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e-mail a hoax - SAMA

By unknown | Jul 18, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Namhla Tshisela

Namhla Tshisela

Experts have rejected as a hoax a chain e-mail warning of deadly spiders lurking in public toilets.

Though not directly attributed to the South African Medical Association (Sama), some of the e-mails are contained on its letterhead.

"This is certainly not something that was issued by us. Someone is using our e-mail stationery to issue these messages," said Sama corporate communications manager Adri van Eeden.

The e-mail alleges that a lawyer died and three women were admitted to hospital after being bitten by the poisonous two-striped telamonia spider.

The women all used a toilet at Olive Garden restaurant in Western Cape, where the spider was said to be hiding "under the [toilet] seat, out of normal view".

The e-mail warned that the spiders could be "anywhere in the country".

However, a directory search revealed that the "Olive Garden" restaurant was not listed anywhere in South Africa.

Ansie Dippenaar, a specialist scientist at the Agricultural Research Council, said the two-striped telamonia spider could not be found in South Africa. "There is no truth to the e-mails, so ladies can sit on toilet seats and enjoy themselves."


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