A taxi driver who allegedly knew he tested positive for Covid-19 but did not tell his passengers and kept on driving, is to be formally charged with attempted murder.
The office of Western Cape police commissioner Lieutenant General Yolisa Matakata said on Friday that the taxi driver had been caught in Beaufort West.
Matakata’s office said in a statement that the 35-year-old taxi driver faced attempted murder charges, read in conjunction with Disaster Management Act Regulation 14(3).
“[He] was stopped in a vehicle checkpoint on the R61 in Beaufort West yesterday, ferrying about seven passengers.
“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,” said SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa.
“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 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.
They will be closely monitored, regularly, by health officials, over the next 14 days.
Potelwa added: “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.”