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Charges against Senzo Meyiwa murder accused withdrawn

Charges against Zanokuhle Mbatha have been withdrawn at the Boksburg Magistrates Court.

Friends and family of Senzo Meyiwa waiting for the court proceedings to start on 11 November 2014. Picture: Thando Kubheka/EWN.

BOKSBURG - The case against Zanokuhle Mbatha, the only man arrested in connection with the murder of soccer star Senzo Meyiwa, has been withdrawn.

The accused did not appear in the Boksburg Magistrates Court this morning as he was being protected from the media and public view.

A heavy police presence was evident outside the building and inside the courtroom.

Police erected a makeshift barbed wire boundary to make it easy to control the crowds.

Proceedings got underway just after 9am.

The magistrate ordered his immediate release and withdrew the case after the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) admitted to not having enough evidence to take the accused to trial.

At first, state prosecutors asked the magistrate for a postponement.

The prosecutor told the court that new information had come to light, but did not elaborate too much on this.

It's understood the accused was pointed out by two people, but inconsistencies have since emerged.

The NPA also admitted to the court that it did not have enough evidence

to take the accused to trial and said they needed more time to gather

more information.

It says it had a Constitutional responsibility to withdraw the case and denies this is an embarrassment.

At this stage, there was no prospect of a successful prosecution, the NPA said.

The magistrate said he was aware this decision would make some people angry and frustrated.

A HERO LAID TO REST

Meyiwa was shot and killed in what has been described as a robbery gone wrong.

He was at the family home of his girlfriend, Kelly Khumalo, when two men stormed in.

During an altercation, shots were fired which resulted in Meyiwa being shot.

He was laid to rest in an emotional ceremony in his hometown in Durban.

Days after the murder, identikits of two suspects were released.

Police have maintained that the investigation into the murder continues.