DEFENCE Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said on Thursday that the soldiers implicated in the murder of Collins Khosa would be suspended with fully pay pending the outcome of a criminal investigation.
A report by the South African National Defence Force’s (SANDF) military Ombudsman Vusumuzi Masondo found that the soldiers acted irregularly, improperly and acted in violation of their code of conduct when they entered Khosa’s home in Alexandra earlier this year to enforce lockdown regulations.
Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula appeared before Parliament on Wednesday, 20 August 2020 and said the criminal element of the matter fell outside of the SANDF’s scope.
“In the process of conducting a search for alcohol, various acts of misconduct were committed by unfortunately , the soldiers. (The ombudsman) concluded that the official conduct of these members was improper, irregular and in contravention of the code of conduct, operational order and rules of engagement,” Mapisa-Nqakula said.
“The investigation of the ombudsman doesn’t deal with the criminal investigation which is dealt with by law enforcement agencies. The ombudsman investigates the behaviour of SANDF members.”
Khosa died on April 10 after an altercation with soldiers and Joburg metro police. Witnesses said they were at home with him and two others when soldiers arrived, accusing them of violating lockdown regulations. Khosa was allegedly taken outside into the yard where soldiers poured beer over his head, slammed him against a cement wall, kicked, slapped and punched him.
He died a few hours later.
Mapisa-Nqakula said that the recommendations of the Ombudsman report would be implemented and a disciplinary process would get underway.
(COMPILED BY INSIDE POLITICS STAFF)