Pretoria – A story that has gone viral on online media about celebrity millionaire businessman and cleric Shepherd Bushiri being arrested at JFK airport in the USA is a hoax.
The story which first surfaced nearly two years ago on a phantom usa-today domain name resurfaced on several fake news websites in the last week.
Although the fake usa-today domain was shut down, the story was duplicated in its entirety.
The report, which claimed the cleric had been arrested in USA is incorrect as the Prophet was here in South Africa at the time.
In fact, he has been leading a crusade, “House of Prayer” and beamed the services live from Pretoria Showgrounds.
When reached for comment, the Prophet’s team scoffed at the “pitiful and unashamedly false reports”.
A source close the cleric told this publication that the prophet was unmoved by the fake stories, and remained “committed to spreading the gospel against the wishes of evil machinations designed to derail the house of the lord”.
The stories, join a series of what appear to be well coordinated fake reports targeting the cleric.
Technology expert Edwell Makuyana stated that stories of this nature are spread for ad revenue.
“What happens is that these websites intentionally target prominent people for traffic. When they do so, they get revenue from adverts. It is unfortunate. Although in this case, the sources of these stories are people with an agenda against this particular church”
The website responsible for the story did not respond to questions regarding the fake report.