MEC for Education in Gauteng, Panyaza Lesufi, has pleaded with the community of Dukathole in Germiston on Johannesburg’s East Rand to give the name of the “monster” that killed schoolgirl Laticia Jansen.
A Grade 9 pupil at Graceland Education Centre in Germiston, 15-year-old Laticia was raped, stabbed and set alight on Wednesday last week. Her body was found in the bush near Elsburg.
Laticia was apparently last seen when she walked back home after missing education department’s scholar transport whose times were changed and parents were not informed of the new times. It is said that Jansen was left behind by her peers while walking home, apparently after complaining about a heavy school bag that she was trying to fix.
Lesufi visited the Jansen family and told the community to stop shielding criminals.
“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,” the MEC said.
Lesufi addressed journalists after visiting Graceland Education Centre and the Jansen family. He expressed sadness upon hearing that Laticia was not the first child to be killed.
“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 MEC also called on political parties to work together to fight the violence in Dukathole.
“I’m coming back here tomorrow [Tuesday] afternoon. I’ve asked the community leaders, the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) the chairperson of the African National Congress (ANC), to have a joint community meeting.
“You can’t say it’s not the first one [murder] and you do nothing about it. We can’t have a barbaric act like this in the community then is business as usual.”
Lesufi also raised concern that when Laticia’s grandmother reported to her school that she’s missing, no action was taken to raise the alarm. He said Graceland could not answer his questions on Monday.
"No one could give me answers [to explain] why the learner was not at school on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. A parent comes and says they have a missing child and you just say 'go to the police station' and don't assist the parent [or] make a follow-up on Friday when the learner is still not there," Lesufi said.
He warned that if the Graceland Education Centre doesn’t give him answers, he would initiate tough action against the school.
School Governing Body (SGB) Chairperson, Evelyn Mazibuko, said the SGB could not answer anything until an investigation is completed.
“Answers will be given after the investigation is done that is why we are investigating, because we don’t know what happened,” Mazibuko said.m
Laticia and her siblings were raised by her grandmother because their mother has long passed on.