Since we last saw the Duchess of Sussex visit Mothers2Mothers in Cape Town on Wednesday afternoon, the Duchess has taken a number of private visits and meetings "to deepen her understanding of the current situation and continue to advocate for the rights of women and girls". With Prince Harry busy travelling to Botswana, Angola and Malawi, I expect they very much want to keep the focus on his efforts, however, we will get information and images on the work the Duchess has been doing. On Thursday, morning she attended a Women in Public Service breakfast at the High Commission (we're expecting information and images to be released at some point over the weekend). Later on Thursday, the Duchess made a poignant trip which meant a great deal to her - she tied a ribbon at the site where 19-year-old Uyinene Mrwetyana was brutally murdered last month, to pay her respects with those who have taken a stand against gender-based violence and femicide.
Meghan wrote: "'Simi kunye kulesisimo' – 'We stand together in this moment'."
Buckingham Palace said it was "personally important" to Meghan. She spoke with Uyinene's mother to offer her condolences and to show solidarity.
When Harry and Meghan arrived in Nyanga, they both touched on gender violence during a visit to the township. We briefly mentioned Uyinene's shocking murder on the blog; it's a heartbreaking but sadly all too common occurrence in the country. The Duchess said: "My husband and I have been closely following what you've been experiencing here - as best we can from afar. But now that we are with you, we are eager to learn and see first-hand the work that you're doing, the vital work that you're doing, and that everything that is being done on the ground is making the great change that you not only need but that you deserve."
Uyinene was a first-year media studies student at the University of Cape Town. Described as someone who "only knew love", she was adored by a wide circle of family and friends. Perhaps her studies would have taken her into a journalistic career, someday covering a member of the Royal family visiting. The 24 August was another normal day; she went to the post office and was informed the card machine was down and advised to return later by a post office employee. She returned that afternoon and said employee stole her future when he raped and murdered her before dumping her body in the township where he lived. We know Uyinene fought for her life with every ounce of strength she had.
Her death has sparked outrage and protests across South Africa with women all over the country supporting the campaign #AmINext.
The most recent statistics from the police in South Africa reveal a woman is murdered every three hours in South Africa.
This informative piece from The New Yorker offers insights on the case and the epidemic of violence:
'For many South Africans, the protests following Mrwetyana’s death have been an indication that there are ways of responding to this crisis that go beyond sadness and anger and the state’s promise to set up some sort of commission of inquiry at a vague time in the future. Confronted with the reality of how she died, and the knowledge that “the post office” must now be added to the long list of places to be scared of, women around the country are reaching what feels like a breaking point. At protests and vigils this week, the mood has been a combination of fury and astonishment at how distorted our definition of “normal” has become.
This past Thursday, in Cape Town, thousands of people marched on Parliament to demand a more definitive and urgent response to violence against women. It would be easy to say that there have been so many marches just like it, with the same songs, the same posters with the faces and names of dead women and girls, many of the same slogans.'
More from Sussex Royal:
'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.
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.'
Uyinene will not be forgotten. More from the #AmINext organisation:
'Uyinene’s face has become the poster image of the #AmINext movement across the country and many women, young and old have chanted her name in the streets as they call for the State and for South African men to do better. She has become the symbol of a renewed effort to prioritise the safety and well-being of women and children in South Africa.
In her honour, her name will also be remembered through a UCT scholarship called the Uyinene Mrwetyana Scholarship for Women in the Humanities, said Phakeng.
"Each time the scholarship is awarded, it will be a cautious reminder of the tragic circumstances under which Uyinene's life was taken and spur the scholarship recipient on, to keep the flame of her legacy shining brightly. Each time Uyinene's name is mentioned in this way, she will be alive to us as we work together towards ending the scourge of gender-based violence. We do not want to forget who she was." She will also be remembered through a gender-based violence foundation, which is to be established by her family.'
Uyinene's brother Esona tearfully said: "The one thing I will hold on to, is that till your very last breath you were fighting. And I'm sorry that I wasn't there to fight for you. I'm so proud of you. Your fight is now our fight."
The name Uyinene loosely means God/He is truth. I know I speak for all of us when I say our thoughts are with Uyinene's family and every single one of the women protesting for a safer future.
UPDATE: The Duchess was spotted with Baby Archie at Cape Town International Airport where they boarded a British Airways flight to Johannesburg.
Read more on The Times South Africa website.