Doctor bust for breaching curfew says he will do it to attend emergencies
An ear, nose and throat specialist spent Friday night in the Edenvale police holding cells with four other people. He was accused of violating the Covid-19 curfew.
But, the doctor said, he was attending to a medical emergency in the West Rand.
Dr Ivan Jardine, who lives in Kensington, east of Johannesburg, had spent the late Friday afternoon and evening in Quellerina, west of Johannesburg, attending to his aunt — who he described as the oldest surviving member of the family. She is in her early 80s and needed medical attention.
Jardine said after he received a call from a cousin on Friday afternoon that his aunt needed medical treatment and there was no help nearby, he drove to Quellerina to attend to his aunt who was getting dehydrated.
Jardine said he left Quellerina after 9pm.
“At Eastgate, the police stopped me and demanded a permit and demanded an ID. I said I was doctor. They did not believe me,” Jardine said.
He said he told them that a hospital he worked from was not far from where he was arrested.
Jardine said that after his arrest, he called everyone he knew who could vouch that he was a doctor, including the manager of the hospital. He also called his friends.
At 11.30pm on Friday, he said he was interviewed by a detective who set bail at R2,000.
“I said I did not have cash.”
Jardine remained in the cell.
Jardine only got his cellphone back at 2am and a family member came with the bail money and he was released on Saturday at 5am.
Jardine's lawyer appeared on his behalf on Monday and the case was postponed until August 5 for further investigation.
“No doctor needs a permit for an emergency. If the same emergency arises, I would do the same. No government, no policeman must stop us from performing our duties when an emergency calls,” Jardine said.
He said the police officials who arrested him under Covid-19 regulations put him in a small cell with four other people where he could contract Covid-19.
“I said I could get Covid-19 in there,” Jardine said.
Jardine said there was total lack of compassion from the two police officials who arrested him.
“Social media has exposed this. People are outraged. We need to expose this now. There could be other colleagues affected,” Jardine said.
Jardine said he was expecting the case to be dropped on Monday.