Princess Megan, The Duchess of Sussex, paid respect over the weekend at the memorial of slain South African student Uyinene Mrwetyana. The 19-year-old was raped and murdered last month on August 24thin Cape Town.
A woman is murdered every three hours in South Africa, according to statistics recently released by The South African Police Service. Mrwetyana’s death prompted protests as thousands of Cape Town residents demand action and accountability from both the parliament and the perpetrators of these crimes.
A post on The Duchess of Sussex’s Instagram account say’s “Uyinene’s death has mobilized people across South Africa in the fight against gender-based violence, and is seen as a critical point in the future of women’s rights in South Africa.”
With one of the highest rape rates globally, South Africa was ranked fourth out of one hundred and eighty-three countries for femicide, according to data obtained from the World Health Organization. During a pre-trial hearing held earlier this month, the unidentified post office worker confessed to raping and beating the victim with post-office scales before placing her lifeless body in the trunk of his car. He later burned the vehicle and disposed of it near his home in Khayelitsha Township.
Megan spoke to Mrwatyana’s mother and personally relayed her condolences after following the story from afar. According to the royals’ Instagram post, both The Duke and the Dutchess were “eager to learn more upon their arrival to South Africa” and “being able to recognize Uyinene and all women and girls affected by GBV was personally important to the Dutchess.”
The suspect’s trial will begin in November of 2019.
Written by Jessica Dupree