Phiyega 'concerned' by police brutality

2013-02-28 13:04

Johannesburg - National police commissioner Riah Phiyega is deeply concerned about allegations that police brutality led to the death of a minibus taxi driver on the East Rand, her office said on Thursday.

"The matter is viewed by the national commissioner in a very serious light and it is strongly condemned," said her spokesperson Brigadier Phuti Setati.

Mozambican Mido Macia, 27, was allegedly dragged behind a police vehicle and was later found dead in the holding cells of the Daveyton police station, in Benoni, on Tuesday night.

Setati said the death had been reported to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) for criminal investigation and the police would fully co-operate with its investigation to ensure justice was served.

Phiyega had also instructed acting provincial commissioner Major General Phumzo Gela to immediately start an internal investigation into the death and provide feedback as a matter of urgency, he said.


Amnesty International has called the death shocking.

"This appalling incident involving excessive force is the latest in an increasingly disturbing pattern of brutal police conduct in South Africa," Amnesty International's Southern Africa director Noel Kututwa said.

"Amnesty International urges the South African government to make a public commitment to ensure that the police stop the use of excessive force and deliberate targeted killings."

On Wednesday, Ipid confirmed that the death was being probed.

"We are still interviewing the witnesses because the allegations are that he was dragged [along] with the police vehicle," spokesperson Moses Dlamini said.

Dlamini said two policemen switched on their siren, indicating that Macia should move his vehicle, when they saw it obstructing traffic in Empilweni Street earlier on Wednesday.

"It is also alleged that the taxi driver then assaulted the constable and took his police firearm," he said.

"The warrant officer overpowered the taxi driver and handed the firearm back to his colleague," he said.

The warrant officer then took a taxi to the Daveyton police station to call for back-up.

'Resisting suspect'

"When back-up arrived, the constable was still at the scene, struggling to put the suspect in the police van," said Dlamini.

He said officers put the "resisting suspect" into the police van and took him to the police cells.

He was found dead by another police officer later in the day.

An inquest docket had been opened, and the police had also opened a case of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm against the man.

Dlamini said a post mortem conducted on Wednesday indicated that the man died of head injuries, with internal bleeding.

"They [policemen] are only saying they locked him [up] and he was found by another police officer, but we are investigating," he said.

  • Julie Seaton - 2013-02-28 13:08

    I am simply embarrassed to be South African. How does the world view us...

      Susan Bates Roberts - 2013-02-28 13:17

      I agree with you Julie... its alleged? There is a damned video... maybe I'm stupid though and see or understand things differently

      toni.k.mcquillen - 2013-02-28 13:35

      This is terrible, who gives them the right to treat someone like this? Shocking!

      Mlungisi Botha - 2013-02-28 13:46

      People just don't die in prison. Someone kills them for God's sake. We are a violent country and we've reached the point of no return. We rape women and children and kill as a way of solving problems. If the so-called protectors of society are themselves the perpetrators of violence is it any wonder that people in this country are so negative? Of course not. This case will eventually be solved 6 months down the line and in the meantime the constitutional rights of the perpetrators are respected and they're allowed to carry on working and killing. It is embarrassing to belong to a country which becomes famous for reasons of rape, killings, corruption etc.

      briantebogo - 2013-02-28 13:46

      They were busy putting together a fabricated defence, not realising the video is already out.

      Chris John - 2013-02-28 13:56

      They were South African. That's enough.

      john.silver.3572846 - 2013-02-28 14:12

      Gift - err, no. Check the video - cannot blame Calvinist upbringing or apartheid for this one dear.

      Sponono Sangwana - 2013-02-28 14:17

      We are sending confusing messages to the already uneducated and confused police officers. There is a high call for the the police to deal with the taxi driver's lawlessness from the citizens and yet when they become barbaric which is what we asking them to be, we raise our eyebrows.He shouldn't have been treated like that and he shouldn't have resisted police arrest either. Both parties were stupid in their actions.

      Mark Stoltz - 2013-02-28 14:18

      you will come to learn South Africa is a "lost, foreign country"

      Beastley - 2013-02-28 14:25

      @Sponono - Stupidity is driving in the yellow line, jumping a stop street and parking anywhere. DRAGGING AND KILLING A MAN BEHIND A POLICE VAN IS MURDER I dont like Taxi drivers, I think they are a law unto themselves but I absolutely loath the useless, fat, arrogant, ignorant, morons called the SAPS.

      arthur.adams.988 - 2013-02-28 14:27

      Cant understand people, the one day they all scream bring the dead penalty back (kill him). And that’s even before JUB Jub was convicted. The Guy assaulted a police officer and took his firearm , cops get killed every day like this and for this reason excessive force was granted. , how do we know he didn’t continue with this behaviour at the police station. When you watch the video from an unbiased point of view and you’ll noticed that they were not that cruel.

      Beastley - 2013-02-28 14:34

      @Arthur - WOW , that is thee most callous remark I have ever read. I don't think rampant thug street justice deployed by fat morons in an SAPS outfit and the bringing back of the death penalty for horrible, disgusting crimes are even vaguely related. What I do think though is that you need help if you think this isn't cruel.

      arthur.adams.988 - 2013-02-28 15:05

      @ Beastly, Please inform me when force is necessary should cops wait until they get shot. At what Please don’t generalise, not all officers are useless, fat, arrogant, ignorant, morons. You say taxi drivers are a law onto themselves, well these officers tried to enforce the law by asking this guy to move his taxi. Please do me a favour and watch the video again; you will see that they struggled to get the guy into the van. The police officers at the back tried to stop the van when it started reversing. In the video you can see there was a car parked in front of the van. You can also clearly see that the officers became uncomfortable when the crowd started to get involved. When the van started moving the cops picked the guy up so that he doesn’t get dragged. They again stopped, picked him up again but it appears that the van was moving too fast. That’s where the video stops. At this point we don’t know whether he died while being dragged, we don’t know whether the cops planned to dragged him.

      gerald.mphuthi - 2013-02-28 15:15

      Boy ! we're making international headlines for all the wrong reasons

      bazza19824 - 2013-02-28 15:20

      Police brutality is getting worse in the townships. My domestic lives next door to 82 year old man, every Sunday as long as she can remember, he walks to the shop, buys a paper and a quart of beer (is his only drink he has for the week), and sits on his stoop. Police got hold him few weeks back, and beat him black and blue for being so called drunken and disorderly, he had not even cracked his beer open yet. The police said to everybody who saw it, if they say anything they are next. No wonder why criminals keep on committing crimes when our own law enforcers are busy doing what they please.

      Beastley - 2013-02-28 15:35

      @Arthur - Every single time I have been pulled over, which is a lot over my life, the SAPS policemen who have done so have been befitting of the title of fat, ignorant, arrogant morons, so in my opinion they are completely and utterly useless. Secondly, deadly force is exclusively necessary when death is imminent if ones doesn't use it. This was not even vaguely the case in this circumstance. Thirdly, just because a taxi driver is not my fondest type of person, just because they are a law until themselves does not excuse in any way the actions of dragging a man behind a van resulting at some point in his death. Lastly, you really should consider seeking professional assistance if you find any of the actions of these policemen acceptable.

      the_gob - 2013-02-28 16:05

      As a foreigner living in South Africa, I can tell you what most of the world thinks of your country. I've been lucky enough to have travelled and have lots of foreign friends (from all over). One thing we all acknowledge, is that you have one of the most beautiful countries in the world. A huge diverse ecology (seas, beaches, mountains, deserts, savannas' and more) all in one country. But, and its a really big but. We also think, that SA is one of the most racist, xenophobic, crime infested countries in the world. Where you aren't really safe anywhere and always have to be on your guard. Its really sad to say but that's the opinion from us on the outside. Hope it helps...

      Tums Down - 2013-02-28 16:36

      Can the commissioner be a bit more proactive? She's always either disgusted or "suprised" by the actions of her officers.. The first this she needs to teach officers is that they are Public SERVANTS .. They need to address people as they would address a customer.. The courts are there to do the judging, the police are there to serve and protect...

      Punungwe - 2013-02-28 17:34

      @Sangwana, the guy was not injured during the course of being subdued. He was injured AFTER he was already subdued. And members of the public were shouting, "we are shooting, we are shooting [videos]" and the police still went ahead and dragged the man. Do you call that intelligent. They might as well have invited SABC, BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera for a news conference. What probably condemns SAPS in general is that they have not been arrested after the video has come out. It means the rest of their colleagues are sympathetic to what they did.

  • john.tex.395 - 2013-02-28 13:10

    eee eish it's so brutal

      Willie - 2013-02-28 14:33

      commissioner-- concerned!!!!!!! since when

  • Elgh Elgh - 2013-02-28 13:14

    He was not allegedly dragged, there is a video proving it.

      Beastley - 2013-02-28 14:27

      Only in the world we live in can a video show a person being dragged behind a police van and it is still alleged to have occurred. Pitiful

  • Annelise Van Der Schyff - 2013-02-28 13:14

    Head lines on sky news how embaresing!!!!!

      AFC - 2013-02-28 13:17

      You know what else is embarrassing? Your spelling....

      Keg - 2013-02-28 13:22

      Watch it grammer partol!!!

      gary.gordon.961993 - 2013-02-28 14:11

      Do they have powers of arrest Keg?

      Keg - 2013-02-28 14:30

      Apparently they do, motto is "Make no mistakes or we coming to get ya"

      arthur.adams.988 - 2013-02-28 14:31

      and ??

      arthur.adams.988 - 2013-02-28 15:32

      Like they didn’t have riots in England over police brutality. Six months ago there were also riots in the USA over police brutality.

  • Jimmy Don - 2013-02-28 13:16

    Absolutely horrendous !

      Poloyatonki - 2013-02-28 14:43

      Cops get killed and nobody makes a noise, and someone who is NOT even a south african gets dragged and its big out cry.

      tersia.louw.12 - 2013-02-28 19:27

      Let me see if I understand, Poloyatonki - cops getting killed - bad. Someone "not even a South African" killed - not bad? Everyone, including foreigners, has a right to life.

  • Iyanla Jakavula-Jordan - 2013-02-28 13:16

    it is evident that the guy was beaten up to death... those police men must pay, its so disgusting! The law must save and protect not kill. Im sure they heard his tone that he was not SAfrican hense he was brutally beaten. Nxxxx!!!!

      ttrevenen - 2013-02-28 15:39

      Xenaphobia rearing its ugly head in the SAPS!

      joanita.hilton - 2013-02-28 15:42

      was he beaten to death by the policemen in question? or beaten to death by fellow inmates? Maybe we should get the facts

  • wreford.white.9 - 2013-02-28 13:16

    Oh, puleeze, our esteemed amateur Police Comish is only "concerned" because of the irrefutable video evidence of the fact.

      RobertHess Hess - 2013-02-28 15:32

      there will then be a commission of enquiry that is going to take long time so that the space on news 24 can be filled with other amazing stories to give us time to forget about this one..full circle lets start over

  • Dan - 2013-02-28 13:17

    Why is this called an allegation? It is blatantly clear the cops are GUILTY !! Like so many other little mis-haps in our country and with it's leaders.

  • SteevO74 - 2013-02-28 13:17

    "We are still interviewing the witnesses because the allegations are that he was dragged [along] with the police vehicle," spokesperson Moses Dlamini said. It's not allegations, you half-wit, the proof is on camera!

  • veldt66 - 2013-02-28 13:18

    Disastrous thing one expect from police officers. South Africa is savage country, I can't believe what I saw on that video! Human life is worth nothing nothing nothing, how on earth do u drag someone like that from a car? AGRRRRRR

  • Dave - 2013-02-28 13:19

    Good, get Amenesty international, the United Nations and every single human rights organisation in the world to focus on and condemn this. Deeply concernd, she doesnt give a rats backside

  • Brad - 2013-02-28 13:21

    Oh! Well that makes me feel so much better about the situation...

  • Keg - 2013-02-28 13:21

    All you are is "concerned"? what about disgusted. embarassed, dissapointed etc. You are just as useless as all the one before you.

  • Ras Thami M - 2013-02-28 13:22

    We scared of the criminals the cops....babylon has fallen

  • matsutle.aphane - 2013-02-28 13:24

    i have seen that on TV it was so shocking,,,,! and embarrasing of our police force to act like that,,,! day light,,! in front of people,,,!

      Spats Domingo - 2013-02-28 13:36

      The people were actually spurring the whole thing on!!! What is this lust for blood in SA?

      ttrevenen - 2013-02-28 15:43

      Embarassing isn't what I'd call it! If this kind of thing occurs in broad day light with 50 plus witnesses you can only imagine what they get up to in the dark with no witnesses :(((

  • Paul De la Rey - 2013-02-28 13:27

    Did he die because of internal injuries or something else? Wait for autopsy before we charge these idiots on a powertrip with murder.

  • Theodore Mhlongo - 2013-02-28 13:27

    It sounds like a movie, disarming two police officers and taking their weapons and the other run to the police station to get backup, I guess he took their radio as well that they could not call for backup... A well trained Frelimo soldier... I wonder what will happen to our force if tomorrow mocambiqeu decide to wage war on us. The barracks and police stations will be empty.

      StormyWeather - 2013-02-28 13:36

      ha ha - good one Theodore!

      pravda - 2013-02-28 14:29

      nah, I think the sandf and saps will go on strike because they might get hurt in the line of duty.

  • StormyWeather - 2013-02-28 13:27

    Alleged - falls away when there is a video you stupid woman! Not fit to be the NPC! Oh god wouldn't it be nice if we had 'Commissioner Reagan' from Blue Blood as our Police Commissioner.... **dreaming**

  • Gary Doyle - 2013-02-28 13:28

    Phiyega must go, this idiot like Mthetwa knows sweet f*ck all about genuine police work and it's clearly showing every day. Eat humble pie jz and fire these useless pigs.

      Charmaine Sanic - 2013-02-28 13:36

      Gary unless you a police officer i would suggest you shut your mouth. you dont know the facts of the case other then what you have read. you just want the national commissioner gone but if you can do a better job be my guest. you have no idea what is going on at top level even if you a police officer. im a expolice officer and if that police people did wrong they should be charged and if found guilty serve time.

      Gary Doyle - 2013-02-28 13:48

      I have my experience. Much more than just this incident to illustrate the crap in the force, why defend phiyega, she's never been right for the job. Sort the trouble from the top to the bottom.

      Fther Christmas - 2013-02-28 14:46

      Sorry to say, but as an ex-cop this sort of thing is not something new. It just happened out of the public eye previously that's all.

      ttrevenen - 2013-02-28 15:48

      @Charmaine go back to sleep. The fact are not only what we have read but also what we have viewed on the video. You're obviously an EX police officer for a reason.

      wreford.white.9 - 2013-02-28 16:13

      @ Charmaine: If I was an "ex police officer" I certainly would not advertise that fact on any public forum. I would rather stand in the corner and stay quiet.

  • michael.felix.522 - 2013-02-28 13:29

    There is video footage. But wait and see they will be suspended for a few moths and return to work. THis is really Africa. NOT A PLACE FOR SISSIES ITS THE JUNGLE.OMG WHAT NEXT!!!!!!!!!!!!

      sheena.jordaan - 2013-02-28 13:52

      or they will loosse the footage......

      Beastley - 2013-02-28 14:30

      The footage is viral already ...

  • Marc van Olst - 2013-02-28 13:32

    'allegations' - seriously Genl Phiyega. I think we can safely say that the man 'was' dragged by your thugs, not alleged to have been 'dragged'. It must be pretty easy to identify the actual policemen and it surely doesn't need a commission of inquiry. If you can see it, there is no need to allegations. Please sort this out.

  • Henk Venter - 2013-02-28 13:33

    SO, Phiyega, While you had lots of comments on Oscar and violence in the country, why is it that this members are NOT in custody? This case is plain simple and forward, even easier to proof than the Oscar case? I mean what more do you want than video evidence of this nature? What is "alleged" mean if the world can see for themselve what the murderers are doing? I am sorry but what the police are saying and what they are doing is two different things!

      Edmirie Fourie - 2013-02-28 13:55

      I suppose if the police didn't have a car, the man would have been still alive. Sarcasm because its illegal to shoot people

  • Spats Domingo - 2013-02-28 13:35

    Reminiscent of the old SAP!

  • Siphiwo Khuzwayo - 2013-02-28 13:37

    Sad.This is sad. No amount of crime committed, that permits such brutality to humankind. Rest in peace Mido Macia, you did not deserve to die like this in a democratic country, like SA.

  • sheena.jordaan - 2013-02-28 13:39

    so Oscar allegedly shot and killed is girlfriend and the cops were quick enough to have his butt in jail.....these cops we have on video - proving their brutality, but they are still only investigating the issue, and these cops are still allowed to be walking around??? murder is matter how you look at it.

  • Albie Mwansa - 2013-02-28 13:44

    Police in South africa are so behind intellectually in comparison to the rest of the world, Zenophobic tendancies, Ignorance of current affairs, general knowledge competencies, are some of the commonfactors that inhibits the police force in SA. This then leads to such brutality only to be realised when it has been committed. They need to be educated on a continous basis on what they can do and what they cant't. Police have this tendency that they are aove the law.

  • Khanyile Busokwakhe - 2013-02-28 13:46

    she firstly laughed as she did at farlam commission ( marikana)

  • nkululeko.zulu.5 - 2013-02-28 13:47

    Wow for the first time she's concerned, last time i saw her she was loughing Marikana shooting.......Bheki Cele is the Man for this Position...

  • tsishange2 - 2013-02-28 13:48

    After the Oscar Pistorius case I have learned the true meaning of that famous line in the movies "you have a right to remain silent". Deep in his heart he knows that he should have not said the intruder story just like these cops will regret saying he was found dead in the cells by another police officer.

  • Albie Mwansa - 2013-02-28 13:49

    Phiyega Should shame these police officers in Public to prove a point. If this is done police brutallity will come to an end. Its really embarrasing. In a country like SA you still have such behavour from police officers.

  • Lwando Memani - 2013-02-28 13:50

    What an incompetent minister she is. All she does is collect a pay cheque. Cadre deployment has killed this country.

  • Thembinkosi Jozie - 2013-02-28 13:50

    In Marikana she was laughing and told police not to feel sorry.Now she is concerned?

  • Stanley Mabunda - 2013-02-28 13:50

    jail them them for life,give their pension money to the victim's family

  • Christie Nigrini - 2013-02-28 13:54

    Allegations???? Did you not see the video?

  • Tello Moleko - 2013-02-28 13:55

    assaulted constable and disarm him/her,firearm with 15 rounds,if he managed to run,how many SAs were going to be victims like Murder,house robbery and rape?maybe its not first time he rob police of firearm which he dont do from his country

      tshepoya.bamagoro - 2013-02-28 14:12

      And may be the police are lying about the taxi driver(disarming the police)

  • Jaimè Niddrie - 2013-02-28 13:57

    The word "alleged" is used to often. al·le·ga·tion An assertion made with little or no proof. UH - THERE IS A VIDEO. Get OVER yourself!!! You absolute waste of space!

  • Nicky Hosking - 2013-02-28 13:58


      Sphiwe Dllamini - 2013-02-28 14:50

      where is that whole Nicky?

  • JanGrimbeek - 2013-02-28 13:58

    Story and video just released on BBC news as well

  • Mark Theunissen - 2013-02-28 13:59

    @Gift Ndlovu - no its mostly black police and you are a racist by asking.

  • Annelise Van Der Schyff - 2013-02-28 14:00

    She should invite lulu for tea!!!!!

  • Chris John - 2013-02-28 14:02

    Question - if some brave person had not recorded this video, would we ever have heard about the incident? Also what would have happened if the police had noticed that someone was filming? Would he have gone the same way?

  • Mark Theunissen - 2013-02-28 14:04 Go see for yourself

  • collet.letsoalo - 2013-02-28 14:04

    The Gestapo were boy scouts in comparison to our police force as far as brutality is concerned.

  • Bruce Gauld - 2013-02-28 14:04

    Minibus taxi drivers....... How many INNOCENT people do they kill every year???!!! How many peoples lives have been wiped out by them??! The police were doing their jobs for once. If he was under arrest (and I bet for a good reason) then the bugger shouldn't have resisted!! After seeing a few accidents and people getting killed by these 'drivers' I can't say I feel anything for this guy... Sounds harsh but true. What about the 50 or so year old lady that was torn apart by a taxi driver at uShaka a little while back??!! I've been informed he's out of jail driving taxis at another rank!!!! So f#ck them, I feel rocks!!!!

  • tshepoya.bamagoro - 2013-02-28 14:05

    what the bull is the police commisioner saying. Stop telling us that you are concerned, fire the Bustards

      tersia.louw.12 - 2013-02-28 19:34

      Don't just fire them, collect evidence and charge them.

  • Mark Theunissen - 2013-02-28 14:05

    Gift - no they are all black policemen

      ttrevenen - 2013-02-28 15:55

      No they are not all black, there is one white, one coloured or Indian and three black. Regardless of the racial quota their actions are heinous!

  • tshepoya.bamagoro - 2013-02-28 14:08

    And what the hell do you interview witnesses for? there is enough evidence to send the incompetent police to jail

  • Mcedise Logan Buhlungu - 2013-02-28 14:09

    I'm sensing a trend here. These officers seem to be operating on instructions from somebody high up in the ranks. They do go through training before being policemen. I think the government is trying to instill a fear of the police on us. Why else would these barbaric cats continue? Just to mention a few, Andries Tatane was killed by the police. There was a video of the attack. What happened to those officers? Didn't the other officers see it? Weren't they briefed on it? Reminded of how to approach and apprehend perpetrators? The Marikana incident. Whats happening at that commission? No straight answers. The blame is tossed from the police to miners, to amcu and then to num. I doubt the truth Will ever come out. Something ain't right. The government knows Whats wrong but, don't even bother asking.

  • Jim - 2013-02-28 14:10

    To serve and protect????

  • Hansie.Crook - 2013-02-28 14:10

    This case will not go anywhere.... All cases involving police just vanish into thin air.... Remember James Tatane?? The teacher that was shot by police in full view of the TV crew for the whole world to see...Apparently they are still investigating....