Body of 10-year-old autistic girl found in a river

The missing poster posted by Pink Ladies organisation.
The missing poster posted by Pink Ladies organisation.
Image: Facebook

The police have opened an inquest docket after the body of 10-year-old Katlego Joja was found in the Moretele River in Mamelodi‚ Pretoria‚ at the weekend.

“The lifeless body of a child who went missing since Thursday was found today inside the Moretele River at about 3pm [on Sunday]‚” said police spokesperson Captain Johannes Maheso.

Maheso said relevant police units were summoned to the scene and retrieved Joja’s body‚ which was positively identified by her family.

“An inquest was registered and the body was taken to government mortuary for an autopsy‚” Maheso said.

Katlego was autistic and reports said she could not speak but could hear.

UPDATE: 'Katli has left us' - Sadness as Pretoria child‚ 10‚ is found dead 

“With broken hearts‚ we confirm that our incredibly special and beautiful little girl is now resting in peace at the feet of our father in heaven.” With these words‚ the death of 10-year-old Katlego ‘Katli” Joja was shared to the community of Pretoria who had banded together in an effort to find the autistic and mute child.

Family member Lebohang Storom posted the message on Facebook‚ with this additional comment: “With deep heartache we confirm that Katlego is now a beautiful angel in heaven‚ singing as she always has . . . Thank you all for the love‚ prayers and support!“

The tribute was also shared on Twitter by Keitumetse Sindane:

Katlego had disappeared on Thursday. Her body was found in the Moretele River in Mamelodi‚ Pretoria‚ at the weekend‚ despite appeals for her safe return on platforms such as the Pink Ladies organisation and community initiatives in the Mamelodi area.

DECEASED: Mamelodi GP Katlego Joja 10 yrs 3 May 2018. It is with deep regret that we announce the death of Katlego Joja...

Posted by Missing Minors The Pink Ladies Organization - Ngo 2007 on Sunday, 6 May 2018

Broadcaster and businesswoman Doreen Morris‚ a friend of the family‚ was amongst those who shared her shock.

“Our hearts are broken‚ her family is absolutely devastated but they are believers. We pray that they may find strength and comfort at this time‚” she said.

She also revealed‚ “Their hearts are shattered but they’re clinging to their faith.”

“May God comfort them and may Katlego rest in peace.”

Morris thanked people who had helped during the search for Katlego‚ and called for the little girl’s attacker to be caught and punished by the law.

And in response to a follower’s concerns about how to protect a child from criminals‚ she responded: “True‚ we live in a perverse‚ sick society where the weak and vulnerable are preyed upon.”

The police have opened an inquest docket to determine Katlego’s cause of death.

“The lifeless body of a child who went missing since Thursday was found today inside the Moretele River at about 3pm [on Sunday]‚” police spokesperson Captain Johannes Maheso said. Maheso said relevant police units were summoned to the scene and retrieved Joja’s body‚ which was positively identified by her family.

“An inquest was registered and the body was taken to government mortuary for an autopsy‚” said Maheso.

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