Abraham Desalenge Menedo. 25. was granted bail for producing counterfeit yeast. PHOTO: Hawks

UPDATE: COUNTERFEIT yeast manufacturer granted bail

The young man was found to have been producing counterfeit yeast disguised under the common brand Gold Star Yeast.


Abraham Desalenge Menedo. 25. was granted bail for producing counterfeit yeast. PHOTO: Hawks

An asylum seeker who was found producing counterfeit goods was granted R1 000 bail for manufacturing fake yeast in Mpumalanga.

Abraham Desalenge Menedo, 25, appeared before the Tonga Magistrate’s Court on Friday. He faces charges of contravening the Counterfeit Goods Act.


The Hawks received a complaint about business owners who are selling Gold Star Yeast products. But the complaint further states that the yeast is counterfeit.

The matter was investigated by the brand owners, Gold Star Yeast, in collaboration with the Hawks’ head office, said spokesperson Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi.

“After the investigation was completed, the matter was brought before the court.”

Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi

A search and seizure warrant was authorised and executed. A large multidisciplinary law enforcement team was established to catch the fake yeast producer.

This comprised of the Mpumalanga Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team together with the Nelspruit Hawks team, Hazyview public order policing, Pienaar Tactical Response Team, White River Flying Squad and members of Adams & Adams from Gauteng.

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The man was arrested at Zoom Zoom Cash and Carry Main Road in Tonga, Sekgotodi said.

The suspect was taken to Tonga Police Station where he was charged and detained pending his first court appearance, where he was granted bail.

“The case was postponed to 19 September 2022 for further investigation,” said Sekgotodi.


Earlier this week, the Hawks sniffed out a counterfeit snuff manufacturing facility that was manufacturing fake Taxi snuff in Gauteng.

The sniffing around was done by the Intellectual Property Rights section of the Hawks’ serious team that partnered with brand protector experts from Spoor & Fisher Attorneys.

They worked with the Crime Intelligence, Flying Squad and the K9 unit of the members of the South African Police Service on Monday, said the Hawks.

The operation led them to the Vaal Rand area where they executed a search and seizure disruptive operation on Monday. This is in line with Counterfeit Goods Act.

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A woman is to face court for producing counterfeit snuff in Gauteng. PHOTO: Hawks


The team initially conducted investigations in Midrand on counterfeit manufacturing of Taxi snuff.

This led to a fully operational facility nearly 70km away in Drieziek Extension 9, Orange Farm in Gauteng, spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Philani Nkwalase said.

“During the search, multiple packets of counterfeit snuff, empty containers, tobacco and other chemicals found were seized for further investigation.”

Colonel Philani Nkwalase

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A female suspect is to be served with the J175 summons at a later stage to appear in court pending the finalisation of the criminal and civil cases against her. She is to be charged with contravention of the Counterfeit Goods Act.