South African Police Under Fire Again For Handcuffing and Dragging Man to His Death

South African Police Drag man to His Death
The Gruesome video of Mido Macia being dragged to his death

AFRICANGLOBE – The South African police force is involved in yet another scandal, at a time when international attention to its actions is higher than ever. Sadly police misconduct seems to be a common practice, as officers demonstrated when they handcuffed Mido Macia to the back of a truck and dragged him along a road, resulting in his eventual death.

Mido Macia committed only a minor offense, parking his taxi illegally, but police acted with excessive force in front of a large Johannesburg crowd. The incident was captured on amateur video. The police force is trying to prove its legitimacy after crises tied to the Oscar Pistorius trial.

“Members of the South African police service are required to operate within the confines of the law in executing their duties,” South African president Jacob Zuma said in a statement Thursday. “The visuals of the incident are horrific, disturbing, and unacceptable. No human being should be treated in that manner.”

The brutal incident was witnessed by hundreds of citizens, suggesting that police never feared retaliation. Eight officers have been suspended.

Though Zuma appears to be stating the obvious, the country has struggled with multiple police scandals in the last year. Hilton Botha, the former lead investigator in the Pistorius murder case, was replaced after it was revealed that he will face murder charges of his own for his role in a police shooting. Botha and other members of the police force are accused of firing on several innocent civilians during a drunken episode.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate, which reviews police conduct on behalf of the government, reported 720 cases of questionable deaths involving police between April 2011 and March 2012. In 2008, deputy security minister Susan Shabangu promoted the use of deadly force by the South African Police Service.

“You must kill the bastards if they threaten you or the community,” Shabangu said to police. “I want to assure the police station commissioners and policemen and women that they have permission to kill these criminals. You must not worry about the regulations.”

Last year, police shot and killed 34 striking miners, then arrested hundreds more and charged them with the deaths during a standoff. The handling of that case once again brought on international criticism of the country’s law enforcement.


By; Kevin Webb