Mrwetyanas distance themselves from ‘cash in on Uyinene’ initiatives

Uyinene Mrwetyana.
Uyinene Mrwetyana.
Image: Facebook/Zuki Lamani

The Mrwetyana family have distanced themselves from what they termed “unauthorised initiatives” to raise funds or “cash in” on the tragic loss of beloved family member, Uyinene.

The rape and murder of the popular 19-year-old University of Cape Town (UCT) student in August triggered national outrage and protest against gender-based violence.

But, the Mrwetyana family on Monday said it had also led to various initiatives misusing Uyinene’s name and her family’s grief to raise funds, make money, garner attention and “cash in” on her tragedy.

“The family would like to clearly express that, though some of these initiatives may be well-intentioned, it does not support or have affiliation to any fundraising campaigns bearing the name of Uyinene.”

These included crowd funding efforts, the establishment of anti-gender-based violence NGOs, an upcoming book, and several social media profiles, said the family in a statement released on their behalf by Rhodes University.

Uyinene’s mother, Nomangwane Mrwetyana, is the director of student affairs at Rhodes University.

At Uyinene’s funeral at the Abbotsford Christian Centre in East London, her mother announced her intention to establish a foundation in Uyinene’s name aimed at protecting women from gender-based violence. Funds for the effort have been raised by UCT, Uyinene’s Makhanda high school Kingswood College and Rhodes.

The Mrwetyana family made a heartfelt appeal to the public to allow them time to mourn in peace.

They said Uyinene’s tragedy was still recent, had been widely publicised and received huge public attention.

“To use Uyinene’s name and also to disregard her grieving family so as to emotionally appeal to the public is unethical, misleading, insensitive and dishonest.”

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