The police officers were sentenced to 15 years in prison by the High Court in Pretoria earlier in the day.
The sentence should serve a deterrent to anyone who takes law into their own hands regardless of their position or standing in society, Acting Cabinet Spokesperson Phumla Williams said.
The eight police officers were convicted of murdering Mozambican taxi driver Mido Macia.
Macia, 27, was tied and dragged behind a police van on 26 Feburary in 2013 in Daveyton, east of Johannesburg. He later died in police custody.
The death of Macia made international headlines after an amateur footage showing Macia being dragged through the streets of Daveyton went viral on YouTube, sparking outrage in South Africa and abroad, and drawing attention to rampant police brutality in South Africa.
“Government welcomes the sentencing of the officers and applaud the judicial system and law enforcement agencies for ensuring that justice is served.
“This sentencing is a clear indication that the law will take its cause to ensure that perpetrators of such crimes are dealt with harshly,” Williams said.
She said the law enforcement agencies are there to protect society and ill-discipline by any law enforcement officers will not be tolerated and should be strongly condemned.
“Government has put in place mechanisms to address issues pertaining to law enforcement officials; key among this is the Independent Police Investigative Directorate whose objective is to investigate and prevent any corruption or criminal act within the police service,” Williams said.
“Generally, police are doing a sterling job to serve and protect communities. However, we will not allow their good work to be tainted by a few officers who are taking the law into their own hands,”she added. Enditem