Jozi Man Bust Over Fake Covid-19 Certificates

A City of Johannesburg health worker stationed at the Parkhurst Clinic was arrested on Saturday night for selling fake Covid-19 negative test certificates to travellers for R500.

Authorities said the 28-year-old man will appear in the Booysens Magistrates Court on Monday, where he will face fraud charges.

The arrested man had been under surveillance for more than a week before authorities pounced.

New Johannesburg Mayor Jolidee Matongo led the sting operation, which involved the City’s Group Forensic and Investigation Service department and the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD).

“It is alleged that the suspect sells the fake Covid-19 negative test certificates to people wishing to travel to other countries without conducting the actual test and taking blood samples,” said the City of Johannesburg.

“All you need to do is send him your identity number, after a day or two you will receive a message from the laboratory indicating that you tested negative for Covid-19.

“He will then give you the certificate which he charges R500.”

Preliminary investigations indicate that the arrested man did not act alone in the scam and more arrests are expected.

Matongo said: “It’s quite unfortunate, we don’t need such people in our system”.

The mayor added: “We would like to encourage our staff not to engage in such corrupt activities because it compromises the whole country.

“Imagine someone who has contracted Covid and they are given a certificate which says they are negative.

“That person will infect many people and some may succumb to the virus,”

The mayor said an example needs to be made that sends a strong message to people who are dealing in fake Covid-19 test results.

The mayor warned that officials found to be stealing from the City or engaged in corrupt activities will be dealt with in the harshest way possible.

He said the City has zero-tolerance for fraud and corruption.

The City is urging people to report any fraud and corruption activities through the 24hour tipoff hotline 0800 002 587 or visit the offices of the Group Forensic and Investigation Service department at 48 Ameshoff Street, Braamfontein.