Today marks two years since the brutal rape and murder of 19-year-old UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana. People have been tying brightly coloured ribbons at the Clareinch Post Office in Claremont this morning. Picture: Sisonke Mlamla/Cape Argus
Today marks two years since the brutal rape and murder of 19-year-old UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana. People have been tying brightly coloured ribbons at the Clareinch Post Office in Claremont this morning. Picture: Sisonke Mlamla/Cape Argus

Nosicelo Mtebeni murder hits UCT hard on anniversary of Uyinene Mrwetyana killing

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published Aug 24, 2021

Share this article:

Cape Town: It has been two years since Uyinene Mrwetyana was murdered at the Clareinch Post Office in Claremont, but the tears have not dried, as ribbons and bouquets of flowers line the building where she lost her life.

Mrwetyana, 19, a student at the University of Cape Town (UCT), was slain on this day in 2019, and following the killing of University of Fort Hare (UFH) student Nosicelo Mtebeni, Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng has urged all to take action against sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).

Phakeng said the deeply shocking murder of Mtebeni strikes too close to home. Just two years ago this week, they were reeling from the rape and murder of Uyinene.

"Today, I am devastated that I feel the same heartache I felt in 2019. On behalf of UCT, I extend our heartfelt condolences to Nosicelo’s family, friends and the University of Fort Hare community on this terrible loss," said Phakeng.

After the killing of University of Fort Hare student Nosicelo Mtebeni, Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng urged all to take action on GBV. Picture: Supplied

She said South Africa was being robbed of bright stars of the future. Mtebeni had her heart set on making a difference. One of her classmates told the media that she had wanted to be appointed a Constitutional Court judge in the future.

"To aim for such a goal, she must have had loving and confident support from her family and friends. She must have felt empowered to serve her country,” said Phakeng.

She said every year, across the country, in all kinds of communities and homes, women and girls face SGBV from the men they look to for love and protection: whether it is a boyfriend or a husband, a father or other relative, a neighbour or friend or colleague at work or in school or university.

“We may not know these women and girls. But they are our responsibility. I am asking you to make a commitment to do what you can to protect the future they hold. Because there are effective actions each of us can take.”

Phakeng called on the men of UCT to rise up and help to hold each other accountable for the attitudes, unconscious behaviour and direct actions that contribute to SGBV.

"Every woman who was destroyed by SGBV had something to offer her family, community and country. Through SGBV we lost that significant potential. It is our responsibility to do everything we can to end this destruction,” she said.

Mtebeni was brutally murdered in a house at Quigney, East London, with her body subsequently being dismembered. The accused, Aluta Pasile, allegedly her boyfriend, discarded her body in a suitcase on an East London street.

Pasile appeared at the East London Magistrate’s Court on Monday, and the case has been postponed until September 28.

The UFH has declared Wednesday (August 25) the official day of mourning for Mtebeni. The announcement was made on Friday evening to UFH staff and students in a communique.

The university said it would suspend all academic activities and operations on the day to honour Mtebeni’s life.

A memorial service will also be held on this day, and the event will be live-streamed.

[email protected]

Cape Argus

Share this article: