'From a place of trauma to healing' - Uyinene's family wants to turn Clareinch post office into wellness centre

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Meghan Markle at the Clareinch Post Office in Cape Town where Uyinene Mrwetyana was raped and murdered by Luyanda Botha. (Photo: Instagram/sussexroyal)
Meghan Markle at the Clareinch Post Office in Cape Town where Uyinene Mrwetyana was raped and murdered by Luyanda Botha. (Photo: Instagram/sussexroyal)

The family of Uyinene Mrwetyana, who was raped and murdered by Luyanda Botha at a post office in Cape Town in August, say they hope to convert it into a wellness centre.

But Uyinene's mother, Nomangwane, was quick to issue a caveat: "… only time will tell."

This as the family of the slain University of Cape Town student launched the Uyinene Mrwetyana Foundation in Makhanda, the Eastern Cape, on Friday.

Speaking at the launch, Nomangwane said the long-term goal for the family "is to convert the [Clareinch] post office from a place of trauma to a place of healing … yes the very same post office."

Uyinene's rape and murder at the hands of Botha angered a nation already grappling with an unparalleled rate of violence against women and children.

Many pinned the reaction to her death, which culminated in the #AmINext movement, down to the fact that it happened while the first-year student was running day-to-day errands - picking up a parcel from the post office.

Uyinene Mrwetyana, UCT student
Uyinene Mrwetyana. (Supplied) 

Botha was handed three life terms by the Western Cape High Court two weeks ago after pleading guilty to Uyinene's rape and murder. He will not be eligible for parole for 25 years.

Friday's launch of the foundation was preceded by a solidarity walk through the streets of Makhanda. 

"The foundation will enable us to strategically partner with multiple stakeholders in fighting the scourge of gender-based violence and capacitate young people to stand up against women abuse in our communities," Nomangwane said.

Luyanda Botha, Uyinene Mrwetyana

Luyanda Botha is serving life in prison for Uyinene's rape and murder. (Bertram Malgas, News24)

The foundation will focus on gender-based violence prevention, provide holistic support services to survivors and focus on youth leadership development.

The duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, and executive director of United Nations Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka shared messages of support for the foundation via a video link-up.

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