Plea bargain denied: Protest at Robyn Pearce plea trial

Lucy Bryant

Protestors gathered outside Cape Town High Court on 19 Febraury to protest against a plea bargain of the alleged murderer of Robyn Pearce.

Pearce, who was a student at Stellenbosch University (SU), was murdered by an intruder in her mother’s Cape Town flat in December 2016. The court discussed the sentencing of Wasief Buxbey, the alleged perpetrator and whether his plea bargain of a 25 year sentence would be accepted by Judge Mark Sher.

Pearce had finished her second year at the University and was studying with the aim to become a child psychologist.
In the weeks leading up the trail family and friends of Pearce urged people to attend a protest outside the court against the possibility of a plea bargain.

According to the Justice for Robyn Pearce Facebook page the protest aimed to “pay tribute to Robyn” and “help  ensure that justice will be served.”

The protest was supported by friends and family of Robyn as well as peace-seekers of violence against women in South Africa. Although the protest was focused primarily on Pearce’s trial, it also aimed to raise awareness against
the killing and abuse of women and children in South Africa.

Pearce’s mother, Bernie Pearce, said that “students are constantly under attack in Stellenbosch and Cape Town.

“Parents send their children to university to get degrees and contribute to the economy, not to be murdered.”

The plea bargain was not accepted by the judge. Pearce’s mother said that it was a small victory. The accused will plead to a new judge on 1 March.

A new trial date will be set thereafter.

Photo: Daniro Shanice

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