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Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
Van Rooyen suddenly withdraws his interdict

In another twist involving the public protector’s office‚ the Minister of Co-operative Governance an.

Child's death is every parent's worst nightmare, writes Amanda Ngudle

By unknown | May 10, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

As Dina Rodrigues faces a possible life sentence for orchestrating the murder of baby Jordan-Leigh Norton, parents both black and white are being forced to ponder the vile crimes against children and ways to stop the mayhem.

"It's one of the most frightening crimes for parents," said creche teacher Suzanne Bouwer.

"Over the past 10 years parents have become paranoid. For a long time keeping pre-schoolers at home seemed a safe solution, but the murder of Makgabo Matlala at her home last year sent many parents into a spin. The message is clear; unless we parents do something fast, there's going to be hell to pay."

And this wave of crime knows no colour. Despite black homes being fingered as the most negligent for socioeconomic reasons, Sheldean Human was lured from her parents' yard by a white offender.

"Still, blacks are too trusting with their children," said Ketso Moorosi-Mabusela, a clinical forensic psychologist.

"No neighbourhood is safe for children these days. When I was growing up a stranger could send you to the shop and lash out at you, even use corporal punishment, for your sluggish reaction.

"Instead of being hopping mad, your mother would actually thank the stranger for being such a good parent," she said.

Most children are still brought up in the belief system that says a child is brought up by a village.

"Black children are taught to look at strangers as their uncles and neighbours, but that era is long gone. All a paedophile needs to snatch your child is trust and a minute."

Most children go missing around the time when soapies are on TV and drinking times because that's when adults are are happier with their disruptive kids out of sight.

"Child abductors don't usually pounce out of the blue. They do their homework and watch the family routine closely. Most of them are usually known to the victim, even close to and favoured by the family."

Moorosi-Mabusela said it was essential to establish and cement the virtue of trust with all we have.

"If you teach your child to tell you everything, you need to acknowledge and trust what she tells you no matter how small. That communication is a foundation for trust, something you are going to need if there is an abductor lurking around the home."

The website for missing children reports that the recovery of missing children in South Africa has gone up from 82percent in 1989 to 88percent in 2002.

To prevent the horror, heed the facts below:

l How can you spot a paedophile?

Be alert to any adult who pays an unusual amount of attention to your child. Watch out for those that give your child gifts, toys or favours such as sweets, money, video games or day trips.

Also watch out for illicit gifts such as alcohol, cigarettes or drugs.

l Question why an adult is seeking opportunities to be alone with your child. Always carry out a careful check on anyone who has unsupervised contact with your child.

Find out as much as you can about baby-sitters.

l Ask creches and activity groups what steps they take to protect children and deal with abuse.

l Do not leave your child with someone you have reservations about.

l Do not use unregistered child minders or foster parents.


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