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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)

No wonder our police force’s attempt at eradicating the rape and sexual abuse of children, as well as the rape and abuse of woman in general is getting absolutely nowhere! The ‘Child Protection Unit (CPU) and the so called FCS (Family, Child and Sexual Offences unit) has been “re-instated” and “disbanded” and “re-instated” so many times over the past 13 years not even the South African Police Services know whether they officially exist or not. Now our esteemed Police Commissioner has “once again” announced that it is now officially re-instated.

In a message to the public on National television in February 2010 the Minister announced that the FCS unit was to be officially re-instated on a national bases in April of 2010 (Refer ‘Buddy and Me’ blog Day 161 – 17th February 2010) so does that mean that our Police Commissioner is so far behind in his correspondence with the Minister that he is not aware of the fact that the unit was officially re-instated 18 months ago.

Police reinstate elite women, children and sexual offences unit

By Andre Viljoen on October 11, 2011 10:35 pm in South Africa / no comments

SA Police Service National Commissioner, General Bheki Cele and Deputy Minister of Police Maggie Sotyu in high spirits at the relaunch in PE of a national unit to fight family violence, child abuse and sexual offences.

Men who abused women and children were worse than animals, National Commissioner of the SA Police Service Geberal Bheki Cele said in Port Elizabeth today at the official relaunch of the specialised Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS).

The scrapping of the FCS in 2006 was met with public outrage and while South Africa’s overall crime statistics have decreased for the second consecutive year, crimes against women and children have been on the increase.

The head of the reinstated FCS unit General M Y Botsheleng said 1  864 police officers have been specially trained to staff 176 FCS clusters throughout the country. She said 286 of the special officers were deployed at 27 FCS clusters in the Eastern Cape.

Cele said the SAPS planned to recruit many more women to work for the FCS because it was difficult for women to report sexual abuse ordeals to men. Meanwhile, he urged male FCS personnel to treat women complainants with respect, remembering that they might be in both physical and emotional pain.

He said policemen should not put women in danger by advising them to go back home and negotiate with their abusers. And when women victims came in for help, policemen should not comment on personal matters like the wearing of short skirts.

“You are not fashion advisers. You are police officers.”

He said parents — especially mothers — should listen to their children when they said they were being abused at home.

“Don’t tell them to be quiet because the man in question was  paying for the family’s food. By tolerating abuse you are turning your home into a brothel,” he said.

Cele also warned men and their accomplices — especially in the Eastern Cape — that the so-called “ukutwala” tradition of abducting young girls and forcing them into marriage, was unacceptable.

He urged communities to make a principled decision that they would not remain quiet if they knew of women and children who were being abused.

“It is my wish that one day it will be possible for women in South Africa to walk alone at midnight without fear of being raped or attacked.”

Representatives of various organisations including the National Prosecuting Authority, the Department of Social Development and gender activist bodies signed a pledge to support the fight against crimes against women and children.

In an interview, Family Policy Institute director Errol Naidoo said the reinstatement of the FCS unit together with the Government’s recent adoption of a policy document that acknowledged that healthy families were the key to the success of South African society, were encouraging developments.

However he said the Government could not restore families on its own. They could only create an environment in which families could thrive. But it was up to the church, in partnership with the Government and others, to bring about family restoration.

——————————————————————————————–

‘Buddy and Me’ – So lets hope THIS Time they are going to keep the FCS unit around long enough to actually become effective.

 

My question to our esteemed Commissioner of Police is:

“Based on the fact that we are experiencing on average 600 child rape cases every day in South Africa with only between 15 and 18% of them being reported by mothers, and the fact that section 54 of the Sexual Offences Act 32/2007 which states that: “Any person who is made aware of the fact that a child has been raped or sexually abused fails to report it to the authorities is guilty of an offence” was promulgated 4 years ago, but to date there is no record of ANYONE having been charged under this section of the Act?, what are you and our government doing to encourage mothers to report the rape of their children?

 

Read my ‘Proposed Solution to Stopping the Rape and Sexual Abuse of Children’ (Blog 58) and see what you SHOULD BE DOING!!!!


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)

Rape Wise

& John Buswell

Presents

“Eye on the child”

“Eye on the teen”

A safety and protection manual

Prevention through education

Contents

  • Protecting your children from online predators

 

  • Pornography

 

  • Gaming addiction

 

  • Child trafficking

 

  • Safe holiday structure

 

  • Alcohol and drug exposure

 

  • Hubbly bubbly

 

  • Home parties and alcohol

 

  • Drug rape

 

  • Note page

 

Please note that this booklet is copy righted to Rape Wise South Africa. ©

 

Protecting your child from online predators

Message for parents:

Parents need to be involved and they need to talk to children about using these social networks intelligently. The days are long gone when you can tell children not to have a profile. Children today need a profile for their social lives and there are valid reasons for it. Parents need to take off the brown paper bags they have over their heads. Most children are doing this stuff. We need to recognise that, not panic and get involved

Predators are cunning. They are known as a “traveller” this is the term we use for someone who seduces a child online, makes a date and then travels for the liaison. Before they sink their hooks into children they groom them first by gaining their trust, praising them and treating them like adults. This appeal is particularly successful with children who have low self-esteem. Suddenly they feel empowered and cool. Predators are savvy in kid-speak and able to feign interest in the TV and music children like. Once they’ve won a child’s trust, some predators in the most extreme cases use threats and intimidation for manipulation: “I know where you live. If you don’t do x, y or z, I’ll find you and hurt you”. Predators want you to be willing to meet them and they usually have the patience and time to “groom” a victim by a painstaking accumulation of details, a predator will say he loves and understands you, treat you better than your own family might, buy things for you like a cell phones, phone cards, iPods and Web cams. Children are warned about the perils of putting too much information on social networking sites. “You love these web sites, but the predator loves them, too.”

It is important to remember, when a predator goes into a chat room, they never make first contact. The decoy merely sits there using a profile that includes a picture that is unmistakably of someone underage. The potential victim must make the first contact. Usually once that has happened, the man initiates a sexual discussion and ultimately agrees to meet a young teen in person.

There are three types of predators:

Non preferential: They will take whatever is available.

Paedophiles: This predator likes prepubescent children.

Preferential: This predator likes a particular age group 12-14 year old girls and most of their profile are the same as a serial killer.

 

List of things parents and children should consider before going on line:

  1. Limit the amount of time children have interactive access to computer/cell phone to two hours a day. Research shows that the risk of a child is being exposed to predators, pornography or cyber bullying goes up dramatically beyond that daily exposure. Parents also have to lead by example here, if a child sees mom or dad spending excessive time on the computer or meeting other people in chat rooms or in person, the child will more likely engage in similar behaviour.
  2. The computer should always be in an open area of the house. You must be able to look in from time to time to see what your child is doing, what he/she is looking at and know who they talking to. Even if they type in the dreaded “POS” (parent over shoulder) to their pal as a signal you’re watching, it’s good to let them know you’re paying attention. It helps then learn that they will be held accountable.
  3. Remind children that online, people aren’t always who they say they are and that there are real-life consequences should they give away personal information that could allow a predator to find them and take advantage of them.
  4. What you post online stays online forever.”Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want to be seen by your parents, a principal, police or predators.
  5. Beware of a cell phone, digital camera or Web cam showing up that you as a parent didn’t buy. If you see one of these items, it could mean that your child bought it without your permission or that someone else, possibly a potential predator provide it to ensure he/she will get photos.
  6. Guard your passwords. Nothing good can come from people being able to access your child’s personal information or their social networking site. A person who may be your friend today may not be next month.
  7. Set up a social networking site so that only people you invite and approve can enter. Having an open site is like putting an advertisement for predators.
  8. There is a fine line between spying on your children and respecting his/her privacy, but I think it’s okay to take a look at their computer now and again. Ask your child to show you their buddy list. Just as you should know the first and last names of the friends they hang out with in real life, you should know the identities of those they are talking to online.
  9. Know the chat room your child is visiting. Is it a regional room or a topic room? Is the topic age-appropriate for your child?

10. Is your child forming an addiction or obsession to the internet/MXit? Are they getting up in the middle of the night and spending time online. You can check the archive of who your teen has been talking to. If there is an unusual amount of time spent talking to one person, especially a person you don’t know, you need to pursue this.

11. Develop trust. Your child has to know that if he/she is approached in an in appropriate way online, they can come to you as a parent and confide in you what happened. The child needs to know that they won’t be punished. Remember if this does happen, the child is the victim and in most cases not to be blamed.

12. Know where to go if a predator has approached your child.

13. Don’t delay reporting a predator incident. Remember, it probably isn’t the first time this person has tried to solicit a teen.

14. It’s never about the technology. It’s about communication. Don’t blame the internet or be intimidated because your child is more tech-savvy than you are. Your job is to be a parent and help your children make the right choices.

15. There are certain things that you should tell your children are off limits for online discussions with non family members.

16. Make sure you have antivirus and other protective programs. A lot of children are exposed to inappropriate material because of spam on the family computer.

17. Don’t ever allow your child to use their real name as a screen name Chrishansen4u for instance is a bad idea and gives potential predators enough information to check for a home address.

18. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Teach your child to respect others online.

19. If your child insists on meeting their friends online in real life, consider going with them. When they think they have found their soul mate, it is unlikely that telling them “no” will make a difference. Offering to go with them keeps them safe.

20. Check your children’s profile and blogs and any social-networking posts.

21. Report complaints about nudity or pornography, or harassment or unwelcome contact on Facebook to:abuse@facebook.com, on MySpace, go to contact MySpace and select “Reporting Abuse”.

 For more information regarding internet safety visit the following sites

  • OnguardOnline.gov
  • Wiredsaftey.org
  • Commonsense.com
  • Ncmec.org
  • TRUSTe.org
  • Connectsafely.org
  • NetSmartz.org
  • WebWiseKids.org

Remember the single greatest risk our children face in connection with the internet is being denied access. We have solutions for every other risk.

We constantly hear about internet sexual predators, hate, sex and violence online. But our children need the Internet for their education, careers and future. Due to the fact that there is no race, gender or disability online the internet is the one place where our children can be judged by the quality of their ideas, rather than their physical attributes.

Teach your children not to meet strangers’ offline. If they are set on meeting that person anyway, go with them. That way, if the person turns out to be a cute fourteen year old, you are the hero and if they aren’t, you’re an even bigger hero.

To conclude, since our children know more than we do about cyberspace, we worry about how we can teach them to avoid those dangers. Don’t panic those dangers can be managed using the same old warnings we’ve always used e.g. “don’t talk to strangers,” “come straight home from school,” “don’t provoke fights,” “don’t tell anyone personal information about yourself” and “we need to meet your friends.”

Pornography

Please note there is a big difference between:

  • Nudity
  • Erotica
  • Pornography

Pornography is defined as the display of erect genitalia, sexual intercourse, oral sex and digital stimulation, depicted through drawings, stills, photography or electronically.

The film and publications act 2004 states the following:

A person has to be over the age of 18 to:

  • View pornography
  • Participate in pornography
  • Distribute pornography
  • Sell pornography
  • Work in an environment where pornography is sold.

Teenagers filming themselves having intercourse on DVD, cell phones etc .If a person is under the age of 18 and films themselves having intercourse, they will be charged under the Sexual offences amendment act. They will be charged with, Statutory rape and charged with the production of child pornography. A child has a criminal capacity over the age of 10 and will be prosecuted.

Children under the age of 12:

  • Do not understand what they are looking at
  • Often re-in act what they have seen and can be accused of rape
  • Can cause severe psychological damage, at this early age

 

Teenagers and porn:

  • Challenges their base values
  • Often progress to more severe forms of pornography
  • Feel inadequate about their bodies and sexuality
  • Become addicted to porn

If an adult exposes a minor to pornography, they may be found guilty and sentenced to 5 years in jail.

If a colleague is in possession of child pornographic images, call the police.

SMSWEB Cell phone Anti-porn service: 0861 767932, 0861 (SMSWEB)

www.opendns.com

Gaming addiction

There are several degrees of video game addiction that can range from moderate to severe, but recognising the signs early might prevent full-blown addiction.

The most common symptoms for children are as follows:

  • Falling asleep in school
  • Not keeping up with class assignments
  • Worsening grades
  • Lying about video game usage
  • Dropping out of social groups or clubs
  • Ignoring friends or social activities

While not every child exhibits these symptoms, it should be said giving up beloved activities in order to play games or forsaking important duties such as chores or schoolwork for a few more rounds of a game may be cause for a concern.

So what do we do, hide the games and take away the gaming consoles? Teenagers are known to rebel against the things that they feel their parents want to keep them away from, so pulling the plug may not be the solution. So, before you yank the chords out of the wall, try the following:

  • Plan a family activity – It might be a good idea to do something a teenager likes to do, such as a movie night. Try letting them choose the movie as well
  • Take a class together – Nothing brings a family together like a karate class. Enrolling at a gym can not only be fun, but good for the body as well. If you chose an activity that you both enjoy and get something out of, then all the better.
  • Teach them a game of your own – There are tons of games you can teach your children that might get their attention away from the console. Checkers, chess, card games, monopoly, backgammon etc, games that you might have been taught as a child can be a great tool to get your child’s head back into the reality of life. Most of these games generate social skills as well as help bring the family together.
  • Make a list of priorities – Give your child a list of things to do before he can play his/her games. The list can be anything from housework to homework. It can really be anything you want. The deal has to be made that no console games are to be played until all tasks are completed. A little lesson in time management might curb some of the activity. 
  • Put a time limit on the gaming – If you have a particularly stubborn little gamer who just won’t adhere to playing nice with the family, and then it’s time to start cracking down a bit. Tell your child that he/she can play, but only for an hour or only until bedtime. It can be anything you want. Designate a time they are allowed to play their game and be firm on when it’s time to stop playing. 

 

The important thing is to remind your teenager that there’s more to life than console games.

Child trafficking

Commercial sexual exploitation of children trafficked into South Africa from neighbouring countries is expected to rise dramatically during the 2010 Soccer World cup event.

Trafficking of children (anything from age 5 to teens) across South Africa’s borders it is expected to increase sharply. In most cases the children will be lured away from poverty-stricken parents who would release children to traffickers believing that they were to go to South Africa where education opportunities and jobs awaited them. Locally, children from rural provincial areas could be “recruited” and moved to the cities.

These children will be beaten, raped and even forced into the addiction of drugs before being put to work as prostitutes for the pleasure of paedophiles and so-called “sex tourists”. With nowhere to turn, they literally become slaves who are often imprisoned in the suburbs of cities and held at the whim of the trafficker.

In general, according to the south African Police bureau for missing persons, an average of 1500 children under the age of 18 go missing every year in the country. According to police statistics, more than 2500 people in South Africa were kidnapped last year. In the Eastern Cape alone 88 went missing.

During the holidays there are always more children going missing.

Local children, enjoying longer holidays that would accompany the world cup, would also become venerable as they gather without parental supervision at the various stadiums to get a glimpse of their soccer heroes

What to do if your child goes missing

  • Do not wait 24 hours if you suspect your child has gone missing, as the first hours are vital to fine clues

When you report your child missing at the police station:

  1. Take along a photograph of your child as well as information on what her/he was wearing and important marks of identification. Also report who the child was with last and where they were last seen.
  2. Phone Missing Children SA – Judy is on 072 6477464 or 021 8010010 and Elsa on 084 5821516
  3. Missing Children SA needs a case number and a photo of the child as soon as possible.
  4. Stay in contact with the SAPS and MCSA.
  5. Seek assistance from the media.

It is important for parents to make their children aware of safety rules, parents should tell their children to avoid people offering working contacts, like modelling.

Safe holiday structure

The following check list will help you and your teen have a safe and healthy holiday:

  1. Set rules – Set clear rules. Establish a curfew for your teens. Set some kind of check-in system, such as an established call time when they get home. Set limits with clear consequences for breaking them. Praise and reward good behaviour.
  2. Understand and communicate – Talk to your teen about the harmful physical, mental and social effects of marijuana and other drugs. Young people who learn about the risks of drugs at home are up to 50% less likely to try drugs than their peers who learn nothing from their parents.
  3. Monitor your teen’s activities and behaviours – Monitor where your teen is, whom he/she is with and what they have been doing. Teens that are not regularly monitored by their parents are four times more likely to use drugs. Sometimes surprise your teen by checking up to make sure they are where they say they are.
  4. Make sure you stay involved in your child life – Stay in touch with adult supervisors of your child and have them inform you of any changes in your teen. Meet your child’s friends, especially those who hang out with your child regularly.
  5. Engage your child in activities – Help plan activities to keep your teen busy.
  6. Reserve family time – Plan a family activity over the holidays, such as going to movies, taking a walk, sharing a meal. Schedule time together to do something fun as a family. Teens that spend time, talk and have a close relationship with their parents are much less likely to drink, take drugs or have sex.
  7. Set rules on how much TV/playstation they can watch/play – Don’t just tell them to watch less or play less. Encourage them to spend time finding other activities such as reading, music, hobbies and social activities.

Alcohol and drug exposure

Signs of drug abuse:

Physical appearance

  • Not taking care of hygiene and grooming
  • Not sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Hyperactive or under active

Personality

  • Disrespectful – verbally or physically abusive
  • Angry, paranoid, confused and extreme mood swings
  • Depressed – less out going
  • Very secretive and lies about movement
  • Stealing or losing possessions of value
  • Lots of money or always asking for money
  • Withdraws from family or affairs/ activities

Social activity/school performance

  • Drops old friends or activities
  • Missing school
  • Loses interest in schoolwork – lower grades
  • Sleeping in class
  • Loses concentration – trouble remembering things

 

Narcotics

  • Lethargy 
  • Drowsiness 
  • Euphoria 
  • Nausea 
  • Constipation 
  • Constricted pupils and 
  • Slower breathing 

Hallucinogens (LSD)

  • Trance like state
  • Excitation
  • Euphoria
  • Increased pulse rate
  • Hallucinations

Depressants

  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • In-co ordination
  • Tremors
  • Slurred speech
  • Depressed pulse rate
  • Shallow respiration
  • Dilated pupils

Cocaine/Crack Cocaine

  • Excitability
  • Euphoria
  • Tremors
  • Slurred speech
  • Depressed pulse rate
  • Dilated pupils
  • Paranoia
  • Agitation
  • Hallucinations

Inhalants

  • Slurred speech
  • In-coordination
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Slowed breathing

Marijuana

  • Mood swings
  • Euphoria
  • Slow thinking
  • Dilated pupils
  • Increased pulse rate
  • Hallucinations
  • Effects reflexes

Information about the different types of drugs can be found on our support pack.

Hubbly bubbly

Hubbly bubbly smoking is fast gaining ground in South African youth, even though doctors have condemned its use.

Hubble-bubble, known as hookah in Indo Asian countries, has been adopted by many countries around the world. It is a water pipe that is believed to filter the toxins found in tobacco.

The water pipe generally consists of four main parts:

  • The bowl where the tobacco is heated
  • The base filled with water or other liquids
  • The pipe, which connects the bowl to the base and
  • The rubber hose and mouthpiece through which smoke is drawn

There is a misperception among our youth that hookah smoking is safer than cigarette smoking because the smoke is filtered through water. This is not true. Water pipe smoking carries the same serious health risks as smoking cigarettes. In addition to causing lung cancer, there is an increased incidence of cancers of the lower lip, oesophagus and stomach cancer from water pipe use. There is also the risk of spreading infectious diseases, like tuberculosis and viruses such as hepatitis and herpes by sharing the tube.

Facts about hookah smoking

  • It is not safer than smoking cigarettes. Hookah smokers are exposed to cancer-causing chemicals and hazardous gases such as carbon monoxide
  • Hookah is addictive – People ingest higher nicotine levels than with cigarettes, which could increase the risk of addiction since nicotine is the drug that causes addiction.
  • The water pipe does not filter out the “bad stuff’ – The water-filtration and extended hose does not filter out the nicotine, tar cancer causing chemicals and dangerous heavy metals.
  • Smokers who share a water pipe are at risk for infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis and viruses such as hepatitis and herpes. Shared mouthpieces may enhance the opportunity for such diseases to spread.
  • It is illegal for under 18’s to smoke Hubbly in South Africa.

The question is can it cause addiction?

YES, it’s nicotine. So parents – should you rather buy a few packets of cigarettes for your teen’s house-party and let them help themselves to a ‘smoke’? Cringing? Then cringe at the idea of a hubbly-bubbly as well!

Home parties and alcohol

Parties and other social gatherings are important for the social development of young people. They can be a lot of fun and relatively safe provided proper planning and careful supervision occurs. These get-togethers are to be encouraged and supported by parents. However the responsibility of being a host should not be undertaken lightly.

If your child is going to a party

  • Contact the parents who are hosting the party and check on the facts concerning the party. This helps build trust between families and protects all involved.
  • Talk to your child about your expectations and the consequences of them not living up to them.
  • Refrain from giving your child too much cash.
  • Make it clear that they are under no circumstances allowed to leave the party and go to another without your permission.
  • You or a trusted parent must pick them up at the agreed time; your child should also know that they can phone you to pick them up at any stage if they need to leave.
  • Sleep-over are not advisable unless you have a reason to trust the host family completely.
  • Be awake when your child returns home or have them wake you.

If you are hosting the party

  • Keep your party at a manageable size. Ensure your adult-to-child ratio is workable. 
  • Agree to guidelines with your teenager as to how the evening is expected to progress-including what time it will end. 
  • Designate which parts are allowed to be used in the house. 
  • Be a visible presence all of the time. 
  • Agree to an invitation list before hand and resist late additions and especially, gate crashers.
  • For larger parties provide security at the gate and perimeter.
  • Provide large quantities of food and encourage people to eat,
  • Your responsibility only ends when the last child has been collected. Children should not just disappear if they do contact their parents.
  • Be vigilant throughput the party and be conscious of the fact that there are mobile delivery services in operation which deliver alcohol to parties.

Why do teenagers use alcohol?

  • Escape and self-medication – Teenagers may turn to alcohol for solace if they don’t have a healthy outlet for frustration. 
  • Boredom and instant friends – Teenagers who can’t tolerate being alone, have trouble keeping themselves occupied and crave excitement are prime candidates for using alcohol. 
  • Rebellion – What better way to express your anger at your parents than doing something they tell you not to do?
  • Everybody’s doing it – Teenagers are astute observers and they see lots of people using alcohol.
  • Instant gratification – Alcohol works quickly. The initial effects feel really good, especially for teens who want to get rid of their bad feelings.
  • Lack of confidence – Some teenagers would do things under the influence of alcohol that they otherwise would never risk doing. Alcohol can become a crutch which some teenagers rely on and don’t feel comfortable in a social setting. 
  • Misinformation – Inaccurate information and a lack of information about alcohol and its harmful effects sometimes contribute to misuse of alcohol by teenagers. 
  • Parental cues – The example parents set for their children is enormously powerful. Parents can inadvertently influence their children’s alcohol use by denying or minimizing their own use or abuse of alcohol. 

What is binge drinking?

Binge drinking is defined as the consumption of five or more drinks in a row on at least one occasion.

Binge drinking amongst teenagers is out of control. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions, teenagers who drink at parties are likely to try drugs as well as have unprotected sex and girls normally take part in sexual activity they wouldn’t normally take part in.

Sexual encounters have the risk of pregnancy, STIs and HIV exposure, as well as date rape and other violence – can and do occur more frequently while students are consuming large amounts of alcohol by binge drinking.

What to do if your child is using alcohol

  • Keep calm – Don’t assume your child is an alcoholic but do respond and most certainly discuss the incident with them.
  • Don’t allow anger and fear to overwhelm your effectiveness to communicate – but be honest with your feelings.
  • When confronting the problem, first agree on a course of action with your spouse.
  • Talk about the extent of your child’s use – how often, with whom, where and why.
  • Let your child know that you do not condone his behaviour – although you value him as an individual.
  • Explain why you are concerned – Remind your teen of your family expectations and rules about alcohol use and enforce the consequences for breaking them.
  • If you have reason to believe your teen is abusing alcohol – or your efforts to enforce the rules have failed repeatedly, seek help from a health care professional.
  • Be wary of denial – Rather confront the problem and reach out for professional assistance.

Note:

  • No person may sell liquor to a person under the age of eighteen (18) years
  • No person may give or supply liquor to a person under the age of 18 years or allow such a person to consume liquor.
  • Parents who encourage or allow their own children to abuse alcohol or any other drug for that matter can be prosecuted for abusing and/or neglecting their children. According to the new legislation (Section 41) persons under 18 years old will not be allowed to enter licensed premises unless accompanied by a parent or guardian or by an adult with the consent of a parent or guardian.
  • Some learners in grade 12 are over 18.They need to be aware that under Section 39 of the new legislation it is an offence for them to supply liquor to a fellow learner who is not yet 18. A person under 18 will be in breach of the Act and subject to severe penalties. The maximum penalty is R 1 million or 5 years imprisonment.
  • In order to reduce the likelihood of litigation, parents are advise to obtain parental permission should they plan to provide alcohol to someone else’s child (i.e. to a person who is not yet 18 years of age) or should they reasonably envisage that a minor is likely to be offered alcohol at an event they are hosting or that is being hosted on their premises.

Note for parents:

Parents, watch your children. Talk to them. Listen to them, all the time. Be aware of any changes. A problem is easier to address in its initial stages. Even good children can become involved in bad things. Your child is not excluded.

    Where to get help: Cape Town Drug Counselling centre: 021 4478026

    Alcoholics Anonymous – 0861 435722 (HELPAA)

Gauteng: 011 6839101

Western Cape: 021 5102288

Al-Anon (for families of alcoholics) Helpline – 0861 252 666 (ALANON)

Gauteng: 011 6838002

SANCA Horizon Clinic (in-and out-patient programme for teens)

011 9175015/6                         Narcotics Anonymous: 083 9006962

Drug Rape

What is rape?

The definition of rape: The insertion of any object into the vagina, anus or mouth of a male or female without consent.

How do I keep safe?

  • Try to keep the company op people who maintain similar values to your own
  • Attend a good self-defence course to learn about swift responses and useful techniques in resisting attack
  • When you are at a party, watch the person who pours your drinks, lest they add something that knocks you out (like the infamous rape drug “Cat”)
  • No means No so don’t get into the habit of saying no when you mean yes, because the day you are screaming for him to stop, he will think you’re playing your usual ‘cry wolf games’, and ignore your pleas

Avoiding rape

  • Always be aware of what is going on around you
  • Walk with confidence; hold your head up high and shoulders straight
  • At night, stick to well-lit, populated areas and walk with another person
  • If you are going to a club or party, always go with a friend you can trust and look after each other
  • Don’t get sexual with someone you have just met
  • We can’t trust everyone we meet, so insist that people must earn your trust, over time in a non sexual setting
  • Drink from tamper-proof bottles and cans and insist on opening them, as so-called date drugs like GBH and Rohypnol can unknowingly be given to someone to make them powerless against sexual assault or other crimes
  • Don’t add ice to your drinks (often date rape drugs are frozen in ice)
  • Never leave your drink unattended, if you do rather discard of it

I’ve been raped what now?

  • Don’t throw away your clothes or wash yourself, no matter how much you want to. There may be hair, blood or semen from the rapist on your body or clothes. This will be important evidence
  • Don’t drink any alcohol or take medication before a district surgeon has examined you
  • Go to a safe place as soon as possible
  • You must be treated within 72 hours
  • Tell someone you can trust. This will be hard, but this is very important. The first person you tell will be asked to appear in court to support your story
  • Put your clothes you were wearing into a paper bag or newspaper. A plastic bag will destroy evidence
  • If you are hurt go to a doctor or hospital immediately. The police will be called if you wish to report the crime
  • You will need to undergo P.E.P (Post Exposure Prophylaxis) treatment, as soon as possible to decrease your chance of contracting HIV. You will be tested to establish your HIV base line status and if negative, must be given medication within 72 hours
  • A crime kit will be used by the district surgeon to gather DNA as evidence; this will assist with the arrest and conviction of your rapist
  • There are several organisations offering help to Rape Survivors. Counselling from the professionals will enable you to get on with your life

Where do I go for help?

Rape Wise: (011) 4213284 or after hours 083 9430173

Far East Rand Hospital crisis centre (highly recommended): 071 1504242

Ask to speak to Sr. Alexander or Sr. Kate or

Jacobie Botha (011) 8128330 / 082 9747257

Rape Crisis: Observatory 021 447 9762 – Athlone 021 6339229

Khayelitsha: 021 3619085

Lifeline: 0861 322322

FAMSA: 011 9757106/7

POWA: 011 6424345

Childline: 0800 055555

 

Notes

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Contact details:

Tel: 011 4213284

Fax: 011 8454712

Mobile: 083 3308535

Help Line: 083 9430173

info@rapewise.co.za

www.rapewise.co.za

 


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)

So another disastrous week has passed in the lives of ‘Buddy and Me and I have undoubtedly suffered more in the last 3 weeks than I have done in the entire 6 years and 187 000 kilometres on the ‘Buddy and Me’ project.  

So Monday (19th September) dawned a lovely day and after thanking Cheryl and Horst Reum for their kind friendship and hospitality in their lovely holiday home at Chrissiesmeer, and a special thanks to Cheryl for pulling me through my ‘water poisoning’, I bid them farewell and drove through to Ermelo where I met up with a really terrific guy, Ebrahim Timol the store manager of the Beares Ermelo store and his great bunch of friendly staff.

(Abrahim is on my right) Abrahim arranged for me to talk at the local school and I was accompanied by two members of the local SAPS-FCS unit, and oh boy what a reception we got when we arrived at the school.

and of course Buddy would get very upset with me if I did not include him in the festivities, in fact he still got upset with me and through his toys out of the cot, but more about that later. But here is Buddy getting involved

Abrahim also arranged for me to meet up with a local newspaper report who has promised to do really good article, so Abrahim please don’t forget to post me two copies.

From the school I visited the Thuthuzela Care Centre which is based at the local hospital,

 but alas, although the premises are definitely one of the best TCC units I have seen, it is still a far cry from being what they could and should be with regard to providing the essential services needed to encourage mothers and children to report the rape of children or to encourage victims of domestic violence in general, because once again there are no trained police officials on the premises and no doctor or trained forensic nurse on the premises to perform the essential J88 forensic examination. Victims and mothers reporting the rape of children are required to first report the matter at the police station and then be transported to the hospital where the forensic examination is undertaken and then they are sent to the Thuthuzela Care Centre for ‘support assistance’,

From Ermelo ‘Buddy and Me’ headed for Piet Retief where on Tuesday I met up with the staff of Beares Piet Retief.

Unfortunately my visit to this store was at a sombre time when Annetjie Pretorius, the Beares store manager and her staff were busy packing up the store and preparing to close it. I believe the new store will be opening around the end of November, so to Annetjie and your friendly staff I hope to be able to visit your flashy new store on ‘Buddy and Me – project 4’ next year.

 

The Mpumalanga region can be very thankful that they have, what I in my humble opinion believes to be, the best NGO support services for victims of child rape as well as for victims of rape in general and victims of domestic violence found in South Africa and these services are provided by ‘GRIP’ (Greater Rape Intervention Programme) and I had a magic time chatting to the staff of the Piet Retief unit. Pic 2137 and if you look closely you will see I am holding a T shirt which was presented to me by Marliese Beukes the ‘GRIP’ regional manager which states this.

 This year, GRIP handles a little over 200 cases of rape of which an estimated 80% involved children under the age of 12 years of age! Marliese did however confirm that the relationship between GRIP, the police (FCS unit) and the judicial system (courts) was extremely good and that they have been experiencing a high rate of convictions with some really severe sentences being passed down.

My only problem with this is that in-spite of our courts handing down some really great and severe sentences; convicted rapists are being paroled long before they have served even a small percentage of their original sentence, and so I believe that our government is using the publicising of lengthy sentencing’s of rapists and criminals in general as a propaganda publicity stunt.

 

My accommodation in Piet Retief was courtesy of my cousin Daryl, her husband Martin and son Kyle Van Deventer, and I enjoyed a magic braai, Martin being a fundi at this particular style of cooking and he did a chicken which I still believe was either a turkey or a small Ostrich J but whatever it was it was undoubtedly the best I have ever had in my life, and I am sure it was because of the weird braai Martin has, check this out.

Kyle, on my left, was instrumental in ensuring that the fire was perfect, so thanks guys for the amazing time I had while visiting Piet Retief.

The next morning, before heading out of Piet Retief, I stopped off at Daryl’s place of employment (Pick n’ Pay) to bid her farewell and then popped in to say good bye to Martin at his office and in order to get to Martin’s place of employment; he’s the manager of the abattoir, I had to drive right past the Piet Retief prison, sorry ‘Correctional Services facilities’ and on seeing the sign outside the main entrance once again wondered if this is really the message that should be given to potential criminals and our countries criminal element in general.

 A Place of new beginnings in my humble opinion this is saying “If you can’t make it out there ‘in society’ and if you turn to crime and destroy someone else life, don’t worry, enjoy the pleasures and benefits of your crimes until you are caught and then come here and we will provide you with a new beginning”. Perhaps the sign should read This is a place you NEVER want to be sent to”.

From Piet Retief ‘Buddy and Me’ headed in a Southerly direction for Vryheid where I spent some quality time with Cornelia van Rooyen the Beares store manager and her merry bunch of friendly staff.

 Cornelia also arranged for me to have an interview with a really terrific young lady from the local press and I look forward to reading her article because she was really interested in the ‘Buddy and Me’ project and is committed to the fight against child rape.

After a stop off at the local police station where I was, as usual, not very impressed with the services provided by them and in my opinion they are not committed to encouraging mothers to report the rape of their children and once again reflected on the difference between the support structures and services, or rather lack of them, in this area and the support structures and services provided in the areas where GRIP are established.

I headed out of Vryheid in a bit of a hurry so that I could reach Pongola before dark, Buddy’s lights and electrical system not being what they should be, and headed in the direction (once again northwards) for Pongola where I immediately booked into my lovely accommodation for the night at the ‘Aber Jetz Guesthouse’ which is owned by the really lovely lady Regina Herbst.

So if you ever visit the Pongola area, staying at ‘Aber Jetz Guesthouse’ is a must, and you can contact Regina on: 083 3307 364 or email: herbst@ananzi.co.za and can be found at: 5 Jan Kemp Str. Pongola.

The evening was spent in the company of a really great man and friend Hannes Jacobs who is the Beares store manager in Pongola and his lovely wife Joan at the Pongola Lodge where I enjoyed, my all time favourite meal (other than curry that is) of a really great hot Portuguese style per-peri chicken, chips and salad, positively delicious.

Unfortunately, as in the case of Piet Retief, Hannes and his staff were busy packing up store and I believe the new store will only be opening in mid 2012, so to Hannes and your great bunch of staff,

 I wish you well for the future and hope I get to see your new store on ‘Buddy and Me – project 4’ next year

One of the discussions I got involved in during the evening was one surrounding the ‘big news’ that was being featured prominently on TV, newspapers and radio over the past couple of days and that was the fact that 8 young school girls were found to be pregnant and I couldn’t help thinking “so what’s the big issue, it’s being happening at a phenomenal rate over the past couple of years and in-fact I had written about it in my blog while in Barberton (Blog 51) where I was provided with information to the effect that the Department of Social Development is handing out condoms to school kids as young as 12 and 13 years of age (Grade 8), question: “Is this ‘Social Development?”.

One comment made by a lady was “When is our government going to realise that all that is happening is that young girls have discovered a new way of getting ‘pocket money’, this being in the form of ‘child grants’ – R280-00 per month per child”. I agree fully with this statement and believe that the paying of a child grant must be subject to the young girl identifying who the individual is that got her pregnant, the individual is arrested for rape (statutory rape) and is prosecuted to the full extent of the law; with the full co-operation of the young girl, and he is sent to prison. But what in-fact is presently occurring is that the young girl is receiving a ‘child grant’ AND being paid ‘maintenance’ by the rapist / boyfriend to keep his identity hidden, and because it is keeping the police ‘work load’ down they do not concern themselves with it.

The next morning all my problems started!!! 63 kilometres from Mtubatuba while on my way to St Lucia where I intended spending the weekend catching up on some well needed R&R and fishing, Buddy’s left rear wheel came flying off while travelling through a very remote stretch of highway.

 

If you remember from my last blog (Blog 53), this occurred last weekend with Buddy’s right rear wheel while being towed from Hartebeespoort Dam to Jo’burg and ended up costing me a fortune in damage to the vehicle towing Buddy as well as the repair costs to Buddy’s drive shaft and wheel hub. This was caused by the guy who ‘helped’ me by fitting new brake shoes and not tightening the hub wheel nut tight enough and not fitting a split pin, well the same occurred with the left wheel.

Unfortunately Buddy’s rear suspension was well and truly entrenched into the soft ground and I could not get him lifted high enough to refit the wheel without the use of a second jack and in-spite of me trying to flag down motorists, which included 5 traffic cops who on passing me, slowed, and drove off, nobody would stop. Feeling totally dejected I sat on the wheel with my head in my hands wondering what I was going to do, when my ‘Guardian Angel’ came to my assistance once again, and a bakkie pulled up behind Buddy and a guy jumped out and asked if I was alright and if he could help.

 So meet my ‘Good Samaritan’ farmer Geffert Pretorius sent by my ‘Guardian Angel’.

In order to get the wheel hub on I had to dismantle the brake system, and within a kilometre of where the wheel had come off, I was forced to pull over because the whole braking system had come apart and brake fluid was leaking out like a sieve and was creating a major noise and problem, so once again the wheel was taken off and after an hour trying to fabricate a temporary braking system I gave up and drove the remaining 80 kilometres to St Lucia with NO brakes at all!

 

All I was praying for was that I would not be asked to stop by a traffic cop, so I limped along slowly and eventually arrived at the Mtubatuba / St Lucia turn off, and yep as I took the turn off and turned left, fortunately at the end of the off ramp it was a yield sign and not a stop sign, a traffic cop was standing about 100 metres down the road and as I approached him he stepped into the road and indicated for me to stop. Fortunately for me he was standing at a point in the road where a small road lead in from the left and it had a small incline and so I drove slowly towards him and turned left into the side road and coasted to a stop, switched off the engine and left Buddy in gear. After a general look over Buddy and I of course kept him entertained with details of where Buddy has travelled, he bid me farewell and wished me a pleasant trip and with sweat pouring down my forehead I eventually arrived in St Lucia.

After setting up camp

I headed into St Lucia, very nervously and cautiously, because driving around St Lucia with no brakes is not something you want to experience in a hurry, but I needed to get ’stuff’ for supper as well as a few other items of necessity and managed to complete the drive without wiping out any other motorists or pedestrians.

 

Saturday morning I found a workshop called ‘NicMar Workshop’ on the premises of the Engen garage owned by Nic

who did a sterling job in repairing Buddy’s brakes and bleeding them and so by Saturday afternoon Buddy was back ♫On the road again♫ brakes and all Yahoo!!

With Buddy’s wheels all still on and his brakes working probably better than they were before, I drove the 35 kilometres through the ‘new’ game reserve to Cape Vidal, without anything on Buddy coming apart I might add, and had a relaxing time fishing

 

So this coming week will find ‘Buddy and Me’ focusing on the KZN North Coast area starting in Mtubatuba on Monday morning and heading forever South wards to the final destination in Durban. This has been a particularly hard and difficult project for me and I have taken some unbelievable strain in every aspect of the word, and so I, as I am sure Buddy does, look forward to finishing and getting in some real rest before starting the planning of ‘Buddy and Me – Project 4’ early in the new year, because there is still lots of work to be done to get our government to commit to stopping the rape and sexual abuse of children.

So until next week, keep well, stay safe and do everything in your power to stop the rape and sexual abuse of children, 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 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 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

 

Wow so what can I say, this past 2 weeks have proved to be the worst, most traumatising weeks of the entire 6 year 187 000 kilometres done on the ‘Buddy and Me’ project, and because of this I have to ask for forgiveness for not posting a blog for the passed 2 weeks or so, but once you hear my storey I am sure you will understand why!! Part of the trauma was the fact that on Friday night (9th September) I was robbed of my BlackBerry cell phone which had all my photo’s for the week on it, I usually down load the photo’s from the cell phone to my laptop on the weekend and so because the phone was stolen on the Friday night, guess what? No photo’s, I did however manage to salvage a couple from my ‘Face Book’ and from June’s (The lady in my life) pictures she took while she was with me for a couple of days, so without any further ado let me tell you what happened in the lives of ‘Buddy and Me’ this past 2 weeks.

So we start on Monday morning the 5th of September when ‘Buddy and Me’ visited the Beares store in Temba City where the store manager, Prince Nkosi arranged for me to meet some interesting people in the form of the Commanding officer of the SAPS-FCS unit, Captain Johannes Biloane who provided me with some really interesting information and facts on what is happening in the area regarding the rape and sexual abuse of children, which by the way is happening at a humongous rate.

He agreed that the fact that the courts are ordering that victims of child rape and domestic violence must be removed from their place of residence, in the situation where the father / husband is the perpetrator, and that the victim be placed in a ‘place of safety’ is not only wrong, but is in contravention of the ‘Sexual Offences Act” which states that “The perpetrator must be removed and that he has to ensure that his contribution to sustaining the family is continued as normal”. He also agreed fully that if government committed themselves to stopping the rape of children in South Africa and implemented the ‘solution’ I have proposed, this would be a major step in the right direction to encouraging mothers to report the rape of their children and to encourage twomen to report the abuse of themselves as well, and so eradicating the scourge of child rape from our society. (To the Beares staff of Temba City, my sincere apologies for no photo guys)

From Temba City, ‘Buddy and Me’ proceeded to the Beares store in Mabopane where once again ‘Buddy and Me’ were welcomed like long lost relatives by the friendly Beares staff. Here I got to speak to yet more police and Social Workers who confirmed that the rape and sexual abuse in the area is really “bad” and that they have a major shortage of staff in the form of ‘trained’ Forensic Social Workers’ who are supposed to do the initial report and open the docket in the situation of rape and domestic violence. (Again apologies for no photo)

After a hot day in the townships, I managed to find my way back to Pretoria and checked in to the lovely Protea Centurion Waterfront Hotel

where after checking in I relaxed on the veranda.

Tuesday morning found ‘Buddy and Me’ visiting Daisy Phetla, the store manager of Beares Mahube Max City, and her group of friendly staff where I got to speak to a really interesting group of people from the local community who after being provided with details of my ‘proposal for a Solution to Stopping the Rape and Sexual Abuse of Children’ agreed that our government must commit themselves by implementing my proposal.

This was followed up with a visit to the Beares store which has always produced amazing things for ‘Buddy and Me’ in the past and that is the Silverton Beares store where Daleen Diedericks, the store Manager did an absolutely sterling job in arranging for a group of people to pop in and chat to me. The group included, apart from others, two really interesting and dedicated ladies who are social workers with an NGO called ‘METT Therapy Centre’ as well as a member of the SAPS-FCS unit and the information which was shared was amazing. I am just really disappointed that I lost the photos from this store in particular, so to Daleen and your staff you have my heartfelt apologies for not being able to post the photos of the day.

I was told by Sannika Nel and Lizahane Greef of METT Therapy NGO, that the children who are mostly referred to them, are referred by teachers and parents who notice behavioural changes in children and after counselling it is usually – mostly – identified that the child is, or has been, raped or molested. These ladies have read my proposal for a solution and have emailed me their opinions and comments, which by the way are in full support of my proposal for a solution, so thanks ladies for taking the time to read it and for conveying your opinions and incredible encouragement, it’s sincerely appreciated.

Wednesday ‘Buddy and Me’ visited that incredibly bubbly lady, Helena De Lange and her friendly staff at the Beares Pretoria North store. Whenever I have visited this store on the two previous ‘Buddy and Me’ projects Helena has really out done herself in arranging an amazing day for me and Buddy and on this occasion it was no exception. I got to chat to a group which included members of the police and as usual, as I do at all store visits, I presented everyone with copies of what I believe is the solution to stopping the rape and sexual abuse of children in South Africa and after having presented them with a verbal shortened version of it, they were unanimous in their agreement that if applied it would undoubtedly have a major impact on eradicating child rape from our society, so it is encouraging and comforting to know that I am on the right track and that the 187 000 kilometres ‘Buddy and Me’ have travelled on this project together have been worthwhile J Now it’s just to get government and the relative ‘stakeholder’ to commit to it L that is going to be the daunting task of ‘Buddy and Me – Project 4- The final chapter’ which I hope to start in February 2012.

Thursday (8th September) ‘Buddy and Me’ visited the Beares store in Gezina where Jesse The-Kisho and her staff made June (who joined me for a couple of days to find out exactly what a day in the life of ‘Buddy and Me’ was like) and I very welcome, and I got to chat to one of the most interesting groups of people I have had the pleasure of meeting on this project. The group included, apart from others, a lady whose daughter was raped at the age of 8 and a few days before our meeting, at the age of 25 was once again raped, but this time – murdered!! A really heart wrenching story and June unfortunately had to be subjected to this on her first ‘official’ day on the ‘Buddy and Me’ project. So to Jesse and your wonderful staff, many thanks for making my visit to the Gezina Beares store the great pleasure it always is, just sorry I lost the photos through someone’s greedy fingers L

From Gezina “Buddy and Me” headed for the Beares store in Arcadia, and on arriving outside the store we were greeted by Linda Muller, the store manager and her bevy of lovely ladies who were all standing at the door to great us.

Fortunately June also took a photo with her cell phone and so I can provide a picture of all the lovely ladies of Beares Arcadia, mmm maybe I should consider keeping June (other wise known to me as Wonder- Woman J) on the project permanently?

 

 I got to address and chat to yet another incredibly interesting group of people and got some really interesting comments and opinions.

One subject in particular was the now ‘controversial’ question which I have been asking women for their opinions on, since the male police officer told me a few weeks back, that “women in general prefer to be interviewed by a male in the traumatic situation of reporting a rape case and that women in general prefer to have the very personal J88 forensic examination done by a male doctor rather than a female doctor” his reasoning being that “women believe that females doing these tasks are more judgmental than men?”.

Since obtaining this opinion and asking many woman this question, the response has been that 70% of women would prefer a female to do the report interview and 100% of women would prefer a female doctor to undertake the examination, and in this particular discussion it was established that as far as the reporting aspect is concerned I think I can safely say 90% of the women preferred a female doing the report and 100% would prefer a female doing the examination. I would sincerely like to obtain opinions on this point so you can send them to me via my email: steve@buddyandme.co.za

Friday, (9th of September) was the day all my dramas started! It began with a visit, or rather the intention of a visit, to the Beares store in Van der Walt street, which is in the ‘middle’ of Pretoria and so being a Friday things were somewhat chaotic to put it mildly! The streets around the store were bedlam, and there were taxi’s buzzing all around ‘Buddy and Me’ hooting and drivers shouting from all sides, obviously with all of this chaos there was absolutely no chance of getting a parking and to cap it all there were about 20 traffic cops pulling cars and taxi’s over for inspections and shouting at me to “move on” and I was obviously only too happy to oblige. With all of this chaos going on I elected to give the Beares in Van der Walt street store a miss and move on to the next one, Beares Pretoria City which is in Andries street central Pretoria and where although it was also somewhat chaotic, was not quite the bedlam seen at the Van der Walt street store and I even managed to get a parking right in-front of the store, incredible!!!

I got to spend some quality time chatting to that incredibly lovely lady, Lilly Luiz the store manager of the Andries Street Beares store and her friendly staff and had a really lovely time with them bringing them up to speed on what is happening with the project and what I hope to achieve with it.

Unfortunately June (Wonder-Woman) had elected to stay at the resort we were camping at; Roos se Oordt on the Crocodile River leading into Hartebeespoort Dam at Broederstroom,

 

 because we had been told that thieves had been operating in the area recently so she elected to stay behind and look after the camp, a very brave woman indeed J, and so she was not around to take photos with her camera (cell phone) as well and so the photos of the Beares staff in Andries Street are gone as well, really sorry guys, but greedy fingers prevail L

Now this where all my drama started!! Saturday morning I woke and reached for my cell phone (Sponsored BlackBerry) which is always on the table next to my bed, and discovered it was not there, I jumped up and frantically started searching for it but it was gone. We later heard that thieves had stolen cooler boxes and other items of personal stuff from inside other camper’s tents during the night and so I was devastated.

My immediate course of action was to go into the Quaggas Centre in Pretoria where I phoned the BlackBerry help line from the Beares store and black listed and blocked my BlackBerry phone. Then I visited the cell phone shop in the centre and blocked my ‘Cell C’ sim card and got a new one issued with my number ported so I have retained the same cell number.

I was obviously devastated by the loss and so June and I decided to pop into the ‘Bush Pub’ which is situated about 50 metres from ‘Roos se Oordt’ resort entrance and hopefully get a bit of spark back into my life by watching the Sharks beat the Pumas, which is exactly what happened, the only good thing I experienced the entire weekend!! Then dramas really struck!!

When I attempted to leave the ‘Bush Pub’ Buddy would not engage gears. Everything had been perfectly great up until that moment and for no apparent reason when I put him into gear he just revved and would not pull away. A chap from the ‘Bush Pub’ towed us back to camp, but unfortunately the tow rope was tied to Buddy’s steering stabilizer bar and this was pulled off while being towed. A friend in Johannesburg, Jaco Labuschagne offered to send two of his guys to tow us to Jo’burg the next day and as promised they arrived at 12:30pm on Sunday.

My ‘Good Samaritan’s’ from Jo’burg trying to refit Buddy’s stabilizer bar which eventually was strapped to Buddy’s front bumper in desperation.

Preparing to tow ‘Buddy and Me’ to Jo’burg.

All was going well with the towing until we reached the halfway point to Jo’burg on a dual highway Buddy’s back right wheel came flying off!!!. It was discovered that the guy who had done Buddy’s brakes for me in Upington had not put a split pin into the wheel hub bolt and had not tightened the hub nut enough and this had worked loose and had caused the splines on Buddy’s drive shaft and wheel hub to be grinded smooth, hence no traction when the gears were engaged, and finally resulting in the wheel flying off.

Unfortunately with the two vehicles being attached by the tow rope, Buddy was jerked savagely into the left side of the bakkie which was towing Buddy and resulted in the bakkie sustaining some serious damage.

 

After some ‘fancy foot work’ by me ‘the roadside mechanic’ and my ‘Good Samaritans’

 we managed to get the wheel back on and June

(that’s her taking a picture of me taking a picture of her) and I remained with Buddy while my ‘Good Samaritans’ towed the trailer to Jo’burg and returned a couple of hours later to tow Buddy, June and myself to Jo’burg. Later that evening after a hair raising and scary tow because there were only two wheel nuts holding Buddy’s right rear wheel on,

we arrived safely at our destination in Germiston.

The next four days were spent frantically running around trying to get Buddy’s damaged wheel hub and drive shaft replaced, as well as the front steering stabilizer repaired without having to cancel too many scheduled appointments, not to mention the major expense damage to Buddy’s very depleted medical aid/fuel budget, so this resulted in some night work for me.

Fortunately with a lot of help from my friends, Jaco Labuschagne, his fiancé Celeste Grobler and Jaco’s brother Harm, I managed to get the job accomplished and only had to cancel my visits to two Beares store, these being Midrand and Tsakane and on Thursday morning ‘Buddy and Me’ headed out of Germiston for our scheduled visit to the Beares stores in Secunda.

Unfortunately dramas in my life did not end with my departure from Germiston, because soon after arriving at the Beares store in Secunda Fishers Square, the store manager, Valerie O’Neil was given the frantic news by her up-stairs staff that the water pipe in the stores kitchen had sheared and water was pouring out at a mean rate. The mains was switched off and after a few hours, and some frantic running around and phoning for a plumber, which ended at around 6pm, a solution was obtained and the pipe was blocked because the restaurant/pub next door insisted on the water being switched back on.

 I must tell you that Val and her husband Eugene who is the Beares store Manager at the Bethal Beares store did an amazing thing to help me out of my cell phone predicament, they presented me with one of their ‘spare’ personal cell phones which has internet and camera facilities which is going to help me tremendously, so many thanks guys you have my heartfelt thanks for that.

After a visit to the friendly staff of the Beares (ii) store in Steyn Street Secunda, where I spent some quality time chatting to Peggy Matlals and her friendly staff

 I headed for ‘home’ which in this instance was the home of Round Tabler Clint Palmer.

Thursday evening was spent attending a Round Table meeting in Bethal with the Round Tablers of Secunda and as usual the evening turned out to be a humdinger!

 the guys even took me to a local pub to show me what Buddy has been doing behind my back

Friday, after having my badly cracked windscreen replaced by PG in Secunda (courtesy of Round Tabler Gawie Haremse – RT Secunda)  which had been smashed by a rock about 2 months back;

I had been warned on a few occasions by police that I was going to be fined if it was not replaced, I headed out of town to meet an incredibly wonderful guy, who happens to also be a ‘character of note’ Round Tabler, 41er Chris Hoarse and together with Round Tablers Neville Kotze and Mattheus Prinsloo (RT Secunda Chairman), presented me with the Round Table Secunda ‘new and improved’ banner and lapel pin

 That’s ‘mean machine-character of note’ Chris Hoarse on the right of the picture.

My next stop was in Kriel where I spent some time talking to Stella Landman and her staff at the Beares store

and then drove the short distance to Bethal where I visited Eugene O’Neil – husband of Valerie O’Neil in the Secunda Beares store – and collected my ‘new’ internet connected cell phone from him.

 After a short but interesting visit with these friendly people I made a hurried departure from the chaotic, Friday afternoon peak hour traffic of Bethal and headed out on the Ermelo road where on reaching Ermelo I turned left and headed for the quiet and peaceful area of Chrissiesmeer which is 40 kilometres north of Ermelo where I hoped to spend a relaxing weekend trying to recover from the past weeks drama’s – please note I said “hoped”.

The cottage I stayed in is owned by good friends of mine, Rotarian Cheryl and Horst Reum and if you remember, while I was in White River, Horst worked on Buddy in his workshop and they took me to the Kruger Park for the day.

Cheryl and Horst arrived for the weekend on Saturday afternoon but unfortunately on Saturday night, due to water I had drunk in Bethal, I was struck down with severe water poisoning during Saturday evening and so was not very good conversational material on Sunday and in-fact spent the whole day running between my bed and toilet puking my heart out. Fortunately on Monday morning I woke feeling somewhat better, but very weak and my right kidney, in particular, felt like a mule had kicked me in the right side of my back.

A new Face Book site has been set up for ‘Buddy and Me’: ‘Stop the Rape and Sexual Abuse of Children in SA’ and we welcome everyone to visit it from time to time, and for this I owe a great thanks to June Porter- “Wonder-Woman” for her support and dedication to the ‘Buddy and Me’ (especially the ‘Me’ part) project and for setting it up. Thanks Babes you and your support are sincerely appreciated.

So that now brings you up to date on the lives of ‘Buddy and Me’, so I hope you have all had a far better 2 weeks than me and that this coming week brings you nothing but joy, happiness and productivity J So keep well, stay safe and I look forward to receiving your comments, constructive criticism and opinions on what needs to be done to stop the rape and sexual abuse of children in South Africa, Oh and don’t forget KEEP ALL CHILDREN SAFE, because in-spite of what our government thinks, children are our countries greatest assets and as such need to be protected.

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.