Delft rape, murder accused charges withdrawn

2014-06-12 07:47
Protesters at court where the Delft rape and murder-accused appeared.  (Nardus Engelbrecht, Sapa)

Protesters at court where the Delft rape and murder-accused appeared. (Nardus Engelbrecht, Sapa)

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Cape Town - Charges against a man accused of raping a 9-year-old girl and setting her alight were provisionally withdrawn in the Bellville District Court on Wednesday.

Prosecutor Herculine Swart said the process of analysing forensic evidence against the 27-year-old man was technical, complicated, and would take an undetermined amount of time.

The director of public prosecutions had decided to provisionally withdraw the charges pending further investigation.

Legal Aid lawyer Neesha Salie said the case against her client had been going on for a long time.

"Should the State, however, re-charge my client, the investigation should first be completed," she warned.

The man was arrested on 19 January. Initially, he faced charges of abduction, sexual assault, rape, and attempted murder.

Because the victim died in hospital from her burns on 18 March, the attempted murder charge was changed to murder.

When he appeared on Tuesday, Salie applied for more details of the case, claiming the State had refused her previous requests for further information.

Salie said she needed to know how strong the State's case was, especially as it was alleging he was linked to the offences by DNA.

The man has been held in solitary confinement at the Goodwood Prison after previously complaining of being assaulted.

Outside court, a number of people supporting the girl's family were shocked at what had happened in court.

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