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Mozambicans recoil at police brutality in South Africa

Jossefa Macie

Jossefa Macie

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A video that went viral of South African police tying a man to the back of a pick-up truck and letting him drag along the ground, shocked nationals in both South Africa and Mozambique where the man, who later died of his injuries, was from.

Mido Macia was a taxi driver who reportedly parked his cab on the wrong side of the road. After a brief scuffle with officers he was roped and tied to the police vehicle, despite calls from area residents that he be freed. Police claimed they put the “resisting suspect” into the police van and took him to the police station. The Congress of South African Trade Unions alleged that Macia died when other men attacked him in the cell.

“Prison is not enough to punish those who murdered my husband,” said his widow, Biuda Mazive. “Those who committed this crime will come out of prison, but my husband will never come back.”

“We are asking for help from the Mozambican government to ensure that justice is done,” said his father, Jossefa Macie, interviewed by Radio Mozambique. “We don’t accept what happened to our son.”

Mido’s sister, Hortencia Macie, said he was the oldest son of their parents and, in addition to his own 3-year-old daughter, he had taken responsibility for the orphan children of a deceased brother.

Macie had been living in South Africa since the age of 10. His father had been a migrant worker on the South African gold mines. After his parents returned to Mozambique, he would regularly send food back to them. That lifeline has been abruptly cut off, and relatives in South Africa now wonder who will support Macie’s parents.

Two officers and six constables have been charged with the murder of 27-year-old Macia. A scheduled hearing on the charge was postponed. “We want to hold an identity parade (line-up), so no pictures must be taken in order to prevent the prejudice of the case,” said prosecutor December Mthimunye.

Residents of Daveyton, where the incident took place, rallied at the courthouse to denounce the rising number of police brutality cases in the area.

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