A man who was arrested on Saturday after filming himself using tik in front of the Lyttelton police station, has apologised in a series of videos.
The 23-year-old man is expected to appear in court soon after he was arrested for allegedly contravening regulations under the Disaster Management Act 2002.
The country is under lockdown to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus and citizens have to stay at home unless they need to leave for essential purposes.
The man filmed himself driving around with someone he claimed to be his brother and bragged that they were trying to score drugs and violating the lockdown.
“We scheme f*ck Covid-19, f**k corona, ma se p**s, we aren’t worried,” the one man says in Afrikaans.
“This is my brother… jissis, we are driving around the streets, looking to score now!” he says as he shows his middle finger to the camera.
In the next shot, the man brags about taking drugs in front of the police station.
“I feel a p**s about corona, I’m taking tik in front of Lyttelton police station,” he says.
Well-known private investigator Mike Bolhuis tracked the man down and instructed him to apologise for his actions.
In a second series of later videos, the man identifies himself and profusely apologises for the strong language he used and for not adhering to lockdown regulations.
“I am a druggie. I use a lot of drugs,” he says. “I also suffer from depression.
“The other day I took a video after I had taken tik and used horrible language about the coronavirus and the police. I was dancing around and acting crazy. I said F this and F that.
“To all the authorities whom I offended, I apologise. It was during one of my drug outbursts. I didn’t mean to mock the police or the coronavirus. I apologise again. I’m going through a lot of sh*t.
“I posted the video on my WhatsApp status. Then these people (Bolhuis and his investigators), they don’t take sh*t. Within 30 minutes they knew who my parents are, they knew my grandmother’s address, they knew where I was, they knew everything about me. They tracked my phone, they don’t take sh*t. Mike Bolhuis and Ivan Barnard’s cyber unit doesn’t take sh*t.
“I apologise to everyone. This is not who I am.”
Bolhuis told News24 on Monday that videos such as the original one the man posted had two disadvantages: it exposed problems with the infrastructure, such as managing the lockdown; and it showed “how blatant and ignorant people are” and how they can influence others to do equally “stupid stuff”.
“For us, it has always been about addressing and preventing crime. People who mock the police and the government point to lawlessness and we oppose this in the strongest possible terms.
“We want to warn people that, while they may think their phones are private and that they can do whatever they want and get away with it, that is not the case.
“Privacy is an illusion. There’s no such thing. Someone will always have the ability to track you down. We are in that position. We have the best cybercrime unit in Africa.”
Bolhuis warned that he and his team would act against people who distribute fake and “silly” content, especially fake WhatsApp messages.
“We are working with the police on this and we will arrest them – it’s as simple as that.
“The government made an informed choice for our own benefit. People should stick to and respect the regulations and authorities.”
Bolhuis added that drug use was no excuse for irresponsible behaviour, stating that he supported the prohibition of the sale of alcohol during the national lockdown.
On Sunday, national police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said the matter was investigated and the man was traced and found inside a residential complex in the Lyttelton policing area.
“The suspect is likely to face charges of at least contravening Regulation 11B of the Disaster Management Act 2002. He is currently in police custody and he is expected to appear in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court [on Monday].
“The arrest of this suspect as well as at least six other suspects, that have been arrested for creating such videos and posting fake news, should be a reminder that the security forces enforcing the regulations to contain the Covid-19 virus have the capacity and capability to identify those responsible for such transgressions, however long it may take.
“People are urged to view the scourge of Covid-19 virus seriously as thousands of people globally have lost their lives this to this plague… The regulations are being enforced not to punish people but to protect lives against this pandemic,” Naidoo said.