Taxi driver’s son will be cared for – Govt

The Gauteng government has promised to take care of the son of a taxi driver who died in police custody.

The Gauteng government on Friday promised to take care of the son of a taxi driver who died in police custody on the East Rand this week. Picture: Lesego Ngobeni/ENW

JOHANNESBURG -The Gauteng government on Friday promised to take care of the son of a taxi driver who died in police custody on the East Rand this week.

Premier Nomvula Mokonyane's office said the Mozambican-born child (7) will be taken care of for the rest of the year, regardless of whether he returned to his home-country or not.

The boy's father, Mido Macia, was tied to a bencjh inside a police van and dragged behind the vehicle on Tuesday.

He died hours later in a holding cell at the Daveyton Police Station, allegedly after being beaten.

Eight officers linked to the incident were arrested on Friday, after a video of the incident emerged. They face a charge of murder each.

They first claimed Macia died after being attacked by other men in the holding cells, but the video footage taken by an eyewitness clearly showed him being tied to the back of the van and dragged along a street in Daveyton.

Police claim officers travelling in a van switched on their siren indicating that Macia should move his minibus taxi, which was obstructing traffic in Empilweni Street.

It's alleged the taxi driver then assaulted one of the officers and took his firearm - before he was overpowered.

Mokonyane visited Macia's home yesterday.

She said her department would look after Macia's son in South Africa until the end of the year.

The premier said her department would ensure the boy is placed in a no-fee school that offers a nutrition programme to learners.

Her office will also ensure the boy has school uniform, she said.

Mokonyane said the boy's family would decide if he must be sent back to Mozambique when the academic-year ends.

Both President Jacob Zuma and National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega have condemned the alleged killing of Macia.

'POLICE TRAINING NECESSARY'

The Benoni Taxi Association, which driver Macia belonged to, has called the training of police into question.

The association's chairman, Jafta Ndlovu, yesterday said the officers clearly didn't know how to deal with the situation during the arrest.

"A lot of things need to be done, especially by our government.

"They need to take these people (police) and give them further training."

And he said it was worrying that the officers were not fazed by outraged spectators recording the incident.