The trial of Luyanda Botha, who is accused of raping and murdering student Uyinene Mrwetyana, is expected to kick off in the Western Cape High Court next Friday after being transferred from the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
Botha is facing two counts of rape, a murder charge and defeating the ends of justice and he appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court where the defence was handed an indictment as well as a summary of the facts to the list of charges.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said the matter was formally transferred to the high court where the NPA hoped the trial would kick off on November 15 should the defence not object.
The state alleges Mrwetyana’s dead body was kept in the Clareinch Post Office safe overnight by Botha, who worked for the post office at the time on August 24 and 25.
“On Saturday 24, the deceased arrived at the post office after it was closed for business. The accused was alone inside the post office and let her in. The deceased was not seen alive again. The state alleges that the accused raped the deceased twice and then assaulted her to death. He then hid her body inside the safe of the post office.”
Botha allegedly removed the body on August 25 and transported it in his car to a field in Lingelethu West in Khayelitsha, doused it with an accelerant and set it alight.
Mrwetyana’s body was found by a police patrol vehicle in the early hours of August 26 during a routine patrol. Botha was arrested on August 29 and made a statement to police as well as a “pointing out” to police.
The state said the post mortem indicated that the Mrwetyana’s death was caused by a head injury.
“The manner of death is therefore unnatural.”
The state will be represented by Rodney de Kock with Botha represented by John Solomons.