Memorial service held for taxi driver Mido Macia

Mourners on Wednesday gathered at the sports stadium in Daveyton, the town east of Johannesburg where 27-year-old Macia died on Tuesday last week.

The Mozambican national taxi driver was filmed being manhandled, handcuffed to the back of a police van and dragged hundreds of metres to a local police station.

Just over two hours later he was found dead in his cell. A post-mortem found he died from head injuries and internal bleeding.

Footage of the incident spread quickly online and sent shockwaves throughout the country, shining a spotlight yet again on the conduct of South Africa's much maligned police force.

The bail hearing for the eight police officers charged with his murder will start on Friday.

Graça Machel, Nelson Mandela's wife and widow of Mozambique's liberation hero and first president Samora Machel, attended Macia's memorial on Wednesday.

Mozambique's ambassador Fernando Fazenda was also present. South African authorities pledged to help repatriate Macia's body to neighbouring Mozambique.

He will be buried outside the capital Maputo on Saturday, according to Mozambique's media.

Case postponed
​The case against eight police officers implicated in Macia's death was postponed on Monday.

Magistrate Sam Makamu granted a request by the prosecution that the police officers not be identified yet. He postponed the case until Friday.

"The reason why we are requesting a postponement is we want to hold an identity parade, so no pictures must be taken in order to prevent the prejudice of the case," prosecutor December Mthimunye submitted.

The identity parade is scheduled for Thursday. The eight accused are expected to apply for bail on Friday.

Makamu also gave permission for the accused to be kept in the holding cells at an undisclosed police station. Lawyers for the police officers contended that they could not be kept at the Modderbee prison in Benoni, as many of the people they had helped to convict were there. – AFP

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