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Wed
28
Apr '10

Day 210-214: Saturday to Wednesday, 24-28 April 2010

Posted by steve@buddyandme.co.za

Categories: Buddy and Me

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My updated itinerary for Namibia and Botswana, to the end of the tour.

The Proposal to the President for your perusal.

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 after a hectic couple of weeks in Cape Town trying to get my proposal for a solution to stopping the rape of children in South Africa to the people that count, as in members of parliament and heads of not only our government, but the heads of the top official opposition parties, namely the DA, ID and COPE, I believe I achieved my goal 100%. The people I met and presented the proposal to have confirmed their support to the fight against child rape and have confirmed that they will ensure that my proposal and recommendations are put into the hands of the people who can make a difference, so thanks to all the wonderful politicians I met over the past couple of weeks, I believe with your help we can make a difference.

Saturday Linda and her daughter Elsie, who by the way also helped me tremendously with the printing and compiling of the proposals for parliament, went to see a music festival up on the West Coast which hosted almost all the top South African entertainers/singers/musicians, so Faan and I had some rugby/beer drinking/bonding time at home for my last day in Cape Town. (Yep the SHARKS won again – What a bunch of boytjies – Ag shame what happened to the Lions, again – Sorry Gail I couldn’t resist having a dig). Obviously I was appointed chef for the evening and Faan stood watching, taking tips, oh and photographing the ‘Not so naked chef’.

<i>The ‘Not so naked chef’ performing his magic, I think it was chilli spiced chicken with fried thinly sliced spiced potato and onions and beetroot</i>

The ‘Not so naked chef’ performing his magic, I think it was chilli spiced chicken with fried thinly sliced spiced potato and onions and beetroot

And so after having fulfilled all my dreams for my visit to Cape Town, it was with a very deeply saddened heart that on Sunday morning I had to bid my friends and amazing hosts for the duration of my stay in Cape Town, Captain Faan Fourie and his lovely wife Linda goodbye, or rather aurevouir, because I will definitely be back on my crusade to stop the rape of children which will obviously include Cape Town. They kindly gave me the use of their granny flat in Melkbos from where I operated during my stay in Cape Town.

I also had to say farewell to a few other people who had played a major role in making my life more pleasant during my stay in Cape Town and can only, once again, re-iterate on the fact that during my crusade I am blessed to get to meet so many absolutely amazing and wonderful people. Thanks to everyone who did so much to make my stay in Cape Town such a pleasant one, I will miss you all, but as the small plague on Buddy’s board above his windscreen says, “What is planted in the heart grows roots in the soul”.

So after having been told of some really terrible atrocities which are being committed in the Township of Atlantis, which is a short way out of Melkbos on the N7 West Coast road, and after Denise Robinson of the DA had confirmed that there is a really bad situation regarding the rape of children in this area and had told me that she had hoped to have a contingent of people from the DA meet me in Atlantis but unfortunately due to the short notice could not arrange it, I decided to stop in at Atlantis on my way out anyway. On pulling into a garage (For those Americans reading my website, that’s a filling station) to fill up was, as usually happens at filling stations and spaza’s etc I stop at, was approached by a large group of the local community who proceeded to confirm what I had already been told about the area regarding the rape of children.

I was told by a woman, who turned out to be the mother of a young girl, who I subsequently met, who was raped, badly, in a gang rape last year, by 6 local savages, at the time of the rape she was 14 years old. All 6 were released on bail. And so ended my visit to the Cape region!

When I was preparing to leave Faan and Linda’s house, I asked Faan to check that my trailer lights were working and when I pressed the brake pedal, the pedal sort of popped and went all the way to the floor. After having a mild cadenza, I checked around and discovered that a hole had materialised in the brake piping by the pedals at my feet, dramas!

After trying a few things and not getting any success I decided that I would face the road to Strandfontein (349 kilometres of it) not to mention the roads in the Township of Atlantis, with no brakes. I hope there are no traffic cops reading my blog? Fortunately Buddy’s hand brake is a mechanical one and is independent of the hydraulic foot brake pedal system. The only real problem was descending the mountain pass just before Citrusdal which created a problem, because I was preying all the way down, with a beach buggy with no brakes being pushed by a trailer, that there was not going to be any slow moving trucks in front of me, but fortunately all went well and ‘Buddy and Me’ arrived in Strandfontein in two pieces, him and me, after taking 7 hours to drive the 349 kilometres to Strandfontein.

I booked into the absolutely amazing Strandfontein Caravan Park, which I personally believe is one of the top 3, if not the best, caravan park in South Africa, where the Municipal Manager Mr. DGI O’Neil very kindly assisted me with sponsorship for my camping for two evenings from the Municipality of Matzikama, which includes the towns of Vredendal, Strandfontein and Doring Baai. So ‘Buddy and Me’ would like to extend our sincere thanks to the Municipality of Matzikama for their support to the project. Check out the photos of this incredible caravan park.

<i>Every campsite has its own ablution block, shower, toilet, and wash up. The sires in front, as in mine and those in picture are down stairs and the roof of the ablution is a veranda for the campsite</i>

Every campsite has its own ablution block, shower, toilet, and wash up. The sires in front, as in mine and those in picture are down stairs and the roof of the ablution is a veranda for the campsite

<i>Taken from my ‘veranda’ looking to the left</i>

Taken from my ‘veranda’ looking to the left

<i>Looking directly in front of my campsite, incredible</i>

Looking directly in front of my campsite, incredible

<i>From the same position looking up at the town of Strandfontein</i>

From the same position looking up at the town of Strandfontein

If you are into camping you have to visit this place, it’s a must!
Monday morning found me up early trying to sort out Buddy’s brake problem, but unfortunately in-spite of me cutting out the piece of copper pipe where the leak had sprung, and having the necessary rubber pipe to replace the leaking section, I did not have spare clamps to fit the rubber pipe. I tried using cable ties and a fellow camper, Benade Baird from Klerksdorp (Anglogold Ashanti), even tried a special technique with wire, but to no avail. Eventually he declared that we were not going to come right and drove me the 45 kilometres to Vredendal where we obtained the necessary clamps to do the job properly, and this did do the job properly. So once again I was blessed to have a problem sorted out by a Good Samaritan who just happened to be on hand.

With Buddy’s brake problem sorted out, I decided to visit the quaint little village of Doring Baai which is situated 7 kilometres south of Strandfontein and make sure that the repair job would withstand some rigorous pressure. Now for those who are saying that I have spelt the name wrong, well guess what, I have seen no less than 5 different ways to spell this villages name and these include the signs at the entrance to the village.

I have spoken of my friends in Tulisa Park before, Kevin and Jimmy who own the ‘Diversity Pub’ who have a friend by the name of Sherry who works for them and who has a sister named Charlene Wild and niece in Doring Baai, who have lived there for the past three years, and so I paid them a visit and was invited for a braai, genuine Namaqualand lamb nogal, and had a magic evening.

The one thing I learnt about Doring Baai, is that although it is a very small village, and that the rape of children by family members does not occur as frequently as it does in the rest of South Africa, rape is occurring due to the excessive use and abuse of alcohol and boredom on teenage girls and woman. And I am sorry to say it, but our Minister of police and Commissioner of police have to take a serious look at how the police in these small towns are operating, they appear to be on their own missions.

I was hoping to have an early start to Tuesday morning for my drive through to Upington because it entails a drive of some 600 kilometres and Buddy, being the slow work horse he is, would take some time to cover this distance, not to mention the fact that because of the heat I need to stop every hour to cool the engine (oil) down to prevent popping the main engine oil seal, which I did umpteen times on my African Odyssey trip. But although the days are really magic, warm with clear blue sky’s, the early mornings and late afternoons are pretty damn cold on the West Coast and so with this in mind I only surfaced at 6:30 and by the time I had packed my camping equipment and was ready to hit the road it was already a little after 8am.

The route ‘Buddy and Me’ took to Upington involved travelling via Vanrhyansdorp, Nieuwoudtville, Calvinia, Brandvlei, Kenhardt and Keimoes. The total distance ended up being 613 kilometres and took us 11 and half hours to cover. This was partly due to the fact that I stopped in each of these towns to fill up with petrol; and obviously Buddy attracted a huge amount of interest from the local community, after all that is why Buddy was chosen to join me on this project.

At all of these towns I was told by the local communities that flocked to the filling stations to have a ‘quack’ at Buddy, that child rape is “very bad there and the government needs to take a hard line with the punishments to stop it”.

I must say that in all my travels around Africa, I have never driven for such a long period of time through such flat, dry and boring landscape in all my life. I think ‘Buddy and Me’ must have driven at least 350 kilometres after passing through the Vanryhansdorp Pass (and the 50 kilometres before the pass) before I needed to turn the steering wheel. One kilometre from the top of the pass we crossed into the Northern Cape region and for about 5 kilometres it was like entering a different world with trees and signs of civilisation, but once passed Nieuwoudtville, the same old totally flat, dry bush-weed returned and was visible for kilometres in all directions. At one time I thought I could see next week approaching in the distance. You can see the road stretching out in the distance for kilometres, and as you go over a small rise in the road you can see the next section of road stretch out for kilometres in front of you again, a really depressing road to drive.

<i>These three photos are in sequence, I know Gail can do this, she has done it before. The view from the top of the Vanrhyans Pass, looking back towards Vanrhyansdorp, the road from the top continued in exactly the same vein – boring!</i>

These three photos are in sequence, I know Gail can do this, she has done it before. The view from the top of the Vanrhyans Pass, looking back towards Vanrhyansdorp, the road from the top continued in exactly the same vein – boring!

So having arrived in Upington, and after driving around to find somewhere to stay, I settled on a small quaint hotel called the ‘The River City Inn’ where the lady on duty gave me a reasonable discount, and because I was too exhausted to spend time trying to find a cheaper place to stay set down roots for the night.

Today, Wednesday, I visited the friendly staff of Beares Upington where I had a chance to chat to all the friendly staff and had a really good interview with the reporter from the ‘Gemsbok’ local newspaper, I look forward to reading her article.

The Beares staff in Upington

This afternoon (Wednesday the 28th April) ‘Buddy and Me’ will be leaving South Africa and heading into Namibia. I have no idea what the internet reception is like there, or how it works, so I will be going into that side of things blind, and knowing my computer skills and such likes it could prove interesting, so please bear with me. Another thing is that my cell phone number will be changing while ‘Buddy and Me’ will be in Namibia and Botswana, so should you wish to contact me via cell phone the only way I can think of is that I will provide Bev Wishart (Marketing Assistant) of Beares Head Office with my new cell numbers and you can contact her for my number. Sorry Bev for doing this to you but I can’t think of anything else. Bev’s contact details are: 031 – 7134700 and email:beverleyw@ellerines.co.za

So Namibia and Botswana here we come. During the ‘African Odyssey’ project, I identified that these two countries had implemented some fantastic laws and systems to combat child rape in their respective countries and I am looking forward to seeing what has transpired from these laws and services during the past three years, so keep watching this space.

So all that’s left for me to do is to wish you all well, stay safe, God bless and above all, keep all children safe.

Caring regards from
‘Buddy and Me’ (Steve Heath)
Please forward all comments and opinions to:
steve@buddyandme.co.za

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Sun
25
Apr '10

Day 205 – 209: Monday to Friday, 19 – 23 April 2010

Posted by steve@buddyandme.co.za

Categories: Buddy and Me

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My updated itinerary for Namibia and Botswana, to the end of the tour.

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 after a pretty hectic life over the past week or so, both project wise and personal life wise, this week started with me waking on Monday morning to pouring rain. The weather since I have been in Cape Town has been quite brilliant, when considering this is, after all, the Western Cape where it is said that the weather is like a baby, ‘Either wet or windy”.

So ’Buddy and Me’ drove out of Melkbosstrand a little after 8:30 am on Monday and drove the entire 103 kilometres to the Beares store in Vredenberg in pouring, freezing rain, and back again. I had a great time meeting and chatting to the magic staff of Beares and after a hearty, late breakfast at the Wimpy headed out to meet an old friend, as in having met him 5 years ago, he’s still a litie, Giorelo Carosini owner of the Paternoster Hotel which is15 kilometres outside of Vredenberg on the West Coast.

<i><b>Beares</b> staff Vredenberg</i>

Beares staff Vredenberg

<i>Old faithful, although not so much of the “old” it is meant in the form that Cassie, the store manager, was also manager when I visited the store on the last project almost 5 years ago</i>

Old faithful, although not so much of the “old” it is meant in the form that Cassie, the store manager, was also manager when I visited the store on the last project almost 5 years ago

And what can I say about the Paternoster Hotel, well it certainly has not changed and when comparing these photos of the ‘Panty Bar’ to the photo’s taken on my ‘African Odyssey’ project, it will be noted that apart from a few new pairs of ladies ‘lingerie’ the place is exactly the same.

<i>‘The Panty bar” of the Paternoster Hotel</i>

‘The Panty bar” of the Paternoster Hotel


<i>No need to tell you what place this is, or this...</i>

No need to tell you what place this is, or this...



Now from time to time Buddy needs attention, and so when I discovered that there is one of the ever decreasing breeds of ‘VW Beetle’ fundies residing in the Tableview area, I did not hesitate in contacting him to perform some magic on Buddy with regard to fitting new points and tweaking Buddy’s timing, so Tuesday morning found ‘Buddy and Me’ pulling into the premises of ‘VW Beetle’ boffin, Kenn Sara who is the proprietor of Killarney Brake and Clutch Centre in Unit 1 Beetle Park, Monaco Road Killarney Gardens where he proceeded to perform some absolute magic on Buddy which has resulted in Buddy purring like a ‘Lion’; I was going to say kitten but he gets upset when I compare him to that soft and cuddly animal and will probably end up giving me a hard time sometime when we are out in the Namibian desert soon, so Lion it is’. So Kenn thank you for the amazing job you did, ‘Buddy and Me’ really appreciate it.

<i>Kenn hard at work making Buddy purr like a ‘Lion’</i>

Kenn hard at work making Buddy purr like a ‘Lion’

Okay so now down to the business of parliament and getting my ‘Proposal for a Solution to Stopping the Rape and Sexual Abuse of Children’ to the leaders of the opposition political parties as well as our esteemed government.

Having sent emails to all the relative political parties and as you have already seen and read on my previous blog, I had a wonderful reaction from the opposition parties in the form of the ACDP and COPE, and so this week I was honoured to have been given the opportunity to meet with a few more politicians and parliamentary members. These were in the form of:

Firstly, on Wednesday it was a wonderful lady by the name of Denise Robinson, who is the DA’s member of parliament and representative on the caucus on Woman, Youth, Children and the Disabled committee, this lady is truly an amazing individual and as long as we have people like her in parliament I believe we as South Africans have hope.

<i>Denise Robinson MP for the DA – A really good lady who has promised her support to the <b>‘Buddy and Me - Searching for a Solution to child Rape campaign’</b></i>

Denise Robinson MP for the DA – A really good lady who has promised her support to the ‘Buddy and Me - Searching for a Solution to child Rape campaign’

Then today, Friday it was a particularly busy day for ‘Buddy and Me’ as we had three presentations to make in parliament and these were:

Firstly to the MP for the ‘Independent Democrats’ and Chief Whip, Lance Greyling who once again impressed me immensely with his support for the campaign and promised to ensure that my proposal reaches the hands of that true South African Champion of politics, Mrs. Helen Zille.

<i>ID – MP Lance Greyling, what an amazingly cheerful guy he is, and a politician to boot</i>

ID – MP Lance Greyling, what an amazingly cheerful guy he is, and a politician to boot

<i>Lance with a very interesting campaign poster</i>

Lance with a very interesting campaign poster

Next was yet another cheerful guy in the form of Helen Zille’s assistant, Shaun Moffat. Helen Zille unfortunately was, as usual, busy running all over the countryside trying to do a hundred peoples jobs for them and get some semblance of order to the current chaotic state our countries in. So Shaun kindly offered to meet with me in order to obtain a copy of my proposal and to ensure that it reaches Helen Zille’s hands. I had as I have already said, presented a copy of my proposal to Denise Robinson of the DA, but I believe that with two amazing politicians in the same party having it, hell it can only help.

<i>Shaun Moffat receiving my proposal on behalf of Helen Zille. Now Shaun, you promised you are going to ensure that it gets into Helens hands personally so I’m watching you, and so was Helen from her picture on the wall behind us, Oh and Mr. Mandela</i>

Shaun Moffat receiving my proposal on behalf of Helen Zille. Now Shaun, you promised you are going to ensure that it gets into Helens hands personally so I’m watching you, and so was Helen from her picture on the wall behind us, Oh and Mr. Mandela

So now down to the big one, I could not have asked to have a better person on my side in order to get my proposal into the hands of Mr. Zuma than the lady I met in the ANC’s offices today, this being Mrs. Eunice Van Eck, from the office of the Chief Whip and co-ordinator for Executive Support & Special projects. After emails and phone calls and being sent around parliament on a merry chase, I eventually asked this lady, who had gone out of her way to try and establish a meeting for me with various ANC political heads and MP’s to, “Please accept the proposal on behalf of the ANC as I will be heading out of Cape Town this weekend and desperately want to ensure that it reaches the hands of Mr. Zuma and someone else who can use it to make a difference in the lives of the children who are being raped on a daily basis”. She immediately agreed and so this afternoon I met with her in the offices of the Chief Whip of the ANC, Dr. Motshkgo’s office who unfortunately is over seas on political business and presented her with two copies of my proposal/solution to stopping the rape of children in South Africa.

Eunice Van Eck promised to personally ensure that a copy of my proposal/solution reaches the hands of our countries President, Mr. Zuma and will also ensure that a second copy will reach the hands of Mrs. Beauty Dlulane, ANC – MP and Chairperson for the Multi-party woman’s caucus.

<i>Wow what a lady – Mrs. Eunice van Eck</i>

Wow what a lady – Mrs. Eunice van Eck

Now before getting off the subject of my meeting with this lovely lady, I must tell you that she paid me one of the greatest compliments I have ever received. She compared my dedication and crusade of my fight against child rape to her late husbands 13 year peace mission in Barundi where he was instrumental in establishing the first democratic elections in the country. So Eunice thank you for that compliment and I’m sure your husband was an amazing man and from what you told me, everyone who knew him is blessed that he touched their lives.

Eventually when I left parliament a little before 4pm, I passed a large group of protestors outside the gates of parliament, protesting about the nuclear power stations etc and found it to be quite interesting, especially after reading the pamphlets they were dishing out.

The nuclear protest, but I have my hands full with my crusade, so although I sympathies with them, I need to stay focused on my crusade against the rape and sexual abuse of children, so good luck with your crusade guys

So ended another week in the life of ‘Buddy and Me’, so to all those fantastic politicians I met during my extended stay in Cape Town you my heart felt thanks for accommodating me and I sincerely hope my message gets to reach the people who need to hear it so that something can be done to stop the rape of children in South Africa.

This weekend ‘Buddy and Me’ will be leaving Cape Town and heading up the West Coast to Upington where we will be visiting the Beares staff there on Wednesday the 28th and then we will continue into Namibia, So until next week, keep well, keep safe and above all, Ya you got it, keep all children safe!

Caring regards from
‘Buddy and Me’ (Steve Heath)
Send your comments to: steve@buddyandme.co.za

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Mon
19
Apr '10

Day 198-204: Monday to Sunday, 12-18 April 2010

Posted by steve@buddyandme.co.za

Categories: Buddy and Me

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My updated itinerary for Namibia and Botswana, to the end of the tour.

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)

Hi, so here we are again, ‘Buddy and Me’ back ?on the road again? on our crusade to stop the rape and sexual abuse of children in South Africa. The past few weeks has been quite telling on Buddy, me and our trailer and what was supposed to be a few weeks off recuperating and revitalising ended up quite a different story.

To start with, after leaving Cape Town by way of SA Roadlink bus service I had an absolutely fantastic restful 22 hour bus trip to Umtata where I was met by my good friends John and Sherol ‘Ferrari’ Ferreira who own the ‘Mountain View Inn’ in Port St Johns. During my few days with them they took me to some positively amazing places in the area such as:

<i>Mtafufu, John doing the driving and the African Grey ‘Charlie’ giving him directions</i>

Mtafufu, John doing the driving and the African Grey ‘Charlie’ giving him directions

<i>John enjoying a day by the river, my rod remained exactly where it was all day, nothing new</i>

John enjoying a day by the river, my rod remained exactly where it was all day, nothing new

The other place they took me to was absolute paradise, and this is a place on the ‘Transkei’ coast which is a short distance out of Port St Johns called ‘Mngazana’ and damn is this place heaven.

<i>This is the view from our balcony</i>

This is the view from our balcony

<i>And of course I had to try my hand at fishing, and can you believe it, I caught a really nice ‘keep size’ Rockcod only to lose it back to the sea because the rock pool I placed it in got filled with water from the incoming tide and washed it back out to see. It just goes to prove, I must stick to ‘catch and release’</i>

And of course I had to try my hand at fishing, and can you believe it, I caught a really nice ‘keep size’ Rockcod only to lose it back to the sea because the rock pool I placed it in got filled with water from the incoming tide and washed it back out to see. It just goes to prove, I must stick to ‘catch and release’

And so the rest of the two weeks involved another two bus trips, one to Jo’burg from Untata with SA Roadlink which proved to be a nightmare 23 hours trip, I must still write to the management of that bus service about that, and a 22 hour trip from Jo’burg back to Cape Town with Intercape which was much better. Over a period of 10 days I undertook 67 hours in buses.

Unfortunately soon after arriving in Jo’burg, in fact at around 3am on the Friday morning, having arrived in Jo’burg at 10am that morning, I started suffering with major headaches and fevers, but after taking a few headache tablets and such likes I got through the days and returned to Cape Town on Thursday so that the Round Tablers of Tableview could have my trailer welded up so that ‘Buddy and Me’ could tackle the next leg of our crusade up the West Coast to Namibia and ever onwards.

On arriving in Cape Town on Friday the 9th April, and being picked up at the bus station by my ever faithful friend, Captain Faan Fourie, and being transported to my granny flat where I am continuing to stay with him and Linda, I proceeded to pass out in what can only be described as a light coma. I was woken early on Saturday morning and shortly afterwards was rushed to the doctors by Faan, who thought I looked like death warmed up and was concerned that I might pass out any second. The doctor then diagnosed that I had suffered two spider bites, one on my left foot and one on my left thigh, and ‘according to the doctor’ I was suffering with a ‘tropical blood poisoning virus’ caused from the spider bites. Well, all I know is that I felt pretty grim and to make matters worse in order to get the diagnoses and remedy it cost my ever withering budget 850-00 bucks.

But be that as it may, the heavy dose of antibiotic and pain killers and whatever the other tablets were that he prescribed did the trick and within a few days I was back on stream again, taking on the world, well actually the South African government on my quest to stop the raping of children in our beautiful country.

So, I got the trailer to old time Round Tabler ‘Woody’, Kenneth Wood who is the proprietor of ‘TrimWay Brake & Clutch’ in Killarney Gardens in Cape Town who promised to sort out my trailers aging problems which were, I must say, pretty bad, with the ‘A’ frame looking in a terrible condition and looking like it was going to fall apart any minute.

<i>‘Woody’ Kenneth Wood after having done a miracle job on my trailer, ‘Woody’ you’re a star</i>

‘Woody’ Kenneth Wood after having done a miracle job on my trailer, ‘Woody’ you’re a star

My next big problem was to get a heap of my proposals printed and bound in order to be able to present them to the various politicians I needed to get them to. I had visions of spending fortunes getting this done, but “never fear when Linda’s daughter is near”, and so Elsie Snyman, as I said, my host Linda’s daughter who owns a company in Cape Town called ‘Industry Insight’ came to my rescue and had a pile of the proposals printed and bound for me in record time, and not only did she have them printed and bound but she proof read it for me and her finishing touches made a spectacular difference to my bland proposal, thanks Elsie, you’re a star.

Then came the big headache. I am sure that it is only the people who have had the experience of trying to contact politicians and members of the media in a city like Cape Town who can relate to the frustrations that I experienced during the past week, this on top of my ‘tropical spider blood poisoning’ whatever, and if it wasn’t for the management and staff of the Bellville Beares store I think I would have quietly gone out of my mind.

The manager of the Bellville Beares store, Marti De Waal and her staff spent God knows how many hours tracking down telephone numbers and email address’s, as well as street addresses of all the media and politicians who I wanted to make contact with in Cape Town. Then it was a case of contacting them. But lo and behold, within 24 hours of my emails going out to the main political leaders in South Africa I received my first responses.

I sent 5 emails these being to: Mr. Zuma, President of the ANC and the South African government – Reverend Kenneth Meshoe, Leader of the ACDP party – Mrs. Helen Zille, leader of the DA party – Ms. Patricia De Lill, leader of the DI party, and Mr. Terror Lekota, leader of the Cope party. All of these went out at exactly the same time and within 24 hours I had responses from, Reverend Meshoe’s (ACDP) office in the form of Audrey and Fiona Groenewald of Mr. Terror Lekota’s (Cope) office, as well as from Shaun Moffett of Helen Zille’s office and Monique Scharffenorth of Patricia de Lill’s office, I am still awaiting a response from Mr. Zuma’s office.

Reverend Meshoe’s office confirmed that he wanted to meet with me in his office in Parliament the following day (Thursday 15th April) and Mr. Lekota wanted me to attend a political rally/meeting in Mfuleni Township on Sunday (today 18th April) Naturally I attended both meetings.

<i>My meeting and presenting of my ‘Proposed Solution to Stopping the Rape and Sexual Abuse of Children in South Africa’ to that amazing man, Reverend Kenneth Meshoe who confirmed and pledged his support of the ACDP party to the fight against the rape and sexual abuse of children in South Africa</i>

My meeting and presenting of my ‘Proposed Solution to Stopping the Rape and Sexual Abuse of Children in South Africa’ to that amazing man, Reverend Kenneth Meshoe who confirmed and pledged his support of the ACDP party to the fight against the rape and sexual abuse of children in South Africa

Saturday was spent giving Buddy a ‘facial make over’. This included an engine wash, body wash and massage and the painting of the welding job done by ‘Woody’ of Trimway brake and Clutch with a black everlasting paint that I couldn’t even get off my hands with thinners and paraffin so I’m sure it will last forever on the trailers chassis. All this was very stressful, but not close to the personal stress I have been subjected to over the past couple of week or so, but that is not your concern, but I completed the job in time for my very busy day which was today (Sunday the 18th April) which involved my meeting Mr. Terror Lekota of the Cope party in Mfuleni Township.

<i>Faan came out with my camera and said that he had to record the fact that I do actually do some work from time to time, other than just drive around the countryside enjoying the sights and meeting amazing people, so here is the proof</i>

Faan came out with my camera and said that he had to record the fact that I do actually do some work from time to time, other than just drive around the countryside enjoying the sights and meeting amazing people, so here is the proof

Now I must tell you, I have never been more impressed with a politician’s speech as I was today. This man has charisma like I have never seen before and he said things that made me sit up and listen with vigour, it was an awe-inspiring speech from start to finish, and if this is what we have as an alternative to what our country is being provided with as far as political leaders go at the moment, well all I can say is “then there is hope for us as South Africans”.

I was invited to join him (Mr. Lekota) on a visit to a township dwelling where a couple of ‘bad element’ youths had been burned to death by the community for having done ‘some bad deeds’. Mr. lekota’s message to the community was that they should not be taking the law into their own hands and he spent time with the parents of the youths.

<i>The shacks in which the ‘bad element’ youths were burnt to death. SABC TV were there also</i>

The shacks in which the ‘bad element’ youths were burnt to death. SABC TV were there also

<i>Mr. Lekota entering the house of the parents</i>

Mr. Lekota entering the house of the parents

<i>Mr. Lekota chatting to us</i>

Mr. Lekota chatting to us

<i>And finally I get to present the man with my proposal for a solution to stopping the rape and sexual abuse of children, Mr. Lekota pledged and promised his support to the fight against the rape and sexual abuse of children in South Africa, a true champion of South Africa</i>

And finally I get to present the man with my proposal for a solution to stopping the rape and sexual abuse of children, Mr. Lekota pledged and promised his support to the fight against the rape and sexual abuse of children in South Africa, a true champion of South Africa

So, with two political leaders down and three to go, these being, meetings with Mr. Zuma, Mrs. Helen Zille and Ms. Patricia de Lill, not to mention interviews with the Cape Argus and Cape Times newspapers and E TV and SABC TV and hopefully a couple of local radio stations, I have lots to accomplish over the next week, not to mention having to head up the West Coast to Vredenburg Beares store tomorrow the (Monday the 19th April), I have a pretty full week ahead of me.

So wish me well on my crusade, and keep plugged into this website for more updates on our endeavour to stop the rape and sexual abuse of children in South Africa. Keep safe, stay well and above all, keep all children safe.

Caring regards from
‘Buddy and Me’ (Steve Heath)
Send your comments to: steve@buddyandme.co.za

PS. I will be posting the full proposal I have presented to Reverend Kenneth Meshoe of the ACDP party and Mr. Terror Lekota of the Cope party and which will be presented to the others mentioned above, onto my website within the next few days, so keep watching.

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Sat
3
Apr '10

Day 197: Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Posted by steve@buddyandme.co.za

Categories: Buddy and Me

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My updated itinerary for Namibia and Botswana, to the end of the tour.

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)

This will be my last blog for a couple of weeks because ‘Buddy and Me’ will be taking a well earned break and when I return to Cape Town I hope to have arrangements finalised to be able to present my proposal on what I believe needs to be done to stop the raping of children in South Africa.

Once I have accomplished this, ‘Buddy and Me’ will be heading up the West Coast to Namibia, so before I start my break, here is the details of factor 6 of my proposal on what needs to be done to stop the rape of children in South Africa, and once again I must emphasise that this project is focused on the sexual abuse and rape of children in the birth to 12 years of age, age group.

Factor 6

The prison, or ‘The Department of Correctional Services’ as our government prefers to call them. (Personally I think it should be called “The Department of Recreational Services)

To start with I would like to comment on a statement which was made by the Minister of police a couple of months ago, when he said on national television as well as was quoted in the national newspapers, that he will soon be referred to as a ‘General’ and the reason for this, according to him, is because the ‘South African Police Service’ will soon be reverting to being a ‘police force’. He went on to say that the reason behind the decision to revert to a police force is because criminals appear to be considering the ‘police service’ a soft unit, where as the ‘police force’ is perceived as being a ‘hard assed crime fighting unit’ which in his opinion will be a deterrent to criminals.

Now quite honestly I fully agree with him, it’s just a pity that they did not consider this fact before spending the hundreds of millions of Rands, tax payer’s hard earned money by the way, in changing the name in the first place. Secondly, just as I agree with the esteemed ministers point of view on that fact, I believe that the same applies to our ‘Correctional Services’ facilities. The ‘Correctional Services’ is being perceived as being soft.

Probably the best way for me to explain what I believe needs to be done, as well as probably the vast majority of citizens of South Africa believe, is that government/politics is like any business and can even be compared to sport. Every businessman or woman must have a business plan and this also applies to sport, in that the coach must provide his team with a ‘game plan’.

The ‘business plan’, if the businessman or woman wants to succeed, must be reviewed on a constant and regular basis to avoid the total collapse or liquidation of his or her business, and this applies to sport as well. If a coach sees that his game plan is not working, he sends the ‘medic’ on with the magic water bottle and relays a message to the Captain of the team to change to ‘game plan B’ to avoid the team getting a hiding. I believe this should apply to government and politics as well.

Our government applied the ‘Rehabilitation programme’ some 12 years ago. Unfortunately it has not worked and the proof of this is in the fact that child rape has escalated to a totally unacceptable and horrific degree and so it’s time to change the ‘game plan/business plan’.

There is a large proportion of our society who, no matter how comfortable the ‘correctional services’ facilities are, or what studies or tertiary studies can be achieved for free while being detained, do not want to be sent there. This is because they are honest, peace loving individuals who enjoy spending time with their families, loved ones and socialising with their friends. However, there is a very large portion of our society who is not perturbed about being sent to our ‘correctional services’ facilities because it is easier in there than trying to survive out on the streets.

South Africa is experiencing criminals being convicted for the 4th, 5th and in many instances up to 6 times for the same and in many instances worse crimes – and so I believe that this sector of our society I am referring to, benefits from their crimes while committing crimes of robbery, rape murder etc, while in the process destroying other honest peace loving individuals lives, and when they eventually get caught don’t mind in the least, because they will benefit further by the ‘rehabilitation programme’ implemented by the South African government while in ‘detention’ in the ‘Correctional Services’ facilities.

While in Kimberly, I was given the opportunity to visit what government is referring to as “South Africa’s – New Generation Correctional Services Faculties”. After seeing it, I believe that if the fence is removed, the facilities could be turned into a very up market hotel facility. I have been told that another facility is currently in the process of being built in the district of Nigel in the Mpumalanga province and that although the exact cost could not be provided; it is believed that the cost of each facility is in the region of hundreds of millions of Rands.

Now what really gets my goat, is the fact that the money being spent on providing child rape victims with a professionally managed support structure, as in the Thuthuzela Care Centres, is a drop in the ocean compared to that being spent on facilities to ensure that the rapists and other scum and savages of our country who insist on destroying the lives of children and honest folk, are comfortable, and to provide them with a ‘rehabilitation programme’ to ensure that they do not get bored while serving their time, being fed, clothed, provided with free counselling, sporting facilities and whatever other activities are provided while on the ‘rehabilitation programme’.

I believe that it is time government, once again, realises the fact that they have boobooed, and once again revert to the ‘Prison’ system where on being convicted for a crime against society, that individual must be given a sentence which is considered to be a deterrent punishment, and not encourage them to commit crimes and benefit by being sent on ‘rehabilitation programs’.

As an example of this, I was provided details of a specific case which involved a savage who raped an 8 year old little girl and on being convicted was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment or as the system calls it, detention in a ‘Correctional services’ facility where he underwent counselling. He was released ‘on parole’ after having served a mere 7 years of his sentence and because of all of the time on his hands, having his food cooked for him, his washing done for him etc, he studied, at the expense of the tax payers of South Africa, and obtained no fewer than three degrees from UNISA.

The parents of the 8 year old little girl, whose life he destroyed, could not afford her school fees, and battled to earn enough money to feed and clothe her never mind send her to varsity to study. Secondly the police officer who arrested this savage, had his or her life on the line while earning a peanut salary trying to protect little girls and boys from savages like him, so I ask you, who benefited most by this savages sick act. Oh sorry I nearly forgot to finish the story, 18 months after being released and after having under gone extensive counselling while in the ‘Correctional Services’ and after being released, he was rearrested and convicted on the rape of two more small kids, one being a 5 year old little girl and the other a 6 year old little boy. I rest my case!

In conclusion, I believe that the government has to seriously look at the current punishment system and implement a deterrent punishment and it is my humble opinion that in order to establish what punishment system should be applied to savages who rape children, the government should allow the public to make this decision.

On the 17th March 1992, the previous ‘Apartheid’ South African government held a referendum in which the ‘White’ governing public was asked to vote yes or no to the changes the government was proposing. These changes involved the release of Nelson Mandela and the un-banning of the ANC. This referendum led to the massive changes of the status quo of the country and the fact that the ANC in now the governing body of South Africa.

I believe that our present government needs to allow the South African public to once again make the decision as to what punishment should be handed down to an individual who rapes a child who is under the age of 12 years of age. It is also my humble opinion that this referendum should be in the following form:

Question: What do you, as a citizen of South Africa, consider to be a just punishment for a person who rapes or sexually abuses a child who at the time of the offence was under the age of 12 years of age.

1) Death penalty
2) 45 years imprisonment without the possibility of parole or early release for any reason whatsoever
3) Continue with the present system – rehabilitation programme

I’m pretty sure everyone can guess what would get the most votes, however my personal opinion is that especially in the cases of fathers and other family members in particular being the rapists, they should be imprisoned for life, as in for the rest of their natural life, and be forced to serve their time on work farms and factory prisons generating their own food and clothing (Why should tax payers hard earned money be spent feeding and clothing them) as well as food and clothing for their families.

I would also like to conclude this blog with the following statement. We often hear the phrase “He or she can do that because it’s his or her ‘culture’”, when referring to the slaughter and in-human killing of animals etc not to mention even when it comes to rape. Well I believe that firstly, too often it is allowed to be used as an escape route, because these individuals usually choose what aspects of their ‘culture’ they enjoy and practise, and what aspects of their ‘culture’ they don’t enjoy and discard. I further believe that “we must never forget our culture, but we don’t have to live it’. We must however live according to the rules of today’s society, and these change from time to time as our societies progress.

But on this point, we often hear members of our government using the phrase, “It’s our ‘culture’” but I would like to remind them that the death penalty was within their culture as well, the history surrounding the rock at ‘Chakas Rock’ on the Kwa-Zulu Natal North Coast bares witness to this, hence my comment in the previous paragraph.

The details of the factors which I have provided in the last few blog’s is shortened versions of the details provided in my proposal for what I believe needs to be done to stop the rape and sexual abuse of children under the age of 12 years of age in South Africa, and so I would sincerely appreciate your comments on what you believe needs to be added or removed, so please contact me via my e-mail, I would dearly like to receive your comments.

So now ‘Buddy and Me’ will be taking a short break for about two weeks, and then will be back on our crusade to stop the rape of children in our beautiful country, South Africa. So until then, cheers for now, stay safe and above all KEEP ALL CHILDREN SAFE!

Caring regards from
‘Buddy and Me’ (Steve Heath)
Here it is, the email address you must send your comments and opinions to: steve@buddyandme.co.za

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