A downtown Joburg clothing store that stocked and sold fake Italian brands, including pricey Carvela shoes, has been slapped with an expensive cost order, and its owner could face jail time if he fails to reveal their suppliers by Friday.
The Jeppe-based store, Blessed Miracle Wholesalers and Retailers CC, and its sole owner, Samuel Mekonen Hamza, sold fake Carvela branded shoes to the Joburg public.
The Italian brand is popular in the country and pricey, too, with Carvela shoes retailing from about R2,195. The genuine products are sold exclusively by Spitz in South Africa.
The South Gauteng High Court has ordered Hamza and his wholesaler business to reveal their suppliers to Spitz, by the end of this week or face possible jail time.
Police Minister Bheki Cele was listed as a respondent in the case.
Hamza’s Joburg store was raided by the SAPS in June 2022, leading to the discovery of fake Carvela branded items which were confiscated.
Judge AH Mahon has interdicted the wholesaler and Hamza from importing, manufacturing, or distributing counterfeit Carvela branded products.
He has also ordered that the wholesaler reveal to Spitz, the names, contact numbers, and email addresses of the suppliers or face jail time for being in contempt of court.
Judge Mahon directed the wholesaler and Hamza to provide Spitz with details about where they sourced their fake items from within 10 days of the judgment, which is understood to be August 18.
The judgment was handed down on August 4.
Judge Mahon said this was in terms of Section 10(1)(d) of the Counterfeit Goods Act No. 37 of 1997.
He instructed the wholesaler and Hamza that this needs to include the name and registration number of the manufacturer and/or supplier of the fake Carvela-branded products, the names, contact numbers, and email addresses of employees, brokers, and related sale documentation.
"Should the wholesaler and Hamza fail to disclose within 10 days of service of this order the information … Spitz may apply to court, based on the contents of this affidavit, supplemented to the extent it deems necessary, for an order declaring the wholesaler and Hamza to be in contempt of court and for further relief in the form of a penalty and/or imprisonment," said Judge Mahon.
The judge also ordered that the remaining fake Carvela goods, which were in the possession of the wholesaler, be delivered to Spitz.
"Spitz is authorised to take into its possession the counterfeit Carvela branded products seized by the SAPS on June 8, 2022, at the wholesaler's business premises situated at 86 Delvers Street, Corner Jeppe Street, Johannesburg," he said.
Mahon awarded costs to Spitz, including costs for the application and two attorneys.