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Categories: Buddy and Me
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My full new itinerary including Namibia and Botswana to the end of the tour (19 May 2010).
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:
‘Buddy and Me’ started our day this morning in lovely bright sunshine and had a really magic drive back to the Vaal Triangle to Vereeniging, can you believe it, no rain! At the Beares store I got to meet a great bunch of people from many different sectors of the community involved in various aspects of providing support to abused children in the area.
- Braam van der Merwe and Joyce Hlongwane from the Alpha Trauma Centre
- Mandisa Ntamethlo from the Emthonjeni Awareness Centre
- Ntswaki Maduna of the Reach-Out Community Project in Evaton West
- Malefu Moloi from the Bana Ba Bagodimo Drop-In Centre
- Nandipa Mafenuka from the Tharollo Care Initiative Small farms (Evaton)
- Captain Mokhele of “The? FCS unit” SAPS” Vereeniging
Our discussion went on for two hours and I wish I could have had the whole of South Africa involved in it. Braam van der Merwe produced statistics of the child rape cases (Children under the age of 12 years of age) which formed part of the services the Alpha Trauma Centre had provided support for, for the past 12 months period, here they are:
And this, in comparison to many NGO’s providing support to child rape victims, is a relatively small NGO, but they still dealt with 374 child rape cases (as in children under 12 years of age) in a 12 months period. And when considering that only 15% of child rape cases are reported this means that according to the Alpha Trauma Centre’s figures alone, not taking into account the child rape cases being handled by other institutions, this equates to 2506 child rape cases occurring in the Vereeniging area annually, quite scary!
The ladies from the other institutions all provided interesting information on the child rape situation in the areas they are involved in and Captain Mokhele once again proved to me that our Police Services have some really dedicated police officers whose expertise and dedication is currently being wasted, and that the “Powers that be” in the Police Services must wake up soon and do their job and earn their salary’s by officially getting a properly trained and dedicated team of specialists together to head up a specialist ‘Child Protection Unit’ within an ‘FCS’ unit. This was confirmed by Captain Mokhele when she stated that “Our justice system has definitely failed us and we now need the FCS / CPU to be officially re-instated and functioning on a professional and dedicated basis”. Captain I salute you. To Hettie Muller, the Beares store Manager, thank you for arranging a terrific bunch of guests.
My next visit was to the Lubners store, which fortunately for ‘Buddy and Me’ was situated a mere 50 metres from the Beares store. Here once again Hannes Weyers, the Lubners store manager had arranged for me to meet, although a small group, but a group of individuals who provided me with some really interesting information and who confirmed various bits of information I have been provided with from people along my route. This group consisted of:
- Dalene Venter from Midvaal Local Authority – Head of Community Development
- Marthie Van Rensburg – NG – Welfare (A family and children’s organisation)
- Captain Shado Mashobane – SAPS Social Crime Prevention
- Superintendent Du Toit Tulleken – Crime Prevention – Vereeniging
Once again we had an almost three hour discussion and after presenting them with my ‘Solution to stopping the rape and sexual abuse of children’ presentation I intend presenting to our President and parliament in March, they unanimously agreed that my solution would work. So to Mr. Zuma and his team, you damn well better listen!
And so ended my visit to the town/City of Vereeniging, I always have a problem in identifying whether a place is a town or City, maybe somebody can write to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or on the website comments blog, and explain the difference. I have always been led to believe that a town becomes a city when it has a Cathedral, but if you know better please let me know.
I heard an interesting comment today which related to a comment made on TV by, I was told, the Minister of Police, who said that his dream is “To see a South Africa where only the police carry firearms”. My comment to this was, ‘If it’s only the police who will be carrying firearms, then why do they need firearms?” Could it be because he knows that he will never be able to eradicate fire arms from the possession of criminals and therefore we, the ‘man in the street citizen of South Africa’ will be open to the violent crime being perpetrated by these thugs and they, the ‘heavies in government with their expensive security systems and body guards, paid for by the tax payers of South Africa, live and sleep in their safe cocoons?
Well that’s enough for today, so until tomorrow when I return to the Vaal Triangle region and visit the Beares and Lubners stores and get to meet yet another group of interesting people in the area of Meyerton, ‘Buddy and Me’ will say good night and hope that all children stay safe.
Caring regards from
Buddy and Me (Steve Heath)
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