- A nurse arrested for issuing fake Covid-19 certificates for R500 has appeared in the Booysens Magistrate's Court in Johannesburg
- The suspect, Skhumbuzo Manana, 28, faces charges relating to fraud, corruption and possession of suspected stolen goods
- Manana was arrested in a sting operation after he was spotted allegedly issuing a bogus Covid-19 certificate
- The City of Johannesburg (CoJ) has not yet confirmed when Manana allegedly started selling the fraudulent certificates
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A former Parkhurst Clinic nurse, arrested for issuing fake Covid-19 certificates for R500, appeared in the Booysens Magistrate's Court in Johannesburg on Monday.
Briefly News understands Skhumbuzo Manana faces charges relating to fraud, corruption and possession of suspected stolen goods. Charges linked to flouting Covid-19 regulations are expected to be added.
The City of Johannesburg (CoJ) said it was trying to verify the number of fraudulent Covid-19 certificates allegedly issued by Manana. Charges linked to flouting Covid-19 regulations will be added in due course.
Suspect arrested during sting operation
TimesLIVE reported that the former nurse was arrested in a sting operation after he was spotted allegedly issuing a bogus Covid-19 certificate.
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As part of his modus operandi, the suspect would not conduct a test, usually a nasopharyngeal swab, on his clients. A legitimate test that is conducted at a laboratory costs about R850.
The spokesperson for CoJ's Forensic and Investigation Services Unit (GFIS), Lucky Sindane, said his department has not yet confirmed when Manana allegedly started selling the fraudulent certificates.
"We only received a tip-off last week and started investigating. We sent our undercover agents to get certificates themselves so they could assist us with our investigation further," explaind Sindane.
"We will be verifying if those certificates that have been issued have samples and are with the swabs. At this stage, we don’t know how many certificates he has issued."
Participants sabotaged the system, acted irresponsibly
Sindane warned that any person who was issued a certificate but did not undergo the standard test required would face the full might of the law. He criticised those who willingly participated in the "dangerous" transaction, saying they sabotaged the system.
"I do not know if they are aware of the danger they have put onto others? As a country and city, we are trying hard to mitigate the effect of the pandemic, yet you find people sabotaging the system by doing what they are doing," Sindane lamented.
“We don’t need people [like Manana] in our system. We hope the law will assist us and take them out of the system and perhaps even charge them with treason and make an example out of them,” he added.
Joburg healthcare worker nabbed for allegedly selling fake negative Covid19 test certificates
Previously, Briefly News reported that a 28-year-old suspect is expected to appear in court after being arrested for allegedly selling Covid-19 test certificates.
The healthcare worker was selling the fake tests for around R500 each. Reports state that the CoJ is now hoping to be able to track more suspects down as they believe that there are people who colluded with the healthcare worker.
The operation was led by Mayor Jolidee Matongo and the city's Metro Police Department, among other role players.
Briefly News has since published an update to this story after the suspect appeared in court earlier on Monday.
Source: Briefly News