Post Office fires Uyinene's alleged killer

Watch as News24 goes live with posters in Cape Town. Crowds have gathered demanding decisive action from government of gender based violence. This follows the brutal killing of 19-year old student Uyinene Mrwetyana.
Watch as News24 goes live with posters in Cape Town. Crowds have gathered demanding decisive action from government of gender based violence. This follows the brutal killing of 19-year old student Uyinene Mrwetyana.

The South African Post Office (SAPO) has summarily dismissed its employee who stands accused of raping and killing UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana at his workplace.

The man, who cannot be named in terms of a court order, had been employed despite an alleged criminal record, Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams previously revealed.

The accused had "made himself guilty of gross misconduct by intentionally misleading the organisation and stating under oath that he had never been convicted of any criminal offense", said communications and digital technologies ministry spokesperson Nthabeleng Mokitimi-Dlamini on Tuesday.

Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams had met with SAPO on Friday to receive a comprehensive report following Mrwetyana's brutal death.

She said the SAPO heads of human resources, as well as security and investigations, had been placed on precautionary suspension while the investigation was proceeding.

Preliminary investigation

When the 42-year-old accused appeared in court, it emerged that the first-year film and media studies student had been killed in the Clareinch Post Office in Claremont the same day she disappeared - Saturday, August 24.

Mrwetyana's remains were found in Lingelethu West, Khayelitsha, a few days after she was last seen alive.

At her funeral in East London, Police Minister Bheki Cele said her killer had apparently burnt her body and then buried her in a shallow grave after raping and killing her.

A preliminary investigation revealed that the accused's criminal record was known to Post Office officials in 2018 already.

He had a conviction relating to a 1998 carjacking, with an eight-year sentence, of which five years were served and three were suspended.

"These findings were made available to SAPO officials in June 2018, however the information was not disclosed to the Executive and Board," SAPO board member Charles Nwaila said in a statement at the time.

"It is shameful for us that our name – and by extension, the name of our shareholder and that of our government – are associated with such gruesome criminality."

Nwaila said the preliminary investigation and findings had confirmed the alleged perpetrator's employment did not follow the routine SAPO recruitment process.

He explained that the accused was among a group of temporary staff who was absorbed into SAPO in 2012.

Mokitimi-Dlamini said that, of 300 flagged employees, the State Security Agency report further identified 174 who had criminal records.

"SAPO is in the process of further investigations to ascertain the appropriate actions to be taken against identified employees. In this respect, the Minister urged SAPO to swiftly act on affected employees, especially those in the mail and frontline services."

Ndabeni-Abrahams also raised her concerns about the 2016 collective agreement which related to, amongst others, the conversion of casual employees.

"To confirm that there are no similar instances, Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams has directed the Director-General to ensure that security vetting is instituted in all State-Owned Entities in the Ministry's portfolio."
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