GENERAL

Uyinene’s murderer back in court over 2014 attempted rape

Luyanda Botha, the man serving life for the rape and murder of Uyinene Mrwetyana, appeared in Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on 10 May, to face charges of attempted rape of a 21-year-old woman.

This incident occurred five years before Mrwetyana’s murder. Botha, now imprisoned for his brutal crimes, stands accused of attempting to rape a woman at a nursing college in Athlone in June 2014.

The State alleges that Botha visited the institution and encountered the victim, who was taking a bath. He reportedly tried to rape her, but she resisted, leading to his arrest. The complainant has already given her testimony, and the court will hear from a witness when the case resumes on 7 June.

Murder of Uyinene Mrwetyana in 2019

Uyinene Mrwetyana’s murder in August 2019 sparked nationwide protests against gender-based violence. Botha, then a post office employee, raped and murdered the 19-year-old student when she came to collect a parcel.

Earlier in that month, she had visited the post office to inquire about her parcel and Botha contacted her a few weeks later on 24 August to let her know it had arrived.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Eric Ntabazalila recounted the tragic events, stating, when an unsuspecting Mrwetyana turned up, Botha raped and attacked her. He bludgeoned her with a heavy object on the head and then locked her body in a post office safe.

Botha later confessed to the crime and led police to where he had disposed of her body. The Western Cape High Court sentenced him to life imprisonment for murder and two additional life sentences for rape.

“The deceased was a 19-year-old student who was murdered in a callous and vicious manner for no reason other than that she rebuffed the sexual advances of the accused.

“He misused his position a s a postal worker to gain her trust, causing her to enter the post office,” said Ntabazalila.

Murder sparks South Africa’s fight against gender violence

The murder of Uyinene Mrwetyana remains a significant moment in the fight against gender-based violence in South Africa.

According to Daily Maverick, last year, in commemoration of the four-year anniversary of her death, people gathered to walk from her former residence to the post office where she was killed. Nomangwane Mrwetyana, Uyinene’s mother, addressed the crowd with an emotional plea for change.

“The wound is still open; it is still a great loss. Assist us to transform this place. It cannot continue as a post office at all. We want this place that caused pain to us to be transformed into a place of healing,” she said.

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