Collins Khosa death: IPID recommends disciplinary steps against JMPD and police officers

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A group of South Africans protest in solidarity with those protesting the death of George Floyd in America at Zoo Lake. (Photo by Gallo Images/ER Lombard)
A group of South Africans protest in solidarity with those protesting the death of George Floyd in America at Zoo Lake. (Photo by Gallo Images/ER Lombard)
  • IPID has recommended disciplinary steps should be taken against five JMPD officers and two police officers allegedly involved in the assault of Collins Khosa.
  • According to a report, the JMPD neglected its legal obligations while officers stood by as Khosa and his family were assaulted.
  • For the police, the recommendation regards the contravention of the disciplinary regulations. 

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.

WATCH | Collins Khosa: 'He knew how to make us laugh', says family as they fight for justice

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.

READ | Defence Minister Mapisa-Nqakula got it wrong on Collins Khosa inquiry, report is final - SANDF

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.

Assaulted

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.

According to spokesperson for IPID, Ndileka Cola, IPID has finalised the investigation into the matter and recommendations were sent to the JMPD.

"JMPD has acknowledged receipt of this report and is yet to provide feedback to IPID with regards to its final decision," Cola said.

JMPD spokesperson, Wayne Minnaar, said they were aware of a statement by IPID concerning JMPD officers who at the scene of Collins Khosa's assault and are currently conducting an internal investigation into the matter. 

"JMPD Internal Affairs Unit is currently investigating the five officers concerned.  As this case is sub judice, hence it is under judicial consideration, and therefore  is prohibited from public discussion.  The investigation by JMPD Internal Affairs Unit is ongoing," Minnaar said. 

According to SAPS spokesperson, Brigadier Vish Naidoo, they have not received communication or a recommendation from IPID on the matter.

* This story has been updated to include comments from the JMPD and SAPS.


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