The man accused of brutally murdering and raping University of Cape Town student Uyinene Mrwetyana had previously been convicted of armed robbery, and had a rape case against him withdrawn.
This was revealed by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in the Western Cape on Monday after the 42-year-old - who allegedly confessed to killing Mrweytana - appeared in court.
Speaking to Radio 702 on Monday, NPA Western Cape spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila confirmed the two charges - but did not provide details of either case.
"He's got a record of armed robbery, or what is called robbery with aggravating circumstances. There is also a case of rape that he had, but it was withdrawn. I don't have circumstances why it was withdrawn," he told the radio station.
Meanwhile, communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has ordered an investigation into how the man was employed by the Post Office despite the criminal conviction.
The man, who cannot be named yet as an identity parade is yet to be conducted, appeared at the Wynberg magistrate's court on Monday.
It emerged in court that the man lured the 19-year-old student into the Clareinch post office where he attacked, raped and killed her.
Providing details to 702, Ntabazalila said: “She tried to fight back but he overpowered her and she lost her life. Later on, the court was told that he put her into his car and he drove out to Lingelethu in Khayelitsha and that’s where he left her body.”
He also allegedly confessed and pointed where he dumped the body. He was charged with rape, murder and defeating the ends of justice.
The case was postponed to November 5.
In a statement on Monday night, Ndabeni-Abrahams said: "It has come to my attention that the SA Post Office (SAPO) employee who allegedly assaulted and murdered Ms Mrwetyana had previous criminal convictions. As the shareholder representative of SAPO, I am deeply disturbed by the fact Ms Mrwetyana has met her untimely death at the hands of one of our own.
“I would like to assure South Africa at large that, as a department, we will leave no stone unturned in the quest to ensure that the family of Ms Mrwetyana find justice.
“While we absolutely respect legal proceedings, I personally would like the alleged murderer of Ms Mrwetyana to receive the harshest sentence possible. Such behaviour needs to be strongly condemned and discouraged,” said Ndabeni-Abrahams.
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