Police minister orders changes as dragging-death accused denied bail

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has called for better command and control in the SAPS to avoid lawsuits. (Photo: issafrica.org)

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has called for better command and control in the SAPS to avoid lawsuits. (Photo: issafrica.org)

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has told Parliament that the management of the South African Police Service (SAPS) must strengthen command and control in order to avoid lawsuits.

PoliticsWeb reports that Mthethwa was speaking during a parliamentary reply on the cost of legal cases against his department. SAPS reportedly dealt with 5090 civil claims during 2011/2012. Read more.

Mthethwa’s comments came amid a public outcry following the death in police custody of taxi driver Emidio Macia. Macia died in a Daveyton police cell after being handcuffed to and dragged behind a SAPS vehicle. Macia’s family is said to be considering legal action against the police.

Meanwhile, the nine officers accused of involvement in Macia’s death have been denied bail by Benoni magistrate Sam Makamu. Makamu said angry  Daveyton residents might take revenge against the officers if they were to be released on bail. Read more.

Wits Justice Project  coordinator Nooshin Erfani-Ghadimi says the WJP is receiving more reports of brutality by police and prison warders.

“We are distressed abut Daveyton not just because of the [Macia] tragedy, but because it is symptomatic of a wider malaise and a culture of impunity,” she told the Sunday Times (See “Hundreds of criminal cases against cops before courts” by Prega Govender, published on 10 March 2012).

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About witsjusticeproject
The Wits Justice Project combines journalism, advocacy, law and education to make the criminal justice system work better for all.

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