Five shocking revelations in Uyinene Mrwetyana's murder case
Uyinene Mrwetyana was laid to rest on Saturday in Beacon Bay, East London, after her brutal murder shook South Africa during weeks of unprecedented femicide.
The 19-year-old UCT student was raped and killed, allegedly by a 42-year-old employee at the Clareinch post office in Cape Town.
Here are five shocking revelations about Mrwetyana's case:
Known criminal record
The criminal record of the man who confessed to raping and killing Mrwetyana was known to post office officials, a preliminary investigation found.
Sunday Times reported that post office bosses knew for more than a year that the man was a convicted criminal, but ignored an intelligence report that may have prevented Mrwetyana's death if they had acted on it.
He had a conviction relating to a 1998 car hijacking with an eight-year sentence, of which five years were served with three years suspended.
According to the SA Post Office, the man charged with killing Mrwetyana lied, saying that he did not have a criminal record.
In a statement, the Post Office said its preliminary investigation found the man’s appointment did not follow its routine recruitment process. Post Office board spokesperson Charles Nwaila confirmed the man was not screened when he was appointed, first as a part-time employee, through a labour broker, and then as a full-time employee.
“During 2016, the implicated employee was appointed into a permanent teller position. During this time he had signed another declaration confirming he did not have a criminal record. He also affirmed an oath required by the Sapo Act committing to be honest and trustworthy, and to act in accordance with the law.”
TimesLIVE reported that police minister Bheki Cele revealed that Mrwetyana's alleged killer apparently burnt her body and then buried her in a shallow grave after raping and killing her inside the post office.
Cele said the man, after realising what he had done, bought liquor and drank it because “he didn't know what to do”.
“This story is the same as the one told by the perpetrator when he confessed.
“He wrapped the young, beautiful body, put it in his boot, burnt the body and dug it into a grave. The body was found before we found him,” he said.
Mrwetyana's remains were found in Lingelethu West, Khayelitsha, a few days after she was last seen alive.
She fought back
Cele, while painting the gruesome picture of what happened to the first-year student on August 24, said she fought “heavily” and “lost footing” before she was raped.
“She fought there heavily. She lost her footing and then he raped her. In the midst of that, she rises and fights and he bashes her to death.”
His modus operandi
A woman identified as Alice Cropper recalled how she believed she was almost a victim of the alleged killer.
Taking to Facebook to tell her story in detail, she said: “How was Uyinene raped and murdered in broad daylight at the post office by a government employee (hired despite previous armed robbery and sexual assault charges), right next to the police station? I wonder ...”
Cropper went on to relive an afternoon when she went to the same post office and was served by the man. She said he tried to get her to leave and come back a little later by telling her the card machine was not working.
“A few days before, I went to the Clareinch post office to post letters for work. There was a man and a woman teller, and I went straight to the male teller. As I started organising my post, he told me the card machine was offline, but I should come back in a bit and it will probably be back on and he will help me. This was at 4.30pm and the post office was closing in half an hour. I thought about it — I needed to go to the pet store opposite and get Josie some treats, so I could run that errand and pop back, and that's almost what I did.
“The thing is, I abhor boring admin, avoid government institutions and this stone age card machine thing was too much for me. I asked him to please just try, just in case, maybe it has come back on while we have been talking. He tried my card and it worked with no problem whatsoever. A few minutes later he said he had forgotten to charge for one of the envelopes, so I made a second payment — again, no problems. I joked with him that it's my lucky day. I finished my posting, wished him a good afternoon and off I went to the pet store.”
Read the full statement below: