• Eastern Cape Rising Sun

174 Post Office employees have a criminal record

As Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlope addressed the Mrwetyana family, wishing them healing with their crippling grief; Luyanda Botha showed first signs of humanity when he cried for the first time in court. The journey is not over, as the country awaits the report on the investigation by South Africa Post Office (SAPO) on how a convicted criminal was hired by a state institution. Botha has a previous conviction of robbery in 1999 where he was sentenced to eight years, with three years suspended.

He was summarily dismissed from the Clareinch Post Office with immediate effect upon his arrest in August. During his indictment and admission in court this month, it was heard that Botha utilised state resources at his disposal in what appears to be premeditated murder of 19-year-old Uyinene Mrwetyana.

Through her parcel, he managed to manipulate when she comes to the Post Office so he can intentionally sexually violate her. He convinced a colleague to leave him behind while he waited for the teenager, whom he called and ensured would come just after the Post Office has closed.

He used Post Office machinery at his disposal to kill her and stashed her body in a safe, which he obviously had access to. He went further to use a postal mailing bag to take her body out of the building with blind permission granted by the security guard on duty on Sunday. Questions have been raised on how he managed to gain access to the office on a weekend.

According to Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni- Abrahams, “SAPO has advised that the investigation is nearing completion and a report will be presented to us by the end of November 2019. Botha made himself guilty of gross misconduct by intentionally misleading the organisation and stating under oath that he had never been convicted of any criminal offence,” said Ndabeni.

She added that of the 300 flagged employees, the State Security Agency further identified 174 employees who have criminal records. “SAPO and the Ministry will ascertain the appropriate actions to be taken against identified employees.”






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