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Lesufi: Police must hunt down criminals who shot Rethabile Rapuleng

Rethabile Rapuleng, who was a grade six pupil at Mogobeng Primary School, was shot outside the Izibuko Primary School while waiting for a friend on Wednesday.

Grade 6 pupil Rethabile Rapuleng died on 19 September 2019 after being shot outside Izibuko Primary School in Katlehong the day before in the cross fire between rival taxi operators. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - While police search for the killers of a 12-year-old girl and a man in Katlehong, Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi is pleading with the authorities to move with speed.

Rethabile Rapuleng, who was a grade six pupil at Mogobeng Primary School, was shot outside the Izibuko Primary School while waiting for a friend on Wednesday.

She was struck as shots, seemingly intended for a taxi operator, were fired in her direction.

Lesufi has implored the police to find the killers of Rethabile Rapuleng as soon as possible.

"We want to call upon police that it is their task and mandate to hunt these criminals. We want to urge them to release the 72-hour call that they normally release to have these people arrested within the next 72 hours. If you can't arrest them, we risk rendering our country into a lawless institution that anyone can do what they wish."

The MEC was on hand to comfort the girl's family, teachers and schoolmates after he learned of the shooting.

The 12-year-old girl was caught in the crossfire when shots were fired outside the neighbouring school. She died in hospital on Thursday.

Police are appealing to anyone with information that could help with the investigation to come forward.

Meanwhile, the National Taxi Alliance said it would be working with authorities to track down the criminals behind the shooting.

The Taxi Alliance's Theo Malele: "As soon as we know who they are, obviously we should be told, we can never be all over at the same time, and we rely on our members to feed us with this kind of information so that we can give it to the police."

The Gauteng legislature's portfolio committee on Education has also called for the arrest of the criminals as well as an urgent review of the Education Department's strategy on safety at schools.

Additional reporting by Thando Kubheka.

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