File picture: SAPS (Twitter)
File picture: SAPS (Twitter)

British men who sped through SA border post during lockdown plan to plead

By Zainul Dawood Time of article published May 15, 2020

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Durban - THE two British nationals who drove through the South African Golela border post from Eswatini (Swaziland), resulting in a police chase, are expected to plead in the Durban Regional Court on Friday.

National police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said the men broke through the border post and sped past the guards in their rented car last month.

Senior public prosecutor Ronitha Singh said James Hackett, 41, and Erkan Bali, 38, were charged with failure of compliance with or contravention of the Covid-19 regulations. Singh said “the accused being British citizens did unlawfully and intentionally enter through the border when such borders were closed to visitors”.

The men were taken to Mahatma Gandhi Hospital for Covid-19 testing. Their results came back negative.

They appeared briefly on Thursday in court where Singh said the men were expected to plead. The men hired private attorneys to represent them.

Naidoo said police units and a private car-tracking company tracked the car they were driving to a guest house in Hyder Road, in Glenmore. The car was also seized.

Singh had argued that the men were guilty of contravening the Immigration Act, and entering or remaining in the Republic without a valid permit.

“The accused upon entry did not report to a port of entry. They were not issued with a permit to remain in South Africa,” she said.

It came as the country entered day 50 of a national lockdown on Friday.

The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in South Africa had risen to 12 739, with 19 deaths reported on Thursday, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said. This is an increase of 665 on Wednesday's confirmed cases.

Daily News

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