Charges against Soweto man dropped

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gangrape may 4 INLSA (File photo) Five of the seven males suspected of gang-raping a 17-year-old Soweto girl walk to the Roodepoort Magistrates Court. Picture: Chris Collingridge

Charges against a man accused of kidnapping and raping a Soweto teenager, also the victim of a video-taped gang-rape, were provisionally withdrawn on Friday.

No reasons were given for the withdrawal in the Roodepoort Magistrate's Court. The 37-year-old man briefly appeared wearing a windbreaker.

He had been accused of holding the 17-year-old mentally disabled girl against her will at his house in Braamfischerville, Soweto.

At an earlier court appearance, he was told to hire a lawyer, or to submit a request for Legal Aid. The girl went missing on March 21 and was found at the man's house in a search launched after police became aware of the rape video.

Four boys and three men, who matched the descriptions of rapists shown in a cellphone video of the attack, were arrested in Dobsonville, Soweto on April 17. The video was widely circulated on the internet from April 18.

The four minors were granted bail by the Roodepoort Magistrate's Court on Thursday. The three men allegedly involved in the rape remained in custody. – Sapa


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