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Viral video suggesting Rawlings was seen at his mother’s funeral without observing COVID-19 protocols is dated

Photo source: MyJoyOnline 2 mins read

Rawlings was seen during his mother’s funeral with no mask and no social distancing.

The video which the claim references is an old video from 2016 where Rawlings and his wife attended an Achimota School event. 

Full text:

News of the death of former president of Ghana, Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings, was announced by President Akufo-Addo last week. 

While Akufo-Addo only stated that the former president’s passing was due to a short illness, other reports are suggesting that the former president died from COVID-19. It is on this basis that information surfacing the media space state freely that the former president was seen at his mother’s funeral without observing COVID-19 protocols.

One of such claims accompanied by a video of Rawlings dancing has circulated on WhatsApp. 

The Whatsapp message reads:

‘’Check out the above. Rawlings is seen above during his mother’s funeral with no mask and no social distancing. A week later was admitted for Covid-19 and now Requiem for him. Please don’t joke; observe all Covid 19 protocols. Stay alive!’’

Verification:

In the 35-second video that is associated with the claim, it is observed that Rawlings was wearing a black and white Achimota School print shirt together with his wife, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, and not a funeral cloth as expected.

Further checks show that the video was reported four years ago before the COVID-19 pandemic. In the news report dated 8 March 2016, it proves to be a video of Rawlings dancing Agbadza at Achimota School’s 1966/67 year group’s 50th anniversary celebration. 

Additionally, on the occasion of Rawling’s mother’s funeral on the 24 October 2020, Rawlings was seen in a black shirt (not in a white or black and white shirt) and he was seen wearing a black mask

Conclusion:

The claim that Rawlings was seen in a video during his mother’s funeral with no mask and no social distancing is false. The video associated with the claim is an old video from 2016 before the COVID-19 pandemic, where the late former president and his wife attended a 1966/67 Achimota School year group 50th anniversary event. The video has no link with Rawlings’ mother’s funeral which happened last month.

Maxine Gloria Danso is a Senior Researcher with Dubawa Ghana. Maxine has previously worked as a Research Assistant engaging in some notable communication research projects in Ghana, having completed a Master of Philosophy programme in Communication Studies at the University of Ghana, with specialisation in journalism, public relations and advertising. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and French from the University of Ghana, with a University Diploma in French Studies from Université Rennes 2 in France. Maxine contributes to the team by drawing from her knowledge and research experience in media studies.

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