Duncan Village man opens case against neighbour after testing negative

A Duncan Village resident who was feared to have contracted the coronavirus has tested negative, and he has now opened a case of crimen injuria against a woman who allegedly spread the rumour that he had Covid-19.

Although he is delighted to have tested negative, Mzikayise Dickson Kwache has opened a case with police against a neighbour who is alleged to have circulated a voice note saying he was bedridden and had tested positive for the virus.

Police spokesperson captain Khaya Tonjeni confirmed the case. No arrests have been as yet made.

Kwache, who gave DispatchLIVE permission to use his name, decided to take a test to “clear his name” after the rumour spread.

He said he wanted her to explain to him where she got information that he was ill.

“This will also send a message to people out there not to spread rumours and fake news, because it can ruin people’s lives,” he said.

Kwache said he did not have the means to tell everyone about his negative status, but he was sure the word would spread and a “reasonable thinking person” would understand.

“I have the results and they are negative. I am healthy,” he said.

Kwache’s ordeal began when a WhatsApp voice note, allegedly from the neighbour, went viral. In it, the neighbour allegedly said Kwache was bedridden and had Covid-19 symptoms.

The neighbour, whose name is known to DispatchLIVE, told DispatchLIVE she would respond after speaking to her family, but when the Dispatch called 10 minutes later, her phone was off.

Kwache said since the voice note went viral, his life had become a “living hell”.

His businesses had ground to a halt and people were scared to go to his home.

His family’s main source of income, a taxi business, was not operating and his meat-selling business was at a standstill.

“I will bounce back and things will go back to normal,” he said.

While he was in quarantine at home, he found people being hostile towards him.

“The family of one of the (taxi) drivers asked that I bring them proof of the results when they were available so that the driver can go back to work without fear. The driver has since parked the car because they have been waiting for the results.

“It is just unfortunate that I don’t have a hard copy of the results. The hospital called and told me my results were negative and that I should come to the hospital if I wanted to see them myself,” said Kwache.

He said he has not talked to his neighbour since the voice note went viral.

In one of the voice notes, Mapisa said she made attempts to speak to Kwache and urged him to visit a hospital before calling an ambulance to transport him.

Mapisa said: “I did my part as a councillor. What I would never do is go to the police station and bring a van.

“It is against the law to spread false information against someone. You cannot say, and even mention names of people, that they have a disease. You are not a doctor and have no proof of the diagnosis,” said Mapisa.

Judy Ngoloyi, spokesperson for health MEC Sindiswa Gomba, had not responded by print deadline on Thursday, despite giving assurance that she would.

By Sandiso Phaliso – DispatchLIVE

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