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Fri
9
Sep '11

Blog 52 – Buddy and Me – Project 3 (29th August – 4th September 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 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.

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