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A day after Kenya’s 2023 Safari Rally motor racing championship came to a close, a video emerged on social media alongside a claim that it showed cars set on fire by reckless revellers attending the event. But this is false: the clip shows vehicles that caught fire in the mining town of Jwaneng during the 2023 Botswana 1000 Desert Race in June.
The video was published on TikTok on June 26, 2023. It was shared more than 5,800 times before it was removed.
The clip shows cars burning on a field while a man who looks shocked can be seen flailing in the foreground.
In the video, a narrator speaking in Swahili says: “I told you that the Naivasha rally championship would bring us problems. Now see what happened last night. People went over there to camp, cook, and light bonfires. Fire has caught the dry grass and spread to the cars. Now people can’t get their cars out due to the traffic they caused through reckless parking. All the cars have been burnt.”
It was removed from the WRC calendar (archived here) in 2002 after local organisers failed to meet their obligations to Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the body that governs the sport. After a 19-year absence, Safari Rally returned to the WRC calendar in 2021.
In 2023, Kenya hosted the championship in Naivasha, about 90 kilometres west of the country’s capital Nairobi.
Fans descended on Naivasha to watch the three-day event that ran from June 23-25.
But the footage does not show cars that caught fire in Naivasha.
Using the InVID-WeVerify video verification tool, AFP Fact Check performed reverse image searches on keyframes from the clip and found that the blaze (archived here) took place in Jwaneng, a mining town in southern Botswana, about 160 kilometres from the country’s capital Gaborone.
No deaths or injuries were reported at the time.
AFP Fact Check contacted the Botswana police to ask about the cause of the fire and if there were casualties, but they are yet to respond.
This news article came from: https://factcheck.afp.com/doc.afp.com.33NY62P