Shilowa, own up to your son

Gone are the days when men honoured their responsibility towards children.

Gone are the days when men honoured their responsibility towards children.

What excuse does the Premier of Gauteng, Mbhazima Shilowa, pictured, have in turning a deaf ear to his child's pleas.

It is a disgrace that South Africa has so many children crying out for their fathers and yet we don't speak about the cruelty and the long-term impact of these men's actions.

It would be interesting to find if Shilowa suffered from the same fate as a child. Interestingly, experience shows that children who grew up without fathers end up neglecting their own children.

South Africa is the capital of "runaway dads". We have heard of national male icons who live double lives.

In the public they stand for everything good and preach good morals, elimination of child and women abuse, and yet what happens in their backyards is absolutely shocking.

Why are so many women raising children alone? In the past this phenomenon of children without fathers was blamed on apartheid and the migrant labour system. Today a child can live two streets away from his father and suffer as if he is not there, while he lives large every day.

I mourn the disappearance of the days when grandmothers were insika of households and would hold to their bosom recognised and unrecognised children alike because they understood the pain of a neglected child and the need to keep family together.

Today grandmothers don't speak out - they are corrupted by the wealth their sons bring and enter into a pact of silence.

We can talk all we like about moral regeneration and ubuntu, but if we do not clean up the stench in our own homes how do you expect other families to do it?

Gone are African values and morals that offered protection and shelter to the outcasts.

Shilowa must do what is right and forget what happened in his previous marriage.

Owami Lugaju, Johannesburg