A taxi driver, who was allegedly aware that he had tested positive for COVID-19, failed to inform his passengers and continued driving, will now be formally charged with attempted murder.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa said on Friday that the 35-year-old taxi driver had been caught in Beaufort West at a check point with seven passengers onboard his taxi.
The driver now faces attempted murder charges, well within conjunction of Disaster Management Act Regulation 14(3).
Potelwa says, “The driver, who had apparently tested positive for the virus after taking a test on 30 April 2020 on the N2 Tsitsikamma roadblock in the Eastern Cape, was duly informed two days ago by the testing authority of the outcome of the test. Yet, he allegedly proceeded with the trip on Thursday (7 May 2020) and was apprehended on the R61 road near Beaufort West en route to the Eastern Cape.”
“The driver, seven passengers and three other persons in an accompanying vehicle were transported by police and traffic officials back to Cape Town where they are in a quarantine site.”
Potelwa said the police officers and traffic officials who escorted the driver and passengers back to Cape Town will also be screened and monitored “in line with Covid-19 protocols, as a precaution”.
“The police will ensure the driver is charged and appears before a court of law after consultation with the Department of Health officials.”
Western Cape health department spokesperson Mark van der Heever told News24 the passengers had since opted to self-quarantine at their respective homes. Those involved will all be closely monitored on a regular basis by health officials, over the next 14 days.
Potelwa continued to say that “a plea is made to all citizens to respect the rule of law. Police officials will track those who break the law and ensure they are brought to book.”