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S.Africa holds memorial for Mozambican killed in custody

Friends and family of a Mozambican man who died in custody after being dragged behind a South African police van will hold a memorial service for him on Wednesday.

Mourners are expected to gather at the sports stadium in Daveyton, the town east of Johannesburg where 27-year-old Mido Macia died on Tuesday last week.

The Mozambican taxi driver was filmed being manhandled, handcuffed to the back of a police van and dragged hundreds of metres to a local police station.

Just over two hours later he was found dead in his cell.

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 bail hearing for the eight police officers charged with his murder will start Friday.

Graca Machel, Nelson Mandela’s wife and also widow of Mozambique’s liberation hero and first president Samora Machel, was expected at Macia’s memorial, due to start 11 am (0900 GMT).

Mozambique’s ambassador Fernando Fazenda will also attend.

South African authorities pledged to help repatriate Macia’s body to neighbouring Mozambique.

He will be buried outside the capital Maputo on Saturday, according to Mozambican media.