Human rights body welcomes sentence imposed on Macia cops

Human rights activist group, Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR), has issued a press statement welcoming the sentencing of eight policemen involved in his death.

LHR said it was "pleased and encouraged by the conviction and sentencing of the eight former Daveyton police officers who dragged Mozambican taxi driver Mido Macia behind a police van before assaulting him while in custody where he died."

The policemen were all sentenced to 15 years in imprisonment on Wednesday after being found guilty of murder for their role in Macia’s death in 2013.

The human rights body noted its support for Judge Bert Bam's comments in condemning the conduct of the policemen, when he stated, the community depends on the police for protection and safety. Rogue policemen, for obvious reasons, are unacceptable in society and cannot be tolerated.”

Bam also noted that the onus was on officers "to conduct themselves within the ambit of the law, even when confronted by aggressive communities."

LHR expressed its regret at the proliferation of allegations of torture and abuse against SAPS and said their actions rarely resulted in prosecution and accountability.

It expressed the hope that Bam's sentence would "serve as a warning to rogue officials who are responsible for the safety of our communities."

It noted further that "the rising scourge of incidents involving police brutality is something every South African must stand against."

Date of publication: 
12 November 2015