A house believed to belong to the man accused of attacking and murdering University of Cape Town (UCT) student Uyinene Mrwetyana was on Tuesday set alight in Khayelitsha, in the Western Cape.
Several videos surfacing on social media emerged on Tuesday night showing community members in Khayelitsha Ward 94 burning a house believed to belong to the alleged murderer.
City of Cape Town fire and rescue spokesperson Jermaine Carelse said that while the identity of the owner of the house is unknown, firefighters were met by a “volatile crowd” which prevented them from performing their function.
According to Carelse, officers feared for their lives and left the area.
Ward councillor Patrick Mgxunyeni confirmed to News24 that the house belongs to the man who is alleged to have killed Mrwetyana, saying “the community decided that they were tired of inaction when it comes to gender-based violence, particularly women”.
“Emotions were very high”
He says, however, he was not in the community meeting when the decision was taken, but confirmed the fire.
“Emotions were very high,” he added.
Magistrate Goolam Bawa on Monday ordered that the suspect not yet be named.
Western Cape police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut said police are currently in the area to maintain law and order.
He said suspects are yet to be arrested and the incident is under police investigation.
Traut also said the owner of the house could not be identified.
Mrwetyana was allegedly attacked, raped and murdered by a Post Office employee in Cape Town.
The 42-year-old arrested in connection with Mrwetyana’s disappearance and subsequent death appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
The court heard that the first-year film and media studies student had been killed in the Clareinch post office in Claremont the same day she disappeared – August 24.
On Tuesday, flowers and cards were placed outside the post office after its doors were closed to protesters.
“As mothers, as grandmothers, as aunties we need to shut down our city now, we need to get to Parliament, we need to tell our president this is where it stops, this is the last,” Claremont resident Eloise Hoffman told News24.
Students and staff gathered at the University of Cape Town for a night vigil on Monday to honour Mrwetyana.