Uyinene Mrwetyana’s death started a revolt in terms of gender-based violence – and now her mother has revealed how she herself suffered following the tragedy.
Uyinene’s mother, Noma Mrwetyana, had an in-depth conversation with former Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Tebow, where she revealed that days were “not the same” since the 19-year-old’s death last year.
The University of Cape Town student was raped and murdered after visiting Claremont post office in August last year, News24 reports.
The tragedy sparked outrage and protests across South Africa, culminating in the #AMINext social media campaign which demanded that the government address the widespread gender-based violence in the country.
In a chat hosted on her Instagram Live, Demi-Leigh spoke with Noma about her daughter’s legacy and the ongoing scourge of gender-based violence.
Noma opened up about her life following her daughter’s death.
“Days are not the same but we have found a lift,” she said.
She said it was a difficult time but that she was deeply grateful for the support of fellow South Africans, adding that she wouldn’t let her brutal end define her daughter.
Since the tragic incident, Noma has launched a foundation which encourages women to rise up against gender-based violence and keep Uyinene’s memory alive.
“Uyinene is bigger than the events (of her death), she’s bigger than gender-based violence. She was a leader . . . she was confident and knew who she was,” Noma said.
In an interview with YOU last year, Noma revealed she was experiencing a roller coaster of emotions.
“One day you wake up and you’re sad because you’re missing her, the next you’re angry towards the whole world, including the perpetrator.
“Then there are days you feel helpless – you wish you could’ve done something as a parent, you wish you could’ve been there,” Noma tells us.
She went on to say that she can’t bring herself to call Uyinene’s murderer, former post office worker Luyanda Botha, by name because “I don’t think he deserves to be named. He’s a monster”.
Botha, who was given the opportunity to say something to the family, says he wrote a letter of apology to be delivered via his lawyer.
“We aren’t interested in his apology,” Noma told YOU. “It’s difficult to say if I’ll ever forgive him.”
She’ll never look at a post office in the same way again, Noma said. To her, it’ll always be the place where her child’s life was snuffed out. “It was supposed to be a safe place but it’s not a place where I want to go now.”
READ MORE: Life will never be the same
Demi-Leigh rounded their conversation by thanking Noma for her unrelenting work against femicide in South Africa and lauded her consistent courage.
Check out the emotional interview below: