After DNA evidence failed to connect 14 illegal miners in South Africa to the rape, they were exonerated of all charges.
In July, when they were filming a music video near an abandoned mine south of Johannesburg, eight women were attacked by dozens of males.
The attack’s news reports shook South Africa, sparking tense demonstrations and threats against unauthorised immigrants.
In order to prosecute the criminals, police promise to continue their investigation.
Despite having one of the highest reported rape rates in the world, South Africa has few prosecutions.
According to report, the attack on models and the music video crew renewed calls for authorities to do more to tackle gender-based violence – but many will now see the dropped charges as another failure with regard to sexual assault victims.
“This will add to existing cynicism against police and courts in their handling of sexual violence cases,” Lisa Vetten, director of Tshwaranang, which campaigns to end violence against women, and who has spoken to some of the victims.
“Having this sort of thing happen can be a massive setback in believing or trying to believe that you can be safe again,” she told the BBC.
The 14 men were taken into custody and charged after some of the victims pointed them out during a police line-up.
However on Thursday, a spokesperson from South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said there was “insufficient evidence to continue with the case”.
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