Macia's brain injuries alone could have killed him - pathologist

2015-07-31 14:58
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 - Mozambican taxi driver Mido Macia might still be alive if he had received timeous medical intervention, a pathologist told the High Court in Pretoria on Friday.

"Medical intervention would have made a difference," Gauteng chief state pathologist Dr Solly Skosana said.

Skosana testified he had visited the scene at the Daveyton police station while Macia's body was still there and later performed an autopsy.

He described the massive extent of Macia's injuries in painful detail and identified the cause of death as extensive soft tissue injuries and a lack of oxygen.

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, have 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, which caused a massive international outcry about police brutality.

Macia was confronted for obstructing traffic with his taxi, but ended up being dragged behind a police van while allegedly handcuffed to the inside of the van and dying a lonely, painful death in a police holding cell.

The pathologist testified Macia was lying on the holding cell floor facing up with his arms above his head. He had clotted blood underneath his face and around his mouth area.

Further examination of the cells showed some blood spots on the walls and floor.

A post-mortem examination revealed various lacerations and swellings on the top and back of the skull and jaw and linear and friction abrasions stretching from his chest to the small of his back.

He had abrasions on his arms and legs, abrasions around both wrists caused by handcuffs, bruising on the inside of his upper lip and an abrasions on the inside of his right toe.

The friction abrasions would have been caused by dragging and the lacerations by "blunt, excessive force", he said.

Dissection showed bleeding on the surface of the brain and fluid in all of the brain tissue.

Although there were no broken ribs, the spaces between the ribs were bruised, there were haemorrhages in both lungs and the lungs were full of blood. Haemorrhages were also observed in the heart.

Skosana testified the injuries to Macia's brain alone could have led to his death and the additional injuries had added to an already grave situation.

Judge Bert Bam provisionally postponed the trial to Monday to allow defence counsel Marius van Wyngaard to consult with another pathologist.

Read more on:    police  |  police brutality  |  crime

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