After the Western Cape Government announced that Khayelitsha had recorded its first Coronavirus case this week, a picture of Asisipho Mdingi, 22, started circulating on social media with the caption that she was the person to have tested positive.
An old picture of her lying in hospital was widely shared, along with a voice note.
In the audio, a woman claiming to be her mother thanks people for praying for her daughter.
A distraught Asisipho says: “I was in hospital last year in November. I do not know who shared the picture and my mother does not live here, she is in the Eastern Cape.
“A friend called and asked where I was. I could hear that my friend was worried.
“She sent me the picture. I started receiving calls from people who were concerned.”
A day passed and things got worse for Asisipho who works at an internet café.
“My neighbours started coming to my house asking why I was still here,” she says.
“They called me names and said I was evil. I should go as I will make them sick.”
Asisipho went to the police station as she felt her life was in danger, also in an attempt to set the record straight.
She says Nyanga police refused to assist her, and referred her to hospital.
“A female officer made me wait outside and went inside. She came back and she told me her manager said that they cannot assist me. I should go to the hospital,” says Asisipho.
Desperate, she went home and made a video explaining that she does not have the virus.
“At first I was not stressed about this, but I cannot go outside as people are harassing me,” she says.
“This is affecting my life badly, I am hurting.”
Now Asisipho is pleading with the public to stop sharing the picture.
Nyanga station commander, Brigadier Vuyisela Ncatha, said he would investigate.
“No one should be turned away when they come to open a case, services of opening case dockets are still open to the public,” Ncatha says.
“I invite Asisipho to either come here or call me. Once we find that the police contravened the SAPS conduct, they will be dealt with.”