Right-wing party claims flags on Roof's jacket were photoshopped
Johannesburg - Right-wing party Front National has claimed that the picture of Charleston church shooting suspect Dylann Roof, wearing a jacket bearing the apartheid-era South African and Rhodesian flags, has been photoshopped.
"...The liberal media in South Africa and a host of liberal social media platforms have been spitting acid about the young man who shot and killed a number of African Americans in a church in Charleston in the south of America. In particular about the fact that he had a picture on his Facebook profile of him wearing a jacket with two badges – one of the former Rhodesian flag and one of the former South African flag – on the chest," it said in a Facebook post.
"Front National South Africa started questioning the picture – something about those two badges were …'odd'. And suddenly, in the blink of an eye, the Facebook profile 'disappeared', but not before we got hold of the original “un-photoshopped” picture. The REAL badge is rather reminiscent of the logo of the American Democratic Party of Barack Obama!"
Roof stands accused of gunning down nine people at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in the south-eastern US city during a Bible study meeting on Wednesday night.
Front National said American media made no mention of the old SA flag, however "the local media and their cronies used terms such as 'symbols of white supremacy and oppression' and 'racist symbolism' etc".
"It just seems that the liberal would not hesitate to shamelessly stoop to the very lowest level of despicable deceit and lies if he could use it to discredit the conservative Afrikaner. We do not know who created this forgery yet, but we will find out," it claimed.
"And to the South African liberal and the media who is your voice we have only this to say: 'You despicable cheats! You owe the Afrikaner and the Rhodesian people an apology and if you have only one fragment of honesty and decency left in you, you will offer that apology now!'."
Reports on the flags were carried by several United States publications, including the New York Times.
Almost every major publication around the world has used the photo from Roof's profile - which has the two flags.
News24 was unable to access Roof's Facebook account on Monday.
The Last Rhodesian
In a website allegedly created by Roof called The Last Rhodesian, he claimed in his alleged manifesto that people who claim the American south had too many blacks and was "beyond saving" only had to look to South Africa.
"To this I say look at history... Look at South Africa, and how such a small minority held the black [sic] in apartheid for years and years," Roof allegedly wrote.
"Speaking of South Africa, if anyone thinks that think [sic] will eventually just change for the better, consider how in South Africa they have affirmative action for the black population that makes up 80 percent of the population.
"It is far from being too late for America or Europe. I believe that even if we made up only 30 percent of the population we could take it back completely. But by no means should we wait any longer to take drastic action."
Although the link to pictures on the site no longer works, several images have been made public from the site, including one of Roof wearing the same jacket while leaning on the railing of a small wooden bridge.
The same views on the photoshopping were expounded by right-wingers in the United States.
Conspiracy theorist radio host Alex Jones's website Infowars.com claimed Roof's entire Facebook profile was faked.
"Unlike the vast majority of Facebook users, Roof only had around 80 friends who were all added in 2015 and he apparently didn’t bother to upload a banner image, meaning that Roof – or whoever ran the account – put the bare minimum of effort into the profile," an article on the site claimed.
"In comparison, Facebook users between the ages of 18-24 have on average about 650 friends, meaning that the 21-year-old Roof was well below average.
"It’s quite the coincidence that such a photo [of Roof and the flags] was publicly available on Facebook for media circulation, especially as it fits the Southern Poverty Law Center’s 'domestic terrorist' narrative.
"And it’s also strange that a racist such as Roof would have a large number of African-American friends on Facebook."
A blogger called Aangirfan also claimed that the jacket picture was photoshopped, but then went as far as claiming that there was a body double for Roof, and used pictures of him with moles and without them, and an alleged link to television show Game of Thrones as proof.
"Game of Thrones was filmed in Shelby, where Dylann was arrested. Game of Thrones used a body double for Lena Headey [in its recent finale]," the blogger said.
"The Game of Thrones' visual effects team composited Lena Headey's facial expressions onto the body of Rebecca Van Cleave to create the finished scene."
The show is famously shot in Northern Ireland, and not Shelby in North Carolina, USA.