The conduct of eight former Daveyton policemen who were on Wednesday sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment for murdering Mozambican taxi driver Mido Macia, was “barbaric and totally unnecessary”, a High Court judge said.
Sentencing former policemen Meshack Malele, Thamsanqa Ngema, Percy Mnisi, Bongamusa Mdluli, Sipho Ngobeni, Lungisa Gwababa, Bongani Kolisi and Linda Sololo for Macia’s February, 2013 murder, Judge Bert Bam said the community was entitled to protection against rogue policemen.
“Rogue policemen … are unacceptable in society and cannot be tolerated. Although policemen are on many occasions subjected to rude, provocative behaviour by members of the public, they are expected to conduct themselves in a proper and reasonable manner, within the ambit of our law.
“Of course, policemen are entitled to use reasonable force to effect arrest. In this case, regrettably, that right was abused, with dire consequences,” he said.
Macia died in a pool of blood alone in a cell at the Daveyton police station hours after being handcuffed to the inside of a police van and dragged through the streets of Daveyton in full view of the community, who stared pelting the police van with rocks.
He was further assaulted in the cells. The judge said it was unfortunate that none of the accused had shown any remorse for what they did and still maintained that they were innocent. But he found in mitigation that the accused had good service records and no previous convictions.