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Religious leaders call for calm after death of Katlego Joja

The young girl who had been diagnosed with autism was found floating in a nearby river on Sunday – four days after she was reported missing.

Hundreds of community members marched to the Mamelodi Police Station to protest against the police's poor response after 10-year-old Katlego Joja went missing. She was later found dead in a river near her home. Picture: Ihsaan Haffejee/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Religious leaders have called for calm in Mamelodi as police investigate the circumstances around the death of 10-year-old Katlego Joja.

The young girl, who had been diagnosed with autism, was found floating in a nearby river on Sunday – four days after she was reported missing.

Her family was turned away twice from the Mamelodi police station.

Social activist group Not In My Name held a protest outside the station earlier on Wednesday.

Angry community members gathered outside the Mamelodi police station calling for officers who turned Katlego Joja’s family away to be fired with immediate effect.

WATCH: Community demands justice for Katlego Joja

Religious leaders have called on the community to give police space to investigate the exact circumstances that led to the little girl’s death.

“But we understand that we must give the men and women in blue a chance to do their jobs.”

A representative from the Not In My Name campaign says it’s simply unacceptable that people are turned away from a police station – which is mandated with protecting the community.

“Whoever is responsible for turning away the family of Katlego, we want them gone!”

Officials at the local police station have promised community members they’ll work to address their grievances.

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