FACT CHECK: Did South African President Cyril Ramaphosa Say At A G20 Meeting That COVID-19 Vaccines Will Be Mandatory?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced at a G20 meeting that the COVID-19 vaccine will be mandatory for all South Africans.

Verdict: False

Ramaphosa asked world leaders to ensure that the vaccine will be made available to all countries. He has not announced that it will be mandatory for South Africans.

Fact Check:

The Facebook post features what appears to be a photo of a TV showing a news broadcast from eNews Channel Africa (ENCA), a South African news channel, in which Ramaphosa is speaking while a chyron below him reads, “Ramaphosa: All Must Get The Vaccine.” (RELATED: Did South African President Cyril Ramaphosa Order All Foreigners To Vacate The Country By June 21 Due To COVID-19?)

“CYRIL-THE-SQUIRREL SAYS YOU DON’T …. LET ME REPEAT THAT, YOU DON’T HAVE A CHOICE ABOUT WHETHER YOU WILL OR WON’T HAVE THE COVID-19 VACCINE,” reads the image’s caption. “HE HAS SAID THAT IT WILL BE MANDATORY AND EVERYONE WILL HAVE THE VACCINE!”

The chyron is from a Nov. 21 ENCA broadcast of Ramaphosa addressing world leaders during a G20 summit about the coronavirus pandemic and the accessibility of a vaccine once one becomes available. Ramaphosa did not, however, mandate everyone get a COVID-19 vaccine. Ramaphosa’s remarks at the summit were covered by numerous media outlets, none of which reported that he made such a comment.

The chyron below Ramaphosa while he is speaking is seemingly referencing his plea for equal access to the vaccine, not an announcement of the vaccine being mandatory. At no point during the summit did he call for the vaccine to be mandatory, according to his statements made at the event.

“Another immediate task is to ensure that there is equitable and affordable access for all countries to the COVID-19 vaccine once it is developed,” Ramaphosa stated during the summit. “I would like to call upon the G20 countries to assist with the funding shortfalls for the access to COVID-19 tools accelerator to ensure this platform is able to deliver on its mandate.”

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Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Reporter
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