Cape Town, South Africa - In an alarming twist to the brutal killing of a taxi driver by the South African police near Johannesburg last week, the Mozambican Embassy has suggested that the death of its citizen, Mido Macia, resembled the xenophobic attacks that flared up around South Africa in 2008, leaving 68 people, mostly foreigners, dead.
Two warrant officers and six constables have been charged with the murder of Macia, who was tied to the back of a police van and dragged along a street in Daveyton last Tuesday. A witness filmed the assault.
Mozambican Embassy representative Jose Nascimento said the tragedy had displayed 'tendencies of xenophobia'.
Nevertheless, he said the consulate had been pleased that a number of suspects are in custody.
Magistrate Sam Makamu on Monday granted a request by the prosecution that the police officers not be identified yet and he postponed the case until Friday.
An identity parade is scheduled for Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Office of the Presidency has dismissed calls for Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa and Police commissioner Riah Phiyega to be axed over the issue.
Former Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils said the resignations or suspensions of the police bosses would have followed the death of Macia “in any civilised democratic society”.
Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj said Kasrils was “entitled to express his views, however much one may disagree with them”.