Home News Fear grips court staff after magistrate, translator reportedly tests positive for Covid-19

Fear grips court staff after magistrate, translator reportedly tests positive for Covid-19

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Staff at the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court state that they are working in fear after a magistrate and a translator reportedly tested positive for Covid-19.

Staff at the Kimberley Magistrates Court state that they are working in fear after a magistrate and a translator reportedly tested positive for Covid-19. Picture: Soraya Crowie

STAFF at the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court state that they are working in fear after a magistrate and a translator reportedly tested positive for Covid-19.

Several staff members said on Friday that initially a police officer at the court had tested positive “but he has recovered and is back at work”.

They stated that after the police officer tested positive, the building was sanitised.

“On Friday last week, we were told to finish our work early and the building was sanitised again. After we made some enquiries, we found out that a magistrate had tested positive. This Friday, we also found out that the interpreter, who works with the magistrate, had also tested positive.”

The staff said, however, that they were never informed about the cases and they further questioned whether the correct protocols had been followed by the court manager.

“We are not allowed to go home when someone tests positive and have to continue working, despite the fact that we work in close contact with those who later test positive.”

The staff member stated that the information about positive cases in the building was hidden from other employees. 

“There is not even soap or sanitiser available in the toilets.”

A family member of another employee pointed out that his wife was expected to continue working, despite the fact that her co-employees had tested positive. “When she comes home, we are all exposed, including the children and my elderly mother, who lives with us.”

He also questioned whether the procedures were followed in informing the department of health.

Spokesperson for the Department of Justice, Chrispin Phiri, said on Friday that he was not aware of the complaint and stated that he had not received any notification of any case.

He promised, however, that the complaint would be investigated, and that the necessary protocols would be followed in ensuring that the building was decontaminated and the exposed people went into self-isolation.

Phiri added, however, that the chances were slim that there would be a need to decontaminate the building as it was Friday already.

“There might not be a need to decontaminate the building at all because it is already Friday and we are entering the weekend.

“It has been ascertained that the virus can only live in a place for 12 hours and we are entering the weekend when there are no activities on the premises.

“But we will ensure that all the alternative measures are taken if the investigations reveal that someone entered the building after they had tested positive,” explained Phiri.