- Stephen Birch, the man arrested for spreading misinformation on the coronavirus, says he would do it again
- The Parow resident was released on a warning after his video claiming swabs were infected with the virus went viral
- Birch reportedly feels that he had the public's best interests at heart
Stephen Birch has been released on warning after being arrested and charged under the Disaster Management Act.
This comes after the Parow resident made headlines for posting a video to social media, claiming that the swabs used to test for Covid-19 are infected with the virus and that citizens should refuse to test.
The Democratic Alliance laid charges against him in the fallout from the clip, which outraged numerous citizens in this time of crisis.
However, IOL reports that Birch would do it again, claiming he believed he was 'protecting lives':
“The magistrate released me on warning. I am not allowed to give any comment, my lawyers said I cannot talk to the media. But I am saying if I had the choice of doing it again, I would. The bottom line is I was interested in saving lives. The actions I took were in that interest, and that is it. I will not go back on my actions, and that is what I believe.”
The man will be returning to the Cape Town Magistrate's Court in mid-July for violating the regulation that prevents the spread of fake news relating to the coronavirus.
The DA had welcomed Birch's arrest, dubbing it a victory against disinformation in SA:
“This is a victory in the fight against disinformation, which has marred screening and testing programmes in various communities. With reports surfacing that many people are refusing to get tested, saying that the swabs used to test for the coronavirus are contaminated.”
Briefly.co.za reported that spreading false information concerning the virus could hold a hefty fine, prison sentence or possibly both depending on the severity of the crime.
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