The Grassy Park Community Policing Forum (CPF) extends its condolences to the family of the late Michaela Williams (12) from New Horizons, Grassy Park, who was murdered last week.“Once again our community is faced with the horrible fact of the murder of another child in our police precinct. The murder of children must now stop. There were others in the past who died in gang cross-fire and every violent death of a child shatters the well-being of our community,” says Melvin Jonkers, chair of the Grassy Park CPF.“It is a case of a child taken and murdered. The murder of an innocent child is shocking and reveals a fundamental flaw in the fabric of our society. Whilst the full circumstances surrounding this untimely death is not known, we wish to make a call to the men and boys in our community to keep their hands off little girls and children. “There has been enough denial of freedoms. Our children don’t have the freedom to even play freely within their own neighbourhoods. This cannot continue and the Grassy Park CPF is calling on the State to apply all the force of law in ensuring a successful conviction of the alleged perpetrator. Such vile people should be put away for life,” he says. Jonkers says it would be remiss of the CPF not to caution parents as well. “This incident is another indication that parents should not leave their children unattended. It is our responsibility as parents to watch over our children. Our community also has a role to play. It takes a village to raise a child. We must adopt the credo that your child is my child and to protect the children from such evil ones in our communities.”He thanked the volunteers who came out to search when Michaela was reported missing. “The police is to be congratulated for attending to this incident with speed and for identifying the alleged perpetrator. This is not a good start to the year and we trust more police visibility and alertness of our community will prevent any further such incidents,” Jonker says. A 48-year-old male was supposed to appear in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Friday 10 January on a charge of murder but the appearance was moved to Monday 13 January.Michaela was last seen on Tuesday 7 January and her mother reported her missing on Wednesday 8 January. An investigation into her disappearance led to the arrest of the suspect and the discovery of her body in Philippi in the early hours of Thursday 9 January.“She was last seen alive at her home in Crane Street, New Horizon, in the presence of the suspect. He also lives in Crane Street but disappeared when Williams was reported missing. A police investigation into the disappearance and a search with various role-players commenced,” says Col André Traut, provincial police spokesperson.When Williams disappeared she was wearing a black mini skirt, an orange top and brown sandals, he says.In a press release by Brig Novela Potelwa, she says: “Vital information was followed as part of the investigation and the suspect interviewed. The interview led to him pointing out where the body was. The suspect has subsequently been charged with murder”.A post mortem has been conducted to determine how she died and whether any more charges could be added.Western Cape Provincial Commissioner, Lt General Yolisa Matakata, has expressed shock that yet another child died in such a horrific manner. She thanked those involved in the search and reiterated that the perpetrator deserved a very harsh sentence. “While this will not bring back the life lost, the lengthy incarceration of the perpetrator will ensure the communities of Cape Town are much safer,” says Matakata.