Weather forecasters in South Africa have been threatened with prison if they get their predictions wrong.
Independent forecasters have been told they could be imprisoned for up to ten years – or fined up to £800,000 – if they issue incorrect severe weather warnings without official permission.
The threat is contained in a new law designed to prevent panic and economic damage caused by false predictions of gale force winds, flash flooding or drought.
The proposed amendment to South Africa's Weather Service Bill would mean that anyone wanting to issue a severe weather warning would first need to get written permission from the country's official national weather service.
If found guilty of breaching the law, first offenders could face up to five years in prison or a five million rand (£400,000) fine.
Repeat offenders face a maximum of 10 years imprisonment or a ten million rand (£800,000) fine.
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