Collins Khosa's family suing SANDF for R10m after ombud implicates 4 soldiers in his death

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Collins Khosa.
Collins Khosa.
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  • Collins Khosa's relatives are seeking R10 million from the defence force.
  • Lawyer Wikus Steyl confirmed the legal action followed a report implicating four SANDF soldiers.
  • The soldiers have been placed on leave with pay, pending the finalisation of a police investigation.

The family of slain Collins Khosa is suing the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) for R10 million.

Family lawyer Wikus Steyl confirmed to News24 on Friday that the family was taking legal action following a report implicating four SANDF soldiers.

Steyl said the family was suffering financially and emotionally after Khosa's death, which occurred at his Alexandra home on 10 April.

"I can confirm that we are suing for R10 million. Our summons has been finalised and we are waiting for it to be issued," said Steyl.

READ | Collins Khosa: Military ombudsman finds the actions of the implicated soldiers were improper

Khosa was allegedly assaulted by members of the defence force on Good Friday, during the nationwide lockdown.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.

Steyl applauded the investigation led by the SANDF's military ombudsman, saying it was open and factual.

Investigation

He said that, during the ombudsman's investigation, Khosa's family, and others who were present when he was killed, were also interviewed.

"They were all consulted during the investigation. It was a proper investigation."

Steyl also said a criminal case, separately investigated by IPID, was still ongoing.

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"They are trying to retrieve videos of the entire action from witnesses. We know that some phones were taken away by soldiers at the time and other people were forced to delete their videos by the army," said Steyl.

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula told Parliament on Wednesday the ombudsman found that the four soldiers' conduct was improper, irregular and in contravention of the code of conduct, operational order and rules of engagement.

The four soldiers have been put on leave with full pay, pending the finalisation of the criminal investigation.

Mapisa-Nqakula said the ombudsman has recommended that appropriate action be taken against the commander of the platoon and those who were with the commander at the time.

Mapisa-Nqakula has written to the SANDF chief to cooperate with the recommendations.

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