Maputo — South African President Jacob Zuma on Thursday sent his Foreign Minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, to present a message of condolences and apologies to his Mozambican counterpart, Armando Guebuza, for the brutal murder last week of Mozambican taxi-driver Mido Macai by the South African police in Daveyton, east of Johannesburg.
After the audience, Mashabane told reporters that Zuma had wished to express his sorrow and consternation. “The message also reaffirms that we stand together with the Mozambicans in this moment of sadness, resulting from the murder of Mido Macia”, she added.
“We are members of the same family, we speak the same language, and we were together during the struggle”, said Mashabane. “So we want to continue living as a family”.
“We promise that incidents like this will never happen again”, she declared. The policemen accused of the murder would be dealt with through the South African legal system “to ensure that it never happens again, and that we can continue to live together”.
She said she had presented the apologies of the South African government, and stressed that what had happened should not prejudice the spirit of cooperation between Mozambique and South Africa.
Mashabane pledged that the South African High Commission in Maputo will provide all necessary support to Macia’s family.
The eight policemen accused of the murder are due to appear in court on Friday for a bail hearing. If the court judges that there is no flight risk, and that they will not interfere with witnesses, they are likely to be granted bail.
Macia’s body is due to arrive in Mozambique on Friday, and the family plans to bury him in a cemetery in the southern city of Matola on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Mozambican Human Rights League (LDH) is planning a march on Saturday through the streets of Maputo, which will terminate with the delivery of an open letter of protest against the behaviour of the police to the South African High Commission.