NATIONAL NEWS - If you knowingly expose another person to Covid-19, you may be prosecuted for assault, attempted murder or murder.
Effectively, this means that a person who is aware that he or she tested positive for Covid-19, must ensure that they do not infect others. Failure to do so could result in lifelong imprisonment – a sentence regularly imposed on murderers.
This is according to a Government Gazette notice issued on 18 March. It listed regulations that bind all persons in South Africa in terms of the Disaster Management Act.
The same notice authorises “enforcement officers,”* such as members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the South African National Defence Force to arrest and detain those who do not adhere to the regulations.
This includes anyone who hosts or attends a gathering of 100 persons or more. Where alcohol is consumed, no more than 50 persons may attend such a gathering. Premises hosting gatherings must be large enough to ensure one metre of floor space per person.
Bars, shebeens, restaurants and other facilities selling alcohol may not do so after 13:00 on Sundays and public holidays. On weekdays and Saturdays, the cut-off time is 18:00. The consumption of alcohol after these times is also banned on premises where liquor is sold.
Government has suspended visits to correctional centres, remand detention facilities, holding cells, military detention facilities and any social development facilities.
The regulations instruct national, provincial and local government to make funds available for combating the spread of the virus on as far as possible without hampering service delivery.
Where money is donated towards the cause of limiting the virus’ spread, donor money must be paid into the Reconstruction and Development Fund where it may be used only to implement coronavirus limiting measures and keep South Africans safe during the state of disaster.