The Minister of Defense and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has said a number of law enforcement bodies are still dealing with the case involving Collins Khosa, as the matter has  not yet been finalised.

Mapisa-Nqakula made the remarks when she appeared before the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) as part of the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security cluster, to field oral questions on Tuesday, 29 June 2020.

“I am singling out the [Collings Khosa] case in particular because it is a matter of interest right now in South Africa and it is a matter which relates to the death of a human being and therefore, it is necessary for me to indicate to honourable members and to South Africans that [because] at some point we said the board of inquiry has completed its work and that’s it, does not mean this case is not receiving attention”, the minister said.

“This case is receiving attention from three different entities, which is namely your [SANDF] board of inquiry, your military ombudsman and the last one, which is the joint investigation conducted by the military police and the South African Police Service,” she said.

‘We feel shame over Khosa’s death’

Khosa, an Alexandra man, was killed allegedly by troop members who were manning the streets of the township during the national lockdown, back in April. The civilian’s family subsequently approached the courts to force the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to investigate the circumstances surrounding his death.

The court ruled in favour of the family. The Defence Force’s board then launched a probe into the matter and absolved the implicated officials of any culpability in Khosa’s death, which shined a spotlight on the heavy-handedness of law enforcement during the lockdown.

While it initially appeared as if the investigation was yet to be concluded, the board clarified that the matter had been finalised.

The minister further said government has expressed empathy with the families, and in particular, the Khosa family, for what happened to them.

“Obviously I am the executive in the department and anything that happens to members of our society. Anything that happens to that structure … you get ashamed, you get embarrassed”, she said.

“And I must say that when the allegations emerged, I am on record of having made a statement to the effect that we do not accept instances where enforcement agencies abuse power law”

“Even when the matter of the Khosa case, even though there hasn’t been an investigation that gives us a finding as to who should be accountable for this case, I am still on record as having said, on behalf of the South African government, we have our hands in shame for what has happened, for the loss of life”


Presh JM Reporter

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