The fight against fake goods: The National Counterfeit Unit

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By Kotie Geldenhuys
Photos provided by the SAPS

As South Africa rallied behind the Springboks during the Rugby World Cup in 2023, opportunistic criminals seized the opportunity to exploit the rugby fever. Counterfeit apparel for rugby supporters surfaced on street corners and was promoted through social media. Many South Africans perceive these bargains as a cost-effective alternative to the expensive authentic merchandise – but without realising that their purchase had them contribute money to criminal enterprises.

Recent law enforcement actions brought attention to the issue of counterfeit goods in South Africa. Servamus therefore spoke to Brig Kobus Lategan, the Commander of the SAPS National Counterfeit Unit, along with Lt-Col Wouter Diamond and W/O Francois Fullard to discuss the Unit’s efforts in getting to the bottom of this crime. Brig Lategan informed us that during his tenure as the Vispol Head in Gauteng, law firms specialising in brand protection, such as Adams & Adams and Spoor & Fisher, operating across the African continent, approached him. He started to assist them almost a decade ago and their collaborative efforts resulted in numerous successes.


[This is only an extract of an article that is published in Servamus: April 2024. This article is available for purchase.]

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