Mother of Uyinene Mrwetyana Nomangwane Mrwetyana in the court on Friday when the man accused of the UCT student's murder was handed three life sentences. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)

Cape Town - It was a very emotional day for the Mrwetyana family on Friday after the man responsible for the death of UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana was convicted.

The family of Uyinene sat unmoved as the sentence was handed down but were very emotional as they left the Western Cape High Court.

The 19-year-old's uncle Vuyani Mrwetyana 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.

“We are still in mourning. This judgment will not bring Uyinene back but we do appreciate it,” he said.

"We really do want to credit the sterling work displayed by the investigating team. In cases of this nature it has become en vogue in South Africa for them to take a very long period but...because of the passion and commitment they were able to conclude this within two months, so we give credit to the investigating team," Vuyani said.

Team of detectives who worked in Uyinene case after Luyanda was sentence. Photographer Ayanda Ndamane/AFrican News Agency(ANA)

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.

Count one and count four will run concurrently which means Botha will spend 75 years behind bars. He will also not be eligible for parole before the first 25 years have been served.

The court was packed to the rafters as Mrwetyana's family members and friends came to close the chapter on her murder.

It was a very emotional day for the Mrwetyana family on Friday after the man responsible for the death of UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana was convicted. The 19-year-old's uncle Vuyani Mrwetyana spoke outside court. Video: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency

Cape Argus