S. African Cops Charged in Gruesome Dragging Death

Protesters demand bail be denied to accused police

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 8, 2013 9:36 AM CST

(Newser) – Nine South African police officers accused in the gruesome death of a Mozambican taxi driver late last month have been charged with murder, reports the BBC. Taxi driver Mido Macia was filmed being arrested on Feb. 26; the video shows police tying his hands to the back of a vehicle then driving off, dragging Macia behind. Two hours later he was found dead in his cell. The court was told Macia suffered serious wounds to his face, limbs, and body; deep cuts; bruising to his ribs, back, and testicles; and bleeding and water on the brain. His official cause of death was hypoxia, a lack of oxygen supply to the body.

A small crowd of protesters gathered outside the courthouse, opposing bail for the accused. One carried a sign that read "What have we done to die like dogs?" During the bail hearing, one officer testified that Macia blocked the road with his car and refused to move it; the cop alleges Macia then grabbed an officer's gun and pointed it at them before handing it back. He says an altercation started and Macia was arrested and taken to the station. "I was caught by surprise to be told that the person had died, as he has never complained about any injuries," said the officer, per the AP. Macia is scheduled to be buried outside Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, tomorrow, reports CNN.

A man protests  outside the courthouse  against the granting of bail  for the eight police officers charged with murdering a taxi driver Mido Macia who was dragged from a police vehicle last week in Benoni outside Johannesburg, South Africa, Friday, March 8, 2013. The killing of Mido Macia, a taxi...
A man protests outside the courthouse against the granting of bail for the eight police officers charged with murdering a taxi driver Mido Macia who was dragged from a police vehicle last week in Benoni...   (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
Eight police officers charged with murdering a man who was dragged from a police vehicle last week, sit in the dock before start of their bail hearing in a courthouse in Benoni outside Johannesburg, South Africa, Friday, March 8, 2013. The killing of Mido Macia, a taxi driver from Mozambique...
Eight police officers charged with murdering a man who was dragged from a police vehicle last week, sit in the dock before start of their bail hearing in a courthouse in Benoni outside Johannesburg, South...   (AP Photo/Werner Beukes/Pool)
Women protest outside the courthouse  against the granting of bail  for the eight police officers charged with murdering a taxi driver Mido Macia who was dragged from a police vehicle last week in Benoni outside Johannesburg, South Africa, Friday, March 8, 2013.
Women protest outside the courthouse against the granting of bail for the eight police officers charged with murdering a taxi driver Mido Macia who was dragged from a police vehicle last week in Benoni...   (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
A woman holding a poster of taxi driver Mido Macia protests  outside the courthouse  against the granting of bail  for the eight police officers charged with murdering a taxi driver Mido Macia who was dragged from a police vehicle last week in Benoni outside Johannesburg, South Africa, Friday, March 8,...
A woman holding a poster of taxi driver Mido Macia protests outside the courthouse against the granting of bail for the eight police officers charged with murdering a taxi driver Mido Macia who was...   (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
Women holds a posters of Mido Macia, a taxi driver from Mozambique who died in police custody on Feb. 26, during their protest against granting of bail outside the courthouse near Johannesburg, South Africa, today.
Women holds a posters of Mido Macia, a taxi driver from Mozambique who died in police custody on Feb. 26, during their protest against granting of bail outside the courthouse near Johannesburg, South...   (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
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