Police Minister Bheki Cele is appealing parts of a scathing judgment on the murder of Alexandra township resident Collins Khosa by members of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) and the SA Police Service (SAPS).
Details of Cele’s appeal have emerged in a report of the National Council of Provinces’ select committee on security and justice which quotes Cele’s deputy Cassel Mathale stating that police were unhappy with a section of North Gauteng High Court Judge Hans Fabricius’s order.
“The deputy minister responded that the complainant (Khosa’s family) was seeking to restate the law in terms of what was expected from security and law enforcement during the lockdown and how they should collaborate on this.
“(The) SAPS has complied with orders made in the judgment, for example (the) code of conduct and guidelines on the use of force,” reads the report signed on May 29 and which has been seen by Independent Media.
According to the report, Mathale informed the committee that the SAPS would be appealing a portion of the court order related to internal investigations contained in paragraph 6.1.2 of the judgment.
Cele is challenging Judge Fabricius’s order that he and Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula internally investigate the treatment of any other person whose rights may have been infringed during the state of national disaster at the hands of members of the SANDF, the SAPS and/or any metro police department.
Mathale assured the committee that as part of complying with the judgment police have set up a complaints mechanism and that the SAPS has communicated with the public in respect of how they should report cases of police brutality and publicized the numbers in which the public should use to report such matters.
Khosa family lawyer Wikus Steyl confirmed to Independent Media he had received Cele’s application for leave to appeal Judge Fabricius’s judgment and was still studying it.
Judge Fabricius lambasted the police and the SANDF and declared that all persons in the country during the state of national disaster are entitled to the rights to human dignity, life, not to be tortured and not be treated or punished in a cruel, inhuman or degrading way.
He said all the rights were non-derogable (absolute) even during states of emergency.
The office of the state attorney, on Cele’s behalf, has previously demanded that Khosa’s family abandon the part of the judgment stating that Cele and Mapisa-Nqakula probe acts of brutality committed by police and soldiers during the lockdown. The family had rejected that.