Pretoria – Civil rights group #NotInMyName on Monday criticised the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) following the death of a 40-year-old man who was allegedly killed during a crackdown in Alexandra, north of Johannesburg.
#NotInMyName secretary general Themba Masango said the police and the armed forces have been selective in their application of the law in the enforcement of the country’s lockdown regulations.
“SAPS and SANDF conduct has regrettably been under scrutiny for enforcing the lockdown regulations based on race and class; [and] that poorer communities are the subject of the brutality and general violation of basic human rights. Consequently, the punishment for breaching lockdown regulations is not consistent across ordinary citizens and governmental leaders,” said Masango.
“NotInMyName hereby condemns the behaviour of SANDF and SAPS during the national lockdown.”
Masango said the death of 40-year-old Collins Khoza in Alexandra brought the number of South African citizens who have since died at the hands of the police and army since the lockdown began on March 27, to nine.
“Khoza’s death has increased the number of people killed by the police and soldiers to nine for allegedly violating the national lockdown since its inception,” he said.
The Sunday Independent reported that, according to witnesses and Khoza’s family, he died after soldiers assaulted him for drinking alcohol inside a yard with his friend, Thabiso Muvhango.
Accusing the two men of having violated the Covid-19-related national lockdown, the three soldiers allegedly raided Muvhango’s home at Far East Bank after noticing a camp chair and a half-full cup of alcohol in the yard.
Last week, South Africans expressed shock and disappointment at Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, after she apparently flouted the lockdown regulations and had lunch with friends.
Former deputy minister of higher education Mduduzi Manana shared a photograph on Instagram showing himself and Ndabeni-Abrahams, whom he described as a friend, at a table with several other people having a meal at his home.
He captioned the photo: “It was great to host a former colleague and dear sister Cde Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams on her way back from executing critical and essential services.”
Manana has since removed the photo.
Ramaphosa placed Ndabeni-Abrahams on special leave for two months, one month of which will be unpaid. The minister apologised for her conduct.
African News Agency (ANA)
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By Jonisayi Maromo