Phiyega was explicit when she announced that she would “fight to the hilt” for members who carry out their duties in accordance with police prescripts and code of conduct.
This after the eight police officers from the Daveyton Police Station, who were implicated in the death of Emidi Joseph Macua, also known as Mido Macia, was dismissed.
Phiyega indicated that there was no excuse for the conduct of the members involved.
“The death of Mido Macia at the hands of these police officers has negatively affected the reputation of the police. The sanction of dismissal is therefore welcomed and we believe it will send the correct message to other officers,” she said.
Two warrant officers and six constables each faced a murder charge after Macia, 27, died of “head injuries with internal bleeding” after being dragged by a police van in Daveyton in March last year.
Residents had recorded the incident on their cellphones. The graphic footage later went viral on the internet, attracting international media attention.
Warning: Graphic Imagery Not For Sensitive Viewers
The officers implicated in the murder had been identified as Constables Lungisa Chalmers Gwababa, Bongani Kolisi, Percy Jonathan Mnisi, Bongumusa Mdluli, Sipho Sidwell Ngobeni, Mbongeleni Thamsanqa Ngema and Warrant Officers Alfred Linda Sololo and Mishack Malele.
The group was found guilty of various charges including failing to uphold and protect the fundamental rights of Macia; the common law offence of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm; making false statements or evidence in the execution of their duties and arresting the victim under circumstances where he should not have been arrested.
Another charge included failing to take reasonable steps to help the police to acquire knowledge of the assault and/or cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment of Macia.
A ninth officer had been arrested in connection with the murder of Macia. The unidentified officer was acquitted of the charges after investigators found him to be absent at the time of the incident.
Lieutenant General Solomon Makgale confirmed that the dismissal of the eight officers brought the number of discharged officers from the police force to 70 for this year alone.
“The criminal matter in respect of the Mido Macia case is underway in the Delmas court,” said Makgale.
“These accused last appeared in court on May 26 and are expected to reappear on February 16 next year when they will have to answer to a case of murder.”
Other cases of police brutality:
- Constable Manele Robert Williams arrested for the alleged rape of a woman in the Eastern Cape in February last year. He appeared in the KwaNobuhle District Court and was granted bail of R2 000.
- Thirty-two-year-old Constable Cingakufani Mbiza was found guilty of murdering his girlfriend Cinna Ncada, 23, and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment on in February last year.
- Police Constable Mokolo Karpos Molekoa arrested last year after allegedly raping 15 women.
- A 43-year-old Warrant Officer arrested in Upington, Northern Cape for allegedly sexually assaulting his 17-year-old daughter last year.
- Teacher Andries Tatane who died after he was allegedly beaten and shot with rubber bullets during a service delivery demonstration at the Setsoto municipal offices on April 13, 2011.
- The arrests of Warrant Officer Johannes Tshukudu, Sergeant Johannes Khambule and Constable Sindisiwa Nkosi for the murder of Lehlohonolo Letsaba, 27, in Evaton in the Vaal Triangle in September 2011.
- Five members of the Klerksdorp Organised Crime Unit were arrested for the alleged tortured of suspected bank robbers in 2010. One of the officers, Captain Tsietsi Mano, had been an investigating officer in the Eugene Terre’Blanche murder case.
- The arrest of 12 Hawks members who allegedly tortured, assaulted and murdered 24-year-old Sidwell Mkwambi in 2009.