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Mon
29
Aug '11

Blog 49 – Buddy and Me – Project 3 (15th – 21st August 2011)

Posted by Julia

Categories: Buddy and Me

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

So meet Lenske and Cadac sniffing out the trailers wheels.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

so meet the great guys and gals of Beares Lydenburg.

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

After passing over the ‘Longtom Pass’

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

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

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

 and relaxed and enjoyed the spectacular view.

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

 Beares Hazyview.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 and this ‘not so shy’,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Caring regards from

Buddy (The Beach Buggy)

And

Me’ (Steve Heath)

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

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

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