Macia’s family being harassed - Lawyer

Mido Macia's relatives are facing strong pressure to drop their civil case.

Lawyers for Mido Macia's relatives claim the Mozambican government is attempting to get them to drop their civil case against the police. Picture: Lesego Ngobeni/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Lawyers representing Mido Macia's family claim legal documents have been taken by the Mozambican government.

The move is apparently in a bid to stop relatives of the taxi driver, who died in police custody, from pursuing a civil case against South Africa's Police Ministry.

Macia was found dead in the Daveyton police station earlier this month, after community members filmed him being dragged behind police van.

While nine policemen have been denied bail and the criminal case is still under investigation, Macia's family wants to sue the Nathi Mthethwa's ministry for his death.

Attorney Andrew Boerner said Macia's father, Jossefa, was asked by the Mozambican government to hand over a document proving that his firm is heading the case.

He also said they had been informed the slain taxi driver's relatives were being coerced into dropping the case.

"They said that they had been placed under severe pressure, amounting to duress, by the representatives that the matter ought to be settled out of court."

Boerner said in their bid to secure a settlement, the Mozambican government is planning to fly Jossefa into the country for a meeting with both governments.

But the Police Ministry has denied any knowledge of plans to hold talks between the three parties.

Zweli Mnisi, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa's spokesperson, said his department has nothing to do with the meeting.

"As people who understand, know and the respect law, we are not having an external court process. We have to respect the fact that suspects have been arrested and that the matter is before court."