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Tue
9
Aug '11

Blog 47 – Buddy and Me – (25th – 31st July 2011)

Posted by Julia

Categories: Buddy and Me

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Who Is Steve Heath
A Message To The President of South Africa.
Factors Contributing To The Increase In Child Rape.
A Proposed Solution To Stopping The Rape And Sexual Abuse Of Children in SA.

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)

  • 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 another week is in the past and it proved to be quite an informative one as well as great in terms of the amazing people I met and places ‘Buddy and Me’ visited.

The week started with a visit to the Beares store in Mokopane (otherwise known to many who are not aware of the fact that the towns name has changed its name from Potgietersrus) where I met the newly appointed Beares store Manager Hendrik Nepgen and his friendly staff.

I had met a lot of people in Mokopane over the weekend who provided me with an amazing amount of information regarding the child rape situation in the area, and so after a relaxing time with the Beares staff and getting the opportunity to catch up with responses to a pile of emails, I left Mokopane and headed for Polokwane.

In my last blog (Blog – 46) I mentioned that I was going to provide details of the effect the HIV/AIDS epidemic has had on the rape of children, and so in response to an article that was written by a gentleman by the name of David Beresford from the Nelspruit area who wrote an article regarding the excuse used by so many individuals when raping children which is that the Sangoma’s are claiming that “if you have sex with a virgin child it will cure your HIV/AIDS”, so here is the information on this subject which I have learned during the passed 6 years of research on the subject of child rape and specifically this aspect of it.

Prior to the ‘Sexual Offences Act – Act 32/2007’ coming into effect, it was deemed ‘unlawful’ to obtain or ascertain a rapists HIV/AIDS status. However through ‘other’ means, such as when an in-mate fell sick etc it was necessary for the doctors to obtain blood samples and to undertake various tests to ascertain what illness the inmate was suffering with and these tests I am told included HIV/AIDS tests. These tests indicated that the far majority of child rapists are in-fact HIV/AIDS negative.

With the implementation of the ‘Sexual Offences Act – Act32/2007’ three years ago, which makes it compulsory for the testing of a suspected rapists, tests are carried out at the time of being charged in order to establish the rapists HIV/AIDS status. Information provided through this means over the past three years has, according to the information provided to me, further confirmed that the majority of child rapists are HIV/AIDS negative.

 

Further research has however confirmed that although the HIV/AIDS epidemic has not impacted on the rape of children for the reasons claimed, as in to cure HIV/AIDS, it has played a major role for other reasons.

It is a common fact and knowledge that if a child is born HIV positive due to pregnancy in the rural/township areas, these being where the majority of child rape cases are taking place, due to poverty and the low standard of living the child is not expected to live past its 4 – 5th birthday. It is also common fact and knowledge that children in these areas are sexually active from the age of 12 years of age. Based on these facts the children in the age groups of 6 – 10 years of age are therefore in a ‘safe zone’ as far as being HIV/AIDS negative is concerned.

All my research has indicated that child rape being perpetrated by ‘strangers’ is occurring with children in this age category for the reason that they ‘don’t want to be infected with HIV/AIDS’ and convicted rapists I have had the misfortune to have met and interviewed, have confirmed this, saying that if they had sex/raped an older woman the possibilities of contracting HIV/AIDS is good. However due to the fact that 90% of child rape is being perpetrated by biological fathers, step-fathers, uncles and grandfathers, these individuals are fully aware of the child’s HIV/AIDS status and so they are raping children of all ages.

                                    ———————————-

 

From Mokopane ‘Buddy and Me’ headed for the bustling city of Polokwane, where I was kindly provided accommodation in the lovely Protea Landmark Hotel which is situated about five kilometres outside of Polokwane in the tranquil countryside.

 So meet the Hotels General Manager Louise Veldman and her front office staff.

The next morning ‘Buddy and Me’ headed into Polokwane where we met up with the friendly staff of the Beares store.

 Here the branch Manager Pieter Du Preez (right at the back in the photo with the ‘white hair’) arranged for me to meet with, apart from many others, a really interesting lady by the name of Peggy Legodi who is a councillor with ward 11 and is a member of the ‘ANC Woman’s league’ and in addition to this is the owner of a crèche AND is the local ‘Community Liaison Officer’, all in all a very busy lady! In addition to this amazing lady I got to chat to an amazing lady by the name of Betty Kgare, who is the Secretary of the “ANC Woman’s League’ AND can you believe it! Councillor Mehlape! All the ‘Larne’s” in one day!! Amazing!!

After being presented with the details of what I believe is a solution to eradicating child rape from our society, it was unanimously agreed that our government has to pay attention to my proposal and to commit themselves to implementing it and so eradicate the sick crime of child rape from our society completely. In-fact Peggy Legodi confirmed my belief that we have to stop focusing on the problem, as in expecting the public and corporate companies of South Africa to keep footing the bill for providing support to the victims and to focus on implementing a solution, we cannot afford to continue doing ‘damage control’ forever!!

From Polokwane ‘Buddy and Me’ headed for Makhado (or Louis Trichardt as some people still know it) and along the way ‘Buddy and Me’ crossed the ‘Tropic of Capricorn’.

 (Don’t worry about the spelling on the board, but it is definitely the ‘Tropic of CapricoRn)

 In Louis Trichardt “Buddy and Me’ were once again hosted accommodation by the Round Tablers and this time, as was the case with my last visit to Louis Trichardt, I was home hosted by that king of crazy guys Jerry Cloete and his lovely wife Karien and their two daughters Chané and latest addition Taelyn. The evening was spent with a large group of Tablers and their wives and better halves over a lovely sea food supper and I got to meet the President of the Round Table for Southern Africa, Johan Lindeque who travelled all the way from Port Elizabeth,  

 and presented me with his personal banner and lapel pin, and can you believe it I was given the honour of meeting another President, Sonel Prinsloo who is the President of the ‘Lady’s Circle’ of Southern Africa – 2 Presidents in one night, amazing stuff!

Sonel is the stunning blond lady standing on my right hand side.

I had a wonderful time with the Beares staff in Polokwane,

 and got to meet some really interesting people and had a very in-depth chat with a group of kids from a local high school who provided me with some interesting opinions on ‘what needs to be done to eradicate child rape from our society’ and was provided with probably some of the best opinions I have heard for some time. I also got to meet an amazing man by the name of Councillor (COPE) Geoffrey Tshibuimo who agreed entirely with my proposal in principal and has promised to read it in depth and to email me with his final opinion and comments.

 The kids of course insisted that Buddy be included into the days activities.  

So meet the friendly Beares staff of Louis Trichardt and the smooth looking dude on the left of the photo is Councillor Geoffrey Tshibuimo.

 After bidding farewell to first Karien, Chané and Taelyn,

 and then dad, character of note Jerry

it was off to the ‘Far North” and you know when you have reached the extreme north when you see this:

 “The big daddy- grandfather – Baobab tree!” and so ‘Buddy and Me’ had arrived in Musina, the furthest point in South Africa, actually I’m sorry I am wrong, this is the furthest point in South African –

 Beit Bridge! I could not believe that ‘Buddy and Me’ had left Cape Town – Agulhas, the most Southern point of Africa and have taken three months to travel to the most Northern point of South Africa and have spoken to and interviewed literally hundreds of people on our way!

 My accommodation in Musina was arranged by the Round Tablers of Louis Trichardt and so I was hosted in the lovely Matoppi B&B by Phillip and Alda Rossouw.

 If you ever find yourself in Musina you have to stay at this truly tranquil and lovely place. Contact details are: Tel: 015-5342669 Email: info@matoppi.com Website: www.placesforafrica.com/matoppi  The address is 45 Kerk Street Musina.

So after a magic day with Anna Mulando, the Beares store Manager in Musina and her really friendly staff in Musina Beares store,

 I paid a visit to the Thuthuzela Care Centre which was ‘established’ in the Musina district hospital 2 months ago, and so is still not functioning properly, and my experience on visiting 28 Thuthuzela Care Centres to date tells me that it will remain as it is for years to come, unless the government takes the time to read my proposal and commits to them being set up properly.

I also had a lengthy chat with members of the local police who confirmed that child rape, because of the huge problem the area is facing resulting from a large community of ‘illegal’ immigrants from Zimbabwe, is happening on a frightening scale. The thing that amuses me is that the police are fully aware of the large contingent of illegal immigrants but what are they doing about it. When I asked my police guests, my question received the response of, a shrug of the shoulders and “there isn’t much we can do about it because they just keep coming back”. It sounds pretty much like our governments attitude towards the rape of children!!

It was also confirmed that all that has occurred by the military being placed along the border to supposedly stop illegal immigrants crossing into South Africa, is that their ‘income’ has been boosted immensely!

I also had a great interview with the local radio station “Musina Community Radio 104.0 Mhz with DJ – Biscuit and the news editor Kabelo Thelele.

Kablelo confirmed that one of the biggest problems facing the area is the fact that the “Guma Guma”, these being Zimbabweans who ‘assist’ fellow Zimbabweans with plans and routes to cross into South Africa illegally, who after receiving payment and on arriving at the place on the border where they are to cross into South Africa, the illegal immigrants are robbed and raped. Kabelo told me that the banks of the river are littered with the underwear of woman and children and even men who have been stripped, raped and robbed and then chased across the river into South Africa.

From Musina, on Friday I travelled back to Louis Trichardt where I collected my trailer from Jerry and then continued through to Tzaneen where the Tzaneen Round Tablers kindly arranged for me to stay at an absolutely amazing place called ‘SATVIK’ which is a Backpackers/self-catering set up on the banks of the Tzaneen Dam.

 Saturday was yet another black day for South Africa rugby supporters with the Boks being annihilated by the All Blacks but I had a great morning in-spite of this with the Round Tablers of Tzaneen.

 So thanks guys, your support to the ‘Buddy and Me’ project as well as your great friendship and hospitality is sincerely appreciated.

But the Tablers friendship and hospitality did not end there, on Sunday they all arrived at ‘SATVIK’ where we enjoyed a magic day in the warm sunshine, while most of the rest of South Africans were freezing their butts off, we braaied and consumed large quantities of beer, oh and ‘tried’ to catch fish right!!

 I was also presented with the Tzaneen Round Tables banner and lapel pin by the Tables Chairman Bruce Mogg while Vice Chairman Dale Eberhard watched on.

I have often said that I try very hard not to get too acquainted with animals on this project, especially dogs, because when it comes time for me to leave I can say good bye to people much easier than I can say good bye to an animal, and in the case of ‘SATVIK’ I made an incredible friend in the form of a cat. Now people who know me well, are fully aware of the fact that I am not really a ‘cat’ person, but this cat absolutely stole my heart and followed me around all weekend and slept on my bed, cuddling up in my arms.

 And when it came time for me to go to town, my new found friend always jumped into Buddy’s passenger seat and I had a battle to get her out and drive off without her running behind, I have never experienced this with a cat in my life before! 

 

While doing my week-ends shopping in Tzaneen, I saw a sticker which I had to get and so Buddy now has a new sticker added to his ever increasing collection, I’m sure the lady’s will enjoy this one.

 I certainly did especially when considering the atrocities being committed against woman and children by so called “men”!!

 So all that was left for me to do was to thank Louis Jordaan, the owner of ‘SATVIKBackpackers, for his kind and generous support to the ‘Buddy and Me’ project by providing me with accommodation for the weekend.

So meet Louis Jordaan, with my ‘other Buddy’ “Kitty”. So if you ever need to escape to a really tranquil and peaceful place, ‘SATVIK’ is the place to visit and stay. Details of the place are in the ‘Coast to Coast – Backpackers booklet’ but you can get hold of Louis on telephone number: 015 – 307 3920 or cell: 084 556 2414 or email: satvik@pixie.co.za I promise you, you will not be sorry.

So that ended the week for ‘Buddy and Me’. Next week will start in Tzaneen and finish in Hoedspruit and because the world symposium on child rape in Cape Town has been postponed to October, at which I was supposed to be a guest speaker, I have been left with an open week, and because I don’t want to have to reschedule all the Beares stores and other appointments already established for me I will have to be faced with a whole week off, so until we meet up again on my website blog, ‘Buddy and Me’ wish you all a safe and productive week. Keep well. Stay safe and please 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 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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