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Thu
6
Oct '11

Blog 53 – Buddy and Me – Project 3 (5th – 18th 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

 

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.

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