Post office worker Luyanda Botha was found guilty on four counts including rape, murder and obstructing the administration of justice and sentenced to three life sentences and five years for obstruction of justice. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency

Cape Town - The family of Uyinene Mrwetyana, 19, were in the court on Friday when the man accused of the UCT student's murder was handed three life sentences.

Luyanda Botha was charged with two counts of rape in addition to a murder charge, as well as one count of defeating the ends of justice.

The Post Office worker was accused of raping and murdering the UCT student at the Clareinch Post Office in Claremont in August.

The indictment that senior counsel for the State, Rodney de Kock, handed in revealed that the deceased purchased clothes online and the parcel was due for collection at Clareinch Post Office. She had made inquiries on August 8 and was assisted by the accused who allegedly told Mrwetyana that the parcel was not ready for collection and that he would contact her when the parcel arrived.

According to the indictment: “The parcel arrived on August 16, 2019 and on Saturday, August 24, she arrived at the post office after it was closed for business. The accused was alone inside the post office and let her in. The deceased was not seen alive again."

The indictment further stated that Mrwetyana was raped twice, her body hidden inside the safe of the post office, and then later dumped and doused with an accelerant before being set alight.

The accused Luyanda Botha was charged with two counts of rape in addition to a murder charge, and will also face one count of defeating the ends of justice. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency
The family of Uyinene Mrwetyana, 19, were in the court on Friday where the man accused of Mrwetyana's murder was handed three life sentences. Video: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency
Video: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)


Uyinene's uncle Vuyani Mrwetyana spoke outside Western Cape High Court and said: "We do want to declare that with this kind of judgment, this is in fact a pocket of excellence on the part of the criminal justice system."

"This judgment won't in any manner replace Uyinene but we do appreciate it."

Cape Argus