Busted: 26 arrested for piracy
NHLANGANO - Police officers confiscated 193 fake CDs and DVDs illegally sold by Asians, Mozambicans and Swazis to members of the public on the streets and shops during a raid on Saturday.
Plain-clothes police officers are said to have randomly raided shops and streets vendors around Nhlangano and surrounding areas during an operation of examining the legitimacy of trading licences.
A total of 26 people (two Asians, two Swazis and 22 Mozambicans) were arrested and taken to the police station where they were formally charged for violating the Trading Licences Act 27 of 1939 and for contravening Section 13 (1) (d) and (b) of the Copyright Act 36 of 1912, which prohibit unlicenced shop owners and streets vendors from displaying and selling items to the public.
They were released the same day after paying a fine of E60 for admission of guilt and the exhibits are currently kept at the police station awaiting a destruction order to be applied for at the Nhlangano Magistrates Court.
The exercise was dubbed ‘Operation legitimate trading licences’.
In an interview, Nhlangano Police Station Commander, Superin-tendent George Mayisa, said the operation came after shop owners with legitimate trading licences complained that they were getting unfair competition from people without trading licences, who were selling their wares like CDs and DVDs on the streets and in shops.
It was discovered during the raid that some of these people possessed trading licences to operate spaza shops, for example, however, they now use the licence (s) to sell items like fake CDs, DVDs, cellphones, among other items.
"This act, according to the law, is unlawful and the perpetrators ought to be arrested, charged and taken to court.
"We warn members of the public to follow the law when starting a business to avoid being arrested," he said.
He warned shop owners to stick with what was agreed on the trading licences and not sell items they did not apply for.
A fake DVD of the latest release (2012) of the Ncandweni Christ Ambassadors album ‘Selihlatjiwe iphasika’ is being sold for E20 in some shops and by street vendors.
The group’s fake CD is also sold for E10, yet the price for an original CD of a local artist is between E50 and E80, while that of an original DVD is between E150 and E200.
Other CDs sold cheaply in Nhlangano belong to South African gospel artist, Deborah Fraser and Vusumuzi Gumedze and the rest are music videos and African movies.
MP Frans condemns fake reproductions
NHLANGANO - Nhlabeni Member of Parlaiment (MP), Frans Dlamini, who is also a gospel artist, condemned the reproducing of music which is later sold illegally on the streets and in shops.
He said there was a Bill in Parliament which aimed at putting a stop to piracy and said the portfolio committee was chaired by Mafutseni MP, Joseph Madonsela.
"As artists, we lose of money due to piracy. We spend a lot of money producing the CD or DVD only to find thieves reproducing it and selling it cheaply and this affects business.
"People also lose jobs because they are retrenched owing to the fact that the original CDs or DVDs are selling well and this affects the economy of the country.
"As artists, we now bank our hopes on the Copyright Bill currently in Parliament that it will put a stop to piracy. I give a thumbs up to the Nhlangano police for seeing to it that such is tackled and put to an end," he said.
A comment from leader of Ncandweni Christ Ambassadors, MP Timothy Myeni, could not be obtained yesterday because his mobile phone rang unanswered and he also did not respond to a text message.
It's been long overdue! If you ask me, even the E60 fine is not deterrent. I think they should be fined more than their estimated income after selling those counterfeit discs.
May 22, 2012, 9:00 AM, Cultural (email@example.com)
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