Human Rights Commission to hold inquiry into 'fake’ food after Soweto protests

10 September 2018 - 12:30 By Nonkululeko Njilo
Residents of Jabavu in Soweto loot a foreign-owned tuck shop after Banele Qhayiso was shot dead, allegedly by a foreigner. Several residents had gone to loot the shop after reports that foreigners were selling 'fake food'.
Residents of Jabavu in Soweto loot a foreign-owned tuck shop after Banele Qhayiso was shot dead, allegedly by a foreigner. Several residents had gone to loot the shop after reports that foreigners were selling 'fake food'.
Image: Thulani Mbele

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) will hold a two-day inquiry into the alleged sale of “fake” or expired food at foreign-owned shops.

The probe follows a backlash in the form of looting and unrest at spaza shops owned by foreign nationals in and around Soweto.

“Following careful assessment of the reports and site visit to Soweto‚ the commission has determined that it will hold an inquiry as part of its investigation into the possible human rights violations that arise as a result of the alleged manufacture and sale of fake and/or expired goods‚” the commission said on Monday.

The inquiry will be held on Wednesday and Thursday at the commission’s training room in Braampark‚ Johannesburg.

It will go ahead despite the Department of Health earlier stating that it had not found any “fake” food after a series of inspections of more than 400 small shops countrywide.

“There is no plastic rice or bread that won’t dissolve in water‚” said Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi at a press conference earlier in Johannesburg.

However‚ more than 100 shops were closed – either because the owners did not have the correct documents to run them or they were residing in the country illegally.

The commission urged members of surrounding communities and shop owners to make written submissions to it.

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