UK & World News

  • 9 March 2013, 15:43

Dragged Taxi Driver Mido Macia Laid To Rest

Mourners have gathered in Mozambique to bury a taxi driver who died in police custody in South Africa after officers cuffed him to their van and dragged him down a street.

Crowds gathered at a cemetery in Matola where 26-year-old Mido Macia was laid to rest at a ceremony attended by family and friends who had travelled from neighbouring South Africa to pay their respects.

"We are revolted, not just angry. It was torture what happened to him," Xinguinhane Vuma, a friend, said.

Mr Macia was filmed by bystanders being manhandled, handcuffed to the back of a police van and dragged hundreds of metres in Daveyton, east of Johannesburg.

He was found dead in a police cell two hours later, having suffered severe head and internal injuries.

Nine South African police officers have been charged with his murder.

"Our feeling is very deep. We hope he rests in peace," his friend added at the graveside.

Mr Macia was described as a humble man and his death has shocked the community of Matola Rio where his father is a local leader.

"Down with xenophobia," chanted a crowd of around 80 people, brandishing banners with the words "Stop humiliating Mozambicans" and "Mido Macia forever".

The officers charged with Mr Macia's murder have insisted they are innocent, though none have yet been able to explain why he was handcuffed to their van nor why he died.

The driver of the van has said he did not know he was dragging someone behind his truck.

Officers have claimed Mr Macia resisted arrest and assaulted police after he was confronted for barring the road with his taxi.