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Minister becomes victim of Facebook ID theft

2014-09-02 16:40

Johannesburg - Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa on Tuesday distanced himself from a Facebook profile purporting to be him.

"I do not own a Facebook account and have not given permission to anyone to use my identity on social media," he said in a statement.

"Thus I strongly condemn the use of my stolen identity and will take appropriate steps, including legal action to have this matter investigated [and] resolved."

The account had a picture of Mthethwa and his wife Philisiwe taken at their wedding last year. The account had more than 2 000 friends.

Mthethwa said he had reported the account to Facebook.

There have been several fake social networking accounts claiming to be Cabinet ministers.

Last month, Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi and Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene complained about fake accounts.

Nxesi said police were investigating the creation of the account. His office was worried "that the public may be taken for a ride by unscrupulous characters posing as the minister".

The finance ministry complained about several fake accounts. At the time it said there were also bogus letters and e-mails being sent out, purporting to be from the ministry and associated institutions.

In February, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters dissociated herself from a bogus Facebook page.

Her spokesperson Jomo Khasu said the page was created by Nicholas Triphati in the United Kingdom or the United States.

Triphati claimed to be creating jobs through the Southern African Development Community and the Economic Community of West African States on the page.

The pictures on the social network page were not obtained legitimately, said Khasu.

Last year, bogus Facebook pages emerged for Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant, and former Women's Minister Lulu Xingwana.

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