A 67-year-old Roman Catholic priest was arrested at his Queenstown church mission for allegedly selling baby formula meant to be given free to underprivileged children.
The priest was arrested on Thursday afternoon while allegedly selling the milk to the public, after police and the Eastern Cape health department were alerted to the trade, Daily Dispatch reported on Friday
The newspaper reported that police and department officials set a trap and bought a tin of milk from the church for R35 before the arrest.
Queenstown's Warrant Officer Namhla Mdleleni said police were investigating.
"We can confirm the arrest of a 67-year-old father from the Roman Catholic Church. He will be charged with dealing and possession of suspected stolen baby formula," she said.
Police found more than 1400 tins of 400g baby formula packed in a back room of the church mission.
Near them was a cash till with cash in it.
The newspaper quoted one of the customers, Nontsapho Tshaya, saying she was frightened as about five police officers had questioned her.
"I am coming from a village and I didn't know that this was illegal. Am I to be arrested? I am scared," she said.
Police did not arrest her but took the milk that she had just bought from the church.
The priest was expected to appear in court soon.