The Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) on Thursday morning confiscated sandwiches from a young entrepreneur trying to take care of his daughter.
Business Insider South Africa on Thursday morning reported how Itumeleng Lekomamyane, 27, grew his sandwich business to an R20,000 a month business with only R800 six months ago.
“I had a choice to either pay my three-year-old’s daughter’s maintenance or use the R800 to start my business. I chose to rather risk it,” Lekomamyane told Business Insider South Africa.
“Everything I do, I do for my daughter. I want to give her the things that were never afforded to me.”
On Twitter, Lekomamyane shared that before Business Insider’s story was published, JMPD officers confiscated all of his inventory at one of his four locations.
He was told to pay R1,600 to get it back, and that the City of Johannesburg is no longer issuing permits because Herman Mashaba resigned as mayor.
I’m upset the @JoburgMPD took Lindokuhle’s stock by Standard bank all of it and we are told to pay R1600 to get it back which is just a ridiculous amount for spoilt stock and @CityofJoburgZA told me they only issuing permits this year late March because Herman Mashaba resigned
The JMPD has always known I’m by that corner they even buy from me in the morning, now only to take stock cause they see a new guy there now they acting up.
Yeses ka overheated after this shift ends I’m going to have a word with them
Lekomamyane could not be reached for comment by Thursday afternoon.
JMPD spokesperson Wayne Minnaar said the officers would have had a good reason to confiscate the goods.
“Our officers won’t without good reason confiscate goods, he must have been in contravention of the bylaws,” Minnaar told Business Insider South Africa.
Asked if he is not concerned that the city is making it difficult for entrepreneurs trying to make a living, Minnaar said everyone has to adhere to the law.
“There are thousands of traders the City works with, thousands and thousands of traders who are never in contravention of the law.”
On Twitter, users expressed their shock over JMPD’s treatment of Lekomamyane.
This is what our people are subjected to
The system that our leaders agreed to
How else can Lindokuhle put food on the table?
This is heartbreaking but they let those people selling counterfeit goods do as they please
The government is anti-Black. This has nothing to do with permits or anything. You decide to be a crook and rob them, they complain. You make an honest living, they do what they did to you.
This is painful at our mayor @GeoffMakhubo. When our kids do something good, your admin is frustrating their hustle. Please help.
@YEparticipation please resolve the business permit issued.@NYDARSA please assist with proper infrastructure for the growth of his business. @SAHRCommission please protect his Constitutional right to Freedom of Trade.
Hang in there dawg. I hope all will be sorted soon!
Some offered to start a crowdfunding campaign to make up for his loss.
Kind gesture, thank you but I’ve got this I’ll replace it, just another day of street vending you have to prepare for times like these