Johannesburg - South African prosecutors on Tuesday withdrew the case against a suspect in the killing of national soccer team captain Senzo Meyiwa, the latest high-profile murder in which police and prosecutors have struggled to build an air-tight case.
Police arrested Zamokuhle Mbatha late last month after witnesses picked him out in an identity parade, but on Tuesday magistrate Daniel Thulare said there was not enough evidence to try him.
"Consequently this court orders the immediate release of the accused, Zamokuhle Innocent Mbatha, from detention," Thulare told a hearing in Boksburg on the outskirts of Johannesburg.
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Meyiwa was hit by a single gunshot to the chest on October 26 while confronting two intruders at the home of his girlfriend, actress and singer Kelly Khumalo.
His death comes after a high court judge acquitted Olympic and Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius of murder after he shot and killed his girlfriend last year, saying the state had only proved a lesser case of culpable homicide.
Prosecutors are appealing that verdict.
Some legal experts say the state also has a shaky case in the ongoing trial of British businessman Shrien Dewani, implicated in the 2010 murder of his bride while the couple were on honeymoon in South Africa.
South Africa has one of the world's highest rates of violent crime, with police recording more than 17 000 murders last year, or 31 per 100 000 people.
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