Why the court rejected Macia cops' version

2015-08-25 21:38

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Pretoria – Judge Bert Bam on Tuesday found eight former Daveyton police officers guilty of the murder of Mozambican taxi driver Mido Macia.

Here is what five of them claimed happened, and Bam’s finding.

Accused 1 - Meshack Malele, 46

The officer who initially tried to arrest Macia. He claims Macia punched one of his teeth out, which left him feeling dizzy and like a "lunatic". He got into Macia’s taxi, and drove to the local police station to call for back-up.

Accused 2 - Thamsanqa Mgema, 35

He and Malele were the first two officers to confront Macia about his taxi, which was apparently obstructing traffic outside the Daveyton taxi rank. He fired a warning shot when Macia snatched Malele's firearm and scuffled with Macia.

What Bam said: Their versions that Macia attacked them were fraught with discrepancies and improbabilities. It was "absolutely improbable" that they would not have arrested Macia at gunpoint there and then.

It was "totally improbable" that Malele would have left Mgema alone with a violent and dangerous individual.

Malele's claim that he felt dizzy and like a "lunatic" after Macia punched him was rejected as he had the presence of mind to get into Macia’s taxi, summon help at the local police station, return, and read Macia his rights.

Law enforcement officers should know that they could not arrest people for relatively minor offences, like traffic violations.

"The deceased was unlawfully arrested and detained with the result that he was entitled to resist."

Malele's claim that he was the real victim was ridiculous and a poor attempt to hide from the true facts.

Accused 4 - Bongamusa Mdluli, 25

Drove behind the police bakkie and flashed his lights at the driver to get him to stop as Macia was being dragged.

Bam: He did not try to stop the van from driving off.

"There is serious doubt whether the accused followed the bakkie with a noble intention."

Accused 6 - Lungisa Gwababa, 31

The driver of the police bakkie behind which Macia was dragged. He claimed he did not notice Macia had moved out of the van before driving off. He conceded during cross-examination that a driver would naturally look into the rear-view mirror before moving off, but said he was focused on the crowd in front of him. He stopped after having driven about 200m.

Bam: His version was so improbable that it was rejected as not reasonably, possibly true. 

"He clearly knew exactly where Macia was when he drove away. Although the crowd was menacing and throwing objects, this could not have stopped him from looking into the rear-view mirrors."

Accused 7 - Bongani Kolisi, 27

He was seen on cellphone video footage behind the police bakkie when Macia was handcuffed to it. Macia was sitting on the ground. He claimed he did not notice where Macia's hands were. 

Bam: His claim that he did not notice where Macia's hands were was "palpably untrue" and rejected, as was his claim that he did not see Macia being dragged.

Read more on:    mido macia  |  pretoria  |  crime

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