Man who claimed Covid-19 might spread through testing swabs to make representations to NPA

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Stephen Birch
Stephen Birch
Jaco Marais
  • The man who claimed Covid-19 test swabs were possibly contaminated intends making representations over the matter to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
  • Stephen Birch was arrested in the early days of the pandemic, when claims and counterclaims over the virus were rife. 
  • He is charged under the Disaster Management Act's regulations regarding intention to deceive people about Covid-19.

The man who claimed Covid-19 may be spread by community swab tests intends making representations to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). 

Representations are among the options that an accused can take in the course of their case moving through court, and they typically motivate why they should not be tried.

Stephen Birch was arrested in the early days of the pandemic, when claims and counter-claims about the spread of the virus were rife.

He made the claim in a video that the testing swabs may spread the virus during community testing initiatives.

FAKE NEWS | No, the coronavirus did not originate in South Africa

Holding up what looked like an earbud, he called on people to not allow community testing teams and the police into their home for the test.

He claimed that this was being used to spread the virus globally.

He also called Covid-19 a "total lie", claimed that 5G cellphone masts would kill people worldwide, and that people would be microchipped for movement monitoring.

He is charged with in terms of Regulation 11 (5) under the Disaster Management Act.

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

The contravention relates to an alleged intention to deceive people about Covid-19, the infection status of any person, and any measure by the government to prevent Covid-19.

He appeared to have lost weight as he walked to the dock in a jacket and jeans, and the required face mask.

He is on warning and will return to court on 27 November.


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