SANDF clears its soldiers from involvement in Khosa’s death

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The attorney of the Khosa family intends to challenge the internal report in court.

 

By Seth Meyer

This article is exclusive to the Online Edition 7 of VARSITY News.

 

The death of George Floyd and the subsequent global action has brought the focus of the public eye onto the issue of police brutality and in South Africa, it is the death of Collins Khosa and the investigations into the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) that has become a topic of controversy. Allegations of abuse and brutality at the hands of South African police and military arose amidst the national lockdown, with the deployment of troops and police to the streets to enforce the government’s lockdown rules. Collins Khosa was a man from Alexandra, who was allegedly beaten and brutalised by both SANDF and police, who entered his yard when they saw him with a beer.

 

The sale of alcohol was then illegal under the current lockdown rules but not the possession of it and as witnesses account, Mr Khosa was on his property when the SANDF soldiers approached him. He was then allegedly beaten and abused by both the SANDF and later officers of the JMPD who arrived later on the scene. These members of the law proceeded to pour beer on Mr Khosa’s head, strike him with the butt of a rifle, kick, punch and slam him against a gate.  This according to an affidavit filed by Khosa’s wife, Nomsa Montsha. Khosa later died at home, vomiting and losing consciousness shorty after the beating.

 

The SANDF launched their own investigation into the incident, with Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula releasing a report that vindicated the soldiers involved in the incident and claims that “Khosa was conscious and healthy when the security forces left”. The Minister went on to say that the investigation was still ongoing but then later declared in a statement that she was “not correct” in saying this. Speaking to the Sunday Independent, the attorney representing Mr Khosa’s family, Wikus Steyl described the report as “ridiculous” and “a sham”.

 

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) conducted their own investigation and have released a report containing testimony from witnesses that describes how all soldiers and officers involved stood by while Khosa was being beaten. The ANC and President Ramaphosa have made statement of solidarity with the public outrage at the death of George Floyd, where similarly, officers stood by and watched as Floyd died under the knee of police officer Derek Chauvin. South African citizens have been quick to point out the hypocrisy on the ANC’s part, with the death of Collins Khosa and several other South Africans under lockdown at the alleged fault of disproportionate use of force and abuse by South African police.

 

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