Almost a year ago today, the country mourned the loss of Uyinene Mrwetyana, a 19-year-old University of Cape Town student with a bright future. Mrwetyana was murdered while at the post office, and her death spurred nationwide outrage and protest.
Women and men across the country banded together when news of Mrwetyana’s disappearance first gained traction, with vigils being held across the country in support of her family and friends.
Luyanda Botha eventually plead guilty for her murder, and was handed down three life sentences for the heinous crime.
Botha was charged with two counts of rape, a murder charge and one count of defeating the ends of justice. The former Post Office employee confessed to raping and bludgeoning Mrwetyana to death at the Clareinch Post Office in August.
On August 8, Uyinene made her way to the Clareinch Post Office to check on the status of a package she was expecting, and was told by Botha to return later, as the power was out. When she returned, she found Botha there alone. He sexually assaulted Mwretyana before bashing her head in with a scale used to weigh packages at the Post Office.
Her body was hidden in a safe at the Post Office before being dumped in Lingelethu West. Here, Botha doused her body in accelerant before setting it alight.
Since her death in August 2019, the 19-year-old student has become a symbol of the fight against gender-based violence, prompting protests and making many realise just how serious the plight of women and children in South Africa is.
On August 24, it will be the one-year anniversary of Uyinene’s death. To honour her life, people are planning to decorate the Clarinch Post Office and Clarement Police Station with flowers and ribbons.
If you are in a position to financially support the fight against gender-based violence, here are some worthy causes always in need of donations:
Also read: Uyinene Mrwetyana receives posthumous award
Picture: Facebook/Uyinene Mrwetyana Foundation