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South African officers may face murder charges in dragging

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By The Los Angeles Times
Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, 9:45 p.m.
 

JOHANNESBURG — Police face possible murder charges in South Africa for allegedly handcuffing a man to a van and dragging him along a road, after the popular tabloid the Daily Sun posted a video of the incident online.

Commuter mini-bus driver Mido Macia allegedly was accosted by several officers this week while blocking traffic with his white Toyota Avanza minivan. The video footage showed the 27-year-old Mozambican resisting the police as they muscled him toward the police van, while a crowd of people watched and shouted.

The video shows Macia being handcuffed by police to the van with his hands above his head before an officer drives the van away, dragging him along the road until the vehicle is out of sight. Macia's buttocks and legs dragged along the road.

According to a statement by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, or IPID, Macia died several hours after being taken into custody.

The death occurred as South African police have been under fire for other instances of alleged brutality or misconduct. Last week, Hilton Botha, the lead detective in the murder trial of Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius, was removed from the case because he faced attempted murder charges in a shooting that involved a commuter taxi carrying seven passengers.

Police also have been criticized over the fatal shootings of 34 protesting platinum miners, some of whom had allegedly surrendered during a confrontation after a strike in August at Lonmin's Marikana mine. Dozens of other strikers were injured in the shootings.

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