Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 13 July 2014

Dragged-man police on murder charge

Video footage showed immigrant taxi driver Mido Macia being dragged behind a police van

Eight South African police officers have been charged with murder for the death of a taxi driver dragged by a police vehicle. A videotape of the incident has become a worldwide symbol of police brutality in South Africa.

Earlier friends and relatives of Mido Macia gathered around a simple wooden table in the poor township of Daveyton, to mourn the death of the 27-year-old who died shortly after the dragging incident on Tuesday.

Late today, eight policemen from Daveyton were charged with murder, said Moses Dlamini of the police investigation unit.

South Africa's police chief Gen Riah Phiyega said she shared "the extreme shock and outrage" over the video evidence of abuse of Mr Macia by police officers and said his rights were "violated in the most extreme form."

The officers allegedly involved had been suspended and the local police commander removed from his post.

The detention and dragging of the man, a taxi driver from Mozambique, who had parked in the wrong spot, was videotaped by members of a horrified crowd of onlookers.

The scandal is the latest to undermine confidence in South Africa's police force, which has expanded from 120,000 to nearly 200,000 over a decade.

"When dealing with 200,000 employees, it is never an easy environment," Gen Phiyega said. "There will always be incidents such as this."

Mr Macia suffered head and upper abdomen injuries, including internal bleeding. The injuries could be from the dragging and he could also have been beaten later in police custody.

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