South Africa: Body of Grade 9 Germiston Girl Found Stabbed and Burned in Bushes

The Gauteng Department of Education says it is saddened by yet another death of a pupil.

Laticia Princes Jansen, 15, was allegedly stabbed, raped and burned to death on Wednesday and was found in a nearby bush in Elsburg, Germiston, on Friday.

Jansen was in Grade 9 at Graceland Education Centre.

"According to information at our disposal, Laticia didn't come back home from school. Subsequently, the grandmother panicked and started checking in the neighbourhood, but to no avail. The grandmother couldn't sleep.

"The next morning, on Thursday, 23 January 2020, she reported her missing at the police station, but was informed to bring a photograph of a child. Unfortunately, no action was taken," the department's spokesperson Steve Mabona said in a statement on Sunday.

Mabona said that, when Laticia's grandmother reported to the school, it was confirmed to her that she had been absent on the day.

Mabona said it was concerning that the school had failed to assist the concerned grandmother.

After the grandmother mobilised members of the community, a search took place on Friday, resulting in the discovery of her burnt body in the bushes.

"We are informed that Laticia and a group of learners from Dukathole in Germiston, were on Wednesday, 22 January 2020, left behind by the departmental scholar transport and unfortunately had to turn back home. It seems Laticia was left behind by her peers while walking back home, apparently after complaining about a heavy school bag, which she was trying to fix. Accordingly, that was the last time she was seen by her peers," Mabona said.

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi visited the family to convey his condolence. He assured them that, if the school had acted in bad faith, he would act decisively.

"It is alleged that the scholar transport started a tendency of departing earlier than scheduled, as a result leaving many learners behind, which is a serious concern for us. We will investigate the circumstances surrounding this allegation. We have visited the family to convey our sincere condolences this afternoon, 26 January 2020," Lesufi said.

The department's psycho-social team is expected to visit the school on Monday to offer counselling to the community and family.

Source: News24

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