Death of Mozambican national in Southern Africa

The Africa desk in the World Church Relationships Office has received the following press release from the Methodist Church in Southern Africa:

The Methodist Church of Southern Africa, like the rest of the country and world, has been deeply shocked and outraged by the brutal death of Emidio Macia, a Mozambican national, allegedly at the hands of the police. This is savagery on a par with the violence that occurred at Marikana and is reminiscent of some of the terrible abuses of the apartheid era and is hereby condemned in the strongest possible sense.

Police brutality in this country is an ongoing problem and it is unconscionable that thus far nothing has been done to address the systemic nature of this violence in our country. The 4,923 complaints received by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) between 2011/2012 are an example of the deep rootedness of the problem and serve to undermine our confidence in South Africa's police service.

Whilst we support the call for the establishment of a Judicial Commission of Inquiry into police brutality by the President, which will hopefully ascertain what the root causes of this problem are and what can be done to stamp out this culture of violence which is now becoming synonymous with our police, urgent, visible action must be taken by the President to demonstrate condemnation of this kind of behaviour.

Of equal concern was the behaviour of the bystanders, which was as nauseating as the brutal police action shown on the video. We call upon civil society to stand up and begin to do something that will help us recover our humanity. Such atrocious behaviour must continue to be exposed using our mobile phones and other means available to us.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the bereaved family.

Released by the Methodist Church of Southern Africa
Office of the Presiding Bishop, Rev Zipho Siwa

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