JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Nine South African policemen charged with the murder of a Mozambican taxi driver who was shackled to the back of a police vehicle and dragged to a nearby station were denied bail on Tuesday.
The police officers have pleaded not guilty to murder but cellphone footage captured by an onlooker and broadcast around the world by news channels shows heavy-handed treatment meted out to 27-year-old Mido Macia.
The incident rekindled images of apartheid era police brutality and threw a harsh spotlight on police abuse in Africa's biggest economy, where more than 1,000 detainees died in custody last year or as a result of police action.
In affidavits read to the court, the policemen said they were shocked to hear of Macia's death as he had not complained of "any pain".
A post mortem report seen by Reuters said Macia had died of oxygen starvation and suffered a range of injuries including "extensive abrasions on the face, limbs and body" and bruises to his back, torso and testicles.
(Reporting by Siyabonga Sishi; Writing by Peroshni Govender; Editing by Ed Cropley)
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