The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to either discipline or replace Defence and Military Veterans Minister, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. The party made this call due to the “shambolic” handling of the inquiry into the death of Alexandra man Collins Khosa allegedly at the hands of SANDF members.
40-year-old Khosa died following an alleged assault by members of the army during the early part of the lockdown in April.
In the video below, President Ramaphosa says those responsible for Khosa’s death should be punished:
Khosa is one of 11 civilians killed allegedly due to the actions of police and defence force members during the lockdown.
The DA accused Mapisa-Nqakula of backtracking on comments she made to Parliament’s joint committee on defence. The Minister said the investigation into Khosa’s death was a preliminary report and has been referred back to the Chief of the SANDF.
She said the matter might be reopened for further investigations. However, the Minister later indicated that she misunderstood the situation and that the SANDF will not be reopening the investigation.
In a statement, the DA says the Minister made these comments after the SANDF filed an affidavit with the High Court, which includes a finalised report and a confirmatory affidavit by Mapisa-Nqakula herself. The party says this raises questions.
“This raises several questions, such as, did the Minister mislead Parliament? Did she not know that she signed the affidavit which was submitted to court? Was she undermined by the military leadership? OR has she lost their trust and support?”
In the video below, Minister Mapisa-Nqakula says the probe into Khosa’s death is still open:
The DA will submit several parliamentary questions to Mapisa-Nqakula in this regard.
The party says that the investigation was launched by the SANDF solely for the purpose of exonerating the soldiers implicated in Khosa’s death.
“It is this confusion and contradictions which fuel speculations that the entire internal military investigation into Mr Khosa’s untimely death was a sham and devoid of transparent and due process. The DA maintains that the investigation was solely an exercise to exonerate the soldiers who were implicated in the death of Mr Khosa. This was never about justice for the Khosa family,” the party said in a statement.
The party has requested an investigation into Khosa’s death with the Military Ombud and hopes that this will be carried out in an independent and transparent manner.
“Those soldiers involved in the tragic death of Collins Khosa cannot be given a free pass for taking his life. They must be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”
The President on Friday said the investigation into Khosa’s killing had not come to an end.
“We will spare no effort in ensuring that those responsible for this are brought to book and face the full might of the law.”
Khosa’s family has also vowed to pursue the matter until justice is done.