Cops, shop owners to appear in court after chaotic Joburg raids

Seven Johannesburg police officers, arrested for allegedly trying to resell confiscated counterfeit goods to illegal traders, will appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Monday, police have said. 

According to police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters, the officers will appear on charges of corruption and defeating the ends of justice. 

Two of the officers were arrested on suspicion that they had leaked information and tipped off the illegal traders before the raid on Wednesday last week, while five were nabbed for allegedly attempting to resell the goods, Peters said.

Several buildings and roads were shut down in the Johannesburg city centre as various police units moved into the area, searching for counterfeit goods and illegal items, News24 reported. 

Hundreds of people, most believed to be foreign shop owners, were detained in the raids and will also be appearing in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court.

During the raid, which turned violent, police vehicles were pelted with stones, forcing the officers to flee the area. However, on Wednesday, more than 1 500 officers returned to the area in show of force. 

Among other items seized during the second raid were police rifles, pistols and handguns, some of which were made in Israel. 

On Monday, dozens of shop owners camped outside the court in support of their peers who were due to appear.

By midday, both the group of police officers and the arrested protestors had not yet appeared as court officials were still processing dockets related to the cases, the NPA told News24. 

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