R5m ransom demanded after Joburg Grade 8 pupil kidnapped at school

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Queens High School pupil Lindokuhle Masuku, 14, is missing after being kidnapped at school.

Johannesburg – A Queens High School Grade 8 pupil was kidnapped outside his school on Tuesday while waiting for transport, the Gauteng Department of Education said on Wednesday.

The suspects have demanded a R5m ransom for the boy who was taken outside the school gates while waiting for transport to take him home on Tuesday afternoon. Education authorities have confirmed the identity of the pupil as 14-year-old Lindokuhle Masuku.

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said in a statement that it was concerning that schools were being used to target pupils. “It is really concerning that our learners are targeted at our schools, we really appeal to community members who might assist with necessary information to share same with the police so that these perpetrators are taken to task,” said Lesufi.

The provincial education department has been beset with many a tragedy since the start of the 2020 academic year, with at least 18 pupils dying in various incidents at the start of the year. Lesufi has consistently appealed for divine intervention in recent times.

Meanwhile, in another unrelated incident, a 15-year-old special needs pupil was reported missing at Roodepoort’s Lantern High School. The Grade 8 girl has been identified as Kate Spies, was usually picked up by her parents at the school – but this was not the case on Tuesday. Police are investigating both incidents.