Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola confirmed on Wednesday that taxi drivers or shop owners would be prosecuted if passengers or customers were allowed in a taxi or shop without a mask.
Lamola said during a virtual media conference on Wednesday afternoon that the perpetrators could face a warning or a fine or imprisonment of up to six months if he or she failed to ensure that passengers or customers wore masks amid the Covid-19 -pandemic.
The Minister explained that it would therefore be those, and not the passenger or the customer without a mask, who would be charged with violating regulations in terms of the Disaster Management Act. The fate of such a person will then be placed in the hands of the relevant magistrate who is handling the case.
According to Lamola, the magistrate will take into account the circumstances under which a mask was not worn before deciding on a warning, fine or imprisonment. The amount of the fine will also depend on the magistrate.
If convicted, it would lead to a criminal record – whether he or she was fined or jailed, Lamola confirmed.
Police Minister Bheki Cele, for his part, pointed out to South Africans that the purchase, sale and transport of alcohol and tobacco products would also be penalized amid the ban on those products during the isolation period.
Offenders will also be fined or jailed.