African Diaspora Forum wants meeting with govt following Joburg CBD clashes
Police raided several shops on Thursday belonging to foreign nationals in the inner city to confiscate counterfeit goods, which prompted traders to pelt stones at police vehicles.
JOHANNESBURG - The African Diaspora Forum (ADF) on Friday said it would meet with government to discuss issues relating to foreign traders in South Africa.
Police raided several shops on Thursday belonging to foreign nationals in the Joburg CBD to confiscate counterfeit goods, which prompted traders to pelt stones at police vehicles.
Officers fired rubber bullets in retaliation to disperse the protesting hawkers.
ADF chairperson Dr Vusumuzi Sibanda said foreign traders were provoked and could not take it anymore.
“We cannot have a situation where every day we are told illicit products worth billions have been taken, but nobody has seen a list [of them] … when the police come they confiscate any product. They write down what has been confiscated, but where is the evidence of what’s been taken? We only hear that the goods have been destroyed but we have never seen anything,” he said.
Sibanda said they want an urgent meeting with government in order to address the matter.
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On Friday, shop owners closed their stores, saying they were afraid that the police would come back.
Meanwhile, Parliament said counterfeit goods should be seized as they were impacting negatively on the local economy.
The chairperson of the portfolio committee on police Tina Joemat-Peterson said Thursday’s attack on police could not be tolerated.
“It is unacceptable that Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) and South African Police Services were stopped from doing their work as mandated by the law. SAPS and JMPD must go back into the area to successfully implement and conclude their operation,” she said in a statement.
At the same time, the South African Human Rights Commission called for calm, saying law enforcement agencies should intensify efforts to maintain law and order.