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Mrwetyana family welcomes hefty sentence for Luyanda Botha

Uyinene Mrwetynana’s killer confessed to raping her twice before locking her up in a storeroom before murdering her and attempting to destroy the evidence.

Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe sentenced Luyanda Botha to three life terms and five years for defeating the ends of justice. Picture: Lizell Persens/EWN

CAPE TOWN – Uyinene Mrwetyana's family has welcomed the sentence handed to her rapist and killer Luyanda Botha, who confessed to the offences and entered into a plea and sentencing agreement.

Her uncle Vuyani Mrwetyana said they didn't believe this was the first time Botha committed such a crime.

“The way in which he had conducted this, it's quite clear that he had actually lured her. That gives us much confidence to believe that this was not the first case; he had done this before.”

The 19-year-old woman was sexually assaulted and murdered at a Claremont Post Office in August when she had gone to collect a parcel she had been expecting.

On Friday, Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe sentenced Botha to three life terms and five years for defeating the ends of justice.

The five-year sentence will run concurrently.

Botha's plea explanation was difficult for the court to listen to, as it emerged the young woman tried everything in her power to fight him off.

After he had raped her twice, she tried to escape but Botha caught up with her and knocked her to the ground. He then dragged her to a safe and locked her inside, where she screamed for help.

He then killed her.

The next day, Botha returned to the scene to dispose of the evidence.

The convicted murderer also admitted to hiring someone to clean his car to destroy forensic evidence.

UYINENE MRWETYANA’S FAMILY COULD SUE SAPO

Following Botha's arrest, it emerged he'd previously served prison time for hijacking before he was employed at the Post Office.

In September, the Post Office confirmed officials were made aware of his criminal record in June last year following a vetting process by the South African State Security Agency.

However, the information was not conveyed to the executive or the board.

Another of the deceased's uncle, Thembelani Mrwetyana, said these revelations were particularly concerning.

He said they had not filed a civil claim yet but were weighing their options.

‘VICTORY FOR CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM’

Western Cape director of public prosecutions Rodney de Kock said the outcome of the Mrwetyana case was a victory for the criminal justice system.

“The case is finalised within just more two months from the time when it occurred. We need to applaud that and say ‘the system can work’. But what is it in the system that we can duplicate in all cases that affect gender-based violence.”

De Kock said it was a collective effort.

Police minister Bheki Cele has also praised the detectives involved in the case.

“We have the comfort of knowing what really happened, so we are really happy that the police reacted. Give the guys kudos; the South African Police Service [in the] Western Cape, Thank you.”

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