SA Remembers Uyinene Mrwetyana 2 Years After Her Murder, Reflects on GBV

SA Remembers Uyinene Mrwetyana 2 Years After Her Murder, Reflects on GBV

  • Uyinene Mrwetyana is being celebrated on the 2nd anniversary of her passing
  • The bright young woman had an incredible future ahead of her, ultimately cut short when she was brutally raped and murdered on 24 August, 2019
  • In honour of her life and legacy, a scholarship and foundation have been set up by Nene's former university and family

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Two years since her passing, Uyinene Mrwetyana's short life and legacy continue to have an impact globally. The 19-year-old was murdered after being lured to an empty post office by postal worker, Luyanda Botha.

Uyinene Mrwetyan, Murder, SA Reflects, GBV, 2 years since
Uyinene Mrwetyana is being remembered 2 years after her passing. The 19-year-old was brutally raped and murdered inside a post office. Images: @uyinene/Instagram
Source: Instagram

Friends and family have described Uyinene as a bubbly spirit who had certainly been the life of any gathering. The 19-year-old UCT film student had big plans for her life, unexpectedly cut short on 24 August, 2019.

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That morning, Nene had gone down to her local post office to retrieve a parcel. Botha, however, falsely claimed that the delivery had not yet arrived and told the young woman to come back at around 1pm.

The suspect was fully aware that the post office would be closed around that time and, having calculated his intentions to harm the young woman, arranged for his fellow employees to leave work early, Wikipedia reports.

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When Mrwetyana arrived after the official closing time, Botha locked the door behind her and began to violate her. Uyinene fought back fiercely before Botha strangled her and knocked her unconscious.

Her body was dumped in a nearby field, doused in petrol and set alight. Today, Mrwetyana’s friends say they’re learning to cope with her passing, eNCA reports.

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“We’ve changed our lives and how we live, I think the varsity and the foundation has kept up with that," said her friend Jenna Unsworth.

Sharing her thoughts on the state of gender-based violence in Mzansi, Jenna says she's disappointed that no real change has taken place since her friend's passing.

"Do I see a huge change in the incidents rate? I don’t think so. I think women still feel the brunt of these gender-based violence acts.”

Social media users also had a lot to say on the issue. Check out some of the comments below:

@MathebulaMazwi said:

"Angry that in SA a girl at a post office can get raped, mutilated & killed."

@Ndila_001 said:

"It is really not acceptable and must be dealt with now not later. #Uyinene was killed by a man, it has been 2 years."

@yaseentjie said:

"Remember #uyinene was murdered in a post office that’s next to a police station... disappointing."

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In celebration of Uyinene Mrwetyana's life and legacy, the University of Cape Town has since created a scholarship in her honour. The Mrwetyana family have also set up a foundation in her name, hoping to bring more awareness to the issues of gender-based violence currently running rife in South Africa.

Nosicelo Mtebeni: Uni to hold day of mourning, murder accused appears in court

In related news, Briefly News previously reported that Nosicelo Mtebeni's tertiary education facility the University of Fort Hare (UFH) will be suspending its academics and other operations on Wednesday, 25 August, in order to mourn her death. The 23-year-old was brutally murdered, allegedly by her boyfriend.

The university will be holding a memorial service on the same day which will be live-streamed. The institute also revealed that its Women's Month programme will now diverge a bit from what was planned initially in order to honour Mtebeni.

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Mtebeni's 25-year-old partner has been accused of her vicious murder and appeared before the East London Magistrate's Court on Monday, 23 August, where the case was postponed until 28 September.

Mtebeni's family is traumatised by her murder and believed that she was the family's glimmer of light. A family spokesperson stated that they looked at her as the light that would change the family's situation.

The community of Mtebeni's home village of Khauoe learnt of her death online. One of the community members made calls for the public to not share the gruesome images of Mtebeni's body through social media, according to SABC News.

A report by News24 revealed that students, as well as gender activist groups, are planning to protest outside the magistrate's court where the murder accused is expected to appear. The institution believes that the protest is a response to grief, anger and outrage.

Source: Briefly News

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Naomi Kobbie Naomi is an entertainment writer with 3 years experience in the world of radio and print media. She is a language graduate from the University of Pretoria (2020) and has worked for Briefly News since 2021. Naomi has a passion for the written word, whether through her work as a journalist or as a soulful singer. "When I'm not working, I spend my time producing music, travelling or snuggling up with a good movie and some butter popcorn."