28 February 2013

South Africa: SAHRC Must Investigate Police Brutality Against Taxi Driver

press release

The DA is shocked and horrified at the brutal actions of the Daveyton police officers that resulted in the death of taxi driver Mido Macia yesterday, and will be calling on the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to investigate the incident.

The Daily Sun has video evidence of three police officers tying Macia to the back of the police van. He was then dragged at high speed down the road in full view of the public. He was later taken to a police station where he was allegedly beaten to death.

Macia paid for parking on the wrong side of the road with his life. Instead of issuing him with a ticket, the police killed him.

It is extremely disturbing that any police officer who is supposed to protect the public can behave in this way, and it shows the deep systemic problems of brutality and lack of discipline and professionalism within the SAPS.

In October last year, the SAHRC found that the disproportionate and excessive use of force by the police resulted in Andries Tatane's death during a violent protest in Ficksburg in 2011. Other examples over the past few years of police brutality and excessive use of force include:

The shooting of Jeanette Odendaal by a police officer in Kempton Park in 2011;

the death of 34 miners at Marikana through excessive use of force by the police in 2012; and

the 720 complaints of death in police custody or by police action received by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate in 2011/2012.

The Police Minister and the National Police Commissioner have failed to take any visible steps to address police brutality. I will therefore be writing to the SAHRC today to ask that they undertake an investigation into the death of Mido Macia.

How much longer must South Africans live in fear of the very people who are supposed to protect them?

Dianne Kohler Barnard, Shadow Minister of Police

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