By Kaya 959 Reporter
A City of Johannesburg Municipality healthcare worker has been released on bail after he was arrested for allegedly selling COVID-19 negative certificates to people needing to travel out of South Africa.
Skhumbuzo Manana,28, was charged with the Contravention of the Medicines and Related Activities Act, fraud, uttering, and possession of suspected stolen goods.
Group Forensic and Investigation Service Spokesperson Lucky Sindane said Manana was closely monitored for over a week and was arrested during a sting operation.
“It is alleged that the suspect sells fake COVID-19 negative test certificates to people wishing to travel to other countries without conducting the actual test and taking blood samples,” Sindane said.
He said people had to supply their ID numbers and after two days, they would receive a message from a lab stating that they were COVID-19 negative.
“He will then give you a certificate and charge R500,” Sindane said.
More arrests expected
Preliminary investigations show the accused was not working alone and more arrests are expected.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said Manana appeared at the Booysens Magistrates Court and was released on R3000 bail.
The case was postponed to 17 September 2021 for further investigations.
“It is 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 as it compromises the whole country,” said City Executive Mayor Jolidee Matongo.
“Imagine someone who has contracted Covid and they are given a certificate which says they are negative, that person will infect many people and some may succumb to the virus,” the mayor said.
He added that officials found to be stealing from the City or engaging in corrupt activities will be dealt with.
“We need to set an example and a strong message to people who are doing this. The City has a zero-tolerance for fraud and corruption,” he said.
ALSO READ: Four arrested with R2m fake cash