False information is circulating on social media inaccurately claiming Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu died in Texas.
"Anti-apartheid and human rights activist Archbishop Desmond Tutu has died in Texas at the age of 86," claimed an undated post on nytimes-news.com.
Tutu’s office debunked the claims in an April 22 statement.
"There is a false story doing the rounds today suggesting that Archbishop Emeritus Tutu has passed away in the United States," said a statement posted on the Facebook page for The Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation.
"The Archbishop and Mrs. Leah Tutu are in fact in good health and spirits at home in the Western Cape," the statement said.
The website nytimes-news.com (note: not the online home of The New York Times) claimed Tutu’s wife "told reporters that the couple were in Texas for holiday and had plans of greeting George H.W Bush who lost his wife few days ago."
The undated false claim was flagged on Facebook as being potentially fabricated, as part of the social network’s efforts to combat online hoaxes. The post seemingly gained traction due to national and international media coverage of former first lady Barbara Bush’s funeral on April 21.
It’s not the first time fake news sites have claimed Tutu died. Another hoax about his death spread in September 2016 after a hospitalization. The former Anglican archbishop of Cape Town was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his opposition to apartheid policies.
Nytimes-news.com does not feature any description of who runs the site. The website’s banner only says "New York," and its address is designed to give readers the wrong impression that it’s the actual New York Times. (The real Times can be found at www.nytimes.com.)
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Nytimes-news.com’s post claiming Tutu died in Texas is made up. We rate it Pants on Fire!