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Johannesburg - The death of the East Rand taxi driver dragged behind a police vehicle was “shocking,” the Methodist Church of Southern Africa said on Tuesday.
“Like the rest of the country and the world, the church has been deeply shocked and outraged by the brutal death of Mido Macia, allegedly at the hands of the police,” the church said in a statement.
Macia's death was “savagery” and on a par with the violence that occurred at Lonmin's Marikana mine last year. Thirty-four striking mineworkers were shot dead and 78 injured when police opened fire, on August 16, while trying to disperse a group which had gathered on a hill near the mine. Ten people, including two police officers and two security guards, were killed near the mine in the preceding week.
“It (Macia's death) is reminiscent of some of the terrible abuses of the apartheid era and is hereby condemned in the strongest possible sense.”
President Jacob Zuma should take “visible action” to demonstrate condemnation of the police's behaviour.
Macia, 27, a Mozambican national, was tied to the back of a police van and dragged along a street in Daveyton, on the East Rand, last week. An eyewitness filmed the assault. Macia died in the local police station's cells later that day.
A post mortem report revealed he died of head and internal injuries.
The church supported the call for a judicial inquiry into alleged police brutality.
“We also call upon the society to stand up and begin to do something that will help us recover our humanity. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the bereaved family.” - Sapa