COVID-19: South Africa criminalises the dissemination of false information
On 18 March 2020, South Africa’s Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) published regulations in terms of section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002. The regulations impose a range of measures, including to criminalise the publication of intentionally false information regarding COVID-19. In this regard, regulation 11(5) provides as follows:
Any person who publishes any statement, through any medium, including social media, with the intention to deceive any other person about –
- COVID-19 infection status of any person; or
- any measure taken by the Government to address COVID-19,
commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, or both such fine and imprisonment.
The regulations come into effect as of 18 March 2020.
The regulations can be downloaded here: COVID-19 Regulations issued in terms of the Disaster Management Act 2002 (18 March 2020)
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