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Did South African Police arrest woman after Nigerian son-in-law paid fake money for bride price?

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Claim: An older woman and other family members were arrested by South African Police after a Nigerian son-in-law paid R95000 lobola (bride price) with fake money. 

Did South African Police arrest woman after Nigerian son-in-law paid fake money for bride price?

Verdict: False! The image attached to the story was taken from a 2021 post by the South African Police Service. Also, the Police Service issued a statement debunking the false information.

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In recent years, there has been a growing misconception about Nigerians in the international landscape. In some quarters, it is believed that Nigerians are involved in fraud in one way or another, although no fact supports such perception.

This is not unconnected with the country’s perceived corruption profile and some cases of past Nigerians arrested for fraud-related activities.

Due to this, claims supporting this narrative make the rounds on social media. 

Recall that in Sept 2023, an X user tweeted that the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom found that 700 Nigerian Nurses had fake qualifications as other people stood in for them at the examination centre. 

He further asserted that “Nigeria is considered a ‘red list’ country for the recruitment of health professionals, meaning poaching of staff could endanger its own health and care system.”

A lot of netizens believed the report to be accurate, as this was reflected in their comments. However, an investigation by Reuters showed that the claim was false. 

DUBAWA observed a trail of false information about Nigerians circulating the social media space at the time. 

Some users share unverified assertions or manipulate existing reports to taint the image of Nigerians, particularly one that portrays them as fraudsters.

On Jan 27, a popular blog tweeted that an older woman from Jukulyn, Pretoria, in South Africa and some family members had been arrested after being caught with counterfeit currency. 

It was alleged that their Nigerian son-in-law, Kelechi Adegoke Johnson, had paid R95 000 in cash to the family as lobola (a South African word for bride price). However, the money was fake, and the family innocently circulated it. 

The blog claimed the woman had taken part of the money to purchase items at ShopRite when apprehended. 

DUBAWA observed that people believed the report as reflected in their comments. One user, @Dilika_ asked, “What good do Nigerians contribute to South Africa?” Some other users whose comments showed their belief in the report could be seen here, here and here

The report was also shared on Facebook, as seen here.

Due to the sensitivity of the post, DUBAWA fact-checked it. 


DUBAWA conducted a reverse image search on the image attached to the Jan 27 tweet and observed it was taken from a 2021 post by the South African Police Service. 

At the time, the police statement explained that it arrested four suspects with R2 million counterfeit money. 

According to the statement, two women aged 57 and 58 and two men aged 36 and 48 were arrested and would be charged in court two days after the press release.

The release did not state whether the suspects were relatives, nor did it mention the payment of a Nigerian son-in-law. 

Digging further, DUBAWA observed that the police force had recently issued a statement debunking the false information. 

The Police service said its members did not arrest any elderly woman at a store in Jukulyn, adding that no such case was registered at Rietgat (Jukulyn) and the neighbouring police stations. 

The service decried irresponsible social media use by users who deliberately post misinformation and others who reshare without verifying. 

“The sharing of misinformation puts the South African Police Service at a disadvantage because all the allegations of crime have to be investigated. This leads to the Police utilising State resources and losing valuable time that could have been better utilised to investigate real incidents. Eventually, that also disadvantages victims of crime and hampers service delivery,” police explained. 


The assertion that South African Police arrested an elderly woman and other family members after their Nigerian son-in-law paid R95000 lobola (bride price) with fake money is false. 

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