Macia assaulted, disarmed police officer - defence

2015-07-29 15:44
Mido Macia (File, AP)

Mido Macia (File, AP)

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Pretoria - Mozambican taxi driver Mido Macia assaulted a police officer and grabbed the officer's gun before being dragged down a street by a police van, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Wednesday.

This emerged when defence lawyer Marius van Wyngaardt, representing five of the nine police charged with Macia's murder, was cross-examining State witness Mahlatse Sekwati.

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 down Eiselen Street in Daveyton - went viral.

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 claimed he was alive when he was put in the cell.

Warning shot

Van Wyngaardt told the court, according to the police's version, they got out of the police van, approached Macia and asked him to move his car.

"Mam, the deceased [Macia] insulted the police officers where accused number one showed him his police card and asked him to move his vehicle. The deceased [Macia] was aggressive already at this stage," he said.

"The deceased got out of the vehicle, he assaulted accused number one, he also disarmed accused number one. At that stage, accused number two parked the police van in front of the vehicle of the deceased."

"Accused number two got out of the vehicle, he saw that the deceased was in possession of a firearm that was pointing in the direction of accused number one."

Sekwati said that was a lie. Van Wyngaardt told the court Macia was instructed by the policeman who still had his weapon to put down the gun, which he did not do.

Sekwati responded: "There was no gun there."

Van Wyngaardt said that was when the policeman with the gun fired a warning shot into the air, surprising Macia, who then put down the gun.

Sekwati again contradicted Van Wyngaardt, saying the warning shot was actually fired when the crowd closed in on police after Macia was overpowered and attached to the police van.

"There was no firearm present there. Mido was not in possession of the firearm. The police did not fire the shit, but Mido was never in possession of the firearm," she said.

The trial continues.

Read more on:    mido macia  |  johannesburg  |  police brutality  |  crime
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