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Rape video accused turns state witness

One of the Soweto rape video accused will now be a state witness in the trial.

Police officers escort a 37-year-old arrested in connection with the rape of a teenage girl in Soweto. The gang rape was filmed on a cellphone. Picture: Seabelo Modise/EWN

SOWETO - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has withdrawn charges against one of the accused in the Soweto rape video trial after he opted to turn state witness.

Five of the seven youths arrested in connection with the rape appeared in the Roodepoort Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

The courtroom was cleared and proceedings were held in-camera.

Lawyer William Carrim said two adult accused were released on bail of R1,500 each.

"What is significant [to note] is that the state did not oppose bail - that should speak for itself."

Carrim said charges were also withdrawn against the third adult.

"The state believes there is insufficient evidence to charge him."

The matter has been remanded until September and the minors will remain in their parents' custody.

In April, cellphone footage of the incident went viral, three weeks after the girl was reported missing.

Faces, genitals and several acts of penetration are clearly visible in the graphic footage.

Her attackers can be heard offering her R2 in exchange for her silence.