Burned body believed to be that of kidnapped schoolgirl

A badly burnt body discovered on a farm in Magaliesburg, near Johannesburg, is thought to be that of a kidnapped Roodepoort schoolgirl.

The Gauteng department of education expressed shock at the crime.

“We send our deepest condolences to the family and wish them strength during this very difficult time,” said spokesman Charles Phahlane.

He said the department heard that the badly burnt body was that of the missing 17-year-old Hoerskool Die Burger pupil.

Gauteng police would not be drawn into speculation on whether the body was that of the kidnapped schoolgirl.

“We cannot confirm that it is the missing teenager’s body until the DNA results have come back from testing,” Lieutenant-Colonel Tshisikhawe Ndou said.

He said the body — burnt beyond recognition — was discovered by a farmer, who saw smoke on his farm and went to investigate.

Ndou said a grey Toyota Hilux bakkie, matching the description of the car used to abduct the teenager on Wednesday morning, had been found abandoned at a house in Florida, Roodepoort.

No arrests had been made by Thursday evening.

On Wednesday morning, a man apparently abducted the girl on her way to school in Roodepoort on the West Rand.

A bakkie pulled up alongside two girls walking on the corner of Rina and Herman streets in White Ridge around 7am.

“A man got out and ordered the teenager into the vehicle. When the girl refused, he pointed a firearm at her until she complied,” Ndou said.

The other girl ran away and the bakkie sped off with her friend. The girls were both pupils at Hoerskool Die Burger in Roodepoort.

Ndou said the man was thought to be aged between 20 and 30, with brown hair. The missing girl was dressed in a red and black skirt and a black pullover jersey with a yellow collar.

Ndou said investigations were continuing and an identikit had been compiled from the other girl’s description of the kidnapper. — Sapa

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