PRETORIA– THE murder of Mozambican taxi driver Mido Macia had several effects, including damaging relations between Mozambique and South Africa, the SA Human Rights Commission said on Wednesday.
“This case caused irreparable harm to the family of Mr Macia. It has affected our international relations with Mozambique and it cast a long shadow over the honest attempts by the SA Police Service to rid the service of rogue cops,” the SAHRC said in a statement on Wednesday.
“While the SAHRC is highly appreciative of the clarity of the judgement, particularly regarding the poor version on the part of the accused, the recent incident of police brutality regarding an alleged assault by Douglasdale police officials highlights the long-term nature of this scourge.”
Another case of alleged police brutality has been exposed after a YouTube video emerged thrusting Douglasdale police into the spotlight again.
“What is of concern is that the case of Mr Macia as well as the Douglasdale one are highlighted by the use of photographic images. We have to ask what is happening where there are no cameras and no shining lights,” the SAHRC said.
“It is clear that our democratic policing suffers from the same notion of police forces worldwide, that power is fun and that human rights only enter that terrain with consistent persistence.
The organisation welcomed the judgment in the murder trial of eight police officers who were found guilty of the 2013 murder of Macia.
The High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday found former Daveyton police officers Bongamusa Mdluli, Meshack Malele, Thamsanqa Ngema, Percy Mnisi, Sipho Ngobeni, Lungisa Gwababa, Bongani Kolisi and Linda Sololo guilty of the February 2013 murder.
Macia was approached by members of the police on February 26 2013, after he illegally parked his taxi and caused a traffic jam. An altercation between him and the police ensued. The officers arrested him and tried to place him in the back of a police van.
According to the accused, one of Macia’s handcuffs became entangled around the leg of a bench in the back of the van when he fell out of the vehicle. They claimed he was dragged along the streets in Daveyton to the local police station by mistake.
However, the State argued that the accused were well aware of the fact he was being dragged behind the van. Macia was later found dead in the Daveyton police station’s holding cells, half naked and bleeding.
The incident, which was filmed on a cellphone and widely distributed via social media, made international headlines and sparked several protests against police brutality. – ANA