Duchess of Sussex visits Uyinene Mrwetyana memorial

Meghan Markle tied a yellow ribbon in memory of 19-year old Uyinene Mrwetyana, who was brutally raped and killed in Cape Town last month.

The Duchess of Sussex tied a yellow ribbon at the memorial site for murdered 19-year old Uyinene Mrwetyana. Picture: Instagram/sussexroyal

CAPE TOWN - Meghan Markle has visited the site where a young female student was murdered in South Africa last month in a show of solidarity with victims of gender violence in one of the world's most dangerous countries for women.

The Duchess of Sussex tied a yellow ribbon in memory of 19-year old Uyinene Mrwetyana, brutally raped and killed in the coastal city of Cape Town, where she was attending university.

The visit took place secretly this week but was announced on the official Sussex Royal Instagram page on Saturday.

"Visiting the site of this tragic death and being able to recognise Uyinene... was personally important to The Duchess," said the Instagram post, adding that Meghan also met her mother to relay her condolences.

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“Simi kunye kulesisimo” – ‘We stand together in this moment’ The Duchess of Sussex has tied a ribbon at the site where 19-year-old Cape Town student Uyinene Mrwetyana was murdered last month, to pay her respects and to show solidarity with those who have taken a stand against gender based violence and femicide. Over the last month in Capetown, protests erupted through the streets in outrage over GBV in South Africa. The Duke and Duchess had been following what had happened from afar and were both eager to learn more when they arrived in South Africa. The Duchess spoke to the mother of Uyinene this week to relay their condolences. Visiting the site of this tragic death and being able to recognise Uyinene, and all women and girls effected by GBV (specifically in South Africa, but also throughout the world) was personally important to The Duchess. Uyinene’s death has mobilised people across South Africa in the fight against gender based violence, and is seen as a critical point in the future of women’s rights in South Africa. The Duchess has taken private visits and meetings over the last two days to deepen her understanding of the current situation and continue to advocate for the rights of women and girls. For more information on the recent events in South Africa, please see link in bio. #AmINext

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South Africa is plagued by gender-based violence, with at least 137 sexual offences committed per day, according to official figures.

In August alone, more than 30 women were killed by their spouses.

Mrwetyana's murder is among a handful of recent cases that sparked widespread demonstrations across the country.

Protesters are calling on the government to do more to protect women and crack down on perpetrators.

Meghan - an outspoken women's rights advocate - is in South Africa as part of a 10-day official trip with her husband Prince Harry and their baby son Archie.

The Duke and Duchess both expressed their support for the ongoing fight against gender violence on the first day of their tour earlier this week.

"Please know that my husband and I have been closely following what you’ve been experiencing here, as best we can from afar," said Meghan, addressing young girls in Cape Town's Nyanga township on Monday.

"Now that we are with you, we are eager to learn and see first-hand the work that you're doing."

Meghan and Archie remained in South Africa this week after Harry left for Botswana, Angola and Malawi.

The former actress, who has been advocating women's rights since long before marrying Harry in 2017, has taken part in a series of private meetings to "deepen her understanding of the current situation", according to the Instagram post.

Prince Harry rejoins his family in Johannesburg next week before returning home on 2 October.