AN INVESTIGATION has been launched into the death of a man who was apparently filmed being handcuffed to the back of a police van and dragged along the ground in South Africa.
The Daily Sun, a South African newspaper, published video footage, said to be filmed by a bystander on a mobile phone, in which uniformed officers subdue the man.
The footage shows the man being tied to the back of a police vehicle in front of a crowd.
South African media said the man was 27-year-old taxi driver Mido Macia, who was approached by police in Daveyton, Ekurhuleni, east of Johannesburg.
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate’s spokesman, Moses Dlamini, admitted that he was “shocked” by the police conduct and that a murder probe is under way, adding: “We are investigating an incident involving the death of a man, allegedly at the hands of the police.
“We are shocked by the footage which has been released. The circumstances surrounding his death are still allegations. Let’s find out what really happened.”
The opposition Democratic Alliance party called for the officers involved to be suspended and for a thorough investigation to be carried out. Provincial parliamentarian Kate Lorimer said: “The fact that the crowd watched and did nothing to help, some even cheering, is a sad indictment of the state of our society.”
South Africa’s police commissioner Riah Phiyega said: “The matter is viewed by the National Commissioner in a very serious light and it is strongly condemned.”
The police department did not confirm if the officers involved in the incident had been suspended. Mr Dlamini said the IPID did not have the power to suspend the officers.
Human rights group Amnesty International claimed there is an “increasingly disturbing pattern” of police brutality in South Africa.
The IPID had received 720 cases for investigation, including suspicious deaths in police custody, from April 2011 to March last year, according to Amnesty.