'Unethical, misleading' to use Uyinene's name for unauthorised public projects - family

Uyinene Mrwetyana. (Supplied)
Uyinene Mrwetyana. (Supplied)

The family of Uyinene Mrwetyana has appealed to the public to refrain from supporting projects misusing her name, saying that it is "unethical, misleading, insensitive and dishonest". 

The family has also appealed to the public to refrain from using her name to "raise funds, make money, garner attention or in any way cash in on her tragedy".

In a statement on Monday, issued by family spokesperson Thembelani Mrwetyana, the family acknowledged how widely publicised Mrwetyana's rape and murder, allegedly at the hands of a post office employee in Cape Town, was in the traditional media and on social media.

However, they asked for "time to mourn in peace, especially since Uyinene's tragedy is still new…"

Some of the known instances in which Mrwetyana's name is being used include fundraising efforts (crowdfunding), the establishment of anti-gender-based violence NGOs, an upcoming book and several social media profiles, the family said.

'Unethical, misleading'

The family warned that any initiatives bearing her name, though "well-intentioned", did not have their support. 

"To use Uyinene's name and also to disregard her grieving family so as to emotionally appeal to the public is unethical, misleading, insensitive and dishonest, regardless of whether the purpose is nefarious or well-intentioned.

"As announced at the funeral, the family is in the process of initiating a foundation in Uyinene's name. The family is aware of and appreciates funds that have been initiated by the University of Cape Town (UCT), Kingswood College and Rhodes University," the family statement read.

UCT has established a scholarship in Mrwetyana's honour, called the Uyinene Mrwetyana Scholarship for Women in Humanities Studies.

The institution's vice-chancellor, Mamokgethi Phakeng, made the announcement at Mrwetyana's funeral in East London last month, adding that funds from the UCT community had already started to flow in, so much so that they were ready to fund the studies of a student starting at the institution in January 2020.

The man accused of Mrwetyana's rape and murder is expected to appear in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court on November 5.

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