The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) has recommended disciplinary action should be taken against members of the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) and police allegedly involved in the assault of Collins Khosa on Good Friday.
Khosa was allegedly assaulted by members of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) during the nationwide lockdown when they saw a half-consumed glass of beer in his yard.
According to court papers, they kicked and punched Khosa, holding his hands behind his back while they choked and beat him, slammed him against the wall, and used the butt of a machine gun to hit him.
He died soon after of blunt force trauma to the head.
An investigation by an SANDF board of inquiry cleared the soldiers of any wrongdoing in Khosa’s death, saying there was no link between his injuries and the actions of the army.
Neglect of obligations
Following an investigation, Ipid recommended disciplinary steps should be taken against the five JMPD members present at the alleged crime for “the neglect of legal obligations” as they stood by watching Khosa’s assault and did not intervene.
While police officers alleged they were not at the scene of the crime and “knew nothing about the incident”, Ipid also recommended disciplinary steps against two members for contravening police disciplinary regulations.
Previously, an initial inquiry into the case was done by Ipid , brought about by media queries, but it maintained it had no jurisdiction to investigate the case because it only involved members of the defence force.
Ipid’s legal advisors then recommended that an investigation be conducted.
The second investigation sought to determine the involvement of JMPD officers in the incident.
The investigation saw the establishment of a task team consisting of senior investigators at the directorate who interviewed witnesses, including four new witnesses, five JMPD officials and three police officials.
Witnesses told Ipid they were assaulted for recording the incident, saying they saw members of the army assault Khosa and his brother-in-law, Thabiso Mavhungo.
However, JMPD officials made no mention of the assault, only saying they had met up with the SANDF officials – who they saw speaking to two African males – before they all knocked off together.
The police and JMPD have been approached for comment. It will be added once received.