statement.