An initial round of “bureaucratic bungling” has been corrected and the Military Ombud is on track with its independent investigation into the alleged murder of Alexandra resident Collins Khosa.
This was brought to defenceWeb’s attention by Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Kobus Marais, responsible for first reporting the Easter weekend incident to retired general Vusi Masondo’s office.
A letter from the Ombud office to the parliamentarian starts with an apology for a “miscommunication” from the Ombud intake unit relating to a request for a complaint form.
The letter carries on and is quoted verbatim: “This complaint was not initiated by the complaint from the Khosa family as is normally the case. Rather, you were recorded as the complainant in this matter. As a result we encountered difficulties in obtaining crucial information relating to the matter. It is for this reason that the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans tasked my office to conduct an investigation into conduct of members of the SANDF in relation to the interaction with the Khosa family. You will recall the Military Ombud Act and its regulations prescribe the manner in which complaints should be filed with the office and the fact that the office does not have the power to conduct own initiated investigation”.
Marais told defenceWeb he was “appreciative” of the latest Ombud letter and hoped the Khosa investigation will now be handled with “determination, commitment and respect” for the family.
“The recent embarrassing turn of events were a low point and certainly tarnished the good image of the SANDF and compromised the credibility of your office. I am happy your office will now eventually investigate the case and I’m positive you will come with a just and defensible finding,” the shadow defence and military veterans minister wrote Masondo.