June 22, 2024

Meghan Markle visits memorial of slain South African student, urges #AmINext movement awareness

Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle photograph credit: Getty Images

The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, recently visited the memorial of Uyinene Mrwetyana, the young South African woman and university student whose rape and murder sparked outcry in the nation, and onset the #AmINext movement.

On August 24, the University of Cape Town student was raped and murdered inside the Clareinch Post Office in Claremont, by 42-year-old employee, Luyanda Botha, according to News24.com.

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According to reports, Botha told Mrwetyana the credit card machine wasn’t working due to a power outage. Mrwetyana advised the 19-year-old to come back, with a promise of helping her at a later time. Power outages are a common occurrence in the area surrounding the post office, so the request was not far out the ordinary, nor did it raise much suspicion.


When the student returned after 2 p.m., the rest of the staff had left for the day. Botha locked the door behind Mrwetyana, proceeding to raped her. When she wouldn’t stop screaming, the employee beat her to death with post office scales, folded her body into the trunk of his car, and proceeded to set it on fire, according to news stories.

In a post on the official account for the Royals, the Duchess can be seen tying a ribbon at the site of Mrwetyana’s murder. The image is caption,  “Simi kunye kulesisimo” – ‘We stand together in this moment.’

The caption also details Markle’s private visit with Mrwetyana’s mother.

“The Duke and Duchess had been following what had happened from afar and were both eager to learn more when they arrived in South Africa. The Duchess spoke to the mother of Uyinene this week to relay their condolences,” the post reads.


It continued, ” 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. The Duchess has taken private visits and meetings over the last two days to deepen her understanding of the current situation and continue to advocate for the rights of women and girls.”

The Instagram post then prompts followers to learn more about the #IAmNext movement, and how more people can gain awareness on the sexual assault epidemic plaguing the women of South Africa.

Currently the royal family is touring various parts of Africa, including a Johannesburg visit by Markle, to a charity that helps to raise awareness of sexual violence in schools.

The royal family’s Africa visit ends on Oct. 2.

READ MORE: Michelle Obama praises Meghan Markle for ’breaking the mold’ during royal Africa tour

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