/ 11 March 2013

Taxi driver Macia died from oxygen deprivation

Some of the nine policemen accused of the death of Mido Macia.
Some of the nine policemen accused of the death of Mido Macia.

Prosecutor December Mthimunye said on Monday that the autopsy found Daveyton taxi driver Macia had extensive internal and external injuries, and died as a result of hypoxia.

"Hypoxia, I did Google it … it's a deprivation of oxygen," he said.

The autopsy found lacerations at the back of Macia's head, on his scalp and jaw. He had abrasions on his lips, forehead, cheeks, nose, legs, arms, and back.

He also had extensive haemorrhaging in his right lung and in the tissue surrounding his heart. He was found in the holding cell at the Daveyton police station, in a pool of blood, without any pants.

"There were also bruises on the deceased's genitals." Mthimunye said. Macia had injuries on his forearms. "This could indicate that he was warding off blows," he added.

The prosecutor said the state had a "watertight case" against the nine police officers implicated in Macia's death. "They were seen dragging the deceased in full view of the public."

State witnesses
​Mthimunye said the state had witnesses who would testify that Macia had several injuries when he was brought to the police station.

He said it was not in the interests of justice for the nine accused to be granted bail. They would endanger the public and attempt to influence and intimidate witnesses, some of whom were their colleagues. He alleged that some evidence already disappeared.

"This is not a straightforward case of murder. There was a lot of concealment."

Mthimunye presented an affidavit from a local resident who opposed the bail. The person, who organised a memorial service for Macia, said most residents believed the nine did not deserve bail.

Local residents chased away police officers and Gauteng's community safety minister from Macia's memorial service, according to the affidavit.

The nine accused are: Thamsanqa Ncema (35), Meshack Malele (45), Motome Walter Ramatlou (37), Percy Mnisi (26), Bongumusa Mdluli (25), Sipho Ngobeni (30), Lungisa Ewababa (31), Bongani Kolisi (27), and Linda Sololo (56).

Macia was filmed being tied to the back of a police van and dragged along a street in Daveyton on February 26. An eyewitness gave the footage to the Daily Sun newspaper.

Macia was found dead in the police station's holding cells several hours later. – Sapa