Conspiracy theories which point to 5G as the source of the coronavirus are picking up again in South Africa where many new cases have been recorded since the start of the year. MTN and Vodacom, which have been offering mobile technology since December 2020, are singled out.
Last week, South Africa’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams condemned the destruction of telecom towers owned by mobile operators MTN and Vodacom in KwaZulu-Natal province. They were set on fire.
According to the minister, the attack on these telecom infrastructures follows a resurgence of conspiracy theories that link the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic in the country to 5G. As of January 7, 2021, South Africa had already recorded 20,999 new cases of contamination according to data from the Ministry of Health, against 16,000 two days earlier. A fact that anti-5G activists do not consider trivial when the two telecom companies launched 5G in December and intend to accelerate the deployment once the new telecom licenses have been acquired.
In a statement, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams said the destruction of the telecom towers undermines the multi-faceted efforts and initiatives undertaken to stem the spread of the virus. The minister, who qualifies the telecom towers as ” essential network infrastructure “, stressed that the country needs it to provide “resilient and high-speed connectivity to every citizen, in order to allow them to participate significantly in the digital economy.
MTN and Vodacom said the destroyed telecom towers in KwaZulu-Natal did not provide 5G services.