A Soweto mother is living in fear after she was accused of deliberately spreading Covid-19 in her community by touching people's gates in the middle of the night.
This is despite her not having tested positive for the virus.
Lucia Mdluli from Diepkloof said a social media post began circulating over a week ago that she had contracted the virus and was being sought by the authorities in
order to be isolated.
"This rumour started with a message that originated from a community service delivery WhatsApp group that I am in. There was a message that was posted that Joburg's department of environmental health was tracing someone who is suspected of being infected," Mdluli said.
The 39-year-old said that her picture was posted below the message in the group and one of the participants screen-grabbed the message along with her picture and disseminated it.
She said she was inundated with calls from concerned family members and neighbours, seeking clarity on the veracity of the post.
"I was shocked when people started calling me to ask if I was okay and why I wasn't being responsible, why I was running away from the authorities," Mdluli said.
"Then I heard that I was
going around touching people's gates at night so that I could spread the virus – that was shocking to me."
Mdluli said she was unable to open a case at the local police station because she could not print out the screen grabs due to the lockdown.
"The investigating officer said he will need me to print the messages before he can open a case, but all the internet cafes are closed and I can't access the office where I work because of the lockdown. All I want to do is clear my name before something bad happens to me or my child," she said.