by - September 18, 2019

For my U.K. based friends (& non SA-based), an explanation: 
A UCT student, Uyinene Mrwetyana, was missing for a few weeks and in the last couple days it has been announced that she was raped and murdered by a man who worked at a local post office. 

She went into the post office; he lured her into an office, hit her over the head with a scale, raped and murdered her. He has confessed. 

This happened during women’s month. This happened locally. This happened during the day. This happened in a post office. 
This is my community now and it’s hurting. This event has touched everyone I know here. My heart and the heart of the city breaks for the family and friends of Nene; and all other women who have suffered the same fate because of a culture that doesn’t keep women safe, and a government that seems to think it’s our responsibility to keep ourselves safe. 

People are angry: angry at the fact that no justice system can reverse this. Angry that nothing can change what happened now. Angry that so many more women are speaking out and taking action than men are. Angry that men stay silent, or say the right things but do nothing. Men don’t experience this issue to the extent women do, but they should care just as much. 
People are angry that no where is safe. 

A post office. A f*cking post office. A “normal” guy: not a typical guy you’d cross the street for. How are we supposed to know who and where is safe? 

Men: don’t be offended that people are angry. We know that he is not what all men are. But if you don’t want to be painted as “trash” then I’m sorry but you have to prove you’re not. It is not women’s fault if we can’t tell the good guys from the bad guys: that’s on YOU

I love this city with all my heart. It’s become my home, and it’s the greatest place I’ve ever known. 

I wrote this because firstly, I’m hurting and I’m angry. Secondly, this isn’t international news and I know that’s normal. But I’ve been sharing things about it and I want people who know me back in the U.K. to know about what life is like for women in places like Cape Town. Yes, we don’t walk home alone at night in England, we always tell people when we are home safe, we get shouted at by strangers. Awful things happen anywhere in the world, I know that. 

But things are different in the U.K. We can get the train/city bus alone at any time of day. We can walk through a subway alone at any time of day. We are safe in university run student accommodation. We are safe at the post office. We are privileged.

Thanks for reading. 

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