South Africa police in court after man dragged, killed

BENONI, South Africa (AFP) - Eight South African police officers charged with the murder of a Mozambican man whom they dragged to custody behind a police van had their bail hearing delayed on Monday.

The eight officers had been expected to appear in court and apply for release and to be formally charged with the murder of 27-year old Mido Macia.

But the case was delayed without the defendants appearing in the dock, amid fears of them being photographed and identified.

A magistrate agreed that the case will resume once state witnesses have confirmed the identities of the accused.

The Mozambican taxi driver was filmed being manhandled, handcuffed to the back of a police van and dragged hundreds of metres to the Daveyton police station, east of Johannesburg, on Tuesday.

Just over two hours later he was found dead in custody.

A post mortem found he died from head injuries and internal bleeding.

Footage of the incident spread quickly online and sent shockwaves throughout the country, shining a spotlight yet again on the conduct of South Africa's much maligned police force.

The images show a large crowd of horrified bystanders looking on, some warning police they were being filmed. "Hey! Hey! Why are you hitting him?" one person in the crowd can be heard shouting in Zulu.

Macia, lying on his back, can be seen kicking and struggling to avoid the tarmac as the police van picked up speed.

President Jacob Zuma and the chief of police have condemned the incident.

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