Macia punched and insulted cops, court told

2015-08-05 19:39
Mido Macia (Picture: AP)

Mido Macia (Picture: AP)

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Pretoria - The former policeman who arrested Mido Macia did not check on the injured taxi driver because he had insulted and punched him, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Tuesday.

The policeman, former detective warrant officer Meshack Malele, who was himself injured, testified that he too "could have died".

"I did nothing [to help Macia]. I was hurt. I was in pain," Malele told the court.

He said Macia had been aggressive and insulted him by mentioning "the private parts of the mothers of police officers" after he was reprimanded for blocking traffic on a Daveyton street.

Malele and seven fellow former constables have pleaded not guilty to a charge of murdering Macia on February 26 2013.

They allegedly handcuffed him to the back of a police van and dragged him along the street, before assaulting him at the Daveyton police station. They also allegedly failed to get Macia medical help.

Malele testified that Macia had told him the police did not know how to do their job. He said Macia then punched him and grabbed his service pistol.

He said Macia hit him with a fist on the right cheek, causing him to lose a tooth.

'I nearly wet myself'

Malele said he then heard a voice telling Macia to put down the firearm or he would be shot.

"I heard this sound papaaaah [gunshot]. I nearly wet myself... because of fright," he said, adding that a former colleague and co-accused had fired a warning shot. Macia then handed back the gun, said Malele.

Malele said he used Macia's taxi to drive to the nearby police station to get back-up because the crowd was getting angry and he feared they might be "killed on the spot".

"On our arrival at the scene, I pointed out the suspect. I then said: 'You are under arrest for assault, grievous bodily harm, common robbery of a firearm, pointing of a firearm and crimen injuria'."

He said Macia resisted getting into the police van.

"He then said: 'You are mad, I'm not going inside the van.' Accused six [Lungisa Gwababa] asked him to go inside the van. He said no, using an insulting word... you do not know your work."

Eventually they drove Macia away. Malele repeatedly denied seeing him being dragged behind the van.

Malele said he didn't go into the Daveyton police cells to check on Macia. Instead he filled in forms and tried to get medical help for himself at the nearby clinic.

Macia's injuries were not severe enough to cause his death and he never thought he would die, he said.

Questioned by prosecutor Charles Mnisi and Judge Bert Bam, he conceded that he knew Macia had been injured, but said he did nothing to help his detainee because he himself was a victim.

Former constable Thamsanqa Ngema testified to seeing a fight between Macia and Malele and fired a warning shot after seeing Macia grab his colleague's firearm.

Ngema said Macia had tried to bribe him to let him go. He said Macia became aggressive when he refused, and Macia wrestled with him to retrieve his driver's licence.

'I did not know what to do'

He said Macia was handcuffed, with one of the cuffs still dangling loose. Ngema and his colleagues put Macia into the back of the van, despite his resistance.

He fired warning shots when the crowd became angry.

"The next thing I saw... the deceased is hooked to the leg of the bench and is seated on the tarmac.

"Then a problem arose. When I moved closer to the deceased, members of the community were making noise. It was becoming chaotic. They threatened to burn down the van. Others were asking what he did. Others were saying shoot.

"I became afraid. I was also confused. I did not know what to do.

"I did not know if I should go on with the arrest, or face the community. What hurt very much is that the deceased was now attached to the van in a manner which is not proper.

"I do remember the van moving from there. When it moved, I took a decision to face the deceased. I grabbed his leg. I was trying to save him that when the van moved away he should not be injured.”

Ngema said he had to let go of Macia's legs when the van started moving too fast. He shouted at the driver to stop, but the van kept moving.

He denied assaulting Macia in the cells, but said he had seen him sitting on a bench, leaning against the wall. He had made sure that an ambulance was called.

The trial continues.

Read more on:    mido macia  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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