The Democratic Alliance (DA) “rejects” the exoneration of soldiers from the death of an Alexandra resident with the Defence Minister, at the same time, reported as saying they are not cleared.
The to-ing and fro-ing is in the wake of an affidavit submitted to the North Gauteng High Court earlier this week. The document is purportedly the report of a board of inquiry (BOI) into the death of Collins Khosa. He was allegedly assaulted by a group of “security force members” over the Easter weekend and died of injuries sustained.
The BOI report findings as submitted to court do not clear the soldiers.
Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula is reported by TimesLive as saying during a lockdown briefing in Pretoria. “The matter is not closed.”
At the same time Kobus Marais, DA shadow defence and military veterans minister, said via a statement, his party “rejects the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) decision to exonerate soldiers allegedly involved in the death of Alexandra resident Collins Khosa”.
“We are disappointed by the decision and how the SANDF handled the matter. It would appear they rushed the process without following just and proper practices,” he said.
Marais goes on to say: “it is questionable how the SANDF arrived at this decision as it emerged the investigation relied solely on statements by the soldiers and did not take into account testimony of Khosa’s relatives who witnessed to his death. Accounts stating soldiers entered Khosa’s property, forcefully dragged him out and assaulted him are not factored into the outcome of the internal investigation.
“It is hard to reconcile how the SANDF arrived at the exonerate decision when they relied only on one side of the story.”
He takes the Minister to task, along with the leadership of the national defence force, saying “they essentially justified the excessive use of force and emboldened the military to continue horrific treatment of the South African public. They should hang their heads in shame”.