A South African court on Tuesday found eight former police officers guilty of murdering a Mozambican taxi driver who died in a prison cell after being tied to the back of police truck and driven through a busy Johannesburg street two years ago.
The treatment of Mido Macia, caught on video, further tarnished the reputation of the police in South Africa where about 1,000 people a year die in custody or as result of police action.
Macia died as a result of head injuries and internal bleeding caused by being assaulted and dragged behind the vehicle, prosecutors said.
“There can be no doubt that they foresaw the injuries may result in his death,” Judge Bert Bam told the courtroom. “Accused number one to eight, you’re convicted of murder.”
The video of the 2013 incident, filmed by an onlooker, showed minibus taxi driver Macia scuffling with police after he illegally parked his vehicle.
He is subdued and then tied to the back of a police van by his arms before the vehicle drives off in front of scores of witnesses in the east Johannesburg area of Daveyton.
All eight police officers involved were fired for their role in the abuse, along with their station commander.
The incident came within months of the police shooting dead 34 striking workers at a platinum mine in August 2012 – the deadliest security incident since apartheid ended in 1994.