Fake SWC jerseys seized
The real deal. (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - South African customs said on Wednesday it had seized almost 27 000 fake national football team jerseys worth R8.1m at OR Tambo airport.
South African Revenue Service spokesperson Sibabalwenathi Mfabe said in a statement border control officers seized 26 984 counterfeit Bafana Bafana jerseys at Johannesburg's international airport over the past 11 days.
"Various consignments were detained from flights coming in from Qatar, Hong Kong and China," Mfabe said.
"Of the total detention, 17 970 football jerseys were destined to travel to Swaziland and Botswana. SARS customs has confirmed with the attorneys acting on behalf of Adidas that the goods were counterfeit."
He said the authorities were still determining the authenticity of a further 9 032 T-shirts over the weekend.
Souvenir manufacturers are cashing in South Africa's hosting of the World Cup, which kicks off on June 11, to benefit from the anticipated influx of fans.
Mfabe said the seizures of the fake jerseys came at a time stocks of the official jerseys were low.
About R50m worth of fake World Cup merchandise has been seized over the last seven months, according to the revenue service.