One of the Daveyton policemen accused of murdering Mozambican taxi driver Mido Macia has been acquitted because there was no evidence against him.
After closing the State's case, prosecutor Charles Mnisi conceded on Tuesday that there was no evidence against the ninth accused, Constable Matome Walter Ramatlou, 37.
Judge Bert Bam said it was not necessary for the defence to apply for Ramatlou's discharge.
"There is no evidence whatsoever implicating accused 9. He is found not guilty and discharged.
"You are free to go," the judge told Ramatlou.
Ramatlou was the only one of the accused who was not dismissed after a disciplinary hearing and had already resumed his duties as a police officer last year.
The case for the remaining former Daveyton policemen, Meshack Malele, 46, Thamsamqa Mgema, 35, Percy Jonathan Mnisi, 26, Bongamusa Mdluli, 25, Sipho Sydwell Ngobeni, 30, Lungisa Gwababa, 31, Bongani Kolisi, 27 and Linda Sololo, 56, will commence on Wednesday.
They have denied murdering Macia, insisting they had not willfully caused his death.
The policemen were arrested after a video emerged in 2013 of Macia being dragged behind a police van through the streets of Daveyton on the East Rand. He was arrested for obstructing traffic.
State pathologist Dr Solly Skosana earlier testified that Macia had died from head and chest injuries, which resulted in concussion and an accumulation of fluid in the brain, restricted breathing, and eventually a lack of oxygen, resulting in his death.
He said timely medical intervention could have saved Macia's life.
In cross-examination by defence advocate Marius van Wyngaard, Skosana conceded that all of Macia's external injuries could have been caused during the initial altercation with police who tried to get him into a police van or while being dragged behind the van.
He shot down suggestions that Macia could have inhaled enough carbon monoxide from the exhaust fumes of the police van to cause his death.
Van Wyngaard suggested to him that Macia could have sustained some of his injuries later after slipping on his socks and falling against a bench or wall in the cell.
Skosana said blood spatters on the walls of the cell indicated that Macia was still alive and upright when force was applied to any part of his body, such as his head.
"It would have resulted in the head moving, hence the blood spatter against the wall.
"We know the deceased was still alive when he arrived in the cell because blood spatters cannot emanate from a dead person when a blow is applied to him," he said.
When Bam asked if Macia would still have been able to walk by himself if he had sustained his injuries before he was brought to the cell, Skosana said he would have expected Macia to be disorientated and to complain of a headache, thereafter leading to unconsciousness.
"If he was standing, that would explain if he became dizzy and unconscious, he would fall and hit his body against a hard surface. He would then be unconscious.
"With medical help, it's been proven that the effects of cerebral oedema (the excess accumulation of fluid in the spaces of the brain) may be reversed with the administration of oxygen," he said.