Thousands of ANC supporters gathered at the Mapulaneng FET College sportsground to celebrate the withdrawal of murder charges against Bushbuckridge executive mayor Milton Morema.
People sang and danced as they waved ANC and SACP flags in Acornhoek on Saturday. Morema and two others had murder charges against them withdrawn last Wednesday due to lack of evidence.
Morema told the crowd that people with ulterior motives had tried to make sure that he was destroyed forever. "I'm a free man now because I was not involved in the killing of anyone," he said.
Morema, Luckios Mosoma and Erasmus Makhubele were arrested on April 10 last year.
They were charged with the 2003 murder of an alleged hitman, Jeffrey Sedibe, whom they had allegedly hired to kill Motion Mashile, a teacher police claimed had political differences with Morema.
A body believed to be that of Sedibe was exhumed by the police on April 12 last year, but the DNA results could not confirm if indeed it was Sedibe's.