South Africans have arrived a bit late to the party. Last year, the US and the UK had to deal with conspiracists burning down cellphone towers after fake news suggested that the 5G wireless bands could cause COVID-19. While there are many people out there that still believe this to be true, the sheer impact of the pandemic has forced countries to focus on more important things such as staying alive. The same can’t be said for a group of people in KwaZulu-Natal who burnt down three cellphone towers after believing they are responsible for the spread of COVID-19 in the region.
News24 reports that the three towers were owned by Vodacom and MTN and were destroyed between Tuesday and Wednesday. Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has condemned the actions of the community. Police have launched a manhunt to find those responsible.
The vandalism of the towers arrives amid a resurgence of 5G and COVID-19 conspiracies in South Africa. Many believe that the misinformation, which links 5G to the spread of COVID-19, to be true. Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams is currently in the process of finalizing a draft policy for the rollout of 5G networks in South Africa. This is an important move for the country as it will enable high-speed 5G connectivity to every citizen (at a high price, of course).
To date, there is no proof that 5G spreads COVID-19 at all. In addition, there’s no clinical evidence that 5G is harmful in any way whatsoever. Last year, a company tried to take advantage of people by selling an overpriced USB dongle which they claimed would shield a user from the harmful rays of 5G. This just goes to show how gullible people are. Just wear a mask and social distance. Simple.
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