The Democratic Alliance (DA) has welcomed a High Court in Pretoria ruling on Friday ordering the suspension of South African National Defence Force (SANDF) soldiers and Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) officers who were involved in the fatal beating of Collins Khosa, pending an investigation.
In a statement, DA MP Kobus Marais said the judge overseeing the case, Hans Fabricius, had ruled that every individual within South Africa’s borders was entitled to the right to human dignity, the right to life and the right not to be tortured.
“Judge Fabricius also highlighted that the SANDF and the South African Police Service (SAPS) are bound to protect these rights and to only use minimum force.
“We trust that this ruling will send a strong message to law enforcement officials that they are not above the law and that the South African public has the right to be treated with dignity,” he said.
Marais said that since the start of the lockdown, people had witnessed and heard harrowing accounts of law enforcement officials flouting their mandates to instead humiliate, degrade and harm the public.
“This happens while those who do not comply with lockdown regulations should be held accountable within the bounds of the law; the senseless torture and killing of civilians are indefensible.
“This ruling will not make up for the untimely death of Collins Khosa, but we trust that it will bring his family and loved ones another step closer to justice,” the MP said.
Marais further added that the DA had lodged a complaint with the military ombudsman, General Vusi Masondo, to request an independent investigation into the killing of Khosa.
“We trust that the investigation will be conducted openly and transparently and that all those involved will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.
“South Africa is a constitutional democracy, and despite us being in an unprecedented period in our history, the rule of law, the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution must be adhered to at all times,” he concluded.
(Compiled by Molefe Seeletsa)