A senior citizen has been fined $30 000 by a magistrate or alternatively to spend six months in jail for using a fake COVID-19 certificate.
Paul Mpofu (66) of Morningside suburb, Bulawayo, was caught trying to use the bogus certificate at Joshua Mqabuko International Airport on his way to Canada.
He pleaded guilty to charges of fraud when he appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Steven Ndlovu.
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Prosecuting, Evelyn Mutizirwa said on Wednesday, 28 July at around 4 PM, Mpofu presented the fake certificate to health personnel during the check-in process as he intended to travel to South Africa en route to Canada.
Mpofu said he was going to visit his family in Canada and asked the magistrate to feel pity for him as he is a senior citizen.
However, magistrate Ndlovu said such conduct was not expected from a senior citizen. He said:
This was not expected from a senior citizen as you were endangering yourself and the members of the public by leaving the country without a valid COVID-19 certificate.
He fined him $30 000 and if he defaults he will be jailed for six months.