Murder accused must face full might of the law

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Higher Education, Science and Technology Minister Blade Nzimande says no stone must be left unturned in the murder case of Uyinene Mrwetyana.

The 19-year-old University of Cape Town (UCT) film and media student was raped and brutally killed at the Clareinch Post Office.

The alleged perpetrator, who is a 42-year-old man, made his first appearance at the Wynberg Magistrate's Court on Monday. He is charged with murder, rape and defeating the ends of justice.

The court heard that the accused confessed to the murder and led police to where her body was dumped. Magistrate Goolam Bawa ordered that the accused's name and photograph not be published. An identity parade is yet to be conducted.

“As a department, we are engaging all stakeholders to improve campus security. We are working with the Ministerial Task Team appointed to advise men on issues of sexual harassment and GBV and harm at universities, which has commenced its work,” Nzimande said.

Policy Framework to address GBV in universities

In forging ahead with its plans to eradicate GBV in the country’s post-school education institutions, earlier this year, government released a Draft Policy Framework to address GBV in the Post-School Education and Training (PSET) System.

Through the framework, government aims to conceptualise GBV and define its manifestation in terms of existing laws and policies.

The framework details the international and national regulatory framework for institutional and departmental responses to GBV. It provides guidance around the structures, mechanisms and processes that institutions must put in place to address GBV.

This will be done by mandating institutions to develop a comprehensive, overarching policy to address GBV, which includes harassment and discrimination more broadly, staff grievance and disciplinary proceedings, as well as student and staff codes of conduct aligned and integrated within the total policy environment of the institution.

They will have to put support and assistance mechanisms in place that can immediately offer support to victims of GBV in institutions, as well as establishing effective reporting, monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.

Furthermore, the institutions will also institute a charter on ethics that will be signed by all staff and student leadership in institutions. The charter should clearly specify ethical conduct that pertains to the eradication of sexual harassment and GBV. –