South African Police Yet To Identify Those Who Sent Anonymous SMS' To Journalists Testifying In The SABC Inquiry

During South Africa’s parliament inquiry into the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board fitness to hold office, journalists testifying revealed how they received various SMS messages with death threats since the inquiry started.

United Democratic Movement (UDM) Member of Parliament, Nqabayomzi Kwankwa, read out one of the SMS messages received by a journalist it read "Traitors protecting your white friends in Parliament has started this and telling lies about your comrades. You were warned. We don’t kill blacks, but will sit and watch the blood flow."

On 18 December 2016, I joined the host of the weekly SABC Network technology show, Siphumelele Zondi, to discuss among other things whether it is possible to trace SMS messages sent from "anonymous" mobile numbers.


Siphumele Zondi hosts Tefo Mohapi to discuss whether it is possible to trace origin of "anonymous" SMS messages.

Although the journalists notified South African police, the police are yet to trace the alleged people who sent the SMS messages.

Technically speaking, in South Africa, it isn’t possible to send and receive an “anonymous” text thanks to the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act (RICA) which requires telecommunications companies to register every SIM card purchased against a person who must produce an identity document and proof of address.

Thus, the likely scenarios under which a text is untraceable is either the SIM card was not registered or it was registered to a person who is likely not using it, something which is rumoured to be common as allegedly one can purchase a pre-registered pre-paid SIM card.

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