#RIPUyinene: 'She was a light to us all' - friends celebrate UCT student at night vigil

2019-09-03 08:26
UCT students and staff gathered for a night vigil in memory of Uyinene Mrwetyana. (Kamva Somdyala, News24).

UCT students and staff gathered for a night vigil in memory of Uyinene Mrwetyana. (Kamva Somdyala, News24).

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Following the news of the brutal murder of 19-year-old Uyinene Mrwetyana on Monday, students and staff gathered at the University of Cape Town for a night vigil to honour the young student.

It emerged on Monday an employee at a post office Mrwetyana was last seen at on the day of her disappearance had been charged with rape, murder and defeating the ends of justice.

He was arrested in Claremont on Friday, almost a week after the first year film and media studies student went missing. 

Police officers and members of the flying squad apprehended the man who is in his forties.

After his arrest, police said they were confident he would be able to reveal more answers and bring an end to "days of uncertainty for her family, friends and all others concerned". 

At the vigil, a group of students, who introduced themselves as Uyinene's friends, thanked everyone for their support - be it sharing posts, printing and putting up flyers as well as being there for one another during the past week.

They also used the opportunity to pay tribute to their wholesome friend.

"Uyinene was a light to us all. She was such a wholesome person and supportive friend," the friends said. 

Speaker after speaker spoke about the fear they have as students on campus, particularly women.

"There's a declaration that has been made, and that is a war on women. Uyinene was killed and there are many other faceless and nameless people Uyinene joins in this declaration of war.

"Let us remember them as well," one speaker said.

Messages of support were also shared from Rhodes University and Wits University, while elsewhere in the Cape, a night vigil was also held at Stellenbosch University on Monday evening.

Earlier in the day, UCT vice-chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng said the university felt a "great burden" about what had happened to Mrwetyana.  

Following the news of her shocking murder, a petition to "bring back the death sentence in South Africa for crimes against women" was started and had received over 243 638 signatures at the time of publication.

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Read more on:    uct  |  cape town  |  gender violence  |  crime
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