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Tue
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Jan '11

Blog 11 – Buddy and Me – Project 3 (25th – 30the 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)

During the last few days I have visited areas on the Kwa-Zulu Natal South Coast which according to the many individuals I have spoken to, indicates that this area is absolutely rotten to the core with the raping of children. I have spoken to so many people involved in the fight against the rape of children and received so many telephone calls and emails regarding this disgusting crime that it blows my mind. I have also been reading articles in the newspapers which have totally confused me and I will write about this in a few minutes.

But first up I want to mention that while in Amanzimtoti I visited the Beares store in the Arbour Crossing shopping centre and apart from getting to meet and chat to the Beares friendly staff, I got to meet up with two lovely ladies from ‘Operation Bobbi Bear’ in the form of Thuli Sibiya and Lammegien van der Linde. ‘Bobbi Bear’ is doing a sterling job in providing a support structure for victims of child rape as well as support for many other victims of domestic violence.

The founder and head honcho of ‘Bobbi Bear’ Jackie Branfield, was instrumental in my decision to drive my Beach Buggy ‘Buddy’ around South Africa dedicated to finding a solution to stopping the rape and sexual abuse of children. In 2004 she convinced me that the rape of children had reached such epidemic proportions that it was destroying the future of our country and that unless something was done urgently to stop it, South Africa was on a path to hell. The information I have obtained since then while on my 5 year research project ‘Buddy and Me – Searching for a Solution to stopping the Rape of Children’ has confirmed 100% that she was, and is right.

Unfortunately my lengthy chat with Thuli and Lammegien (And if you are wondering what sort of name is that, she hails from Holland and has only been in the country for a short time but will be here for the next two years) confirmed that the rape of children is happening on a frightening scale, and to give you some idea of what I mean by a “frightening scale”, they confirmed that ‘Bobbi Bear’ handles on average 10 new cases of child rape every day which equates to around 300 new cases per month (and there are still many which are not reported or Bobbi Bear is not aware of) with 6 counsellors to handle this massive work load.

So to Jackie and your amazing group of ladies, hats off to you ladies you are doing an amazing job for the kids, keep up the great work.

 

From left is Thuli and Lammegien and next to me is Frank Gottschalk the Beares store manager of Arbour Crossing Centre Amanzimtoti.

Of course the Beares staff couldn’t be left out of a picture with Buddy. You will note that I have adopted a new companion, the last one who travelled extensively with me on my ‘Buddy and Me’ travels, was adopted by a young child rape victim a few weeks ago, so we bid a warm welcome to the new ‘Buddy and Me’ companion baby Bobbi Bear.

My accommodation for the two nights of Thursday and Friday were once again out of this world due to the kind and generous support of the Protea Hotel group and so ‘Buddy and Me’ spent two very relaxing nights in luxury at the ‘Protea Karridene Beach Hotel’. So to the management and staff of this lovely hotel, thank you for your kind support and hospitality to the project, it is sincerely appreciated.

 

Buddy strutting his colours outside the ‘Protea Hotel Karridene Beach’ flanked by Sherleen Pillay, on the right, the front office manager  and Nombuso Mbeko the hotels debtors clerk.

They say you “can run but you can’t hide” from ‘Buddy and Me’ and in Roger (the Dodger) Bailey’s case this proved to be the case. Roger is a good friend, but reprobate anyway, who when in Jo’burg frequented the Gem Bar in Lambton Germiston where we shared more than an ale or two discussing how we could solve the worlds problems. He has since moved to Amanzimtoti and on hearing that I was at the Protea Karridene Hotel wasted no time in getting there on my first evening and insisted that we continue our discussions on solving the problems of the world over a ‘few’ ales. So thanks Roger and Celia for your great companionship and friendship.

 

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you who is who in this picture, but the ‘old man’ on the left of the picture is Roger (The Dodger) and the ‘other’ good looking one is Celia, Roger’s friend.

My travels on the Kwa-Zulu Natal South Coast during the passed few days has also included a visit to the Beares store in Umzinto which according to information I have been given indicates that this area along with the near by Umgababa area, is particularly bad when it comes to the rape of children and something drastic has to be done to curb this scourge which is running amok in these areas. To add to this situation and one which is making matters even worse, is the fact that apart from Bobbi Bear in Amanzimtoti there is virtually no support structure for mothers wanting to report the rape of their children or themselves for that matter.

My visit to the Beares store in Umzinto was unfortunately cut short due to a visit from a member of the local police constabulary who was calling in at all the business in the town and strongly urging them to close their doors and steel shutters and for people to move their cars from the streets as there was a mass demonstration march about to commence and the police could not guarantee the safety of the business’s and vehicles in the streets of the town. I of course had no intentions of jeopardising Buddy’s health or physique and so having completed my chat with the staff, bid them farewell and made a hasty departure from the soon to be chaotic streets of Umzinto.

From the Protea Karridene Beach Hotel I headed for Umkomaas where I was to be hosted for the weekend by my good friends Stuart and Kathy Knox. But unfortunately while packing on Saturday morning and preparing to head for Stuart and Kathy’s place I received a call from Kathy and received the terrible news that Stuart had suffered a massive stroke at 6am that morning and had just been rushed by ambulance to the Kingsway Hospital in Amanzimtoti.

Unfortunately Kathy cannot drive and so I decided to delay my departure southwards on Monday morning to help her by driving her to the hospital to visit Stuart, who by the way is recovering well and is reacting positively to the treatment provided by the Intensive Care Unit in the Kingsway Hospital.

 

                                                                                                Pic 631 – This picture was taken of Kathy and Stuart on my last visit while on ‘Buddy and Me’ project 2 – Soon after this picture was taken, Stuart was diagnosed with throat cancer and has undergone a number of operations to his throat, so to my good buddy Stuart, hang in there my friend and get well soon. And to Kathy stay strong your man will be up and on his feet and back home before you can say “Buddy and Me”.

Fortunately when I was forced to leave, due to previously made appointments and schedules, Kathy’s friend arrived to take over the duties of chauffeur and so I could continue my travels southward.

In the beginning of this blog, I said that I wanted to write about a few issues which have come to light during the passed few days which I believe have a major effect on the rape of children but because I have written more than I thought I would in this blog I am going to restrict my comments to one issue, and this one I believe is a major issue affecting the combating of child rape and one which I have griped about for the passed 2 years on an ongoing basis and one which has proven to be a highly controversial issue and one of extreme contention during my discussions with members of the South African Police Service (SAPS). The issue I am referring to is the highly controversial FCS (Family and Child Sexual Offences Unit) of the SAPS.

If you have been following the ‘Buddy and Me’ project for the past 5 years and avidly (I hope) reading my blogs, you will have read my frequent comments about the confusion which reigns surrounding whether or not the FCS unit has been officially  re-instated/established or not.  

To refresh your memory, the CPU (Child Protection Unit – formed many, many years ago by the then South African Police Force and which was regarded by many as one of the best dedicated child abuse fighting forces in the world) was disbanded in 1998 by the new South African government. Senior sources claimed that the disbandment of the unit was “in-light of the ‘restructuring’ of the police” and the FCS unit was established a short while later. The FCS unit however was officially disbanded in 2007 for reasons that were not given to Joe Public and for reasons which no-one can understand or comprehend.

During my extensive travels around South Africa during 2008 and 2009, I visited many police stations and held discussions with literally hundreds of police officials and officers who identified themselves as being “members of the FCS unit”. When asked “But has the FCS unit not been disbanded” the response has always been “no, we are still operating as the FCS unit on the cluster basis” (For details of this ‘system’ see my blog number 7 – 8th – 10th November 2010) but in many areas it was told to me that “Yes, the FCS unit has officially been disbanded and so for that reason there is no FCS unit in this area”. Confusion reigns!

In February this year (2010), the minister announced on national television, that the FCS unit would officially be re-instated as from the 1st April 2010 (For details refer to my blog ‘Day 161 – 163, 15th to 17th February 2010). Since having started the ‘Buddy and Me’ project 3 on the 5th October 2010, I have met with many police officials and officers who have categorically confirmed that the FCS unit has officially been re-instated on a national basis and is functioning on the cluster system.

So after all of this, I ask you, with tears running down my legs, how can the minister of police, Nathi Mthethwa, when speaking at a Chamber of Commerce dinner in Jo’burg on the evening of the 24th of November 2010, (8 months after the FCS unit was ‘supposed’ to have been re-established) make the following statement, and I quote:

A nation that does not protect its mothers and children is doomed. The Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences units (FCS) are to be re-instated in an attempt to strengthen the fight against crimes committed against woman and children”. And then we wonder why the rape of children is spiralling out of control. It’s obvious ‘somebody’ has no clue of what’s going on in our police service. Talk about ‘confusion reigning’. I’m looking forward to meeting another senior officer of SAPS who ‘believes’ that he or she is an officer in the so called, but officially never re-instated, unit of the SAPS’s FCS.

If you have read my last blog, blog number 10, which I deliberately left on longer by not posting this up-dated blog, you will have read about the atrocity related to the authorities wanting to release the savage, Devapragsen Munsamy on bail after only having spent 15 of his 60 year sentences for having brutally raped and beat to death the lovely 10 year old Natasha in 1995.

Since meeting Natasha’s mother Sharon, I have maintained contact with her and supported her in her endeavours to secure names to the petition she is doing in order to ensure that this savage remains behind bars for the rest of his natural life and hopefully rots in jail.

Below is the last email I received from Sharon and I am sure that once having read this email you will feel the same heart break I feel for her, having to firstly suffer the extreme heart ache and sorrow of being told that your beautiful little 10 year old daughter has been brutally raped and murdered, then be granted closure when the savaged is sentenced to 60 years imprisonment, only to have to start all the anguish all over again when told by the authorities that they are going to be releasing him after only having served a fraction of the original sentence “Because he has seen the light and is studying the Bible!’.


From: sharonj@medis.co.za [mailto:sharonj@medis.co.za]
Sent: 30 November 2010 02:50 PM
Subject: Re: PETITION

Thank u, I’m so broken coz i just heard results of the autopsy and this was not mentioned at the trial. She was raped, sodomised beaten, tortured, and they broke both arms and both legs. The attorney gave me a chance until 2morrow coz I’m too upset. Our law allowed the main person to walk free coz states witness jus so he can do it again and turn state witness again. I’m so hurt and traumatised. How do I carry on ???


This is an email received in response to our plea in support of the petition to stop Devapragsen Munsamy from being released. If you want to support this you can contact me on my email: steve@buddyandme.co.za and I will happily forward the petition to you.

To whom it may concern;

I am against child abuse including your objection to Devapragasen Munsamy coming out on parole, I think it is a disgrace that any one would even consider to allow this man to be set free after what he has done and then to allow him to move into the same area of residence of the family he has so devastation hurt   if we allow this man to roam the streets what is it that he wont do it again and tear another family apart what has the last 15 years taught him i think nothing, don’t allow this man to hurt another one of or children PLEASE DONT. 

Amryl donnelly rudings

To end off this blog, I would like to say that for the next two nights I am staying in a fantastic hotel on the Kwa-Zulu Natal South Coast which is situated about 20 kilometres north of Port Shepstone called the ‘Pumula Beach Hotel’. I have kindly been sponsored this tremendous accommodation courtesy of the Hotel’s group Marketing Manager Debbie Fortmann and the Hotels General Manager Philip Gibson. So to the management and staff of this lovely hotel, thank you for your kind support and incredible hospitality to the ‘Buddy and Me’ project, it is sincerely appreciated.

 I mean can you get a better sight to wake up to in the morning. This is the view from my room! Absolutely exquisite.

So with that I will bid you farewell for now, so until later when I get a chance to write again, stay well, stay safe and keep all children safe.

Caring regards from

‘Buddy (The Beach Buggy)

And

Me’ (Steve Heath)

Please send you comments and requests for the Natasha – keep the savage Devapragsen Munsamy in jail to rot – petition to: steve@buddyandme.co.za

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

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