Ilse de Lange
2 minute read
31 Jul 2015
12:35 pm

Macia autopsy paints a grim tale

Ilse de Lange

Mido Macia, the Mozambican taxi driver who was dragged behind a police van, had extensive blunt force injuries to his brain and skull as well as severe injuries to his chest, a state pathologist has testified.

Some of the nine policemen in the docks of the North Gauteng High Court on 27 July 2015 accused for the murder of Mozambican Mido Macia who died after being dragged after a moving vehicle. Picture: Christine Vermooten

The State’s chief pathologist in Gauteng, Dr Solly Skosana, visited the scene where Macia’s body was still lying on the floor of a holding cell at the Daveyton police station and also performed an autopsy on the body.

He testified in the trial of nine Daveyton policemen, who have pleaded not guilty to Macia’s murder.

Dr Skosana said Macia was lying on the floor, facing up with his arms above his head. There was clotted blood underneath his face and on his mouth area and he was clad in a T-shirt, torn socks and underpants, with a second pair of underpants at his knees.

There were also some blood spits on the walls and floors of the cell.

The doctor described Macia’s horrific injuries point for point, starting at the top of his skull and ending at an injury on his one big toe.

He said if Macia had received medical intervention immediately after arriving at the police station, it could definitely have made a difference.

Dr Skosana testified that Macia had numerous lacerations and swelling on his head and extensive injuries to his brain, which were indicative of blunt force injuries.

He also had severe injuries to his chest and numerous drag injuries which stretched from the front of his chest tot he small of his back.

He had abrasions on his his legs and arms, abrasions around both wrists caused by handcuffs, bruising on the inside of his upper lip and an abrasion on the inside of his right toe.

A post mortem examination revealed bleeding and swelling of the brain and bite marks on his tongue.

He chest was severely bruised, both lungs were filled with blood and there were haemorrhages in the heart indicative of head injuries. His bladder contained bloody urine.

Further disection showed extensive bruising of the chest and forearms stretching into the muscles as well as bruises in the scrotum area.

Dr Skosana testified that the lacerations on Macia’s skull and the bleeding and generalised accumulation of fluid within the brain tissue could be attributed to blunt, excessive force.

“It is not far-fetched to assume that if such a force has been applied to any area of the skull then the deceased would have suffered some concussion,” he said.

He testified that the head and chest injuries and the presence of fluid in the brain would have resulted in a lack of oxygen and unconsciousness. The chest injuries and fluid flowing into the spaces of the lungs would also have impeded his breathing.

Dr Skosana concluded that extensive soft-tissue injuries and a lack of oxygen had led to Macia’s death.

An Independent Police Investigative Directorate investigator, M Ramadwa, earlier testified that there was no reason for Macia to be in the cells. There was no statement by his arresting officer in the docket and no sign that he had been warned of his rights.

The trial was provisionally postponed to Monday for the defence to consult with an independent pathologist.