Anti-Racism Network of South Africa demands action in Khoza case

    Members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) patrol the streets of Alexandra during the Covid-19 lockdown. Photo:

    ALEX – The Anti-Racism Network of South Africa has demanded that decisive action must be taken against those responsible for the death of Alex resident, Collins Khoza.

    The Anti-Racism Network of South Africa (Arnsa) is demanding that government deals decisively with members of the South African National Defence Force implicated in the death of Alexandra resident Collins Khoza in March.

    Khoza is alleged to have died at the hands of soldiers who had been deployed to assist the police in ensuring the lockdown regulations imposed by government in the fight against Covid-19 were adhered to by Alex residents.

    It is alleged members of the defence force found Khoza drinking beer on his property and manhandled him, leading to his death. No arrests have so far been made regarding the incident and those suspected of the crime have not been suspended from their duties in the army.

    Arnsa expressed its outrage at the fact that the brutality meted out to predominantly African people living in informal settlements and townships on a daily basis was no different to the manner in which the apartheid State-enforced unjust racist laws using the might of the repressive regime against unarmed black people.

    “We condemn the lack of accountability from our democratic government institutions to hold the perpetrators accountable. This includes the Chapter 9 institutions which are meant to be the vanguard and custodians of the governance structure of our democracy,” Arnsa said in a statement.

    “It is a matter of great shame that actions of our security forces should parallel the racist treatment of black people, and men in particular, at the hands of [alleged] racist police forces in the USA.”

    Arnsa demanded that government dealt decisively with members of security forces who make themselves guilty of excessive, unnecessary and degrading treatment of people in the society they were mandated to protect.

    “We further demand that loopholes and deficiencies in legislation dealing with how society is policed be addressed as a matter of urgency.

    “The initial and ongoing training of police, military and other security forces should be strengthened with intensive training in civic education, human rights, conflict management and prevention.

    “We call for stronger accountability measures to be instituted in relation to watchdog bodies that are mandated to investigate abuses by security forces and ensure that all perpetrators are prosecuted and not protected by the State.”

    Arnsa said it had also committed its members to work with government and its security cluster to shift attitudes and thought processes that drove the negative actions and behaviour of security force members.


    By: Sipho Siso