Man who posted fake contaminated Covid-19 test kits video in court, media barred from covering

2020-04-07 13:18
This man claims in a viral video that Covid-19 test kits are 'contaminated'.

This man claims in a viral video that Covid-19 test kits are 'contaminated'.

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A Cape Town man who was arrested for posting a video about alleged contaminated Covid-19 test kits, has been released on a warning to appear in court for a second time.

Police did not allow the media to enter the court to cover his appearance on Tuesday.

Stephen Birch of Parow appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court for the alleged contravention of Regulation 11 (5) under the Disaster Management Act.

The contravention included an alleged intention to deceive people about Covid-19, the infection status of any person and any measures by the government to address Covid-19.

Birch declined to comment on the case outside of court and is expected to appear in court again on 14 July.  

Members of the media were not permitted to enter the open court.

READ: FAKE NEWS | No, Covid-19 testing kits are not contaminated

Police physically removed journalists who were waiting to observe the proceedings and did not give any reasons for ejecting them.

Attempts to obtain a ruling from the court on whether the media would be allowed to attend the session were unsuccessful.  

After the brief court hearing, staff at the court said neither the justice department, nor the magistrate, gave a directive to bar the media.

The case also wasn't held "in camera" - in which the proceedings are closed - under any protocol or directive.

Read more on:    cape town  |  coronavirus
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