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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

and after a Round Table function at the Middelburg Country Club

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

Tuesday morning I headed for the Middelburg Beares store

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and head to Jo’burg.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Caring regards from

Buddy (The Beach Buggy)

And

Me’ (Steve Heath)

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

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


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

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

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

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

‘Buddy and Me’

Itinerary for

Beares and Lubners store visits

Store Beares/Lubners  Date at store Time at store  
Middelburg Beares 30 Aug 10:00 – 13:00
Witbank Beares 31 Aug 10:00 – 12:30
Witbank Lubners 31 Aug 13:00 – 14:30
Witbank Beares 31 Aug 15:00 – 16:30
Brits Beares 2 Sept 11:00 – 13:30
Brits (Platinum Mall) Beares 2 Sept 14:15 – 15:30
Temba City Beares 5 Sept 10:30 – 12:30
Mabopane Beares 5 Sept 13:30 – 15:30
Mhube Max City Beares 6 Sept 10:30 – 12:30
Silverton Beares 6 Sept 13:30 – 15:30
Pretoria North Beares 7 Sept 10:30 – 12:30
Quagga Centre Beares 7 Sept 13:30 – 15:30
Gezina Beares 8 Sept 10:30 – 12:30
Arcadia Beares 8 Sept 13:30 – 15:30
Pretoria City Beares 9 Sept 10:30 – 12:30
V/D Walt Street Beares 9 Sept 13:00 – 14:30
Midrand Beares 13 Sept 11:00 – 14:00
Tsakane Beares 14 Sept 11:00 – 13:30
Secunda (Fisthers Square) Beares 15 Sept 10:00 – 13:30
Secunda (Shop 1 Steyn Street) Beares 15 Sept 13:30 – 15:30
Kriel Beares 16 Sept 10:00 – 12:30
Bethal Beares 16 Sept 13:30 – 15:30
Ermelo Beares 19 Sept 10:30 – 12:30
Piet Retief Beares 20 Sept 10:00 – 13:00
Vryheid Beares 22 Sept 13:00 – 15:30
Pongola Beares 23 Sept 13:30 – 16:00
Mtubatuba Beares 26 Sept 13:00 – 15:00
Richards Bay Beares 27 Sept 10:00 – 12:00
Empangeni (Maxwell) Beares 27 Sept 12:30 – 14:00
Empangeni (Plaza) Beares 27 Sept 14:30 – 16:00
Ulundi Beares 28 Sept 11:00 – 13:30
Eshowe Beares 29 Sept 10:30 – 12:00
Sundumbili Beares 29 Sept 13:30 – 15:30
Stanger Beares 30 Sept 10:30 -13:00
Phoenix Beares 30 Sept 14:00 – 16:00
Kwamashu (Bridge City) Beares 3 Oct 10:00 – 12:30
Durban (West Street) Lubners 4 Oct 10:30 – 12:30
Durban (West Street) – FINAL Beares 4 Oct 13:00 – 15:30


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

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

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

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

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

 

So the week started for ‘Buddy and Me’ by first thanking the General Manager of the Protea Winkler Hotel in White River, William Bruntnell for his kind and generous support to the ‘Buddy and Me’ project by providing me with incredible accommodation for the weekend

 William is the cool looking dude with the red jacket on – and then I headed for Nelspruit where ‘Buddy and Me’ visited the Beares store there.

At the Beares store I was introduced to an amazing lady by the name of Prudence Lephoto who runs the ‘SOS Children’s Village’ which is situated a short way outside of Nelspruit and I was taken to see this incredibly amazing initiative.

 

The ‘SOS Children’s Village’ – which is actually a ‘Safe House’ – was officially opened on the 6th October 2006 and consists of 10 houses all built in close proximity with each house being able to house 10 children. At present the ‘Village’ is providing shelter to 85 kids ranging from new born baby’s to 18 year-olds. All the children residing in the ‘Village’ are ‘vulnerable children’ who have been subjected to some sort of abuse or other and I was told that a large number are victims of rape and sexual abuse. Each house has a ‘house mother’ who resides in the house and the kids all partake in the duties to clean the house and to cook, even the guys.

So to Prudence and your wonderful group of ‘House Mothers’, thank you for giving me the privilege and honour of being able to visit your incredible ‘SOS Children’s Village’ and for the amazing work you are doing for the kids, you are all Angels, and to Thabo Vermulen (Beares store manager Nelspruit) and his really friendly staff, thanks very much for arranging for me to meet Prudence and be given the opportunity to visit this truly amazing initiative.

While in Nelspruit I also visited the GRIP offices (Greater Rape Intervention Programme) where I spent some time chatting to the management and staff and obtained a lot of information on what is happening with regard to the rape and sexual abuse of children in the Greater Nelspruit area.

 So meet the incredibly wonderful people of GRIP. The work that this organisation is doing in the Greater Nelspruit region, in my humble opinion, provides victims of child rape as well as victims of domestic violence in general with the best support structure in South Africa. So to the ladies and men who dedicate so much of their personal time to assisting victims of this despicable crime in the Greater Nelspruit area, you have the ‘Buddy and Me – Angels’ award. I have been provided with a document entitled “A Case Study – GRIP” which provides a mound of information on GRIP and so once I have had an opportunity to study it I will be posting a blog on it, so stay tuned to the www.buddyandme.co.za website for more info on this incredible organisation and the essential services they provide for child rape victims and victims of domestic violence.

The other important visit was to the R&R Workshops, where Thabo (Beares manager) arranged with his friend Ralton who owns R&R to weld a break in Buddy’s exhaust system,

 so this is one of Ralton’s competent mechanics, Wayne, undertaking some surgery on Buddy’s exhaust system. So thanks guys Buddy is now once again purring like a Lion!

I checked into the Protea Nelspruit Hotel

and was soon settled in my lovely comfortable accommodation.

 

Obviously while in Nelspruit I met up with the Round Tablers of Nelspruit who have been amazing in providing ‘Buddy and Me’ with an incredible support structure, and after talking at a Round Table function in the evening I was presented with the Round Table banner (In this instance a very large one) by the Chairman of Round Table Nelspruit, Simon Harrison.

My next visit was to the Beares store in Malelane where I once again had a great time chatting to Lucky Shabalala, the Beares store Manager and his friendly staff.

I had a particularly interesting chat with one of the staff members, Sebenzile who told me that the rape and sexual abuse of children in the near-by township of Kamdnada is occurring at an horrendous rate and that it is very seldom reported because the community have lost complete faith in the justice system, as in the police, courts and prison services.

I get involved in many discussions of many diverse subjects during my travels and one ‘discussion’ I got involved in while in Malelane was concerning a news item broadcasted on SABC TV news on Wednesday night (17th August) concerning the fact that our esteemed government claims that they are going to create 5 million jobs, but on the SABC TV ‘Morning Live’ news bulletin on the morning of the 19th it was announced that the SABC (which is a kwazi-government institution) intends retrenching / laying off thousands of employees??? So once again it proves “talk is cheap”.

From Malelane ‘Buddy and Me’ headed further out towards the Swaziland and Mozambique borders to the Beares store in the Nkomazi Plaza. Here I was given the opportunity and privilege of addressing a large group of guests from various walks of life who are all involved in some way or another in providing support to child rape victims.

 This is a small portion of the group, I was actually standing in the middle of them with people seated in the lovely comfortable lounge sweets all around me. So to Rudi Mocke, the Beares store manager thank you for arranging such a magic day for me. Also thanks for arranging the lady from the ‘Daily Sun’, they did a great article and in-fact I was pleasantly surprised when I was driving in Groblersdal on Monday 29th and a newspaper sales chap standing on the corner of an intersection ran up to me waving a copy of the paper saying “You must buy the paper, you are in it” and proceeded to show me a large photo and article in the paper, so many thanks for that.  

So meet Rudi and his merry bunch of lady’s and the one happy chappy, thanks for a great day guys and girls.

The next morning ‘Buddy and Me’ bid farewell to the management and staff of the Protea Nelspruit Hotel

 and drove out of Nelspruit and headed out on the incredibly beautiful and scenic drive through to the wonderful town called Barberton and here the Beares manager Elsabé Van Rooyen did a sterling job in arranging for me to meet some interesting people who provided me with contact details of a number of people in the area who are providing support to victims of child rape as well as victims of all forms of domestic violence, which is apparently happening at a humungous rate in the area.

One of the most amazing bits of information I learnt is the fact that the ‘Department of Social Development’ is under taking campaigns and handing out condoms at the schools to pupils in the area, including those in grades as low as grade 8 (standard 6) who are in the 12 – 13 year-old age group. According to the department, “too many school girls are requiring maternity leave”, mind boggling!!!

I visited the GRIP-VSR (Victim Support Room) at the police station as well as the GRIP-VSR at the Barberton hospital where I was once again totally impressed with the services provided by this organisation and I am convinced that because of GRIP the Greater Nelspruit region has undoubtedly the best support structure for victims of child rape as well as victims of domestic violence, well done ladies and gentlemen you are doing an incredibly wonderful job.

So to Elsabé and her energetic bunch of great people at Beares in Barberton, you have mine and Buddy’s grateful thanks for arranging such a magic day for our visit to Barberton.

After a great night with the Round Tablers of Barberton, the next morning ‘Buddy and Me’ headed for Belfast where I was hosted accommodation on a farm courtesy of friends of the Ermelo Round Table Chairman Stephan Mare, his friends being Stephen and Wilma Hugo and they live on a ‘Hadeco’ ‘bulb flower farm’ which is situated about 5 kilometres outside of Belfast.

 The next morning I visited the Beares store in Belfast and here, apart from the interesting information I obtained from a member of the SAPS-FCS unit (Family and Child, sexual Offences unit); I was provided with devastating information on a recent case of child rape by Loudina Viviers the Beares store manager, the facts of which are mind boggling to put it mildly.

Her niece was 5 years old when it was identified that she had been molested and raped by her step-father. It took the case 5 years to get to court with the child being subjected to immense trauma each time the case was remanded and he was eventually acquitted because the child, who was by then almost 10 years old, could not remember specific details such as the clothes he had been wearing, where certain items of furniture were located in the room and other trivial details. And then ‘they’ want to tell me that the victims are not being let down by the pathetic system???

While in Belfast I also got to visit a ‘shelter’ for orphan kids who are living with grand parents and other family members who cannot afford nursery schools and crèches.

The ‘shelter’ which is named ‘Funda Children’s Safe House’ is owned and run by an amazing man by the name of David Ka-Nkosi and provides shelter for 43 children aged between 1 and 12 years of age. The reason I was particularly impressed with the ‘shelter’ is because in my blog 49 on my website I wrote about the fact that on my extensive travels around townships, I frequently see small children in the 2 – 6 year-old age group wandering around streets, pathways and desolate areas, alone, and commented that “no wonder there are so many small children being abducted and raped” and so David’s ‘safe house’ keeps these vulnerable children off the streets, so well done with what you are doing it is an incredible initiative.

When it came time to bid farewell to the Beares Belfast staff and take a photo,

I could not help having a photograph taken of me with what must be the best looking bear I have seen to date,

 so meet ‘bear’ Jacque Davies.

The weekend was spent in a log cabin on a game farm owned by the Chairman of Round Table Loskop (Groblersdal) Carlo Fourie and his lovely wife Colene (other wise known to Carlo, as Angelica )

 and it was a very busy weekend with me attending social functions at the Round Table club house as well as potjies  

and being invited to attend a ‘Horing Fees’ in support of the ‘Save the Rhino’ campaign

and I got to speak to a lot of people including DJ Miguel Proenca of Jacaranda 94.2 Fm radio – Miguel is the cool dude with the red shirt on my right.

The Tablers of Round Table Loskop RT-233 made a generous contribution to Buddy’s very depleted petrol budget and also arranged for Buddy to have a service done at NTT Toyota Groblersdal, so to the Tablers of Loskop 233 you have mine and Buddy’s heartfelt thanks for your generosity, friendship and incredible hospitality.

Well that about covers the activities of ‘Buddy and Me’ for the week and so all that’s left for me to do is bid you farewell until I do my next blog, so keep well, stay safe and of course KEEP ALL CHILDREN SAFE!!

Caring regards from

‘Buddy (The Beach Buggy)

And

Me’ (Steve Heath)

Please send all 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.