Witness testimony attacked in Macia case

2015-07-30 15:30
The nine policemen linked to the death of Mozambican taxi driver Mido Macia. (Adam Wakefield, News24)

The nine policemen linked to the death of Mozambican taxi driver Mido Macia. (Adam Wakefield, News24)

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Pretoria - The credibility of a key witness in the trial of nine Daveyton police officers accused of killing Mozambican taxi driver Mido Macia came under attack in the High Court in Pretoria on Thursday.

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, caused public outrage.

Macia was found dead in the police holding cells several hours later. The police have denied playing any part in Macia's death, and have claimed he was alive when he was put in the cell.

Warrant Officer Mphumzi Ngamlana, the cell commander at the Daveyton police station on February 26 2013 - when Macia died - testified on Wednesday that Mdluli had lifted up a plastic chair to strike Macia and he had stopped him.

Shortly afterwards, Macia was pushed "roughly" onto the concrete bench in the cell. Both incidents happened while seven of the accused officers and Ngamlana were present in and around the cells, he said.

Defence lawyer for five of the officers, Marius van Wyngaardt, challenged Ngamlana on why his version of the event on Thursday, differed from what he told the court on Wednesday.

He previously told the court he had heard Macia being struck by one of the officers with an open hand. 

"No sir. A badly injured suspect who has been arrested with handcuffs on was assaulted by members of the police and up to today you have not opened a docket against them. Am I correct?" Van Wyngaardt asked.

"That is correct," Ngamlana said.

Van Wyngaardt told Ngamlana he was responsible for any suspect in police custody, to which the policeman agreed.

As the cell commander, Van Wyngaardt continued, it was Ngamlana's responsibility to make a call on whether a suspect required immediate medical attention.

Further, in terms of standing order 349, any medical attention for a person in custody had to be fully recorded in the occurrence book. This included the outcome of the medical examination, where it was done and who did it.

Van Wyngaardt then read the entry to court, made at 00:12 on February 27, which stated a suspect had been detained for assault to do grievous bodily harm and robbery with a cut on his head.

No further entries about Macia's medical condition was made.

He said Ngamlana's evidence was that he had asked Mdluli to get medical attention, with Mdluli giving an undertaking to do so, but this was never noted.

The trial continues.

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

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