THE story in Sowetan on May 27 about the child who was kidnapped by his father captured my attention.
Let me point out that I condemn any form of violence against children or women and I strongly urge people not to follow this route.
But I am more concerned about the treatment fathers receive from court officials. More often than not a father's fate is determined even before they get to court.
Any plea that is made by a man is seldom considered and this makes fathers very negative about the whole issue of maintenance.
A case in point. I was recently taken to court by the mother of my child just because she was bitter about my having ended our relationship.
When I arrived in court I presented my financial state to the magistrate, who totally ignored this and wanted to make an order far above what I could afford.
After long and hard deliberations she reluctantly accepted an order I could afford.
The point I am making is that it seems that officials are influenced by their emotions rather than objectivity.
This type of behaviour is regressive since most men feel that rather than face these experiences it would be better to stay away from court processes.
I believe it would be wise for institutions such as Gender Equality to be present in court or be available on request by men to be observers during maintenance proceedings.
As a responsible man I will do my duty to support my child, but I wish to call on our sisters not to use children to get men back.
Concerned Citizen, Johannesburg