The discovery of the body of an 8-year-old Katlehong girl who had been missing led to a house and four shacks being torched by angry community members.
This was after two men, a landlord and his tenant, were taken in for questioning following the discovery of the body in a house opposite theirs.
Despite the fact that they could not be linked to the crime and were later released after questioning, angry community members burned the man’s house and the four shacks that he was letting to tenants.
That was because they believed that the men had something to do with the child’s death.
However, the house where the body was found was not destroyed by the angry residents.
Police have since condemned that act of mob justice and vigilantism.
Brigadier Mathapelo Peters of the Gauteng Police has urged the community to give the detectives space to investigate the case which, she said, had been prioritised as with all cases involving children, women and the elderly.
Peters said “Two people were taken in for questioning but have not been linked to the murder at this stage. The investigating officer is working around the clock to gather sufficient information and evidence that could lead to the arrest of the perpetrator and a successful conviction in court”.
The Grade 2 pupil from Sekgutlong Primary School in Katlehong was reported missing by her mother on Sunday around 10pm. The following morning the missing child’s body was found at a house that is on the same street as her home.
Peter further said “On arrival at the scene, police found the little girl’s body behind a backroom. Paramedics certified the child dead on the scene. A case of murder has been opened as police investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of the child. The post-mortem will further determine the exact cause of her death”.
Meanwhile, Gauteng Police Commissioner Lieutenant General Elias Mawela has condemned both the killing of the girl as well as the community taking the law into their hands.
He said the investigating officer must move with speed to ensure that the person responsible for the child’s killing is arrested and brought to book.
He added that “I also urge the community of Katlehong to refrain from acts of vigilantism while those that have information that can help in the investigation, must come forward”.