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Johannesburg - Police officers implicated in the death of a Daveyton taxi driver are not properly trained, the Law Society of SA (LSSA) said on Tuesday.
“I don't believe if these officers had been properly trained they would have acted in that manner,” LSSA's criminal law committee chairman William Booth said.
“There is something lacking in the way they deal with the public or arrests,” said Booth.
Booth said LSSA was offering law training to police that would help in handling criminal cases
The training includes workshops, seminars and lectures.
“Everybody needs continuing legal education. For example lawyers as well, they also attend our courses.”
He said the courses include the Criminal Procedure Act, law of evidence, the Sexual Offences Act and various other laws.
They also relate to how and when should police make arrests, and what information to give in court after collecting evidence in the investigations.
He said Mido Macia, 27, a Mozambican national, should not have been arrested or assaulted for parking on the wrong side of the road.
“He did not commit an arrestable offence, if he had parked on the wrong side of the road that was supposed to be a traffic fine (if that was the case),” he said.
However, Booth admitted there were other police officers who were doing a good job in the fight against crime in the country.
The LSSA was in discussions with police legal services regarding the training that could be offered. The last meeting was last year in November.
It said a formal enquiry needed to be held involving participation of all role players including the public, to try and assist the police in combating crime.
On Tuesday, the Methodist Church of Southern Africa said Macia's death was “shocking”.
“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.
He 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. He 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.
Minister of State Security Siyabonga Cwele said the government viewed the matter in a serious light and would like to see stern action taken against those responsible.
He urged members of the public to help the Independent Police Investigative Directorate with information.
“In particular, we appeal to those who have video footage that will assist in the prosecution... of this case,” Cwele said.
Eight police officers Ä two warrant officers and six constables Ä have been implicated in Macia's death, and they now face a murder charge. - Sapa