Botha gets three life terms
Luyanda Botha (42) was sentenced to three life terms for fondling, raping and killing Uyinene Mrwetyana (19) and five years for defeating the ends of justice. The sentences will run concurrently, meaning he will serve all the sentences at the same time. He will not be eligible for parole for 25 years.
The father of two pleaded guilty to all charges during his pre-trial at the Western Cape High Court on Friday, November 15. This is after a plea agreement was entered into by the state and his legal counsel team.
In an admission read by his lawyer, he said, “On August 24, I acted with the full appreciation of the wrongfulness of my actions. I had intentions. I understand all the charges and I am pleading guilty to all four”.
He added that he has written the Mrwetyana family and South Africa a letter that will be released through his lawyers in due time.
The court heard that on Saturday, August 24, Botha called Mrwetyana to collect her parcel, eight days after it had arrived. He agreed with a colleague to stay behind after the Post Office had closed at 1pm. He opened for Nene when she arrived and locked the door behind her. He made sexual advances at her and proceeded to rape and kill her. He covered her body with cushions and a blanket and went for a drink in a nearby liquor outlet.
He returned early on Sunday to dispose of the body and clean up the crime scene. He requested to park his car inside the Post Office yard from a security guard. He packed her body in a postal mailbag and loaded in his car. He dumped it in a shallow grave in Khayelitsha and burnt it with petrol.
Botha has two children aged 3 and 14 with his estranged wife of four years. His lawyers added that he is remorseful, hence he pleaded guilty.
State Prosecutor, Advocate Rodney de Kock reminded Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlope that Uyinene was killed in a careless and vicious manner for sexual gratification.
“She was at the prime of her life and had so much to offer the country. Family and friends are traumatised that she was killed in a safe and public space. He set her alight, amplifying this trauma. He further misused his position as a Post Office worker,” said de Kock.