The 54-year-old real estate businessman will appear in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday on charges related to Regulation 11 (5) (c) of the Disaster Management Act. It involves the publication of any statement by any medium, including social media, with the intention of misleading other persons about the government’s efforts to combat COVID-19.
The man advised South Africans in a video over the weekend not to test them for the coronavirus. The video spread like wild fire on social media.
He said, among other things, a British newspaper recently reported that thousands of test devices used to test humans were believed to have already been infected with the coronavirus.
Brig. National Police spokesman Vish Naidoo said on Tuesday that three people have been arrested in KwaZulu-Natal, four in Temba in the Tshwane subway in Gauteng and a 23-year-old man in Lynnwood, Pretoria, for similar offenses.
#sapsWC Man (55) arrested by #SAPS Parow after police link him to a video claiming that #COVID19 test kits are contaminated. Will appear in court today. SWhttps://t.co/JmRxzbz9n5 pic.twitter.com/F5NiIxlUfv— SA Police Service ?? (@SAPoliceService) April 7, 2020
Police Minister Bheki Cele says people should research and research entries on social media.
He is calling on the public not to abuse social media platforms. According to Cele, 8 South Africans have been arrested for spreading fake news.