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Johannesburg - The death of a minibus taxi driver, allegedly at the hands of the police, shows that no lessons have been learned from Marikana, the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac) said on Thursday.
“The behaviour of the police officers in Daveyton affirms the thrust of our submission to the Marikana commission of inquiry, that the foot soldiers of the SAPS have been encouraged, whether by accident or design, to pursue a policy of maximum force when dealing with members of the public,” Casac chairperson Sipho Pityana said in a statement.
“We do not seem to have learned any lessons from the Marikana massacre.”
Casac called on Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa to report to Parliament on which measures would will be taken to ensure police officers were properly trained.
Mido Macia, 27, a taxi driver and Mozambican national, was tied to the back of a police van and dragged along the street in Daveyton on Tuesday. An eyewitness filmed the incident. Macia died in the local police station's cells later that day.
Earlier on Thursday, President Jacob Zuma called the video “horrific”.
“The visuals of the incident are horrific, disturbing and unacceptable,” Zuma said in a statement.
“No human being should be treated in that manner.”
He said the police were required to operate within the confines of the law in executing their duties. He extended condolences to Macia's family and directed Mthethwa to investigate.
Congress of South African Trade Unions spokesperson Patrick Craven said the officers implicated should be suspended.
“At first, police officers claimed that he died after being attacked by other men in the police holding cells, but video footage taken by an eyewitness clearly shows him being tied to the back of the van and dragged along the street,” said Craven.
He called for harsh punishment for those found guilty of Macia's death.
On Wednesday, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) confirmed it was investigating the matter and interviewing witnesses.
National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega was deeply concerned about allegations that police brutality led to the man's death.
“The matter is viewed by the national commissioner in a very serious light and it is strongly condemned,” her spokesperson Brigadier Phuti Setati said.
Phiyega had instructed acting provincial commissioner Major General Phumzo Gela to start an internal investigation and provide feedback urgently. - Sapa