'Justice has been done' - govt. reacts to Luyanda Botha's 3 life terms for rape, murder


The South African government says while the three life sentences handed to rapist and murderer Luyanda Botha for the senseless killing of Uyinene Mrwetyana won't bring back the University of Cape Town (UCT) student, they hope it brings solace in that justice has been served.

Botha, 42, was handed three life terms in the Western Cape High Court on Friday in terms of a plea and sentencing agreement and will only qualify for parole after serving 25 years.

"Government thanks the police for the sterling work that went into this case and the swift arrest of Botha which culminated into his sentencing today," said acting director general at Government Communications and Information Systems (GCIS) Phumla Williams.

The court on Friday heard how Botha calculated his callous act, having first come into contact with Mrwetyana on August 8 – two weeks before he raped and killed her, before dousing her body with petrol and setting it alight.

READ: 'Justice must be swift' - Life terms for Uyinene Mrwetyana's killer welcomed

"The sentences given by the court send a strong message to all those who may be involved in incidents of rape and sexual assault against women that they will not go unpunished. 

"Like many other cases of sexual violence and killing of women, the case of Uyinene shook our nation and elevated the fight against gender-based violence. 

"While this sentence will not bring Uyinene back, we trust that her family, the UCT student community, and South Africans as a whole, will find solace in the fact that justice has been done for this little girl," said Williams.

Speaking outside court, prosecutor advocate Rodney de Kock thanked the investigating officer and police officials who diligently searched for Mrwetyana's body.

Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola said the speed at which the case was solved should serve as a deterrent.

Williams echoed Lamola's sentiments: "Through imposing harsh sentences and ensuring that perpetrators of rape don't get bail, government is happy that the judiciary is supporting the national effort to end gender-based violence to ensure abusers, rapists and murderers know that they will be caught and punished".

Compiled by Kamva Somdyala

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
Voting Booth
President Ramaphosa has punted the idea of mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations for South Africans. This is:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
The right thing to do. We desperately need more South Africans vaccinated to prevent further mutations and restore normality in our lives.
70% - 12730 votes
A risky strategy. Compulsory vaccinations may have unintended consequences and damage our rollout campaign.
30% - 5419 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.