Human rights groups and experts have welcomed a series of orders issued by a South African court that compel authorities to prevent police and army brutality during the enforcement of a lockdown meant to curb the spread of coronavirus.
In its judgement on Friday, the Pretoria-based High Court declared that everyone in the country is entitled to a number of human rights – including the right to life, the right not to be tortured in any way and the right not to be treated or punished in a cruel, inhuman or degrading way – even during an emergency.
It came after an urgent application brought by the family of Collins Khosa, a father of three who died of his injuries after he was allegedly beaten by security forces on April 10, two weeks into the country’s lockdown.
The court heard from Khosa’s family that members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) entered his home in Johannesburg’s Alexandra township after a cup of alcohol was found in his yard.
Sales of alcohol are not allowed under the coronavirus containment measures but it is not clear why the SANDF officers entered Khosa’s house.
In her affidavit, his partner Nomsa Montsha claimed that the security forces poured beer on Khosa after dragging him outside, slammed him against a cement wall and hit him with the butt of a machinegun.
Afterwards, Khosa began vomiting, was unable to walk and lost consciousness. He was declared dead a few hours later. Montsha and Khosa’s brother-in-law said they were also assaulted.
Source: Al Jazeera
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