Luyanda Botha, the man who raped and murdered University of Cape Town student Uyinene Mrwetyana, was handed three life sentences in the Western Cape High Court on Friday after he pleaded guilty to raping and killing the 19-year-old in August.
Botha made a confession and pointed out where he dumped the body after being arrested.
His statement, parts of which were read out in court, said: “I am liable for my actions. I intended to rape and kill.”
Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe described the murder as “callous” and “vicious”, adding that Uyinene had been “cut down in the prime of her life”.
Uyinene was raped and killed at the Clareinch Post Office in Claremont on 24 August.
The case triggered mass protests against the rampant violence against women in South Africa.
Uyinene’s family praised the police and prosecution team for the speed with which the trial was concluded.
It took just under three months for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to finalise the murder and rape trial.
The court also heard Botha had a previous conviction for robbery for which he had been given an eight-year sentence in 1999.
Botha is married but is estranged from his wife.
Judge Salie-Hlophe said Botha will not be eligible for parole until he has served at least 25 years behind bars.