An Mpumalanga man has been charged with fraud for creating social media accounts claiming to belong to the minister of police, Bheki Cele.

Zakhele Morris Nkosi appeared in the White River Magistrate’s Court this week on charges of fraud for creating the accounts. The arrest was made following an investigation by the Hawks.

Lieutenant Colonel Philani Nkwalase was quoted as saying: ‘This was unbecoming and regarded as fake news as the minister of police has no valid social media account, and [it was] a contravention of the regulations of the Disaster Management Act as it was during the hard lockdown [aimed at preventing] the rapid spread of Covid-19.’

One person has already been found guilty of impersonating the minister on social media. Mzomusha Hlongwane appeared in the Bergville Magistrate’s Court in KwaZulu-Natal last year and was fined R1 000 for contravening the Disaster Management Act as well as R2 000 for fraud.