Cop ices the competition

An ice-vending firm in Manguzi, KwaZulu-Natal, has complained of unfair competition from an unlikely source — the local police station.

The aggrieved businessman is the owner of Eskimo Ice, Chris Barnard, who has lodged a complaint with the area commissioner of the South African Police Services (SAPS) and the police complaints directorate.

Barnard says Inspector Johan Kuilder, stationed at Manguzi, is running an ice business from police premises, using police resources.

In a letter to the commissioner, Barnard’s lawyers complain that Kuilder has approached Barnard’s “existing clients and proposed to them that Barnard’s products are of an inferior quality”.

“We hereby demand that you immediately stop misinforming our clients and members of the public that our client’s products are inferior,” reads the letter. “We further demand that you stop causing our client’s business damage; that you supply us with the necessary authorisation to operate the business from state property and supply confirmation that your interest in the business has been declared to the [SAPS] head office.”

In the mid-1990s Kuilder was told by the state to stop using police resources for his boerewors carts. Barnard told the Mail & Guardian that Kuilder’s business activities were particularly problematic, given that Manguzi was a high-crime area. Police confirmed this, saying it was on the main vehicle smuggling route from South Africa to Mozambique.

The investigating officer in charge of the case, Inspector Leon Buitendach, confirmed that a complaint about Kuilder had been lodged with the Umfolozi area commissioner. He had been on leave and could not say how far the investigations had gone.

Kuilder admitted that there was a large “Iqwa Ice” signpost at the police premises. However, he said, his wife ran the business. Kuilder’s wife works in Empangeni, about 300km from Manguzi, and returns home only twice a month. Asked how she was able to run the business, Kuilder replied: “I don’t know, but she does.”

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Related stories


Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Latest stories

Seventeen people found dead in East London nightclub

At least 17 young people were found dead at a nightclub in a township in the southern city of East London on Sunday, police said

Gauteng ANC produces solid financials, feather in treasurer Parks Tau’s...

The provincial administration has, however, struggled to pay staff salaries

Zandile Tshabalala exhibits for the first time in SA with...

Pandering to the art world is no longer a prerequisite for success. Zandile Tshabalala has proved this in the last two years by exhibiting abroad before coming home

Rwanda refugees fear extradition from Mozambique

Mozambique and Rwanda’s new deal comes after 19 people ‘agreed’ to return home

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…