News / South Africa

Virginia Keppler
2 minute read
10 May 2018
6:20 am

Hundreds march on cops to demand justice for Katli Joja

Virginia Keppler

The murdered girl's family is still in shock after police turned them away twice when they wanted to report the 10-year-old missing.

The #NotInMyNameSA movement, together with more than a thousand pupils, various community organisations, religious leaders, and political parties, yesterday demanded the dismissal of the police officer who turned the murdered Katlego “Katli” Joja’s family away from the Mamelodi West police station without helping them.

They chanted in front of the police station: “Mamelodi cannot be known as the capital of rape and murder, and the police must take us seriously when we report cases.”

The community demanded justice for 10-year-old Joja, who lived with autism.

Her body was found floating in the Moretele River in Mamelodi West section D3 on Sunday night. She had gone missing from her home in section D4 last Thursday at about 9am.

The march yesterday was led by the #NotInMyNameSA movement, which demanded that police monitor the local river.

Marchers under #NotInMyNameSA handed over a memorandum to Mamelodi West police station for the inquest to be dealt with speedily, Pretoria, 9 May 2018.. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Joja’s uncle, Thabiso Storom, said they were still in shock after police turned them away twice when they wanted to report a case of a missing person. He said a family member and Joja’s school principal had to make phone calls to someone within the police and in government to get the local police to respond.

“Initially, the police did not take her disappearance seriously and they did not even understand what autism was,” Storom said. He requested that the police and other government institutions serving the people, be educated about the various disabilities in order to serve the communities better.

Picture: Jacques Nelles

#NotInMyNameSA president Siyabulela Jentle said that in their memorandum, which they handed over to police, they demanded that the case be prioritised.

“We want feedback on previous similar cases, as well as a detailed prevention plan to ensure that what happened to Katlego and Zinhle Ndala and others does not happen again,” Jentle said.

The group also demanded that police provide support for neighbourhood watch forums.

The Congress of South African Students (Cosas) said it was willing to work with police to find the perpetrators who rape and murder children in the community. They also promised that if this kind of an act happens again, they will resort to taking matters into their own hands.

Picture: Jacques Nelles

Mamelodi Ministers Fraternal and Reverend Dr Paledi Magopa of the local Evangelical Lutheran Church said their hearts were broken.

Magopa said: “We are angry and we feel the very same way these Cosas children are feeling, and sometimes we even forget our faith. But we must never stop praying as a church.”

Magopa pleaded with residents to forward any information relating to the murder of Joja to police.

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