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Thu
13
Jan '11

Blog 13 – Buddy and Me -Project 3 – 13th January 2011

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)

So 2010 has come and gone as has the celebrations associated with the ‘festive’ period and so begins the new year of 2011. I hope everyone who frequents the ‘Buddy and Me’ website had a fantastic Christmas and are looking forward to a productive, prosperous and above all a safe 2011.

Well as I said in my last blog for 2010, I left Buddy in Pinetown and took the Translux bus back to Jo’burg where May and I had a relatively quiet and peaceful Christmas and New Year, although the usual idiots of the area made our dogs lives miserable with their blasting of fire crackers.

I returned to Pinetown on the 5th of January where I spent a few days with my family and celebrated my granddaughter, Michaela’s 12th birthday with her.

Unfortunately Buddy was not happy about the fact that I left him in Pinetown and showed his aggravation by playing up. Fortunately my son-in-law, Zak Forte, is a fundi electrician; having a refrigeration and air-conditioning company in Pinetown called Southern Air and Swift Air and so sorted the problems out. The problems were mainly related to wiring and switches which had corroded due to  water getting into the dashboard and fuse box, but eventually on Monday morning (10th) ‘Buddy and Me’ headed out of Pinetown and travelled south again to where we had left off on the 6th of December in Port Shepstone.

En-route to Port Shepstone, I stopped off in Chatsworth where I enjoyed a breakfast with that lovely lady, Sharon Jeenabhai whose 10 year old daughter Natasha was brutally raped, beaten and murdered in 1995 by that savage Devapragasen Munsamy. He was sentenced, or so the court said at the time, to 60 years imprisonment, only to be told recently that the sentence was in fact an effective 30 years, but now the authorities want to release him on parole after having completed a miserable 15 years and is in the prime of his life at 33 years of age, at the time of raping and murdering Natasha he was 18 years of age. For more details of this horrible story you can read about it on my blogs 10, 11 and 12. Also if you would like to assist with the Natasha petition to stop the savage being released on parole you can contact me via my email: steve@buddyandme.co.za and I will forward you a copy of the petition.

Sharon and me outside the centre in Chatsworth after enjoying a scrumptious breakfast.

My accommodation in Port Shepstone was with my friend from Lambton, Darren who has that amazing little dog named Rasta, see my blog 12 for pictures and details, but at time I could not take Rasta to the beach fishing because of the incessant rain, which has been flooding out most of South Africa over the past couple of months.

So to kick off this first blog for 2011, I am going to discuss a few issues which were raised in my many discussions with people during my ‘break’. Not all of them were specifically about child rape and so bare with me, and please if you would like to add your comments or opinions please do not hesitate in communicating them to me via my email; steve@buddyandme.co.za.

I think a heading for these ‘issues’ could be “Laws that don’t apply to ALL South Africans” or “Those laws that cost the tax payers a fortune to write and promulgate, but which are never enforced – for whatever reason”.

The first of these is the law pertaining to (my pet hate) the use of fire crackers! Legislation was put in place prohibiting the purchasing of and lighting of fire works by any person who is not in possession of a permit. Legislation also restricts the use of fire works to organised functions and only registered individuals with permits are allowed to use them.

In-spite of all this expensive legislation, every café and corner shop around South Africa sells these infernal things and whenever there is an Indian celebration of any kind or at Christmas and New Year, thousands of fire works are set off, mostly just with an irritating loud bang which petrifies the dogs and cats in the area and phone calls to the local police stations only produce responses such as “We have more important things to deal with than you being irritated by the loud bangs and your dogs being scared”. Well please tell me then “WHY DID OUR GOVERNMENT SPEND THE MILLIONS OF RANDS OF TAX PAYERS HARD EARNED MONEY PRODUCING THESE LAWS”.

My next gripe is regarding the requirement of fishing licences. Millions of Rands are spent on the purchase of fishing licences by fishermen all over South Africa. The question that was raised was “What benefit do the fishermen get from all the money spent on the licences”. We see no parking facilities being established along our coast to provide fishermen with safe fishing spots, taking into account the fact that the government banned fishermen from taking their vehicles onto the beaches and being able to reach good spots and ensuring the safety of the vehicle by being able to park it right next to them on the beach.

Also we are seeing thousands of fishermen fishing on the beaches and rivers around South Africa who do not ‘according to the authorities’ need to have a licence because they are “subsistence fishermen”, in other words their families survive on the fish they catch and so these individuals – according to the response from the authorities’ – are not bound by the regulations pertaining to the bag limits and size regulations for fish.

Then of course there is the hum dinger of gripes. In South Africa we have, or rather so I am told, a law pertaining to ‘Bigamy’, that being the law restricting a man (or woman) to being married to one wife or husband at a time. But in-spite of this legislation our own President has five with another one on the way. (Mind you if I was paid as much as Mr. Zuma in the form of a ‘wife’ allowance’ I would also start collecting them) So the law is applicable to some but depending on ones religion or, dare I say it, ones ‘culture’ this law does not apply. Whatever happened to the saying, one for all and all for one? The laws of a country should be applicable to all citizens and if someone of another country or religion or culture or whatever does not like the laws of that country well then go and live in a country where you can “live your culture or religion”.

 

 I thought I would share this with you; a fortune was spent by the South African Government on this campaign?

And then finally, well not really finally because I have heard so many gripes during the past few months alone that if I had to write about them all this blog would become a pretty lengthy book. But this gripe was about the ‘Arrive Alive’ campaign. The gripes were surrounding the fact that the adds state that “Speed Kills”, and so if “Speed Kills” how come we constantly see executive conveys conveying our government ministers around South Africa at incredibly high speed. Obviously their lives don’t mean much.

Secondly the government has banned, as I have already said in one of the gripes, people from driving on the beaches because there were individuals who acted like hooligans and damaged the sand dunes and became a danger to other beach users, but this did not entice the government to place heavy fines on these individuals or black list the vehicle concerned etc and police the situation but rather just ban everyone from driving on the beach. So with this in mind, during the festive period we are provided with detailed statistics regarding the number of deaths on our roads and we receive detailed information when an individual is killed due to one of the drivers having consumed alcohol. So, why do we not receive detailed statistics regarding the number of deaths caused by taxi drivers because everyone in South Africa is fully aware of the fact that taxi drivers are responsible for more deaths on our roads than those caused by any other means?

 So having done what I promised a number of people, which was to write about these gripes, that concludes my gripe session for this blog and I look forward to your response, comments or opinion regarding these gripes and possibly hearing about your gripe.

And so now it’s time for my personal KING gripe, and that is the fact that we are still seeing child rape suspects being released on bail to allow them to intimidate rape victims and their families and to force them to not co-operate with the authorities and obtain a conviction. Secondly, as I have written about in Natasha’s case, we are seeing convicted child rapists being sentenced to lengthy periods of time only to be released after only having served a fraction of their time in prison.

On this point, I have been told by many senior police officers as well as prosecutors that “The government’s attitude has changed” and they have adopted a “No nonsense attitude with respect to convicted child rapists” and that “lengthy periods of imprisonment are being handed down”. Well to these individuals and to the government my response is “You can bullxxxt some of the people some of the time, but you can’t bullxxxt all of the people all of the time”. The reason I say this is because it’s easy to hand down a lengthy and ‘appropriate’ sentence, but sticking to that is another matter entirely. We, as South Africans, have seen far too many times individuals being convicted and Government splabs off about how they are combating crime, corruption or whatever by convicting individuals only to find a short while later that the individual has been released for all sorts of pathetic reasons after only having served a fraction of his or her time in prison.

Okay so now on with my project. After leaving Port Shepstone nice and early on Wednesday morning (12th Jan), and can you believe it, it was not raining, I headed to Lusikisiki in the old Transkei via Port Edward, Bizane and Flagstaff. I made brief stops in Bizane and Flagstaff where I chattered to police and a lot of local residents and discovered that the raping of children in both these areas is completely out of control and that there is absolutely no support structure available for victims of this disgusting crime.

In Lusikisiki I visited the Beares store where I met the store manager Wilson Mancwath and his friendly staff.

 

Meet Wilson – extreme right of the picture with white jersey – and the rest of the staff of Beares Lusikisiki.

Following a chat I had with the staff about the project and the fact that the so called ”rehabilitation’ programme” implemented by the government for convicted criminals is in fact an encouragement to commit crime, including child rape, rather than acting as a deterrent punishment, Wilson told me of a case he was personally affected by in Kokstad. Evidently a man who was well known to him and his family was convicted on a charge of robbery and sentenced to 10 years in jail. Due to ‘good behaviour’ he was released after having served 5 years of his sentence. A short while after being released he decided that life ‘outside’ was much harder and so turned back to crime believing that he could reap the benefits of the crime and then ‘if’ caught could return to prison where he would be fed, clothed and enjoy the sporting facilities and other protective benefits associated with prison life.

From Lusikisiki I continued along the forever climbing, dipping and winding road through massive hilly and green countryside to Port St Johns where I was once again welcomed by my good friends John and Sherol Ferreira (Ferrari) at their magic resort Mountain View Inn.

                                                                            

The approach to Port St Johns.

The Umzimvubu River mouth (The name has been changed to the Pondoland River) at Port St Johns. The town is situated at the mouth just around the corner of the mountain on the right side of the river.

John and Sherol outside The Mountain View Inn.

 www.mountainviewinn.co.za

 email: info@mountainviewinn.co.za

A great place to stay if you ever visit Port St Johns

Well with that I am going to bid you farewell for now, so until I write again following my visits to Umtata, Queenstown, Fort Beaufort, King Williams Town,  Mndatsane, Gonube and East London and then forever south wards, I will say keep well, stay safe and of course 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 this blog and website are those of Steve Heath and not those of the sponsors of the ‘Buddy and Me’ project.

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