Missing UCT student: Uyinene's location still unknown as suspect makes first appearance

Missing first-year UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana. (Supplied)
Missing first-year UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana. (Supplied)

The man arrested in connection with the disappearance of missing UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana is expected to make his first appearance in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court on Monday.

This, as UCT students held a night vigil on Sunday.

Mrwetyana, 19, a first-year film and media studies student, has been missing for nine days [since Saturday] and was last seen in the Claremont area. She lived at Roscommon House on Main Road in Claremont, a student residence leased by the University of Cape Town.

Police officers and members of the Western Cape Flying Squad arrested the 42-year-old suspect in Claremont on Friday.

READ | Missing UCT student: 'It is most terrible for the parents' - private investigator

Police spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa said: "An extensive investigation is currently under way to determine the whereabouts of the missing person. All avenues are being looked into, including the place where she was last seen."

'Days of uncertainty'

Potelwa said they were confident the arrest and questioning of the man would reveal more answers and bring an end to "days of uncertainty for her family, friends and all others concerned".

An autopsy and DNA tests will be conducted on a body that was found in Lingelethu West, Khayelitsha last Monday.

This body has not been confirmed as Mrwetyana's, amid social media reports earlier this week that her body had been found.

Private investigator Noel Pratten, who was roped in to help find Mrwetyana, told News24 on Thursday that "fake news" was hurtful to the investigation and was "most terrible" for the parents involved.

READ | Missing UCT student: Man, 42, arrested in connection with Uyinene's disappearance

He said all clues regarding her whereabouts would be followed up on.

"While we need to work every clue we get, fake news about her whereabouts or her condition are inflammatory," he said.

UCT vice-chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng and other university leaders met with Mrwetyana's family on Wednesday to express their concern and offer support.

Phakeng said that in addition to the work by the police and UCT's campus protection services, three private investigators had been appointed by the family, the university and Roscommon House respectively.

"I want to assure everyone in the community that we are working closely with the SAPS and the Mrwetyana family to locate Nene as soon as possible," said Phakeng.

"The university and the family continue to appeal to anyone who has any information that might assist with the search to urgently contact CPS on 080 650 2222 or the SAPS on 021 657 2250."

- Compiled by Jenna Etheridge

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