South Africa Probes Death of Man Lashed to Police Van

South African officials are investigating the death of a man who was tied to the back of a police van and dragged away while onlookers filmed the incident.

Footage on Johannesburg-based TV news channel eNCA showed the man lashed by his wrists as he was dragged through a crowd. Two men in police uniforms walk behind the car, one of them at times carrying his feet, before dropping him as the van sped out of view. The man, a Mozambican, later died in a police cell from head injuries, Amnesty International said in a report today.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate is investigating the matter, which police chief Riah Phiyega “strongly condemned,” according to a statement. The “alleged brutal treatment” of taxi driver, Mido Macia, took place in Daveyton, on the eastern outskirts of Johannesburg, it said. President Jacob Zuma said in an e-mailed statement that he condemned the action and said he had directed the police minister to investigate.

“This appalling incident involving excessive force is the latest in an increasingly disturbing pattern of brutal police conduct in South Africa,” Noel Kututwa, Amnesty’s southern Africa director, said in a statement.

Police officers shot dead 34 men when they opened fire on a mass of striking mineworkers, most of whom were armed with machetes or wooden sticks, at Lonmin Plc’s Marikana mine near the mining hub of Rustenburg in August.

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