The move to withdraw charges against three people accused of helping Thabo Bester escape custody, is all part of a strategy. The trio, who were currently out on bail, were allowed to leave the dock immediately; the relief on their faces was visible.
This comes as the matter was postponed to next year for a pre-trial conference in February next year.
"The State has withdrawn charges against Nastassja Jansen, Thabang Mier, and Moeketsi Ramolula as part of its strategic approach to the entire case, which aims to ensure accountability for those suspected of committing crimes related to this serious matter," explained National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phaladi Shuping.
Shuping said the accused who are still facing charges are Senohe Matsoara, Zolile Sekeleni, Teboho Lipholo, Nandipha Magudumana, Thabo Bester, Buti Masukela, Tieho Makhotsa, Zanda Moyo and Joel Makhetha.
Magudumana, Bester, and Moyo are still in custody, and the rest of the accused are out on bail of R10,000 each.
Bester was imprisoned at the G4S-run Mangaung Correctional Centre after being found guilty of the murder of Nomfundo Tiyhulu by the Western Cape High Court.
He was spotted in Sandton in March last year, despite reports that he died when a fire broke out in his cell.
Investigations later revealed that the body of Katleho Bereng had been placed into Bester's cell as a decoy while he fled the facility.
Bester and Magudumana left the country and were tracked down in Tanzania. The pair were brought back to South Africa.
The accused face charges including fraud, corruption, assisting an inmate to escape, violation of the body, arson, and defeating the ends of justice.
Meanwhile, Magudumana did not appear in court on Wednesday after she collapsed before the appearance. It is alleged that she undressed herself while being taken from prison to court.
Her lawyer, Machini Motloung, said Magudumana's request to appear virtually was turned down by the court.