City of Joburg health worker arrested for selling Covid-19 negative certificates

22 August 2021 - 10:52 By shonisani tshikalange
The 28-year-old man is expected to appear in the Booysens magistrate's court on Monday where he will be charged for fraud.
The 28-year-old man is expected to appear in the Booysens magistrate's court on Monday where he will be charged for fraud.
Image: 123RF/BELCHONOK

A City of Joburg health worker was arrested on Saturday night for allegedly selling fake Covid-19 negative test certificates to travellers for R500.

He allegedly sold the certificates to people who required them for travelling to other countries without conducting the actual test or taking blood samples.

“All you need to do is send him your identity number. After a day or two, you will receive a message from the laboratory indicating that you tested negative for Covid-19.  He will then give you the certificate for which he charges R500,” said Lucky Sindane, spokesperson for the City of Johannesburg’s forensic and investigation services unit.

The 28-year-old man is expected to appear in the Booysens magistrate's court on Monday where he will be charged for fraud.

Sindane said the man was closely monitored for over a week and was arrested during a sting operation led by Joburg mayor Jolidee Matongo working with the city’s group forensic and investigation service (GFIS) and the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD).

He said preliminary investigations have revealed that the 28-year-old was not working alone. 

Sindane said more suspects are expected to be arrested as the investigation is ongoing.

“It’s quite unfortunate, we don’t need such people in our system. We would like to encourage our staff not to engage in such corrupt activities because it compromises the whole country.  Imagine someone who has contracted Covid-19 and they are given a certificate that says they are negative. That person will infect many people and some may succumb to the virus,” Matongo said.

“We need to set an example and send a strong message to people who are doing this.  If the laws of this country have to be changed to deal with such let us do that,” he said.

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