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Thu
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Mar '11

Blog 25 – Buddy and Me – Project 3 (21st – 27th Feb 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)

Hi everyone, so after a rather busy few days and weekend in Hermanus with no opportunity to go out and catch that monster elusive fish I have been hoping to catch for so long, on Monday morning ‘Buddy and Me’ headed out for Robertson where I spent the night in a ‘Back Packers’ and on Tuesday morning visited the Beares store in Robertson.

 

 So meet the staff of Beares Robertson, unfortunately the store Manager, Alnaura Cupido was on leave but Karine Kuhn the Ccm (3rd from the left) did an excellent job in ensuring that my visit to the store was a pleasant one.

From the Beares store I made a visit to the Robertson SAPS where I got to chat to the local constabulary and to visit their ‘Victim Support Centre’ which has been established courtesy of the local ‘Round Tablers

I must say, the SAPS stations I have visited so far in the Western Cape region are streaks ahead of the rest of the country in so far as the support centres/room which they have established are concerned.

From Robertson I headed for Worcester where I spent a most enjoyable evening with the ‘Round Tablers’ of Worcester and I was invited to attend their weekly meeting that evening and present a talk on the project.

 So meet the great guys of Worcester ‘Round Table’.

This is Chris O’Neil presenting me with my second Worcester Round Table banner and pin. These are incredible people and one cannot but applaud them for the incredible work they do for their community. So thanks guys for your amazing friendship, hospitality and generosity to the ‘Buddy and Me’ project.

To my absolute amazement, on arriving ‘home’ – home being where I sleep at night – and this night I was being home-hosted by the Chairman of Round Table Worcester, Chris O’Neil and his lovely wife Hilde, I discovered that Hilde is the Prosecutor in the Regional Criminal Court which includes cases of child rape. Obviously this called for some serious discussion time and eventually at a quarter past two in the morning Chris had to come and tell us that “perhaps we should consider continuing our discussion later in the morning, as in when the sun comes up”. In the morning we did continue our discussion over breakfast and then again in her office and again with other NPA staff members as well as staff of the local Thuthuzela Care Centre which has recently been established at the Provincial Hospital.

In all the discussions everyone was fully supportive of my proposal on how I believe the Thuthuzela Care Centre ‘should’ be established and agreed that in their present form they are not much good to anyone and that government and the ‘people that count’ in the Thuthuzela Care Centre initiative must spend time reading my proposal, so that was definitely a feather in my cap!

A comment which was made more than once was the fact that it is believed that many of the Magistrates who are hearing and passing down judgements in cases of child rape are not properly qualified to do so and it is widely felt that they do not possess the ‘child friendly’ experience and attitude needed to hear these cases? And that “Children’s Courts” urgently need to be brought back into the system.

 

 So meet Hilde O’Neil the State Prosecutor (The blonde) and Cindy Abdol – the Case Manager for the Thuthuzela Care Centre in Worcester.

Also meet the very friendly and dedicated staff of the Thuthuzela Care Centre

Then it was time to visit those lovely ladies and of course the one, but actually in the case of this photo, the two, thorns among the roses, of Beares Worcester where as usual I was afforded the opportunity to spend some quality time with the magic people of Beares Worcester.

Now I must tell you, every time I have visited Cape Town by way of the N1 highway, I have travelled via the ‘tunnel’, so on heading for Stellenbosch where I was kindly sponsored accommodation by the ‘Stellenbosch – Techno Park Protea Hotel’ for my three night stay in the area for my visit to the Paarl, Somerset West and Stellenbosch areas, I decided that I would travel via the ‘Du Doits Kloof Pass’ and was really happy that I did, what an amazing view from the top of the pass.

The view is spectacular but this visitor to the roadside rest area I stopped at was priceless. Check out the body language “Okay, so enough of the photographic stuff, bring on the grub”.

The blond in the centre is the Human Resources Manager Lizanne Morris and the other lovely ladies are the front desk staff. Unfortunately the General Manager, Sebastiaan Victor was not available for the photo, but thanks guys you have an incredible hotel, what a magic place, situated in the heart of a massive vineyard, absolutely spectacular. More photos in my next blog, I think Julia has enough on her plate already.

My visit to the Beares store in Paarl was an especially great one. The store manger Cora Meuwesen with the assistance of her trusted employee Neville Williams, arranged an interview for me with Wilma Brocks-Delport of the Radio KC 107.7 radio station, and what an interview this turned out to be, an absolutely incredible interview.

Yours truly being interviewed by Wilma Brocks-Delport of Radio KC 107.7. After the interview I was stopped by three motorists while on my way back to Stellenbosch who had heard the interview and expressed their opinions on the child rape situation in the country, that part was not so good.

And then it was time for all the Beares staff of Paarl as well as some guests to get in on the show.

After a great night at the Protea Hotel Stellenbosch Techno Park, I headed out to meet up once again with the friendly staff of Beares in beautiful town of Somerset West.

The last time I visited the store in Somerset West the store manager, Japie Groenewald, was on leave so it was great getting to meet him eventually, he’s the one with ‘the face’ at the back in-amongst the lovely ladies of Beares Somerset West.

Saturday morning found ‘Buddy and Me’ heading into Cape Town to where we will be based at my good friends house, Captain Faan Fourie (SAPS) and his wife Linda who have kindly once again offered me the use of the granny-flat for the duration of my stay in Cape Town, and all indications are that it’s going to be a rather lengthy stay because I do not intend leaving Cape Town until I have presented my proposal, the new one which provides my solution to stopping the rape and sexual abuse of children, to the leaders of all the main opposition political parties as well as the heads of the NPA (National Prosecuting Authority) involved in the management of the Thuthuzela Care Centres.

On another subject, lately I have frequently being seeing these huge roadside boards and couldn’t help thinking that “Does that mean that all our politicians who travel around our cities with high speed escorts are all “Killers”?

 So welcome to Cape Town Buddy!

So having said all of that, ‘Buddy and Me’ will say farewell for now and in future blogs I will keep you informed on my attempts to meet up with the “heads” of the Thuthuzela Care Centres and give you feed back on where this organisation is going?

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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