Cases of police brutality have always been common in South Africa but it appears that lately there has been a wave of particularly brazen incidents. The words ‘shoot to kill’ were supposed to instill fear in criminals but they have the same impact on the general public.
News24 shared footage of a video clip showing a man tied to a moving police van. The Mozambican taxi driver, Mido Macia, was dragged around for a few hundred metres suffering severe injuries. He later died in police custody in the Daveyton police station. An autopsy conducted noted the cause of death as head trauma and internal bleeding. The horrific, amateur footage was captured by a witness at the scene on Tuesday.
President Jacob Zuma spoke out about this shocking display of disegard for human rights. He said that no human being should be treated in such a way and that the visuals were ‘horrific, disturbing and unacceptable’. As far as the president is concerned, this behaviour reeks of lawlessness. He demanded a thorough investigation into the matter under the direction of Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa.
According to spokesperson Moses Dlamini, Mido Macia’s taxi was causing traffic by obstructing other vehicles. When confronted by the two policeman, it is alleged that Macia resisted arrest and took possession of one of the officer’s firearm.
Anger and disbelief is the common reaction to what is yet another incident where excessive force was used by the police. Calls for a speedy and detailed investigation accompany most initial reactions to this story. Acting Provincial Commissioner Major General Phumzo Gela has been given the task of heading the investigation. Current Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega expects urgent feedback on this case.