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    Tue
    17
    Sep '13

    Blog 61 – The final – 4th July 2013

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    Categories: Buddy and Me

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    It is now 18 months since I officially finished my travels in Buddy – my trusted mechanical steed Beach Buggy – and having spent almost 8 years travelling in him over a distance of 189 000 kilometres through 14 countries – some of them, in the form of Botswana and Namibia four times – and which included visiting almost every South African town and city 4 times each and having interviewed thousands of individuals in all walks of life which included many newspaper reporters and radio presenters – Police Officials – Teachers – Politicians – Prison Officials – NGO’s – NPA Officials and of course many victims of child rape as well as their mothers and other family members to identify the devastating impact child rape has on the small victim and the family as a whole, I have decided to write the ‘FINAL CHAPTER’ to ‘Buddy and Me – Searching for a Solution to Stop the Rape and Sexual Abuse of Child in South Africa’

    The main reason I have taken this long to write this ‘FINAL CHAPTER’ is because I have been asked so many times by people who have been following my project almost religiously “So Steve what is the solution to stopping the rape and sexual abuse of children in South Africa and why is it happening at an ever increasing rate?” and so I have spent the last 18 months seriously contemplating this and analysing all the information, comments and opinions I gleamed from the project over the 8 year period to come up with a ‘solution’ and reason why it is happening and why it is increasing at a horrific rate and to ensure that I had covered all these points in my blog 60 ‘The Conclusion’ – but apart from this I have been patiently awaiting an out-come to a Government decision in the form of the ‘Correctional Services’ or rather ‘Recreational Services’ as I have come to realise it should be called, on what was the worst case I was ‘involved’ in while on the project.

    But first I will start by re-iterating why – in my humble opinion – child rape is occurring in South Africa at an ever increasing rate:

    We are – according to information provided by hundreds of police officials and NGO’s I interviewed – experiencing, on average, around 600 child rape cases daily in South Africa (it is believed that only 15% of these cases are being reported) and this involves only children in the 1 day old to 12 years of age group of children, with our current conviction rate standing at a miserable 4% and of those who are convicted, they spend a very short period of time (when compared to the pain and suffering they have caused) in actual jail and in comparison to the sentence handed down by the courts – and so based on this information I have in fact come to realise that our esteemed Government is using the South African courts as a ‘propaganda’ tool – by publishing convictions and making headlines of ‘harsh’ sentences being passed down by our courts for convicted child rapists – only to release them early once focus has been taken off the case – and I will provide living proof of this later in this blog, which I am sure will shock the hell out of anybody who is prepared to read it.

    Information provided by NGO’s and police officials confirmed that it’s a fact that 90% of the despicable crime of child rape is being perpetrated by family members in the form of; fathers – step fathers – uncles – grandfathers and cousins – all individuals who, if identified, prosecuted and convicted, will have a devastating effect on the family-life and in particular result in a financial burden on the mother as well as the rest of the family – For this reason the mother cannot report the rape and sexual abuse of her child to the police – hence the culprit gets away with it – I relate this to the following situation: If I was a criminal and I was robbing people and the people I was robbing were not reporting me to the police, the police cannot stop me or prosecute me because “ a crime has not been committed”, therefore I will continue doing what I am doing – robbing people – and in so doing receive financial benefit as well as pleasure from my crimes – and when I realise that I am on a ‘good thing here’ I will escalate my crimes to get even more benefit and pleasure out of it – and this is exactly what the child rapists are doing.

    I have throughout the project written extensively about this situation and as I said earlier, I have expanded on it in detail in blog 60 and so I would encourage you to read blog 60 in order to understand why I have made the comments I have made in the paragraph above. But in a ‘nutshell’, in my humble opinion which is based on the information, opinions and comments I was provided during my 8 years of research on the subject – I am honestly of the opinion that the reason children are being raped is because quite simply ‘the culprits are getting away with it’ – and our esteemed Government is responsible for this – and should be charged themselves for the abuse of our children for allowing it to happen and for not ensuring that the culprits are held responsible and accountable for their crimes AND for not providing a ‘user friendly’ system for the mothers and children reporting the crime which would encourage them to report it – the current system – and I include the so-called wonderful ‘concept’ of the ‘Thuthuzela Care Centre’s’ – which I have written about extensively on this website as well as in blog 60 – which are in my opinion, as they are currently being implemented, a total waste of time and money – in general is shocking, to put it mildly.

    And so I come to what became the most horrifying story I was made aware of over the 8 years of researching this horrible and despicable crime which is resulting in the total destruction and mutilation of the children of South Africa (“Our countries greatest assets and future” – according to our Governments frequent comments) in the form of RAPE! – and believe me I was made aware of MANY horrifying cases with only a few of them being identified on my blogs.

    So now to this shocking case which proves my point that the South African Government through the department of ‘Correctional Services and Parole Board’ – is undoubtedly guilty of not doing everything in their power – and in fact are guilty of ‘encouraging’ the barbarians populating our beautiful country of South Africa – to rape and sexually abuse children by not enforcing the sentences handed down by our courts and in so doing punish the culprits appropriately for their barbaric crimes.

    While travelling in the Durban area on the ‘Buddy and Me’ project in November 2010 (Blogs 10/11&12) I was contacted by the Manager of the Beares store in Chatsworth who told me of the horrific story which had appeared in the Chatsworth newspaper involving the rape and brutal murder of a 10 years little girl – Natasha Sukdeo – which had occurred approximately 15 years previously. The newspaper story related the fact that after having been found guilty of committing this brutal crime and after having served a mere 15 years of his 60 year sentence, the State, in the form of the ‘Correctional Services – Parole Board’ was intending, and trying their best, to have the piece of human garbage – Dhevapragasen ‘Dean’ Munsamy – released from prison!!

    I was fortunate enough to be able to make contact with Natasha’s mother – Sharon Jeenabhai – and after a truly emotional meeting with her, which in-spite of my having had many meetings with victims and their families, shocked me to my roots on being presented with the shocking and horrific details of the case which still haunts me to this day – and now our esteemed Government and the ‘Correctional Services – Parole Board’ have brought it all back and have caused Sharon – her husband and Natasha’s sisters – devastating heart break and sorrow having been forced to relive the entire horrific episode again!– So once again here is the story of the incredibly lovely little Natasha Sukdeo – May she rest in peace and be thankful of never having to be afraid of the piece of human waste and piece of absolute garbage named Dean Munsamy of Chatsworth South Africa – may he one day – soon – rot in hell.

      Here then is Sharon’s story:

    To: The Chairperson/ Minister of Correctional Services
    Correctional Supervision and Parole Board
    Regional Prison Services

    Dear Sir/Madam

    Representation to the Correctional Supervision and Parole Board

    I am a 45 year old female living in Bayview, Chatsworth.
    I am the mother of the victim in the case in which Mr Devapregasen ‘Dean’ Munsamy was sentenced to 60 years for the abduction, rape, torture and murder on 07/08/1995 in Durban High Court.
    The possible release of the offender should be considered with due cognisance of the impact which this crime has had on me and my family. I would like to deal with the impact under the following headings:

    EMOTIONAL

    He robbed Natasha of the following:
    • Her entire childhood was taken away, her future, her possible children and their children were removed from the face of the earth.
    • She was robbed of reaching puberty and having a boyfriend and her first innocent kiss.
    • She was robbed of falling in love and knowing the joy of dating.
    • She was robbed of knowing what it was like to go to high school and getting through Matric and going to Tech or University.
    • She never had the chance of having her first dance or the thrill of a wedding or the joy of motherhood.

    He robbed her mother of the following:
    • I was robbed of seeing my child reach maturity and of any possible grandchildren she would have given me.
    • I was robbed of witnessing the joys of seeing her grow up and reach the above mentioned milestones.
    • I have suffered from severe depression related to the murder and required regular hospitalizations and trauma-counselling for about 5 years after the incident.
    • I also required sexual counselling for years as I was unable to be intimate with my husband as a result of what was said in court about the sexual perversions that were inflicted on my innocent child, which almost led to the breakdown of my marriage to a wonderful man who had taken in Natasha and Jennifer as his own daughter’s and didn’t deserve to be treated like he was a sexual pervert in his own home by his own spouse.
    • He also suffered the trauma of being named as a possible suspect because he was her stepfather and his whole life was invaded and investigated, which led to further marital problems between us which required marital counselling.
    • I still suffer with severe depression and psychosomatic illness around Natasha’s birthday and in the weeks leading up to and after the anniversary of her trauma.
    • Despite receiving counselling, I still suffer with post-traumatic stress symptoms like having flashbacks to the incidents surrounding the circumstances around Natasha’s death and the trial, severe anxiety and insomnia, severe mood swings and also become incapacitated by blinding headaches and nausea at times of stress related to this incident, to the point where I am unable to go to work or take care of my family and sometimes have to be hospitalized.
    • I am currently medicated on chronic antidepressants, (Fluoxetine and Valium), but they do not seem to be having the desired effect.

    He robbed her siblings of the following:
    • They were robbed of having the joy of having a big sister to go through the experiences of life with them.
    • They were robbed of having future nephews or nieces from her.
    • They were robbed of having a normal life unmarred by her tragic, gruesome and horrific death and had to constantly have their lives disrupted by reporters, curious people who asked questions of them that they were unable to answer and questioning from peers and school friends.
    • They had to grow up with parents whose lives were wracked by pain and torture knowing that their baby girl had lost her innocence and her life in the most cruel, barbaric and horrific way.
    • They had to contend with a mother who, for years was lost in a cloud of depression and as a result their upbringing had to be done by their older sister who was only 8 years old at that time.
    • They were deprived of a mother who had to be hospitalised on numerous occasions for depression related psychosomatic illnesses every time that it was Natasha’s birthday or the anniversary month of her death.
    • They had to live with parents who live with mortal fear every time the girls have to leave home for any reason.
    • Jennifer at 8 years, was old enough to require counselling at the time of the murder, but due to financial constraints she was only counselled by child welfare, church counsellors and General Practioners and to this day she still suffers the emotional scars of the responsibilities placed on her due to the trauma of the murder and the devastation that her mother suffered that rendered her incapable of being able to care for her family. Responsibilities that NO 8 year old child should have to deal with.

    Mediation between family and perpetrator:

    In all the years since this has happened the perpetrator has never attempted to make contact with the family in any way to explain his actions or apologise for what he did and his family continues to harass us to this day. They live 3 doors away from us and despite the trauma of continuously being subjected to their harassment; we have been unable to move away due to the lack of finances.
    He says that he is sorry about what he did, but he showed no remorse or fear when he told everyone at the court hearings of how his friend raped and tortured Natasha and then how he raped and tortured my innocent child himself even though he could see how scared and traumatised she was.
    He never tried in any way to stop his friend or himself from doing what they did, he watched while his friend raped and tortured her despite reporting that she pleaded with him for help. He was prepared to tell everyone about his part in it so he could use it against his friend to get an easier sentence.
    As a result of him changing his story so many times to suit his needs, his accomplice in the crime managed to get away scot free on a technicality after he turned state’s witness.
    This shows that that he did not really have any remorse for his horrific crime, but was just trying to help himself.

    He also stated that he was “high on drugs” when he did all these things to Natasha, then how did he come to my door, look me in the eye and say that he saw her going to the tuck-shop and offer his services to help us in assisting to form a search party to look for the child, knowing that they had her locked up in the cellar. If he was so drugged up, how did he know how to fool the community for 3 days while going back and raping and torturing her again and again?

    It shows that they knew exactly what they were doing and how to cover it up. If they were “high on drugs” when they were committing the crime, how did they remember the details of what they did, who did what, when to go and come as they pleased and who to speak to in order that he could get a much more lenient sentence.

    He has not once in all these years seen fit to attempt to answer all the questions I have as to the exact extent that they hurt my child, leaving me with unanswered questions and to fill in the gaps with my own imagination. The scenarios that go on in my head are endless, leaving me traumatized with the endless possibilities and depths of trauma that she must have endured.

    PHYSICAL

    What are the implications for our family if he is released:
    This man does not deserve to be set free. A family can only deal with a certain amount of devastation.

    So how much of time justifies all these losses to not only Natasha but to the rest of her family.

    How much of time justifies a sweet innocent 10 year old girl being raped, tortured and sodomised and forced to perform oral sex at knifepoint and being beaten to a pulp and having her bones broken from the beating?

    How much of time justifies a child being held for 3 terrifying days, with her raped and torn body and broken bones fearing what was coming next?
    How can anybody add the mortal fear of this monster coming back and attacking one of our other three daughters or our granddaughter to what we have already been through?

    If this man is let out, how do we know that if he marries and/or has children they won’t also be psychopaths?

    It is clear that he has no remorse when one looks at the facts that together with his friend:
    1. He abducted Natasha at knifepoint and repeatedly raped, sodomized and beat her till her bones were broken
    2. Kept her in a basement, stuffed in a hole cut out in the base of a bed, with a mattress over it with barely any space to breathe, unable to move because he had broken her hands and legs, and no-one to hear her screams
    3. Kept her starved of water and food with no toilet facilities for three days
    4. Led the search party and diverted attention away from the crime scene, knowing that she was still alive. (NB. Please note that the post mortem revealed that she was murdered 3 days after her abduction).
    5. Murdered her and then dumped her body away from the crime scene to help them get away from the crime.
    6. He never admitted guilt at the time of the murder and was only caught because an investigating officer noticed the blood on his shoe.

    All the above facts show that this heinous crime against an innocent 10 year old was an intelligent premeditated crime of rape, sodomy and torture with an elaborate, extensive cover up.
    That alone makes one wonder if any child of any age can be safe with a psychopathic individual being let loose in any community.

    FINANCIAL

    Natasha was not the only victim of this crime but her family were also victims of the pain and horror that followed. What happened changed everyone and their lives. They were all robbed of their normal pain free lives that they would have had if he had not done what he did to Natasha.

    And the biggest irony of it all is that technically her parents, as Taxpayers in this country paid for all his medical bills, education and food for the last 16 years.

    Who paid for our medical bills for the psychologists and for my repeated hospitalizations throughout these 16 years?

    Who has compensated Natasha’s siblings for all the income lost from their mother not being able to work because she underwent several breakdowns and had to be hospitalized?

    Who is compensating them for all the money that was spent on psychologists, doctor’s and medication throughout the years since the tragedy occurred, when this money could have helped to further the other children’s education or relocate the family to a place where there were no constant reminders of what had happened to Natasha.

    RECOMMENDATIONS FOR POSSIBLE PLACEMENT CONDITIONS

    How can anyone say that being locked up for 15 years with a roof over his head, 3 meals a day, a free education, free medical care and free psychiatric help, justifies what he did to Natasha?

    How can anyone say that there is justice in him being able to lead a full normal life that he has deprived so many other people of?

    How can anyone say that this justifies what he did to her family?

    So ideally he should not be released, however, if parole is inevitable, the following should be taken into consideration:

    • He says that drugs caused him to do what he did to Natasha, how is anyone going to guarantee that he will not start taking drugs again outside of prison, so he should be subjected to regular drug testing.
    • What if he has to get involved in the wrong company again and starts doing terrible things again, so his contact with people should also be monitored.
    • If he is so sorry and is not considered a dangerous person anymore then why was his family or friends threatening our family while we were doing the petitions to keep him in prison? If released, there should be restrictions in place, protecting our family from any kind of harassment or contact with him or his family and friends.
    • He raped, sodomised, molested, beat and murdered a child, which puts him in the category of a

    PAEDOPHILE

    , and if released into the custody of his family, it places him on the perfect predatory ground to feed his perversions because the Primary school in the area is only 2 km’s away from their home.
    • He is in the prime of his youth now and has not been exposed to the temptation of having young girls around him while being incarcerated. There is a huge possibility that like any other addict, a paedophile is addicted to sex with children, and once exposed to the objects of his addiction, he may not be able to resist the temptation, which would then leave more innocent children at risk of his continued perversion.
    All the above facts show that this heinous crime against an innocent 10 year old was an intelligent premeditated crime of rape, sodomy and torture with an elaborate, extensive cover up.

    That alone makes one wonder if any child of any age can be safe with a psychopathic individual being let loose in any community.

    With all due respect, one has to wonder if the depth of justice guarantees the safety of any child in our area should he be paroled. The government wants so much to protect the rights of children but in actual fact the children are being let down and abandoned to perpetrators like this who think they can rape, torture and murder innocent little children. These children are supposed to be the future of our country, but sadly sometimes the law is guilty of letting down not only Natasha but every other child out there.

    COMMENTS

    Our endeavours to prevent the release of this prisoner, are not directed at obtaining compensation despite all the trauma our family has been through but rather is a fight to obtain better justice for all other children regardless of gender, race, religion, nationality, who have been through similar ordeals and to prevent any other children from being exposed to this kind of atrocity in any possible way.

    Our dedication to finding justice for all can be traced to our efforts of pairing up with Steve Heath from the Buddy and Me project for which Natasha is now the poster child and our national and international email petition to increase awareness about these kinds of crimes.

    Kind regards

    Sharon (Thavamonie) Jeenabhai
    ——————————————————————————————————————————-
    So now having read this – here is the story which appeared in the Chatsworth (South Africa) newspaper on the 19th June 2013

     

    Child killer gets parole 19 June 2013

    The man who was sentenced and charged for the rape and murder of a 10-year-old pupil will be granted parole next month after 18-years in prison.

    After spending 18-years-behind bars for the kidnapping, rape and brutal murder of 10-year-old Bayview school girl, Natasha Sukdeo, a Chatsworth man will walk free.

    Dhevapragasen Dean Munsamy, now 36, will be released on parole in July, after serving part of his sentence for the rape and murder of Natasha in 1995.

    The ruling was made by the Parole Board on Tuesday at Ncome Prison in Vryheid. However, while this may be good news for Munsamy, the verdict has opened up old wounds for Natasha’s beloved family and friends.

    Her mother, Sharon Jeenabhai, 47, said that the judgment has been a low blow to the family and Natasha’s memory. She said that she is going to ask the Prison Board to re-evaluate their verdict and would leave no stone unturned.

    An emotional Jeenabhai said that the family’s intention of going to the hearing on Tuesday was to close this traumatising chapter of their lives and let their deceased daughter have some kind of peace.

    “I am still in shock following the outcome of the hearing as I feel this is a total injustice to my child. The past 18 years have been the most difficult years of my life. It has destroyed my family and I, both physically and emotionally. It has affected my marriage, the lives of my children and my own. Losing a child is one form of pain, but losing them in such a brutal way is one of the most difficult experiences for a parent and siblings,” said Jeenabhai.
    The distraught mother said that she does not see herself ever facing Natasha’s killer. She said, “From the first day he was in court until his last appearance, he had shown no form of remorse. He is arrogant and was unable to tell the truth throughout all his appearances. I did not see any change in his behaviour, even though he says that he is going for Bible studies. In fact, I do not believe that a prison sentence is enough. There should be harsher sentences for these criminals. He took my child’s life, he does not deserve to have freedom.”

    Jeenabhai stated that she was willing to accept his apology and was prepared to find closure, but his behaviour hindered that decision.

    “I cannot find closure if the man responsible for my child’s death is still speaking about an innocent girl in such a degrading manner. All I want is for my daughter to rest in peace, but she cannot do so with this taking place,” added Jeenabhai.

    The family will hold a protest in the weeks to come to oppose the decision. Residents who want to be involved in the protest can contact Clive on 082-877-3348.

    Natasha’s brutal murder in 1995

    According to Jeenabhai, Natasha was last seen alive when she went to a nearby tuck shop in 1995.

    Jeenabhai said, “Natasha went missing after her visit to the tuck shop. The entire community united to search for her. Little did we realise that the killer was a part of the search party. When my daughter’s body was discovered, it was cold and was barely recognisable. Luckily, my husband’s nephew was a policeman and after questioning everyone, he noticed blood on the accused’s shoes and at first the accused denied the allegations, but later confessed to the crime.”

    So after having read this shocking and mind blowing story, do you think the South Africa Government in the form of the Department of Correctional Services – Parole Board – was right in releasing Dhevapragasen ‘Dean’ Munsamy on parole after having only served 15 years in jail? The most amazing part of this story, is the fact that this barbarian not only studied and obtained university degrees while in jail – one of them being a degree in Theology (The study of the Bible – OF ALL THINGS) but received extensive counselling at the States expense (the South African tax payers’ expense) – while Sharon and her family had to pay their own costs for counselling to get them through the last 15 years of hell and now have to face the future with this barbarian living a mere three houses away from them with his mother and family!!!

    You can send your opinion and comments to me :
    Steve Heath c/o steve@buddyandme.co.za or june.porta@gmail.com Att: Steve Heath
    I look forward to receiving your comments on this issue and your opinions and comments on the child rape issue in South Africa in general. Unfortunately a glitz occurred with the steve@buddyandme.co.za email address and so should anyone have tried to contact me via this email address and not heard from me, you have my sincere apologies, however Rory Albertyn of Radiant Networks.co.za (the host company for the www.buddyandme.co.za website) has assured me that the email address is, or soon will be, up and running again and so hopefully I will be able to catch up on any messages I have missed.

    I thank you for reading this blog and I hope you will pass on the details of the www.buddyandme.co.za website (Facebook page: Stop the Rape and Sexual Abuse of Children in SA) to all your family members and friends and in so doing help – even if it is in the smallest way – to ensure that our Government and the families of the victims of this horrendous crime – do everything in their power to ensure that the crime of child rape IS REPORTED and that the culprits perpetrating this barbaric act are brought to justice and punished accordingly – I have heard opinions on why the death penalty should not be implemented – even for this barbaric crime – and I believe that if our South African Government choose to remain adamant that the death penalty will never be implemented, even if only for the barbaric crime of child rape, then I am adamant and firmly believe that the culprits convicted of this disgusting crime, should be removed from society permanently and NEVER be given parole or the opportunity to be part of our South African society EVER again – and not as has happened with Dhevapragasen ‘Dean’ Munsamy – but that they should rot in prison for the rest of their natural life.

    So that finally brings the ‘Buddy and Me – Searching for a solution to Stopping the Rape and Sexual Abuse of Children in SA’ to an end – The project had a devastating impact on me personally which apart from the emotional impact resulted in a huge personal, financial and physical impact –

    Unfortunately the main supporter to the project – Beares Furnishers – could no longer support the project due to ‘policy changes’ made by their holding company Ellerines and African Bank and so I am forced to hang up Buddy’s keys – but to the Management and staff of Beares Furnishers my sincere and heart-felt thanks goes out to you all for having stuck with ‘Buddy and Me’ for so long and for providing the support which allowed us to continue with the project for almost 8 years and I hope we have accomplished something to support the fight against the rape and sexual abuse of children in South Africa – your assistance with the project proves that ‘Beares really cares’ and I hope you continue pressing home this motto. To all the other amazing and wonderful people who provided incredible support to the project, which there are far too many of to name all of them, but to name a few included: Round Table International – Protea Hotels – Cell C – Translux Bus Services – Pick n’ Pay – as well as the many private individuals and owners of B&B’s who generously and with open hearts invited me to stay in their homes – God speed to all of you – and keep all children safe.

    From ‘Buddy (the Beach Buggy) and Me (Steve Heath)


    Who Is Steve Heath
    A Message To The President of South Africa.
    Factors Contributing To The Increase In Child Rape.
    A Proposed Solution To Stopping The Rape And Sexual Abuse Of Children in SA.

    To watch Buddy and Me in real time click here, select South Africa under “Global Fleet Logins:” in the left hand panel, enter cellphone number 0822549129 and password Buddy.

    To make a donation to or information on any of the organisations involved in assisting victims of child rape and abuse, please click on one of the following links:

    Beares
    Lubners
    Bobbi Bear Foundation (KwaZulu-Natal)
    The Teddy Bear Clinic (Gauteng)
    The TygerBear Foundation (Western Cape)
    GRIP (Mpumalanga)
    StepThru (Gauteng)

    • To read Alison Botha’s storey about how two savages almost destroyed and ended her life and now our government wants to release these two barbarians after only having served a fraction of their sentence, read blog 59
    • To read the storey – “A mother (Sharon Jeenabhai) A child (Natasha) and our governments intentions to release the Childs rapist/murder on parole, see blog 58  
    • Tips by ‘Rape Wise’ – ‘Eye on the child – A Safety and Protection Manual’ A MUST read by all parents – Blog 55  
    • To see the ‘Buddy and Me’ scheduled itinerary details for the period 30th August – 4th October 2011 see blog 50  
    • To read the shocking details of the Upington horror story – The Hynie Dick Story – regarding the ‘Upington savage pedophile’ see blog 35  
    • To read details of the ‘savage’ the police are looking for in connection with the rape of a 3 year little girl, see blog 39  
    • To read the heart breaking story by a mother (Cathy Kenney) of the rape of  her 3 year-old daughter see blog 38  
    • To read the storey of Natasha who at 10 years-of age was brutally raped and murdered and after serving a very short portion of his sentence, the ‘State’ wants to release the savage who did it, from prison, see blog 10 (November 2010)  
    • To read ‘Birds’ story about her incredible courage to face her ‘step-father’ who she looked up to and loved as a ‘father’ who abused her and her love, as told by her mother – Elise – see blog 42  

     

      A Proposed Solution 

    To eradicate  

    the Rape and Sexual Abuse of Children in SA 

    (This proposal relates to ‘children’ under the age of 12 years of age) 

      

    Due to the fact that it is primarily the mothers and children who are affected by the horrible and despicable crime of child rape, I have spent the past five years discussing the problem of the rape and sexual abuse of children with literally thousands of these members of our society (apart from the hundreds of discussions held with Police, NGO’s, Social Workers etc) in mostly the townships and villages where the far majority of child rape is occurring in order to establish; 

    • Why is it occurring?
    • Why this despicable crime is not being reported?
    • What needs to be done in order to encourage the mothers, and children, to report it?
    • What needs to be done in order to eradicate it from our societies?

      

    Following my extensive research I formulated a document identifying the six factors which I believe requires urgent attention in order to stop the rape and sexual abuse of children and how these factors need to be applied in order to accomplish this. This document was presented to various political leaders which included the office of the President in April 2010. 

    These factors included: 

    1)    The establishment of ‘One-Stop’ support facilities 

    2)    The Department of Social Development 

    3)    The Dept of Social Welfare (A division of Social Development) 

    4)    The Police Services 

    5)    The Judicial/Court system 

    6)    The Correctional /Prison Services 

    The thousands of hours of discussions have revealed that it is blatantly obvious that in-spite of tremendous laws having been promulgated and no matter how good or well trained our police force is, and no matter how severe the punishments handed down by our courts are, we will never stop the rape and sexual abuse of children, if the mothers do not report the rape of their children.   

       

    It is estimated that South Africa is experiencing on average between 580 and 600 ‘child’ rape cases on a daily basis with only approximately 15 – 18% of them being reported. 

      

    The statistics provided to me by NGO’s, Police officials and Social Workers throughout South Africa confirmed that at least 90% of child rape cases are being perpetrated by direct family members in the form of biological fathers, step-fathers, uncles and even grandfathers and also includes brothers and cousins.   

    The ‘Sexual Offences Act-32 of 2007 includes a section – Section 54 – which states that “Any person who is made aware of the fact that a child has been raped or sexually abused and fails to report it, is guilty of an offence”. 

    I believe this is a tremendous piece of legislation, however, unfortunately information received during my discussions with police officials as well as members of our judicial system (NPA – National prosecuting Authority) all over South Africa reveals that not one single person has ever been charged, not to mention convicted, under this section since its inception in 2007. (In-spite of experiencing 600 cases per day and only 15 – 18% being reported) 

      

    Why is child rape occurring in South Africa 

     

    During my research I was provided many ‘excuses’ as to why children are being raped and sexually abused and these included excuses such as: 

    Culture  

    • My research confirmed that here is no ‘culture’ that accepts the rape of children as a norm, however it is an accepted ‘practice / tradition’ in many societies around South Africa.

      

    Poverty  

    • Rape, especially of a child, is NOT a poverty related crime. One does not receive financial gain by raping a child, as in the instances of theft, robbery etc, in-fact in many instances the rapist is forced to pay the parent or child in-order to escape prosecution.

      

    Low-Cost Housing  

    • The fact that parents, in many societies are forced, due to poverty, to live in cramped living conditions with children and forced to sleep in the same room, does not excuse the father/stepfather from forcing his sexual needs on the mother in front of the children. Any self-respecting parent or individual would ensure that his sexual needs are satisfied when the children are not present.

      

    Sex with a ‘virgin’ child cures HIV/AIDS  

    • My research has identified the fact that although the HIV/AIDS epidemic has played a big role in the rape of children, it is not due to the myth surrounding the curing of HIV/AIDS by having sex with a ‘virgin’ child. The majority of ‘child’ rapists are in-fact HIV/AIDS negative, and that the reason they are raping children is because a specific group of children have been identified and considered to be an HIV/AIDS ‘safe zone’.

      

    It is a common fact that due to the living conditions and health standards in the townships where the rape of children is occurring mostly, a child born HIV positive through pregnancy is not expected to live past its 4th birthday. 

    It is also common fact and knowledge that children, particularly in the township areas, are sexually active from the age of 12 years of age. (This is the reason our Department of Social Development is campaigning and handing out condoms to children included in this age group at schools around South Africa) 

    It therefore stands to reason that children in the age group between 5 and 10 years of age are considered to be in an HIV/AIDS ‘safe zone’ and when analysing the information on the rape of children in this age group it has been identified that the perpetrators in the form of strangers raping children in this age group are HIV/AIDS negative, the reason being that they are not prepared to take the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS by raping an older woman. 

    So having said this, when considering the fact that we are experiencing on average 600 ‘child’ rape cases on a daily basis, with only an average of 15% (90) being reported, and with an average national conviction rate of 5% (5) this equates to 30 of the 600 child rapists on a daily basis being held accountable and responsible for the rape of children. 

    In addition to this, the information provided to me reveals that the average time a convicted felon serves after being convicted and sentenced in South Africa, is one third of his sentence, based on a 25 year sentence – a convicted rapist will only serve an effective 8 years in prison (Correctional Services facility). 

    There is therefore only ONE reason why children are being raped in South Africa and that is because in the far majority of cases THE RAPISTS ARE GETTING AWAY WITH IT!! 

       

    Factors surrounding the failure of mothers to report  

    the rape and sexual abuse of their children  

     

    My research has identified that here are three primary reasons why mothers are not reporting the rape of their children, and these three factors are: 

    Factor 1  

    The fact that, in the ‘vast majority’ of areas in South Africa, the child has to be taken to a police station, this being, ’in the majority of cases’, the first point of entry into the ‘system’. 

    Here the mother and child are subjected to the stress, trauma and humiliation in the form of having to wait amongst other complainants in crowded charge offices and in the ‘majority of instances be subjected to additional humiliation and trauma in the form of being interviewed by an inexperienced ‘male’ police official (a member of the same species who has just destroyed the child’s life and subjected her/him to pain and suffering) taking her/his statement. 

    My discussions with police officials appointed to take these statements have revealed that ‘in the majority of instances’ the policeman or woman are sadly lacking the qualifications and experience needed to extract the necessary and vital information from the child in order to secure an arrest and successful conviction of the perpetrator.   

    This observation has been verified by many of our ‘specialised’ FCS unit members and court officials in the form of prosecutors and magistrates I have met during my travels around the country, who have confirmed that it is this very fact which has led to the totally unacceptably low national average conviction rate of between 4 and 6%.   

    Secondly, the child is transported from the police station to a hospital for the necessary forensic examination to be undertaken and J88 form to be completed by a doctor or Forensic Nurse.   

    Police officers and Social Workers in numerous areas around South Africa have confirmed that victims are usually transported to hospitals by means of a police vehicle and because many of the ‘outer-lying cluster/satellite’ police stations do not have access to passenger vehicles, and in-spite of; I am told, ‘police standing orders’ which stipulate that these victims are not to be transported by way of ‘police vans’, mothers and children are being transported in police vans, and this creates a form of secondary trauma with the child believing that she or he is the ‘guilty party’. 

    Thirdly, research and experience has revealed to me that at the hospital, the mother and child are subjected to additional stress and trauma by having to wait in crowded casualty rooms, and this wait can involve hours of waiting, which terminates eventually in the child being subjected to yet more stress and trauma by the extremely personal J88 forensic examination being carried out by yet another male (A member of the same species who has just subjected her to pain, humiliation and suffering). 

    For this reason it is widely believed that ‘the system’ provided by our esteemed government is, in itself guilty of child abuse due to the fact that the child is being subjected to no less than 5 different forms of abuse in order to report the crime of child rape, these being: 

    1) The initial rape 

    2) The harrowing ordeal at the police station 

    3) Being transported in a marked police vehicle 

    4) Crowded casualty room at the hospital 

    5) Having the J88 forensic examination being carried out by a ‘male’ doctor. 

    I do however commend the SAPS, particularly in the Western Cape Region for their initiative in setting up and establishing ‘Victim Support Rooms/Centres (VSR) at police stations. However in the majority of areas my research and experience on visiting these centres has revealed that they are very poorly staffed and managed resulting in them not encouraging mothers to report the rape and sexual abuse of their children. Secondly the majority of the ‘outer-lying cluster/satellite’ stations do not have VSR’s at all. 

      

    When considering that the “Objects of the ‘Sexual offences Act 32 / 2007” which states that: 

    The objects of this Act is to afford complainants of sexual offences the maximum and least traumatising protection that the law can provide, to introduce measures which seek to enable the relevant organs of state to give full effect to the provisions of this Act and to combat and, ultimately, eradicate the relatively high incidence of sexual offences committed in the Republic”, I believe the current system does not achieve this objective. 

    Perhaps our esteemed government should put into practise what their own legislation states and provide the “maximum and least traumatising protection that the law can provide”, because “talk is cheap”.  

      

    Undoubtedly the best support structures in South Africa for rape victims as well as victims of domestic violence is to be found in the Mpumalanga and in particular the Greater Nelspruit region where ‘VSR’s’ have been established at police stations, hospitals and Regional Courts by the NGO GRIP (Greater Rape Intervention Programme

    Factor 2  

    As previously mentioned, my research indicates that 90% of child rape cases in South Africa is being perpetrated by biological fathers, step-fathers, uncles and grandfathers and discussions with women/mothers reveals that, because we in South Africa do not have a ‘welfare department’ which is capable of supporting the mother and her family should she report the rape of her child by the husband or other family ‘breadwinning’ member, who will feed and support the family should he be convicted and imprisoned? 

    Therefore due to the “financial implications” the family is faced with should a father/husband, “the bread-winner” be sent to jail, they, the mothers, will not report the rape of the children. 

    Factor 3  

    Due to the fact that, as mentioned above, 90% of child rape cases are being perpetrated by biological fathers, step-fathers, uncles and grandfathers, the ‘family’ places pressure on the mother not to report the rape or sexual abuse of her child because of the humiliation and embarrassment the family will be subjected to, as well as the obvious financial factor mentioned in ‘factor 2’ which the family will be faced with should the family member –‘breadwinner’  be arrested convicted and imprisoned. 

      

    A suggested solution to encourage mothers  

    to report the rape of their children  

    When asked of the mothers; “If there was a ‘One-Stop-Centre’, which would provide; 

    • Properly trained police, preferably women, who are trained to take a statement from your child or you and who are trained in the art of child psychology and know what they are doing with regard to extracting the right information from the child in order to open a police docket which will ensure that the perpetrator is arrested and convicted

      

    • Where there is a doctor or trained, preferably female, forensic nurse, to undertake the examination without the child or yourself waiting for hours.

      

    •  And at this ‘One-Stop-Centre’ they will ensure that you have food on the table and your kids are clothed and can continue with their education.

      

    •  AND there is a person who will assist you in obtaining employment to ensure that you can provide for your own family,

      

    Would this encourage you to report the rape of your children?”, and the response in every instance has always been an emphatic “YES then he must go to jail” and responses even include “Yes then he must die”. 

    Based on these three factors identifying why mothers are refusing to report the rape and sexual abuse of their children it is imperative that in order to encourage mothers to report the ever increasing horrendous crime of child rape, a proper and professionally managed ‘One–Stop-Centre’ support structure with properly trained staff be established on a national basis to provide child rape victims as well as the mothers, particularly in instances where the perpetrator is the father, step-father, uncle – Breadwinner – with a comprehensive support structure. 

      

    These, coupled with a few other reasons, which includes the unacceptably low conviction rate as well as the fact that the perpetrator in the far majority of cases is released on bail, which results in the intimidation of the victim, mother and family, is the reason that mothers have lost complete faith in the South African government as well as the entire South African police and justice systems ability to protect and help them and their children when faced with the horrendous consequences associated with the reporting of the rape and sexual abuse of their children. 

    Reasons for South Africa’s  

    unacceptably low conviction rate  

    In almost every instance during discussions with police officials, the response to my question of “What is the biggest contributing factor attributed to the pathetically low conviction rate of between 4 and 6% our country is experiencing?” is; 

    “The qualifications and experience of the prosecutors allocated to these cases is very low when compared to the qualifications and experience of the defence council appointed and paid for by the State in the majority of cases as well as the extremely long period of time it takes for a case to go to trial”. 

    After posing the same question to the prosecutors in the courts, the response has been; 

    “If you consider the pathetic statements obtained at the time of the initial reporting of the rape by inexperienced police officials and the total lack of evidence, and this includes basic evidence in the form of the child’s panties and other vital items of clothing and evidence, you will appreciate why our conviction rate is so low”.   

    This, following extensive research and being given sight of many such dockets by prosecutors across the length and breadth of South Africa, is undoubtedly the biggest factor contributing to South Africa’s pathetically low conviction rate of child rapists. 

      

    National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) 

      

    The other MAJOR contribution factor to the ridiculously low conviction rate of child rape cases in South Africa is the fact that it is taking on average 3 to 4 years for the case to get to trial and the biggest contributing factor for this is the lengthy period of time it takes in order to obtain the DNA results. 

    Extensive discussions with both police officials as well as NPA (Court) officials reveals that they do not see any reason why immediately on completion of the investigation of a child rape case, which according to information provided by SAPS-FCS unit investigators averages between 8 and 12 weeks, the case cannot be given precedence over all other cases on the court lists and go to trial immediately. 

    This will allow the child to provide evidence while still fresh in the child’s mind and once the child’s evidence has been provided it will allow the child to be helped (Counselled) through the trauma (currently not permitted by law) and allow the child to get on with her/his life and not be subjected to the extreme trauma associated with numerous court appearances while awaiting trial.  

    On completion of the trial and while awaiting the DNA results, it is widely believed that the case should ‘stand down’ with the accused held in detention pending the verdict. 

    This I believe would eradicate the obvious problems related to the child having to give evidence at a much later stage as is currently being experienced, which in most cases is reputed to be on average two and a half to three years after the incident. 

    By implementing this procedure it is widely believed that the conviction rate on child rape cases would increase immensely by fact that the accused cannot intimidate the victim or her/his family. 

    DNA/Forensics 

      

    As in the case of child rape cases being given precedence over all other cases on the court trial lists so too must child rape cases be given precedence with regard to DNA/forensic testing. 

    It is also essential that blood samples and other DNA samples taken from the suspect must be obtained at the time of arrest and submitted together with other DNA evidence for analyses. 

    Bail 

      

    According to FCS unit investigators the fact that the majority of child rape suspects are given bail is another major contributing factor to the low conviction rate and so it is imperative that no suspect in a ‘child’ rape case be aloud bail under any circumstance. 

    Further more it is widely believed that a child rapists HIV/AIDS status must be used in the determination and severity of sentencing and if positive and on conviction, there can be no other sentence except life imprisonment with NO POSSIBILITY of parole or any other form of early release 

    One-Stop-Centre’ support facilities: The Solution!!  

    During the many hours while driving ‘Buddy’, the Beach Buggy, around Africa, I formulated, in my mind, what I came to regard as ‘One-Stop-Centre’ facilities which would provide victims of child rape, as well as victims of domestic violence, with a comprehensive support structure which could eradicate all 3 factors prohibiting mothers from reporting the rape and sexual abuse of their children AND improve the conviction rate from its current pathetic national average of between 4-6% to at least an acceptable 85%, all under one roof.  

      

    In September of 2009 while visiting Kuruman, I was introduced to the Thuthuzela Care Centre concept which was in the process of being established at the provincial hospital there and realised that this is, or rather could be, the ‘One-Stop-Centre’ support facility which I had been formulating in my mind. 

    I have subsequently come to establish the fact that the Thuthuzela Care Centre concept was started way back in 2000. The word Thuthuzela being a Xhosa word meaning “Comfort”, and was the brain child of SOCA (The Sexual Offences and Community Affairs Unit) which is a sub-unit of the NPA (National Prosecuting Authority). 

    Stake holders, I am told, include:  

    • The Department of Health,
    • The South African Police Service
    • Department of Social Development.

      

    Funding of the centres  

    As far as I have been able to ascertain, funding of the Thuthuzela Care Centres, is via support from the ‘stake holders’ I have already mentioned budgets, as well as assistance from UNICEF and USAID (United States Agency for International Development) as well as funding via other European countries such as Denmark and Holland.  

      

    The ‘Thuthuzela Care Centres’ 

    “The best kept secret in South Africa” 

    I commend the NPA and SOCA, as well as the South African Government for their initiative in coming up with the concept of the Thuthuzela Care Centres, and I  truly believe that the Thuthuzela initiative is an absolutely fantastic one, I believe that if it was implemented correctly and in the manner they profess it to be functioning, and the services mentioned in the brochures and other documentation provided by them as they claims they are, it would be a major step in the right direction to eradicating child rape from our society. 

    In many areas I have visited and following my visits to most of the Thuthuzela Care Centres situated around South Africa, I have asked women/mothers in the community, a number of them being mothers of victims of child rape and sexual abuse, if they knew of the Thuthuzela Care Centre and have been shocked to be told that they have never so much as heard of the Thuthuzela Care Centre in-spite of it having been established in the area for a number of years. 

    While visiting Soweto on the 21st October 2010, I visited three major shopping centres in the Soweto area namely, the Maponya Mall, Jabulani Mall and the Protea Gardens Mall. At all of these major centres I approached many individuals who confirmed that they were residents of Soweto and on being asked if they had ever heard of the Thuthuzela Care Centre’s the response was an emphatic ‘No”. 

    Later while on my way to the Baragwaneth Hospital where I hoped to be able to visit the Thuthuzela Care Centre, which has been established there and hopefully be given a chance to chat to the staff, I stopped off at two nursery schools/crèches near to the Baragwaneth Hospital and was amazed to learn that the teachers and head mistress’s had also never heard of the Thuthuzela Care Centre, in-spite of it having been established 5 years previously. 

    I also stopped two SAPS police vehicles within a three kilometre radius of the Baragwaneth Hospital and asked all five of the police officials in the vehicles for directions to the Thuthuzela Care Centre (In-spite of the fact that I knew exactly where it was) and received blank looks and the response was “No, I have never heard of such a place”. 

    Furthermore on arriving at the main gates of the Baragwaneth Hospital I was stopped by a  security guard who when I asked for directions to the Thuthuzela Care Centre gave me yet another blank look and I was told “There is no such place here, this is the hospital”. When I insisted that the centre was in the hospital he made enquiries with the other security officers and all confirmed that they had never heard of the Thuthuzela Care Centre

    This information has therefore led me to believe that at present, and even after having been initiated 10 years ago in 2000, the Thuthuzela Care Centre concept is undoubtedly in my humble opinion “the best kept secret in South Africa”

      

    Services provided by the Thuthuzela Care Centres’ 

    (According to their documentation) 

      

     According to the brochures provided by the Thuthuzela Care Centres, as well as documentation I have been able to secure via their website, the following services are provided at the centres, “on site”. 

    • A nurse in the examination room (Not provided at any TCC I have visited)

      

    • An ‘explanation’ of how the medical examination will be conducted and what clothing might be taken for evidence

      

    • A consent form to be signed, that allows the doctor to conduct the medical examination

      

    • A bath or shower at the centre after the medical examination

      

    • An investigating officer will interview the survivor and take her/his statement (Not provided at any TCC I have visited)

      

    • A social worker or nurse will offer counselling (Only in one instance was a social worker based at the Centre)

      

    • A nurse arranges for follow-up visits, treatment and medication for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s), HIV and AIDS. (Not provided at any TCC I have visited)

      

    • A referral letter will be provided or appointment will be made for long-term, counselling

      

    • The survivor is offered transportation home by an ambulance or the investigating officer (I was informed by a senior official of EMS that the ambulance service ‘EMS’ are not permitted/allowed to transport rape victims in an ambulance)

      

    • Arrangements will be made for the survivor to go to a place of safety if necessary (This is contrary to the ‘Domestic Violence Act)

      

    • Consultations with a specialist prosecutor before the case goes to court

      

    • An explanation of the trial process (Not provided at any TCC I have visited)

      

    • Access to information on the case (Not available at any TCC I have visited)

      

    You will note that no mention is made of a doctor performing the crucial J88 forensic examination of the victim at the centre. 

    Not one of the centres I have visited around South Africa has a police official, doctor or forensic nurse based at the centre, on site. 

    In all instances in-spite of the fact that the centre is situated on the hospital premises my experience has revealed that it can still take hours for a doctor to be released from his duties in the hospital to attend to a rape victim. At all TCC’s the same applies to the service provided by the police. 

    How I believe the ‘Thuthuzela Care Centres’  

    should be established 

    My research has indicated that in order to encourage mothers to report the rape and sexual abuse of their children it is essential that Thuthuzela Care Centre’s, firstly, be established at all Provincial, Regional and District hospitals around South Africa and secondly, provide the following On-site’ personnel and services at all centres 

    • Case manager

      

    • 2 qualified policewomen dressed in civilian clothes, trained in the art of; child psychology, the taking of statements and evidence gathering, working two shifts, 6:00am – 2:00pm and 2pm – 10:00pm

      

    • A forensic nurse (Female) trained and qualified to undertake the J88 forensic examination

      

    • A doctor on immediate stand-by

      

    • Social workers properly trained in the art of counselling

      

    • Welfare officer

      

    • Human resources individual (Details to be provided later in this document)

      

    Additional support needed but not necessarily required to be on site but needs to be committed and dedicated to the support of the centre, is in the form of: 

    • A Regional Court Senior Prosecutor to train the police in the art of statement taking and evidence gathering.

      

    • A psychologist to provide additional support for and training of the social workers

      

      

    HR (Human Resources) person at all 

    ‘Thuthuzela Care Centres’ is a vital necessity  

        

    My travels and discussions on child rape around South Africa have provided me the privilege of meeting many businessmen and women. These have included men and women in all categories of business, large, medium and small and after providing them with what I believe is a solution to encouraging mothers to report the rape and sexual abuse of their children  they have all confirmed that they would gladly commit their business’s to an initiative which would encourage mothers to report the rape of their children in instances where the perpetrator is the father, step-father or uncle, a situation which would create a financial burden on the family should he be convicted and sentenced to imprisonment, by providing employment for the mother whenever they can in order to  ensure that the perpetrator faces the full extent of the law and justice system. 

    My proposed solution is based on the concept of an HR person being included in the personnel appointed to all Thuthuzela Care Centres whose function would be, to be in constant contact with all businesses in the area covered by the Thuthuzela Care Centre and to maintain a record of all businesses committed to the initiative of helping mothers who have reported the rape of their child in instances where the perpetrator is the child’s biological father, step father or uncle, a ‘bread winner’ within the family. In this manner, immediately on being presented with such a situation the ‘HR’ individual can ensure that the mother obtains employment as fast as possible, and so becomes self sustainable.   

    However it is imperative that while securing employment for the mother, the Welfare Officer must ensure that the family is fed and clothed and this can similarly be achieved by securing the support of business’s in the area in the form of supermarket outlets and large chain stores who I am confident through my discussions with such businesses will fully support an initiative of this sort in the interests of stopping the rape and sexual abuse of children. 

    NPA (National Prosecuting Authority) involvement in the ‘Thuthuzela Care Centre’s’ 

    I believe that the NPA should concentrate on what they are supposed to know best, the establishment of our judicial system as in functional and effective courts and in particular ‘Children’s Courts’ and make them ‘child friendly courts’ and in so doing ensure that the unacceptably low conviction rate of child rape is increased dramatically to an acceptable rate. 

    This could be achieved by the NPA focusing their attention on establishing the previously mentioned child courts and by relinquishing their function as ‘head/governing body’ of the Thuthuzela Care Centres and that this function should be that of an NGO with the support of the stakeholders namely; 

    • The NPA
    • South African Police Service (FCS-unit)
    • Department of Health
    • Department of Social Development and Welfare
    • Department of Education

      

      

    The South African government’s insistence to place  

    their main focus on funding in ‘other areas’  

    is contributing to the increase of child rape  

      

    During discussions with South Africans of all walks of life and in many diverse areas, people are of the opinion that our government considers ‘traffic offenders’ to be a far greater risk to our society than child rapists. 

    This comment and opinion is based on the fact that hundreds of millions of Rands are spent annually on our elite and ‘highly trained’ traffic police in the form of the Metro Police. In 2010 the Minister announced on national television that the Metro Police in Gauteng was to be increased by an additional 1 500 traffic police men and women with cars. 

    In addition to this an enormous amount of money has been spent on the latest sophisticated toll scanning system which is currently being installed in Gauteng and which will also, I am told, detect motorists who have not renewed their vehicle licences. 

    Wherever one drives on our highways and bye-ways one see’s a very high visibility of ‘traffic’ police presence on our roads, in many instances with up to 4 or 5 traffic police cars parked on the side of the road with traffic police chatting and pulling motorists over with a ‘Zero tolerance’ attitude for not having their cars in a 100% road worthy condition and fining individuals for failing to wear their safety belts etc. 

    In contrast to the amount of money being spent on the Metro-Traffic Police Force is the fact that our SAPS–‘FCS’ unit ‘Family violence – Child abuse and Sexual Offences unit’ specialising in the fight against the rape and sexual abuse of children as well as domestic violence consists of a very small unit – when compared to the national traffic police unit – and consists of semi-trained and in many cases totally untrained, police officials who operate on the basis of the ‘cluster system’ which involves one main police station, where the ‘FCS’ unit is based, providing ‘support services’ to ‘satellite’ police stations where reports of child rape and acts of domestic violence are made. 

    It is a common fact that the biggest gripe from the SAPS is the fact that “They do not have transport” and this is the reason given when complaints are lodged by the public about the pathetic response time from the SAPS. Yet we see hundreds of Metro-Traffic Police cars ‘patrolling’ our streets daily and in many cases just parked on the road side along our highways and by-ways. 

    I believe, and it has been confirmed by members of the public across the length and breadth of South African, that our government must get its priorities right and decide “who is the biggest threat to our society, motorists or child rapists?” 

     I am not advocating that keeping our roads safe from un-roadworthy vehicles, speedsters and drunk drivers is not important, but when comparing the enormous amount of money being spent on policing motorists to that spent on policing child rapists and other violent criminals, the gap is humungous. 

    According to information provided to me, there is on average between 9 and 11 members  allocated to each ‘FCS cluster’ and this includes administration staff, with on average two members being on stand-by (24 hours a day) to react to calls from all ‘satellite’ stations in the cluster area. I have personally visited areas where ‘satellite’ stations can be up to 150 – 200 kilometres away from the main cluster station making it impossible for FCS unit members to provide the essential specialised support service to victims of child rape and domestic violence. 

    To add to the woes of the South Africa Police – FCS unit, at a public announcement on the 11th October 2011, the SA Police Service National Commissioner General Bheki Cele (Suspended from duty on 25th October 2011) together with the Deputy Minister of Police Maggie Sotyu announced that the SAPS-FCS unit “has now been officially re-instated”. 

    In a message to the South African public on national television in February 2010 the Minister announced that the FCS unit was to be officially re-instated on a national bases as from 1st April 2010 (Refer ‘Buddy and Me’ blog Day 161 – 17th February 2010) this can only indicate that our Police Commissioner and Deputy Minister of Police are so far behind in their correspondence with the Minister that they are not aware of the fact that the unit was officially re-instated 18 months ago. 

    It is therefore no wonder our government and police force’s attempt at eradicating the rape and sexual abuse of children, as well as the rape and abuse of woman in general is getting absolutely nowhere! The ‘Child Protection Unit (CPU) and the so called FCS unit has been disbanded and reinstated so many times over the past 13 years that not even the South African Police Service knows whether they officially exist or not. 

    Conclusion 

    I must re-iterate on the fact that no matter what laws are promulgated and what punishments are implemented, we will never stop the rape and sexual abuse of children if the mothers do not do the right thing and report the matter to the authorities and allow the law and justice system to take it’s course. 

    However it is, I believe, the duty of the government to ensure that everything is done to encourage mothers to report the rape of their children and this can only be achieved by providing them and the victims with a professionally managed support structure in the form of the Thuthuzela Care Centres at every, Provincial, Regional and District hospital in South Africa which must provide the services and staff as I have outlined in this proposal. 

    It is therefore imperative that should the TCC support structures be provided properly, individuals contravening Section 54 of the Sexual Offences Act 32/2007 by failing to report the rape and sexual abuse of children, and this includes mothers and family members who pressurise mothers into not reporting instances of child rape, must be taken to task and face the full extent of the law, failing which there is no point in spending the millions of Rands to promulgate the laws in the first place. 

    It is my further belief that in the instances of mothers failing to report the rape of their children and following a conviction, a minimum of a suspended sentence should be handed down on the first conviction which will ensure that should the mother be faced with a similar situation in the future, she will not hesitate in “doing the right thing” and ensure that the child receives the necessary support and counselling needed to help it get through the ordeal and so become a “survivor”. 

    It is imperative that in order to encourage mothers and children to report the rape of children, after providing the essential support structure already mentioned in the form of properly established Thuthuzela Care Centre’s, that Government must commit to supporting them by ensuring that: 

      

    • Child rape suspects are refused bail and by ensuring that sentences passed down by the courts on conviction fits the severity of the crime – The vast majority of South Africans believe this should be in the form of the minimum of life imprisonment – and that no person convicted of the rape of a child should ever be allowed parole for whatever reason.

      

    The other important issue which the ‘Buddy and Me’ project has focussed and concentrated on, is the horrific fact that in South Africa we are experiencing a humungous growth and ever increasing situation of the raping of children by children, and this includes perpetrators in the age group category of 7 to 12 years of age and evidence has revealed that the ‘Child Justice Act’ (Act 75/2008 in particular sections 7 and 9) has had a major influencing impact on this situation. 

    All indications and information have revealed that the current ‘Diversion Programme’ for child offenders identified in the ‘Child Justice Act’ implemented by the State is not only not reducing the number of child rapes being perpetrated by children, but is contributing to the ever increasing crime in general being perpetrated by children in this age category and so is experiencing the same result the States ‘Rehabilitation Programme’ for adult offenders has had, this being the fact that it is an encouragement to commit the crime rather than acting as a deterrent punishment. 

    My closing message to the South African Government 

    My closing message to our South African Government is that they should give serious consideration to the fact that the rape and sexual abuse of children is the biggest contributing factor to the break down of social standards and family values as well as the high crime rate in general in South Africa and it is time our government realised this and commits themselves to eradicating this scourge from our society. 

    The fact that they have not identified this fact is evident in the statement made by Minister Trevor Manuel – Head of the governments ‘National Planning Commission’ – in which he identifies “The 2 biggest problems facing South Africa” as being: 

    1) Poverty                                                                   2) Inequality 

    According to Mr Emanuel, “The 9 biggest challenges facing South Africa are: 

    1) Poor education                                                       2) Too few South Africans are employed 

    3) High disease burden                                               4) Still divided society 

    5) Public service failing the poor                                6) Too many parts of the country where people are locked in poverty 

    7)  Infrastructure is crumbling                                     8) We do not use our National resources such as water and land well 

    9) Corruption “be-devils” everything we do” 

    Please note that according to our government, ‘The National Planning Commission’, stopping the rape and destruction of children is not a priority. 

    It is therefore time that our government realise that: 

      

    “If all children are given the opportunity to live their lives ‘as children’ and not be abused in anyway, they will grow up to be good people”. 

      

    This I believe is proven by the fact that we, as Africans, have proven to the world, many times, that we can take a Lion cub, a sibling to the wildest and most dangerous animal in the world, raise it by hand so that it eats out of our hand as a domesticated animal, and will lie at our feet on the lounge carpet even when it is fully grown. 

    However, abuse that Lion cub while it is growing up and it will bite you, and it will not only bite the individual who abused it, but it will bite everyone it sees in it’s quest to fulfil the hatred it caries inside it and to extract revenge for the abuse it was subjected to and to release it’s hatred on ‘man’ in general. 

    I believe that the same applies to a child. No child is born with a bad thought in its mind or the thought of committing crime or evil on society when he or she grows up. However if the child is abused, it will grow up with a heap of hatred and seek revenge not only on the individual who abused it, but will seek revenge and release it’s hatred on society as a whole for not having been there to protect it while it was growing up and being abused. 

    We hear, on a daily basis, from criminals appearing in our courts, that ‘They were abused as children’ and that for this reason they have extracted the hatred and frustration buried inside them out on society by committing violent crimes against them. 

    And so by eradicating the abuse, rape and sexual abuse of children from our society, we could eradicate, I believe, 90% of our countries violent crime as well as anti-social behaviour from our society. 

    Based on the information provided in this: 

    Proposal for a Solution to Stop the Rape and Sexual Abuse of Children” 

    My final message to the South African government is simple: 

    “Stop the Rape and Sexual Abuse of our Children and you WILL solve most of South Africa’s anti-social and crime related problems.” 

      

    The Children Are Our Future 

      

    This is what we hear government officials saying every day in the media, 

    So when are you going to listen to yourselves? 

    Finally, a message to the President of South Africa 

     From  

    The Children of South Africa 

    Please Mr. President, help us by doing the right thing,  

    Stop the Rape and Sexual Abuse of Children – Now! 

    You can do it! 

    Steve Heath 

    Project ‘Buddy and Me’Searching for a Solution to Stop the Rape and Sexual Abuse of Children’ 

    Email: steve@buddyandme.co.za 

    Website: www.buddyandme.co.za 

    Please send all comments and opinions to: steve@buddyandme.co.za

    Please note that all comments and opinions on the ‘Buddy and Me’ website and blogs are those of Steve Heath and not those of the sponsors to the ‘Buddy and Me’ project.



    Thu
    1
    Mar '12

    Blog 59 (25th January 2012)

    Posted by Julia

    Categories: Buddy and Me

    Leave a comment


    Who Is Steve Heath
    A Message To The President of South Africa.
    Factors Contributing To The Increase In Child Rape.
    A Proposed Solution To Stopping The Rape And Sexual Abuse Of Children in SA.

    To watch Buddy and Me in real time click here, select South Africa under “Global Fleet Logins:” in the left hand panel, enter cellphone number 0822549129 and password Buddy.

    To make a donation to or information on any of the organisations involved in assisting victims of child rape and abuse, please click on one of the following links:

    Beares
    Lubners
    Bobbi Bear Foundation (KwaZulu-Natal)
    The Teddy Bear Clinic (Gauteng)
    The TygerBear Foundation (Western Cape)
    GRIP (Mpumalanga)
    StepThru (Gauteng)

    • Tips by ‘Rape Wise’ – ‘Eye on the child – A Safety and Protection Manual’ A MUST read by all parents – Blog 55
    • To see the ‘Buddy and Me’ scheduled itinerary details for the period 30th August – 4th October 2011 see blog 50
    • To read the shocking details of the Upington horror story – The Hynie Dick Story – regarding the ‘Upington savage pedophile’ see blog 35
    • To read details of the ‘savage’ the police are looking for in connection with the rape of a 3 year little girl, see blog 39
    • To read the heart breaking story by a mother (Cathy Kenney) of the rape of  her 3 year-old daughter see blog 38
    • To read the storey of Natasha who at 10 years-of age was brutally raped and murdered and after serving a very short portion of his sentence, the ‘State’ wants to release the savage who did it, from prison, see blog 10 (November 2010)
    • To read ‘Birds’ story about her incredible courage to face her ‘step-father’ who she looked up to and loved as a ‘father’ who abused her and her love, as told by her mother – Elise – see blog 42

    Firstly I would like to wish all the followers of the ‘Buddy and Me’ project a happy New Year and hope that you all have a wonderful 2012. I am hoping to get the necessary support in order to undertake ‘Buddy and Me-project 4 – The Final Chapter’ which I hope to commence in April 2012 and intend for it to take 16 months to complete.

     The reason for this is that it is my message to our esteemed government that focusing 16 days – as in their 16 days of activism in December – is nowhere near good enough if they are serious about eradicating the rape and sexual abuse of children and woman from our society, so I will be focussing 16 months on pressing home this point.

     Secondly I would like to bring you up to speed on the Natasha Sukdeo case (Blog 58). Due to pressure from the attorneys representing Sharon (Natasha’s mother), the ‘authorities have once again postponed the parole hearing of the piece of human waist who brutally raped and murdered the innocent little 10 year old, so that is one great bit of news for the new year.

    Unfortunately our esteemed government is once again putting their big foot deep into the dwang by wanting to release yet another two pieces of human garbage from prison where they deserve to stay and rot for the remainder of their natural lives. So here is the Alison Botha’s storey.

    Dear Friends

    I have the deepest admiration for Alison Botha, some of you might know who she is, but please bear my five minutes to inform you if you don’t! 

    In December 1994, Alison was abducted outside her home by two men who raped, stabbed and disembowelled her, finally slashing her throat 16 times to make sure she was dead. No-one could have believed that anyone with such severe injuries could live.  But Alison defied death. And more than that, she denied her attackers the satisfaction of destroying her life. 

    The manner in which she survived, her inner strength and determination, her lack of bitterness, and her serenity and humility captured the attention of everyone who heard her story and she has become the inspiration to millions of people in South Africa and around the globe.  

    Alison’s story “I HAVE LIFE – Alison’s Journey”, was one of the first books of its kind to be published in South Africa, a country where rape statistics are among the highest in the world and is an invaluable survival guide.

    But now… fast forward to 2012 there is a possibility that the two men who attack her… Theuns Kruger and Frans du Toit can be release on parole!!

    According to new legislation, which came into effect in June last year, all prisoners sentenced to life imprisonment before 2004 could apply for parole if they had already served 13 years and four months of their sentences.  Furthermore it is alleged that the final decision rests with minister of correctional services, me. Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.  IS the minister going to be sane of mind and say no to the release of these monsters?  When are we, the law abiding citizens of South Africa going to stand up and say:  With all respect – are you out of your mind?? Look what these two men did to this woman?? We don’t care if the new legislation say they may be release!!!

    Well, for one, I am going to stand up!!  I cannot sit ideally by and not speak up.  THUS, if you believe like me that this is just insane, please add your name underneath and spread to all your friends.  PLEASE don’t say these petitions never work, because you will never know!!! 

    By 15 February I will deliver all signatures this petition myself to the minister of correctional services.

    If you reach a 100 signature with your name, please return to pleaforalison@gmail.com!!!

    1.      Nicky Morrison

     2.      Adelle van der Merwe

     3.      Zoey van der Merwe

     4.      Jayden van der Merwe

     5.       Charmein Smit

     6. Lennie Smit

     7.  Danielle Smit 

     8. Niadene Miles

     9. Schalk Campher

     10. Kiran Govender

     11. William Miles

     12. Chalotte Miles

     13. Emily Miles

     14. Oliver Miles

     15. Samuel Miles

    16. Wendy van der Linde
    17. Antonie van der Linde
    18. Kyle van der Linde
    19. Brandon van der Linde
    20. Rachel van der Linde

    21. Louise Brits, Bloemfontein, SA

    22. Charlene Gous

    23. Ronél Feichtenschlager 

     24.   Nikki Chistolini 

    25.   Lynn Fernandes

    26.    Barbette Bonthuys

    27.  Judy Sacks 

    28. Jean Borrelli 

    29. Laura de Sousa

    30 Alida Pienaar

    31 Kobus Pienaar

    32 Barend de Jager

    33. Karen du Toit

    34. Ettienne Starke

    35. Chantell Starke

    36 Steve Heath www.buddyandme.co.za

    Caring regards from

    Buddy (The Beach Buggy)

    And

    Me’ (Steve Heath)

    Please send all comments and opinions to: steve@buddyandme.co.za

     

    Please note that all comments and opinions on the ‘Buddy and Me’ website and blogs are those of Steve Heath and not those of the sponsors to the ‘Buddy and Me’ project.


    • Tips by ‘Rape Wise’ – ‘Eye on the child – A Safety and Protection Manual’ A MUST read by all parents – Blog 55
    • To see the ‘Buddy and Me’ scheduled itinerary details for the period 30th August – 4th October 2011 see blog 50
    • To read the shocking details of the Upington horror story – The Hynie Dick Story – regarding the ‘Upington savage pedophile’ see blog 35
    • To read details of the ‘savage’ the police are looking for in connection with the rape of a 3 year little girl, see blog 39
    • To read the heart breaking story by a mother (Cathy Kenney) of the rape of  her 3 year-old daughter see blog 38
    • To read the storey of Natasha who at 10 years-of age was brutally raped and murdered and after serving a very short portion of his sentence, the ‘State’ wants to release the savage who did it, from prison, see blog 10 (November 2010)
    • To read ‘Birds’ story about her incredible courage to face her ‘step-father’ who she looked up to and loved as a ‘father’ who abused her and her love, as told by her mother – Elise – see blog 42

     

    On the 7th August 1995 Devapregasen Munsamy, a piece of human garbage, was convicted and sentenced to 60 years for the rape and brutal murder of 10 year-old Natasha Sukdeo. Now a mere 16 years later, the State, our South African government system, in the form of the Correctional Services Parole Board, believes that he has “suffered enough” and is insistent on releasing him back into society to do the same thing to yet another innocent child.

    Perhaps our esteemed government and their system should consider the fact that this piece of human waist brutally took away the life of an innocent small child, depriving her the opportunity of becoming ‘someone special’ and took away her mothers chance of watching her baby girl grow up and become ‘someone special’, unlike the piece of garbage he proved to his mother and father he is.

    Here then is Natasha’s mother’s story and plea to the esteemed Minister of Correctional Services to keep this piece of garbage in jail.

    It has been confirmed that the parole board hearing for his release will be heard on the 24th November 2011 (6 days time).

    I, as I am sure you as parents and law abiding citizens of South Africa do, hope that sense and justice prevails and that he is kept in jail to rot like the piece of garbage he is.

    The Chairperson/ Minister of Correctional Services

    Correctional Supervision and Parole Board

    Regional Prison Services

    Dear Sir/Madam

    Representation to the Correctional Supervision and Parole Board

    I am a 45 year old female living in Bayview, Chatsworth.

    I am the mother of the victim in the case in which Mr Devapregasen Munsamywas sentenced to 60 years for the abduction, rape, torture and murder on 07/08/1995 in Durban High Court in case no:

    The possible release of the offender should be considered with due cognisance of the impact which this crime has had on me and my family. I would like to deal with the impact under the following headings:

    EMOTIONAL

    He robbed Natasha of the following:

    • Her entire childhood was taken away, her future, her possible children and their children were removed from the face of the earth.
    • She was robbed of reaching puberty and having a boyfriend and her first innocent kiss.
    • She was robbed of falling in love and knowing the joy of dating.
    • She was robbed of knowing what it was like to go to high school and getting through Matric and going to Tech or University. 
    • She never had the chance of having her first dance or the thrill of a wedding or the joy of motherhood.

     

    He robbed her mother of the following:

    • I was robbed of seeing my child reach maturity and of any possible grandchildren she would have given me.
    • I was robbed of witnessing the joys of seeing her grow up and reach the above mentioned milestones.
    • I have suffered from severe depression related to the murder and required regular hospitalizations and traumacounselling for about 5 years after the incident.
    • I also required sexual counselling for years as I was unable to be intimate with my husband as a result of what was said in court about the sexual perversions that were inflicted on my innocent child, which almost led to the breakdown of my marriage to a wonderful man who had taken in Natasha and Jennifer as his own daughter’s and didn’t deserve to be treated like he was a sexual pervert in his own home by his own spouse.
    • He also suffered the trauma of being named as a possible suspect because he was her stepfather and his whole life was invaded and investigated, which led to further marital problems between us which required marital counselling.
    •  I still suffer with severe depression and psychosomatic illness around Natasha’s birthday and in the weeks leading up to and after the anniversary of her trauma.
    • Despite receiving counselling, I still suffer with post-traumatic stress symptoms like having flashbacks to the incidents surrounding the circumstances around Natasha’s death and the trial, severe anxiety and insomnia, severe mood swings and also become incapacitated by blinding headaches and nausea at times of stress related to this incident, to the point where I am unable to go to work or take care of my family and sometimes have to be hospitalized.
    • I am currently medicated on chronic antidepressants, (Fluoxetine and Valium), but they do not seem to be having the desired effect.

    He robbed her siblings of the following:

    • They were robbed of having the joy of having a big sister to go through the experiences of life with them.
    • They were robbed of having future nephews or nieces from her.
    • They were robbed of having a normal life unmarred by her tragic, gruesome and horrific death and had to constantly have their lives disrupted by reporters, curious people who asked questions of them that they were unable to answer and questioning from peers and school friends.
    • Theyhad to grow up with parents whose lives were wracked by pain and torture knowing that their baby girl had lost her innocence and her life in the most cruel, barbaric and horrific way.
    • They had to contend with a mother who, for years was lost in a cloud of depression and as a result their upbringing had to be done by their older sister who was only 8 years old at that time.
    • They were deprived of a mother who had to be hospitalised on numerous occasions for depression related psychosomatic illnesses every time that it was Natasha’s birthday or the anniversary month of her death.
    • They had to live with parents who live with mortal fear every time the girls have to leave home for any reason.
    • Jennifer at 8 years, was old enough to require counselling at the time of the murder, but due to financial constraints she was only counselled by child welfare, church counsellors and General Practioners and to this day she still suffers the emotional scars of the responsibilities placed on her due to the trauma of the murder and the devastation that her mother suffered that rendered her incapable of being able to care for her family. Responsibilities that NO 8 year old child should have to deal with.

    Mediation between family and perpetrator:

    In all the years since this has happened the perpetrator has never attempted to make contact with the family in any way to explain his actions or apologise for what he did and his family continues to harass us to this day. They live 3 doors away from us and despite the trauma of continuously being subjected to their harassment; we have been unable to move away due to the lack of finances.

    He says that he is sorry about what he did, but he showed no remorse or fear when he told everyone at the court hearings of how his friend raped and tortured Natasha and then how he raped and tortured my innocent child himself even though he could see how scared and traumatised she was.

    He never tried in any way to stop his friend or himself from doing what they did, watched while his friend raped and tortured her despite reporting that she pleaded with him for help. He was prepared to tell everyone about his part in it so he could use it against his friend to get an easier sentence.

    As a result of him changing his story so many times to suit his needs, his accomplice in the crime managed to get away scot free on a technicality after he turned state’s witness.

    This shows that that he did not really have any remorse for his horrific crime, but was just trying to help himself.

    He also stated that he was high on drugs when he did all these things to Natasha, then how did he come to my door, look me in the eye and say that he saw her going to the tuck-shop and offer his services to help us in assisting to form a search party to look for the child, knowing that they had her locked up in the cellar. If he was so drugged up, how did he know how to fool the community for 3 days while going back and raping and torturing her again and again.

    It shows that they knew exactly what they were doing and how to cover it up. If they were high on drugs when they were committing the crime, how did they remember the details of what they did, who did what, when to go and come as they pleased and who to speak to in order that he could get a much more lenient sentence.

    He has not once in all these years seen fit to attempt to answer all the questions I have as to the exact extent that they hurt my child, leaving me with unanswered questions and to fill in the gaps with my own imagination. The scenarios that go on in my head are endless, leaving me traumatized with the endless possibilities and depths of trauma that she must have endured.

    PHYSICAL

    What are the implications for our family if he is released:

    This man does not deserve to be set free. A family can only deal with a certain amount of devastation.

    So how much of time justifies all these losses to not only Natasha but to the rest of her family.

    How much of time justifies a sweet innocent 10 year old girl being raped, tortured and sodomised and forced to perform oral sex at knifepoint and being beaten to a pulp and having her bones broken from the beating?

    How much of time justifies a child being held for 3 terrifying days, with her raped and torn body and broken bones fearing what was coming next?

    How can anybody add the mortal fear of this monster coming back and attacking one of our other three daughters or our granddaughter to what we have already been through?

    If this man is let out, how do we know that if he marries and/or has children they won’t also be psychopaths?

    It is clear that he has no remorse when one looks at the facts that together with his friend:

    1. He abducted Natasha at knifepoint and repeatedly raped, sodomized and beat her till her bones were broken
    2. Kept her in a basement, stuffed  in a hole cut out in the base of a bed, with  a mattress over it  with barely any space to breathe, unable to move because he had broken her hands and legs, and no-one to hear her screams
    3. Kept her starved of water and food with no toilet facilities for three days
    4. Led the search party and diverted attention away from the crime scene, knowing that she was still alive. (NB. Please note that the post mortem revealed that she was murdered 3 days after her abduction).
    5. Murdered her and then dumped her body away from the crime scene to help them get away from the crime.
    6. He never admitted guilt at the time of the murder and was only caught because an that an investigating officer noticed the blood on his shoe.

     

    All the above facts show that this heinous crime against an innocent 10 year old was an intelligent premeditated crime of rape, sodomy and torture with an elaborate, extensive cover up.

    That alone makes one wonder if any child of any age can be safe with a psychopathic individual being let loose in any community.

    FINANCIAL

    Natasha was not the only victim of this crime but her family were also victims of the pain and horror that followed. What happened changed everyone and their lives. They were all robbed of their normal pain free lives that they would have had if he had not done what he did to Natasha.

    And the biggest irony of it all is that technically her parents, as Taxpayers in this country paid for all his medical bills, education and food for the last 16 years.

    Who paid for their medical bills for the psychologists and for the repeated hospitalizations throughout these 16 years?

    Who has compensated Natasha’s siblings for all the income lost from their mother not being able to work because she underwent several breakdowns and had to be hospitalized?

    Who is compensating them for all the money that was spent on psychologists, doctor’s and medication throughout the years since the tragedy occurred, when this money could have helped to further the other children’s education or relocate the family to a place where there were no constant reminders of what had happened to Natasha.

    RECOMMENDATIONS FOR POSSIBLE PLACEMENT CONDITIONS

    How can anyone say that being locked up for 15 years with a roof over his head, 3 meals a day, a free education, free medical care and free psychiatric help, justifies what he did to Natasha?

    How can anyone say that there is justice in him being able to lead a full normal life that he has deprived so many other people of?

    How can anyone say that this justifies what he did to her family?

    So ideally he should not be released, however, if parole is inevitable, the following should be taken into consideration:

    • He says that drugs caused him to do what he did to Natasha, how is anyone going to guarantee that he will not start taking drugs again outside of prison, so he should be subjected to regular drug testing.
    • What if he has to get involved in the wrong company again and starts doing terrible things again, so his contact with people should also be monitored.
    • If he is so sorry and is not considered a dangerous person anymore then why was his family or friends threatening our family while we were doing the petitions to keep him in prison? If released, there should be restrictions in place, protecting our family form any kind of harassment or contact with him or his family and friends.
    • He raped, sodomised, molested, beat and murdered a child, which puts him in the category of a PAEDOPHILE, and if released into the custody of his family, it places him on the perfect predatory ground to feed his perversions because the Primary school in the area is only 2 kms away from their home.
    • He is in the prime of his youth now and has not been exposed to the temptation of having young girls around him while being incarcerated. There is a huge possibility that like any other addict, a paedophile is addicted to sex with children, and once exposed to the objects of his addiction, he may not be able to resist the temptation, which would then leave more innocent children at risk of his continued perversion.

    All the above facts show that this heinous crime against an innocent 10 year old was an intelligent premeditated crime of rape, sodomy and torture with an elaborate, extensive cover up.

    That alone makes one wonder if any child of any age can be safe with a psychopathic individual being let loose in any community.

    With all due respect, one has to wonder if the depth of justice guarantees the safety of any child in our area should he be paroled. The government wants so much to protect the rights of children but in actual fact the children are being let down and abandoned to perpetrators like this who think they can rape, torture and murder innocent little children. These children are supposed to be the future of our country, but sadly sometimes the law is guilty of  letting down not only Natasha but every other child out there.

    COMMENTS

    Our endeavours to prevent the release of this prisoner, are not directed at obtaining compensation despite all the trauma our family has been through but rather is a fight to obtain better justice for all other children regardless of gender, race, religion, nationality, who have been through similar ordeals and to prevent any other children from being exposed to this kind of atrocity in any possible way.

    Our dedication to finding justice for all can be traced to our efforts of pairing up with Steve from THE Buddy and Me Foundation for which Natasha is now the poster child and our national and international email petition to increase awareness about these kinds of crime.

    Kind regards

    __________________                                                        _________________

    Sharon (Thavamonie) Jeenabhai                                                                         Date signed

    Caring regards from

    ‘Buddy (The Beach Buggy)

    And

    Me’ (Steve Heath)

    Please send your comments and opinions to: steve@buddyandme.co.za

    Please note that the ‘Buddy and Me’ project and blogs are compiled by Steve Heath as an independent researcher and the project is no longer sponsored in any way. The comments and opinions therefore posted on this website are strictly those of Steve Heath


    Who Is Steve Heath
    A Message To The President of South Africa.
    Factors Contributing To The Increase In Child Rape.
    A Proposed Solution To Stopping The Rape And Sexual Abuse Of Children in SA.

    To watch Buddy and Me in real time click here, select South Africa under “Global Fleet Logins:” in the left hand panel, enter cellphone number 0822549129 and password Buddy.

    To make a donation to or information on any of the organisations involved in assisting victims of child rape and abuse, please click on one of the following links:

    Beares
    Lubners
    Bobbi Bear Foundation (KwaZulu-Natal)
    The Teddy Bear Clinic (Gauteng)
    The TygerBear Foundation (Western Cape)
    GRIP (Mpumalanga)
    StepThru (Gauteng)

    • Tips by ‘Rape Wise’ – ‘Eye on the child – A Safety and Protection Manual’ A MUST read by all parents – Blog 55
    • To see the ‘Buddy and Me’ scheduled itinerary details for the period 30th August – 4th October 2011 see blog 50
    • To read the shocking details of the Upington horror story – The Hynie Dick Story – regarding the ‘Upington savage pedophile’ see blog 35
    • To read details of the ‘savage’ the police are looking for in connection with the rape of a 3 year little girl, see blog 39
    • To read the heart breaking story by a mother (Cathy Kenney) of the rape of  her 3 year-old daughter see blog 38
    • To read the storey of Natasha who at 10 years-of age was brutally raped and murdered and after serving a very short portion of his sentence, the ‘State’ wants to release the savage who did it, from prison, see blog 10 (November 2010)
    • To read ‘Birds’ story about her incredible courage to face her ‘step-father’ who she looked up to and loved as a ‘father’ who abused her and her love, as told by her mother – Elise – see blog 42

    Monday morning (26th September) dawned an absolutely spectacularly beautiful day, in-spite of the fact that it had rained the entire night and proved to be a particularly devastating day for me personally. I woke early, did some washing, thinking that I would be able to hang it up to dry when I reached my ‘home’ at the Protea Mvubu Lodge that afternoon in Richards Bay, and hoped that all my problems I had experienced over the past 2 weeks were something of the passed; unfortunately that was not to be – for a few reasons – and was packed and ready to head out of St Lucia by 10:30am.

    As I was driving out of St Lucia I was thinking that I had plenty of time to cover the 32 kilometres to Mtubatuba where I was scheduled to visit the Beares store at 1pm and so hoped to sit back and enjoy the drive through the lovely and tranquil bush lands adorning the road side between St Lucia and Mtubatuba, but unfortunately this was not to be.

    About 15 kilometres out of St Lucia I suddenly heard a horrible grinding noise coming from Buddy’s rear left wheel, the wheel jammed up, the sound and effect on Buddy was mind blowing to me and I stopped Buddy and sat with my head in my hands repeating “Noooo what now??!!”

    I eventually extracted myself from Buddy and after jacking up the rear left wheel and removing the wheel and wheel hub I discovered that the ‘guy’ who had done my breaks and had caused Buddy’s rear wheels to come off (Blog 53) by not tightening the wheel hub nuts tight enough and had failed to fit split pins on the castle nuts, had also failed to put a split pin into the lug which holds the rear handbrake components together and so the lug had pulled loose and the components for the handbrake had come apart and had jammed between the brake linings and the wheel hub!!

    I removed the handbrake components completely, made an emergency clip to hold the springs for the brake-shoes in place, refitted the brake-shoes and was back in motion after about three quarters of an hour and still managed to arrive at the Mtubatuba Beares store half an hour early!

    If I had thought the traffic and general chaos at the Pretoria Van der Walt Street Beares store had been bad, (Blog 53) well that seemed like ‘child’s play’ compared to the chaos and hectic bustle in Mtubatuba. I was worried about parking Buddy in the only available parking space I could find, which was about 1 kilometre away from the centre in which the Beares store is situated and so persevered through the chaos of the taxis and other vehicles which were double parked and triple parked in the ‘square’ in-which the Mtubatuba Beares store is situated and so I double parked in-front of the store, parking in four taxis in the process, which obviously was not well accepted and resulted in a very shortened visit to this store.

     The chaos outside the store was so heavy we couldn’t even get a picture of the glamorous ladies of Beares Mtubatuba posing outside the store.

     A visit to the local constabulary proved to be a major disappointment, because as usual, as has happened in most of the areas I have visited, I was met with indignant attitude by the police and it was obvious that they have no infrastructure to provide victims of rape and in particular child rape victims and mothers reporting this disgusting crime with any sort of a support structure to encourage them to report the crime.

     Fortunately Buddy behaved himself during the drive through to Richards Bay where I was kindly hosted accommodation at the lovely Richards Bay Protea Mvubu Lodge

     My visit to the Beares store in Richards Bay was, as usual with the ‘Buddy and Me’ project visit to this store, a really pleasant one.

     Unfortunately Sandra Dekker the store manager was off sick but the stores credit manager; Rochinie Nagiah did a sterling job in making my visit a pleasant one in her absence.

    From Richards Bay ‘Buddy and Me’ drove the short 20 kilometre drive to Empangeni where we first visited Fanie Nhleko and his friendly staff,

    and after spending some time chatting to them about the project headed for the other Empangeni Beares store which I always enjoy visiting and which is situated in the Empangeni Plaza where Bongi Cele and his great bunch of staff made me feel right at home as usual.

    For those who don’t know him, that’s Bongi standing right at the end on the right of the picture obviously thinking “Steve if you don’t get me looking good in this pic I’m going to sort you out” so ja Bongi you look good J

    My next couple of night’s accommodation in the Richards Bay area was kindly hosted by the Round Table of Empangeni at the lovely ‘Zulu Lodge’.

     The afternoon was spent visiting the police station in Richards Bay where I was, once again, very disappointed in the ‘system’ which is supposed to provide a support structure to encourage mothers and children to report the rape and sexual abuse of children but fails miserably.

    Wednesday ‘Buddy and Me’ had a long, cold and wet drive through to Ulundi via Empangeni and Melmoth to the Beares store in the King Senzagakhona Centre in Ulundi.

     After an enjoyable time with Dumsani Mthimkitulu, the store manager and his bevy of lovely ladies, I followed him to the offices of the ‘Department of Social Development’ where he had previously spoken to ‘someone’ in order to establish a meeting for me with a social worker. Unfortunately on arrival at the offices no social worker was available to talk to me, in-spite of there being 15 offices allocated to social workers with their names boldly printed on each door.

    After walking the corridors for 20 minutes, Dumsani eventually attracted the attention of one ‘social worker’ who agreed to talk to me but soon after learning who I am and what I wanted to talk to her about she explained that she was ‘new’ and in training and did not know anything about the rape of children situation in the area and suggested I speak to another woman, more senior, but unfortunately this woman, a Miss P Hlabiso and her colleague Miss D.P. Mzila turned out to be very unfriendly, to put it mildly, and refused to discuss the situation of child rape or provide any information regarding the support structure for mothers and children reporting child rape in the area. I left the offices very perplexed and my perplexity deepened even further after making a stop at the local police station and was greeted with yet more negative attitude.

    By the time I returned to the Zulu Lodge in Richards Bay it was a quarter to six in the evening and I had driven almost 300 kilometres for the day so I was pretty cold and tired and so welcomed a nice relaxing bath and an early night.

    Thursday morning I was up early, showered, packed and after a hearty breakfast took the road out of Richards Bay (once again) and headed back to Empangeni (again) and then southwards to Gingindlovu and then inland to Eshowe. At the Beares store in Eshowe Susan Naidoo, the store manager did a sterling job in making my visit both a very pleasant one as well as a very interesting one by firstly arranging for three social workers,

     to pop in and join me in a discussion and to provide me with details of what is happening with regard to the rape and sexual abuse of children in the Eshowe and surrounding area.

    One of the lady’s in my group of guests was a victim of child rape herself, and was raped by her father at the age of 9, and to this day, in-spite of the fact that it was reported to the police, nothing happened about it, when she and her mother made enquiries with the police all they were told was that “The case had been dropped”, and till this day no reason was given.

     Unfortunately, as in the case of all the other areas I have visited recently, there is no support structure for victims of rape or domestic violence to talk about and after presenting them with what ‘I believe’ needs to be done, as in ‘a solution’, they were unanimous in their agreement that if applied it would make a huge impact on encouraging mothers and children to report the rape and sexual abuse of children. The ladies did confirm that child rape is occurring at a humungous rate in the area and in spite of having reported numerous cases to the police nothing ever happens.

    One comment that was made, was the fact the it is believed that the police are now “making money out of cases being withdrawn (believed to be R500-00 per case)” and so actually encourage complainants, even in the case of child rape; which are ‘not supposed to be able to be withdrawn’ because the State is the complainant, to withdraw the case.

     So to Susan; for those who don’t know that’s Susan second from the right of the picture with her friendly staff, many thanks for the really enjoyable and interesting day at your Eshowe Beares store.

     Before leaving Eshowe I managed to squeeze in a rushed visit to meet Round Tabler Duncan Balmer and then headed a short way out of town to pay a visit on the Chairman of Round Table Eshowe (RT 24) Stefan Schoeman who together with his lovely wife Sally-Ann owns an incredibly lovely guest lodge called Fleurdale Guest Lodge’, so if you are ever visiting the Eshowe area staying over at Fleurdale Guest Lodge is a must: Telephone nr 035-474 2604, fax 086-622 3094 website: www.fleurdale.co.za email: info@fleurdale.co.za

     From Eshowe ‘Buddy and Me’ headed for the Sundumbili Beares store, the small town of Sundumbili being situated close to the Tugela River near Mandini on the Kwa-Zulu Natal North Coast where Sipho Vilanculos the Beares manager and who is a character of note, together with his amazingly friendly staff made my visit to the store and area a really pleasant one.

     My night’s accommodation was once again courtesy of Protea Hotels and this time it was at the magnificent Protea Umhlanga Ridge Hotel.

    So meet the General Manager Tina Cattaneo – extreme left of picture, and her friendly front office staff.

     Friday (30th Sept) ‘Buddy and Me’ travelled the 40 kilometres back northwards to Stanger, in drizzling rain. On entering the Beares store in Stanger I could not help thinking about my last visit to this store on the 12th of August 2009 which was soon after the start of ‘Buddy and Me – project 2’ two years and two months ago!! Incredible! It felt like it was 6 months ago. But what had happened was that Buddy had been performing fantastically well and when I had pulled up outside the Beares store in Stanger that morning had not shown any signs of any sort of problem, but when It was time to leave, Buddy’s battery was pop flat.

    We started him with jumpers cables but every-time we disconnected the jumper cables he would cut out. A local ‘expert’ diagnosed the problem as a short and so Buddy was towed to an auto-electrical place and stayed overnight and was ready to return to work the next afternoon.

    So meet the incredibly friendly people of Beares Stanger, and the amazing lady who keeps things together in the absence of the store manager Gonna Perumal is Reena Naidoo who is standing on the extreme right of the picture with the blue blouse.

    From Stanger ‘Buddy and Me’ continued southwards to Phoenix where we visited Hazel Pilay the stores credit manager who was standing in for the store manager Goolam Rahiman who was unfortunately on leave, and the other friendly staff of Beares Phoenix.

    It was still drizzling with rain and so because everyone insisted on having the picture taken with Buddy, everyone had to venture out into the miserable weather to have the picture taken.

    After a lovely weekend in Pinetown being hosted by Nigel Lotz and Heidi Wood owners of the ‘Black Forest Tavern’,

     meet Nigel and the Black Forest manager Janet Visser – Monday morning ‘Buddy and Me’ once again headed north, but this time not too far to the Beares store at the Bridge City Shopping Centre on the north coast in Kwa’Mashu.

     Oh did I mention it poured with rain the whole day L

     Tuesday morning the 4th October – a particularly devastating day for me personally – exactly one year to the day the ‘Buddy and Me – project 3’ had started in Jo’burg at the Beares head office, I paid a visit to the two final Beares stores on the ‘Buddy and Me – project 3’ project, these being firstly the Beares (1) store in West Street Durban;

     and then this was followed with a visit to the Beares (2) store which is a short way away also in West Street:

    I was privileged to be provided the opportunity to attended a very large Round Table meeting in Durban (Berea) and do a talk on the ‘Buddy and Me’ project on the 11th October which was attended by

     from left; The Chairman for Round Table Berea Quintin Dreyer, Jeron Strydom the Area Chairman for the Round Table South Coast area, yours truly, and Tim Brautesneth DA Councillor for Durban and past President of Round Table Southern Africa. The meeting was also attended by

     the Round Tablers of; Kloof (RT 190), Margate (RT46), Port Shepstone (RT 83), Westville (RT163), Watercrest (RT218) and of course the home Table Berea Dbn (RT 189).

     June Porter, the amazing lady in my life, travelled down from Jo’burg and joined me for the completion of project 3, and while staying at the lovely Black Forest Tavern we met 2 incredibly lovely ladies, one being Janet Visser and the other Charmaine Stokes who provided me with some incredible information pertaining to her own experience of child molestation.

     Charmaine told us of the fact that for many years she could not remember anything pertaining to her life prior to 5 years of age, from 5 years of age onwards everything that occurred in her childhood years was clear. After 30 years (her being 35 years of age) she was awaked by her husband one night because she was crying in her sleep and all the memories came flooding back. The ‘memories’ involved her being ‘taken for walks’ by her uncle and being sexually molested and the trauma she had experienced had blocked these memories from her mind.

    I have been told of the extreme mental trauma associated with the rape and sexual abuse of children and this has been mind-boggling for me, and a document I read recently, provided by Janet Visser of the Black Forest in Pinetown clearly identifies the extremity of this trauma.

    Rape at Home ~ AWAKE June 22 – 1982 (pg10)

    Dr Judianne Densen-Gerber, director of Odyssey Institute in New York city says: “ In my own practice I have the hardest time imaginable treating these children who suffer from incest, even more than the kids who are battered, abused, set on fire, and whipped because at least those children don’t confuse what’s being done to them with love. The parent who sexually uses a child while telling him ‘I love you’, is raising a child who will be afraid to establish rapport, trust and engagement with anyone else in his life, even with the therapist, because unlike the beaten child, he doesn’t seek affection, he fears affection and becomes extremely isolated.”

    On page 129 of the book The Death of Innocence, we read: “Among prostitutes the frequency of sexual molestation in childhood is 92%; 67% of them experienced some form of incestuous assault….At least 75% of the runaways, on the national average, are escaping incestuous abuse. The same figures apply to cases of adolescent drug addiction: About 70% are victims of incest”……

     Another interesting comment that was made during a discussion (Mike Stokes) was the fact that “If a licensed owner of a firearm looses the firearm due to negligence or even if he or she is robbed of it, the individual will be prosecuted and will face a severe penalty of a fine and possibly imprisonment. Why then when a child is raped or abducted due to extreme negligence by the parent, is the parent or parents not charged and held accountable for negligence or neglect of the child?

    During my extensive travels on the ‘Buddy and Me’ project, I have often seen small children in the 3-6 year-old age group wondering around streets and foot paths un-supervised and thought that the parents should be held responsible and accountable for the neglect of the child, particularly when these children end up getting raped and sexually abused or abducted.

    Another interesting fact is, that in-order to obtain a drivers licence or firearm, one must under-go extensive courses and an examination in-order to establish whether one is competent to drive a motor vehicle or posses a firearm, but when it comes to children there are no requirements. Perhaps before one can have a child the parents should have to undergo parental courses and if an individual falls pregnant without having undergone such a course (such as one containing information contained in the ‘Rape Wise’ document reflected in my blog 55) there should be penalties, such as not being legible for child grants and that both parents be forced to perform community services in children’s homes etc.

    And so on the 4th of October 2011 the ‘Buddy and Me – Project 3’ came to an end, one year to the day it started, and this after visiting 163 Beares and Lubners stores, met many Round Tablers and having interviewed hundreds of police and court officials as well as politicians, social workers, teachers and hundreds of mothers as well as many presentations and discussions at schools and visited many safe houses and ‘homes’ and ‘shelters’ for abused children and having met many children who are victims of the scourge of child rape and spent the majority of my time in townships.

    Project ‘3’ has been particularly stressful on me and Buddy and we both look forward to a good rest over the next few months, well I’m not so sure about the ‘rest’ part because there is a lot of work to be done with regard to providing Buddy with a complete and total face, body, engine, suspension and electrical face lift and ‘make over’ to prepare him for ‘Buddy and Me ‘The final chapter’ – Project 4’.

     I am adamant that there will be a project 4 for the following reason:

    • ‘Project 1’ was undertaken in order to establish ‘how’ bad the rape of children is in South Africa and continued through Africa to establish how the rape and sexual abuse of children in SA fits into the disgusting crime in Africa as a continent.
    • ‘Project 2’ was undertaken to establish ‘why’ it is happening and what needs to be done to eradicate the scourge of child rape from our society.
    • ‘Project 3’ was undertaken to present ‘my solution’, what ‘I believe’ needs to be done; based on my 6 years and 187 000 kilometres in Buddy research, to eradicate child rape from our society to the South Africa communities, police, court officials, social workers and mothers etc and to obtain their opinions on my proposed solution and to establish if they agree that if implemented would it encourage mothers and children to report cases of child rape and to get their opinions and comments on my proposed solution.
    • ‘Project 4 – The final chapter’ will be focused on the media and to pressurise government into committing themselves to stopping the rape and sexual abuse of children in South Africa and to live up to their frequent statements in which they claim that “children are our countries greatest assets” because anybody with a smallest grasp of business knows that if a companies assets are allowed to deteriorate, the company will very soon be in dire straits and will collapse. I firmly believe that unless our government commits themselves to stopping the destruction of our countries biggest assets – our children – in the form of rape and sexual abuse, our country is doomed.

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Management and staff of Beares and Lubners for their dedicated and generous support to the ‘Buddy and Me’ project throughout the last 6 years and to all the management and staff of the stores ‘Buddy and Me’ were privileged to visit and for making our visits in every case an absolutely incredible experience and hope that Beares will be involved in ‘Buddy and Me –project 4 – The Final Chapter’ next year.

    I would also like to extend a sincere thanks to the management and staff of the Protea Hotel Group, in particular Phillip Meyers (Regional Director Protea Hotels – Johannesburg), Angela Agenbag (Office Manager Protea Hotels Johannesburg) and Cheryl Piha (Office Manager Protea Hotels Cape Town) and all the General Managers and staff of the many Protea Hotels I was privileged and honoured to be hosted at all over South Africa.

    I would also like to extend my heartfelt thanks to the management and staff of Cell C for their kind and generous support to the project in the form of airtime sponsorship without which my budget would have been depleted long before completion of the project.

    Thanks also go to the management and staff of Translux who enabled me to leave Buddy to rest at various stages of the project and to travel in luxury to venues where I did talks and to meet up with individuals who provided me with crucial information pertaining to my research into the rape and sexual abuse of children in South Africa.

    Other assistance was in the form of a sponsorship from BlackBerry SA who provided me with an incredibly wonderful piece of technology in the form of a BlackBerry cell phone, which was unfortunately stolen near the end of the project which made me realise just how wonderful the technology of a BlackBerry is and which I miss immensely.

    Other incredible support to the ‘Buddy and Me’ project was from Spar and Pick n’ Pay without which would have resulted in my diet having been considerably different J

    So to all of the supporters of the ‘Buddy and Me – Searching for a Solution to Stopping the Rape and Sexual Abuse of Children in South Africa’project 3’ you have mine and Buddy’s sincere thanks.

    So all that’s left for me to say is that in-spite of this project having taken extreme toll in every aspect it could on both ‘Buddy and Me’, it has been an incredible experience and hopefully we will get our government to commit to eradicating the scourge of child rape from our society which based on the information I have learned during my extensive travels and interviews I am adamant that it can be eradicated, government must just WANT to do it, and stop using the “lack of money” as an excuse, after all a fortune is being spent on developing a very sophisticated traffic police system (see blog 2) and if our esteemed president can spend R400 million on a house upgrade I am sure this money could be better spent in developing a proper support structure to encourage mothers to report the rape and sexual abuse of their children.

    So keep well and stay safe and above all; ‘Keep all children safe’

     Caring regards from
    Buddy (The Beach Buggy)
    and
    Me’
    (Steve Heath)

    Please send your comments and opinions to: steve@buddyandme.co.za

    Please note that all comments and opinions on the ‘Buddy and Me’ website and blogs are those of Steve Heath and not those of the sponsors to the ‘Buddy and Me’ project.


    Who Is Steve Heath
    A Message To The President of South Africa.
    Factors Contributing To The Increase In Child Rape.
    A Proposed Solution To Stopping The Rape And Sexual Abuse Of Children in SA.

    To watch Buddy and Me in real time click here, select South Africa under “Global Fleet Logins:” in the left hand panel, enter cellphone number 0822549129 and password Buddy.

    To make a donation to or information on any of the organisations involved in assisting victims of child rape and abuse, please click on one of the following links:

    Beares
    Lubners
    Bobbi Bear Foundation (KwaZulu-Natal)
    The Teddy Bear Clinic (Gauteng)
    The TygerBear Foundation (Western Cape)
    GRIP (Mpumalanga)
    StepThru (Gauteng)

    No wonder our police force’s attempt at eradicating the rape and sexual abuse of children, as well as the rape and abuse of woman in general is getting absolutely nowhere! The ‘Child Protection Unit (CPU) and the so called FCS (Family, Child and Sexual Offences unit) has been “re-instated” and “disbanded” and “re-instated” so many times over the past 13 years not even the South African Police Services know whether they officially exist or not. Now our esteemed Police Commissioner has “once again” announced that it is now officially re-instated.

    In a message to the public on National television in February 2010 the Minister announced that the FCS unit was to be officially re-instated on a national bases in April of 2010 (Refer ‘Buddy and Me’ blog Day 161 – 17th February 2010) so does that mean that our Police Commissioner is so far behind in his correspondence with the Minister that he is not aware of the fact that the unit was officially re-instated 18 months ago.

    Police reinstate elite women, children and sexual offences unit

    By Andre Viljoen on October 11, 2011 10:35 pm in South Africa / no comments

    SA Police Service National Commissioner, General Bheki Cele and Deputy Minister of Police Maggie Sotyu in high spirits at the relaunch in PE of a national unit to fight family violence, child abuse and sexual offences.

    Men who abused women and children were worse than animals, National Commissioner of the SA Police Service Geberal Bheki Cele said in Port Elizabeth today at the official relaunch of the specialised Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS).

    The scrapping of the FCS in 2006 was met with public outrage and while South Africa’s overall crime statistics have decreased for the second consecutive year, crimes against women and children have been on the increase.

    The head of the reinstated FCS unit General M Y Botsheleng said 1  864 police officers have been specially trained to staff 176 FCS clusters throughout the country. She said 286 of the special officers were deployed at 27 FCS clusters in the Eastern Cape.

    Cele said the SAPS planned to recruit many more women to work for the FCS because it was difficult for women to report sexual abuse ordeals to men. Meanwhile, he urged male FCS personnel to treat women complainants with respect, remembering that they might be in both physical and emotional pain.

    He said policemen should not put women in danger by advising them to go back home and negotiate with their abusers. And when women victims came in for help, policemen should not comment on personal matters like the wearing of short skirts.

    “You are not fashion advisers. You are police officers.”

    He said parents — especially mothers — should listen to their children when they said they were being abused at home.

    “Don’t tell them to be quiet because the man in question was  paying for the family’s food. By tolerating abuse you are turning your home into a brothel,” he said.

    Cele also warned men and their accomplices — especially in the Eastern Cape — that the so-called “ukutwala” tradition of abducting young girls and forcing them into marriage, was unacceptable.

    He urged communities to make a principled decision that they would not remain quiet if they knew of women and children who were being abused.

    “It is my wish that one day it will be possible for women in South Africa to walk alone at midnight without fear of being raped or attacked.”

    Representatives of various organisations including the National Prosecuting Authority, the Department of Social Development and gender activist bodies signed a pledge to support the fight against crimes against women and children.

    In an interview, Family Policy Institute director Errol Naidoo said the reinstatement of the FCS unit together with the Government’s recent adoption of a policy document that acknowledged that healthy families were the key to the success of South African society, were encouraging developments.

    However he said the Government could not restore families on its own. They could only create an environment in which families could thrive. But it was up to the church, in partnership with the Government and others, to bring about family restoration.

    ——————————————————————————————–

    ‘Buddy and Me’ – So lets hope THIS Time they are going to keep the FCS unit around long enough to actually become effective.

     

    My question to our esteemed Commissioner of Police is:

    “Based on the fact that we are experiencing on average 600 child rape cases every day in South Africa with only between 15 and 18% of them being reported by mothers, and the fact that section 54 of the Sexual Offences Act 32/2007 which states that: “Any person who is made aware of the fact that a child has been raped or sexually abused fails to report it to the authorities is guilty of an offence” was promulgated 4 years ago, but to date there is no record of ANYONE having been charged under this section of the Act?, what are you and our government doing to encourage mothers to report the rape of their children?

     

    Read my ‘Proposed Solution to Stopping the Rape and Sexual Abuse of Children’ (Blog 58) and see what you SHOULD BE DOING!!!!


    Who Is Steve Heath
    A Message To The President of South Africa.
    Factors Contributing To The Increase In Child Rape.
    A Proposed Solution To Stopping The Rape And Sexual Abuse Of Children in SA.

    To watch Buddy and Me in real time click here, select South Africa under “Global Fleet Logins:” in the left hand panel, enter cellphone number 0822549129 and password Buddy.

    To make a donation to or information on any of the organisations involved in assisting victims of child rape and abuse, please click on one of the following links:

    Beares
    Lubners
    Bobbi Bear Foundation (KwaZulu-Natal)
    The Teddy Bear Clinic (Gauteng)
    The TygerBear Foundation (Western Cape)
    GRIP (Mpumalanga)
    StepThru (Gauteng)

    Rape Wise

    & John Buswell

    Presents

    “Eye on the child”

    “Eye on the teen”

    A safety and protection manual

    Prevention through education

    Contents

    • Protecting your children from online predators

     

    • Pornography

     

    • Gaming addiction

     

    • Child trafficking

     

    • Safe holiday structure

     

    • Alcohol and drug exposure

     

    • Hubbly bubbly

     

    • Home parties and alcohol

     

    • Drug rape

     

    • Note page

     

    Please note that this booklet is copy righted to Rape Wise South Africa. ©

     

    Protecting your child from online predators

    Message for parents:

    Parents need to be involved and they need to talk to children about using these social networks intelligently. The days are long gone when you can tell children not to have a profile. Children today need a profile for their social lives and there are valid reasons for it. Parents need to take off the brown paper bags they have over their heads. Most children are doing this stuff. We need to recognise that, not panic and get involved

    Predators are cunning. They are known as a “traveller” this is the term we use for someone who seduces a child online, makes a date and then travels for the liaison. Before they sink their hooks into children they groom them first by gaining their trust, praising them and treating them like adults. This appeal is particularly successful with children who have low self-esteem. Suddenly they feel empowered and cool. Predators are savvy in kid-speak and able to feign interest in the TV and music children like. Once they’ve won a child’s trust, some predators in the most extreme cases use threats and intimidation for manipulation: “I know where you live. If you don’t do x, y or z, I’ll find you and hurt you”. Predators want you to be willing to meet them and they usually have the patience and time to “groom” a victim by a painstaking accumulation of details, a predator will say he loves and understands you, treat you better than your own family might, buy things for you like a cell phones, phone cards, iPods and Web cams. Children are warned about the perils of putting too much information on social networking sites. “You love these web sites, but the predator loves them, too.”

    It is important to remember, when a predator goes into a chat room, they never make first contact. The decoy merely sits there using a profile that includes a picture that is unmistakably of someone underage. The potential victim must make the first contact. Usually once that has happened, the man initiates a sexual discussion and ultimately agrees to meet a young teen in person.

    There are three types of predators:

    Non preferential: They will take whatever is available.

    Paedophiles: This predator likes prepubescent children.

    Preferential: This predator likes a particular age group 12-14 year old girls and most of their profile are the same as a serial killer.

     

    List of things parents and children should consider before going on line:

    1. Limit the amount of time children have interactive access to computer/cell phone to two hours a day. Research shows that the risk of a child is being exposed to predators, pornography or cyber bullying goes up dramatically beyond that daily exposure. Parents also have to lead by example here, if a child sees mom or dad spending excessive time on the computer or meeting other people in chat rooms or in person, the child will more likely engage in similar behaviour.
    2. The computer should always be in an open area of the house. You must be able to look in from time to time to see what your child is doing, what he/she is looking at and know who they talking to. Even if they type in the dreaded “POS” (parent over shoulder) to their pal as a signal you’re watching, it’s good to let them know you’re paying attention. It helps then learn that they will be held accountable.
    3. Remind children that online, people aren’t always who they say they are and that there are real-life consequences should they give away personal information that could allow a predator to find them and take advantage of them.
    4. What you post online stays online forever.”Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want to be seen by your parents, a principal, police or predators.
    5. Beware of a cell phone, digital camera or Web cam showing up that you as a parent didn’t buy. If you see one of these items, it could mean that your child bought it without your permission or that someone else, possibly a potential predator provide it to ensure he/she will get photos.
    6. Guard your passwords. Nothing good can come from people being able to access your child’s personal information or their social networking site. A person who may be your friend today may not be next month.
    7. Set up a social networking site so that only people you invite and approve can enter. Having an open site is like putting an advertisement for predators.
    8. There is a fine line between spying on your children and respecting his/her privacy, but I think it’s okay to take a look at their computer now and again. Ask your child to show you their buddy list. Just as you should know the first and last names of the friends they hang out with in real life, you should know the identities of those they are talking to online.
    9. Know the chat room your child is visiting. Is it a regional room or a topic room? Is the topic age-appropriate for your child?

    10. Is your child forming an addiction or obsession to the internet/MXit? Are they getting up in the middle of the night and spending time online. You can check the archive of who your teen has been talking to. If there is an unusual amount of time spent talking to one person, especially a person you don’t know, you need to pursue this.

    11. Develop trust. Your child has to know that if he/she is approached in an in appropriate way online, they can come to you as a parent and confide in you what happened. The child needs to know that they won’t be punished. Remember if this does happen, the child is the victim and in most cases not to be blamed.

    12. Know where to go if a predator has approached your child.

    13. Don’t delay reporting a predator incident. Remember, it probably isn’t the first time this person has tried to solicit a teen.

    14. It’s never about the technology. It’s about communication. Don’t blame the internet or be intimidated because your child is more tech-savvy than you are. Your job is to be a parent and help your children make the right choices.

    15. There are certain things that you should tell your children are off limits for online discussions with non family members.

    16. Make sure you have antivirus and other protective programs. A lot of children are exposed to inappropriate material because of spam on the family computer.

    17. Don’t ever allow your child to use their real name as a screen name Chrishansen4u for instance is a bad idea and gives potential predators enough information to check for a home address.

    18. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Teach your child to respect others online.

    19. If your child insists on meeting their friends online in real life, consider going with them. When they think they have found their soul mate, it is unlikely that telling them “no” will make a difference. Offering to go with them keeps them safe.

    20. Check your children’s profile and blogs and any social-networking posts.

    21. Report complaints about nudity or pornography, or harassment or unwelcome contact on Facebook to:abuse@facebook.com, on MySpace, go to contact MySpace and select “Reporting Abuse”.

     For more information regarding internet safety visit the following sites

    • OnguardOnline.gov
    • Wiredsaftey.org
    • Commonsense.com
    • Ncmec.org
    • TRUSTe.org
    • Connectsafely.org
    • NetSmartz.org
    • WebWiseKids.org

    Remember the single greatest risk our children face in connection with the internet is being denied access. We have solutions for every other risk.

    We constantly hear about internet sexual predators, hate, sex and violence online. But our children need the Internet for their education, careers and future. Due to the fact that there is no race, gender or disability online the internet is the one place where our children can be judged by the quality of their ideas, rather than their physical attributes.

    Teach your children not to meet strangers’ offline. If they are set on meeting that person anyway, go with them. That way, if the person turns out to be a cute fourteen year old, you are the hero and if they aren’t, you’re an even bigger hero.

    To conclude, since our children know more than we do about cyberspace, we worry about how we can teach them to avoid those dangers. Don’t panic those dangers can be managed using the same old warnings we’ve always used e.g. “don’t talk to strangers,” “come straight home from school,” “don’t provoke fights,” “don’t tell anyone personal information about yourself” and “we need to meet your friends.”

    Pornography

    Please note there is a big difference between:

    • Nudity
    • Erotica
    • Pornography

    Pornography is defined as the display of erect genitalia, sexual intercourse, oral sex and digital stimulation, depicted through drawings, stills, photography or electronically.

    The film and publications act 2004 states the following:

    A person has to be over the age of 18 to:

    • View pornography
    • Participate in pornography
    • Distribute pornography
    • Sell pornography
    • Work in an environment where pornography is sold.

    Teenagers filming themselves having intercourse on DVD, cell phones etc .If a person is under the age of 18 and films themselves having intercourse, they will be charged under the Sexual offences amendment act. They will be charged with, Statutory rape and charged with the production of child pornography. A child has a criminal capacity over the age of 10 and will be prosecuted.

    Children under the age of 12:

    • Do not understand what they are looking at
    • Often re-in act what they have seen and can be accused of rape
    • Can cause severe psychological damage, at this early age

     

    Teenagers and porn:

    • Challenges their base values
    • Often progress to more severe forms of pornography
    • Feel inadequate about their bodies and sexuality
    • Become addicted to porn

    If an adult exposes a minor to pornography, they may be found guilty and sentenced to 5 years in jail.

    If a colleague is in possession of child pornographic images, call the police.

    SMSWEB Cell phone Anti-porn service: 0861 767932, 0861 (SMSWEB)

    www.opendns.com

    Gaming addiction

    There are several degrees of video game addiction that can range from moderate to severe, but recognising the signs early might prevent full-blown addiction.

    The most common symptoms for children are as follows:

    • Falling asleep in school
    • Not keeping up with class assignments
    • Worsening grades
    • Lying about video game usage
    • Dropping out of social groups or clubs
    • Ignoring friends or social activities

    While not every child exhibits these symptoms, it should be said giving up beloved activities in order to play games or forsaking important duties such as chores or schoolwork for a few more rounds of a game may be cause for a concern.

    So what do we do, hide the games and take away the gaming consoles? Teenagers are known to rebel against the things that they feel their parents want to keep them away from, so pulling the plug may not be the solution. So, before you yank the chords out of the wall, try the following:

    • Plan a family activity – It might be a good idea to do something a teenager likes to do, such as a movie night. Try letting them choose the movie as well
    • Take a class together – Nothing brings a family together like a karate class. Enrolling at a gym can not only be fun, but good for the body as well. If you chose an activity that you both enjoy and get something out of, then all the better.
    • Teach them a game of your own – There are tons of games you can teach your children that might get their attention away from the console. Checkers, chess, card games, monopoly, backgammon etc, games that you might have been taught as a child can be a great tool to get your child’s head back into the reality of life. Most of these games generate social skills as well as help bring the family together.
    • Make a list of priorities – Give your child a list of things to do before he can play his/her games. The list can be anything from housework to homework. It can really be anything you want. The deal has to be made that no console games are to be played until all tasks are completed. A little lesson in time management might curb some of the activity. 
    • Put a time limit on the gaming – If you have a particularly stubborn little gamer who just won’t adhere to playing nice with the family, and then it’s time to start cracking down a bit. Tell your child that he/she can play, but only for an hour or only until bedtime. It can be anything you want. Designate a time they are allowed to play their game and be firm on when it’s time to stop playing. 

     

    The important thing is to remind your teenager that there’s more to life than console games.

    Child trafficking

    Commercial sexual exploitation of children trafficked into South Africa from neighbouring countries is expected to rise dramatically during the 2010 Soccer World cup event.

    Trafficking of children (anything from age 5 to teens) across South Africa’s borders it is expected to increase sharply. In most cases the children will be lured away from poverty-stricken parents who would release children to traffickers believing that they were to go to South Africa where education opportunities and jobs awaited them. Locally, children from rural provincial areas could be “recruited” and moved to the cities.

    These children will be beaten, raped and even forced into the addiction of drugs before being put to work as prostitutes for the pleasure of paedophiles and so-called “sex tourists”. With nowhere to turn, they literally become slaves who are often imprisoned in the suburbs of cities and held at the whim of the trafficker.

    In general, according to the south African Police bureau for missing persons, an average of 1500 children under the age of 18 go missing every year in the country. According to police statistics, more than 2500 people in South Africa were kidnapped last year. In the Eastern Cape alone 88 went missing.

    During the holidays there are always more children going missing.

    Local children, enjoying longer holidays that would accompany the world cup, would also become venerable as they gather without parental supervision at the various stadiums to get a glimpse of their soccer heroes

    What to do if your child goes missing

    • Do not wait 24 hours if you suspect your child has gone missing, as the first hours are vital to fine clues

    When you report your child missing at the police station:

    1. Take along a photograph of your child as well as information on what her/he was wearing and important marks of identification. Also report who the child was with last and where they were last seen.
    2. Phone Missing Children SA – Judy is on 072 6477464 or 021 8010010 and Elsa on 084 5821516
    3. Missing Children SA needs a case number and a photo of the child as soon as possible.
    4. Stay in contact with the SAPS and MCSA.
    5. Seek assistance from the media.

    It is important for parents to make their children aware of safety rules, parents should tell their children to avoid people offering working contacts, like modelling.

    Safe holiday structure

    The following check list will help you and your teen have a safe and healthy holiday:

    1. Set rules – Set clear rules. Establish a curfew for your teens. Set some kind of check-in system, such as an established call time when they get home. Set limits with clear consequences for breaking them. Praise and reward good behaviour.
    2. Understand and communicate – Talk to your teen about the harmful physical, mental and social effects of marijuana and other drugs. Young people who learn about the risks of drugs at home are up to 50% less likely to try drugs than their peers who learn nothing from their parents.
    3. Monitor your teen’s activities and behaviours – Monitor where your teen is, whom he/she is with and what they have been doing. Teens that are not regularly monitored by their parents are four times more likely to use drugs. Sometimes surprise your teen by checking up to make sure they are where they say they are.
    4. Make sure you stay involved in your child life – Stay in touch with adult supervisors of your child and have them inform you of any changes in your teen. Meet your child’s friends, especially those who hang out with your child regularly.
    5. Engage your child in activities – Help plan activities to keep your teen busy.
    6. Reserve family time – Plan a family activity over the holidays, such as going to movies, taking a walk, sharing a meal. Schedule time together to do something fun as a family. Teens that spend time, talk and have a close relationship with their parents are much less likely to drink, take drugs or have sex.
    7. Set rules on how much TV/playstation they can watch/play – Don’t just tell them to watch less or play less. Encourage them to spend time finding other activities such as reading, music, hobbies and social activities.

    Alcohol and drug exposure

    Signs of drug abuse:

    Physical appearance

    • Not taking care of hygiene and grooming
    • Not sleeping or sleeping too much
    • Loss of appetite
    • Weight loss or gain
    • Hyperactive or under active

    Personality

    • Disrespectful – verbally or physically abusive
    • Angry, paranoid, confused and extreme mood swings
    • Depressed – less out going
    • Very secretive and lies about movement
    • Stealing or losing possessions of value
    • Lots of money or always asking for money
    • Withdraws from family or affairs/ activities

    Social activity/school performance

    • Drops old friends or activities
    • Missing school
    • Loses interest in schoolwork – lower grades
    • Sleeping in class
    • Loses concentration – trouble remembering things

     

    Narcotics

    • Lethargy 
    • Drowsiness 
    • Euphoria 
    • Nausea 
    • Constipation 
    • Constricted pupils and 
    • Slower breathing 

    Hallucinogens (LSD)

    • Trance like state
    • Excitation
    • Euphoria
    • Increased pulse rate
    • Hallucinations

    Depressants

    • Drowsiness
    • Confusion
    • In-co ordination
    • Tremors
    • Slurred speech
    • Depressed pulse rate
    • Shallow respiration
    • Dilated pupils

    Cocaine/Crack Cocaine

    • Excitability
    • Euphoria
    • Tremors
    • Slurred speech
    • Depressed pulse rate
    • Dilated pupils
    • Paranoia
    • Agitation
    • Hallucinations

    Inhalants

    • Slurred speech
    • In-coordination
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Slowed breathing

    Marijuana

    • Mood swings
    • Euphoria
    • Slow thinking
    • Dilated pupils
    • Increased pulse rate
    • Hallucinations
    • Effects reflexes

    Information about the different types of drugs can be found on our support pack.

    Hubbly bubbly

    Hubbly bubbly smoking is fast gaining ground in South African youth, even though doctors have condemned its use.

    Hubble-bubble, known as hookah in Indo Asian countries, has been adopted by many countries around the world. It is a water pipe that is believed to filter the toxins found in tobacco.

    The water pipe generally consists of four main parts:

    • The bowl where the tobacco is heated
    • The base filled with water or other liquids
    • The pipe, which connects the bowl to the base and
    • The rubber hose and mouthpiece through which smoke is drawn

    There is a misperception among our youth that hookah smoking is safer than cigarette smoking because the smoke is filtered through water. This is not true. Water pipe smoking carries the same serious health risks as smoking cigarettes. In addition to causing lung cancer, there is an increased incidence of cancers of the lower lip, oesophagus and stomach cancer from water pipe use. There is also the risk of spreading infectious diseases, like tuberculosis and viruses such as hepatitis and herpes by sharing the tube.

    Facts about hookah smoking

    • It is not safer than smoking cigarettes. Hookah smokers are exposed to cancer-causing chemicals and hazardous gases such as carbon monoxide
    • Hookah is addictive – People ingest higher nicotine levels than with cigarettes, which could increase the risk of addiction since nicotine is the drug that causes addiction.
    • The water pipe does not filter out the “bad stuff’ – The water-filtration and extended hose does not filter out the nicotine, tar cancer causing chemicals and dangerous heavy metals.
    • Smokers who share a water pipe are at risk for infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis and viruses such as hepatitis and herpes. Shared mouthpieces may enhance the opportunity for such diseases to spread.
    • It is illegal for under 18’s to smoke Hubbly in South Africa.

    The question is can it cause addiction?

    YES, it’s nicotine. So parents – should you rather buy a few packets of cigarettes for your teen’s house-party and let them help themselves to a ‘smoke’? Cringing? Then cringe at the idea of a hubbly-bubbly as well!

    Home parties and alcohol

    Parties and other social gatherings are important for the social development of young people. They can be a lot of fun and relatively safe provided proper planning and careful supervision occurs. These get-togethers are to be encouraged and supported by parents. However the responsibility of being a host should not be undertaken lightly.

    If your child is going to a party

    • Contact the parents who are hosting the party and check on the facts concerning the party. This helps build trust between families and protects all involved.
    • Talk to your child about your expectations and the consequences of them not living up to them.
    • Refrain from giving your child too much cash.
    • Make it clear that they are under no circumstances allowed to leave the party and go to another without your permission.
    • You or a trusted parent must pick them up at the agreed time; your child should also know that they can phone you to pick them up at any stage if they need to leave.
    • Sleep-over are not advisable unless you have a reason to trust the host family completely.
    • Be awake when your child returns home or have them wake you.

    If you are hosting the party

    • Keep your party at a manageable size. Ensure your adult-to-child ratio is workable. 
    • Agree to guidelines with your teenager as to how the evening is expected to progress-including what time it will end. 
    • Designate which parts are allowed to be used in the house. 
    • Be a visible presence all of the time. 
    • Agree to an invitation list before hand and resist late additions and especially, gate crashers.
    • For larger parties provide security at the gate and perimeter.
    • Provide large quantities of food and encourage people to eat,
    • Your responsibility only ends when the last child has been collected. Children should not just disappear if they do contact their parents.
    • Be vigilant throughput the party and be conscious of the fact that there are mobile delivery services in operation which deliver alcohol to parties.

    Why do teenagers use alcohol?

    • Escape and self-medication – Teenagers may turn to alcohol for solace if they don’t have a healthy outlet for frustration. 
    • Boredom and instant friends – Teenagers who can’t tolerate being alone, have trouble keeping themselves occupied and crave excitement are prime candidates for using alcohol. 
    • Rebellion – What better way to express your anger at your parents than doing something they tell you not to do?
    • Everybody’s doing it – Teenagers are astute observers and they see lots of people using alcohol.
    • Instant gratification – Alcohol works quickly. The initial effects feel really good, especially for teens who want to get rid of their bad feelings.
    • Lack of confidence – Some teenagers would do things under the influence of alcohol that they otherwise would never risk doing. Alcohol can become a crutch which some teenagers rely on and don’t feel comfortable in a social setting. 
    • Misinformation – Inaccurate information and a lack of information about alcohol and its harmful effects sometimes contribute to misuse of alcohol by teenagers. 
    • Parental cues – The example parents set for their children is enormously powerful. Parents can inadvertently influence their children’s alcohol use by denying or minimizing their own use or abuse of alcohol. 

    What is binge drinking?

    Binge drinking is defined as the consumption of five or more drinks in a row on at least one occasion.

    Binge drinking amongst teenagers is out of control. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions, teenagers who drink at parties are likely to try drugs as well as have unprotected sex and girls normally take part in sexual activity they wouldn’t normally take part in.

    Sexual encounters have the risk of pregnancy, STIs and HIV exposure, as well as date rape and other violence – can and do occur more frequently while students are consuming large amounts of alcohol by binge drinking.

    What to do if your child is using alcohol

    • Keep calm – Don’t assume your child is an alcoholic but do respond and most certainly discuss the incident with them.
    • Don’t allow anger and fear to overwhelm your effectiveness to communicate – but be honest with your feelings.
    • When confronting the problem, first agree on a course of action with your spouse.
    • Talk about the extent of your child’s use – how often, with whom, where and why.
    • Let your child know that you do not condone his behaviour – although you value him as an individual.
    • Explain why you are concerned – Remind your teen of your family expectations and rules about alcohol use and enforce the consequences for breaking them.
    • If you have reason to believe your teen is abusing alcohol – or your efforts to enforce the rules have failed repeatedly, seek help from a health care professional.
    • Be wary of denial – Rather confront the problem and reach out for professional assistance.

    Note:

    • No person may sell liquor to a person under the age of eighteen (18) years
    • No person may give or supply liquor to a person under the age of 18 years or allow such a person to consume liquor.
    • Parents who encourage or allow their own children to abuse alcohol or any other drug for that matter can be prosecuted for abusing and/or neglecting their children. According to the new legislation (Section 41) persons under 18 years old will not be allowed to enter licensed premises unless accompanied by a parent or guardian or by an adult with the consent of a parent or guardian.
    • Some learners in grade 12 are over 18.They need to be aware that under Section 39 of the new legislation it is an offence for them to supply liquor to a fellow learner who is not yet 18. A person under 18 will be in breach of the Act and subject to severe penalties. The maximum penalty is R 1 million or 5 years imprisonment.
    • In order to reduce the likelihood of litigation, parents are advise to obtain parental permission should they plan to provide alcohol to someone else’s child (i.e. to a person who is not yet 18 years of age) or should they reasonably envisage that a minor is likely to be offered alcohol at an event they are hosting or that is being hosted on their premises.

    Note for parents:

    Parents, watch your children. Talk to them. Listen to them, all the time. Be aware of any changes. A problem is easier to address in its initial stages. Even good children can become involved in bad things. Your child is not excluded.

        Where to get help: Cape Town Drug Counselling centre: 021 4478026

        Alcoholics Anonymous – 0861 435722 (HELPAA)

    Gauteng: 011 6839101

    Western Cape: 021 5102288

    Al-Anon (for families of alcoholics) Helpline – 0861 252 666 (ALANON)

    Gauteng: 011 6838002

    SANCA Horizon Clinic (in-and out-patient programme for teens)

    011 9175015/6                         Narcotics Anonymous: 083 9006962

    Drug Rape

    What is rape?

    The definition of rape: The insertion of any object into the vagina, anus or mouth of a male or female without consent.

    How do I keep safe?

    • Try to keep the company op people who maintain similar values to your own
    • Attend a good self-defence course to learn about swift responses and useful techniques in resisting attack
    • When you are at a party, watch the person who pours your drinks, lest they add something that knocks you out (like the infamous rape drug “Cat”)
    • No means No so don’t get into the habit of saying no when you mean yes, because the day you are screaming for him to stop, he will think you’re playing your usual ‘cry wolf games’, and ignore your pleas

    Avoiding rape

    • Always be aware of what is going on around you
    • Walk with confidence; hold your head up high and shoulders straight
    • At night, stick to well-lit, populated areas and walk with another person
    • If you are going to a club or party, always go with a friend you can trust and look after each other
    • Don’t get sexual with someone you have just met
    • We can’t trust everyone we meet, so insist that people must earn your trust, over time in a non sexual setting
    • Drink from tamper-proof bottles and cans and insist on opening them, as so-called date drugs like GBH and Rohypnol can unknowingly be given to someone to make them powerless against sexual assault or other crimes
    • Don’t add ice to your drinks (often date rape drugs are frozen in ice)
    • Never leave your drink unattended, if you do rather discard of it

    I’ve been raped what now?

    • Don’t throw away your clothes or wash yourself, no matter how much you want to. There may be hair, blood or semen from the rapist on your body or clothes. This will be important evidence
    • Don’t drink any alcohol or take medication before a district surgeon has examined you
    • Go to a safe place as soon as possible
    • You must be treated within 72 hours
    • Tell someone you can trust. This will be hard, but this is very important. The first person you tell will be asked to appear in court to support your story
    • Put your clothes you were wearing into a paper bag or newspaper. A plastic bag will destroy evidence
    • If you are hurt go to a doctor or hospital immediately. The police will be called if you wish to report the crime
    • You will need to undergo P.E.P (Post Exposure Prophylaxis) treatment, as soon as possible to decrease your chance of contracting HIV. You will be tested to establish your HIV base line status and if negative, must be given medication within 72 hours
    • A crime kit will be used by the district surgeon to gather DNA as evidence; this will assist with the arrest and conviction of your rapist
    • There are several organisations offering help to Rape Survivors. Counselling from the professionals will enable you to get on with your life

    Where do I go for help?

    Rape Wise: (011) 4213284 or after hours 083 9430173

    Far East Rand Hospital crisis centre (highly recommended): 071 1504242

    Ask to speak to Sr. Alexander or Sr. Kate or

    Jacobie Botha (011) 8128330 / 082 9747257

    Rape Crisis: Observatory 021 447 9762 – Athlone 021 6339229

    Khayelitsha: 021 3619085

    Lifeline: 0861 322322

    FAMSA: 011 9757106/7

    POWA: 011 6424345

    Childline: 0800 055555

     

    Notes

    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

     

     

    Contact details:

    Tel: 011 4213284

    Fax: 011 8454712

    Mobile: 083 3308535

    Help Line: 083 9430173

    info@rapewise.co.za

    www.rapewise.co.za

     


    Who Is Steve Heath
    A Message To The President of South Africa.
    Factors Contributing To The Increase In Child Rape.
    A Proposed Solution To Stopping The Rape And Sexual Abuse Of Children in SA.

    To watch Buddy and Me in real time click here, select South Africa under “Global Fleet Logins:” in the left hand panel, enter cellphone number 0822549129 and password Buddy.

    To make a donation to or information on any of the organisations involved in assisting victims of child rape and abuse, please click on one of the following links:

    Beares
    Lubners
    Bobbi Bear Foundation (KwaZulu-Natal)
    The Teddy Bear Clinic (Gauteng)
    The TygerBear Foundation (Western Cape)
    GRIP (Mpumalanga)
    StepThru (Gauteng)

    So another disastrous week has passed in the lives of ‘Buddy and Me and I have undoubtedly suffered more in the last 3 weeks than I have done in the entire 6 years and 187 000 kilometres on the ‘Buddy and Me’ project.  

    So Monday (19th September) dawned a lovely day and after thanking Cheryl and Horst Reum for their kind friendship and hospitality in their lovely holiday home at Chrissiesmeer, and a special thanks to Cheryl for pulling me through my ‘water poisoning’, I bid them farewell and drove through to Ermelo where I met up with a really terrific guy, Ebrahim Timol the store manager of the Beares Ermelo store and his great bunch of friendly staff.

    (Abrahim is on my right) Abrahim arranged for me to talk at the local school and I was accompanied by two members of the local SAPS-FCS unit, and oh boy what a reception we got when we arrived at the school.

    and of course Buddy would get very upset with me if I did not include him in the festivities, in fact he still got upset with me and through his toys out of the cot, but more about that later. But here is Buddy getting involved

    Abrahim also arranged for me to meet up with a local newspaper report who has promised to do really good article, so Abrahim please don’t forget to post me two copies.

    From the school I visited the Thuthuzela Care Centre which is based at the local hospital,

     but alas, although the premises are definitely one of the best TCC units I have seen, it is still a far cry from being what they could and should be with regard to providing the essential services needed to encourage mothers and children to report the rape of children or to encourage victims of domestic violence in general, because once again there are no trained police officials on the premises and no doctor or trained forensic nurse on the premises to perform the essential J88 forensic examination. Victims and mothers reporting the rape of children are required to first report the matter at the police station and then be transported to the hospital where the forensic examination is undertaken and then they are sent to the Thuthuzela Care Centre for ‘support assistance’,

    From Ermelo ‘Buddy and Me’ headed for Piet Retief where on Tuesday I met up with the staff of Beares Piet Retief.

    Unfortunately my visit to this store was at a sombre time when Annetjie Pretorius, the Beares store manager and her staff were busy packing up the store and preparing to close it. I believe the new store will be opening around the end of November, so to Annetjie and your friendly staff I hope to be able to visit your flashy new store on ‘Buddy and Me – project 4’ next year.

     

    The Mpumalanga region can be very thankful that they have, what I in my humble opinion believes to be, the best NGO support services for victims of child rape as well as for victims of rape in general and victims of domestic violence found in South Africa and these services are provided by ‘GRIP’ (Greater Rape Intervention Programme) and I had a magic time chatting to the staff of the Piet Retief unit. Pic 2137 and if you look closely you will see I am holding a T shirt which was presented to me by Marliese Beukes the ‘GRIP’ regional manager which states this.

     This year, GRIP handles a little over 200 cases of rape of which an estimated 80% involved children under the age of 12 years of age! Marliese did however confirm that the relationship between GRIP, the police (FCS unit) and the judicial system (courts) was extremely good and that they have been experiencing a high rate of convictions with some really severe sentences being passed down.

    My only problem with this is that in-spite of our courts handing down some really great and severe sentences; convicted rapists are being paroled long before they have served even a small percentage of their original sentence, and so I believe that our government is using the publicising of lengthy sentencing’s of rapists and criminals in general as a propaganda publicity stunt.

     

    My accommodation in Piet Retief was courtesy of my cousin Daryl, her husband Martin and son Kyle Van Deventer, and I enjoyed a magic braai, Martin being a fundi at this particular style of cooking and he did a chicken which I still believe was either a turkey or a small Ostrich J but whatever it was it was undoubtedly the best I have ever had in my life, and I am sure it was because of the weird braai Martin has, check this out.

    Kyle, on my left, was instrumental in ensuring that the fire was perfect, so thanks guys for the amazing time I had while visiting Piet Retief.

    The next morning, before heading out of Piet Retief, I stopped off at Daryl’s place of employment (Pick n’ Pay) to bid her farewell and then popped in to say good bye to Martin at his office and in order to get to Martin’s place of employment; he’s the manager of the abattoir, I had to drive right past the Piet Retief prison, sorry ‘Correctional Services facilities’ and on seeing the sign outside the main entrance once again wondered if this is really the message that should be given to potential criminals and our countries criminal element in general.

     A Place of new beginnings in my humble opinion this is saying “If you can’t make it out there ‘in society’ and if you turn to crime and destroy someone else life, don’t worry, enjoy the pleasures and benefits of your crimes until you are caught and then come here and we will provide you with a new beginning”. Perhaps the sign should read This is a place you NEVER want to be sent to”.

    From Piet Retief ‘Buddy and Me’ headed in a Southerly direction for Vryheid where I spent some quality time with Cornelia van Rooyen the Beares store manager and her merry bunch of friendly staff.

     Cornelia also arranged for me to have an interview with a really terrific young lady from the local press and I look forward to reading her article because she was really interested in the ‘Buddy and Me’ project and is committed to the fight against child rape.

    After a stop off at the local police station where I was, as usual, not very impressed with the services provided by them and in my opinion they are not committed to encouraging mothers to report the rape of their children and once again reflected on the difference between the support structures and services, or rather lack of them, in this area and the support structures and services provided in the areas where GRIP are established.

    I headed out of Vryheid in a bit of a hurry so that I could reach Pongola before dark, Buddy’s lights and electrical system not being what they should be, and headed in the direction (once again northwards) for Pongola where I immediately booked into my lovely accommodation for the night at the ‘Aber Jetz Guesthouse’ which is owned by the really lovely lady Regina Herbst.

    So if you ever visit the Pongola area, staying at ‘Aber Jetz Guesthouse’ is a must, and you can contact Regina on: 083 3307 364 or email: herbst@ananzi.co.za and can be found at: 5 Jan Kemp Str. Pongola.

    The evening was spent in the company of a really great man and friend Hannes Jacobs who is the Beares store manager in Pongola and his lovely wife Joan at the Pongola Lodge where I enjoyed, my all time favourite meal (other than curry that is) of a really great hot Portuguese style per-peri chicken, chips and salad, positively delicious.

    Unfortunately, as in the case of Piet Retief, Hannes and his staff were busy packing up store and I believe the new store will only be opening in mid 2012, so to Hannes and your great bunch of staff,

     I wish you well for the future and hope I get to see your new store on ‘Buddy and Me – project 4’ next year

    One of the discussions I got involved in during the evening was one surrounding the ‘big news’ that was being featured prominently on TV, newspapers and radio over the past couple of days and that was the fact that 8 young school girls were found to be pregnant and I couldn’t help thinking “so what’s the big issue, it’s being happening at a phenomenal rate over the past couple of years and in-fact I had written about it in my blog while in Barberton (Blog 51) where I was provided with information to the effect that the Department of Social Development is handing out condoms to school kids as young as 12 and 13 years of age (Grade 8), question: “Is this ‘Social Development?”.

    One comment made by a lady was “When is our government going to realise that all that is happening is that young girls have discovered a new way of getting ‘pocket money’, this being in the form of ‘child grants’ – R280-00 per month per child”. I agree fully with this statement and believe that the paying of a child grant must be subject to the young girl identifying who the individual is that got her pregnant, the individual is arrested for rape (statutory rape) and is prosecuted to the full extent of the law; with the full co-operation of the young girl, and he is sent to prison. But what in-fact is presently occurring is that the young girl is receiving a ‘child grant’ AND being paid ‘maintenance’ by the rapist / boyfriend to keep his identity hidden, and because it is keeping the police ‘work load’ down they do not concern themselves with it.

    The next morning all my problems started!!! 63 kilometres from Mtubatuba while on my way to St Lucia where I intended spending the weekend catching up on some well needed R&R and fishing, Buddy’s left rear wheel came flying off while travelling through a very remote stretch of highway.

     

    If you remember from my last blog (Blog 53), this occurred last weekend with Buddy’s right rear wheel while being towed from Hartebeespoort Dam to Jo’burg and ended up costing me a fortune in damage to the vehicle towing Buddy as well as the repair costs to Buddy’s drive shaft and wheel hub. This was caused by the guy who ‘helped’ me by fitting new brake shoes and not tightening the hub wheel nut tight enough and not fitting a split pin, well the same occurred with the left wheel.

    Unfortunately Buddy’s rear suspension was well and truly entrenched into the soft ground and I could not get him lifted high enough to refit the wheel without the use of a second jack and in-spite of me trying to flag down motorists, which included 5 traffic cops who on passing me, slowed, and drove off, nobody would stop. Feeling totally dejected I sat on the wheel with my head in my hands wondering what I was going to do, when my ‘Guardian Angel’ came to my assistance once again, and a bakkie pulled up behind Buddy and a guy jumped out and asked if I was alright and if he could help.

     So meet my ‘Good Samaritan’ farmer Geffert Pretorius sent by my ‘Guardian Angel’.

    In order to get the wheel hub on I had to dismantle the brake system, and within a kilometre of where the wheel had come off, I was forced to pull over because the whole braking system had come apart and brake fluid was leaking out like a sieve and was creating a major noise and problem, so once again the wheel was taken off and after an hour trying to fabricate a temporary braking system I gave up and drove the remaining 80 kilometres to St Lucia with NO brakes at all!

     

    All I was praying for was that I would not be asked to stop by a traffic cop, so I limped along slowly and eventually arrived at the Mtubatuba / St Lucia turn off, and yep as I took the turn off and turned left, fortunately at the end of the off ramp it was a yield sign and not a stop sign, a traffic cop was standing about 100 metres down the road and as I approached him he stepped into the road and indicated for me to stop. Fortunately for me he was standing at a point in the road where a small road lead in from the left and it had a small incline and so I drove slowly towards him and turned left into the side road and coasted to a stop, switched off the engine and left Buddy in gear. After a general look over Buddy and I of course kept him entertained with details of where Buddy has travelled, he bid me farewell and wished me a pleasant trip and with sweat pouring down my forehead I eventually arrived in St Lucia.

    After setting up camp

    I headed into St Lucia, very nervously and cautiously, because driving around St Lucia with no brakes is not something you want to experience in a hurry, but I needed to get ’stuff’ for supper as well as a few other items of necessity and managed to complete the drive without wiping out any other motorists or pedestrians.

     

    Saturday morning I found a workshop called ‘NicMar Workshop’ on the premises of the Engen garage owned by Nic

    who did a sterling job in repairing Buddy’s brakes and bleeding them and so by Saturday afternoon Buddy was back ♫On the road again♫ brakes and all Yahoo!!

    With Buddy’s wheels all still on and his brakes working probably better than they were before, I drove the 35 kilometres through the ‘new’ game reserve to Cape Vidal, without anything on Buddy coming apart I might add, and had a relaxing time fishing

     

    So this coming week will find ‘Buddy and Me’ focusing on the KZN North Coast area starting in Mtubatuba on Monday morning and heading forever South wards to the final destination in Durban. This has been a particularly hard and difficult project for me and I have taken some unbelievable strain in every aspect of the word, and so I, as I am sure Buddy does, look forward to finishing and getting in some real rest before starting the planning of ‘Buddy and Me – Project 4’ early in the new year, because there is still lots of work to be done to get our government to commit to stopping the rape and sexual abuse of children.

    So until next week, keep well, stay safe and do everything in your power to stop the rape and sexual abuse of children, keep all children safe!!!

    Caring regards from

    Buddy (The Beach Buggy)

    And

    Me’ (Steve Heath)

    Please send all comments and opinions to: steve@buddyandme.co.za

     

    Please note that all comments and opinions on the ‘Buddy and Me’ website and blogs are those of Steve Heath and not those of the sponsors to the ‘Buddy and Me’ project.


    Who Is Steve Heath
    A Message To The President of South Africa.
    Factors Contributing To The Increase In Child Rape.
    A Proposed Solution To Stopping The Rape And Sexual Abuse Of Children in SA.

    To watch Buddy and Me in real time click here, select South Africa under “Global Fleet Logins:” in the left hand panel, enter cellphone number 0822549129 and password Buddy.

    To make a donation to or information on any of the organisations involved in assisting victims of child rape and abuse, please click on one of the following links:

    Beares
    Lubners
    Bobbi Bear Foundation (KwaZulu-Natal)
    The Teddy Bear Clinic (Gauteng)
    The TygerBear Foundation (Western Cape)
    GRIP (Mpumalanga)
    StepThru (Gauteng)

    • To see the ‘Buddy and Me’ scheduled itinerary details for the period 30th August – 4th October 2011 see blog 50
    • To read the shocking details of the Upington horror story – The Hynie Dick Story – regarding the ‘Upington savage pedophile’ see blog 35
    • To read details of the ‘savage’ the police are looking for in connection with the rape of a 3 year little girl, see blog 39
    • To read the heart breaking story by a mother (Cathy Kenney) of the rape of  her 3 year-old daughter see blog 38
    • To read the storey of Natasha who at 10 years-of age was brutally raped and murdered and after serving a very short portion of his sentence, the ‘State’ wants to release the savage who did it, from prison, see blog 10 (November 2010)
    • To read ‘Birds’ story about her incredible courage to face her ‘step-father’ who she looked up to and loved as a ‘father’ who abused her and her love, as told by her mother – Elise – see blog 42

     

    Wow so what can I say, this past 2 weeks have proved to be the worst, most traumatising weeks of the entire 6 year 187 000 kilometres done on the ‘Buddy and Me’ project, and because of this I have to ask for forgiveness for not posting a blog for the passed 2 weeks or so, but once you hear my storey I am sure you will understand why!! Part of the trauma was the fact that on Friday night (9th September) I was robbed of my BlackBerry cell phone which had all my photo’s for the week on it, I usually down load the photo’s from the cell phone to my laptop on the weekend and so because the phone was stolen on the Friday night, guess what? No photo’s, I did however manage to salvage a couple from my ‘Face Book’ and from June’s (The lady in my life) pictures she took while she was with me for a couple of days, so without any further ado let me tell you what happened in the lives of ‘Buddy and Me’ this past 2 weeks.

    So we start on Monday morning the 5th of September when ‘Buddy and Me’ visited the Beares store in Temba City where the store manager, Prince Nkosi arranged for me to meet some interesting people in the form of the Commanding officer of the SAPS-FCS unit, Captain Johannes Biloane who provided me with some really interesting information and facts on what is happening in the area regarding the rape and sexual abuse of children, which by the way is happening at a humongous rate.

    He agreed that the fact that the courts are ordering that victims of child rape and domestic violence must be removed from their place of residence, in the situation where the father / husband is the perpetrator, and that the victim be placed in a ‘place of safety’ is not only wrong, but is in contravention of the ‘Sexual Offences Act” which states that “The perpetrator must be removed and that he has to ensure that his contribution to sustaining the family is continued as normal”. He also agreed fully that if government committed themselves to stopping the rape of children in South Africa and implemented the ‘solution’ I have proposed, this would be a major step in the right direction to encouraging mothers to report the rape of their children and to encourage twomen to report the abuse of themselves as well, and so eradicating the scourge of child rape from our society. (To the Beares staff of Temba City, my sincere apologies for no photo guys)

    From Temba City, ‘Buddy and Me’ proceeded to the Beares store in Mabopane where once again ‘Buddy and Me’ were welcomed like long lost relatives by the friendly Beares staff. Here I got to speak to yet more police and Social Workers who confirmed that the rape and sexual abuse in the area is really “bad” and that they have a major shortage of staff in the form of ‘trained’ Forensic Social Workers’ who are supposed to do the initial report and open the docket in the situation of rape and domestic violence. (Again apologies for no photo)

    After a hot day in the townships, I managed to find my way back to Pretoria and checked in to the lovely Protea Centurion Waterfront Hotel

    where after checking in I relaxed on the veranda.

    Tuesday morning found ‘Buddy and Me’ visiting Daisy Phetla, the store manager of Beares Mahube Max City, and her group of friendly staff where I got to speak to a really interesting group of people from the local community who after being provided with details of my ‘proposal for a Solution to Stopping the Rape and Sexual Abuse of Children’ agreed that our government must commit themselves by implementing my proposal.

    This was followed up with a visit to the Beares store which has always produced amazing things for ‘Buddy and Me’ in the past and that is the Silverton Beares store where Daleen Diedericks, the store Manager did an absolutely sterling job in arranging for a group of people to pop in and chat to me. The group included, apart from others, two really interesting and dedicated ladies who are social workers with an NGO called ‘METT Therapy Centre’ as well as a member of the SAPS-FCS unit and the information which was shared was amazing. I am just really disappointed that I lost the photos from this store in particular, so to Daleen and your staff you have my heartfelt apologies for not being able to post the photos of the day.

    I was told by Sannika Nel and Lizahane Greef of METT Therapy NGO, that the children who are mostly referred to them, are referred by teachers and parents who notice behavioural changes in children and after counselling it is usually – mostly – identified that the child is, or has been, raped or molested. These ladies have read my proposal for a solution and have emailed me their opinions and comments, which by the way are in full support of my proposal for a solution, so thanks ladies for taking the time to read it and for conveying your opinions and incredible encouragement, it’s sincerely appreciated.

    Wednesday ‘Buddy and Me’ visited that incredibly bubbly lady, Helena De Lange and her friendly staff at the Beares Pretoria North store. Whenever I have visited this store on the two previous ‘Buddy and Me’ projects Helena has really out done herself in arranging an amazing day for me and Buddy and on this occasion it was no exception. I got to chat to a group which included members of the police and as usual, as I do at all store visits, I presented everyone with copies of what I believe is the solution to stopping the rape and sexual abuse of children in South Africa and after having presented them with a verbal shortened version of it, they were unanimous in their agreement that if applied it would undoubtedly have a major impact on eradicating child rape from our society, so it is encouraging and comforting to know that I am on the right track and that the 187 000 kilometres ‘Buddy and Me’ have travelled on this project together have been worthwhile J Now it’s just to get government and the relative ‘stakeholder’ to commit to it L that is going to be the daunting task of ‘Buddy and Me – Project 4- The final chapter’ which I hope to start in February 2012.

    Thursday (8th September) ‘Buddy and Me’ visited the Beares store in Gezina where Jesse The-Kisho and her staff made June (who joined me for a couple of days to find out exactly what a day in the life of ‘Buddy and Me’ was like) and I very welcome, and I got to chat to one of the most interesting groups of people I have had the pleasure of meeting on this project. The group included, apart from others, a lady whose daughter was raped at the age of 8 and a few days before our meeting, at the age of 25 was once again raped, but this time – murdered!! A really heart wrenching story and June unfortunately had to be subjected to this on her first ‘official’ day on the ‘Buddy and Me’ project. So to Jesse and your wonderful staff, many thanks for making my visit to the Gezina Beares store the great pleasure it always is, just sorry I lost the photos through someone’s greedy fingers L

    From Gezina “Buddy and Me” headed for the Beares store in Arcadia, and on arriving outside the store we were greeted by Linda Muller, the store manager and her bevy of lovely ladies who were all standing at the door to great us.

    Fortunately June also took a photo with her cell phone and so I can provide a picture of all the lovely ladies of Beares Arcadia, mmm maybe I should consider keeping June (other wise known to me as Wonder- Woman J) on the project permanently?

     

     I got to address and chat to yet another incredibly interesting group of people and got some really interesting comments and opinions.

    One subject in particular was the now ‘controversial’ question which I have been asking women for their opinions on, since the male police officer told me a few weeks back, that “women in general prefer to be interviewed by a male in the traumatic situation of reporting a rape case and that women in general prefer to have the very personal J88 forensic examination done by a male doctor rather than a female doctor” his reasoning being that “women believe that females doing these tasks are more judgmental than men?”.

    Since obtaining this opinion and asking many woman this question, the response has been that 70% of women would prefer a female to do the report interview and 100% of women would prefer a female doctor to undertake the examination, and in this particular discussion it was established that as far as the reporting aspect is concerned I think I can safely say 90% of the women preferred a female doing the report and 100% would prefer a female doing the examination. I would sincerely like to obtain opinions on this point so you can send them to me via my email: steve@buddyandme.co.za

    Friday, (9th of September) was the day all my dramas started! It began with a visit, or rather the intention of a visit, to the Beares store in Van der Walt street, which is in the ‘middle’ of Pretoria and so being a Friday things were somewhat chaotic to put it mildly! The streets around the store were bedlam, and there were taxi’s buzzing all around ‘Buddy and Me’ hooting and drivers shouting from all sides, obviously with all of this chaos there was absolutely no chance of getting a parking and to cap it all there were about 20 traffic cops pulling cars and taxi’s over for inspections and shouting at me to “move on” and I was obviously only too happy to oblige. With all of this chaos going on I elected to give the Beares in Van der Walt street store a miss and move on to the next one, Beares Pretoria City which is in Andries street central Pretoria and where although it was also somewhat chaotic, was not quite the bedlam seen at the Van der Walt street store and I even managed to get a parking right in-front of the store, incredible!!!

    I got to spend some quality time chatting to that incredibly lovely lady, Lilly Luiz the store manager of the Andries Street Beares store and her friendly staff and had a really lovely time with them bringing them up to speed on what is happening with the project and what I hope to achieve with it.

    Unfortunately June (Wonder-Woman) had elected to stay at the resort we were camping at; Roos se Oordt on the Crocodile River leading into Hartebeespoort Dam at Broederstroom,

     

     because we had been told that thieves had been operating in the area recently so she elected to stay behind and look after the camp, a very brave woman indeed J, and so she was not around to take photos with her camera (cell phone) as well and so the photos of the Beares staff in Andries Street are gone as well, really sorry guys, but greedy fingers prevail L

    Now this where all my drama started!! Saturday morning I woke and reached for my cell phone (Sponsored BlackBerry) which is always on the table next to my bed, and discovered it was not there, I jumped up and frantically started searching for it but it was gone. We later heard that thieves had stolen cooler boxes and other items of personal stuff from inside other camper’s tents during the night and so I was devastated.

    My immediate course of action was to go into the Quaggas Centre in Pretoria where I phoned the BlackBerry help line from the Beares store and black listed and blocked my BlackBerry phone. Then I visited the cell phone shop in the centre and blocked my ‘Cell C’ sim card and got a new one issued with my number ported so I have retained the same cell number.

    I was obviously devastated by the loss and so June and I decided to pop into the ‘Bush Pub’ which is situated about 50 metres from ‘Roos se Oordt’ resort entrance and hopefully get a bit of spark back into my life by watching the Sharks beat the Pumas, which is exactly what happened, the only good thing I experienced the entire weekend!! Then dramas really struck!!

    When I attempted to leave the ‘Bush Pub’ Buddy would not engage gears. Everything had been perfectly great up until that moment and for no apparent reason when I put him into gear he just revved and would not pull away. A chap from the ‘Bush Pub’ towed us back to camp, but unfortunately the tow rope was tied to Buddy’s steering stabilizer bar and this was pulled off while being towed. A friend in Johannesburg, Jaco Labuschagne offered to send two of his guys to tow us to Jo’burg the next day and as promised they arrived at 12:30pm on Sunday.

    My ‘Good Samaritan’s’ from Jo’burg trying to refit Buddy’s stabilizer bar which eventually was strapped to Buddy’s front bumper in desperation.

    Preparing to tow ‘Buddy and Me’ to Jo’burg.

    All was going well with the towing until we reached the halfway point to Jo’burg on a dual highway Buddy’s back right wheel came flying off!!!. It was discovered that the guy who had done Buddy’s brakes for me in Upington had not put a split pin into the wheel hub bolt and had not tightened the hub nut enough and this had worked loose and had caused the splines on Buddy’s drive shaft and wheel hub to be grinded smooth, hence no traction when the gears were engaged, and finally resulting in the wheel flying off.

    Unfortunately with the two vehicles being attached by the tow rope, Buddy was jerked savagely into the left side of the bakkie which was towing Buddy and resulted in the bakkie sustaining some serious damage.

     

    After some ‘fancy foot work’ by me ‘the roadside mechanic’ and my ‘Good Samaritans’

     we managed to get the wheel back on and June

    (that’s her taking a picture of me taking a picture of her) and I remained with Buddy while my ‘Good Samaritans’ towed the trailer to Jo’burg and returned a couple of hours later to tow Buddy, June and myself to Jo’burg. Later that evening after a hair raising and scary tow because there were only two wheel nuts holding Buddy’s right rear wheel on,

    we arrived safely at our destination in Germiston.

    The next four days were spent frantically running around trying to get Buddy’s damaged wheel hub and drive shaft replaced, as well as the front steering stabilizer repaired without having to cancel too many scheduled appointments, not to mention the major expense damage to Buddy’s very depleted medical aid/fuel budget, so this resulted in some night work for me.

    Fortunately with a lot of help from my friends, Jaco Labuschagne, his fiancé Celeste Grobler and Jaco’s brother Harm, I managed to get the job accomplished and only had to cancel my visits to two Beares store, these being Midrand and Tsakane and on Thursday morning ‘Buddy and Me’ headed out of Germiston for our scheduled visit to the Beares stores in Secunda.

    Unfortunately dramas in my life did not end with my departure from Germiston, because soon after arriving at the Beares store in Secunda Fishers Square, the store manager, Valerie O’Neil was given the frantic news by her up-stairs staff that the water pipe in the stores kitchen had sheared and water was pouring out at a mean rate. The mains was switched off and after a few hours, and some frantic running around and phoning for a plumber, which ended at around 6pm, a solution was obtained and the pipe was blocked because the restaurant/pub next door insisted on the water being switched back on.

     I must tell you that Val and her husband Eugene who is the Beares store Manager at the Bethal Beares store did an amazing thing to help me out of my cell phone predicament, they presented me with one of their ‘spare’ personal cell phones which has internet and camera facilities which is going to help me tremendously, so many thanks guys you have my heartfelt thanks for that.

    After a visit to the friendly staff of the Beares (ii) store in Steyn Street Secunda, where I spent some quality time chatting to Peggy Matlals and her friendly staff

     I headed for ‘home’ which in this instance was the home of Round Tabler Clint Palmer.

    Thursday evening was spent attending a Round Table meeting in Bethal with the Round Tablers of Secunda and as usual the evening turned out to be a humdinger!

     the guys even took me to a local pub to show me what Buddy has been doing behind my back

    Friday, after having my badly cracked windscreen replaced by PG in Secunda (courtesy of Round Tabler Gawie Haremse – RT Secunda)  which had been smashed by a rock about 2 months back;

    I had been warned on a few occasions by police that I was going to be fined if it was not replaced, I headed out of town to meet an incredibly wonderful guy, who happens to also be a ‘character of note’ Round Tabler, 41er Chris Hoarse and together with Round Tablers Neville Kotze and Mattheus Prinsloo (RT Secunda Chairman), presented me with the Round Table Secunda ‘new and improved’ banner and lapel pin

     That’s ‘mean machine-character of note’ Chris Hoarse on the right of the picture.

    My next stop was in Kriel where I spent some time talking to Stella Landman and her staff at the Beares store

    and then drove the short distance to Bethal where I visited Eugene O’Neil – husband of Valerie O’Neil in the Secunda Beares store – and collected my ‘new’ internet connected cell phone from him.

     After a short but interesting visit with these friendly people I made a hurried departure from the chaotic, Friday afternoon peak hour traffic of Bethal and headed out on the Ermelo road where on reaching Ermelo I turned left and headed for the quiet and peaceful area of Chrissiesmeer which is 40 kilometres north of Ermelo where I hoped to spend a relaxing weekend trying to recover from the past weeks drama’s – please note I said “hoped”.

    The cottage I stayed in is owned by good friends of mine, Rotarian Cheryl and Horst Reum and if you remember, while I was in White River, Horst worked on Buddy in his workshop and they took me to the Kruger Park for the day.

    Cheryl and Horst arrived for the weekend on Saturday afternoon but unfortunately on Saturday night, due to water I had drunk in Bethal, I was struck down with severe water poisoning during Saturday evening and so was not very good conversational material on Sunday and in-fact spent the whole day running between my bed and toilet puking my heart out. Fortunately on Monday morning I woke feeling somewhat better, but very weak and my right kidney, in particular, felt like a mule had kicked me in the right side of my back.

    A new Face Book site has been set up for ‘Buddy and Me’: ‘Stop the Rape and Sexual Abuse of Children in SA’ and we welcome everyone to visit it from time to time, and for this I owe a great thanks to June Porter- “Wonder-Woman” for her support and dedication to the ‘Buddy and Me’ (especially the ‘Me’ part) project and for setting it up. Thanks Babes you and your support are sincerely appreciated.

    So that now brings you up to date on the lives of ‘Buddy and Me’, so I hope you have all had a far better 2 weeks than me and that this coming week brings you nothing but joy, happiness and productivity J So keep well, stay safe and I look forward to receiving your comments, constructive criticism and opinions on what needs to be done to stop the rape and sexual abuse of children in South Africa, Oh and don’t forget KEEP ALL CHILDREN SAFE, because in-spite of what our government thinks, children are our countries greatest assets and as such need to be protected.

    Caring regards from

    Buddy (The Beach Buggy)

    And

    Me’ (Steve Heath)

    Please send comments and opinions to: steve@buddyandme.co.za

    Please note that all comments and opinions on the ‘Buddy and Me’ website and blogs are those of Steve Heath and not those of the sponsors to the “Buddy and Me’ project.


    Who Is Steve Heath
    A Message To The President of South Africa.
    Factors Contributing To The Increase In Child Rape.
    A Proposed Solution To Stopping The Rape And Sexual Abuse Of Children in SA.

    To watch Buddy and Me in real time click here, select South Africa under “Global Fleet Logins:” in the left hand panel, enter cellphone number 0822549129 and password Buddy.

    To make a donation to or information on any of the organisations involved in assisting victims of child rape and abuse, please click on one of the following links:

    Beares
    Lubners
    Bobbi Bear Foundation (KwaZulu-Natal)
    The Teddy Bear Clinic (Gauteng)
    The TygerBear Foundation (Western Cape)
    GRIP (Mpumalanga)
    StepThru (Gauteng)

    • To see the ‘Buddy and Me’ scheduled itinerary details for the period 30th August – 4th October 2011 see blog 50
    • To read the shocking details of the Upington horror story – The Hynie Dick Story – regarding the ‘Upington savage pedophile’ see blog 35
    • To read details of the ‘savage’ the police are looking for in connection with the rape of a 3 year little girl, see blog 39
    • To read the heart breaking story by a mother (Cathy Kenney) of the rape of  her 3 year-old daughter see blog 38
    • To read the storey of Natasha who at 10 years-of age was brutally raped and murdered and after serving a very short portion of his sentence, the ‘State’ wants to release the savage who did it, from prison, see blog 10 (November 2010)
    • To read ‘Birds’ story about her incredible courage to face her ‘step-father’ who she looked up to and loved as a ‘father’ who abused her and her love, as told by her mother – Elise – see blog 42

     

    So after a great weekend, with the Round Tablers of Loskop RT233 which included a magnificent poitjie cooked by passed Round Table President 2000/1 Jaco Van Staaten on Sunday afternoon,

     (That’s Jaco bending over sampling his ‘brew’) Monday morning found ‘Buddy and Me’ visiting the staff at the Groblersdal Beares store and what an incredible day they organised for me.

     I got to address a very large group of people and we had a really tremendous open discussion on why child rape is occurring and what needs to be done to stop it.

    Obviously I could not exclude Buddy from the days activities because he would extract his anger out on me later while out on the open road, so the kids climbed all over him and showered him with love and affection.

     After listening to the kids reciting poems they had written for me and watched a street play on abuse of woman and children performed by the kids, I bid farewell to the guests and Beares staff and headed out of Groblersdal in the direction of Middelburg.

    My evening’s accommodation was courtesy of Middelburg Round Tabler Chairman Mathew Abraham and his lovely family

    and after a Round Table function at the Middelburg Country Club

    I fell into bed that night a little before midnight in a blissful deep sleep, something I had not enjoyed in weeks.

    Tuesday morning I headed for the Middelburg Beares store

    and on entering the store, the store manager, Sizwe Sibiya told me the bad news that the store had suffered a break in that evening, the incredible thing was that when he had reached the store after reacting to the alarm, the thieves were still inside the store and when the polkice arrived on the scene he pointed this out to them but they would not enter the store because “they did not know how many of them were inside, or if they were armed and so they were ‘reluctant’ to enter the premises”. During the discussions about whether they should enter the premises or not the thieves escaped out the rear of the store, incredible!!! But in-spite of this he and his staff ensured that my visit to the Middelburg was a success and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I got to meet two members of the local SAPS-FCS unit a male and a female and unfortunately got into a bit of a heated discussion with the male police officer.

    I have become quite tired and perplexed hearing all the ‘excuses’ why children are being raped and these include such things as “poverty”, the “housing conditions”, “un-employment” “culture” and God knows what else, and my guest police officer from the Middelburg SAPS-FCS unit was going off and saying “We will never stop the rape and sexual abuse of children unless poverty is removed from our society and everyone is employed and given good jobs salaries and everyone is given nice big houses to live in”. My response was “well, when all of that happens, pigs will fly and Durban will be covered in a metre of snow, so must we all sit back and let it happen until the impossible happens” RIGHT!! And this was a statement being made by one of our esteemed police officers?? I also pointed out that children are being raped by wealthy, educated men in top jobs living in big fancy houses, so what is his excuse for these savages??

    From Middelburg it was a short drive through to Witbank where I first visited the Beares store in the centre of town which is managed by the energetic Dee Mokoena.

    Dee organised one of the most interesting groups of people I have had the pleasure of talking to on this project

     and it consisted of two ladies by the names of Antoinette Diener and Zelda Heyns as well as a really interesting man by the name of Vivian Trollip all of the NGO ‘Victim Support Witbank’. My discussion with these three people produced some incredible information and I obtained some really tremendous opinions and comments on the subject of child rape.

    One of the topics discussed confirmed the fact that the Thuthuzela Care centre which is situated at the local Provincial Hospital is exactly the same as all those I have visited to date and is a total waste of time and money. I have been promised an email outlining the problems experienced with the Thuthuzela Care Centre and I will be posting this as a separate blog once I receive it, so stay tuned for this.

    One of the other issues discussed is the fact that – and I have personally witnessed this in many centres I have visited – places where ‘vulnerable’ children are kept are often incorrectly named. I have often visited what have been referred to and called “Safe Houses” only to discover that the children at the centre are in-fact not children requiring ‘safe keeping’ as in kids who have been subjected to rape, sexual abuse or any other form abuse and need to be removed from a dangerous environment, but are in-fact abandoned, neglected, HIV infected and in many cases orphan kids and so the centres are in-fact ‘Shelters’ and not “Places of Safety”. 

     

    Then it was brief stop-over at the Witbank Lubners store to say hi to Peter Dlamini and his staff.

     Here even the guy who offered to wash Buddy got in the show.

    My final visit to the Witbank area was to the Beares store in Klipfontein where the store manager, Yolandé Muller organised a magic visit for me. This included meeting and chatting to a few ladies running a ‘Place of Safety’ called “Highveld House – Place of Safety’ as well as two more members of the local SAPS-FCS unit. This time the discussion took a completely different route to the one I had had in Middelburg, and when I told them about my Middelburg discussion their response was one of total shock. They could not believe that ‘anyone’ could make such a “stupid” comment.

    They agreed, as has all the police officers I have spoken to, that there is absolutely no reason, as far as they are aware of, why a child rape case (cases involving children under the age of 12 years of age) cannot be taken to court / trial immediately on completion of the investigation and identification of the perpetrator and take precedence over all other cases on the court list and be placed number one on the court list. In doing so the child can give evidence immediately and can then be saved the extreme trauma associated with the case being drawn out, as is currently occurring, for periods of up to 3 – 5 years. Once the trial has been completed, the case can stand down awaiting verdict pending the results of the DNA forensic tests.

    The same applies to the forensic testing of DNA. At present, or so it has been told to me by police officers, the testing of DNA in child rape cases currently takes anything between 18 months and up to 3 years to obtain. This totally unacceptable situation is the main reason why cases are taking so long to get to trial and so I would like to know, as would many police offices, why can’t DNA testing on child rape cases be given precedence over all other DNA testing in the interests of removing the trauma and stress the children are being subjected to.

    At present social workers/counsellors with NGO’s and such likes are not allowed to counsel a child rape victim in order to help the child overcome the trauma he or she has been subjected to through the rape, as this could be ‘detrimental to the case’, and so I stand-by my statement that I believe the ‘system’ itself is guilty of child abuse.

    While in Klipfontein (Witbank) I had a stunning interview with the local radio station.

    So meet DJ Lundi Janse Van Rensburg and Marius, the reaction to the interview was incredible and I have received many sms’s, e-mails and phone calls from listeners, so many thanks to those concerned citizens for your kind words of encouragement and opinions.

    Yolundé, the Beares store manger in Klipfontein also asked me to present Ms. Annemarie Van de Linde of the ‘Highveld House – Place of Safety’ with a box of ‘goodies’ for the kids in the home.

     Then it was time to bid farewell to the Beares staff of Klipfontein

    and head to Jo’burg.

    My final visit for the week was to the Brits area where I first visited the Beares store in the centre of town

     and if you look very carefully you will see a little face peeping out on the right of the picture wearing one of my ‘Buddy and Me’ blue jackets and ‘bush’ cap, that is ‘Wonder Woman’- June Porter who insisted on being subjected to the rough conditions of driving in Buddy to get first hand experience of the ‘Buddy and Me’ research project. Here I had a tremendous visit with that dynamic lady, the store manager Sylvia Pretorius (The stunning blond leaning against Buddy, holding the other stunning blond Marie in-front of her) and her energetic staff and I got to meet two more SAPS-FCS who provided me with yet another perspective on why child rape is occurring and what needs to be done to stop it.

    My interview with these two SAPS-FCS unit members produced some information which once again completely floored me and I would sincerely appreciate comments on this opinion from, in particular, women. The statement that was made by a male police officer was that “Women and children rape victims prefer being interviewed by men and to have the J88 forensic physical examination done by a male rather than a female doctor”.

    This statement, as I said, totally floored me because in all interviews I have had with women and mothers of child rape victims, it has been made abundantly clear, that one of the reasons they are not reporting the rape of themselves and their children is because they refuse to subject themselves and their small children to the humiliating situation of having to explain, in detail, the details of the rape after having had a member of the male species subject them to the degrading and embarrassing circumstances of the rape, and then to have a member of the same species – as in a male – undertake a very personal examination!! I therefore look forward to receiving your comments on this statement.

    Then it was time for my final Beares store visit for the week and this was to the Beares store in Brits at the Platinum Mall and this involved ‘Buddy and Me’ driving through the centre of the Mall and attracting the attention of all the shoppers who were waving and calling out greetings as we drove through.

    The charismatic fellow lying on Buddy’s ‘roof’ structure is Goitsemodimo Mogolegang, a presenter with a local radio station – Letlhabile Community Radio 99.5 Fm – man those names are a mouth full J The interesting thing is that his first name Goitsemodimo means “God only knows”, fortunately he has an abbreviated name “Goitse” which I presume means “God”

     

    By the time we extracted ourselves from the bustling Brits traffic it was twenty to four and so by the time we reached Jo’burg at 5pm the chaotic peak hour Friday traffic was in full swing, so a nice relaxing weekend with my good friends Jaco Labuschagne and Celeste Grobler has been a pleasure.

    So until next week when ‘Buddy and Me’ hit the streets of Pretoria, ‘Buddy and Me’ will bid you farewell, so keep well and stay safe and of course PLEASE KEEP ALL CHILDREN SAFE!!!!

    Caring regards from

    Buddy (The Beach Buggy)

    And

    Me’ (Steve Heath)

    Please send your comments and opinions to: steve@buddyandme.co.za

    Please note that all comments and opinions on the ‘Buddy and Me’ website and blogs are those of Steve Heath and not those of the sponsors to the ‘Buddy and Me’ project.