“There is a zero tolerance for those that sell illegal products in the city,” Brigadier Delisiwe Motha, Witbank Police’s station commander, strongly stated, Witbank News reports.
On Thursday, July 28 businesses were placed in the spotlight when Motha and Captain Christina Sibeko were busy with Operation Bring Back Hope and busted stores in the Central Business District (CBD) for selling skin-lightening creams.
This operation was done in conjunction with the department of health. According to section 19 (1) of Medicine and Related Substance Control Act 101 of 1965, selling skin lightening cream does not comply with prescribed requirements.
Steps in dealing with such a case, firstly the police will take the product, secondly a fine will be charged and thirdly should it be that you repeat the same offence more than three times a docket will be opened where the suspects will stand in front of the magistrate, possibly facing a sentence.
What makes selling the product illegal is that lightening creams with hydroquinone were banned in South Africa in 1992 and on August 16, Ghana will follow suit in also officially removing it from their market. “This cannot go on as mothers will die and leave their children behind. We cannot have a society where children become orphans,” said Motha.
One of the products used for bleaching skin is Caro Light which is not a South African brand, meaning that it is imported.
“Whoever is importing this is taking advantage of us, we will not allow them to make a mockery of our country,” said Motha.
When conducting research Motha found out that these creams have dangerous and illegal ingredients such as topical steroids, mercury and hydroquinone, just to mention a few.
After-effects include burned skin, meaning you cannot be in direct contact with sunlight. And at a later stage this may lead to skin cancer and kidney failure.
Motha warned business owners to remove any illegal products off their shelves before her team comes and remove it themselves. She mentioned that those selling pirated CDs and DVDs will not be given a fine, but a docket will be opened straight away.
“Stop it, if you want to live in harmony here, you must comply with the laws of the country. I will do anything in my power to protect the community as I am concerned about their wellbeing,” concluded Motha.
– Caxton News Service.