A man arrested in connection with the disappearance of University of Cape Town student Uyinene Mrwetyana has been charged with her murder and rape as well as defeating the ends of justice.
The man made his first appearance in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
He is an employee at the Clareinch Post Office, where Mrwetyana was last seen alive.
He was arrested in Claremont on Friday, almost a week after the first-year film and media studies student went missing.
Officers and member of the Flying Squad apprehended the man, who is in his forties.
After his arrest, police said they were confident that he would be able to reveal more answers and bring an end to “days of uncertainty for her family, friends and all others concerned”.
Students, university staff and loved ones of the student filled the benches of the courtroom on Monday.
Mrwetyana, 19, was last seen in Claremont last Saturday. She lived at Roscommon House in Main Road, Claremont, a student residence leased by UCT.
UCT students held a night vigil for Mrwetyana on Sunday.
Following social media reports that Mrwetyana’s remains had been found, police said an autopsy and DNA tests would be conducted on a body found in Lingelethu West, Khayelitsha last Monday.
Three private investigators, who were appointed by the family, the university and Roscommon House, were also probing the case.
According to the State, on the day of her disappearance, Mrwetyana had gone to enquire about a parcel, but the electricity at the post office had been off. She was told to return later.
When she did, she was allegedly sexually accosted.
She fought back but her attacker knocked her out, using a scale.
According to the State, the man confessed to the crime.
A number of people started sobbing in the courtroom and they could still be heard crying in the corridors after proceedings adjourned.