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Oct '09

Day 79: Monday, 19 October 2009

Posted by steve@buddyandme.co.za

Categories: Buddy and Me

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To watch Buddy and Me in real time click on the Bandit link on the right hand navigation pane, select South Africa under “Global Fleet Logins:” in the left hand panel, enter 0822549129 and password Buddy.

Today my day started with a leisurely drive through the country side on my way to Bronkhorstspruit. Buddy and I took the Witbank highway and after taking the Delmas turnoff passed Bronkhorstspruit Dam and the Chinese Cultural Village which I am told is a really neat place to visit on a Sunday afternoon where you can enjoy a free Chinese lunch, all you need to do is make a donation.

My visit to the Beares store in Bronkhorstspruit proved to be a relatively quiet one and so I spent my time there chatting to the friendly staff. On my way out I was stopped by two ladies who were walking on the side of the road in the small town who insisted on giving me their opinion on “what should be done to stop the raping of our children”. According to them, and I was told that their opinion is echoed by all the residents of Bronkhorstspruit, the problem of solving the raping of the children is definitely the government’s responsibility and that they are the only ones that can solve the problem.

According to these two ladies, no amount of educating can stop the scourge. As I listened to them I became more and more convinced that someone in government should be undertaking this campaign that ‘Buddy and Me’ is doing so that they can get first hand knowledge of what the people are saying. I was told that the raping and sexual abuse of children in the nearby townships is running rampant and that the police have no idea how to stop it.

When I mentioned my suggestion of a national referendum to let the people decide on what should be done to stop it, they both agreed unanimously and they hoped the government will listen to my suggestion. So if there are any politicians reading this blog, I would dearly like to get some ideas on how I go about presenting my findings and opinions of the public to Parliament on what needs to be done to stop the raping and sexual abuse of children in South Africa.

<i>Beares Bronkhorstspruit staff</i>

Beares Bronkhorstspruit staff

Before leaving the Beares store in Bronkhorstspruit I was contacted by a lady from the Delmas Beares store who told me that the police would be waiting for me just outside Delmas to escort me into the town. My chat with the two ladies had delayed my departure from Bronkhorstspruit considerably, but I was not perturbed by this because this is what the campaign is all about, but I did have to ‘move it up’ a bit and I was thankful that GP Beetles had done such a brilliant job in getting Buddy prepared for the rest of the campaign, because Buddy took the rushed drive in his stride. (Wow at one point we were actually doing a staggering 98 kilometres an hour!)

As I approached the spot, or what I believed to be the spot where I was told the police would be waiting for me, I saw two police cars parked on the side of the road and as I got nearer one of them pulled away from the curb and waved to me. I automatically thought that this was my escort and so followed. I was led through the town and eventually we pulled into a large new shopping centre where the traffic cop stopped and just sat in her car. I looked around and could not see the Beares store anywhere in the centre. After a few minutes I climbed out of Buddy and approached the cop. She looked at me and asked why I was following her. I looked at her dumbfounded and asked if she was the cop who was supposed to escort me into Delmas; she shook her head and said no. After I explained the situation she found it to be quite funny and gave me directions to the Beares store in Delmas.

At the Beares store I was met by the friendly Beares staff and a group of young men from a local school who did a cultural dance for me and were joined by other people who were attracted by the music and dancing. I also managed to chat to the staff and a few of the local residents who confirmed that something drastic has to be done really fast to stop the raping of the children. Everyone I spoke to confirmed the belief that the punishment for a child rapist should be either the death penalty or, failing that, a minimum of 45 years in jail without the possibility of parole.

<i>The cultural dancers</i>

The cultural dancers

<i>The cultural dancers and Beares Delmas staff</i>

The cultural dancers and Beares Delmas staff

Then it was time for me to bid farewell to the Beares staff and the cultural dancers who, when they saw Buddy, insisted on having their photo taken with him, and of course Buddy would not forgive me if I deprived him of the opportunity of having kids climb all over him.

<i>The kids and Beares staff with Buddy</i>

The kids and Beares staff with Buddy

On my way back to Germiston I was stopped twice by motorists who wanted to take photos of ‘Buddy and Me’ and as usual for the people to give their views on the subject, which are pretty much all the same, “The swine who rape children should be hung”. The one guy who stopped me commented on the rumours surrounding the fact that the government now wants to incorporate the Metro Police into the SAPS and commented on the fact that the money being spent by the government on establishing all these different/new departments only to later disband them, is costing the tax payers a fortune. He spent half an hour relating the costs involved in the design and manufacture of uniforms, vehicles and signage, documentation and goodness knows what other expenses, only to have it all thrown away because some bright spark has come up with the idea that the Metro police should now be included into the SAPS. Not to mention the fact that they are now considering changing the SAPS to the SAPF (South African Police Force) – more signage of vehicles and documentation, etc to be changed at humungous cost to the tax payers. So what’s next, the establishment of a traffic police department to replace the Metro Police, wow! What a brilliant idea, a police department dedicated to and specialising in traffic control, who would ever have thought of that? (Hello, this sounds familiar…)

So that brought an end to my day and so I returned home where I relaxed and enjoyed a cold frosty or two thinking about how all that wasted money the government was spending on establishing new departments only to smash them down which could be spent in providing a proper infrastructure to support child rape victims and their families.

I receive many e-mails from individuals giving me their comments and opinions on the subject of child rape and although I really appreciate them and encourage people to do so, I would also appreciate it if you would register on the ‘comments blog’ section of the website and log your comments onto the ‘blog’ so that everyone can share in your comments and opinions.

So with that ‘Buddy and Me’ bids you a farewell for now and until we meet again tomorrow when we visit Springs and the East Rand Township of Tsakane, keep well and keep all children safe.

Caring regards from
Buddy and Me (Steve Heath)

To assist with Buddy’s medical aid (recouping the R9500.00 spent on repairs to engine and installation of new gearbox, starter motor and front suspension), please make a deposit into the following account:

  Bank: First National
  Branch: Lambton
  Branch code: 251542
  Acc name: Buddy and Me
  Acc number: 622 327 236 78
  Ref: Buddy’s medical aid

All assistance, no matter how small, is greatly appreciated. Any excess collected above the necessary amount, will be donated to the three organisations involved in the project, namely The Teddy Bear Clinic, Bobbi Bear Foundation and The TygerBear Clinic.

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