Macia cops receive bail after third attempt
Relatives of the policemen were excited as magistrate Sam Makamu on Tuesday announced that the men would receive bail of R5 000 each.
Badanisile Ngwenya, however, was not impressed. Macia had rented a backroom on Ngwenya's property. "I don't feel good about it. But even if they are released or kept inside, it won't bring him back. They are going out to be with their family," she said.
Jose Nascimento, who represented Macia's family and the Mozambican government, said they respected the court's decision. "The family won't be happy with the outcome but we respect the decision," he said. "Now let's wait for the trial."
The trial will be heard in the Delmas High Court from November 11 to 29.
This was the officers' third attempt to get bail since they were arrested days after Macia's death in February.
Makamu denied their first application, saying the investigations had not yet been completed. He said the officers would be in danger as community members had protested against their release.
The officers appealed the decision at the high court in Johannesburg, which upheld Makamu's decision.
Third time lucky
The officers attempted bail for a third time, saying they had new evidence which would assist the court in overturning its decision. Makamu granted them bail, agreeing that circumstances had changed since the first bail bid.
The bail conditions state that the officers stay in the province pending the outcome of the trial. They were ordered to stay at the addresses they furnished, which were outside Daveyton.
The accused were also ordered not to contact any of the witnesses.
According to the indictment, 32 witnesses are expected to testify.
Macia was filmed being tied to the back of a police van on February 26. Police alleged this was after they had had a confrontation with Macia, who refused to move his taxi which was obstructing traffic.
Macia was found dead in police cells several hours later. He was in his underwear and socks and his pants were later found at another part of the police station. A post mortem stated that he died from a lack of oxygen. Witnesses reported that he also had wounds to the head.
Police have denied playing any part in Macia's death. They claimed he was alive when he was put in the cell. – Sapa