Cape Town - Western Cape police say they are a step closer to determining the whereabouts of missing UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana following the arrest of a 42-year-old man in connection with her disappearance.
Police are expected to conduct DNA tests and an autopsy on an unidentified body discovered in Lingelethu West, Khayelitsha, on Monday.
They would not confirm it was Mrwetyana, a first-year film and media studies student who was last seen last Saturday leaving her off-campus residence, Roscommon House in Claremont.
Brigadier Novela Potelwa said on Saturday detectives had pursued several leads, culminating in the arrest on Friday.
“The team arrested a 42-year-old suspect in Claremont. An extensive investigation is under way to determine the whereabouts of the missing person,” Potelwa said, adding police were confident interviewing the suspect would lead to the finalisation of the investigation.
The suspect is to appear in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
Mrwetyana’s disappearance near the end of Women’s Month has sparked a massive outcry on social media, with the hashtags #BringNeneHome and #whereisuyinene trending on Twitter last week.
On Wednesday, hundreds of people gathered on the steps of UCT’s Sarah Baartman Hall for a candlelight vigil and prayer for the former Eastern Cape pupil, while similar prayer meetings were held in her home province.
Banners reading #BringNeneHome were also hung on bridges leading to UCT’s main campus.
On Friday, UCT vice-chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng addressed Mrwetyana’s disappearance in a letter to students: “My colleagues and I are working closely with the family and all law enforcement authorities in the search for her.”