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Workplace: Dire warning for Covid-19 spreaders

Police officers have been warned that reporting for duty after testing positive for Covid-19 could easily result in facing attempted murder charges, says a report in The Star. ‘If any employee of the SAPS comes to the workplace while being aware that he or she is Covid-19-positive he or she makes him or herself guilty of not only misconduct but also the criminal offence of attempted murder,’ National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole said in a circular. Sitole’s communication was based on a Labour Court judgment delivered in March. Judge Edwin Tlhotlhalemaje affirmed Eskort Ltd’s decision to fire an employee who came to work after being informed via an SMS that he had tested positive for coronavirus. In the circular intended for all SAPS employees, Sitole waded in on the Eskort matter.


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‘The gross nature of the employee’s conduct is such that a trust and working relationship between him, the applicant (Eskort), and his fellow employees cannot by all accounts be sustainable,’ said Sitole. Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said the circular delivered a critical message to employees. ‘The message is straightforward: If a member knows that he or she has tested positive and exposes others, they can be charged both departmentally and criminally. ‘It’s a very important message. We took it upon ourselves to inform the SAPS members of this. This applies to everyone and not just the police, by the way. If you know that you have tested positive and still expose others, you could be charged.’


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