by Allanah Leahy – EM TV Online
Eight former police officers have been found guilty of the 2013 murder of a taxi driver.
The taxi driver, by the name of Mido Macia, was tied to the back of a police truck and driven through a busy Johannesburg street two years ago, with the whole incident caught on camera by onlookers.
In South Africa, around 1,000 people die while in police custody every year, but the country took a firm stance against police brutality this week, finding eight police officers guilty of the brutal murder of 27-year-old taxi driver Mido Macia.
Macia had parked his car on the wrong side of the road, and in response to his resistance of arrest over a minor traffic breach, police assaulted Macia, before handcuffing him to the back of a police van and dragging him for hundreds of metres. In just over two hours later, Macia was found dead in a police cell in a pool of blood.
“This conviction sends a clear message that brutality within the police service will not be tolerated. Police are expected to protect the public, to investigate crime within the framework of human rights,” said Luvuyo Mfaku, a spokesman from South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority.
Judge Bert Bam dismissed police claims that Macia had violently resisted arrest, saying he was entitled to resist arrest as he had been unlawfully arrested and detained. Although giving little consolation, the sentencing is a definite closure for relatives of Macia.
“Today, I feel very happy when I hear that they have found them guilty today. I was not happy to see them outside looking all fine, while what they had done does not make anyone happy,” said Melita Macia, a family relative.
All eight police officers are to be sentenced next month, to up to 15 years in prison.