Some Tshwane ANCYL members to lay charges over controversial ’steaming’ campaign to combat coronavirus, Newsline

Pretoria – A group of ANC Youth League (ANCYL) members in Tshwane intend laying charges against their regional leaders for peddling ’’fake news’’ about the treatment of Covid-19.

Inspired by late health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang’s controversial advice to keep HIV/Aids at bay, the group is upset that their leaders are using the league’s name in posters to promote misinformation about fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, EWN reported.

The posters, which were part of their ’’steaming’’ campaign, which was circulated widely on social media, called on people to steam at least three times a day, saying this would expose the virus to extreme heat – thus killing it.

They also claim the pH levels of avocados and watercress stand at 15.6 and 22.7, this in spite of the range only measuring up to 14.

Regulation 11.5C of the Disaster Management Act prohibits the publishing of information through any medium with the intention of deceiving people.

Spokesperson of the crisis committee Musawenkosi Buthelezi said: “They’re spreading fake information, which is misleading to the public. Hence we’ve decided to open a case against the guys who made that poster using the ANCYL logo.”

Earlier, the Pretoria News reported that ANCYL secretary Ratshi Mashamba said the promotion of good diet in fighting diseases was drawn from the teachings of Tshabalala-Msimang.

“Remember that she was once advocating for the importance of a good diet in fighting any disease, including chronic diseases. We are just honouring her memory. We are arguing that in any battle what you take in matters,” Mashamba said.

Tshabalala-Msimang was constantly criticised for promoting nutrition ahead of antiretroviral drugs.

Regarding steaming, he said it was an indigenous practice, which should be adopted as part of the battle against the invisible enemy called Covid-19.

People usually pour boiled water in a bucket or bath and then inhale the steam.

“Steaming is very important. Not that we are against the democratic government, but you would have seen how the World Health Organisation (WHO) is streamlining communication and they are not for indigenous suggestions.

“Most patients are arguing that steaming is helping them, and so we are encouraging those who have not yet been infected to make it a habit and to steam three times a day,” he said.

According to him, the coronavirus infection was usually detected in people a few days after they had contracted it.

“What we are picking up is that if you continuously steam and improve your nutrition, you can make sure that the disease doesn’t get to be embedded in your system. There are high chances of weakening the coronavirus before it gets embedded in your body,” he said.

He cited that a country like China had minimal cases of Covid-19 even before the advent of the vaccine.

“It is not like they vaccinated 1.4 billion residents. They are using other means outside what WHO is pronouncing; their indigenous means,” he said.

The steaming campaign was primarily run on social media because it was deemed to be an effective medium for disseminating information.

Mashamba said the league had received positive feedback from residents, who said steaming was working for them.

“We are not saying it is the silver bullet but it is part of the suggestions we are proposing,” he said.