UCT announces Uyinene Mrwetyana scholarship for women in humanities

The university's vice-chancellor Mamokghethi Phakeng made the announcement at Mrwetyana’s funeral in the Eastern Cape.

Thousands of UCT students, staff and others filled the Sarah Baartman Plaza on campus for a memorial service held for slain student Uyinene Mrwetyana on 4 September 2019. Picture: Lizell Persens/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The University of Cape Town’s vice-chancellor Mamokgethi Phakeng announced that the institution has established the Uyinene Mrwetyana Scholarship for women in humanities in honour of the slain student’s life.

Phakeng was speaking at Mrwetyana's funeral at the Abbotsford Christian Centre in East London, in the Eastern Cape on Saturday.

"Your loss is our loss, and as I announce the Uyinene Mrwetyana Scholarship for women in the humanities I want you to know that our community actually has started giving to the scholarship. We will be able to give the first student who will start at UCT in January 2020."

The 19-year-old was raped and murdered, allegedly by a post office employee in Cape Town last week has been remembered as a bubbly young woman who had an infectious smile and a zest for life.

Earlier, a representative from the Hudson Primary School, where Mrwetyana was a former pupil, has paid tribute to her on behalf of her teachers.

“I always felt that she had a bright future ahead of her and I am devasted that it has been stolen from her. However, being the bright spark that Uyinene was, she has ignited a flame in so many South African’s hearts.”

A 42-year-old man appeared before the Wynberg Magistrates Court on Monday morning where the court heard he had confessed to sexually assaulting and murdering her.

The man, an employee at the Clareinch Post Office in Claremont near where she stayed, assisted her with a parcel on 24 August but she was told to return later.

When she did, she was sexually assaulted and attacked with a scale.

Additional reporting by Lizelle Persens