Meghan Markle is making sure the story of Uyinene Mrwetyana will not be forgotten.
The Royal Duchess of Sussex made a trip earlier this week to South Africa, in part for a private visit to the memorial of the 19-year-old University of Cape Town student who was raped and murdered, allegedly by a post office worker.
Mrwetyana went missing in late August and her death was confirmed in September. “Having closely followed the tragic story, it was a personal gesture [Meghan] wanted to make,” Markle’s spokesperson told PEOPLE.
Markle visited the memorial at the Clareinch Post Office where Mrwetyana died. Paying tribute to the young woman, she left a handwritten message in the girl’s native language of Xhosa, which read, “Harry & Meghan 26th September 2019. We stand together in this situation.”
She also added a yellow ribbon to the many already at the site, in honor of Mrwetyana’s life.
Yellow ribbons have been left as tributes to #Uyinene Mrwetyana and Meghan left a moving message, written in her distinctive calligraphy, in local language Xhosa: “We stand together in this situation.— Emily Andrews (@byEmilyAndrews) September 27, 2019
“Harry & Meghan 26th September 2019.” pic.twitter.com/VH7u7rDQEE
The official Instagram account for the Duchess relayed a more extensive message about Mrwetyana’s tragic death.
View this post on Instagram
“Simi kunye kulesisimo” – ‘We stand together in this moment’ The Duchess of Sussex has tied a ribbon at the site where 19-year-old Cape Town student Uyinene Mrwetyana was murdered last month, to pay her respects and to show solidarity with those who have taken a stand against gender based violence and femicide. Over the last month in Capetown, protests erupted through the streets in outrage over GBV in South Africa. 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. Visiting the site of this tragic death and being able to recognise Uyinene, and all women and girls effected by GBV (specifically in South Africa, but also throughout the world) was personally important to The Duchess. Uyinene’s death has mobilised 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. For more information on the recent events in South Africa, please see link in bio. #AmINext
Uyinene Mrwetyana was bludgeoned to death on the day she was reported missing after she returned to the post office to retrieve a package. Her body was found a week later in the nearby township of Khayelitsha, according to the BBC.
At Mrwetyana’s funeral in east London on September 7, Police Minister Bheki Cele recalled her final moments during the assault: “With all the innocence in the world … she begins to realize that there is a problem here. This guy attacks this young woman, this young woman fights, she fought back heavily. She fights, and for some reason, she loses footing, and he rapes her,” he said, according to local news outlet News24.
A 42-year-old suspect was arrested in connection to the murder and appeared in court earlier this month. Prosecutors reported that the man, whose name has not been released, had confessed to raping and fatally beating Mrwetyana, then burning and dumping her body. The trial is scheduled for November.
Photo: Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage