The South African Council of Churches (SACC) is “angry and appalled at the public humiliation, violence and later death meted against a Mozambican taxi driver, Mido Macia, at the hands of the South African Police Services (SAPS) personnel”, says SACC General Secretary Rev Mautji Pataki in a press statement released today.
Reacting to reports that the Mozambican was assaulted and dragged by a police van after he parked his vehicle on the road in Daveyton on the East Rand o Wednesday, Pataki says: “It is simply unacceptable and needs to be condemned in the most possible way by all those who have respect for human life and are committed to a non-violent South African nation.
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) on Thursday said it was investigating the death of the driver, reports Eyewitness News. In their statements, the officers involved say the Mozambican national died after being attacked by other men in the holding cells but video footage taken by an eyewitness shows him being assaulted and dragged by a police van.
“In the recent past we have seen so much violence in our communities and that cannot be allowed to continue without intervention,” says Pataki.
“No explanation so far makes sense as to how the police arrived at the manner in which the arrest of this man was arrived at. Footage that displays the violent in which this matter was handled is yet another demonstration that some members within the SAPS establishment are convinced of flouting the constitution of this country in many instances.
“As we condemn this dastardly act that should never have happened in the first place, we call for the immediate arrest of the implicated officers.”
Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has called for the officers involved to be suspended while the investigation continues.
The party’s Kate Lorimer said she was shocked when acting Gauteng Police Commissioner Phumzo Gela told her the officers had not yet been suspended.
“I then said I hope he would be looking at the footage soon and they will then suspend the police involved. He replied ‘we don’t suspend for the sake of suspension’.”
The African National Congress also released a statement today saying it “condemns in strongest terms the killing of a man who was dragged behind a police van in Daveyton”.
“The ANC believes that the role of the police is protect and preserve life. We call on the Ministry of Safety and Security to investigate the circumstances leading to the death of Mr. Mido Macia so that where police brutality is evident stern action should be taken.
“We call on the public that witness the incident to come forward and assist with information that will provide facts and account of the incident. We convey our condolences to the family of Mr. Mido Macia,” says the statement by ANC National Spokesperson Jackson Mthembu.