Johannesburg - Mpumalanga authorities have confirmed that investigations into an alleged racial attack left one man dead are still underway despite the release of suspects previously arrested in connection with the incident.
Last week, video footage emerged showing what appears to be a fight between two groups of people on a quiet street in Middelburg. In footage obtained by Middelburg Observer, two cars are shown stopping next to each other before a few people emerge from both vehicles.
After a brief stop, the one car drives off, leaving some passengers behind before a fight breaks out between the men. One person is seen being repeatedly being kicked and beaten on the ground before being dragged closer to the car. Another person moves away from the scuffle and watches on as the group continues its assault on the person on the ground. Eventually more people are seen arriving at the scene, effectively putting an end to the scuffle.
Middelburg Observer has reported that one person, Xolisile Ndzongana, died following the fight, which his friends allege was a racial attack.
Timeslive then reported that four suspects were arrested over a week later and charged with murder and assault.
Shortly after, the suspects were released and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) confirmed to IOL that this was because they could not be linked to the incident.
"They were not linked to the crime and therefore the matter was not enrolled," NPA Mpumalanga spokesperson Monica Nyuswa said.
She confirmed that the matter was still under investigation by Mpumalanga police, a fact corroborated by spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi.
"The investigation is continuing... we've received directives from the NPA, which we are following," he said.
Hlathi confirmed that no further arrests had been made but was unable to divulge the number of suspects the police are looking for.
A murder case is currently being investigated.
He did however stress that making arrests was the police's priority at this point, especially since a life had been lost.
"The police must find whoever did this... the victim's family must get closure on the matter," he said.IOL