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SAPS defends staff after Laticia Jansen murder

The grade eight pupil was last seen on Wednesday while walking to the Graceland Education Centre after missing the bus.

Laticia Jansen. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG – The South African Police Service (SAPS) insists officers have been adequately trained to deal with cases involving missing persons despite Laticia Jansen’s grandmother claiming she was turned away when she tried to report the teenager’s disappearance.

The grade eight pupil was last seen on Wednesday while walking to the Graceland Education Centre after missing the bus.

Her body was discovered two days later on the East Rand. She had been stabbed, raped and burnt.

WATCH: Lesufi demands answers from school after Laticia Jansen (15) found murdered

Police said a missing person should be reported immediately and not after 24 hours as was apparently the case with Jansen’s grandmother.

Officers said a recent photo of the missing person, their age, height, hair and eye colour and any identifying marks are required when filing a case.

A detective will then be assigned to the case.

The police’s Vish Naidoo said all officers were aware of this process.

“So, we encourage people to go immediately. We have also sent a communication to all our police stations.”

Police have since opened a murder case into Jansen’s death.

ACTION AGAINST SCHOOL

The Gauteng Education Department is expected to announce on Tuesday what action will be taken against the Graceland Education Centre.

Lesufi had given the education centre until 2 pm on Monday to explain why no one said anything about Jansen’s disappearance.

Lesufi’s spokesperson Steve Mabona said: “We need to finalise the process and check whether the school followed all processes that were needed.”

Jansen’s murder has sparked anger and calls for tighter controls and safety around the scholar transport system, with parents complaining that most drivers are inefficient and do not honour timetables.