• Eastern Cape Rising Sun

“We are a bleeding country Nene”


Nomangwane Mrwetyana, Uyinene’s mother. Photo: IOL

Nomangwane Mrwetyana wrote a touching tribute to her daughter Uyinene, the National Prosecuting Authority and Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlope.


The 24th of August 2019 marked the first day of a re-defined version of our family.


The day started out like any other, and upon the realisation that Uyi could not be reached, our worst fears crept in and that initial trepidation has since developed into an ocean of emotions which have coalesced into agony.


This day also marked a turning point after which privacy for the family became a rare privilege. We have since directly or indirectly been the national and international spotlight because of a catastrophic loss of our precious daughter, Uyinene. Our once quiet and private daily lives are now filled with sorrow and pity, whilst the country and the world at large show

us immense love and support, which we appreciate. We are always drawn back to that moment in time when this catastrophic tragedy befell us.


We were a small family of four; two men and two women. This diversity in our family presented multiple thoughts and generational opinions that would emerge at every dinner table discussion and phone calls. The sudden annihilation of our princess has emphatically altered our collective being as her voice which was distinct, crisp, filled with warmth and affection is now gone. She has left an everlasting void. Her father is gutted and deeply saddened as he could not even view her body due to how badly damaged from the despicable act committed by the accused.


He is left with an eternally open wound which has made it difficult to reconcile with this tragedy. Esona, her brother, is devastated that his younger sister, whom he cherished so much, went through this horrible experience and had her life cut short in this manner. He has been left alone now, as his biggest cheerleader and advisor is no more. All the dreams and future ideals have been unceremoniously stolen away from both Esona and Uyinene. What a loss. I, on the other hand, as Esona and Uyinene’s mother as well as their father’s wife have a gigantic responsibility of safeguarding the wellbeing of my family. The intense trauma from the loss of my daughter is a daily burden that is excruciatingly hard to bear.


She had become my call-a-friend when I needed to chat, my loudspeaker when I could not fully express myself, my peacemaker. She had become me. No words can fully describe my hurt, let alone that of the entire family. We invested a lot in Uyi as we had firsthand understanding of her dreams and all that she wished to achieve in her life. We did so enthusiastically as she was such a pleasant young lady with every right to believe that the world was her oyster. She had hopes and dreams of conquering the local and international scenes in media and film industry, boy oh boy, a naturally talented child. A

dream deferred indeed.


How is she to achieve those plans now? We are hopeful that Nene’s murder is not in vain, we look beyond our loss as her death awakened a movement in South Africa and the world over. It is a fact though, that every day we are reminded that we are the biggest losers. We remember your beautiful deep husky voice with pleasure, and so we imagine your voice when you bravely fought your perpetrator, denouncing the ill and evil he put you through. We have sleepless nights imagining the fear of being faced with a monster who presented himself to you as a trusted civil servant in a place that is viewed as a national asset to service the community.


We are stuck with the question why, why, why, why, why was it necessary? The trauma is totally unbearable but we will not allow the end to define you, Uyinene. Our hearts continue to bleed for you, we pray for your soul and we are holding on to the joyous memories and life experiences we had together. The Foundation and Scholarship in your honour will help us further your great deeds to impact young lives who will go on to spread love to the world over. We are not okay without you Bhelekazi.


Nene, the women of this country are not okay. We are a bleeding country. It is painful; a pain no parent should ever go through.

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