Delft rape, murder suspect released

The NDPP withdrew the charges against the accused due to inconclusive evidence.

FILE: Elihle Hlanjwa who was raped, set light and left for dead. Picture: Mia Spies/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says there was insufficient evidence to successfully prosecute a man accused of raping and setting alight a nine-year-old Delft girl in January.

The NPA's Nathi Mncube says the 27-year-old suspect was released after the National Director of Public Prosecutions was compelled to provisionally withdraw the charges of abduction, rape and murder against the accused.

Mncube says the forensic analysis of evidence has so far been inconclusive and the state is unable to determine how long it will take to analyse other evidence.

He says the matter has been referred back to police.

"Should [police] find that there is more evidence, they will be able to submit it back to the director for his consideration."

Elihle Hlanjwa was found near the R300 Freeway earlier this year. She had been sexually assaulted, set alight and left for dead, but survived the attack.

Hlanjwa survived for more than two months following the horrific attack.

She passed on in March, but not before apparently naming her attacker.