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Fake News: Pedophile Who (Allegedly) Raped 9-Year-Old Girl Did NOT Have Penis Chopped Off Completely By Angry Father

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Fri, 16 Nov 2018 13:24:40 Z)

Did Preacher Mase Malgas from East London in South Africa rape a 9-year-old girl and did her father then take revenge by hacking off his penis, leading to his death? While it is true that a 9-year-old girl was raped according to local media reports it has not been proven yet that the preacher did it. It is also not true that the girl's father "hacked" or "chopped" off the penis as that would imply removing it completely. Local media reports say that the man began to cut the penis but didn't complete the job. The wound was serious enough though to lead to the eventual death of the victim.

Those facts did not stop NeonNettle from publishing an article on November 15, 2018 with the headline "Pedophile Who Raped 9-Year-Old Girl Has Penis Chopped Off By Angry Father" (archived here) which opened:

Preacher died from injuries on September 30 after the girl's father hacked of his genitals - A pedophile preacher who raped a nine-year-old girl has died after her father severed h... | NEON NETTLE

Screenshot of https://neonnettle.com/news/5642-pedophile-who-raped-9-year-old-girl-has-penis-chopped-off-by-angry-father

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Pedophile Who Raped 9-Year-Old Girl Has Penis Chopped Off By Angry Father

Preacher died from injuries on September 30 after the girl's father hacked of his genitals - A pedophile preacher who raped a nine-year-old girl has died after her father severed h... | NEON NETTLE

The article also omits the fact that the events happened in East London, South Africa (and not the east part of London, U.K.). Local media are reporting on the trial of the father:

EC dad denied bail after 'castrating' preacher suspected of raping his child

The defendant was told by his ex-wife that his daughter was raped by a local preacher in East London, and decided to take the law into his own hands.

Key quotes:

They stormed into their victim's home and the accused began to severely assault Malgas. In the midst of the brutality, the man on trial began to cut the preacher's penis.

Although he didn't complete a full castration, the defendant had left the holy man with "grievous" bodily wounds. After they had badly-beaten Malgas, they took him to the Scenery Park Police Station, hoping to have him arrested.

However, officers in East London had to deal with the life-threatening condition Malgas was reduced to. They called for medical assistance, but he died in hospital.

And:

Nqwelo said medical reports confirmed the nine-year-old had been raped, but the courts were still waiting for the DNA results to confirm Malgas was the perpetrator. The case hinges on this vital detail: If the preacher is found to be guilty of the rape, a host of mitigating factors for the defence will come into play.

Interestingly enough the NeonNettle article contains these paragraphs, directly contradicting the headline:

He did not finish the castration, but left the preacher with 'severe' wounds, the court heard.

And:

Nqwelo said medical reports confirmed the nine-year-old had been raped, but the courts were still waiting for the DNA results to confirm Malgas was the perpetrator. The case hinges on this vital detail: If the preacher is found to be guilty of the rape, a host of mitigating factors for the defence will come into play.

Note that The Sun made the same errors in this headline, implying full penis removal and established guilt of the priest:

Furious dad hacks off priest's penis after he 'raped daughter, 9'

A FURIOUS father partially castrated a preacher he believed raped his nine-year-old daughter in South Africa, it is alleged. Preacher Mase Malgas, 66, died after being attacked on September 30, a court was told.

Although they later did change the headline to the somewhat more correct "Furious dad hacks off priest's penis after he was accused of sexually abusing his nine-year-old daughter" (even though they kept the "hacks off").

A similar bad headline was also present at The Mirror:

Dad 'castrates and kills preacher who raped his nine-year-old daughter'

A dad castrated and killed a preacher who had allegedly raped his nine-year-old daughter, a court has heard. The parent - who cannot be named for legal reasons - is accused of murdering Mase Malgas, 66. After cutting off the preacher's genitals, the defendant dragged him to a nearby police station, where he continued attacking him as officers tried to hold him back.

The case seems terrible and tragic enough without having to spice up the headline for more clicks...

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About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk
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