Dead taxi driver who was dragged behind South African police van 'was facing homicide charge'
Monday 11 March 2013
The Mozambican taxi driver who died after being dragged behind a police van was facing culpable homicide charges himself, a South African court heard today.
Images of Mido Macia, 27, were broadcast around the world after several police officers were filmed handcuffing him to the van on the outskirts of Johannesburg. He was found dead hours later in a police holding cell, lying half dressed in a pool of blood. Eight police officers were arrested for his murder, with a ninth turning himself in as the others appeared in court to apply for bail.
The mother of Mr Macia’s partner wept as the results of a post-mortem were read out in court today. The second autopsy – ordered after an initial report blamed his injuries on a fight in jail – described a horrific, extensive series of wounds on his body.
Mr Macia died of hypoxia – a lack of oxygen – but he also sustained deep cuts to his arms, possibly in an attempt to defend himself, and there were bruises over his body, his face and his genitals. Almost all of his internal organs were damaged, and he had suffered bleeding around his brain.
Prosecutors said in court that a witness can testify that when Mr Macia was taken to the cell, he was crying, bleeding, and trouserless. They say the level of violence inflicted on his body means that officers knew what they were doing could result in his death.
All nine maintain their innocence, with only two even mentioning the public dragging incident, suggesting instead that Mr Macia attempted to assault an officer prior to his arrest.
Defence attorneys have now alleged that Mr Macia may have been involved in an accident just days before his death in which five schoolchildren were killed. They gave few details of the incident, but insinuated that some of the taxi driver’s injuries may have been a result of this accident.
The state prosecution has vehemently opposed bail, primarily on the basis that the officers accused of Mr Macia’s murder would have access to key witnesses, including colleagues in the police service, as well as material evidence, some of which they say has already gone missing. Testifying in court, Mandla Mahlangu, the lead investigator from South Africa’s police watchdog, said proper procedure was not followed in the hours after his death.
Two of the nine officers accused have pending charges against them for attempting to pervert the course of justice. The state argues that they should be kept behind bars.
Lawyers acting on behalf of Mr Macia’s family, most of whom returned to Mozambique for his funeral on Saturday, have confirmed that they will be instituting civil proceedings against the Minister of Police. The bail hearing is set to continue tomorrow.
Newcastle winger is in Argentina having chemotherapy
Returning to the stage after 20 years makes actress feel 'nauseous'
Top conservatoire offers ‘groundbreaking’ arts degree
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 Grandmas keep accidentally tagging themselves as Grandmaster Flash on Facebook
- 4 Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
- 5 Kanye West halts concert after two fans don't stand up - doesn't realise one is in wheelchair and the other disabled
Islamic State: Pope is 'being targeted by Isis', Iraqi ambassador to the Holy See warns
Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton nude pictures exhibition cancelled after artist concedes photos were 'stolen property'
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
John Travolta addresses former pilot's gay romance allegations publicly for the first time: 'That was the lowest I'd ever felt'
Richard III: Two years after his body was found scientists discover how he died
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
This is an unpaid voluntary role.: Cancer Research UK: We need motivational vo...
£50 - £85 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Rapidly developing and growing ...
£1034496 - £1516224 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: The Job:Randstad ...
£85 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Randstad Education are urgentl...