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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