Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula says the four suspended South African National Defence Force (SANDF) members who were allegedly involved in the Collins Khosa murder are facing criminal charges.
Mapisa-Nqakula says the four refused to participate in the Military Ombud’s investigation following legal advice from their lawyers.
The Minister says Khosa’s partner, neighbours and tenants at the Khosa house, participated in the Ombuds’ investigation.
Speaking during a virtual Peace and Security Cluster oral reply session of Parliament, Mapisa-Nqakula said she received the Ombud’s report with findings and recommendations.
Mapisa-Nqakula says, “Unfortunately the four members of the South African National Defence Force – who have these allegations hanging over them – reserved their right to remain silent having been advised by a lawyer who was representing them…”
“Now people will say, it is understandable that they would do that, because there was a criminal investigation currently going on. So maybe due to fear of incriminating themselves, perhaps it was correct not to provide answers to the Military Ombud,” says Mapisa-Nqakula.
The High Court in Pretoria ruled that the soldiers be suspended and the army produces a report into the matter. However, the SANDF report apparently said Khosa’s death could not be linked to the injuries he sustained.
The Defence Ministry continued investigations into Khosa’s alleged murder through the Military Ombud and police.
In an exclusive interview with the SABC News, Khosa’s partner Nomsa Montsha expressed confusion over the latest developments.
Montsha says, “It seems like we can’t put our voice out there. We are asking ourselves what have we done. We also lost our loved one. People are talking about it out there but South Africa where are you? We also lost someone that we wanted to be with. Is it because we are from a poor family who comes from Alexandra township?”
Call for justice
Khosa’s family has called on South Africans to unite and demand justice for his death. The family says they wish the same sense of outrage was displayed at his death compared to that of United States citizen George Floyd.
Khosa died, allegedly at the hands of soldiers in Alexandra during the early part of the lockdown in April.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has promised that government will ensure that those responsible for Khosa’s death will be brought to book and face the full might of the law.
Ministry of Defence’s media statement on Collins Khosa :