Macia should have got urgent medical help, court hears

2015-08-03 16:37
The nine accused of killing Mico Macia. (Adam Wakefield, News24)

The nine accused of killing Mico Macia. (Adam Wakefield, News24)

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Pretoria - The arresting officer in charge of Mido Macia, the Mozambican taxi driver who died after being dragged behind a police van, should have made sure that he received medical help, a police trainer has told the High Court in Pretoria.

Warrant Officer Yolanda Coetzer, a trainer at the Pretoria West Police College, explained the procedure to be followed after a person was arrested and especially if the person was injured.

She was testifying in the trial of former Daveyton policemen Meshack Malele, 46, Thamsamqa Mgema, 35, Percy Jonathan Mnisi, 26, Bongamusa Mdluli, 25, Sipho Sydwell Ngobeni, 30, Lungisa Gwababa, 31, Bongani Kolisi, 27, Linda Sololo, 56, and Matome Walter Ramatlou, 37, who pleaded not guilty to a charge of murdering Macia.

They were arrested after a video emerged in 2013 of Macia being dragged behind a police van through the streets of Daveyton on the East Rand.

Coetzer testified that the arresting officer (Malele) had to make make a note in the occurrence book if an arrested person was injured.

"It is his duty to then phone an ambulance to come out and assist with medical treatment. This procedure must also be noted in the occurrence book.

"When the arresting officer brings in an arrested person, usually he's detained in a holding cell because it is for him [the officer] to do the paper work, for example notification of rights and personal property.

"From there you usually give him the opportunity to phone a lawyer or family member and then, if all procedures have been completed, you take him to the main cells where the cell commander takes responsibility for him."

Responsibility

Defence Advocate Marius van Wyngaard told her that the cell commander had testified that he took responsibility for Macia the moment he entered into the holding cell and was in command of the occurrence book and cell register.

Coetzer said she could not comment on the evidence, but the procedure was that the arresting officer had to complete all of the paperwork and see to it that the detainee was, for example, searched.

Van Wyngaard put it to her that according to the standing orders, police were not allowed to transport injured persons with police vehicles, but had to wait for an ambulance.

"The only thing I know is you can, as a police officer, transport a person to hospital in a police vehicle if it's serious and you think the person can stand it. Otherwise you can use your discretion to phone an ambulance," Coetzer said.

She emphasised that even when the community service centre commander was there, the onus was primarily on the arresting officer to go and find out what happened and if an ambulance was coming, because he was the person who did the paperwork.

An Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) investigator on Friday testified that Macia's injuries had not been noted in the occurrence book and that there was no reason for him to be in the cells, as there was no statement by the arresting officer in the police docket, nor any indication that Macia had been warned of his rights.

The court heard evidence last week that Macia had already died when paramedics arrived at the police station.

A senior state pathologist, Dr Solly Skosana, testified in detail about Macia's horrific head, chest and other injuries and said he could have survived if he had received timely medical help.

Macia died as a result of extensive soft tissue injuries and a lack of oxygen caused by his injuries.

Dr Skosana's cross-examination will commence on Tuesday.

Read more on:    mido macia  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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