IN HIS OWN WORDS | Luyanda Botha: 'How I killed Uyinene'

Luyanda Botha during his sentencing in the high court in Cape Town. He received three life sentences for the rape and murder of UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana.
Luyanda Botha during his sentencing in the high court in Cape Town. He received three life sentences for the rape and murder of UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana.
Image: Philani Nombembe

Rapist and murderer Luyanda Botha on Friday gave a chilling account of how he killed  University of Cape Town student Uyinene Mrwetyana.

The high court in Cape Town handed him three life sentences for rape and murder, and five years for defeating the ends of justice.

In a four-page admission read by his counsel, the 42-year-old former post office teller admitted to raping and murdering the UCT student, whose death ignited a fresh wave of activism against gender-based violence across the country.

TimesLIVE is publishing his entire admission, unedited.

“I, Luyanda Botha, was employed as a teller at the Clarenreich Post Office in Claremont. I first interacted with the deceased on 8 August 2019 when she entered Clarenreich Post Office to inquire about a parcel she was expecting. The parcel contained clothing she had purchased online.

“The parcel was not available and I told the deceased I would contact her to tell her when the parcel was available.

“The parcel arrived at the post office on 16 August 2019. I registered the parcel on the same day.

“On Saturday 24 August 2019 I reported for duty at Clarenreich Post Office. The post office was due to close at 13h00. Shortly before 13h00 my colleague, Soraya Abdullah, went home as per an agreement between us, leaving me alone in the post office.

“I contacted the deceased to inform her the parcel was available for collection.

“The deceased used the Taxify taxi service to travel from her residence, Roscommon, university student accommodation in Claremont, to the Clarenreich Post Office. She arrived at the post office after closing time.

“I unlocked the front door and the deceased entered. When she entered the post office, we were alone in a locked post office.

“When the deceased searched her bag to pay the requisite customs fees, I started making sexual advances towards her.

“The deceased did not respond and looked scared. I grabbed her by the waist and forcibly pulled her closer to me.

“I proceeded to sexually touch the deceased against her will. I inserted my fingers into her vagina. I then inserted my penis into her vagina.

“The deceased fought me whilst I sexually violated her.

“She managed to run to the door but I caught up with her and knocked her to the ground.

“I dragged the deceased to the safe inside the post office. I locked her up inside the safe. The deceased screamed while inside the safe.

“I choked the deceased and she fought back and kicked me.

“I took a 2kg weight, used to weigh the packages received at the post office, and used it to bludgeon the deceased to death. I targeted her head.

“I left the post office and consumed alcohol outside a nearby liquor outlet.

“I returned to the post office shortly thereafter. I covered the body of the deceased with cushions, a blanket and a jersey as she lay in the safe.

“I left the post office in the evening.

“I returned to the post office in the early hours of Sunday 25 August 2019. The area where I attacked the deceased and where her body lay was covered in the blood of the deceased.

“I proceeded to clean up the inside of the post office to remove the blood from the scene.

“I waited until it was dark and requested the security officer, who patrolled the outside perimeter of post office, to allow me to park my motor vehicle in the yard of the post office.

“Once parked in the yard, I placed the body of the deceased in a large postal mail bag and carried her body to the motor vehicle. I transported the body of the deceased to a field in Lingelethu-West and dumped it in a shallow hole.

“I then drove to a nearby petrol station and purchased petrol.

“I returned to where I disposed of the body of the deceased, doused her with petrol and set her alight. I admit I did so to defeat or obstruct the course of justice by destroying forensic evidence. I admit  I hired someone to clean my car to destroy forensic evidence.

“I admit the body of the deceased was discovered on Monday 26 August 2019. I admit she was correctly identified as Uyinene Mrwetyana.”


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