Mozambique to bury taxi driver killed in S.Africa police dragging

Mourners in Mozambique gathered Saturday for the funeral of a taxi driver who died in police custody in South Africa after officers cuffed him to their van and dragged him through the streets.

Family and friends of Mido Macia, 26, travelled from neighbouring South Africa overnight to pay their final respects and he is due to be buried in Matola, a city next to the capital Maputo.

Nine South African police officers have been charged with his murder over the incident, but pleaded not guilty in a hearing on Friday.

Bystanders filmed Macia being manhandled, handcuffed to the back of a police van and dragged hundreds of metres in Daveyton, east of Johannesburg, on February 26.

He was found dead in his cell two hours later, having suffered severe head and internal injuries.

The footage spread quickly online and sent shock waves across the world, shining a spotlight yet again on the conduct of South Africa's much maligned police force.

Before the funeral Saturday rights groups marched to the South African embassy in Maputo in protest at Macia's killing amid outcry at the treatment of foreign migrants in Africa's largest economy.

The police officers charged with the killing said they would plead not guilty.

On Wednesday around 1,000 people attended a memorial for Macia at the sports stadium in Daveyton.

Later on Friday around 200 people gathered at Macia's house in Daveyton for a candlelight vigil by his coffin before it was transported to Mozambique.