'That monster lives amongst us': Lesufi calls on community to help find Laticia Jansen's killer
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi on Monday warned that the “monster” who killed a grade 9 pupil at Graceland Education Centre in Germiston, east of Johannesburg, "lives amongst us here".
Laticia Jansen, 15, was stabbed, raped and burnt to death. Her body was found in the bush near Elsburg.
Lesufi was speaking after visiting Graceland and the teen's family. He encouraged the community to come forward with information.
“What pains me more is that the community is clear this child is not the first one. The community must tell us who did this," he said.
“The reality is that there is a monster that killed this child, and that monster lives amongst us. If someone had the determination to rape, kill and burn, what kind of a safety plan will stop that? This person is barbaric,” said Lesufi.
When Jansen did not come home from school, her grandmother panicked and started checking around the neighbourhood. When she went to the school to report the child missing, it was confirmed that Laticia had been absent on Wednesday.
“It is also concerning that the school failed to assist the parent,” said the department in a statement on Sunday.
The grandmother mobilised the community on Friday. Accompanied by dogs, they searched the nearby bush and found Laticia's body.
“I’m going to speak to my counterpart at the department of health for the body to be analysed. We’ve elevated the case to the province. The provincial police were here and they've taken two witnesses to gather statements," said Lesufi on Monday.
“For now, things are on track. We are just disappointed that the reporting mechanism had lots of holes and gaps. If we can’t close those gaps, learners will go missing,” he said.
Lesufi said the victim's family strongly suspected that Laticia was burnt because she may have known her attacker or attackers, adding that it was a valid point.