Macia family disappointed with handling of case

2013-03-04 12:59

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The family of the taxi driver who died while in police custody expressed disappointment today with the way the Benoni Magistrates’ Court had handled the case.

“We don’t feel okay. They actually said nothing today,” Badanisile Ngwenya said outside the court. Ngwenya was speaking on behalf of the family of Mozambican Mido Macia (27). He had rented a room in her backyard. She walked out of court with Mido’s father Joseph.

“This man is here to fetch his son’s corpse home. It’s not fair what they did and we are leaving without answers,” she said.

The frail man aired his dissatisfaction in a soft voice.

The eight police officers implicated in Macia’s death did not appear in court after the prosecution said an identity parade still had to be held.

The identity parade is scheduled for Thursday. They are expected to apply for bail on Friday.

About 100 Daveyton residents protested outside the court. Many of the women wore traditional Mozambican garments over their clothes.

“Steve Biko also died in police custody,” read a poster waved by one of the demonstrators.

Protesters complained they had been sent from pillar to post today.

It was initially reported that the case would be heard in the Daveyton Magistrates’ Court and several residents went there only to be told it had been moved to the Benoni Magistrates’ Court.

They vowed to be at the court for the duration of the trial when it started.

Two warrant officers and six constables have been charged with the murder of Macia, who was allegedly tied to the back of a police van and dragged along a street in Daveyton last Tuesday. An eyewitness filmed the assault.

Macia was found dead in the local police station’s holding cells several hours later. A postmortem revealed he had died of head and internal injuries.

At the time, Independent Police Investigative Directorate spokesperson Moses Dlamini said police claimed they ordered Macia to move when they found his minibus illegally parked.

“It is alleged that the taxi driver then assaulted the constable and took his police firearm. The warrant officer overpowered the taxi driver and handed the firearm back to his colleague,” he said.

Dlamini said the officer then called for backup.

The police claimed they put the “resisting suspect” into the police van and took him to the police station.

Cosatu alleged that police had said Macia died when other men attacked him in the cells.

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