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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)

  • To see the ‘Buddy and Me’ scheduled itinerary details for the period 21st July – 29th August 2011 see blog 45
  • To read the shocking details of the Upington horror story – The Hynie Dick Story – regarding the ‘Upington savage pedophile’ see blog 35
  • To read details of the ‘savage’ the police are looking for in connection with the rape of a 3 year little girl, see blog 39
  • To read the heart breaking story by a mother (Cathy Kenney) of the rape of  her 3 year-old daughter see blog 38
  • To read the storey of Natasha who at 10 years-of age was brutally raped and murdered and after serving a very short portion of his sentence, the ‘State’ wants to release the savage who did it, from prison, see blog 10 (November 2010)
  • To read ‘Birds’ story about her incredible courage to face her ‘step-father’ who she looked up to and loved as a ‘father’ who abused her and her love, as told by her mother – Elise – see blog 42

 

Hi to all ye ‘Buddy and Me’ supporters. So another week has been completed in the lives of ‘Buddy and Me’. I must tell you that the week ended with a devastating ‘accident’ for me which resulted in my not being able to get my website blog done on time, but I will explain in more detail what happened at the end of this blog.

So the week started with ‘Buddy and Me’ leaving Jo’burg on Tuesday morning in freezing cold weather. Fortunately my ‘guardian Angel’ was once again shinning down on ‘Buddy and Me’ and the rain and snow which was predicted in all weather forecasts did not materialise, but it was freezing cold never the less.

And it got colder as I travelled towards Burgersfort and Steelpoort and I battled to get out of Buddy to fill up in Stoffberg.

I was kindly hosted accommodation in Steelpoort, which is about 20 kilometres away from where I was going to visit the Burgersfort Beares store on Wednesday morning, by the mother and father of a friend of mine (Ryan Robins who is the President of the Derelicts Motor Cycle Club in Germiston) Lenske and Thorn (Bugs) Buglass.

So meet Lenske and Cadac sniffing out the trailers wheels.

Wednesday morning Lenske, who is a facilitator for the local schools, asked to be able to join me on my visit to the Beares store in Burgersfort as well as visits to the local hospital, police and an NGO in one of the local townships. Unfortunately MacDonald Mathethwa, the Beares store manager’s attempts at getting the local SAPS-FCS units head to attend a discussion with me failed, as she had done on my previous visit to the area in September 2009. After a very informative chat with MacDonald and his staff, Lenske and I bid the Beares staff farewell,

and as I will not take no for an answer we headed for the police station where I was determined to speak to someone to find out what is happening with the rape of children in the area and to establish what, if any, support structure is in place in the area to encourage mothers and children to report the crime of child rape.

After a bit of a shunt around, Lenske and I eventually ended up in the Station Commanders office and after explaining who I was and what I am doing and what I hope to achieve and how, he called for a lady investigating officer from the FCS unit, a constable ‘Veronica’ who proved to be very enlightening on what is happening in the area and went into great detail of what she believes is contributing to the ever increasing number of child rape cases taking place in the area, and I must say that this is one very dedicated policewoman who believes that my proposal for a solution to stopping the rape and sexual abuse of children “is right on the button”. I also established that there is no support structure of any kind in the area focusing on providing support to victims of child rape.

From many discussions with members of the South African Police Service it is very clear that even they believe that it’s not in the police’s or the governments best interests to implement support structures and systems to encourage mothers and children to report the rape and sexual abuse of children simply for the reason that if all cases were reported the statistics would reveal a shocking situation which would create a very emabarrassing situation for them. I have been told categorically by many members of the police service, and this includes senior offices, that if their statistics reveals large numbers of child rape cases being reported, this makes them “look bad” and they are rapped over the knuckles and hence in many areas police officers are discouraging mothers and children from reporting cases of child rape.

I have asked the question “Why are people, as in mothers and other family members, who are fully aware of the fact that a child is being raped and sexually abused, by family members, not being prosecuted to the full extent of the law under section 54 of the ‘Sexual Offences Act 32.2007’ (the section pertaining to the compulsory reporting of cases of the rape and sexual abuse of children) and the response is always “If the father is jailed for the rape of his daughter/step-daughter AND the mother is charged and jailed under section 54, who is going to feed the family (after-all we in South Africa do not possess a ‘Welfare Department’, well we do – but in name only – all they do is spend hundreds of millions of Rands buying votes for the government in the form of millions of grants)”.

 My response to this is: “Hypothetically, if I and my wife (hypothetically speaking because I do not have oneJ) went to a party in separate vehicles and after enjoying the pleasures of the party drove home and were both stopped in a road block and it was established that we were both under the influence of alcohol, would the police official at the road block say ‘Oh dear we cannot arrest you both because you are husband and wife and if I arrested and detained you both who will look after your children’ – I don’t think so!!!” So why is the law not being applied in respect of section 54?

From Burgersfort ‘Buddy and Me’ headed for Lydenburg where we witnessed the destruction caused by rioting, this is not in my book classified as ‘striking’, municipal workers. I have witnessed the blatant destruction of many towns in the form of municipal workers emptying garbage bins and garbage bags into the streets with an incredible amount of filth as well as damage to traffic lights and other property in a number of towns I have visited.

My visit to the Lydenburg Beares store resulted in my having one of the best and most in-depth press interviews I have ever had. This was with a lady journalist by the name of Narda Vermaak who is with the ‘Lowveld Media’ group and she promised to do an ‘exposé’ article on the project and to have it published in not only the ‘Lowvelder’ newspaper, which is circulated to the entire Mpumalanga region, but to have it published in 16 other publications affiliated with the ‘Lowveld Media’ group. So to Mike Matlou, the Beares store manager in Lydenberg, many thanks for arranging that,

so meet the great guys and gals of Beares Lydenburg.

To anyone reading the ‘Buddy and Me’ blogs, if you have any contacts within the media, in the form of TV (SABC – Mnet etc) or national newspapers, magazines etc please assist the project by mentioning the ‘Buddy and Me’ project to them so that we can get as much exposure to the fight against child rape as we possibly can, we need government to sit up and take responsibility for what they are NOT doing to eradicate this scourge of child rape from our society. I have constantly been sending emails to SABC (TV2 ‘Morning Live’ as well as ‘3 Talk with Noleen’ and Carte Blanche) but have had no success in attracting their attention as yet.

After passing over the ‘Longtom Pass’

(This is ‘Longtom’ the cannon placed on top of the mountain during the ‘Boer’ war in 1901), and witnessed the spectacular view of the lovely town of Sabie way-off down in the valley

 ‘Buddy and Me’ descended into, first, the town which I rate as the cleanest and most beautiful town in South Africa, Sabie, and then on to Hazyview  which was once in the same category as Sabie but unfortunately has deteriorated into the same state of destruction so many lovely farming and country towns to be found scattered around South Africa have found themselves in.  

On arriving in Hazyview I immediately headed for the Protea Hotel where I was kindly provided with incredible accommodation for the night and immediately on getting settled into my room I headed for the hotels bar and veranda where I was served a lovely cold ‘Miller MGD’ by a very friendly barman named Amon

 and relaxed and enjoyed the spectacular view.

The next morning I visited the Beares store in Hazyview. This is yet another Beares store where whenever I visit, the management and staff make me feel like I am a long lost relative and the store manager, Peter Makhubela and his staff continued the tradition on this visit, so meet the amazingly friendly staff of

 Beares Hazyview.

 From Hazyview ‘Buddy and Me’ headed for White River where I was once again kindly hosted accommodation by the Protea Hotel group and this time it was in the lovely ‘‘The Winkler Protea Hotel’ and as so often happens, the front office staff welcomed me to the hotel in Royal style.

One of the reasons I always make White River a stop-over place on the project is because some very good friends of mine, Cheryl and Horst Reum reside in White River and if I ever visit anywhere close to the town and don’t pop in for a visit they will hunt me down and I will be subjected to some gruelling punishment.

The other reason I always make White River a stop-over place, is because Horst is a genius VW mechanic and owns a workshop in White River and he always works wonders with Buddy, and on this visit it was no exception because Buddy’s brake lights were not working.

So Buddy was admitted into ‘theatre’ and prepared for ‘surgery’ and Horst discovered that the switch on the brake pedal was broken, and so after fitting a new one and getting the lights working once again he greased the front suspension and buddy was ‘A-for-away’ again.

Here Horst doing a bit of ‘surgery’ on Buddy’s front suspension.

 While in White River over the weekend, Cheryl – who by the way owns the very successful property sales group ‘Fine & Country’ International Realty’ – so if you are looking for property in the White River area you need to contact her on 013 – 751 3245 – invited me to accompany her to a large church lunch function on Saturday afternoon where I was given the opportunity to spread the word and preach the gospel according to ‘Buddy and Me’ to the church congregation and to chat to a large number of people about the project

 

On Sunday morning Horst and Cheryl decided that I needed a good break and so took me on an excursion of the Kruger National Park.

So it’s time to meet these two incredibly wonderful people, Cheryl and Horst Reum. We were lucky enough to see four of the big 5 animals, the only one we didn’t see was the leopard and I got to see quite a few of my all time favourite animal

 ‘Jumbo’. In the Pretoriuskop camp it was amazing to see herds of ‘buck’ walking amongst the cars and chalets not perturbed in anyway.

 and of course there was ‘this other animal’ wandering around the camp 

and of course I could not, not have a pic of me with that amazing lady Cheryl ReumJ On the way to the gate this shy little guy was checking us out from the road side

 and this ‘not so shy’,

 obviously, male, was enjoying the pleasures of having a ‘wife’. As we neared the exit gate

 this ‘security guard’ ‘sentry’ watched over us and bid us farewell from high up on his ‘’sentry box/rock’

In order to reach the Kruger National Park from White River, one has to pass through a few very large townships/informal settlement areas and I could not help but shake my head in wonderment as I so often do when passing through townships and settlement areas and seeing so many small children, aged between 3 and 6 years-of-age, wondering around the streets and foot paths on their own. And then we wonder why so many kids/small children are being abducted, raped and sexually abused, come on guys and gals – parents – shake your heads, your brains are stuck!!!

Now for the story about the devastating ‘accident’ I experienced on Sunday night. After the long hot day in the Kruger Park, Cheryl and Horst dropped me off at my hotel where I decided to have a nice relaxing bath. I was expecting a phone call from the Round Tablers of Nelspruit and so took my BlackBerry cell phone into the bath room and placed it on my towel which was on the shelf at the end of the bath. I covered the cell phone with the corner of the towel to stop moisture getting into it – what a joke!! I climbed out of the bath and pulled the towel and saw my BlackBerry take a dive into the bath!!!!

I hurriedly removed the battery and used the hotels hair dryer to try and dry it out, but after all attempts to dry it and after putting the battery and sim card back in, the phone was dead!!  The big disaster part was that all my photos for the past week were on the phone and they were gone!!! L I left the battery and sim card out of the phone throughout the evening and in the morning when I put it back together the phone was still dead!! L I decided to try something and plugged in the charger, made a cup of coffee and had a shower the whole time cursing myself for being such an idiot and finally dressed and started packing. While packing I saw a flash of red light out of the corner of my eye and on checking the phone discovered that the screen showed that it was reprogramming itself. A couple of minutes later the phone was fully operationalJ So I got all my photos back and my BlackBerry is operating once again, so ‘Buddy and Me’ are fully functional again Yaahoo!!! Thanks to the brilliant and safe technology of BlackBerry, oh boy I love my Blackberry

Well that now finishes my story for the week and happy that I could finally get my website blog done, so all that’s left is for me to wish you all a great week ahead, I hope you all keep well and stay safe and above all KEEP ALL CHILDREN SAFE!!

Caring regards from

Buddy (The Beach Buggy)

And

Me’ (Steve Heath)

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

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


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

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

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

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

Well it seems like, and in fact is, ages since I last posted a blog, and so I thought I better sit down and do one to update what has been happening in the lives of ‘Buddy and Me’.

So after a fantastic weekend at the ‘SATVIK Back-packers’ situated a short way out side of Tzaneen on the banks of the Tzaneen Dam, (for details see blog 47) Monday morning ‘Buddy and Me’ headed into Tzaneen where we met up with a large group of kids from a local school as well as guests in the form of members of the local police constabulary, social workers and members of the local press,

 and obviously the staff of the Beares store in Tzaneen.

One of the many conversations/discussions I had during my visit to Tzaneen, and in fact I can confidently say that this particular discussion which has been raised many times during the ‘Buddy and Me’ project has proved to be undoubtedly the biggest controversial subject discussed, and that is the issue of ‘fund raising’ by so many organisations to be found scattered around South Africa, for the purpose of supporting abandoned, neglected, and abused children, as well as for the support of babies and children who are born HIV positive due to pregnancy.

Based on my discussions with South Africans right across our country, it is painfully obvious that the public and corporate’s of South Africa are tired of continuously being approached by people and organisations to contribute towards the support of children who are being abandoned, neglected and born by mothers who in-spite of being fully aware of their HIV/AIDS status and aware of the consequences of falling pregnant, bring children into the world.

Virtually every day, in discussions, I hear members of the public, as well as ‘government officials’ in the form of social workers and policemen and women, saying “the government is far too ‘soft’ on people (parents) who continuously bring children into the world knowing that they cannot afford to support them, and after enjoying the pleasures of making the babies expect everyone else to pay to raise them”.

The government is spending hundreds of millions of Rands every month in ‘child grants’ knowing that only a very small portion of these grants is being used by the parents for the benefit of the child, in the majority of cases the ‘child grant’ is being used for the purchase of TV’s and other pleasures and luxuries of life by the parents, particularly in the cases of single mothers and in particular HIV/AIDS positive women who get the additional grants for their HIV positive children. (For details on the information I was provided with while in Howick on this subject see blog 9)

The general consensus is that in instances where children are found to be abused, neglected and abandoned and are placed in ‘institutions’ such as the one I wrote about in blog 43 and which is situated in Mafikeng, the parents must be held responsible and accountable and be placed in ‘work farms – factories/prisons’ and be forced to produce food and clothing for the children.

Discussions with people across the length and breadth of South Africa, and this includes those of all races and from many different walks of life, have revealed that they are tired of seeing films and pictures of starving and abandoned children, not only in South Africa, but throughout AFRICA as a whole, and everyone is expected to just keep coughing up to support these starving babies and children while men and women keep enjoying the pleasures of making them and are not being held accountable and responsible for subjecting the kids to the devastating pain and suffering we are seeing on a daily basis.

“WE HAVE TO CURE THE PROBLEM AND NOT JUST KEEP SUPPORTING IT BY FUNDING IT – AND THE SAME GOES FOR THE RAPE AND SEXUAL ABUSE OF CHILDREN”

I also visited the Beares store in Maake,

which is about 20 kilometres outside of Tzaneen and in order to reach this place I had to travel through a large a township area where I managed to speak to a number of the local residents, in particular women, who confirmed that ‘Hooow the raping of children and young girls in this area is veeeery bad” and it was also confirmed that “There is no use in reporting it to the police, because nothing happens”.

From Tzaneen ‘Buddy and Me’ headed for Phalaborwa where I was kindly hosted accommodation by the Round Table Chairman of Phalaborwa Pieter Van der Merwe and his lovely wife Deidre.

 and I spent a magic evening braaing and chatting to the Round Tablers of Phalaborwa and their wives.

Then it was time for a visit to the Beares store in Phalaborwa

 where I had an interesting chat with a lady from the local press as well as with a few other guests from the local community. I established that the police station has a well equipped ‘Victim Support Room’ and is generally kept quite busy, mainly by victims of rape, as in young girls in the 14 – 18 year-old age category which invariably results in the case being closed due to the ‘rapists’ paying the young girl and her parents money.

So what happened to the legislation in the form of the ‘Sexual Offences Act 32/2007’ which clearly defines the fact that sex with a girl in this age category constitutes ‘RAPE’? I must admit that in-spite of having read the Act a number of times; I have failed to locate the section which states that “Should the rapist pay an agreed upon sum of money to the victim and or her parents, the case of rape (statutory rape) will be dropped”??

From Phalaborwa ‘Buddy and Me’ headed for Hoedspruit and immediately on arriving in the area headed for the Klaserie Dam where I set up camp.

This resort must be one of the loveliest and most tranquil resorts one can wish to camp in. It is surrounded by large game farms and in the morning I was woken by the sound of what appeared to be three very large lions roaring and grunting close by. I am told that the sound of a lion roaring, grunting, travels for kilometres, but these sounded pretty close, I also heard hyena and this is a particularly weird sound.

My visit to the Beares store in Hoedspruit

 resulted in a very lengthy interview with the editor of the local newspaper ‘Kruger/Canyon’ and which identified the fact that the local police are rated as being amongst the most corrupt police officials in South Africa, mmm I must admit that’s not exactly what I would like my town to be renown for?

It was also confirmed that child rape is occurring on a large scale in the area, along with the rape of women as well as domestic violence on a very large scale and that there is a “pretty good and effective ‘Victim Support Group’” which is comprised of a group of local residents who have joined together to assist victims of rape and domestic violence. Once again there is no sign of any form of assistance from government in this regard and if the residents do not provide this service and fund it, the victims would just have to suffer in silence, as they do in the majority of areas around South Africa.

I was told that the police station has a ‘Victim Support Room’ but as was in the case of Thabazimbi, as well as a few other police stations I visited, when I arrived at the police station and asked to see the

Victim Support Room’ and to meet the person who is in charged of it, I was told “Sorry the room is locked and the person who is responsible for it (Jamela) is not here, I don’t know when she will be back and we can’t contact her”. I rest my case!!

Because of the postponement of the ‘Child Abuse Symposium’ which was to be held in Cape Town on the 11th and 12th of August by ‘The TygerBear Clinic’ and at which I was going to be a guest speaker, I was forced to take a break for the past week and so headed to Jo’burg to sort out a few personal things which amongst others was to get a new batch of flyers printed, and by the way – if there is anyone out there who wants to contribute to the ‘Buddy and Me’ project in the form of sponsoring the printing of the flyers your assistance will be greatly appreciated.

I spent the weekend with friends Jaco Labuschagene and Celeste Grobler

 and on Tuesday morning headed for Villiers on the banks of the Vaal River with Wonder Woman – June Porter – where we proceeded to enjoy a relaxing few days camping

and fishing, and just to prove it!

In-spite of the fact that I’m wearing a ‘Springbok’ rugby jersey, the arms spread in celebration was for the successful catch and successful release of a fish, not the continued dismal performance of our national rugby team.

 

On the drive back to Jo’burg on Sunday, we stopped off at the ‘Total Petro-port’ filling station halfway between Heidelberg and Jo’burg to fill up both Buddy’s forever empty stomach (petrol tank) as well as our own. On entering the restaurant and waiting for our food and drinks order, a gentleman seated at the table adjacent to ours commented that he could not fail to notice Buddy in the car park and enquired about the project. After an interesting chat, he asked for the ‘Buddy and Me’ website details and so I provided him with a project flyer/brochure and he bid us farewell. On requesting our bill for our food and drinks we were told by the waitress that the gentleman we had been talking to had already paid our bill.

I have often mentioned that I am blessed to meet so many incredibly amazing people on this project, and this is a classic example of what I mean. I unfortunately only know the gentleman as ‘Ian’, so I sincerely hope that Ian reads my blogs and accepts mine and June’s sincere thanks and appreciation for your wonderfully kind gesture.

Another interesting comment which was made recently in a discussion, is concerning the fact that “extensive coverage is given to Julius Malema by all forms of the media in South Africa every time he opens his mouth and sprouts the garbage that usually comes out of it, yet in-spite of continuously having forwarded the details of the ‘Buddy and Me’ project to the SABC and other TV channels, none of them have bothered to contact me in order to expose the information revealed by the research I have undertaken on the subject of child rape, and it would appear that they are just as unconcerned about the shocking situation as our government is”.

So if there is anyone out there who is in a position to whisper in the ear of someone connected with the media, in the form of radio or TV or national press, please pass on my contact details to them, it will be sincerely appreciated.

Well that about covers all, or rather a portion, of the travels and discussions ‘Buddy and Me’ were involved in over the past 2 weeks, and so on Tuesday morning ‘Buddy and Me’ will be heading back to the Mpumalanga region and will be continuing our “Buddy and Me’ crusade to ensure that our government does everything necessary to eradicate the scourge of the rape and sexual abuse of children from our society.

So I will bid you farewell for now, keep well and stay safe, and lets pray that our government wakes up and does what is necessary to protect our country’s greatest asset “Our children” and ensures that they are all kept safe.

Caring regards from

Buddy (The Beach Buggy)

And

Me’ (Steve Heath)

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

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

 


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

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

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

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

  • To see the ‘Buddy and Me’ scheduled itinerary details for the period 21st July – 29th August 2011 see blog 45
  • To read the shocking details of the Upington horror story – The Hynie Dick Story – regarding the ‘Upington savage pedophile’ see blog 35
  • To read details of the ‘savage’ the police are looking for in connection with the rape of a 3 year little girl, see blog 39
  • To read the heart breaking story by a mother (Cathy Kenney) of the rape of  her 3 year-old daughter see blog 38
  • To read the storey of Natasha who at 10 years-of age was brutally raped and murdered and after serving a very short portion of his sentence, the ‘State’ wants to release the savage who did it, from prison, see blog 10 (November 2010)
  • To read ‘Birds’ story about her incredible courage to face her ‘step-father’ who she looked up to and loved as a ‘father’ who abused her and her love, as told by her mother – Elise – see blog 42

 

So another week is in the past and it proved to be quite an informative one as well as great in terms of the amazing people I met and places ‘Buddy and Me’ visited.

The week started with a visit to the Beares store in Mokopane (otherwise known to many who are not aware of the fact that the towns name has changed its name from Potgietersrus) where I met the newly appointed Beares store Manager Hendrik Nepgen and his friendly staff.

I had met a lot of people in Mokopane over the weekend who provided me with an amazing amount of information regarding the child rape situation in the area, and so after a relaxing time with the Beares staff and getting the opportunity to catch up with responses to a pile of emails, I left Mokopane and headed for Polokwane.

In my last blog (Blog – 46) I mentioned that I was going to provide details of the effect the HIV/AIDS epidemic has had on the rape of children, and so in response to an article that was written by a gentleman by the name of David Beresford from the Nelspruit area who wrote an article regarding the excuse used by so many individuals when raping children which is that the Sangoma’s are claiming that “if you have sex with a virgin child it will cure your HIV/AIDS”, so here is the information on this subject which I have learned during the passed 6 years of research on the subject of child rape and specifically this aspect of it.

Prior to the ‘Sexual Offences Act – Act 32/2007’ coming into effect, it was deemed ‘unlawful’ to obtain or ascertain a rapists HIV/AIDS status. However through ‘other’ means, such as when an in-mate fell sick etc it was necessary for the doctors to obtain blood samples and to undertake various tests to ascertain what illness the inmate was suffering with and these tests I am told included HIV/AIDS tests. These tests indicated that the far majority of child rapists are in-fact HIV/AIDS negative.

With the implementation of the ‘Sexual Offences Act – Act32/2007’ three years ago, which makes it compulsory for the testing of a suspected rapists, tests are carried out at the time of being charged in order to establish the rapists HIV/AIDS status. Information provided through this means over the past three years has, according to the information provided to me, further confirmed that the majority of child rapists are HIV/AIDS negative.

 

Further research has however confirmed that although the HIV/AIDS epidemic has not impacted on the rape of children for the reasons claimed, as in to cure HIV/AIDS, it has played a major role for other reasons.

It is a common fact and knowledge that if a child is born HIV positive due to pregnancy in the rural/township areas, these being where the majority of child rape cases are taking place, due to poverty and the low standard of living the child is not expected to live past its 4 – 5th birthday. It is also common fact and knowledge that children in these areas are sexually active from the age of 12 years of age. Based on these facts the children in the age groups of 6 – 10 years of age are therefore in a ‘safe zone’ as far as being HIV/AIDS negative is concerned.

All my research has indicated that child rape being perpetrated by ‘strangers’ is occurring with children in this age category for the reason that they ‘don’t want to be infected with HIV/AIDS’ and convicted rapists I have had the misfortune to have met and interviewed, have confirmed this, saying that if they had sex/raped an older woman the possibilities of contracting HIV/AIDS is good. However due to the fact that 90% of child rape is being perpetrated by biological fathers, step-fathers, uncles and grandfathers, these individuals are fully aware of the child’s HIV/AIDS status and so they are raping children of all ages.

                                    ———————————-

 

From Mokopane ‘Buddy and Me’ headed for the bustling city of Polokwane, where I was kindly provided accommodation in the lovely Protea Landmark Hotel which is situated about five kilometres outside of Polokwane in the tranquil countryside.

 So meet the Hotels General Manager Louise Veldman and her front office staff.

The next morning ‘Buddy and Me’ headed into Polokwane where we met up with the friendly staff of the Beares store.

 Here the branch Manager Pieter Du Preez (right at the back in the photo with the ‘white hair’) arranged for me to meet with, apart from many others, a really interesting lady by the name of Peggy Legodi who is a councillor with ward 11 and is a member of the ‘ANC Woman’s league’ and in addition to this is the owner of a crèche AND is the local ‘Community Liaison Officer’, all in all a very busy lady! In addition to this amazing lady I got to chat to an amazing lady by the name of Betty Kgare, who is the Secretary of the “ANC Woman’s League’ AND can you believe it! Councillor Mehlape! All the ‘Larne’s” in one day!! Amazing!!

After being presented with the details of what I believe is a solution to eradicating child rape from our society, it was unanimously agreed that our government has to pay attention to my proposal and to commit themselves to implementing it and so eradicate the sick crime of child rape from our society completely. In-fact Peggy Legodi confirmed my belief that we have to stop focusing on the problem, as in expecting the public and corporate companies of South Africa to keep footing the bill for providing support to the victims and to focus on implementing a solution, we cannot afford to continue doing ‘damage control’ forever!!

From Polokwane ‘Buddy and Me’ headed for Makhado (or Louis Trichardt as some people still know it) and along the way ‘Buddy and Me’ crossed the ‘Tropic of Capricorn’.

 (Don’t worry about the spelling on the board, but it is definitely the ‘Tropic of CapricoRn)

 In Louis Trichardt “Buddy and Me’ were once again hosted accommodation by the Round Tablers and this time, as was the case with my last visit to Louis Trichardt, I was home hosted by that king of crazy guys Jerry Cloete and his lovely wife Karien and their two daughters Chané and latest addition Taelyn. The evening was spent with a large group of Tablers and their wives and better halves over a lovely sea food supper and I got to meet the President of the Round Table for Southern Africa, Johan Lindeque who travelled all the way from Port Elizabeth,  

 and presented me with his personal banner and lapel pin, and can you believe it I was given the honour of meeting another President, Sonel Prinsloo who is the President of the ‘Lady’s Circle’ of Southern Africa – 2 Presidents in one night, amazing stuff!

Sonel is the stunning blond lady standing on my right hand side.

I had a wonderful time with the Beares staff in Polokwane,

 and got to meet some really interesting people and had a very in-depth chat with a group of kids from a local high school who provided me with some interesting opinions on ‘what needs to be done to eradicate child rape from our society’ and was provided with probably some of the best opinions I have heard for some time. I also got to meet an amazing man by the name of Councillor (COPE) Geoffrey Tshibuimo who agreed entirely with my proposal in principal and has promised to read it in depth and to email me with his final opinion and comments.

 The kids of course insisted that Buddy be included into the days activities.  

So meet the friendly Beares staff of Louis Trichardt and the smooth looking dude on the left of the photo is Councillor Geoffrey Tshibuimo.

 After bidding farewell to first Karien, Chané and Taelyn,

 and then dad, character of note Jerry

it was off to the ‘Far North” and you know when you have reached the extreme north when you see this:

 “The big daddy- grandfather – Baobab tree!” and so ‘Buddy and Me’ had arrived in Musina, the furthest point in South Africa, actually I’m sorry I am wrong, this is the furthest point in South African –

 Beit Bridge! I could not believe that ‘Buddy and Me’ had left Cape Town – Agulhas, the most Southern point of Africa and have taken three months to travel to the most Northern point of South Africa and have spoken to and interviewed literally hundreds of people on our way!

 My accommodation in Musina was arranged by the Round Tablers of Louis Trichardt and so I was hosted in the lovely Matoppi B&B by Phillip and Alda Rossouw.

 If you ever find yourself in Musina you have to stay at this truly tranquil and lovely place. Contact details are: Tel: 015-5342669 Email: info@matoppi.com Website: www.placesforafrica.com/matoppi  The address is 45 Kerk Street Musina.

So after a magic day with Anna Mulando, the Beares store Manager in Musina and her really friendly staff in Musina Beares store,

 I paid a visit to the Thuthuzela Care Centre which was ‘established’ in the Musina district hospital 2 months ago, and so is still not functioning properly, and my experience on visiting 28 Thuthuzela Care Centres to date tells me that it will remain as it is for years to come, unless the government takes the time to read my proposal and commits to them being set up properly.

I also had a lengthy chat with members of the local police who confirmed that child rape, because of the huge problem the area is facing resulting from a large community of ‘illegal’ immigrants from Zimbabwe, is happening on a frightening scale. The thing that amuses me is that the police are fully aware of the large contingent of illegal immigrants but what are they doing about it. When I asked my police guests, my question received the response of, a shrug of the shoulders and “there isn’t much we can do about it because they just keep coming back”. It sounds pretty much like our governments attitude towards the rape of children!!

It was also confirmed that all that has occurred by the military being placed along the border to supposedly stop illegal immigrants crossing into South Africa, is that their ‘income’ has been boosted immensely!

I also had a great interview with the local radio station “Musina Community Radio 104.0 Mhz with DJ – Biscuit and the news editor Kabelo Thelele.

Kablelo confirmed that one of the biggest problems facing the area is the fact that the “Guma Guma”, these being Zimbabweans who ‘assist’ fellow Zimbabweans with plans and routes to cross into South Africa illegally, who after receiving payment and on arriving at the place on the border where they are to cross into South Africa, the illegal immigrants are robbed and raped. Kabelo told me that the banks of the river are littered with the underwear of woman and children and even men who have been stripped, raped and robbed and then chased across the river into South Africa.

From Musina, on Friday I travelled back to Louis Trichardt where I collected my trailer from Jerry and then continued through to Tzaneen where the Tzaneen Round Tablers kindly arranged for me to stay at an absolutely amazing place called ‘SATVIK’ which is a Backpackers/self-catering set up on the banks of the Tzaneen Dam.

 Saturday was yet another black day for South Africa rugby supporters with the Boks being annihilated by the All Blacks but I had a great morning in-spite of this with the Round Tablers of Tzaneen.

 So thanks guys, your support to the ‘Buddy and Me’ project as well as your great friendship and hospitality is sincerely appreciated.

But the Tablers friendship and hospitality did not end there, on Sunday they all arrived at ‘SATVIK’ where we enjoyed a magic day in the warm sunshine, while most of the rest of South Africans were freezing their butts off, we braaied and consumed large quantities of beer, oh and ‘tried’ to catch fish right!!

 I was also presented with the Tzaneen Round Tables banner and lapel pin by the Tables Chairman Bruce Mogg while Vice Chairman Dale Eberhard watched on.

I have often said that I try very hard not to get too acquainted with animals on this project, especially dogs, because when it comes time for me to leave I can say good bye to people much easier than I can say good bye to an animal, and in the case of ‘SATVIK’ I made an incredible friend in the form of a cat. Now people who know me well, are fully aware of the fact that I am not really a ‘cat’ person, but this cat absolutely stole my heart and followed me around all weekend and slept on my bed, cuddling up in my arms.

 And when it came time for me to go to town, my new found friend always jumped into Buddy’s passenger seat and I had a battle to get her out and drive off without her running behind, I have never experienced this with a cat in my life before! 

 

While doing my week-ends shopping in Tzaneen, I saw a sticker which I had to get and so Buddy now has a new sticker added to his ever increasing collection, I’m sure the lady’s will enjoy this one.

 I certainly did especially when considering the atrocities being committed against woman and children by so called “men”!!

 So all that was left for me to do was to thank Louis Jordaan, the owner of ‘SATVIKBackpackers, for his kind and generous support to the ‘Buddy and Me’ project by providing me with accommodation for the weekend.

So meet Louis Jordaan, with my ‘other Buddy’ “Kitty”. So if you ever need to escape to a really tranquil and peaceful place, ‘SATVIK’ is the place to visit and stay. Details of the place are in the ‘Coast to Coast – Backpackers booklet’ but you can get hold of Louis on telephone number: 015 – 307 3920 or cell: 084 556 2414 or email: satvik@pixie.co.za I promise you, you will not be sorry.

So that ended the week for ‘Buddy and Me’. Next week will start in Tzaneen and finish in Hoedspruit and because the world symposium on child rape in Cape Town has been postponed to October, at which I was supposed to be a guest speaker, I have been left with an open week, and because I don’t want to have to reschedule all the Beares stores and other appointments already established for me I will have to be faced with a whole week off, so until we meet up again on my website blog, ‘Buddy and Me’ wish you all a safe and productive week. Keep well. Stay safe and please keep all children safe.

Caring regards from

Buddy (The Beach Buggy)

And

Me’ (Steve Heath)

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

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