Murder charges against former Mpumalanga MEC Mandla Msibi have been provisionally withdrawn.
Judge Brian Mashile told Msibi, Joseph Charlie Ngwenya, Tshepo Matsane, Anele Mnisi, Njabulo Mkhonto and Sibusiso Mdluli on Monday at the Mbombela High Court that they were free to go.
The six were facing two counts of murder, one for attempted murder, and defeating the ends of justice.
Msibi is the former agriculture MEC and current ANC provincial treasurer. He and his co-accused were charged with the murders of Sindela Sipho Lubisi and Dingane Ngwenya on 22 August last year, outside Coyote’s Shisa Nyama in Mbombela. The third victim, Sfiso Mpila, survived the ordeal.
Mpumalanga National Prosecuting Authority's (NPA) Monica Nyuswa said there was outstanding information that the police needed to obtain before the matter would be brought back to court.
"We took a decision of provisionally withdraw[ing] charges, pending the outstanding information," she said.
Msibi had earlier claimed that his arrest was politically motivated.