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Wed
18
Nov '09

Day 107: Monday, 16 November 2009

Posted by steve@buddyandme.co.za

Categories: Buddy and Me

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My new itinerary to the end of the South African leg…. Namibian and Botswana legs to follow shortly.

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:

Bobbi Bear Foundation (KwaZulu-Natal)
The Teddy Bear Clinic (Gauteng)
The TygerBear Foundation (Western Cape)
GRIP (Mpumalanga)
StepThru (Gauteng)

Today was a particularly good day for ‘Buddy and Me’. I was anticipating hordes of traffic on the freeway out to Krugersdorp and so left early, 9am in order to be on time for my 11am visit to the Krugersdorp Beares and Lubners stores. On arriving at the Beares store, 40 minutes early because the hordes of traffic never materialised, I was told that I would be meeting with a large group of kids and teachers from the Jollige Jakkers Nursery School and Crèche as well as some policemen and woman from the Krugersdorp police station. I was warned that because I was also going to be doing an interview with the local newspaper, the Krugersdorp News-Nuus, I might not be finished before one or maybe two pm. My plans were, after finishing in Krugersdorp, to go through to Rustenburg where arrangements had been made with Shawn Harris, the Chairman of Round table RT 54 and his wife Debbie to host me with accommodation for the evening. So with this in mind I decided to make an early appearance at the Lubners store, which is situated right next door to the Beares store and meet and chat to the staff so that, in the event that the arrangements which had been organised at the Beares store ran late, I could get on the road to Rustenburg without any further delays.

<i>Lubners Krugersdorp staff</i>

Lubners Krugersdorp staff

<i>One staff member was busy with an important client while I was taking the staff photo and so had hers taken on her own while enjoying Buddy’s comforts, so meet Phindi</i>

One staff member was busy with an important client while I was taking the staff photo and so had hers taken on her own while enjoying Buddy’s comforts, so meet Phindi

The kids and teachers arrived at the Beares store and the fun began.

The kids and teachers of the Jollige Jakkers nursery school and crèche

The kids meeting the big bear and enjoying the sweets and lovely snacks provided by the Beares staff while engaged in a colouring in competition

While the kids were munching away and colouring in, I got to chat with the teachers and the police about the project and to get their opinions on the child rape situation in the country. I also presented snatches of what I believe would be a solution to stopping the raping of children in South Africa and they were all in unanimous agreement that my solution would work. One aspect of the discussion which everyone agreed on is the fact that by reducing the age of consent to a ridiculously low 12 years of age, the government is definitely not showing their commitment to stopping the raping of children in South Africa.

The kids undertaking a ‘demo’ march outside the Beares store with balloons and placards reflecting slogans of “Stop child rape and stop child abuse” – So to our esteemed politicians, the message to you from the kids is: You always show a positive reaction to the demonstrations which take place all over South Africa concerning poor service delivery, so listen to these demonstrators for a change, these demonstrators are the future of our country

After a really magical day with the kids and other guests, it was time to say good bye to everyone and take to the road once again and head for Rustenburg.

<i>The friendly <b>Beares</b> staff of Krugersdorp. Unfortunately the manager of the store Cheryl Fish had been stung by three bees yesterday (Sunday) and was not able to attend the function she had planned so well, but the number two in-charge Antoinette Moss (extreme right of the photo) did a sterling job in ensuring that all went as smooth as clock work in Cheryl’s absence, and so Buddy’s and my thanks go to the friendly staff of <b>Beares</b> Krugersdorp for the wonderful day</i>

The friendly Beares staff of Krugersdorp. Unfortunately the manager of the store Cheryl Fish had been stung by three bees yesterday (Sunday) and was not able to attend the function she had planned so well, but the number two in-charge Antoinette Moss (extreme right of the photo) did a sterling job in ensuring that all went as smooth as clock work in Cheryl’s absence, and so Buddy’s and my thanks go to the friendly staff of Beares Krugersdorp for the wonderful day

People often ask “Don’t you get lonely undertaking this project all on your own”, and my response is “Not at all, invariably I am with a lot of people during the day in the Beares and Lubners stores as well as the many police, social workers and NGO’s etc I meet every day, not to mention the Round Tablers who host my accommodation and who I get to meet almost every night. So when I get to drive Buddy from one town or city to another I get some really good quiet time, if you can call the noise Buddy generates as being quiet time, to think about comments made by individuals I get to meet during the day.

And the comment that was made today by one of the lady guests which gave me food for thought during my relaxing drive through to Rustenburg was, “Government is forever establishing ‘planning commissions to solve one problem or another’ and these ‘planning commissions’ obviously cost the tax payers a heck of a lot of money, so if the government is so serious about stopping the rape and sexual abuse of children, who after all are the future of our county, why haven’t they set up a planning commission to investigate what is needed to be done to bring a halt to the raping and sexual abuse of our children?” After pondering this question while driving to Rustenburg the only answer I could come up with is that, perhaps the government is not really serious about stopping the raping of our children, especially when considering the fact that the age of consent is a ridiculous 12 years of age, but the bigger question on my mind is “Why are they not serious about stopping it?”

I arrived in Rustenburg and after contacting Shawn Harris of the local Round Table, he arrived with another Tabler, Heindrich Schulze and after a cold frosty we headed for the family’s lovely home where I met another Tabler, Van and his wife, Marlie. We indulged in a few more frosty’s and had a lovely supper prepared by Shawn’s wife Debbie. Obviously we got involved in the topic of child rape and once again the shocking fact of the ridiculously low age of consent of 12 years of age was brought up and everyone agreed that until the government comes to their senses and increases this to an acceptable level, which according to everyone I have spoken to, should be a minimum of 16 years of age, the public in South Africa will never believe that the government is serious about stopping the raping a sexual be of their children.

<i>The evening’s group – From left – Marlie, Van, Debbie, Shawn and Heindrich</i>

The evening’s group – From left – Marlie, Van, Debbie, Shawn and Heindrich

<i>The guys of Rustenburg Round Table 54 and me</i>

The guys of Rustenburg Round Table 54 and me

And so ended day 107 on my crusade to stop the raping and sexual abuse of children in South Africa. I want to tell you that I have spent many hours pondering the various steps which I have come up with in my Odyssey searching for a solution to stopping the scourge of child rape in our beautiful country South Africa, this mostly during my “quiet time” while driving Buddy, and I have concluded that my solution will undoubtedly work. I have no doubts that the raping of children can be stopped. There are however one or two aspects of it which I believe needs to be “tweaked” and when these have been ironed out I will publish my solution on this blog for public comment prior to presenting it to Parliament, and present it to Parliament I will, have no doubt about that. So to our esteemed parliamentary and government members, Buddy and my message to you is “be prepared, ‘Buddy and Me’ are on our way to Cape Town.

So until tomorrow, when after visiting the Rustenburg Beares store, we will take the long drive out to the Lubners store in Thabazimbi where hopefully we can secure an evening’s accommodation because unfortunately there is no Round Table to help us out there. So ‘Buddy and Me’ will wish you a good night and hope you have a really great day tomorrow – Tuesday the 17th and of course Keep all children safe.

Caring regards from
Buddy and Me (Steve Heath)
steve@buddyandme.co.za

To assist with Buddy’s medical aid (recouping the R9 960.00 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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