Calls for accountability for Uyinene's death

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

Gender activists and civil society movements have slammed SA Post Office (Sapo) for sitting on a report which flagged 300 employees, including the man who murdered University of Cape Town student Uyinene Mrwetyana.

The man who confessed to killing Mrwetyana was found to be a convicted criminal who had served time. This was after Sapo vetted all employees who were going to work on the distribution of social grants last year.

Sowetan's sister publication The Sunday Times reported yesterday that for more than a year, Sapo was aware that Mrwetyana's alleged killer was a convicted hijacker. However, no action was taken.

Minister of police Bheki Cele shocked mourners at Mrwetyana's funeral in East London on Saturday when he announced that the killer confessed to police that he killed her, carried her in his car's boot and also set her remains alight before burying her in a shallow grave.

Loyiso Saliso, one of the organisers of the #TotalShutdownMovement, said government as a whole needed to be called out and also be sued for Mrwetyana's killing.

Saliso said it was "highly disturbing" that Mrwetyana's alleged killer "and 299 other criminals" could be appointed with ease despite criminal records".

"But is it shocking? No, it's not because this is the problem we have with our government.

"How did Mrwetyana's killer pass the tests (criminal background checks)? We really need to question the system."

Palesa Mpapa of women's rights organisation Powa said: "This data (criminal record) is available to be used during recruitment processes but this shows that the post office undermines the system."

She said this showed that SA was slowly "going nowhere".

Communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has written to Sapo board to "urgently provide reasons why the 2018 report was not implemented".

Her spokesperson Nthabeleng Mokitimi-Dlamini said she wants "appropriate action" taken against the 299 employees still at the post office depending on the gravity of the offences they were guilty of.

Gareth Newham of the Institute for Security Studies said: "Many people with criminal records want to . live law-abiding lives. If they are not given a chance they may be pushed back into criminality."

We follow Uyinene Mrwetyana's final steps on August 24 2019 when she was brutally murdered in a Cape Town post office and then disposed of in a hole next to a railway track.

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