FACT CHECK: Does This Photo Show South African Bikers Protesting Farm Killings?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows South African bikers protesting the killing of farmers.

Facebook/Screenshot

Facebook/Screenshot

Verdict: False

The picture shows a recent event in Lithuania, not a protest in South Africa.

Fact Check:

The image being shared shows a procession of bikers driving down a road while what appear to be motorized paragliders fly overhead. The Aug. 29 caption reads, “Bikers all over South Africa, are riding together today against farm murders and Racism.”

From April 2019 to March 2020, 49 people were murdered on South African farms and small holdings, according to data from the South African Police Service. There were over 21,300 murders in South Africa during that time period, the data shows. (RELATED: Does This Photo Show People In Berlin Protesting Against Coronavirus Restrictions?)

While thousands of bikers did descend upon Pretoria, South Africa on Aug. 29 to protest against farm attacks, the image does not come from that demonstration. A reverse image search revealed the photo was taken days before at an event in Lithuania.

Nexta, a Belarusian website that uses a Telegram channel, tweeted a watermarked version of the photo on Aug. 23. with the caption: “Beautiful scenes from Lithuania today where 50 thousand people formed a solidarity chain from Vilnius to the Belarusian border.” At least one Lithuanian flag is visible in the photo.

Tens of thousands of people in Lithuania linked arms on Aug. 23 to show solidarity for demonstrators protesting against the results of the disputed Aug. 9 presidential election in Belarus, according to Fox News. Other photos from the human chain can be viewed on Getty Images.

The display resembles a similar event that took place in August 1989, when over a million people from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania linked arms to protest against Soviet occupation, the New York Post reported.

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Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Reporter
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