Murdered taxi driver Mido Macia’s family believe justice was served by the High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday.
“I spoke to the family. Although he (Mido) is gone, they believe justice was served today. We must separate emotions from the facts, there are many good police officers out there who put their lives in jeopardy every day…the whole police force cannot be judged through the actions of eight policemen,” said Macia family spokesman, lawyer Jose Nascimento.
The officers had a right to appeal, he added.
“They are entitled to appeal. I feel that [Judge Bert] Bam was thorough in his handling of the trial. He was fair and demonstrated his skill and experience throughout.”
Macia’s family back in Mozambique had lost a breadwinner and had no income he added.
“They live in squalor and face difficulties every day because the person they depended on is gone, but above the monetary matters, they lost a son and a father whom they will never see again.”
Nascimento also represents the family in a civil claim against the police for Macia’s killing. The civil matter was underway.
“We are arguing about the amount, it will hopefully be finalised before the end of this year.”
Pretoria High Court Judge Bert Bam on Wednesday sentenced Bongamusa Mdluli, Meshack Malele, Thamsanqa Ngema, Percy Mnisi, Sipho Ngobeni, Lungisa Gwababa, Bongani Kolisi and Linda Sololo to 15 years each for the murder of Macia. They were convicted of the crime in August.
Macia was dragged behind a police van in February 2013. He was later found dead in the Daveyton police station’s holding cells.
They were all dismissed from the South African Police Service following a disciplinary hearing.
A ninth former police officer, initially charged with the group, was acquitted by the court. Matome Ramatlou walked out of the court a free man after Bam told him that there was no evidence linking him to the murder.
Benny Ndaba, the legal representative for the eight officers, indicated after the sentencing on Wednesday that they were set to launch an appeal against the conviction. – African News Agency (ANA)