Police dragged Macia by accident - defence

2015-07-28 15:26
A screen-grab of a video taken of Mido Macia being dragged behind a police vehicle.

A screen-grab of a video taken of Mido Macia being dragged behind a police vehicle. (Daily Voice)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pretoria - Mozambican taxi driver Mido Macia became attached to a police van and was dragged down a Daveyton street by accident, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Tuesday.

Marius van Wyngaardt, defence lawyer for five of the nine policemen implicated in Macia's murder, was cross-examining State witness Lindiwe Ngwenya when the police's version of events emerged. 

Thamsanqa Ncema, Linda Sololo, Meshack Malele, Motome Walter Ramatlou, Percy Mnisi, Bongumusa Mdluli, Sipho Ngobeni, Lungisa Ewababa, and Bongani Kolisi were arrested after a video showing Macia being tied to the back of a police van and dragged through the streets went viral and caused public outrage.

Police say they had a confrontation with Macia on February 26 2013, when he refused to move his taxi, which was obstructing traffic.

Macia was found dead in the police holding cells several hours later. He was wearing his underwear and socks. His trousers were later found in another part of the police station.

A post-mortem found that he died from a lack of oxygen. The police have denied playing any part in Macia's death, and have claimed he was alive when he was put in the cell.

Van Wyngaardt told the court that open handcuffs accidentally hooked onto a leg on the left side of the bench inside the police van as police attempted to get Macia inside. 

'Scared for their own safety'

Ngwenya queried how it could have been an accident when she saw two officers grab Macia's legs.

Van Wyngaardt said by this stage the community were throwing stones at police and putting them in danger, and what she saw was two of the officers attempting to get Macia inside the vehicle.

"He [Ewababa] was scared for their own safety and the safety of the police vehicle as a result of the actions of the community," he said. 

Ngwenya replied: "Members of the community started behaving badly when they saw the behaviour of the police".

Van Wyngaardt responded, "Ma'am, accused number 6 [Ewababa] will say to the court that just after he got into the driver's side of the van, he can remember accused number seven coming to the driver's side, but could not hear what accused number seven was saying to him.

"During this time the right back window of the double cab of the police van was also shattered with a brick or something by the community members."

Ngwenya said community members broke the window when police were already dragging Macia down the street.

'When the van reversed they were looking at him'

Van Wyngaardt said Ewababa would tell the court he heard a firearm being discharged, and there was a car parked in front of the police van which caused him to reverse.

"At that stage, accused number six [Ewababa] was unaware of the fact that the deceased was hanging from the handcuffs and was hanging on the back of the van, on the road surface," he said.

Ngweyna said that was not correct.

"He [Ewababa] saw him, he was at the back, they [the police officers] were surrounding him... and they were standing in front of him looking at him. When the van reversed they were looking at him."

Van Wyngaardt said Ewababa had started driving to the police station, and at no stage was aware Macia was at the back of van being dragged, which produced murmurs from the gallery.

Ngwenya told the court there was a police vehicle following the van from behind and it could have put its sirens on to let Ewababa know Macia was being dragged.

Van Wyngaardt said the second police car drove after the van and flicked its lights to signal to Ewababa to stop.

Ngwenya said if Ewababa had not seen the other police car, it should have radioed him to stop.

Van Wyngaardt told the court that police drove about 100m down Eiselen Street, then turned onto another street where the second police car managed to get Ewababa's attention to stop. Ngwenya said she did not see that happen.

He said once Macia was loaded into the police van, he was taken about 300m down the street to the police station, where he was handed over to the cell commander of the station.

The trial continues.


Read more on:    saps  |  mido macia  |  pretoria  |  crime

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
34 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.