Former post office worker Luyanda Botha will serve life in prison for the rape and murder of Uyinene Mrwetyana, in terms of a plea and sentencing agreement heard in the Western Cape High Court.
The court heard on Friday that Botha pleaded guilty to raping and killing UCT student Mrwetyana earlier this year.
According to the agreement, Botha will serve a life sentence for murder, two life sentences on both counts of rape, and five years for defeating the ends of justice. The five year sentence will run concurrently.
He will not be eligible for parole for 25 years. Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe confirmed the sentence.
Standing in the dock of the Western Cape High Court for a pre-trial on Friday, Botha said he understood the charges.
“The State has also consulted with the parents and family of the deceased fully and I have explained in great detail the contents of the document and the processes to be followed,” said State prosecutor Advocate Rodney de Kock.
Mrwetyana’s family were in court as proceedings continued, including the graphic details of Botha’s plea.
Botha was charged with twice raping 19-year-old Mrwetyana, a first-year University of Cape Town student, before bludgeoning her to death on August 24.
According to the State’s summary of facts, her body was hidden in the Clareinch Post Office safe in Claremont, Cape Town overnight before being taken to Lingelethu West the next day where Botha doused her body with an accelerant and set it alight.
He also faced a charge of defeating or obstructing the ends of justice.
Botha, according to the State, made a confession and pointed out the crime scene.
Botha met Mrwetyana just over two weeks before her murder, it was charged, when she enquired about a parcel.
The State, led by the Director of Public Prosecutions in the Western Cape, had lined up 16 witnesses to prove its case against him.