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SSA informed Sapo of Mrwetyana’s murder accused criminal history

The accused was one of 174 employees who had criminal convictions and his related to a car hijacking in 1998 for which he served five years in prison.

Uyinene Mrwetyana. Picture: facebook.com

CAPE TOWN - It’s emerged the South African State Security Agency had informed South African Post Office (Sapo) officials of the criminal history of an employee accused of raping and murdering a student.

This has been revealed by an internal Sapo investigation launched after University of Cape Town student Uyinene Mrwetyana was attacked at the Clareinch Post Office in Claremont late last month.

The National Prosecuting Authority this week confirmed the 42-year-old accused has apparently confessed to the crimes and had a previous criminal record.

Following news that a post office employee was accused of Mrwetyana’s rape and murder, Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams demanded answers.

A preliminary probe by the Post Office has now revealed he was initially appointed through a labour broker and there was no screening when temporary staff were absorbed into Sapo in 2012.

When he was made permanent in 2013, the accused declared he had no criminal record.

He did so again in 2016 when was appointed to the position of post office teller.

However last year, when Sapo took over Sassa payments, all customer-facing staff were subjected to screening by the State Security Agency.

The accused was one of 174 employees who had criminal convictions and his related to a car hijacking in 1998 for which he served five years in prison.

Sapo said the information was shared with officials in June last year but never reached executives or the board.

Meanwhile, Universities SA said it would meet with the Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande this week in efforts to combat the scourge of gender-based violence and student safety.

It comes in the wake of the murders of two university students Jesse Hess and Uyinene Mrwetyana.

Hess and her 85-year-old grandfather were found murdered in their home last week.

19-year-old Mrwetyana was raped and murdered inside the Clareinch Post Office in Claremont last month.

A postal worker's been arrested and has confessed to the crime.

Universities SA CEO Ahmed Bawa said something needed to be done to stop the scourge.

“This scourge of gender-based violence isn’t something that can be managed by the universities themselves. Those social ecosystems need to be addressed and what we would like to put to the president is that all the elements to address this issue.”

Editor's note: We in error reported that it was the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) that informed the South African Post Office of the criminal history of an employee accused of raping and murdering a student. It was the State Security Agency. We do apologise for the error.

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