A pair of British tourists whose daring dash for the South African border from eSwatini gripped the nation earlier this week, have been placed in mandatory quarantine.
The case against James Hackett and Erken Bali was postponed to 30 April in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday 15 April.
The duo were apprehended at a guest house in Durban on Sunday 12 April after the South African Police Service (SAPS) tailed the men for approximately three-and-a-half hours down to Durban from the eSwatini border in a high-speed chase.
The UK nationals, aged 24 and 33 respectively, were not present in court due to lockdown protocols and are now being held in quarantine for 14 days having been tested for COVID-19.
SAPS national spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo said that the pair had failed to comply with officer’s requests that they return to eSwatini.
“The suspects instead disregarded the order and drove off at high speed into South Africa and evaded the police who had given chase,” Naidoo said.
“Investigations are being continued for possible further charges against the two suspects as they have not paid the rental company for continued use of the vehicle, and also possible violation of the Immigration Act.”
The owner of the guest house in Glenmore, Durban, where they were eventually apprehended, was also arrested and charged with contravening the Disaster Management Act.
If found guilty of their crimes, they could be in for some hefty punishment. According to the Immigration Act, they could very well spend a significant amount of time behind bars.
“Anyone who enters or remains in South Africa in contravention of this act, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine or imprisonment not exceeding three months,” the Immigration Act reads.
“Any illegal foreigner who fails to depart when asked to do so can be jailed for nine months, rising to one year if they assist others across the border.”