Did a Ghanaian Blogger Die of COVID-19 in South Africa?

It is alleged that a Ghanaian blogger has died of COVID-19 in South Africa.

Various news publications including GhPage.com,tFNN24, this and Gossip24 claimed the blogger, called Germaine Deuceswas the manager ofLipxnews.com and Source Newspaper and was on a short stay in South Africa when he contracted COVID-19 and died.

The publication was based on Facebook posts such as this by media promoter MixticRomRas, this by blogger Gizo Gh and this by PhyneBoy, an artiste he was supposedly promoting.

“Sad news!! Ghanaian blogger died from coronavirus. R.I.P Germain,” Gizo Gh posted.

Fact-checkghana.com looked into this claim and found that thephotos widely circulated as the supposed blogger who died from COVID-19 is completely false, casting doubt on the credibility of the story.

Explanation: Ghana and South Africa have both confirmed cases of COVID-19 with some victims dying as a result. South Africa has the most number of confirmed cases and deaths within Sub-Saharan Africa according to the Africa Center for Disease Control’s (Africa CDC) COVID-19 update of June 1, 2020.

To verify the claim, fact-checkghana.com used Google Images to conduct a reverse image search on sixdifferent photos used by various blogs as the supposed Ghanaian blogger killed by COVID-19 in South Africa.

In all cases, we traced the photos to the verified facebook account of Kenya-based Hon Alinur Mohamed who has been described by Kenya’s Standard Media website in a publication as “a businessman and an aspiring politician.”

He is a 2022 MP aspirant for Kamukunji constituency in Nairobi county.

See examples of the false photos below:

The Facebook account of the supposed dead blogger, Germaine; which had used some of the widely circulated photos as profile photos; as well as the Facebook account of one of the artistes he was promoting, PhyneBoy, have been deactivated following inquiries from fact-checkghana.com.

Before deactivating his account, PhyneBoy confirmed in an interview after series of queries that he had never seen Germaine physically, but only engaged him on social media. He said he was informed of the supposed death by an unknown caller last week.

Based on the evidence available to fact-checkghana.com and the unfolding events, we conclude that the claim is completely false.

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