Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Ipid recommends disciplinary action against police who watched Khosa beating

An Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) report has recommended disciplinary action against metro police who stood by watching while Collins Khosa was being assaulted by soldiers.  

Khosa died after the assaults, which according to family members were brutal and included being throttled with a hand held behind his back, being slammed against a steel gate and being hit with the butt of a machine gun. In court papers, his family said his death was the result of the assault. He is one of 11 people who allegedly died at the hands of security forces during the Covid-19 lockdown.

An internal South African National Defence Force (SANDF) board of inquiry exonerated the soldiers implicated. Now the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) members present have been found by Ipid not to have participated in the assault. However, they breached their legal obligations, the report found.

These included that they should perform their functions diligently and to the best of their ability, conduct themselves with honesty and “refrain from any rude, abusive, provocative, intimidatory or aggressive behaviour”.  

“Based on the information available, Ipid recommend[s] disciplinary steps to be taken against JMPD members for the neglect of their legal obligations,” said the report. The report does not recommend what kind of disciplinary action should be taken.

Unlike the SANDF board of inquiry, Ipid interviewed the witnesses and family members who had been present. In summarising each interview, the report says that witnesses spoke of the JMPD officers as “watching”, or that they could not see whether JMPD officers were involved. 

The report quoted Thabiso Muvhango, Khosa’s brother-in-law who was also assaulted, as saying, “When he approached the JMPD officers … the JMPD officers said he must not argue with the members of the SANDF. The members of the SANDF then assaulted him again, now in the full view of the JMPD officers.” 

The Ipid report was filed in the Pretoria high court after Judge Hans Fabricius ordered that internal investigations into Khosa’s death and other cases of abuse of power by the security forces must be finalised by June 4 and a report-back delivered to court. 

After a public outcry when the SANDF board of inquiry cleared the soldiers implicated, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said in a statement that she has also asked the Military Ombud to investigate. This came after a week of public statements — to the media and to Parliament — that the internal investigation was not complete. A South African Police Service criminal investigation is also under way. 

Read the report below:

Ipid Report June 2020 by Mail and Guardian on Scribd

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Franny Rabkin
Franny Rabkin
Franny is the legal reporter at the Mail & Guardian

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

Fears of violence persist a year after the murder of...

The court battle to stop coal mining in rural KwaZulu-Natal has heightened the sense of danger among environmental activists

Data shows EFF has lower negative sentiment online among voters...

The EFF has a stronger online presence than the ANC and Democratic Alliance

More top stories

Kenya’s beach boys fall into sex tourism, trafficking

In the face of their families’ poverty, young men, persuaded by the prospect of wealth or education, travel to Europe with their older female sponsors only to be trafficked for sex

High court reinstates Umgeni Water board

The high court has ruled that the dissolution of the water entity’s board by Minister Lindiwe Sisulu was unfair and unprocedural

Mkhize throws the book at the Special Investigating Unit

It’s a long shot at political redemption for the former health minister and, more pressingly, a bid to avert criminal charges
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×