Uyinene murder accused allegedly tried to rape woman in hospital, says Cele as gruesome details emerge

The man who confessed to the rape and murder of University of Cape Town student Uyinene Mrwetyana once faced a case, that was later dropped, of chasing down a woman in hospital to rape her, Police Minister Bheki Cele said as he revealed gruesome details about the killing. 

Cele delved into the criminal history of the accused 42-year-old post office employee when several Cabinet ministers met with representatives of civil society as well as community and students groups who had gathered at Parliament in protest against gender-based violence on Thursday.

The suspect allegedly confessed and faces charges of murder, rape and defeating the ends of justice. It also emerged he had a previous criminal conviction. He appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court on Monday.

"The guy has got a record of a [hijacking]. Sentenced to eight years. Unfortunately, he got parole after four years. He's got a record of similar a rape but unfortunately, that case was dropped so it did not become a record.

"He went to [the] hospital to check his girlfriend, did not find his girlfriend." 

Instead, said the minister, the suspect found another "young lady". 

"In the hospital, he chased the lady to rape her," said Cele.

Going into the details of Mrwetyana's murder, the minister said the accused put her body in the boot of his vehicle, took it home and considered burning it up before thinking it is "too risky" and taking it to Khayelitsha to "dump". 

"There is no bail" for Mrwetyana's alleged rapist he said. "Looking at the profile, nothing gives him [a chance of getting] bail."

Post Office probing how it employed alleged rapist, murderer

Meanwhile, the South African Post Office board convened a dedicated sub-committee to investigate the appointment of the man who allegedly raped and murdered Uyinene Mrwetyana, despite him having a previous criminal conviction.

"The post office board was horrified and dismayed by the news of the brutal murder of Ms Uyinene Mrwetyana at the Clareinch post office," read a statement from board member Charles Nwaila.

"What is even more saddening is that our own post office employee is involved in this heinous crime. The board and management of the post office condemn in the strongest terms this horrific incident as it does not represent the values espoused by the organisation.

"From the moment the gruesome incident came to light, SA Post Office management and staff have been actively involved in assisting the police with the investigation."

Addressing the portfolio committee on communications on Tuesday morning, Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams said the post office had been directed to investigate how the employee was allowed on site without security clearance.

READ MORE: Probe into how Mrwetyana's alleged killer secured Post Office job

Nwaila said subsequent to Ndabeni-Abrahams' directive, the board had convened a dedicated sub-committee to investigate the circumstances surrounding the implicated employee's appointment.

"The board is finalising the investigation and a report of the findings will be submitted to the minister of communications and digital technologies," he added.

"The scourge of violence against women and children affecting our society has to come to an end. The post office is committed to collaborate with all stakeholders to find a sustainable solution.  

"We extend our sincerest condolences to the Mrwetyana family for the loss of their beloved daughter. Our sympathies also go out to Uyinene's friends and her fellow University of Cape Town students."

Nwaila's statement follows an announcement by the EFF at a media briefing on Thursday that it had tasked a legal team headed by advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi to take action against the post office and communications department following Mwretyana's rape and murder.

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