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News - Date: 12 July 2020
Written by: Kaizer Nengovhela / Viewed: 1239
The well-known poet and musician, Lutendo Mathobo of Tshifulanani, better known as Masimbe, has dismissed allegations that he and his family have tested positive for Covid-19.
Masimbe said that his family had been leading an unbearable life from two weeks ago, characterized by the pointing of fingers wherever they went. All this started a fortnight ago when he was at work in Polokwane and informed by his wife that one of his children was not feeling well. He called an ambulance and all family members went to Tshilidzini Hospital, where they tested negative for Covid-19.
He said that he was so surprised when people who saw the ambulance at his home to take the family members to hospital started spreading the wrong information. He called upon the community members who are still spreading the wrong information to correct this fake news.
“This has made life very difficult for me and my family; moving around in the village has become a problem for me and my family," said Masimbe. “My family advised me to lay charges against those spreading the rumours, but I decided against that as I know the truth,” he said.
According to Masimbe, the problem of the rumours remains, and he is battling to find a way to convince community members that he and his family are Covid-19 negative. “I would love to let this matter rest once and for all. I want closure in this matter and people to stop bothering me and my family,” said Masimbe. He encouraged community to verify their facts with the relevant authorities before spreading rumours.
The Limpopo MEC for Health, Dr Phophi Ramathuba, said that many people still stigmatized people living with Covid-19 and asked them to stop spreading false rumours. “So many people are sick with the disease, and instead of gossiping about them, we should be giving them support. If there are still people talking about others, they are lost and they need to be educated about the disease,” she said.
Ramathuba said that testing positive for Covid-19 was not a train smash. People who tested positive for Covid-19 must not be treated as if they have committed an offence. All they require is support from everyone, so that they can recover. Reporting false news under the lockdown regulations is still a criminal offence and, in this regard, it has created unnecessary hype and anxiety among many people.
Masimbe denies the allegation claiming that he and his family have tested positive for Covid-19. Photo supplied.
Kaizer Nengovhela started writing stories for Limpopo Mirror more than a decade ago, in 2 000. Prior to that he had a five year stint at Phala-Phala FM as sports presenter. In 2005 Kaizer received an award from the province's premier as Best Sports Presenter. The same year he was also nominated as Best Sports Reporter by the Makhado Municipality. Kaizer was awarded the Mathatha Tsedu award in 2014.