Maputo — A Mozambican taxi driver, who allegedly parked his vehicle in the wrong place, was tortured and murdered by South African police on Monday – and, thanks to modern technology, the evidence for this is now available all over the world.
Horrific video evidence is now circulating across the Internet of a South African police unit in Daveyton, east of Johannesburg in Gauteng province, tying a Mozambican, Mido Naia, to the back of a police van, and dragging him for around 400 metres along a tarred road.
He was taken to a police station where beatings allegedly continued, and he was found dead two hours later. A post-mortem gave the cause of death as head injuries with internal bleeding.
The police arrested 27 year old Macia after a dispute over where he had parked his vehicle in a Daveyton taxi rank. It was allegedly obstructing traffic. The police justified his arrest on the grounds that he had tried to seize a weapon from one of the policemen. They said that he had resisted arrest, and it took “a struggle” to force him into the police van.
Unfortunately for the police, the scuffle and arrest were filmed, and the “Daily Sun” newspaper published the footage on the Internet. The video shows no sign of Macia grabbing for the gun, or using any kind of violence against the police,
But it does show the police tying him to the back of the van, and then driving it away, dragging their prisoner along the road. Horrified onlookers can be heard shouting in Zulu “Hey! Why are you hitting him?”
The police version of events cannot explain how Macia came by his fatal head injuries, and the publisher of the “Daily Sun”, Jeremy Gordin, described the police account as “a tissue of lies”.
The brutal behaviour of the Daveyton police has caused shock waves in both Mozambique and South Africa.
The Mozambican High Commissioner to South Africa, Fernando Fazenda, declared on Thursday that he was “horrified” by the video showing Macia being dragged along behind the police van.
The counselor for police matters at the Mozambican High Commission went to Daveyton on Thursday to speak to the authorities and to the victim’s family to obtain a clearer picture of exactly what had happened.
South African President Jacob Zuma described the behaviour of the Daveyton police as "horrific, disturbing and unacceptable. No human being should be treated in that manner."
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) has launched a murder investigation into the policemen concerned. The spokesperson for the Directorate, Moses Dlamini, said “We are investigating an incident involving the death of a man, allegedly at the hands of the police. We are shocked by the footage that has been released”.