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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)

Buddy and Me’ are back. I have been inundated with emails from people asking “Where are you, what’s happening with ‘Buddy and Me’, so I’m going to do a final blog from Cape Town before heading out to the West Coast and forever onwards on the 4th of May. I am also going to post a special blog giving the details of the itinerary / schedule ‘Buddy and Me’ will be following for the next two months, so to all those people who have been emailing me and wanting to know these details, you will finally have them.

So here goes, and in this blog I’m going to publish something which I have also been inundated with emails about concerning someone and rumours flying around the country at a pace.

So to start with having broken my ankle while visiting Jo’burg, I eventually bussed back to Pinetown on Monday the 18th April, courtesy of Translux and after a twenty four and a half hour trip arrived in Durban and was picked up by my son Lloyd.

I mean check out this luxury on board the Translux bus; even with an ankle in plaster cast the 25 hour trip was most enjoyable.

After a most enjoyable couple of days with Lloyd, which involved a few of his hooligan friends – sorry Lloyd forgot to email me the photos, but none the less Julia will make space for it and include it when Lloyd finally wakes up and forwards them to me (Pic when it arrives) – I headed for Pinetown where I stayed with my daughter Carey and her family and YA! Got my plaster cast removed from my ankle. The doctor wanted to fit another one for a further TWO WEEKS but I was having none of that and so walked, or rather limped out promising that I would strap it up for another two weeks, right! I have places to go and things to do, can’t do that with a strapped up ankle and anyway ‘Buddy’s’ getting impatient waiting for me in Cape Town to get ♫On the road again♫ I’m sure you all remember Johnny Cash’s song?

I had a great Easter weekend having witnessed the Sharks finally win a game against the Hurricanes at ‘Chris’s Den’ in Pinetown

A few of the ‘Shark’ supporters at ‘Chris’s Den’.

 

Saturday a friend Linda Games, who by the way is a professional yacht Captain who delivers yachts all over the world for a living, decided that due to the recent ‘stress’s’ I had been subjected to resulting from ‘personal problems’, I had to join her on a short “easy” hike in the GIBA Gorge close to Pinetown, which according to her would “loosen up” my stiff ankle.

 

So meet the intrepid traveller/yachts woman Linda Games. This was a really great hike and even my recovering fractured ankle handled it pretty well, oh and thanks Linda for letting me bend your ear about all my ‘hassles’ and for the great advice.

At the end of the hiking trail there is a fantastic waterfall and two lakes which are full of Bass, pity there is no fishing allowed, mind you I didn’t (for once) have my rod and tackle near by so it did not matter.

Then came the ‘big day’ well for my grandson Dane that is, and the ‘big day’ involved an Easter egg search around the garden.

But first the previous night involved explaining the rules etc etc etc. So meet my grandson Dane and me, posing with Mr. Easter Bunny himself! And then the Forte family

(‘Dad – Zac, sister – Michaela, other wise known to her friends as Migz, Mom – Carey, and of course the master of the house – Dane)

Then ‘The Big Day’ and Dane was in his element searching the garden for Easter eggs

and of course it’s much easier when you have a little help from sister Michaela and the dog Shaggy, and oh boy now for the BIG job,

“How am I ever going to eat all of those, no problem watch me”. The day ended with a family cricket match and braai (Pic to be forwarded by Zac?)

So now having returned to Cape Town, I am spending time sorting out Buddy’s front wheel bearings, eventually, and getting the trailer repacked for the next leg. I will also be trying really hard to get appointments to meet people I desperately want to meet who are involved with the Thuthuzela Care Centres and are based here in Cape Town, namely Ms. Bronwyn Pithey who is the deputy Director of SOCA (Sexual Offences and Community Affairs Unit) and Senior Advocate Lizelle Africa, who is the Provincial Manager for the Thuthuzela Care Centres for the Western Cape.

Unfortunately all my emails and phone calls to these ladies offices over the past two months have gone unanswered and I wait with abated breath to receive a call from them and a chance to chat to them about my concerns regarding the manner in which the Thuthuzela Care Centres are being established, see the link on the home page of this website ‘A proposed Solution to stopping the Rape and Sexual Abuse of Children in South Africa’.

One of the points I really want to discuss with these ladies, is the fact that I have been told that an enormous amount of money is being spent on certain Thuthuzela Care Centre senior staff members travelling around the world “selling” the Thuthuzela care Centre concept to other African countries as well as a few European countries when the ‘concept’  in it’s current form in South Africa is an unproven one, and so I believe that until they get their own house in order and establish the centres properly and can prove through statistics that the concept works, the money they are presently using to travel around the world should rather be spent getting the centres properly established.

I also hoped to be able to meet a few of the more senior political leaders of our country again in the form of Helen Zille, Patricia de Lille and especially Reverend Kenneth Meshoe, before finally heading out of Cape Town, but unfortunately with the elections looming I have been told by all their offices that “that is impossible”. So hopefully I will get to meet up with them at a later stage.

In closing I want to tell everyone who emails and sms’s me philosophical messages, that the next time I receive an email or sms giving me a philosophical “thought for the day” such as “If you make a decision based on feelings and emotions from the heart etc. etc. etc. and if you make a decision from your head/brain etc. you may never find happiness etc. etc. etc” I am going to stick the computer or cell phone in your left ear. So be warned!

Oh yes and can you believe it, this computer idiot is now officially on ‘face book’, yep I was told that I have to get on this ‘thing’ and believe me if I thought handling the stress’s of a website and blog and email was stressful you ain’t seen nothing yet!

So soon I will be heading out for the West Coast, just ‘Buddy and Me’ and so I thought I would share a photo of where Buddy has been resting up for the last few weeks, right next to my granny flat in my good friends house Faan and Linda Fourie in Melkbos.

So meet Faan and Linda and Fiffi, right next to the window of my ‘home’ for the last 6 weeks or so.

Before I leave Cape Town however I will definitely be making every attempt to obtain a ticket to watch the SHARKS kick the stormers asses at Newlands this coming Saturday in their Super 15 match. GO SHARKIES!!

 

So until next when I leave cape Town, keep well, stay safe and of course above all, keep the children safe.

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 strictly those of Steve Heath and not those of the sponsors of 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)

Firstly my apologies for posting this blog so late, but many things were happening in my life over the past couple of weeks which needed to be sorted out, but let me get on with the details. The week of the 14th to 18th of March found ‘Buddy and Me’ finishing our visits to all the Beares and Lubners stores in the Cape region with a visit to the Vredenberg Beares store, but on the way to the Protea Hotel in Saldahna where I was to be based for a few days while in the area I made a few stops along the way.

My first stop was in the township of Atlantis where I was really concerned about the attitude of the SAPS victim support centre, or rather the attitude of the policewoman who claimed to be in-charge of the centre, because her attitude was undoubtedly the worst I have encountered on the ‘Buddy and Me’ project to date and especially when considering that I have had nothing but praise for the SAPS ‘Victim Support Centres’ in the Western Cape region. However I will be revisiting this particular police station when I finally make my departure from Cape Town in a couple of week’s time.

I have often said that one of the privileges I have undertaking a project of this nature is the fact that I get to meet so many incredible people and on the road to Saldahna I was given the opportunity of meeting yet another incredible individual. While travelling along a long flat section of road, I noticed a cyclist heading towards me and could not help noticing the packed pannier bags strapped to the sides of the bike and so stopped and waited knowing that it had to be one of those crazy individuals undertaking a mammoth cycle tour. On approaching me the cyclist crossed over the road and stopped alongside Buddy and that was when I got a major shock, the cyclist turned out to be a woman!  

So meet Helen Lloyd who left London on her bicycle two years ago and has cycled, mostly alone, through Europe and Africa to Cape Town. You can check out her mammoth cycle feat on her website: www.takeonafrica.co and her email address is: Helen@takeonafrica.com

My visit to the SAPS ‘Victim Support Centre’ in Darling and Saldahna proved to be a much more pleasant experience than the one in Atlantis, although I was provided with some seriously depressing information on what is occurring in this part of the country with regard to the rape and sexual abuse of children.

This is ‘Pearl’, a volunteer with the SAPS in Darling who is instrumental in ensuring that the ‘Victim Support centre’ provides the best support a small place like Darling can provide.

And this is Constable Helen Papier who heads up the ‘Victim Support Centre’ in Vredenberg. Although according to Helen, who also handles cases for the area of paternoster and other surrounding areas, “child rape is practically non-existent in these areas”, we wish Helen, but it’s just that the police are not aware of it!

As I said earlier, I was very kindly sponsored accommodation for my visit to the area by the Protea Hotel – Saldahna and oh boy was I spoilt here, so meet the Protea Hotel Saldahna’s General Manager Berneace Nel (With the yellow blouse) and her very efficient and friendly staff.

Then it was time for my visit to that ever friendly lady and store manager of the Beares store in Vredenberg, Cassie Grobler and her group of merry women and men. Every-time I visit this store I feel like I have ‘returned home’ and this visit was no exception, so to Cassie and her truly terrific bunch of guys and gals at the Beares store in Vredenberg you have mine and Buddy’s grateful thanks for making our visit to your store such a pleasant one.

That’s Cassie right up front and hiding right in the back is the regional manager Willie Nieman, I haven’t worked out yet if he’s following me around or if I have been following him, but it’s been really great meeting up with Willie and chatting with him.

Another incredible lady I met in Vredenberg is a lady by the name of Reneé Hope who has established an NGO/safe house in Vredenberg called “House of Hope” which provides support to

HIV infected individuals as well as victims of domestic violence and child rape.

Reneé provided me with some pretty shocking information on what is happening in the area with regard to child rape, which was, as usual, totally contradicting to the information provided to me by the local police. The ‘House of Hope’ details are: www.houseofhope.biz Email: renee.hope20@yahoo.com

I could not resist visiting some of the really amazingly beautiful places to be found in the area such as Paternoster and the Tities Baai. All the information I was provided with, with regard to child rape in the Paternoster area by the police as well as the local clinic indicated that “Child rape does not exist in the area”, but unfortunately I have come to learn to take this information with a pinch of salt and so will hopefully be spending a little more time in the area speaking to the communities when I head up the West Coast when I finally leave cape Town in a few weeks time.

This is the lovely tranquil beach at Tities Baai

 

A group of kids who hitched a ride to Paternoster and were perched up on Buddy’s roof struts.

As you can see the Paternoster Hotel pub is decorated in the same manner as ‘Ronnies Sex Shop’ near Barrydale, see blog 21

Following my visit to the Western Cape region and on my return to Cape Town, I headed back to Jo’burg courtesy of Translux Bus Services for a bit of R&R and to get a new batch of ‘Buddy and Me’ flyers printed as well as to sort out a few personal problems. Unfortunately after getting things done and while packing my stuff into my car for a trip to Pinetown to visit my family, I twisted my ankle and was under the impression that I had sustained a bad sprain. However after a very painful drive to Pinetown and on arriving at my daughters house, on seeing my ankle swollen to unbelievable proportions and my entire foot was a very dark shade of black and blue, Carey insisted that I see a doctor who on ex-raying the foot discovered that I had in-fact fractured two bones and the tendon had ripped away from the bone breaking off a reasonably large chip of bone.

So meet ‘Hop-a-long Casualty’ alias Steve Heath

After a couple of days with my family I boarded the Translux bus and headed back to Cape Town enduring a very painful trip of twenty five and a half hours in the process. This has obviously created a delay in the ‘Buddy and Me’ project for a few weeks because the instructions from the doctor is to ‘Stay off the foot and not place any downward pressure on the foot if you want it to heal properly and quickly”, hence a delay in the project, but the time will not be wasted as I intend using it to make contact with a number of people in Cape Town and set up appointments to press home my ideas of how I believe the ‘Thuthuzela are Centres’ should be established. I will also be placing the proposal of the formation of these centres on the blog as a link within the next few days, so stay tuned and check it out. I would also appreciate comments and opinions on the proposal.

While travelling back to Cape Town courtesy of Translux Bus Service, I received a phone call from a distraught grandmother who lives in Bishops Lavis, a township complex near to the Cape Town Airport. The call came about following an article on ‘Buddy and Me’ in a Cape Town newspaper the previous week, and she asked if she could meet with me to discuss a distressing situation the family is facing. With the help of a friend, because obviously Buddy is resting up while I’m in this confounded plaster cast, I visited the grandmother (Jennifer Adams) who told me the shocking storey of the rape of her granddaughter in 2009 who was, at the time of the rape, 11 years old, and was raped by five local gangsters, all in their early 20’s.

They had evidently abducted her while she was on her way to school and had kept her in a house for most of the day, raping her repeatedly and when finished with her later in the afternoon had chased her out into the street. The case was reported to the police and an examination confirmed the savagery of the rape. She knew one of the rapists and the police confirmed that they knew exactly who the culprits were as they were already investigating a case of the rape of another young girl against them. All five were arrested and she identified all of them as being her attackers, all five were released on bail.

To cut a long storey short, after 18 months the case went to court where, because the 11 year-old, in the words of the court, “could not talk” as in no condition to face her rapists in court and give evidence to the satisfaction of the court, the case was withdrawn against all five and they were released back into society as if nothing had happened. The other rape case against them was also withdrawn because the other young girl was too scared to give evidence against the five gangsters and she had warned Jennifer’s granddaughter that if she gave evidence against the five she would be killed.

To make matters worse, in April 2010, Jennifer’s granddaughter was once again raped by two thugs from the area who she knew well and had identified by name, and once again charges were laid with the Goodwood SAPS-FCS unit, and once again the two culprits were released on R1 000 – 00 bail. Since the reporting of the case, one year later, nothing has been heard of the case, and all enquiries have fallen on deaf ears.

Jennifer (The grandmother) has provided me with all the information on both cases and I intend getting to the bottom of this and will be using my “In-valid” time (as my son calls it) making every effort to establish what occurred in the first case which led to the case being “with-drawn” and what is happening about the second case. Discussions with people in the area prior to my meeting Jennifer and her granddaughter, revealed that this kind of thing is occurring on a regular basis in the Cape Flats region and it appears that the gangsters can do exactly what they want with no interference from the police?

As you will have noted from my blogs, I have visited a number of police stations which have ‘Victim Support Rooms/Centre’ and I really commend the police in particularly the Western Cape region for their initiative in establishing these centres/rooms, however I still believe that the initiative has been lost in the fact that the follow through from the police as well as our justice system has failed the victims and mothers reporting the rape of their children and this is a classic example of the situation which is occurring repeatedly all over South Africa. Also the victims are still required to be transported to hospitals, which in many cases are many kilometres away, by means of police vehicles for the purpose of under going the necessary examination, and so I stick to my guns with regard to the fact that I believe the formation and establishment of Thuthuzela Care Centres in the manner described in my proposal to the President is a far better option.

Well that’s about all for now, so now having brought my blog up to date I am going to put my foot and give it some well deserved rest so that it can heal fast and allow me to at least be able to drive Buddy soon so that I can get on with my crusade against the rape and sexual abuse of children.

So keep well, stay safe and of course do everything in your power to keep all children safe.

Caring regards from

‘Buddy (The Beach Buggy)

And

Me’ (Steve Heath, alias ‘Hop-a-long Casualty)

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

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