Uyinene's mother Nomangwane Mrwetyana. Photo: ANA

GRAHAMSTOWN - Prevention of gender-based violence (GBV), holistic support of GBV victims, and development of youth leadership will be the pillars of the newly established Uyinene Mrwetyana Foundation, according to her family.

These goals were outlined by Uyinene's mother Nomangwane Mrwetyana during the launch of her daughter's foundation at Kingswood College in Grahamstown.

The 19-year-old Uyinene was a student at the University of Cape Town when she was raped and bludgeoned to death on August 24, 2019 at the Clarenreich Post Office in Cape Town, where she had gone to collect a parcel. Post office employee Luyanda Botha confessed to the crime and has been sentenced to three terms of life imprisonment.

Addressing hundreds of people who attended the launch on Friday, Nomangwane said the foundation would draw the positive from the tragic loss of her daughter and support the cause that was close to her heart. 

"The launch of the Uyinene Mrwetyana Foundation (UMF) symbolises the crossover onto the other side - where there is no mourning; instead her memories, life purpose, and her strong stance will continue to be celebrated.

"The UMF will enable us to strategically partner with multiple stakeholders in fighting the scourge of gender-based violence, as well as to capacitate young people to stand against violence in our communities. The UMF is the custodian of Nene’s memory and proudly commits to facilitate and promote her lifelong vision of fighting all forms of injustice against women. It is for this reason that the name Uyinene Mrwetyana was registered and trademarked for the sole use of the foundation," she said.

The event began with activists conducting an awareness walk through Grahamstown. The walk commenced from Kingswood College, where Uyinene matriculated a year ago, and was attended by Eastern Cape social development MEC Siphokazi Mani-Lusithi.

Speaking to the African News Agency (ANA) during the march, Mani-Lusithi said government welcomed such initiatives and was looking forward to partnering with UMF to address the problem of gender-based violence. Leading the march was Rhodes University vice chancellor Dr Sizwe Mabizela. 

"It is important for us as an institution to take a firm stand and send a very clear message to our society that sexual and gender-based violence must stop," Mabizela said. 

"A young woman in her prime of her life had her life cut short. Every person in this country should feel free to be and should not walk about fearing that someone will pounce on them," said Mabizela. 

He pledged a scholarship of R40,000 for a masters student who wanted to study issues of gender-based violence.

African News Agency