Telecommunications towers belonging to Vodacom and MTN were burned down by vandals, with the South African government placing the blame on conspiracy theorists who link 5G airwaves to Covid-19 infections.
In a statement from the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, minister of communications and digital technologies “condemned” the vandals and urged South African police to arrest those responsible "for this anarchy”.
“The burning of the cell phone towers follows a resurgence in conspiracy theories which link the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic to 5G”, the statement read.
Three telecommunications towers in the KwaZulu-Natal region were destroyed between January 5-6.
“The destruction of network towers compromises multi-pronged efforts and initiatives to stem the spread of the virus. We therefore, urge the police to arrest anyone who is threatening the removing of infrastructure network stations or towers”, added Ndabeni-Abrahams.
Vodacom urged in a statement today (January 8), for people to report those “deliberately spreading fake news” about the virus to the government.
The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and the World Health Organisation (WHO), have confirmed 5G does not spread Covid-19.