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Jan '11

Blog 9 – Buddy and Me – Project 3 (15th – 18th November 2010)

Posted by Julia

Categories: Buddy and Me

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The PROPOSAL TO THE PRESIDENT for your perusal. 

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)

Monday morning, dawned a cloudy and cool morning and was in-fact pretty great weather for driving in a Beach Buggy. I left the Montrose Protea Hotel at 7:15am and headed south for Estcourt. Whenever and wherever possible I try and avoid toll roads, one reason being that I refuse to pay the ridiculously high toll fees, secondly the toll roads do not save anywhere near the amount of fuel or time to justify their exorbitant expense and thirdly the alternative routes usually offer far more scenic landscapes than the areas the toll roads go through.

Having expressed my dislike of using toll roads, I was forced to take the N3 highway from Montrose through Van Reenans’ Pass and then took the ‘cheaper’ (R28 -00) toll road to Ladysmith and then on through Colenso to Estcourt, to have continued on the N3 would have cost me R43-00. But I’m not finished with my gripe about the ridiculously priced toll fees, because the R28-00 toll road to Ladysmith must be the second biggest rip off I have ever seen, the first and biggest being the R75-00 toll on the south bound road from Zeerust to Swartruggens.

Both of these roads were built before I was born; and believe me that was (according to my granddaughter) a very long time ago (which according to my granddaughter was around the dinosaur ages) and both of these roads are still single lane roads on which when you get caught behind a truck you can get stuck for kilometres, but the Ladysmith road is even worse than the Swartruggens road, condition wise, and does not have any double lane sections for overtaking. Unfortunately because there is no other alternative route, I was forced to pay the blood money cost of R28-00 and arrived in Estcourt half an hour earlier than my scheduled visit of 10am.

During a chat with one of the Beares staff in Estcourt, she told me of a shocking situation she had and was still experiencing involving the reporting of a rape of a 6 year old little girl she had made to the Mooi River police.

Evidently 4 months ago she reported to the Mooi River police that she was aware of the fact that a neighbour’s 6 year old daughter was being raped and sexually abused on a regular basis by an uncle. She has in-fact made this report 3 times and on each occasion has been told that “It is not their problem” and that “She must report the matter to the department of Social development because it’s the social workers problem, not theirs”. She has phoned the department of development a few times and each time has been told that someone would contact her, to date she has not heard from anyone from the department of Social Development and nothing has been done about the situation. She told me that on the last occasion when she had phoned the Mooi River police, if they had responded they would have caught the barbarian savage of an uncle in the process of raping the little girl.

 I have subsequently contacted the ‘Child Line’ offices in Durban and hopefully something will be done about the situation, I will keep this blog updated with the situation.

Another discussion I got into which is not exactly about child rape but is connected in the sense that I believe that women are instrumental in aggravating the situation and encouraging men to perform these disgusting acts as well as other acts of what I, and I’m sure the far majority of South Africans, consider to be ‘anti-social behaviour.

The discussion was about the fact that our president, Mr Zuma has a number of wives, the last figure I heard was something like 5 with another about to be included into the fold. A comment was made to the effect that as a role model for the youth of South Africa, as well as the general population in the country, he is not doing a very good job when considering the vast amount of money being spent on the campaign to promote ‘Having only one partner”.

 

My response to this comment was that “In-spite of the fact that I detest Mr. Zuma as well as all ‘men’, and I use that word loosely’  because any individual of the male species who abuses women and children in whatever form does not deserve to be called “a man”, if the women put their foot down and did not accept being degraded and married to a man who is already married to a number of women, then he could not have so many wives. Just as the mothers who are not reporting the rape and sexual abuse of their children by their husbands are contributing to the problem by allowing these barbarian savages to get away with this disgusting crime.

So I believe that women who marry men who are already married and allow their husbands to rape and sexually abuse their children are just as guilty as their husbands, and so I’m sorry ladies but women are in-fact the cause of the problem and only you can bring a stop to both practises.

After my visit to the Estcourt Beares store, I was met by Round Tabler Lance Freeman, of Freemans Transport fame who showed me the way to their lovely home where I met the family and was hosted accommodation for the night.

Meet the Freeman family, from the left: Mom Gwen, Shannon, Trent (the short one), Jordan and dad Lance.

Meet the Freeman family, from the left: Mom Gwen, Shannon, Trent (the short one), Jordan and dad Lance.

After a brief chat with the family, Lance and I left in his Land Rover while Buddy rested up, and headed out to meet up with a few of the other tablers at the Wagon Drift Dam a short way out of town to indulge in a few sundowners and chat about the ‘Buddy and Me’ project and Round Table’s involvement in it.

 A few of the Tablers enjoying some quiet time at the wagon Drift Dam.

 A few of the Tablers enjoying some quiet time at the wagon Drift Dam.

And then it was time for me to be ‘pinned’ with the Estcourt Round table pin and presented with the Table banner by Table Chairman Lance Freeman.

And then it was time for me to be ‘pinned’ with the Estcourt Round table pin and presented with the Table banner by Table Chairman Lance Freeman.

The next morning, after Buddy and the trailer were both given a total wash and clean in Freemans Transport wash bay, ‘Buddy and Me’ headed for the Beares store in Howick. Here I was provided with some mind blowing information on HIV/Aids and the impact of it on the rape of children as well as how HIV positive people are ripping off the tax payer’s money in South Africa with the governments consent and assistance.

I have not studied the subject of HIV/Aids and so this information I am taking as gospel until such time as someone can provide me with alternative information via my email, but according to the information given to me by Cuthbert, who has studied the subject of HIV/Aids, HIV attacks the CD-4 cells of the body which are the “soldiers” of the body which protect the body against infections and viruses. Evidently the moment an individual is confirmed to be HIV positive; he or she is legible for a government grant.

If the individuals CD-4 count goes down below a certain reading, the individual is legible for an additional grant. I am not sure how often the CD-4 tests are carried out, but I was told that it is about every three months, and so prior to the test being down to establish the individuals CD-4 count, the individuals take the ARV’s at the “wrong time” which immediately lowers the CD-4 count and in this manner continue to receive the additional government grant.  

What is more shocking is the fact that if an HIV positive woman falls pregnant, she is legible for an additional government grant, so if she retains her CD-4 count at a low rate she is legible for 3 grants. And if you thought that was a shocker, Cuthbert went on to tell me that when the child is born, the mother, if she retains a low CD-4 count  she will receive:

  • Her HIV grant
  • An additional grant for low CD-4 count
  • Child grant
  • Additional grant for HIV positive child
  • Additional grant for low CD-4 count for the child

This provides the woman with a total of 5 government grants, and just to put the cap on it, according to his research and information, in many instances the child dies and the mother does not register the death and so continues to receive the child grants.

But I’m not finished with the earth shattering information I was provided with. As far as the effects of HIV/Aids on child rape goes, I was told that HIV positive males/barbarians/savages, whatever you want to call them – I refuse to call them men, rape HIV positive children in order to lower their own CD-4 counts in order to obtain the government grant for low CD-4 counts. Because evidently if an HIV positive individual has sex with another HIV/Aids positive person both their CD-4 counts are dramatically lowered. Pretty mind blowing stuff.

So if anyone has any contradicting information or additional information on this subject please email me on steve@buddyandme.co.za

 The Beares staff of Howick.

The Beares staff of Howick.

So after bidding farewell to the friendly staff of Beares in Howick, ‘Buddy and Me’ headed out of Howick with our destination being the Hilton Protea Hotel, which is situated a short way north of Pietermaritzburg on the top of Town Hill. The General Manager of the hotel, Sharon Wessels confirmed the hotels support for the ‘Buddy and Me’ project by providing me with 3 nights accommodation and what amazing accommodation it is.  It is an absolutely beautiful hotel built in the old Tudor style, and is currently being expanded to accommodate a lot more rooms. So if you ever find yourself in the Pietermaritzburg/Hilton area and need absolutely incredible accommodation, the Protea Hilton Hotel is undoubtedly the place to stay. Their telephone number is: +27 (0) 33 343 3311

 Buddy at the entrance to the lovely Protea Hilton Hotel.

Buddy at the entrance to the lovely Protea Hilton Hotel.

A view of the front of the hotel.

A view of the front of the hotel.

And of course the friendly staff of the hotel – And that’s the GM, Sharon Wessels on the extreme right of the picture and Angel Majola on the right of the lady in the light blue blouse in the centre of picture, who did all the communicating with me and arranging of the accommodation for me, thanks guys your friendliness and kind hospitality is sincerely appreciated)

Wednesday found ‘Buddy and Me’ travelling down ‘the hill’ (Town Hill) to Pietermaritzburg to visit the Beares store in Church Street. The trip was made in very heavy weather, a light drizzle and very thick mist which made it freezing cold. In-spite of the intrepid weather however trucks were still travelling down the hill at break neck speeds and it did not come as a surprise to find two trucks smashed on the road side halfway down, I have been told that this is a frequent occurrence on Town Hill.

The Beares store Manager in Pietermaritzburg, Sandy Beharie has always gone the extra mile in arranging people to meet me at her store and this time was no exception. When ‘Buddy and Me’ pulled up outside the Beares store we were met by a large group of young girls from a local school, singing and dancing and then proceeded to scream at the top of their voices, “Hello Steve and Buddy, welcome to Pietermaritzburg”.

 

My guests from a local school greeting ‘Buddy and Me’

I was told I had to join them for a photo, they got a copy of the photo from Sandy for their school records.

And then it was time for the friendly staff of Beares Pietermaritzburg to join Buddy for a photo – That’s Sandy Beharie on the extreme right of the photo –  So ‘Buddy and Me’ extend a heartfelt thanks to Sandy and her staff for arranging a magic day in Pietermaritzburg.

Sandy’s assistance and support to the project however did not end there. Every time Buddy passes through Pietermaritzburg he gives trouble in the form of spluttering and splurting due to the change in altitude and the effect this has on his points and timing. So Sandy arranged for a gentleman by the name of Jay who owns J & F Auto & tractor Services in the Mkondeni area to look at the problem and he did a sterling job in sorting the problem out.

 

Jay’s team who sorted out Buddy’s ailments – Jay on extreme right of picture – Thanks guys for your generous and expertise help in providing Buddy with expert medical support.

The evening was spent having supper with my reprobate cousin, Brad Weston and his family in Howick. I must say that in this case the old saying of “You can choose your friends, but you are stuck with your family” rings very true. But be that as it may, to Brad and Cindy and your two lovely daughters, Laiken and Shenna, thanks for a magic evening. I can’t believe I did not get a photo of them, but then again taking a photo of Brad could have caused irreparable damage to my lovely Canon camera.

The final visit for the week was to the Lubners store in Pietermaritzburg, where after a brief chat with the store manager, Mala Lukhna and her staff I sought out a chemist where I obtained some medication to sort out the effects of what appears to be a dose of the flu I woke up with this morning, so hopefully the ‘mootie’ will do it’s job and sort out the bug that has invaded my body.

Well the weather for the past week has generally been pretty miserable with quite a bit of rain and cold, and so I hope that when I head for Pinetown where I intend spending the weekend with my family and in particular Michaela my granddaughter and grandson Dain, the weather will be kind to me.

So until next I get a chance to catch up with my blog/diary, stay well, stay safe and 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 are entirely those of Steve Heath and not those of the sponsors to the project.

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