The dark secrets of how the Gupta family orchestrated an intense fake news campaign to sow divisions in South Africa’s social discourse, while diverting attention away from its state capture, are unravelling.

The African Network of Centers of Investigative Reporting (ANCIR) teamed up with Times Lives to reveal a series of probes into the fake news machine created to deflect attention away from the Gupta family.

While it’s already public knowledge that the UK’s Bell Pottinger PR firm was largely tasked with driving the narrative behind the anti-white monopoly capital campaigns and allegations against local media and government officials, the technicalities of its fake news arm have largely been under wraps – until now.

“The Times, with the African Network of Centres for Investigative Reporting, for the first time reveals the size and scope of a campaign which outpaces the apartheid-era Information Scandal in cost and political impact,” ANCIR said.

“This investigation reveals a multi-channel media empire that includes mainstream news outlets The New Age and ANN7, alternative news websites, and a vast number of contributors to social media including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.”

“It is the first large-scale fake news propaganda war in South Africa, and it has adversely affected the country’s politics and economy.”

This morning alone, ANCIR published six stories on the fake news empire.

You can read all the reports published so far on Times Live.

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