If it were not for mobile technology equipped with cameras and social media, the SAPS officers who dragged 27-year-old Mozambican national Mido Macia from behind a police vehicle may not have been exposed to the public and the national and international outcry not as widespread as it is currently.
An unnamed witness supplied the video footage of the unsettling event to local media. Following this, various publications printed pixilated snapshots from the video as well as uploading it to YouTube.
It was then embedded onto the various media houses’ online platforms and eNCA broadcasted it on live television.
After Macia was dragged for approximately 400 metres on a tarred road in Daveyton, Johannesburg, Gauteng, he reportedly died in a holding cell.
According to the Daily Sun, other inmates told the publication the police beat Macia to death.
The police accused the victim of assaulting the constable at the scene and taking his firearm following a dispute over a parking violation, but the footage in question only shows Macia being assaulted and subsequently dragged behind the police vehicle.
Marcia’s death was caused by internal bleeding and head injuries as revealed by a post mortem.
President Jacob Zuma condemned the “horrific” incident and has directed the minister of police to investigate. The likes of the Democratic Alliance (DA), the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) and Amnesty International also spoke out against the incident.
The latest reports from eNCA indicate the eight police officials guilty of the crime have been arrested and charged with murder, and will appear in court on Monday.
On the Daily Sun’s Facebook page, many angry South Africans had their say about the brutal killing of Macia by the police.
By late afternoon today, #Daveyton was trending at number three on South African Twitter. Here is what some of the outraged users had to say:
wondering if humans have any inherent morals / sense of right and wrong? #Daveyton #PoliceBrutality #Anene #Rape
— Margaret Stride (@MsMEJS) March 1, 2013
Are policemen/women generally programmed to be heartless, brutal machines who brutalise their own? #Daveyton
— Patience Salane (@PatienceSalane) February 28, 2013
The tweets continue to pour in, especially now it has been confirmed the guilty police officials have been arrested.