Charges dropped against four Diepsloot accused
The NPA has been forced to drop charges against four of the accused due to insufficient evidence.
JOHANNESBURG - Charges against four of the five men accused of raping and murdering Diepsloot cousins Zandile and Yonelisa Mali have been withdrawn due to a lack of evidence.
DNA results presented in court on Friday morning could not link the men to the crimes and cellphone records show they were not even in the northern Johannesburg informal settlement when the girls, aged two and three, went missing two weeks ago.
Forensic teams removed the bodies of the little girls from the toilet cubicle in which they were found. Picture: EWN.
The fifth man who has confessed to the crimes remains behind bars.
State prosecutor Matric Luphondo says the prosecution has decided to withdraw all criminal charges against four of the accused because of insufficient evidence.
She says cellphone records from all four suspects traced them in different places outside Diepsloot at the time of the incident.
Luphondo says the families of the victims were notified of the decision to withdraw the charges an hour before court proceedings began.
She says the main suspect will now face an additional charge for the murder of Anelisa Mkhondo whose body was found near a dumpster in September.
An ID kit of the main suspect in the murder of two Diepsloot toddlers. Picture: Twitter/@SAPoliceService
The National Prosecuting Authority(NPA) initially said it expected police to present DNA results in court which could positively link four men to the Mali rape and murder.
Dozens of Diepsloot residents, wearing Agang South Africa and Congress of the People (Cope) t-shirts, sang and chanted outside the court, ahead of the appearance of the accused.
Community members carrying placards reading " Stop raping our children" and "No bail for rapists and killers" said they want justice.
A community leader told Eyewitness News they want justice.
"Today we are expecting justice to take its part or to play its role in this case."