Uyinene's death is painful, her parents are not okay, says tearful UCT VC Mamokgethi Phakeng

2019-09-02 21:00

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University of Cape Town (UCT) vice-chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng says the university feels a "great burden" about what happened to murdered student Uyinene Mrwetyana.

The man who was arrested in connection with Mrwetyana's disappearance has been charged with murder and rape as well as defeating the ends of justice at his first appearance in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court on Monday.

He worked at the Clareinch post office, where Mrwetyana was last seen alive.

PIC: The Clareinch post office where Uyinene Mrwetyana was raped, killed

Phakeng issued a notice to the UCT community, relaying the news about Mrwetyana's death after which a media briefing was held.

A visibly emotional Phakeng discussed how Mrwetyana's parents and family were coping following the news.

"Her parents are not coping. They are not OK," she said. 

Phakeng revealed she had spoken to Mrwetyana's parents after court proceedings on Monday.

She said they were hoping to have her funeral at the weekend, with a UCT memorial service set to be held at a time and venue that would be communicated by the university in due course. 

"As parents of students at the university, we as management feel a great burden about what happened to Uyinene," said Phakeng.

According to the State, on the day of her disappearance, Mrwetyana had gone to enquire about a parcel but the electricity at the post office had been off. She was told by one of the employees to return later.

When she did, she was allegedly sexually accosted.

She fought back but her attacker allegedly knocked her out, using a scale.

"It's hard enough to talk about a missing person. It's hard enough to know that someone has passed on ... for me, what's more painful is the way she was killed," said Phakeng. 

The hashtag #RIPUyinene started trending immediately after news broke of her murder, with tweets of heartbreak, anger and anguish being shared.

A night vigil is currently being held at the campus in her honour.

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Read more on:    uct  |  uyinene mrwetyana

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