Cellphone footage of the police brutality incident in Daveyton. Screengrab: YouTube


Johannesburg - Eight policemen charged with murdering a Mozambican immigrant who was dragged behind a police van appeared in court for a bail hearing on Friday.

They are charged with killing Mido Macia, a 27-year-old Mozambican taxi driver who died in police custody on February 26.

The eight officers had been arrested in connection with the incident which shocked the country and the world, and a constable who was on duty that day has since turned himself in.

It was unclear whether the ninth man will appear in court.

“I brought him to the police station today,” his advocate, Sam Leso, said.

A magistrate had postponed the hearing to Monday of the men arrested last week so that state witnesses could confirm the identities of the accused.

Bystanders filmed Macia being manhandled, handcuffed to the back of a police van and dragged hundreds of metres to the Daveyton police station.

Just over two hours later he was found dead in his cell.

An autopsy found that he had died of head injuries and internal bleeding.

Footage of the incident spread quickly online, shining a spotlight yet again on the conduct of SA’s much maligned police force.

Prosecutors are expected to argue his death was a premeditated murder.

On Wednesday, around 1 000 people attended a memorial for Macia at the sports stadium in Daveyton. He is due to be buried outside the Mozambican capital Maputo on Saturday. - AFP