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SAHRC questions JMPD on warning system to prevent xenophobic attacks

Representatives from the Somali board told the Human Rights Commission on Wednesday that a text on the intention to loot stores had been circulating three months before last month’s unrest.

A South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) panel holds hearings on the sale of fake and expired goods. Picture: @SAHRCommission/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - A South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) panel has questioned the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) about early warning systems to prevent xenophobic attacks.

The commission has been holding hearings on the sale of fake and expired goods.

Representatives from the spaza shop and retail industries, as well as law enforcement, made submissions.

This comes after three people died during violence in Soweto when locals looted foreign-owned shops, accusing owners of selling counterfeit products.

Representatives from the Somali board told the Human Rights Commission on Wednesday that a text on the intention to loot stores had been circulating three months before last month’s unrest.

But the JMPD’s Mike Smith says they were not aware of this. He says the JMPD depends on the police for intelligence.

“We do not have a crime intelligence gathering component.”

Oral submissions ended on Thursday, but the commission has called on members of the public to make written submissions on fake and expired goods.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)