KZN matric learner targeted in COVID-19 fake message

KZN matric learner targeted in COVID-19 fake message

A Port Shepstone matric learner says he and family's lives have been thrown into chaos after a fake message went viral - claiming he had contracted the new coronavirus.

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Yasheen Sewbran says he was alerted to the message - which was being circulated on social media platforms including WhatsApp over the weekend.

He notified the police about the post.

Yasheen says the fake message was created by another pupil at his school.

He says while his schoolmate has apologised to him - the damage has already been done - and he's being treated for anxiety and depression.

READ: Ladysmith man who has COVID-19 charged with attempted murder

"My family are getting messages and calls from people asking what's going on. It basically put my surname, besides my name, [it's] everywhere on social media. It's like I am an embarrassment."

"I fear going outside of my home because I feel unwelcome in my community. I just want to stay in-doors because I am getting so many messages, phone calls from people."

"I was in shock when I saw it. It basically put me in a panic. People kept asking me what's going on. I had to keep telling them that it is fake news going around."

National police have confirmed a suspect has been arrested and charged with publishing a false statement.

They say the docket has been sent to prosecutors for a decision on whether or not to prosecute.

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