Uyinene Mrwetyana’s murderer, Luyanda Botha’s attempted rape trial postponed until later this week

Former Post Office employee Luyanda Botha. Photo: Ayanda Ndamane/Independent Newspapers

Former Post Office employee Luyanda Botha. Photo: Ayanda Ndamane/Independent Newspapers

Published Jun 10, 2024


The attempted rape trial of the man convicted for the murder of university student Uyinene Mrwetyana was postponed to Friday in the Wynberg Regional Court in Cape Town.

Luyanda Botha is charged with the attempted rape of a woman when she was 21 in 2014.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against him.

The charges relate to an incident that took place at the nursing college in Athlone in June 2014.

The first person to take the witness stand was Sergeant Oscar Dada from the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Unit who took the victim’s statement.

The court heard that the victim was in shock and crying at times when she spoke to Dada but nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary in her face or on her body.

Dada, who has 18 years of experience on the police force, later learned the victim had gone to the doctor, however, he only learned about this in 2019.

The case was previously struck off the court roll after the victim failed to appear in court. She was subpoenaed and warned to appear in court but she failed to do so.

She recognised Botha as the case of Mrwetyana’s murder and rape made national headlines. This prompted her to go back to the police station and follow up about her case. Her case was reopened.

The court heard Dada went to the doctor to check on the victim’s records, but it could not be found as records get destroyed after five years.

The State also called a second witness, a former student at the nursing college.

He testified that he was walking with a friend coming back from the shops to the college when he heard someone scream. He saw the victim running towards them.

The court heard the victim, at the time, had a towel wrapped around her body and told the two students someone had held her hostage in the shower and this individual wanted to rape her. They went looking for the perpetrator but couldn’t find him.

The witness further testified they went to the security office to look at CCTV footage and could see Botha enter the residence but did not see him leaving. The witness further told the court he did not personally see the perpetrator.

The case has been postponed and the State is expected to call two more witnesses, including the woman who Botha claims was his girlfriend at the time.

The murder of 19-year-old Mrwetyana made national headlines after she was murdered at the Claremont Post Office, by then employee - Botha.

During the trial, the court heard that Mrwetyana purchased clothes online and the parcel was due for collection at Claremont Post Office. She had made enquiries on August 8, 2019, and was assisted by Botha who told Mrwetyana that the parcel was not ready for collection and that he would contact her when the parcel arrived.

The parcel arrived on August 16, 2019, and on Saturday, August 24, she arrived at the post office after it was closed for business. Botha was alone inside the post office and let her in. It was the last time she was seen alive.

Mrwetyana was raped twice, her body hidden inside the safe of the post office, and later dumped and doused with an accelerant before being set alight.

Botha was sentenced to three life terms for his crimes.