Daveyton cops plead not guilty to Macia murder

2013-03-08 19:03

The police officers arrested in connection with the death of Mozambican national Mido Macia at the Daveyton Police Station holding cells have pleaded not guilty to his murder.

The group, who are currently on suspension, appeared in the Benoni Magistrates’ Court today for a formal bail application. But the matter was postponed to Monday to allow the state to file opposing affidavits.

Meshack Malele (46), Thamsanqa Ngema (35), Percy Mnisi (26), Bongumusa Mdluli (25), Sipho Ngubeni (30), Lungisa Gwababa (31), Bongani Kolisi (27) and Linda Sololo (56) were remanded in custody.

The officers allegedly assaulted taxi driver Macia and dragged him, handcuffed, behind a police van for several hundred metres. An autopsy revealed that his death was the result of internal bleeding.

The accused bowed their heads as the defence lawyers read their affidavit as part of their bail application.

They said they were surprised to learn that Macia had died while in custody as they had left him alive after arresting him and he did not complain of injuries.

Earlier, court proceedings were delayed after the media brought an urgent application to broadcast the proceedings live.

The defence objected to the application, arguing that it would put the accused in danger.

One of the defence lawyers representing six of the accused, Elias Tsheole, said: “If photographers and videographers are allowed to take and publish images of the accused it could jeopardise their safety.

“Publishing their photo is not in the interest of the accused or society.”

But, senior prosecutor December Mthimunye disagreed, saying the case was in the public interest.

Magistrate Samuel Makamu granted the media permission to take photos of the accused, but before or after the court proceedings.

He said the judgment could be broadcast live.

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