Diabetic man fined for trying to go to pharmacy to get prescription meds

Police member uniform.
Police member uniform.
Duncan Alfreds, News24

A diabetic man from Somerset West has been fined by police for attempting to visit his local pharmacy, where his physical prescription is held, to get essential medication.

Allan Kirby, 71, a retired medical technologist, is a diabetic and is on a permanent medical regime for his illness.

On Friday, he set off from his home in Somerset West towards Somerset Mall.

He was stopped at a roadblock on Victoria Road, a main arterial route to the shopping complex.

"I was asked where I was going, and I said to the pharmacy, to fetch my medicine," he told News24.

"A woman officer then asked me: 'Where's your prescription?' I told her I have an ongoing prescription, which is recorded on the pharmacy's records," he explained.

"But she said: 'If you don't have a prescription, you can't go'. I said: 'But I'm also going to Checkers, to buy food, which I'm allowed to do. Here is my shopping list. While I'm there, I'm also going to fetch my medicine at the in-store pharmacy'.

ALSO READ | Lockdown: Cape Town man allegedly stopped from going to chemist to get meds for sick son

"But she said: 'No, you said you were going to the pharmacy. And you don't have a prescription, so I'm going to fine you'," Kirby explained.

He was pulled off the road. There, he tried to plead his case to a senior SAPS officer.

But this fell on deaf ears, and he was fined R2 500 for "Failure to Confine to Residence".

"The officer said: 'You can explain yourself to the court'."

Kirby said, as a medical technologist of 45 years, he was acutely aware of the threat the coronavirus presented.

And he supported the government's measures fully. But he pleaded with the police to hear "common sense", and not penalise people for legitimately and legally trying to access essential medicines.

lockdown fine

Allan Kirby was fined while trying to go to his local pharmacy to get prescription medication. (Supplied to News24 by Kerry Kirby)

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