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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)

Welcome to blog 33 of the ‘Buddy and Me’ project. This past week has found me, as well as Buddy, undertaking some extensive travelling; I did a bit more than Buddy, due to the Round Tablers of Vryburg ‘hi-jacking’ me. This week has also found me celebrating my birthday in a magical place courtesy of Round Tabler Hennie Stols, who is not only a Tabler in the Vryburg Round Table but is also Area Chairman of the Round Table Northern Cape Area. This week also found me grieving from the news that my mother, who would have turned 84 on the 6th of June passed away.

So let me start at the beginning, but first, once again my apologies to Julia for the number of photos in this blog, but unfortunately due to it being a lengthy period of time I am covering a lot has happened and I have met so many people and done so much I would not be doing them justice for their incredible support and assistance to the ‘Buddy and Me’ project if I did not publish the photos, so here goes.

So when last I wrote, (blog 32) I was leaving Kathu and heading for Kuruman. My visit to Kuruman was a particularly good one, in that the Beares store Manager, Nico Rheeder had made arrangements for me to do talks at two schools in the area. The first was at a pre-primary school (Wielie Walie) where I got to meet a horde of kids who instantly fell in love with Buddy,

and after my talk,

obviously if I did not let them clamber all over Buddy and include him in the proceedings, he would have given me a hard time on the road for a long tome to come.  

 

Next it was a visit to the Kuruman Primary School, where on our arrival at the front gate ‘Buddy and Me’ had to ‘drive the gauntlet’,

which involved driving into the premises between two long lines of pupils all shouting greetings, waving and cheering at the tops of their voices.

 

All the kids were ushered into the main hall and following a presentation on the various forms of child abuse, as well as information on what a child should do should it find itself being a victim of the despicable crime of child abuse by Social Worker Louise Prinsloo of the NGO – ACVV Kuruman, I was given the privilege of addressing the packed hall and had their undivided attention for three quarters of an hour.

 I also got to meet the Vice Principal of the school, Mrs. Irene Turner

and the Head Boy Gerhard (On my right) and Deputy Head Boy, Hennie

Following my amazing time at the school, ‘Buddy and Me’ bid the pupils and staff farewell, and after once again driving yet another gauntlet out of the school premises we headed for the Beares Kuruman store. Here I had a lengthy chat with Social Workers Louise Prinsloo and Jeneveve (and yes that is spelt right) Anthony about what is happening in the area with regard to the rape and sexual abuse of children, and yes it is happening at a rate of knots in the area.

After presenting them with the findings of the ‘Buddy and Me’ project and presenting them with what ‘I believe’ is the ‘ground roots’ to stop the rape of children (See the link “Proposal for a Solution…on the front page of this website) they both agreed fully that should the government and NPA (National Prosecuting Authority) who is currently heading up the formation and establishment of the Thuthuzela Care Centre’s around South Africa and who are, in the process, according to my humble opinion, currently due to the manner in which they are being established, is wasting an enormous amount of the South African tax payers money, not to mention millions of Rands (US Dollars) being given to them by various international organisations.

Following my chat with Louise and Jeneveve I spent some quality time with the friendly staff of Beares Kuruman.

From the Beares store I headed for the Thuthuzela Care Centre which is based at the provincial hospital. Here I met two ladies who because of the sensitive nature of the information I was provided I promised not to disclose their names. After being told how the centre operates, as in the process a mother of a child rape victim has to follow, which by the way is pretty much the same as that adopted in all other areas where Thuthuzela care Centres have been ‘established’ I can understand and appreciate, once again, why mothers refuse to subject their kids to this process, and I must admit that faced with the predicament I would not subject my child to this horrible process if my child was a victim of the despicable crime of child rape. I personally would rather ensure that she or he receives the proper medical and counselling support, and then subject myself to the legal / justice process.

One bit of information I received in the area was particularly mind boggling for me, and that was that it has come to their attention that there are certain police officials in the Kuruman area who when being approached by mothers with children who have been raped, describe the shocking and traumatic process she and her child will be subjected to if she reports it, including graphic details of the examination, problems and possible consequences they could face should the perpetrator be arrested and released on bail, the lengthy period of time it will take for the case to go to trial etc etc etc. This is obviously not helping to encourage mothers to report the rape and sexual abuse of their children; hence the problem is escalating at a mean rate.

After discussing the current manner in which the Thuthuzela Care Centres are being established and presenting them with my proposal on how ‘I believe’ they should be established, I was asked “So Steve why are you not the boss of the Thuthuzela Care Centres”. Well ladies all I wish is that the ‘powers that be’ in the Thuthuzela Care Centres, as in Senior Director – Advocate Majokweni, Deputy Director – Bronwyn Pithey or Senior Advocate (SOCA-NPA) – Lizelle Africa would respond to one of my many emails and phone call messages to contact me and allow me the opportunity to discuss my issues with the establishment of the Thuthuzela Care Centres with them, but to date alas I have not been afforded the privilege of receiving any form of communication from any of them or from their offices, I wait in anticipation.

My accommodation in Kuruman was kindly provided courtesy of Ansa and Tienie Linde who own the lovely Shalom Guesthouse and B+B. At the time of meeting Ansa, she was forced to cut our chat short due to her not feeling well and was forced to retire to bed. Two days later I received a call from Nico Rheeder, the manager of the Beares store in Kuruman with the devastating news that Ansa was in the process of passing away and that her family and close friends had been summonsed to her bedside to say their final farewells to this lovely lady. Evidently she had suffered, I believe?, some type of stroke which had affected her breathing which in turn had drastically reduced the flow of oxygen to her brain. The doctor confirmed that due to the severe damage this had caused there was no point in transferring her to hospital and so the good byes were done in the comfort of her lovely home and bed. So Tienie you have my heartfelt sympathy and condolences and I am sure you will treasure the many lovely memories you have of Ansa, your incredibly lovely, kind and generous wife for many years to come, stay strong, my thoughts are with you.

 The Shalom Guesthouse contact details, should you ever find yourself in need of accommodation in Kuruman are: 053–7121781 or 072 195 7848.

My next port of call was Vryburg, and in this town resides a group of individuals, in the form of the Round Tablers, who must be one of the craziest, most incredible bunch of individuals I have ever had the pleasure of being acquainted with. Immediately on informing the Table Chairman, Ettienne Starke of my intended visit to Vryburg, I was contacted by a couple of the Table members and arrangements were made for me to stay at the Molopo Travel Inn, and for me to attend the local ‘Biltong Fees’ that night.

Before getting settled into my room, I first headed for the police station where I was given a very ‘cagey’ reception and was then sent off to the only support structure the town of Vryburg has for victims of child rape as well as victims of domestic violence, namely the Naledi ‘One – Stop’ Centre which is situated in the Huhudi Township a short way outside of Vryburg. Here I met a Social Worker by the name of Phammy Matlabe who confirmed that the services or support the centre provides is identical to that provided by the Thuthuzela Care Centres, and is also of a very poor quality and the fact that it, as in the case of the Thuthuzela Care Centres, is referred to as a ‘One-Stop’ centre is an absolute joke!

In almost all instances during my extensive travels and talks at ‘victim support centres’ to be found scattered around South Africa, I have discovered that the social workers at these centres, the majority being volunteers, and these being individuals who provide counselling to rape victims and victims of domestic violence who have suffered severe trauma, have had no training whatsoever. After hearing details of my proposal on what needs to be done to eradicate child rape from our society, Phammy fully agreed that if the centres were established like I propose it would be the roots of eradicating the scourge from our society. We had a lengthy discussion on the problem surrounding young girls in the 13 -15 year age group whose boyfriends are much older, as in their 20’s and the parents allow them to participate in sex and because the boyfriend pay the family money, and even when the child falls pregnant the parents do nothing about it, as in reporting the rape of the child, because of the ‘financial factor’. This in my constitutes ‘Child trafficking’ and yet our government, as in its justice system, condones it and does nothing to stop it in-spite of all its propaganda campaigns claiming to want to ‘Stamp out Child Trafficking”.

The big problem is that our government is participating in this crime and should be charged along with the parents for contravening section 54 of ‘Act 32 of the Sexual Offences Act’ in that they are not prosecuting the parents for failing to report the rape of the child. Phammy also agreed that the government has got to do something fast to stop enticing young girls and young women to have children purely for the purpose of receiving the child grants, which in many cases the child receives no benefit from. We had a very long discussion and Phammy gave me some really good opinions and comments, so many thanks Phammy for your time.

This is the first group of Tablers who arrived at the Molopo Travel Inn to greet me. I was soon whisked off to the local country club where I met a few more Tablers,

for a ‘serious’ meeting, and then off to the ‘Biltong Fees (festival)’

where yep I did a lot more talking. Now for those who have never attended a ‘Biltong Fees’, this involves a four course meal all consisting of yep BILTONG! The soup is made from biltong, the starter is made from biltong, the main course is biltong and yes you guesed, the desert is small cookies things made from BILTONG! I have never been presented with or even heard of so many varieties of biltong! A truly amazing experience.

From the biltong fees, I was taken to meet a number of Vryburg’s celebrities and community members at a local pub where I even got to meet with this lovely lady

 So everyone meet Lize-Marie Twigge ‘Miss Stellalander for 2011’. During the course of the evening, I was told by Hennie Stols, the Round Table Area Chairman for the Northern Cape Area, that functions were being held by the Round Tables in both Kakamas as well as Augrabies the next day (Saturday) and that my presence at these functions had been requested by the respective Round Tables.

 

 The fact that attending these functions would involve a round trip of almost 1300 kilometres and which would take almost 13 hours to complete, did not deter me, what me pass up an opportunity to talk, I would travel to the ends of the earth to talk on the subject of child rape and the information I have obtained on this ‘Buddy and Me’ project. So after being dropped off at my Molopo Travel Inn accommodation at a quarter to three on Saturday morning, yep you read that right, I was picked up 45 minutes later by the Tablers of Vryburg, in their combi, and we started the long trek South to, first Kakamas and then Augrabies, roughly 620 something kilometres away! Fortunately Tablers are very insistent on a driver being allocated for when they attend any functions where the consumption of alcohol is partaken in, so guy’s hats off to you for your insistence on this rule.

The function at kakamas involved a Bowls competition in which everyone had to participate; mmmm I won’t go into detail with that,

 Here Trixie, Hennie’s wife, was ‘warming up’ with Tabler Paul Dippenaar, Vice Chairman of Augrabies Round Table and our host that evening on his incredibly beautiful wine farm on the banks of the Orange River in Augrabies. Following a very festive afternoon in Augrabies, we headed out for the Round Table club house in Augrabies where I once again got the opportunity to do what I love doing, talk,

 So meet the Tablers of Augrabies where I was once again presented with a Round Table banner and lapel pin to add to my ever growing collection of Round Table pins and banners.

After a magic time with the Round Tablers of Augrabies at their club house we retired to Pauls Dippenaars magnificent home, which as I said is situated on the banks of the mighty Orange River a short way down from the Augrabies Fall, these falls

 Paul and his lovely wife Jandri (I hope I spelt it right) as in the case with all Round Tablers, are amazing hosts and we were provided with a genuine ‘Noord Kaap’ braai and all the ‘stuff’ that goes with it, and so all and sundry,

 had a marvellous time in paradise. So many thanks Paul and Jandri for your incredible friendship and hospitality, it was sincerely appreciated.

During the long drive back to Vryburg on Sunday, Hennie asked me where I was intending to spend the week of my birthday, (the up-coming week) which I had originally scheduled to spend in Cape Town but do to ‘unforeseen’ changes in my life, I decided to cancel. When I said that I was intending to camp at one of the nearby dams, these being Bloemhof and the Warrenton Dams, he immediately offered me the use of his ‘holiday home’ which is situated on the banks of the Vaal River a short way outside of Christiana. Hence I spent the week of my birthday at this incredibly beautiful place

And of course I partook in my favourite sport, and that being?

For my birthday (Tuesday the 24th May), I popped into a local establishment called ‘Amperklaar” (for those who don’t understand Afrikaans this means ‘nearly finished’) the reason for this is because the owner of the establishment Les, started building it 8 years ago and “is nearly finished?” but it is never the less a great place. A local chap, who unfortunately died about 18 months ago painted this amazing painting on the one wall, and took 7 hours to complete it.

And this is the rest of the pub

 and meet the owner, Les standing on the right of the picture.

My intention and schedule was to attend the official opening of the newly revamped Hartswater Beares store on Friday the 27th May, but unfortunately at 4:45am on that fateful morning I received a call from my sister, Nan in Pinetown informing me that my mom, Val Heath had just passed away. Obviously I had to cancel the rest of the schedule for the project and after a gruelling 14 hour, 823 kilometre drive in Buddy from Christiana through what must be some of the coldest weather I have driven on the project to date, arrived in Pinetown at 11pm on Friday night. I will be providing a new schedule as soon as my moms affairs have been finalised and the schedule will be published as a blog.

The funeral/memorial service arrangements for my mom have been made for 2:30pm on Friday the 3rd of June to be held at the ‘Christ Church’ in Meller Road Pinetown, 3 days before what would have been her 84th birthday, so mom, you were an amazing mother and woman, and although I know you are in a better place, and that you wanted to be there for sometime now, but you will still be sadly missed, I love you, and will treasure the many incredible memories you left us with, rest in peace now lovely lady.

Before I sign off I would just like to mention something that has been told to the family by the management of the ‘home’ my mother spent the last few years in, namely the ‘Pinetown Nursing Home’ and although they provided her with a tremendous service during her stay there, we find it amazing that a refund of the deposit which was paid and which is a substantial amount, will not be refunded “Due to the fact that she did not provide the home with 30 days notice”. I am sure I don’t need to go into details of why we, the family, are not happy with this decision and explanation, totally ridiculous!

With that I am going to bid everyone farewell for now, keep well, stay safe and 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 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)

See Blog 29 for detailed itinerary of ‘Buddy and Me’ project 3 (8th May – 23rd June 2011) So welcome to another blog / diary of ‘Buddy and Me – project3). Before I continue I must give my sincere apologies to Julia, the lovely lady / friend in Germiston who so kindly assists this computer idiot by converting my email form blogs and posting them onto my website.

I say apologies because I thought I would cut down on the number of blogs I did on project 2 and so save her some work and not take up so much of her personal time, but alas I have discovered that by doing this it makes the blogs longer with more photos to down load, so Julia you have my sincere apologies and grateful thanks for the great job you are doing, it’s truly appreciated.

So now down to business of what’s been happening in the lives of ‘Buddy and Me’. Firstly I had a great time with some amazing people, friends as well as local community members of the small towns of Doorn Baai, Strandfontein and Vredendal. Apart from learning about what is happening with regard to the rape and sexual abuse of children in these areas I also got to spend some really quality time with them, and to get to see some of the amazing countryside and undertake some extensive sight seeing along this amazing coast line.

Just a small part of what I’m talking about, I have many incredible pictures, so anyone who wants to see more can contact me on my email steve@buddyandme.co.za and I will gladly email them to you.

‘Buddy- Ziggy (If you look carefully you will see her in my arms, a cross Jack Russell / Chichawa – if that’s how one spells it?) – and Me’ inside an amazing cave I found while on my excursion along the coast line. The local community depend on two sources of income, one from the marine diamond trade; boats that collect diamonds from the oceans surface by means of divers with large vacume cleaner type equipment, and fishing, my preference of course!

The fisherman had just got back from a days fishing with their catch of Snoek which has been in abundance for the last few weeks when I arrived at the slipway and of course I could not resist buying one, hell at R20-00 for a 3 Kg Snoek I ask you who could turn that offer down?

I was disappointed on Saturday because the Sharks had a bye for the weekend but Lisa, (Leon’s wife, they were moss in the last photo at the braai in my last blog – 31), brightened up my day by taking me on a tour of the town which included a stop-off at the local rugby grounds where I watched a game of rugby with a few of the local community members.

And of course all the kids decided that a ride in Buddy was much more exiting than watching a game of rugby!

My visit to the area was ended off with, yep you guessed, a braai and party of note! and Leon did a great job with this and not only was he braaing, but at the same time he smoked my Snoek for me, for pad kos.

 So with the recreational part of my visit finished it’s now down to the working part and main purpose of my visit to the area. After all this time of being involved in the ‘Buddy and Me’ project – 6 years and 183 000 kilometres under the belt and having visited almost every town and city in South Africa as well as 14 other countries in Africa, I still find it incredible that whenever I arrive in an area and speak to the ‘authorities’ as in the people, who ‘should’ know what’s going on in the area with regard to child rape, I am told “Child rape here, nooo it doesn’t happen here, we have maybe one or two cases a year”.

Well firstly one or two cases a year in my book is one or two cases too many, secondly this information I always discover after talking to the women and mothers and other community members in the area, is absolute nonsense. The information obtained from this source always paints an entirely different picture and I am told that “it is occurring on a large scale”, but as usual for the reasons identified in my ‘Proposal for a Solution to Stopping the rape of Children’ link on this website, it is not being reported. The three main reasons being:

1) The system or route the mother and child is subjected to in terms of the reporting at the police station, transporting of the child to a hospital in a police vehicle, the humiliation and degradation the child is subjected to at the hospital, the fact that the rapist is released on bail to torment and intimidate the child and mother / parents etc.

2) In the majority of instances (believed to be around 90%) the father, as in the biological father or step-father, uncle is the perpetrator, therefore should he be arrested and form one of the countries 4 – 6% statistics of convicted child rapists and be imprisoned, the financial factor of having the ‘bread winner’ removed from the family environment is too devastating for the mother to live with.

3) Because of the facts mentioned in 2 above, the family, because of the embarrassment of the child being raped, sexually abused, by the father, step-father uncle etc, put immense pressure on the mother not to report it, in-spite of section 54 of the Sexual Offences Act 32/2007 forbidding this and making it a crime. (For details and an example on what I believe should be done to stop this practice, see blog 24) The other major problem of course is the fact that there is absolutely no support structure whatsoever in this entire area for victims of child rape, or for that matter, victims of domestic violence which because of the massive drug (Tik) and alcohol abuse problem, is rife! Sunday morning found ‘Buddy and Me’ heading out of Doorn Baai in very misty/overcast and freezing cold weather, but after passing through Vredendal and Vanrhynsdorp and cresting the Vanrhyns Pass where visibility was a mere one metre, the misty/cloudy conditions suddenly evaporated and the sky was suddenly blue with not a cloud in sight, absolutely amazing.

After cresting the Pass I looked back and could see the perfectly straight line of the misty/cloudy conditions behind me. The 611 kilometre drive to Upington took ‘Buddy and Me’ a devastating 9 hours and 53 minutes to complete and was one of the loneliest drives I have ever undertaken, much time to think, I mean check this out,

and this was the scenery for most of the trip. I think I saw a total of 10 vehicles during the entire 10 hours and the only human beings I saw were 5 when I stopped in Kenhardt to fill up with petrol and in-fact at one stage with the road disappearing far into the distance I thought I caught a glimpse of next week. Passing through Calvinia (Oh yes I saw a couple of human beings there too, but only a couple because after all it was Sunday) I saw this amazing sight Pic 1349 the worlds biggest post box! Fortunately Protea Hotels once again came to my rescue, because after the almost 10 hour trip all I wanted was a room to sleep in, but first a long, soaking bath because after all it was 7pm when I checked in, and the Protea Upington Hotel’s General Manager Peet Janse van Rensburg kindly and generously provided both for me.

So Peet you and your friendly staff have my eternal gratitude and thanks for you friendship and hospitality. How’s this for a view of the Orange River, taken from my room

 My visit to the Beares store in Upington was as usual a really festive occasion where the store Manager, Caleen Willemse and her friendly staff made my visit to their store a really great one.

Caleen is on my left. I spent quite a lot of time with members of the police FCS unit, who provided me with an incredible amount of information and opinions on the current systems and its failings and so I don’t think I should mention their names, I’m sure you can appreciate why.

One of the biggest gripes I have heard from members of the police force, and this is not only in the Upington area but right across South Africa, is that because of all the changes made ‘at the top’ as in senior officials being removed from office on a regular basis, every time a new ‘broom’ is brought in, he or she brings in his/her own ‘new’ ideas and every thing is changed.

With this continues ‘changing of the guards’ process, no system is given time to get properly put into place, hence major confusion in the ranks. Just a few examples of this are:

1) The fact that the name was changed from SAP (South African Police) to SAPS (South African Police Service). Now there are rumours that this will soon be changed to SAPF (South African Police Force) the reason being that the ‘new’ police Commissioner believes that the criminals “see the Police Service as a ‘soft’ organisation where as the ‘Police Force’ comes across as a no nonsense one”.

2) The ranks were changed from Warrant Officers, Lieutenants, Majors, and Colonels etc to Inspectors, Superintendents, and Directors etc. They are now, after a mere couple of years and enormous cost to the tax payers, been changed back to what they originally were!

3) And my favourite, the CPU – Child Protection Unit, which by the way was regarded as one of the best specialised child protection units in the world, was disbanded, re-established as the FCS unit a couple of years later and then re-disbanded and can you believe it RE-ESTABLISHED again!

I mean, come on, how can we expect our police men and woman to function properly when chaos and confusion reigns in the top ranks and it is blatantly obvious that the ‘powers that be’ cannot make a decision and stick to it. My discussion also revealed that my information regarding the statistics I have been given with regard to the national conviction rate in child rape cases currently stands at a pathetic 4 – 6%, the main contributing factor to this was confirmed as being:

1) Pathetic statements being taken by incompetent police men and women at the initial point of reporting with this being attributed to the fact that there are nowhere near enough trained police men and women in the FCS unit. (For details on my view point on this issue, read blog 2 and blog 18, re the amount of money being spent on our ‘Metro’ police force in comparison to what is being spent on the formation and establishment of the FCS units)

2) The unacceptably long time, average between 10 months to two years for DNA forensic results to be obtained, resulting in

3) The totally ridiculous time of between 2 and 3 years for a child rape case to appear in court.

I also got to meet an interesting lady by the name of Ms. Valerie Syster who is the Manager of the Bopanong Centre and is with the Department of Social development. The functions of the centre are pretty much the same as those of the Thuthuzela Care Centres which can be found scattered around South Africa and which I am sure for those who have been following my blogs, know that although I believe that they could be the roots to stopping the scourge of child rape in South Africa, are far from achieving this. (For details see the link on this website – ‘A Proposal to Stopping the Rape of Children’) I asked Valerie to read my proposal on the establishment of the Thuthuzela Care centres and look forward to her comments and opinions.

The one thing I learnt in Upington, and hearing it come from the mouths of policemen was like music to my ears, although the information was far from music to my ears, is the fact that the rape and sexual abuse of children in the area is happening at an horrific rate and the policemen who told me agreed fully that the mothers will not report it for the exact reasons I mentioned. They agreed totally that I am on the right track, so thanks guys that is very encouraging.

While driving out of Upington on my way to Kathu, I stopped off to fill up Buddy again and met yet another motorcyclists touring around South Africa, Namibia and Botswana, so meet Johan Pienaar who hails from Thabazimbi

Johan I am going to hold you to your promise of a few cold frosties when I reach Thabazimbi. The drive to Kathu was very similar to the long lonely drive from Doorn Baai to Upington, just not so long, only 213 kilometres this time and I arrived at the Beares store at 1:30 in the afternoon and spent a few hours chatting to the friendly Manager Elsabie Faber and her staff.

 (That’s Elsabie in the middle in the front) I also got to spend quite a bit of time with the Commander of the Kathu SAPS – FCS unit Warrant Officer Buks Hannekom who told me that the FCS unit was formed in Kathu in February this year (2011) but unfortunately since its formation nothing much has occurred with regard to providing them with premises, even desks and the proverbial gripe of all police officers, no vehicles. The Kathu FCS unit is expected to provide essential services for victims of child rape and domestic violence generated from four stations which are scattered over a pretty large area and is expected to achieve this with a total staff consisting of Warrant Officer Hannekom and two other investigators with the use of ONE vehicle. And then we wonder why mothers won’t report the rape of their children and WHY our national conviction rate stands at a pathetic 4 – 6%. My accommodation in Kathu for the first night was kindly provided courtesy of the Melkbos B+B a really lovely place, so many thanks to Phillip and Hester Prinsloo for you kind and generous support. Contact details for the Melkbos B+B if you are ever in need of top class accommodation when in Kathu are:

Tel. 053 723 1429

Email – melkbosbb@lantic.net

Website: www.e-destinations.co.za

My second nights accommodation was courtesy of the Mopani B+B yet another lovely place, so thanks to Gert and Karren for your kind assistance. Contact details for the Mopani B+B are: Tel, 053 723 2519 and 082 337 4800.

Before I eventually sign off, Julia is probably saying “Thank goodness for that”, I just want to tell you about a gripe I have with the tick smoking/snorting addicts of the Doorn Baai area.

On preparing to leave Doorn Baai, I did the usual walk around checking that the lights on the buggy and trailer were working and that all padlocks were on etc and to my horror I discovered that the right rear tail light of the trailer was broken. After buying a new one in Upington (R85-00) I was told by a cop that the tick addicts smash the tail lights of trailers and caravans to get the globe to use for tick, so to the juncky who broke my R85-00 tail light for two globes worth R2-50 I hope you choke on your tick and that the flees of a million camels infest your arm pits.

 Your pathetic addiction not only cost me R85-00 but time running around to find a drill to redrill the holes and fit it, but thanks to Phillip of Melkbos B+B in this regard for your help. Okay, so this blog has now taken me almost four hours to write, so I am going to say chio for now, once again I am really sorry Julia for taking up so much of your personal time with this marathon blog, I’ll try to keep them shorter, but to everyone, keep well, stay safe and obviously keep all children safe. Caring regards from ‘Buddy (The Beach Buggy) And Me’ (Steve Heath)

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)

Well it’s great to be back on the project again and ♫On the road again♫ with Buddy, and my first stop in Paternoster, although a bit heart wrenching with great memories of the place, I actually spent some time here on the first project as well as a few days in the area from the 14th to the 17th March, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit. At the time of my visit in March I met up with the police in Vredenberg who handle cases from Paternoster and I was told that “child rape does not occur in the Paternoster area” and at the time thought “Ya right I’ve heard that before”.

Well subsequent to my visit, I received a phone call from a lady in Paternoster who had seen my ‘Buddy and Me’ project flyer/brochure and asked if it would be possible to meet with me and so it was for this reason, well one of them, that I returned to Paternoster. My discussion with her as well as two other ladies of the local community confirmed my belief that the information provided by the Vredenberg police was not quite, in fact not anywhere close to, the truth. According to members of the community I spoke to, the rape and sexual abuse of children is occurring on a regular basis in the form of incest and is, as usual, a forbidden topic to talk about, hence the police act like Ostriches and bury their heads in the sand convincing themselves that they are doing a great job in stopping or preventing the rape and sexual abuse of children.

My stay in Paternoster was courtesy of the ‘Paternoster Hotel

So meet Giorelo Carasini owner of the ‘Paternoster Hotel’ who very kindly helped me with accommodation.

A really great hotel to stay in when visiting Paternoster.

From Paternoster, Monday morning, I headed out of Paternoster in very thick and very cold misty conditions. The drive to lamberts Bay was a really great one, well initially that is, with the road following the coast for most of the way, but unfortunately I was given a bit of ‘wrong’ information when leaving Paternoster and was told that I must take the ‘coastal‘ road to Lamberts Bay as opposed to driving the longer route to the N7 highway. I was told, emphatically that the ‘coastal’ road was tarred all the way to Lamberts Bay. Well that turned out to be garbage because the last 17 kilometres turned out to be a very badly corrugated gravel road which took ‘Buddy and Me’ a very uncomfortable one hour and 17 minutes to complete. This sign,

 got me thinking about our roads department? 

 On arriving in town I first stopped off at the Lamberts Bay Hotel to wash down the dust from the lousy gravel road, and was approached by the General Manager of the hotel Annette Kleinhans who on seeing Buddy and hearing about the project insisted on providing me with accommodation.

So meet Annette Kleinhans GM of the Lamberts Bay Hotel, many thanks Annette for your kind friendship and hospitality.

I had a really great and informative chat with another very dedicated police lady in the form of Constable Anneke Schreuder who heads up the ‘Victim Empowerment Centre’ at the police station in Lamberts Bay. She told me of a very recent case in the Lamberts Bay area, or rather in the near-by farming area, which involved the brutal rape of a 7 year-old little boy by three boys aged between 7 and 9 years of age, and now for the really scary part of the storey.

In-spite of the fact that the 7 year-old was severely and brutally raped by means of a stick being forced into him by the three little savages, which obviously caused extensive internal injuries, not to mention the extreme mental trauma the child was exposed to, because of the new ‘Child Justice Act’ the three savages cannot be prosecuted and so get away scot free! ‘The Act’ claims that a child under the age of 10 years of age cannot be held responsible for their actions because they are incapable of knowing the difference between right and wrong.

My problem with this is the fact that the little boy was threatened with his life by the three little savages who threatened to kill him if he told anyone, well because of the injuries he sustained he did not have to tell anyone, but I’m sorry, when someone threatens to kill someone if he/she “tells’ anyone else, then the individual doing the threatening knows very well that what he/she did was wrong!

 Two very dedicated police officials, Warrant Officer Francoise Pieterse – Fafa to his friends – and Constable Anneke Schreuder, and oh yes that ‘other’ guy that was there.

Constable Schreuder confirmed that the rape and sexual abuse of children, especially in the surrounding farming districts, is occurring on a large scale but also confirmed that the cases are not being reported to the police. She fully agreed with my sentiments on the reasons why mothers are not reporting the rape and sexual abuse of their children and concurred that if the Thuthuzela Care Centres were established in the manner I propose in my ‘Proposal for a Solution’ link on my website, this would undoubtedly encourage the mothers to report these cases and will ultimately lead to eradicating the scourge of child rape from our society.

To press home her point, Constable Schreuder confirmed that apart from her and 5 volunteer ‘counsellors’ from the community, who by the way have not had so much as 1 minutes training in counselling, there is absolutely no support structure whatsoever for child rape victims or, for that matter, victims of domestic violence in general, which because of the monstrous drug (Tick) and alcohol problem in the area, is running rampant.

I met a really incredibly friendly guy in the form of Neels Kloppers who hails from Kempton Park (Jo’burg) and who has taken a month’s break and is ridding his motor cycle, a Marauder, around the circumference of South Africa. So the evening was spent braaing at his camp, where much beer and wine was consumed of course and the conversation was great.

I did manage to squeeze in a visit to the really interesting ‘Bird Island’ where one can learn an amazing amount about the ‘White Gold’ industry which involves the ‘farming’ of ‘Guano’ which is the bird droppings from this breed of bird in particular

 the ‘Kelp Gull’.

Bird Island.

 Looking back at the waterfront from the same view point on the pier to Bird Island.

After bidding farewell to Neels and Tiela (Husband of the owner of the Lamberts Bay Hotel Mariette Breutenbach who unfortunately was away at the time) I headed out of Lamberts Bay and had a thoroughly enjoyable drive through to, first, Vredendal, and then on to Strandfontein and Doorn Baai.

Tiela (right of picture) nicknamed Neels and I “The Travelling Hill Billy’s” and now looking at the photo I can fully understand why.

Now down to some serious business. In my last blog (Blog 30) I mentioned a case involving the rape of a three year-old little girl – Lamb – who it has been alleged, was raped while attending a nursery school in Melk Bos, 30 kilometres outside of Cape Town.

This evidently occurred on the 16th of March this year, but, because the ‘system’, as I have been told by ‘Lambs’ father, does not allow a docket/case number to be registerred unless the ‘victim’ makes a statement, to date no case has officially been opened!!

Here is the mother’s story:

Goeie Dag

Ek is ‘n ontnugterde mamma. My dogterjite van 3 en ‘n half

is by ‘n Pre-Primere skool in Melkbosstrand seksueel ge-

molesteer.

Tot my ontnugtering is die Polisie se Kinder Beskermings

Eenheid nie regtig lus om my te help nie………

Ek het nog ‘n Mamma gesmeek om haar dogterjie te vat

vir ‘n florensiese ondersoek; wat wel toe bevestig het

dat sy ook mee gepeuter is.

Ons het 2 J88’s (dokters verslag) nou. Die Polisie kan ons 

nie meer ignorer nie, maar ‘n verbasende 2 weke het verloop 

vandat die 2de Mamma die verslag gekry het.

Die ander groot probleem is dat die samelewing on-“ingelig”

is, as ‘n dogterjie ‘n rooi koekie het neem die ouers hul na 

‘n gewone dokter of gynea toe wat hul dan meedeel dit

is ‘n ligte blaas infeksie of van te veel suur (te veel tamaties

of lemoene geeet) wat die kind geeet het!!

Net ‘n Florensiese Distrik Dr kan die ondersoek doen. Dis

al wat hul doen die hele dag lank. 

Kan jul asb. my help en ‘n artikel plaas oor tekens, prosedure,

nommers ens. wat gevolg moet word in dien ouers vermoed

hul kind word gemolesteer.

Ek voel ons as samelewing moet almal saam die saak (waaroor

niemand wil praat en hul koppe anderkant toe draai…) aanpak

en mense bewus maak dis OK om die bul by die horings te pak

en die onmoontlike te doen om die “varke” in die tronk te kry!!!!!

Help my asb.

‘n Harseer en ontnugterde Mamma

 An email from the same mother:

Hi Steve

I would like your input on this one…

Find attached my 1 page “step-by-step”

-what to do.

My aim; to reach as many parents as

possible, to make them aware what

one needs to do (This was an idea of mine

because I wasted so many time & money by

doing the wrong things and nobody could or

would really help me!)

Regards

XXXX

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU THINK YOUR CHILD

HAS BEEN SEXUALLY ABUSED……………………

 

  1. When you think something is wrong – THERE IS! MOTHERS DO HAVE A SIXTH SENSE – USE IT. Go to www.stopitnow.org/warning signs.

 

  1. Go to your nearest Police Station; make a statement on behalf of your child, in order to get a case number.

 

  1. Ask the Child Protection Unit to make an

Appointment with a forensic District Doctor,

In order to examined your child and to get your

J88 filled in. (A J88 is a medical form you need

for the child abuse case).

DO NOT TAKE YOUR CHILD TO A GP OR A

GYNEA – THEY ARE NOT EXPERTS IN CHILD

ABUSE AND DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO LOOK

FOR.

  1. Ask the Child Protection Unit to make an appointment for your child with a Forensic Social Worker in order to get a statement from the child.

 

  1. Ask the Child Protection Unit to make an appointment with a Social Worker for your child for play therapy.

 

  1. Do not under estimate the importance of play therapy – the children need the therapy.

 

  1. Phone Tyger Bear Clinic, the Trauma Centre or Rapcan if you need any assistance or help.

 

  1. DO SOMETHING!!

 

To Steve

I have a 3year old daughter who was raped. We have already started with therapy.

This case will only go to court in two or three years. The current act on child abuse will not be protecting my child, because the court will summon her to testify then. All I want to say is that our current law will then abuse her even further by putting her through the same trauma again. A 3 year old will not be able to remember all details like asked in court. Why can’t the original testimony and the testimony of the parents be used in court? The J88 should also be enough. But the judicial system in our country allows the perpetrator to get away, by putting a child through the same abuse all over again.

 The people who write the law in this country is politicians and lawyers, it is as good as asking a prostitute to write the law on prostitution. Not one of the political parties running for the election are doing anything to stop child abuse. The police are under staffed and the people involved do not even have the right training.

The current law allows me to take the government to court for child abuse, because they are repeating the trauma. In two years you can be so far ahead with the healing process and then the courts puts everybody through the same trauma again.

What is a government worth if they can’t even protect our kids against their system?

Our kids are our future. We need to protect them and get the perpetrators in jail.

The reason why most paedophile cases do not get reported is because the parents are acting with in their rights to protect the child. Yes they are protecting them against a system which will not stop traumatizing their children and benefits the perpetrator.

A note to all the parents out there: Sue the government for child abuse, if it happens to your child. It is your duty to report child abuse, by law you have to do it and by law your child will get abused again.

Just a brief note for the government, government to be and youth leagues: You can mess up, by setting bad examples for our kids, in the media, because we as parents in this country can still guide our kids, because we only see children and not colour or racism. We only see kids!

Father of ‘Lamb’

I don’t suppose I have to tell you how pissed off these parents are about the ‘system’ and ‘Lambs’ father expressed his anger about the system by telling me that he firmly believes that the government should be taken to task for the abuse they are inflicting on the children by subjecting them to this absurd ‘system’ and I absolutely agree with him. It is an atrocity that a case cannot be opened / registered based on a statement made by a mother in instances where a child, under the age of 6 at least, has told the mother what occurred and is incapable of talking or confiding in a police official – stranger.

Another point which was raised, and I will be seeking legal expert advice on this point, is the fact that it is believed that the ‘system/law’ as in the ‘Childs Rights Act’, protects the parent / mother against prosecution in terms of section 54 of ‘Act 32/2007 – The Sexual Offences Act’ – the compulsory reporting of the rape or sexual abuse in instances where an individual is made aware of such rape or sexual abuse – I have been told that the ‘Childs Rights Act’ protects a mother / parent from being prosecuted in terms of section 54 in the fact that the parent can claim “that by not reporting the matter is acting in the best interests of the child”, in other words by not subjecting the child to the trauma of being exposed to ‘the system’. I would sincerely appreciate any comments anyone has on this point.

I loved a point which was raised recently in a discussion, which was “Actions have consequences but the ‘system’ is failing this philosophy”. I believe that by changing the law and allowing a mother / parent to provide the initial statement on the facts of the case as told to her / him by the child in order to open a case, and by establishing the Thuthuzela Care Centres in the manner I have proposed in my ‘Proposal for a Solution’ link on this website, the scourge of child rape would be reduced dramatically if not eradicated completely from our society.

On a lighter point, on arriving in Doorn Baai, I was invited to a braai by the sister of a friend in Jo’burg,

and so my first night in Doorn Bai was a very festive one, so thanks Sharleen Fitzpatrick (White jersey) and daughter Sacha (seated on left of picture), as well as Leon and Lisa Van Duyker and Tanya ?

So that I think is enough writing for this blog, and so on Sunday I will be heading for Upington where I will once again be hosted accommodation in the lovely Upington Protea Hotel, talk about being spoilt!

So until next I write, keep well, stay safe, and of course keep all 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 www.buddyandme.co.za website / blog are 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)

See Blog 29 for detailed itinerary of ‘Buddy and Me’ project 3 (8th May – 23rd June 2011)

So ‘Buddy and Me’ are finally undertaking final preparations for our departure from Cape Town which will be tomorrow morning the 8th May. This has undoubtedly been, because of circumstances beyond my control, or so I claim, there are many who will differ on that point but I’m sticking to my storey, the longest by far I have ever been in any one area on the ‘Buddy and Me’ project.

Since having my plaster cast removed from my left ankle in Pinetown on the 20th and after bussing back to Cape Town courtesy of Translux, I have spent quite a bit of time being involved in trying to ascertain what went wrong in the investigation of, two in particular, bad, child rape cases over the past few weeks in the Cape Town area, which I will discuss in depth later in this blog, really shocking stuff! But first let me fill you in with what has been happening in the lives of ‘Buddy and Me’.

Firstly while in Pinetown having my plaster cast removed, I spent some quality time with my family, this mainly being in the form of my son Lloyd, with whom I spent the first couple of nights with and then my daughter Carey, son-in-law Zac and grand kids Michaela and Dane. My stay there also included the Easter Weekend so much sugar, in the form of Easter eggs was consumed.

 

Grandson – Dane and yours truly preparing for the ‘big day’.

 Meet the Forte family, from left – Dad, Zac – Grandaughter, Michaela – Mom , Carey – and ‘boss of the house, Dane.

Also while in Pinetown I got to share some quality time with friends watching the Sharks game at Chris’s Den.

Buddy and Me’ have been extremely fortunate with regard to the weather over the past few months, obviously being an open Beach Buggy, Buddy, and of course me, do not like the rain! And the past three months the weather has been really kind to us with only having experienced a couple of small light showers, although on arriving back in Cape Town on the 27th May I was greeted by extreme cold weather, and since then we have been subjected to varying weather conditions as far as the temperatures are concerned. One day it’s magic and warm and the next it’s freezing cold.

One of the on going functions I have is keeping Buddy on the road, and this believe me is an ‘on going challenge’. But with the help of an incredibly generous and friendly man by the name of Kenn Sara; who apart from being a Beetle / Beach Buggy pundit (fundi) and generally a brilliant mechanic with all makes of cars, is the owner of Killarney Brake & Beetle Centre whose premises are at Unit 1 Beetle park – 7 Monaco Road Killarney Park (Tel: 084 757 4848) Buddy’s latest problem, badly worn front wheel bearings, has been sorted out. So many thanks for your kind help with Buddy’s surgery, and after putting your special ‘touch to Buddy’s points, timing and other components, he is purring like a kitten, oh hell I shouldn’t say that Buddy will definitely extract his anger out on me at some stage or other on a lonely deserted road, so let me rather say “he is roaring like a lion”.

Kenn hard at work sorting out Buddy’s front wheel bearings as well as fitting a new front left wheel cylinder for the brakes.

But it’s not only Kenn who was roped into performing surgery on Buddy, I had to replace the front indicator unit, again! Because of some of the really lousy road surfaces – potholes and gravel roads ‘Buddy and Me’ are forced to travel on, the front wheels keep hitting the base of the indicator units under the mudguards and smashing the units, one day I will sit down and design a new system for the indicators.

During the past couple of weeks, I have had the pleasure and privilege of spending time with the incredibly friendly guys of the Round Table of a few Tables in the Cape region. On Monday (2nd may – public holiday) the Tablers of Round table Cape Town 9, Belleville 65, and Table View 246, gave up their personal time with their families to join me at Drift Woods in Table View to meet me. Not only was I privileged to meet these guys, but I got to meet the infamous and amazing man, Gordon Mckelvie, who is the recently past President of Round Table Southern Africa.

 

 So meet the special people of Round Table, from the left: Charles MacDonald RT Cape Town 9: Gordon McKelvie RT Cape Town 9 and past President RT Southern Africa: Andile Mali RT Table View presenting me with the Tables banner and pin: yours truly: Roy Adam RT Cape Town 9: Corne Burger RT Bellville

Over the past 3 years on the ‘Buddy and Me’ project, I have compiled a very impressive collection of Round Table banners and pins, but my visit to Cape Town afforded me the opportunity of being presented with what I consider to be the most prestigious banner and pin I have been presented with to date.

 

 The personal banner and pins(top right corner of the banner) of recent past President for Round table Southern Africa – Gordon McKelvie. Many thanks Gordon this and your kind words on my Face Book mean a heck of a lot to me.

Unfortunately my accommodation in the form of a granny flat while in Cape Town, kindly provided by my good friends Faan and Linda Fourie in Melkbos came to an end due to it being used taken over by another friend of the family and so I turned to my trusted sponsors, Protea Hotel, and on hearing that I had been forced to extend my departure from cape Town in the hope of meeting up with Hellen Zille and Patricia de Lille, Janneman Britz, General Manager of the Protea Hotel – Sea Point, (See blog 26 for photo) had no hesitation in offering me accommodation once again at his lovely hotel. So my last four days has been spent in the luxury of the Protea Hotel – Sea Point, many thanks Janneman for your kind hospitality and friendship.

My departure from Melkbos was, as usual when I leave an area, something of a celebration. I must admit I have been wondering if they are celebrating the fact that I’m leaving or celebrating the fact that I visited the area mmmm?

 Some of the great friends I made at the Bush Pub in Melkbos during my visit to the area. From left: Rikus and Elsa Richter with daughter Miller (I think that’ how you spell her name): Wanda Truter: yours truly: (behind the bar) with the cap, Leon the proprietor and on his right the man who serves the cold beers, unfortunately I never got his name, the regular guy, Wickus was unfortunately having a well deserved rest.

My next visit to a Round Table function involved a very lengthy trip of about 120 kilometres from Cape Town to Caledon. I was picked up by Roy Adams of Cape Town 9 and after picking up a few other Tablers we headed out for Caledon at 6:30pm on Thursday evening. The function was actually a Caledon Table meeting and was attended by Tablers from: Caledon (obviously) Bellville RT, Cape Town 9 RT, Table View RT and Hermanus RT.

 This was a really awesome ‘gathering of the ‘clans’’ and a fantastic evening was had by all. I was given an opportunity to explain to all present what the ‘Buddy and Me’ project is all about I was promised that ‘the word’ would be spread to all their family’s and friends as well as their communities to follow the progress of the project by way of the www.buddyand,e.co.za website, so many thanks guys for your support and friendship.

After much celebrating, and of course not a few beers being consumed we headed back to Cape Town, courtesy of the allocated driver for the night Roy Adams, so thanks Roy for giving up your opportunity to enjoy a few ales, and for getting us all home safely, and I am really impressed with Round Tables insistence on having allocated drivers at all functions, well done guys.

Okay so I have now completed the blog section on the socialising aspect of ‘Buddy and Me’s’ visit to the Cape region, so now down to the ‘work’ part of it.

I visited the Thuthuzela Care Centre at the GF Jooste Hospital in Mannenburg which was established about 6 – 7 years ago and which is a short way out of Cape Town near to the airport. Here I met an extremely interesting lady who is probably one of the most dedicated individuals I have met who is associated with the Thuthuzela Care Centre initiative, Doctor Narula. She confirmed that this particular Thuthuzela Care Centre is the first unit ever to be established and was the pilot project for the TCC initiative.

Unfortunately, although at least the security at the gates of the hospital knew of the centre and confirmed its presence, once inside the hospital premises there are no signs whatsoever identifying where the centre is. Doctor Narula confirmed that the centre handles on average, about 200 new cases per month with approximately 40% of those being child rape/trauma cases which equates to 80 children per month ( more than two per day) and that’s only the cases being reported in that area.

Doctor Narula also confirmed that, as in the case of all the other Thuthuzela Care Centre’s to be found around South Africa, there are no ‘vital’ staff available on site at the centre, such as properly trained police, a doctor, a forensic nurse or social worker, these vital staff members are summonsed when a victim arrives at the centre. She further confirmed that most, and in fact from what I gathered from her statement, that almost all of the cases handled by the centre, are cases which have ‘entered’ the system via initial reports being made to the police station.

I raised my concerns about this fact and she was adamant that “this is the correct method in which the reporting of child rape should be followed”. Unfortunately all my attempts at expressing my concerns for this procedure was cut short by her continuously interrupting me and ‘shutting me down’ with her views that “this is the right way it should be done”. Attempts to obtain her opinion on “if this is the right procedure, then why are we experiencing ever increasing numbers of children being raped on a daily basis and the fact that mothers are refusing to report the rape of their children because of the ‘system’. As I have said many times, I believe the Thuthuzela Care Centre’s concept is a brilliant one; however because of the manner in which it is being implemented it is totally defeating the object. The facility itself is really top notch and I believe it could be an incredible tool in providing a professional support structure which would encourage more mothers to report the rape of their children, if implemented and established correctly.

My other visit was to a remarkable woman in the form of Mrs. Manette de Jager who is the director, boss lady, of The TygerBear Clinic which is based at The Tygerberg Hospital in Bellville. This lady is truly a special breed on her own. She holds numerous senior management positions within the hospital management structure as well as running the TygerBear Clinic and Foundation. TygerBear apart from providing essential support in the form of counselling to child rape victims provides an essential support structure to victims of all domestic violence as well as HIV/Aids victims.

When I arrived at the TygerBear offices, I expected to spend about half an hour with Manette knowing what a busy lady she is and not wanting to take up too much of her precious time, but once we started talking, well what can I say, almost 3 hours later I eventually managed to extricate myself from this incredible ladies company.

 

So without further ado meet ‘Super Lady’ Manette de Jager and the TygerBear mascot, oh and that ‘other’ guy that was there.

Manette confirmed that the TygerBear unit handled 39 000 consultations during the last financial year, which includes consultations with parents and other family members affected by the rape and sexual abuse of children as well as domestic violence, although 75% were consultations involving the rape and sexual abuse of children, quite scary hey!

In my hand, in the photo with Manette, I am holding a brochure which contains information regarding a symposium which the TygerBear Clinic will be holding on the 11th and 12th of August. The symposium is called the – ‘TygerBear Pink & Blue Child Awareness Campaign – so anyone wishing to attend the symposium, which by the way has attracted some pretty high power activists speakers in the field of child abuse as well as specialists in the form of lawyers, social workers and the likes, oh did I mention I have been invited as a guest speaker for the symposium, for information you can contact the TygerBear clinic on: their 24 hour help line 082 994 4301 or (+27)(0) 21 931 6702 / 6717 or visit their website: www.tygerbear.org.za

There is also much help needed in the form of hosting tea parties etc and the staff at the TygerBear clinic will be more than happy to provide you with information in regard to this form of assistance, so come on ladies contact the TygerBear Clinic and help with their incredible initiative.

I think this blog is long enough and besides, after having spent the last three and a half hours writing it, I have missed the Stormers rugby game and the SHARKS / Brumbies game will be starting in half an hour, so I am going to sign off and bid you farewell until I get a chance to write again, which I hope will be tomorrow night from Paternoster up on the West Coast.

But before I sign off, I want to confirm that I have spent many hours on the case I mentioned in blog 27 regarding the rape of an 11 year-old girl who was raped by 5 savages /thugs in Bishops Levis on the Cape Flats. (See details on blog 27) After being shunterred from pillar to post by the police to find out what has happened with the case, I was eventually sent away with nothing. The investigating officer could not be located and nobody was ‘authorised’ to provide information. I raised the issue with Manette at TygerBear Clinic and she has promised to continue with the pressure to establish what is happening, or rather what is not happening, with the case.

Also before signing off, I have information on a humdinger of a case, involving the rape of a three year-old little girl – Lamb – who was raped at a nursery school in Melkbos, but to give this case justice I need a whole blog on it’s own, so my next blog will be dedicated to this shocking storey, I guarantee it will blow your mind!  

Finally before signing off, I meant to provide some information concerning a project which has been undertaken by the Round Tablers of Fort Beaufort which involves 4 guys, aged between 39 and 55 years of age riding motor cycles from Cape Town to Cairo in an effort to raise funds for the Adelaid hospital in the Fort Beaufort area. You can get more information and follow the progress of the project by way of their website: www.threefarmersandagreek.wordpress.com

So tomorrow morning I head out of Cape Town and I must admit that after all the trauma, personal problems, physical injury and other pain I have endured and have suffered during my visit to Cape Town, it is still with a very heavy heart that I leave, but there is a lot of work to do still in trying to get our government and ‘the powers that be’ to listen to what has to be done to stop the rape and sexual abuse of children in South Africa, so ‘Buddy and Me’ will continue on our merry way regardless, and so tomorrow we will be, in the words of Johnny Cash ♫On the road again♫.

 

I must say that I was extremely disappointed in the fact that in-spite of numerous emails and telephone messages to the two ladies of Cape Town who head up the Thuthuzela Care Centres in the Western Cape region: Ms Bronwyn Pithey – Deputy Director for the NPA (SOCA) and Ms. Lizette Africa – Senior Advocate and provincial manager of the Thuthuzela Care Centre’s for the Western Cape did not respond in anyway to all my messages. Come on ladies, what are you scared of, all I want to do is to discuss the manner in which the Thuthuzela Care Centres are being established and run and to obtain your in-put and opinions on why they are not being established in a manner which would be more conducive to encouraging mothers to report the rape and sexual abuse of their children. After all the kids are the country’s future, or so our government officials are continuously telling us, so prove you do care and talk to me.

With that I will say chio for now, keep well, stay safe and yep you got it! 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 in the blogs and website of ‘Buddy and Me’ 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)

“Buddy anf Me”

Itinerary for 5th leg of project 3

8th May – 23rd June 2011

Town/City Beares/

Lubners

Date at store Time at store
Sunday 7th May Leave Cape Town head up the West Coast through Paternoster, Lamberts Bay, Strandfontein, Doring Bay,      
Upington Beares 16 May 11:00 – 13:30
Kathu Beares 17 May 13:30 – 15:30
Kuruman Beares 18 May 10:30 – 13:00
Find somewhere to hibernate for my birthday on the 24th      
Hartswater Beares 27 May 13:00 – 15:00
Schweizer – Reneke Beares 30 may 10:30 – 12:30
Kimberly Beares 31 May 11:00 – 13:30
Bloemfontein Beares 1 June 12:30 – 14:30
Bloemfontein Lubners 2 June 10:30 – 12:30
Welkom Beares 3 June 12:30 – 14:30
Wesselsbron Beares 6 June 10:00 – 12:00
Odendaalsrus Beares 6 June 14:00 – 15:30
Kroonstad Beares 7 June 10:00 – 12:30
Klerksdorp Beares 8 June 10:30 – 13:00
Potchefstroom Beares 9 June 11:00 – 13:30
Parys Beares 10 June 11:00 – 13:30
Sasolburg Beares 13 June 11:30 – 14:00
Van der Bijl park Beares 14 June 10:30 – 12:30
Van der Bijl park Lubners 14 June 13:00 – 15:00
Vereeniging Beares 15 June 10:00 – 12:30
Evaton Beares 20 June 11:00 – 12:30
Meyerton Beares 20 June 13:30 – 15:00
Meyerton Lubners 20 June 15:30 – 16:30
Carletonville Beares 21 June 10:00 – 12:00
Carletonville Lubners 21 June 12:15 – 13:15
Fochville Beares 21 June 14:00 – 16:30
Westonaria Lubners 22 June 10:00 – 11:30
Randfontein Beares 22 June 12:30 – 14:00
Randfontein Lubners 22 June 14:30 – 15:30
Krugersdorp Beares 23 June 10:00 – 12:00
Krugersdorp Lubners 23 June 12:30 – 14:30