As friends and family hold a memorial service today for a Mozambican man who died after being handcuffed and dragged behind a South African police van, unions are denouncing the death and calling for continued action to investigate the tragedy.

The South African Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) “condemns the actions of several police officers” involved and says the union is “mortified by these actions which demonstrate the opposite of what the men and women in blue represent.” POPCRU, an affiliate of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), represents 80,000 members of the South African Police Service.

Both POPCRU and COSATU support the efforts by the South African Independent Police Investigative Directorate in moving quickly to investigate. COSATU also notes that the preliminary results of the directorate’s post-mortem “are consistent with the version that this man was dragged and possibly assaulted.”

Video footage taken on February 28 by an eyewitness shows Mido Macia being tied to the back of the van and dragged along the street. Macia, 27, later died in police custody.

The Workers Organization of Mozambique is calling on South Africa to “take strong and punitive measures to “punish the perpetrators, compensate the bereaved family” and take steps to ensure such an incident never happens again.

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the News from The Solidarity Center