The High Court in Pretoria has ruled that all members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) who were present when a 40-year-old resident of Alexandra, in Johannesburg, Collins Khosa, was assaulted to death should be suspended. The incident happened last month.
Judge Hans Fabricius delivered his judgment: “It is accorded that the six respondents shall immediately commence a process to place members of the JMPD who were present at the scene in Alexandra on 10 April on suspension pending an investigation into charges of misconduct. The 1st to 4th respondents shall within 5 days develop and publish a code of conduct and operational procedures regulating the members of the SANDF, SAPS and MPD’s in giving effect to the declaration of the state of disaster.”
Khosa’s family had earlier approached the Constitutional Court which dismissed the case because of insufficient evidence.
The family then approached the High Court to lodge an urgent application to force the government to intervene and reign in law enforcement’s heavy-handedness during the lockdown.
The family’s legal representative, advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, has described the Defence Force’s probe as a sham.
“The facts have not been denied and therefore must be taken to be admitted. Secondly, their excuse about the investigation does not provide the cover not to answer the allegations. But we also know that there is no credibility in this investigation. There can be no dispute that on the facts there has been a violation of rights that we pleaded on the founding affidavit. They could have gone to the police and asked them for their version.”
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