Ipid admits to ‘error of law’ in not probing death of Collins Khoza
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This submission, contained in a supplementary affidavit which was handed to the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, yesterday, followed a question by Judge Hans Fabricius on whether Ipid was willing to give an undertaking to investigate the actions (or omissions) of the metro police.
Khoza was assaulted and died at his Alexandra home.
Acting executive director of Ipid Patrick Setshedi said in the affidavit that it was willing to investigate the incident regarding the possible involvement of the metro police, but it initially did not do so as the metro police “did not take part in the assault”. Thus, he said, Ipid did not at first believe it needed to investigate their involvement.
“I am now advised that this was an error of law on the part of Ipid,” he said.
Setshedi said he had been further advised that Ipid’s regulations provide that the directorate must investigate a matter only if SAPS are said to be involved. “I therefore give the undertaking that I will designate the investigators in line with the regulations and that they will attend to reconstruct the scene within 24 hours”
He promised the court that a report regarding the findings of the investigations would be ready by close of business tomorrow and it would then be filed with the court.
Ipid earlier investigated the role of the SAPS in the incident and exonerated the police.
According to Khoza's family, this was done without interviewing key witnesses on the scene.
The family of Khoza, 40, who was allegedly beaten on April 10 for drinking alcohol in the yard of his home, want the court to set regulations regarding how the police, SANDF and security forces should act during this lockdown.
The father of three was assaulted for “breaking the lockdown rules”.
According to the post-mortem report, which formed part of the papers submitted to the court, he died of blunt force trauma to the head.
Khoza’s partner, Nomsa Montsha, and two other family members, want the court to urgently intervene and put a stop to police brutality during the lockdown.
Montsha 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.
She said: “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 court was told this week that the South African National Defence Force had promised to have its report ready at the end of April, but had now asked for an extension to May 14.
Montsha expressed her fear that no credible investigation was taking place into the death of her partner.
“There are real concerns about its transparency, independence, speed and effectiveness,” she said.
In her affidavit she said Ipid had publicly stated that its investigations were hampered by, among others, police meddling and lack of resources.
She said it was crucial the court order a proper and credible investigation overseen by the courts.
Judgment was reserved.