Paul Mutsi, who was arrested last week and charged for the brutal murder and rape of Christell Pienaar, had been scheduled to appear for a bail hearing at the court, but the case was withdrawn before he took the stand.
Pienaar’s body was found with stab wounds to her chest and throat, and with her pants pulled down, in a cricket field at Silver Oaks Secondary School in Eldorado Park.
“The case has been provisionally withdrawn due to a lack of evidence,” police spokesperson Warrant Officer Kay Makhubela said. If DNA tests showed Mutsi’s DNA matched tissue found on the deceased, the matter would come back to court, he added.
Pienaar is survived by her husband and five children.
The residents, who were protesting the bail application, were incensed by Mutsi’s release. “It’s been two weeks already,” said a visibly upset Beverly Thompson. “How can there be no evidence and no witnesses yet?”
Fellow protestor Emelia Rubidge said: “People will harm him if he is let out … We’re tired of being quiet – enough is enough.” It wasn’t the first time an incident such as this had occurred in their community, she said.
The family had to endure more drama at Pienaar’s funeral service on Thursday. “A young man confessed to having some involvement in Christell’s murder,” said Charis Pretorius, the Pienaar family’s spokesperson.
The police were called and he was removed from the family home. Other boys he had implicated were picked up, but none were charged, said Pretorius.
After leaving the court, supporters headed to the family home in Eldorado Park, some claiming they would bring justice to the Pienaar family by taking matters into their own hands if necessary.
A resident who didn’t want to be named said the drug problem in the area was the catalyst.
“If we can just get rid of all these drugs and the people doing them, things will change in our community”.