South Africa: Shock as man handcuffed to van and dragged by police dies

South Africa’s police watchdog is investigating the death of a Mozambican taxi driver who was allegedly handcuffed to the back of a police van and dragged through the streets.

handcuffed to van and dragged

Video footage taken by a bystander of the incident has been shown in the local media.

A spokesman for the Police Investigative Directorate said he was “shocked” by the footage.

South African police are often accused of brutality, rights groups say.

‘Dies in custody’

Local media reported that police initially assaulted the 27-year-old Mozambican, a taxi driver, accusing him of parking his vehicle incorrectly in Daveyton, east of Johannesburg.

The video shows a large crowd gathering, as uniformed policemen tie him to a van, dragging him as they drive away.

He was later taken into custody, where he died, local media report.

“We are investigating an incident involving the death of man, allegedly at the hands of the police. We are shocked by the footage which has been released,” Independent Police Investigative Directorate spokesman Moses Dlamini is quoted by AFP news agency as saying.

“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.

“The fact that it was police who were the vigilantes in this case shows that we cannot trust the [South African Police Service] to uphold the law,” said provincial parliamentarian Kate Lorimer, AFP reports.

“The fact that the crowd watched and did nothing to help, some even cheering, is a sad indictment of the state of our society.”


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