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:
- To see the ‘Buddy and Me’ scheduled itinerary details for the period 21st July – 29th August 2011 see blog 45
- To read the shocking details of the Upington horror story – The Hynie Dick Story – regarding the ‘Upington savage pedophile’ see blog 35
- To read details of the ‘savage’ the police are looking for in connection with the rape of a 3 year little girl, see blog 39
- To read the heart breaking story by a mother (Cathy Kenney) of the rape of her 3 year-old daughter see blog 38
- To read the storey of Natasha who at 10 years-of age was brutally raped and murdered and after serving a very short portion of his sentence, the ‘State’ wants to release the savage who did it, from prison, see blog 10 (November 2010)
- To read ‘Birds’ story about her incredible courage to face her ‘step-father’ who she looked up to and loved as a ‘father’ who abused her and her love, as told by her mother – Elise – see blog 42
So the ‘Buddy and Me’ week started off by first thanking Chrislen le Roux the Protea Hotel Manager for her kind and generous support to the ‘Buddy and Me’ project, and then I started my hunt for petrol which involved stopping at 3 filling stations and eventually found one that appeared to have petrol but had about 20 cars standing waiting to be filled up, so I only left the Sandton area at 8:45am. Then I drove through to Mafikeng via Krugersdorp, Ventersdorp and Lichtenburg to Mafikeng (360 kilometres) and after collecting the trailer at the Beares store headed out on the road to Zeerust.
The drive to Zeerust involved driving along a stretch of road which I can only describe as being the biggest rip off, in fact it’s pure theft on the part of our government and so called ‘Roads Department – Department of Transport’ which involves a ‘toll gate’ which is a few kilometres before Swartruggens which costs R65-00. Now if this was a lovely double lane highway it ‘might’ be acceptable, but this stretch of road is a shockingly patched piece of road and is in fact a single lane which requires motorists using this ‘road’ and who are being ripped off by the extravagant costs of this piece of ‘road’ to sit behind trucks for long stretches of road because of the twists and bends in the road. So I take it you are aware of the fact that I am pissed off with our ‘Transport/Roads Department’! well you right.
About 5 kilometres outside of Zeerust I was flagged down by a traffic cop on the side of the road and after panicking for a minute discovered that he had been sent out by the Beares Manager in Zeerust to escort Buddy and Me into town!! Phew sweated there for a moment, because I was running a little late and did not have time to chat with the traffic cops as they usually do; in-spite of the fact that I usually enjoy our road side chats.
When we arrived outside the Beares store ‘Buddy and Me’ were greeted by a horde of kids from a local school shouting “Hello Buddy and Steve” at the tops of their voices
it was absolutely amazing!!!
While in Zeerust I got to meet, apart from a few other people, an incredibly interesting young lady by the name of Berdine (and yes that is spelt right) Venter,
who is a Social Worker with an organisation called ‘NG Welfare Zeerust’ which is an organisation under the umbrella of the ‘Dutch Reformed Church’ and which provides support in the form of legal, medical and counselling support to victims of child rape and general abuse. We spent hours, and when I say hours, I mean hours, from 1:30 till 4:50 in the afternoon, talking about the child rape situation and all the consequences this disgusting crime has on our society.
She provided me with details of a case which involves four small kids, all from the same family, which she and her organisation have been investigating, privately at huge cost, for the past 2 years, the details of which are shocking and I will be posting a blog soon regarding this case. After my chat with Berdine I came to the conclusion that this young lady was not only put on earth for a specific reason to help children, but was brought to Zeerust for the specific reason to help these kids. So Berdine keep up the amazing work you are doing, you are a very special person.
Because of the intensity of our chat, by the time we finished and I had bid the Beares staff farewell, it was almost 5:15 which meant that I had a night drive through to Rustenburg, but the delay because of the chat was well worth it, and apart from the fact that Buddy’s head lights are atrocious, it was freezing cold, so generally not a nice drive, but I arrived in one piece and managed to link up with my host for the night, Round Tabler Heindrich Schulze who I followed to his abode, my ‘home’ for the next two nights. We were then joined by Round Tablers Shaun Harris (a 41ner ou-man) and RT Marius Lubbe for a braai.
But before I finish this story about the braai, I must tell you about something’s which I learnt about my host: 1) Heindrich has an absolutely amazing little Jack Russell dog named ‘Sharky’
(Which is obviously a very good name for a brilliant minded animal) which does the most amazing things with stones and golf balls and literally runs around Heindrich’s shoulders. 2) Heindrich is a man who does not buy ‘Tabasco Sauce’ by the little ‘woosey’ 200 whatever gram bottles, but buys them by the
jug!!! He, I am told, by a very ‘good – reliable source’, even has ‘Tabasco Sauce’ with his ‘Post-Toasties’!!!
So now back to the business of the project. So after a really enjoyable evening, the next morning I headed for the Beares store where I met all the friendly people of Beares Rustenburg,
and after spending some quality time chatting to them I headed for the ‘David Brink Primary School’ where the Head Master, Mr v/d Westhuizen afforded firstly a top rate SAPS-FCS unit member, Warrant Officer Thinus Else the opportunity to talk and who later introduced me. I was then afforded the privilege of chatting to a crowd of nearly 900 kids, ranging from grade 1 to grade 7.
I think I can honestly say that after having addressed many kids at schools across South Africa, I have never spoken at a school where the kids were so engrossed by what I was saying, it was truly a mind boggling experience. When I finished speaking, the kid’s queued up to get my autograph, incredible!!!
During one discussion with the police I was told of the latest, absolutely ridiculous bit of legislation which has hit our law books, and that is, that the police are no longer allowed to publish photo’s or identikit pictures of suspects who they are looking for in connection with crimes being investigated. Evidently this is now considered to be “unconstitutional” and contravenes the ‘individuals’ (suspects) rights!!!
Another interesting discussion was surrounding our esteemed government / legislators decision to produce a piece of legislation in the form of the ‘Child Justice Act’ (Act 75 / 2008) which excludes children under the age of 10 years-of-age of any criminal capacity, in other words a child under the age of 10 years of age can commit an offence / crime and not be held criminally responsible. Section 9 (1) of the Act states that should a child be suspected of having committed an offence, he or she may not be arrested but has to be handed over into the care of his/her parents. Should it be established that the child did in-fact commit the offence the child must under go the ‘Diversion Programme’, which in effect is counselling, and nothing further happens to the child!!
I have held discussions with members of the police service across the length and breadth of South Africa and I have heard so many story’s involving crimes being committed by children in this age category, and these crimes include, rape of children, including the rape of small babies, robbery and house breaking and even murder, and it burns my ass every time I hear that because of the ‘Child Justice Act’ these kids are regarded to ‘above the law’. Two specific cases which spring to mind is one in Lamberts Bay where two boys, aged 8 and 9 years of age, raped a small girl of 5 very badly and then beat her to death with a metal pipe. The second was in Vredendal where three boys, aged between 7 and 9 years of age raped a boy of 6 and then forced a branch from a tree into him via his rectum. In both instances nothing happened to the little ‘savages’ and they have been placed in the ‘Diversion Programme’.
I am very sorry to say, but I believe that if these little ‘savages’ can do these crimes, then they must suffer the full consequences of their actions, they know that what they did was wrong and so must be held accountable and responsible for their actions.
Our esteemed government in the form of the legislators in 1998, changed the rape act and excluded the rape of a male from the rape act. The rape of a male, be it an adult male or a child then fell under the ‘Sexual Abuse Act’ which attracted a maximum sentence on conviction of 12 months imprisonment, and in-spite of much lobbying, the government chose to change the rape act and so excluded the rape of a male from the act, the consequences of this resulted in a massive increase in the rape or ‘sexual abuse’ of small boys. After 9 years the government realised they had made a booboo and rewrote the rape act in the form of the ‘Sexual Offences Act – Act 32/2007’ and the rape of a male was once again included into the legal definition of rape.
I personally, and my views are shared by many individuals across South Africa, including members of the SAPS, and Social Workers, believe that by removing the criminal capacity of a child under the age of 10 years of age, we will be breading another generation of criminals.
So now that I have dealt with those bits of the legal / justice system, which have been discussed at length with many individuals on my travels, off my chest, let me carry on with where ‘Buddy and Me’ have been travelling.
While braaing with the Round Tablers of Rustenburg, I boasted about how great Buddy’s new rear tail lights are, the ones fitted by my son-in-law Zac down in Pinetown. Of course they wanted me to show them how bright the lights are and of course I obliged. A problem arose when after showing them how the tail lights and indicators practically light up the neighbourhood, I pushed the brake pedal and discovered that the brake lights weren’t working!!!!, so the next morning I spent some time trying to locate the problem before heading out to Thabazimbi. Unfortunately after checking the fuses and globes I could not get them to work and so took a chance driving to Thabazimbi with no brake lights, praying all the way that I would not be stopped by traffic cops and end up with a fine.
On arriving in Thabazimbi I immediately headed for my ‘new home’ which was a lovely B&B owned by a magic couple Marietjie and Paul Conradie called ‘El-Shadai’.
So if ever you find yourself visiting Thabazimbi, there is only one place to stay, and that is ‘El-Shadai B&B’ and you can contact Marietjie or Paul on 014 – 772 3389 or 083 800 8014 or email them on firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also check them out on the website: www.tourismgrading.co.za
The next day after spending some time chatting to the Beares staff,
I headed for the police station where I wanted to see their ‘Victim Support Room (VSR)’. I was pointed in the direction of the ‘VSR’ which is in a building next to the police station, but when I tried to enter I discovered that the room was locked. On making enquiries I was told that the lady manning the centre “had gone to town’. I was also told that she could not be contacted to find out when she would be back so I could either wait or come back later, my thought, “mmm what if I was a mother with a small child who had been raped”.
I decided to return to ‘El-Shadai’ and spend the time trying to locate the problem with Buddy’s brake lights and walla!!!, I discovered that the wires which are supposed to be attached to the brake master cylinder, at the end of the brake pedal, had come off, so once again Buddy was road worthy and legal.
I returned an hour later only to find the situation had not changed. Three quarters of an hour later on arriving at the ‘VSR’ the doors were still locked, no one available to help me. After a further 15 minutes of standing around I was just about to climb into Buddy and give up when a young lady arrived and called me, she was the lady I was waiting for.
At this point there is another point of contention I have to mention, and that is the ‘Victim Support Room’s’ which are being established at all the police stations, or rather most of the police stations, around the country. In many instances I have been told by members of the communities that they have established ‘VSR’s’ at their local police stations, at their own costs, and that within a few months of the ‘VSR’ being opened, on visiting the ‘VSR’s’ it has been discovered that the beds, blankets, TV’s etc are ‘missing’. The ‘VSR’ at the Thabazimbi police station however is probably the best I have seen to date.
At the Thabazimbi ‘VSR’ I met a really dedicated police officer in the form of Warrant Officer Corra Myburgh who confirmed that child rape is occurring at a pretty mean rate in the area, and she also confirmed that the far majority of cases are not being reported. After providing her with the details of my proposed ‘solution’ she promised to read my proposal for a solution and to provide me with her opinion and comments, so Corra I am looking forward to receiving your comments and opinions. She did however also confirm that the conviction rate on child rape in their area is very low and that it falls pretty much in line with South Africa’s pathetic national conviction rate on child rape of 4 – 6%. She went on to say that in fact if a case involves the rape of a small child, as in below the age of 6, the chances of obtaining a conviction is zero! And even in the case of older kids, as in 6 -12 years of age, if there is no semen / DNA the chances of obtaining a conviction is also ZERO!!!
So why are these ‘savages’ raping the children??? BECAUSE THEY ARE GETTING AWAY WITH IT, AND OUR GOVERNMENT IS DOING ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO STOP THEM!!!!!!! And now the police are not even allowed to publish photo’s of the child rapists to get the publics help to apprehend them and remove them from our society!!
My next port of call was to the town of Modimolle (Nylstroom) where I once again had the opportunity to meet with some really interesting people, amongst whom was an amazing lady by the name of Gezina Lombard who is involved in the management of the ‘Abraham Kriel Children’s Home’. The Home provides accommodation and a support structure for abused children, as in abuse in many different forms which includes, sexual abuse, rape as well as physical and emotional abuse. I heard some pretty heart wrenching stories of kids who have been admitted to the home and one particular story hit me pretty deep, and that was of a little girl who at the tender age of 6 was savagely raped by her step-father and was found by her mother in the bath in a large pool of her own blood. So to Gezina you have my absolute admiration for the job you and your colleagues are doing, you are all angels in my book.
As usual I got to meet a horde of kids and as usual Buddy was roped into the day’s activities.
So to Johan Coetzee, the Beares store Manager in Modimolle a great big thanks to you and your friendly staff for making my visit to Modimolle such a great and informative one.
From Modimolle ‘Buddy and Me’ took the road to Mokopane (Potgietersrus) where I was kindly hosted accommodation for the week-end by the lovely Protea ‘The Park’ Hotel, and the Front Office Manager Dudu Nxumalo and her staff ensured that my three night stay was an absolutely amazing one.
That’s Dudu on my left.
My weekend involved meeting some really great people, firstly in the form of a couple, Bob Saayman and Jean Dunn who are touring around the country in their 4X4 and caravan and who I met at the O’Hagan’s pub in Mokopane while watching the Springboks get a thrashing by Australia in the opening match of the Tri-Nations rugby tournament.
This is what they had to say in their website blog:
Flags flying half-mast, tears flowing, the defeat of the beloved “bokkies” will remain a bitter memory to many. Players and selectors, no doubt to be further ripped to pieces and devoured by the critics with the gusto of hyenas.
Sitting in an almost empty O Hagan’s Pub did not require the skills of lip reading to interpret the profanities muttered by the viewers. Suggestions to aid the bokkies in moral support ranged from; sheep on the side of the field to distract the Aussies, or, bring on the local school-boy team, tell them they are playing for a belated birthday gift for Nelson Mandela’s 93rd birthday, memories of his 1995 World Cup involvement in mind. I guess long hours will be spent at the drawing board at the Bok camp.
Where the rugby results proved a dismal affair, the meeting of a gentleman by the name of Steve Heath in the pub turned out to be a very pleasant encounter. Firstly, it was refreshing to happenstance upon an English spoken gentleman, quick of wit and well-spoken in the land of Afrikanderdom. The interesting part about Steve is that, he gave up his high position and corporate life style to dedicate his life to research work in the fight against the rape and sexual abuse of children. Traveling through 10 African countries and virtually every town in South Africa in his trusted beach-buggy affectionately known as “Buddy,” he interviews victims, NGO’s, police, magistrates and the rapists themselves, in search of a solution to this scourge. Steve receives no financial gain what-so-ever, for this worthy quest of his. In fact, all it needs is your support to “spread the word” simply by e-mailing Steve’s web site and mail addresses to friends and colleagues, be they local or international. For more information on Steve and the noble work he is doing to improve our society I call on all our followers to visit his web-site: www.buddyandme.co.za or, e-mail him at email@example.com for every hit received on his web, one of the sponsors will donate one USD to this worthy cause. Steve can also be found on Facebook.
As to the rest of the day; nothing more exciting than to slink home and sulk about the bokkies defeat down under. Since no pics were taken today, I again resort to my random selection from the collection but, remember; what delights us in the visible beauty is the invisible.
So many thanks for that Bob and Jean and I wish you enjoyable and safe travelling and I hope to meet up with you guys again, some where in South Africa, keep well and stay safe.
The other great people I met in Mokopane were the guys at the SUPA QUICK outlet. Buddy’s front left tyre has worn down and is barely legal, so Marius Knoetze and the boys at SUPA QUICK Mokopane kindly swopped my spare tyre for the one on the front rim, because the spare rim is slightly buckled from the terrible pot holes ‘Buddy and Me’ have been subjected to, and so now we are one hundred % legal again Yahoo!!!!
So meet the great guys of SUPA QUICK Mokopane, that’s Marius with the stripped ‘Long-shorts’.
Sunday was spent with the Round Tablers of Mokopane or rather ‘Kameeldoring’ RT 92 and our hosts for the day and braai were Gerhard and Helena Hennings. Their farm is about ten kilometres outside Mokopane and I can only describe it as absolute heaven on earth. So meet the crazy guys and ladies of Round table Kameeldoring (Mokopane).
Our hosts, Gerhard – with the white and blue shirt on the right of the picture (I won’t mention the ugly ‘blue bull’ on his shirt) and the lovely Helena seated in the front with the green blouse. Thanks guys you made my visit to Mokopane an absolutely wonderful experience and I can’t wait to return to spend some quality relaxing time in your bush camp in January when the ‘Buddy and Me’ project 3 finishes and I need a place to relax, unwind and plan ‘Buddy and Me’ project 4.
Of course the guys had to do all the hard work for the braai, like drink beer, and braai the meat, while the ladies relaxed
Someone, on my face book, when I posted this particular photo, commented about “The thorn between the roses” I’m not going to name this person, but I will get my revenge “Wonder Woman”.
The Round Tablers of Kameeldoring also spent some time redecorating Buddy and this was the result.
So if you click on the picture and open it you will see the ‘buck’ horns on the front bumper and the Warthog skull and tusks mounted on top of the rear spare wheel. Unfortunately, on my way ‘home’ to the Protea ‘The Park’ Hotel, I stopped of at the filling station and was mortified to discover that the kids who were attracted to Buddy were petrified of the Warthog skull and a couple ran away screaming, so unfortunately I was forced to remove the Warthog skull, because Buddy does a fantastic job in attracting kids and I can’t afford to have them running away mortified by the sight of the Warthog skull. But I compensated by removing the tusks and mounting them on the panel above the windscreen. Secondly on entering town a cop stopped me and pointed out that the ‘buck’ horns mounted on the front are in fact regarded as dangerous and “must be removed” he did however accept that mounted on the rear spare wheel was “acceptable” so hence the changes to the Round Tablers decorations.
And so ended my week-end in Mokopane (Potgietersrus), I was intending to write something in response to an article that was mentioned on my face book about an article which was published by a gentleman in Nelspruit by the name of David Beresford, who wrote an article about the fact that child rape is occurring because of the impact of the ridiculous allegations made by Sangoma’s that “sex with a virgin child will cure HIV/AIDS”.
My research over the past 6 years has confirmed and in-fact proves that HIV/AIDS is playing a major role in the rape of children; however it is not for the reason of curing HIV/AIDS. Unfortunately this blog has proved to be much longer than I thought it would be and Julia must be pulling her lovely golden locks out because of the blogs length and the number of pictures I have posted on it, so I will write about the effects and implications of HIV/AIDS on the rape of children in my next blog, so stay tuned for some mind boggling facts on this subject.
So until my next blog hits the streets, keep well, stay safe and keep your feet on the ground but reach real high for the stars, and above all keep the children safe!!
Caring regards from
‘Buddy (The Beach Buggy)
Me’ (Steve Heath)
Please send your comments and opinions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.