SA high commission in London labelled 'headquarters of racism' in Wikipedia edit

SA House in London's Trafalgar Square lit up with the national flag. File photo.
SA House in London's Trafalgar Square lit up with the national flag. File photo.
Image: Fiona Hanson

The South African high commission in London is the "headquarters of racism" - if a sneaky Wikipedia edit is to be believed.

On Friday afternoon, from at least midday, a Google search for the SA high commission would have resulted in a summary description from Wikipedia trashing SA House.

"South Africa House is the Headquarters of Racism. It is located at a building on Trafalgar Square, London. As well as containing the offices of the CEO of Racism, the building also hosts the offices of Sexism and Crime," the summary of the Wikipedia entry reads.

An edit to the summary entry of the SA High Commission description on Wikipedia on Friday October 18 described it as the "headquarters of racism".
An edit to the summary entry of the SA High Commission description on Wikipedia on Friday October 18 described it as the "headquarters of racism".
Image: Screengrab

By 4.30pm, the edit was still up on the Google search landing page.

However, when you click on the link to the full article, the original information - which states that SA House is the offices of the high commissioner to the UK, and also hosts the SA consulate - is displayed.

It is unclear who made the edit, and why.

Marcelle Pearson, who spotted the edit and alerted TimesLIVE, said she had to visit SA House on Monday, so searched for the "nearest underground to SA House in London".

"The search page opened up and voila. I read it a couple of times thinking I had Googled the wrong question," she said.

International relations and co-operation department spokesman Nelson Kgwete said they were aware of the change.

"That particular content is not on the Wikipedia page though. So we've notified the search engines to remove it," he said.

Wikipedia allows for user-generated content and information to be provided, which means that it is open to edits.

Website Bored Panda listed some of the funniest edits, including that Charlie Sheen of Two and a Half Men fame was "half man, half cocaine", and another that added "snakes" to a post about tubes by describing the reptiles as "long frog tubes".


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