[LISTEN] Katlego Joja's family shattered by her death
The family of a 10-year-old girl found dead at the Moretele River in Mamelodi says they are struggling to come to terms with her death.
Katlego Joja, who was autistic, was last seen on Thursday when she went missing.
The exact circumstances around her death are still unclear.
Joja's uncle Thabiso Storom says the missing case was not treated with any urgency.
Time was wasted with the series of events as the days unfolded. For example we asked if there is a task force that was going to be put in place and there was none. We had to go to the police station every morning to demand that something happen and when we got there we found that there was no proper handover.Thabiso Storom, Katlego Joja's uncle
My sister first went to go check at my grandmother's house, when she could not find here there she went straight to the police to report it. She was told it is too early for her to open a case, she must still go look. An hour and a half later my mother went and she was told she cannot open a case if the person has not been missing for 24 hours.Thabiso Storom, Katlego Joja's uncle
The family is still working through the emotions. Right now we just focusing on helping the mother and the father to work through their grief. They are shattered. We were extremely hopeful last week that we were going to bring Katli home alive and well.Thabiso Storom, Katlego Joja's uncle
Storom says the 10-year-old was shy, kept to herself and never wandered off on her own.
We had a system around her where she was always under some kind of adult supervision. Even when she disappeared, it was in a space of 10 minutes where the one adult thought she was with the other. She knew where home was, she knew where my grandmother's house was which is a couple of streets away.Thabiso Storom, Katlego Joja's uncle
Click on the link below to listen to the full interview:
Joanne Joseph also spoke to Jenna White, Clinical Director of The Star Academy to find out how easy it would have been to lure an autistic child like Katlego Joja.
White says skills like one that a child would need to understand and apply 'stranger danger' are very high level skills.
Those are things that require a lot of prerequisite skills to even be able to teach a child to the point where they understand so even children on the more independent functioning side of the spectrum will struggle with the skills that they need in order to not be lured away from their home or a safe space.Jenna White, Clinical Director of The Star Academy
She says there is little training within the police force, in dealing with cases of special needs.
Meanwhile Director of Ligno Academy - the school Katlego attended, Karen Dick agrees that police are ill equipped.
They do not have the resources, they are not trained to handle a matter like this at all. They sent the family away when they first went to report a missing child and said they had to wait 24 hours which we all know is incorrect.Karen Dick, Director of Ligno Academy
Click on the link bellow to listen to the full interview....
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