Family of Alex man allegedly killed by SANDF heads to court
Pretoria - THE family of Collins Khoza, 40, who was allegedly beaten to death earlier this month, will on Friday turn to the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria in a bid to put a stop to armed force brutality during lockdown.
Khoza was allegedly beaten to death by members of the police and the army in Alexandra on April 10. His death is being investigated by the police and the military ombudsman.
The father of three was assaulted for allegedly breaking the lockdown rules.
According to the post mortem report, which formed part of the papers submitted to the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, Khoza died of blunt force trauma to the head.
Several eyewitnesses submitted affidavits in which they described how Khoza was assaulted. A neighbour said she was in her yard in the late afternoon when she saw soldiers entering Khoza’s premises and they dragged him out of his house.
She recorded on her phone how they, among others, poured beer over his head and body, slammed his head against a cement wall, kicked and slapped him.
There were also claims Khoza was hit on the head with the butt of a rifle.
Khoza’s life partner, Nomsa Montsha and two other family members want the court to urgently intervene and put a stop to police and armed force brutality during lockdown.
She said in her affidavit that this case was about civilians being murdered, tortured and subjected to cruel and inhumane treatment during this time by members of the SANDF, SAPS and other security forces.
Montsha said apart from Khoza’s death, at least eight others also lost their lives in a similar manner during the lockdown.
"We anticipate that many more civilians will suffer the same fate if nothing is done to curb this unbridled brutality by members of the security forces.”
The aim of the application is to declare that civilians are entitled to have their fundamental rights respected and protected by the security forces during lockdown.
The court will be asked to compel the officers in command to prevent their officers from acting with brutality.
The court will also be asked to order that those who are guilty of brutality, immediately be disarmed and suspended.
Such cases, including that of Khoza, must be investigated and the culprits must be brought to book.
The court will further be asked to order that guidelines be developed to inform the public of what the security forces may legitimately do to enforce the lockdown and state of disaster, and to establish an effective mechanism to enable commanders to take swift action against their officers involved in lockdown brutality.
The SAPS, SANDF and other parties cited as respondents, have until Wednesday to file their opposing affidavits.