High level probe into 3-year-old's death

The Social Development Department and SAPS will investigate the child's death.

Police cordon off the scene where Olivia van Voeght’s body was found in a vlei in Lotus River on 1 August 2013. Picture: Lauren Isaacs/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Social Development Department in the Western Cape says it will assist police in the investigation into the death of three-year-old Olivia van Voeght.

The little girl's body was found in a canal in the Lotus River area on Thursday after she'd been reported missing on Tuesday.

Four people have since been arrested, including her parents who face charges of child neglect.

On Tuesday, Olivia's mother left their home in Lotus River at around 7pm and returned two hours later to find her child missing.It's unclear whether the child was left at home by herself.

The department's Melany Kuhn described the incident is tragic.

"We certainly are saddened but also angered by yet another child dying in our community. One really needs to start looking at getting the whole of society involved if we are to combat this sort of evil in our communities."

She said the department would be working closely with the South African Police Service (SAPS).

"Just one child is one too many; this is a cause for concern."

Olivia was the second child, found murdered in the area in the past week.

On 25 July a body, feared to be that of missing eight-year-old, Kiana Williams was found near her home. Kiana has been missing for more than a month.

The Grassy Park Community Policing Forum's Philip Bam urged parents to be more vigilant.

"It's a sad time in the community. We've been trying to tell parents that we need to take responsibility for the children. We hope these two incidents will be a wakeup call for all parents."