Posted by Julia
Categories: Buddy and Me
You are viewing an individual post
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:
See Blog 29 for detailed itinerary of ‘Buddy and Me’ project 3 (8th May – 23rd June 2011)
So ‘Buddy and Me’ are finally undertaking final preparations for our departure from Cape Town which will be tomorrow morning the 8th May. This has undoubtedly been, because of circumstances beyond my control, or so I claim, there are many who will differ on that point but I’m sticking to my storey, the longest by far I have ever been in any one area on the ‘Buddy and Me’ project.
Since having my plaster cast removed from my left ankle in Pinetown on the 20th and after bussing back to Cape Town courtesy of Translux, I have spent quite a bit of time being involved in trying to ascertain what went wrong in the investigation of, two in particular, bad, child rape cases over the past few weeks in the Cape Town area, which I will discuss in depth later in this blog, really shocking stuff! But first let me fill you in with what has been happening in the lives of ‘Buddy and Me’.
Firstly while in Pinetown having my plaster cast removed, I spent some quality time with my family, this mainly being in the form of my son Lloyd, with whom I spent the first couple of nights with and then my daughter Carey, son-in-law Zac and grand kids Michaela and Dane. My stay there also included the Easter Weekend so much sugar, in the form of Easter eggs was consumed.
Grandson – Dane and yours truly preparing for the ‘big day’.
Meet the Forte family, from left – Dad, Zac – Grandaughter, Michaela – Mom , Carey – and ‘boss of the house, Dane.
Also while in Pinetown I got to share some quality time with friends watching the Sharks game at Chris’s Den.
‘Buddy and Me’ have been extremely fortunate with regard to the weather over the past few months, obviously being an open Beach Buggy, Buddy, and of course me, do not like the rain! And the past three months the weather has been really kind to us with only having experienced a couple of small light showers, although on arriving back in Cape Town on the 27th May I was greeted by extreme cold weather, and since then we have been subjected to varying weather conditions as far as the temperatures are concerned. One day it’s magic and warm and the next it’s freezing cold.
One of the on going functions I have is keeping Buddy on the road, and this believe me is an ‘on going challenge’. But with the help of an incredibly generous and friendly man by the name of Kenn Sara; who apart from being a Beetle / Beach Buggy pundit (fundi) and generally a brilliant mechanic with all makes of cars, is the owner of Killarney Brake & Beetle Centre whose premises are at Unit 1 Beetle park – 7 Monaco Road Killarney Park (Tel: 084 757 4848) Buddy’s latest problem, badly worn front wheel bearings, has been sorted out. So many thanks for your kind help with Buddy’s surgery, and after putting your special ‘touch to Buddy’s points, timing and other components, he is purring like a kitten, oh hell I shouldn’t say that Buddy will definitely extract his anger out on me at some stage or other on a lonely deserted road, so let me rather say “he is roaring like a lion”.
Kenn hard at work sorting out Buddy’s front wheel bearings as well as fitting a new front left wheel cylinder for the brakes.
But it’s not only Kenn who was roped into performing surgery on Buddy, I had to replace the front indicator unit, again! Because of some of the really lousy road surfaces – potholes and gravel roads ‘Buddy and Me’ are forced to travel on, the front wheels keep hitting the base of the indicator units under the mudguards and smashing the units, one day I will sit down and design a new system for the indicators.
During the past couple of weeks, I have had the pleasure and privilege of spending time with the incredibly friendly guys of the Round Table of a few Tables in the Cape region. On Monday (2nd may – public holiday) the Tablers of Round table Cape Town 9, Belleville 65, and Table View 246, gave up their personal time with their families to join me at Drift Woods in Table View to meet me. Not only was I privileged to meet these guys, but I got to meet the infamous and amazing man, Gordon Mckelvie, who is the recently past President of Round Table Southern Africa.
So meet the special people of Round Table, from the left: Charles MacDonald RT Cape Town 9: Gordon McKelvie RT Cape Town 9 and past President RT Southern Africa: Andile Mali RT Table View presenting me with the Tables banner and pin: yours truly: Roy Adam RT Cape Town 9: Corne Burger RT Bellville
Over the past 3 years on the ‘Buddy and Me’ project, I have compiled a very impressive collection of Round Table banners and pins, but my visit to Cape Town afforded me the opportunity of being presented with what I consider to be the most prestigious banner and pin I have been presented with to date.
The personal banner and pins(top right corner of the banner) of recent past President for Round table Southern Africa – Gordon McKelvie. Many thanks Gordon this and your kind words on my Face Book mean a heck of a lot to me.
Unfortunately my accommodation in the form of a granny flat while in Cape Town, kindly provided by my good friends Faan and Linda Fourie in Melkbos came to an end due to it being used taken over by another friend of the family and so I turned to my trusted sponsors, Protea Hotel, and on hearing that I had been forced to extend my departure from cape Town in the hope of meeting up with Hellen Zille and Patricia de Lille, Janneman Britz, General Manager of the Protea Hotel – Sea Point, (See blog 26 for photo) had no hesitation in offering me accommodation once again at his lovely hotel. So my last four days has been spent in the luxury of the Protea Hotel – Sea Point, many thanks Janneman for your kind hospitality and friendship.
My departure from Melkbos was, as usual when I leave an area, something of a celebration. I must admit I have been wondering if they are celebrating the fact that I’m leaving or celebrating the fact that I visited the area mmmm?
Some of the great friends I made at the Bush Pub in Melkbos during my visit to the area. From left: Rikus and Elsa Richter with daughter Miller (I think that’ how you spell her name): Wanda Truter: yours truly: (behind the bar) with the cap, Leon the proprietor and on his right the man who serves the cold beers, unfortunately I never got his name, the regular guy, Wickus was unfortunately having a well deserved rest.
My next visit to a Round Table function involved a very lengthy trip of about 120 kilometres from Cape Town to Caledon. I was picked up by Roy Adams of Cape Town 9 and after picking up a few other Tablers we headed out for Caledon at 6:30pm on Thursday evening. The function was actually a Caledon Table meeting and was attended by Tablers from: Caledon (obviously) Bellville RT, Cape Town 9 RT, Table View RT and Hermanus RT.
This was a really awesome ‘gathering of the ‘clans’’ and a fantastic evening was had by all. I was given an opportunity to explain to all present what the ‘Buddy and Me’ project is all about I was promised that ‘the word’ would be spread to all their family’s and friends as well as their communities to follow the progress of the project by way of the www.buddyand,e.co.za website, so many thanks guys for your support and friendship.
After much celebrating, and of course not a few beers being consumed we headed back to Cape Town, courtesy of the allocated driver for the night Roy Adams, so thanks Roy for giving up your opportunity to enjoy a few ales, and for getting us all home safely, and I am really impressed with Round Tables insistence on having allocated drivers at all functions, well done guys.
Okay so I have now completed the blog section on the socialising aspect of ‘Buddy and Me’s’ visit to the Cape region, so now down to the ‘work’ part of it.
I visited the Thuthuzela Care Centre at the GF Jooste Hospital in Mannenburg which was established about 6 – 7 years ago and which is a short way out of Cape Town near to the airport. Here I met an extremely interesting lady who is probably one of the most dedicated individuals I have met who is associated with the Thuthuzela Care Centre initiative, Doctor Narula. She confirmed that this particular Thuthuzela Care Centre is the first unit ever to be established and was the pilot project for the TCC initiative.
Unfortunately, although at least the security at the gates of the hospital knew of the centre and confirmed its presence, once inside the hospital premises there are no signs whatsoever identifying where the centre is. Doctor Narula confirmed that the centre handles on average, about 200 new cases per month with approximately 40% of those being child rape/trauma cases which equates to 80 children per month ( more than two per day) and that’s only the cases being reported in that area.
Doctor Narula also confirmed that, as in the case of all the other Thuthuzela Care Centre’s to be found around South Africa, there are no ‘vital’ staff available on site at the centre, such as properly trained police, a doctor, a forensic nurse or social worker, these vital staff members are summonsed when a victim arrives at the centre. She further confirmed that most, and in fact from what I gathered from her statement, that almost all of the cases handled by the centre, are cases which have ‘entered’ the system via initial reports being made to the police station.
I raised my concerns about this fact and she was adamant that “this is the correct method in which the reporting of child rape should be followed”. Unfortunately all my attempts at expressing my concerns for this procedure was cut short by her continuously interrupting me and ‘shutting me down’ with her views that “this is the right way it should be done”. Attempts to obtain her opinion on “if this is the right procedure, then why are we experiencing ever increasing numbers of children being raped on a daily basis and the fact that mothers are refusing to report the rape of their children because of the ‘system’. As I have said many times, I believe the Thuthuzela Care Centre’s concept is a brilliant one; however because of the manner in which it is being implemented it is totally defeating the object. The facility itself is really top notch and I believe it could be an incredible tool in providing a professional support structure which would encourage more mothers to report the rape of their children, if implemented and established correctly.
My other visit was to a remarkable woman in the form of Mrs. Manette de Jager who is the director, boss lady, of The TygerBear Clinic which is based at The Tygerberg Hospital in Bellville. This lady is truly a special breed on her own. She holds numerous senior management positions within the hospital management structure as well as running the TygerBear Clinic and Foundation. TygerBear apart from providing essential support in the form of counselling to child rape victims provides an essential support structure to victims of all domestic violence as well as HIV/Aids victims.
When I arrived at the TygerBear offices, I expected to spend about half an hour with Manette knowing what a busy lady she is and not wanting to take up too much of her precious time, but once we started talking, well what can I say, almost 3 hours later I eventually managed to extricate myself from this incredible ladies company.
So without further ado meet ‘Super Lady’ Manette de Jager and the TygerBear mascot, oh and that ‘other’ guy that was there.
Manette confirmed that the TygerBear unit handled 39 000 consultations during the last financial year, which includes consultations with parents and other family members affected by the rape and sexual abuse of children as well as domestic violence, although 75% were consultations involving the rape and sexual abuse of children, quite scary hey!
In my hand, in the photo with Manette, I am holding a brochure which contains information regarding a symposium which the TygerBear Clinic will be holding on the 11th and 12th of August. The symposium is called the – ‘TygerBear Pink & Blue Child Awareness Campaign – so anyone wishing to attend the symposium, which by the way has attracted some pretty high power activists speakers in the field of child abuse as well as specialists in the form of lawyers, social workers and the likes, oh did I mention I have been invited as a guest speaker for the symposium, for information you can contact the TygerBear clinic on: their 24 hour help line 082 994 4301 or (+27)(0) 21 931 6702 / 6717 or visit their website: www.tygerbear.org.za
There is also much help needed in the form of hosting tea parties etc and the staff at the TygerBear clinic will be more than happy to provide you with information in regard to this form of assistance, so come on ladies contact the TygerBear Clinic and help with their incredible initiative.
I think this blog is long enough and besides, after having spent the last three and a half hours writing it, I have missed the Stormers rugby game and the SHARKS / Brumbies game will be starting in half an hour, so I am going to sign off and bid you farewell until I get a chance to write again, which I hope will be tomorrow night from Paternoster up on the West Coast.
But before I sign off, I want to confirm that I have spent many hours on the case I mentioned in blog 27 regarding the rape of an 11 year-old girl who was raped by 5 savages /thugs in Bishops Levis on the Cape Flats. (See details on blog 27) After being shunterred from pillar to post by the police to find out what has happened with the case, I was eventually sent away with nothing. The investigating officer could not be located and nobody was ‘authorised’ to provide information. I raised the issue with Manette at TygerBear Clinic and she has promised to continue with the pressure to establish what is happening, or rather what is not happening, with the case.
Also before signing off, I have information on a humdinger of a case, involving the rape of a three year-old little girl – Lamb – who was raped at a nursery school in Melkbos, but to give this case justice I need a whole blog on it’s own, so my next blog will be dedicated to this shocking storey, I guarantee it will blow your mind!
Finally before signing off, I meant to provide some information concerning a project which has been undertaken by the Round Tablers of Fort Beaufort which involves 4 guys, aged between 39 and 55 years of age riding motor cycles from Cape Town to Cairo in an effort to raise funds for the Adelaid hospital in the Fort Beaufort area. You can get more information and follow the progress of the project by way of their website: www.threefarmersandagreek.wordpress.com
So tomorrow morning I head out of Cape Town and I must admit that after all the trauma, personal problems, physical injury and other pain I have endured and have suffered during my visit to Cape Town, it is still with a very heavy heart that I leave, but there is a lot of work to do still in trying to get our government and ‘the powers that be’ to listen to what has to be done to stop the rape and sexual abuse of children in South Africa, so ‘Buddy and Me’ will continue on our merry way regardless, and so tomorrow we will be, in the words of Johnny Cash ♫On the road again♫.
I must say that I was extremely disappointed in the fact that in-spite of numerous emails and telephone messages to the two ladies of Cape Town who head up the Thuthuzela Care Centres in the Western Cape region: Ms Bronwyn Pithey – Deputy Director for the NPA (SOCA) and Ms. Lizette Africa – Senior Advocate and provincial manager of the Thuthuzela Care Centre’s for the Western Cape did not respond in anyway to all my messages. Come on ladies, what are you scared of, all I want to do is to discuss the manner in which the Thuthuzela Care Centres are being established and run and to obtain your in-put and opinions on why they are not being established in a manner which would be more conducive to encouraging mothers to report the rape and sexual abuse of their children. After all the kids are the country’s future, or so our government officials are continuously telling us, so prove you do care and talk to me.
With that I will say chio for now, keep well, stay safe and yep you got it! KEEP ALL CHILDREN SAFE
Caring regards from
‘Buddy (The Beach Buggy)
Me’ (Steve Heath)
Please send all comments and opinions to: email@example.com
Please note that all comments and opinions in the blogs and website of ‘Buddy and Me’ are those of Steve Heath and not those of the Sponsors to the ‘Buddy and Me’ project.