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Johannesburg - The Gauteng government has promised financial support to the family of Mido Macia, who was allegedly murdered by the police.
Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa met with Macia’s family at their home in Daveyton on Thursday after an audience with the community that was also attended by Gauteng provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Mzwandile Petros and the MEC for Community Safety Faith Mazibuko.
“The meeting was good, I appreciate all the things that he (Mthethwa) said to me,” said Macia’s landlady and “South African” mother, Dinis Ngwenya. “I’m feeling okay, I’m relieved,” she said.
Ngwenya added that during the meeting with the family, the representatives had said they would offer support for Macia’s three-year-old son, his wife and his parents, but that the details would be finalised later.
Mthethwa had sat next to Ngwenya around the table in the dining room, and at one point, the two stood up and hugged.
A crowd gathered outside and watched as Mthethwa left the house.
Those in the group called on the minister to stop police brutality.
“This is the first and the last time,” shouted one woman before she shook hands with Mthethwa.
He told the media outside that he would not comment on reports that the family lawyer had asked the ministry to speak to the family through him.
“We are here today to express to the family our sincere condolences,” he said, before adding that the support shown for Macia proved that South Africans were not xenophobic.
At the meeting earlier, the community told the policing and community safety panel of the issues they faced with the police in Ekurhuleni.
“They accept more bribes than arresting people,” said Siyabonga Moloi, a resident.
“When we approach them, they become arrogant, minister,” he said.
Another resident said he had witnessed police officers harassing Mozambicans and arresting them without reason.
Mthethwa’s response was that it was the police’s responsibility to arrest illegal immigrants.
However, he said this should not be an excuse to extort money from them or to intimidate foreigners who were in the country legally.
“We are actually embarrassed by what happened (committed) by those in uniform,” Petros said, referring to the death of Macia.
Mazibuko called on residents to take pictures of any police misconduct they see and send it with the details of the incident directly to her office. She said the community should still help the SAPS.
“As much as we want to paint all the police with the same brush, there are those men and women who know that their duty is to serve and protect,” she said.