'Mido Macia was not completely innocent'

The defence attorney says actions of the former cops were wrong, but says Macia should’ve listened to them.

FILE: A screengrab of the convicted murderers, who were each handed 15 year jail terms in the High Court in Pretoria today.

PRETORIA - The defence in the Mido Macia murder trial has conceded the actions of the eight former police officers convicted and sentenced for his killing were wrong, but maintains the Mozambican taxi driver was not completely innocent.

Macia was dragged behind a police van in Daveyton on the east rand in February 2013.

He was later found dead in a holding cell.

The convicted murderers were each handed 15 year jail terms in the High Court in Pretoria today.

Defence attorney Marius van Wyngaardt says today's sentences were fair, because the former police officers did not intentionally kill Macia.

Van Wyngaardt agreed that their actions, on the day that he was dragged behind the van, were wrong.

"I cannot stand here and I don't think one of the accused can say to the court that what happened there was right."

But he also says Macia should have listened to the officers instead of provoking them.

"If the deceased just listened to the police officers, when they asked him 'Just move your vehicle,' nothing like this would have happened."

The defence has also indicated that it will continue to apply for leave to appeal their conviction, but not the sentences.

Meanwhile, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) has welcomed the sentences and says it hopes this will serve as a deterrent to other rogue officers.

Ipid's Robbie Raburabu said, "We think it will discourage police officers that are very rogue, who still want to continue what they are doing, to stop. To act within the law."

What really happened to Macia? _ Click here_ for the full story on how the Mozambican taxi driver died.