Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dirk on Radio Rippel

Dirk Lourens did the first Xtremeforkids Cycle Tour on Radio Rippel today. He sounded like a pro! Thanx Dirk for a job well done and thanx Radio Rippel for supporting our cause!

XtremeforKids Cycle Tour Press release

“Men should stand up and speak out against abuse because they are the abusers” were the words of General Lamoer, SAPS Western Cape Provisional Commissioner late last year.  He supported his statement with the statistic that in 97% of the rape cases men were the perpetrators.  His sentiment on this is shared by General Petros, the Provincial Commissioner of Gauteng, who for many years has stated that the police cannot be held responsible for crime. That crime comes from the community and is perpetrated by members of the community and the communities need to start taking responsibility of the crime in their areas.
      A group of cyclists, consisting of men only, have decided to take on this challenge by speaking out against the abuse of women and children. This group of business executives will cycle from Johannesburg to Cape Town in ten days and will visit schools in various towns en-route to spread this message. The school visits will also include a short talk wherein they will share with children the value of exercise and how to deal with negative emotions.
       The XtremeFORkids Cycle Tour will take place from 28 February to 10 March, during which the group will be joined by other riders for the Cape Argus. This group will also be supporting the NGO, Matla A Bana – A voice against child abuse. This organisation was founded by ex-hostage, Monique Strydom, in 2002 and last their projects helped more than 20 000 children who reported abuse to the police. With the funding raised this year, the NGO hopes to be able to assist children with therapy and also create more child-friendly reporting facilities at the police.
        Leader of the group, Dirk Lourens (44), is no stranger to mobilising communities. He has been working in the field of community sport development for many years and has seen the positive impact of sport on young people. He also puts action to word and has completed extreme events like the Cape Epic, Iron Man and twenty one Comrades marathons. “I feel that it is now necessary for the government, businesses and society to take extreme measures to stop the abuse of children”, he says.
       He will be joined by a team of 4 riders each with their own passion for the sport of cycling and protecting children. Andre Van Bravel (49) is a biathlon athlete who has represented South Africa at international three events and is in complete opposition to children being abused.   Dr. Bert Der Walt (43), business executive at Absa Bank who believes that children should be helped to report abuse.  Michiel Nel (37) who has completed various long distance cycle challenges and someone who has a real understanding for the crime situation due to his expertise in the security field. The last member is youngster Stephan Reynecke, who will also supply the technical back up for the cyclists should anything go wrong with their equipment. Both Bert and Stephan will also participate in the Cape Epic only few days later after completing this tour.
     The group will depart from Johannesburg on 28 February and will be stopping over in Parys, Welkom, Bloemfontein, Colesberg, Graaf Reinet, Uniondale, Mosselbay, Swellendam, Wolseley and Durbanville. They will cover more than 1500 kilometres. They will be supported by members of the South African Police Services, who will either join them in the riding or doing talks at the schools.
     Two well-known South African singers, Mathys Roets and Annique, who also feels strongly about the cause, has dedicated their time as well. Mathys will escort the group from Johannesburg in a hand cycle and Annique will join the group for the Cape Argus Cycle Race on the 10th of March.
     You can show your support by pledging towards this course. Visit and follow the links.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Top cops awarded

“There are many police officers who are dedicated and do not deserve the criticism that has been thrown at them like the last few weeks. Unfortunately the public never get to know about these officers”, were the words of Lizel Van Eeden, project manager at Matla A Bana, an organisation working with abused children.

This charity today (22 Feb 2013) honoured 16 police officers, mainly based at the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences units, for exceptional service at the Matla A Bana Gauteng Incentive Awards. Highest honours was given to the man who was responsible for putting a serial rapist and killer behind bars. Warrant Officer Peet Du Toit had to trace 87 witnesses from cases as old as 2008 in order to secure the arrest and successful conviction of Johannes Steyn, or the Sunday Rapist as he is known. It was his commitment together in partnership with senior state prosecutor, Carina Coetzee, that secured five life sentences and an additional 170 years. Carina also received an award at this event.

It was clear that women can also make a huge contribution in the fight against crime. Captain Van Rooyen, based in Orlando, was acknowledged for her investigation skills that resulted in the arrest of Booi and Rodgers Makhubela. Together these two were responsible for 16 rapes and several violent robberies and kidnappings. They were sentenced to 23 life sentences and 391 extra years in jail. The Cartonville FCS unit received the award for the best unit in Gauteng.

A highlight was a special award handed over to Col Paul Van Eeden. This police officer, who is based at the Gauteng provincial office, undertook the challenge to drive more than 2000 kilometres, to 9 provinces in 24 hours. With this effort he raised more than R 100 000 for abused children.

Well known business personality and guest speaker at the event, Venete Klein, made the media responsible for sharing the news of these police officers and their dedication to ensure public safety with the public. She stated that South Africa needed more good news stories in order to regain trust in the systems and the country. Major General Toaie, head of Gauteng detectives, told the guest what dedication it takes from a police officers to investigate the rape and abuse of children. Detectives are often severely traumatized and need the support.

The rape of Anene Booysen created a national outcry and the legal justice system was on the receiving end. Harsher sentencing and even the death sentence were demanded by many. It is clear that the public is not aware of successes when it comes to rape and abuse convictions. It is however very clear that harsh sentencing will not be a deterrent. It is the responsibility of the public to expose those perpetrators in their communities.

Matla a Bana would like to thank our loyal sponosors for this event: Grain Care Trust, Massmart, Kleininc Management consultants, Clearwater Mall, Cajees Clearwater Mall, Build a Bear Sandton City, Grayston Townlodge, Courtyard Sandton, Katherine str City Lodge, Servamus, Alice Art Gallery, Afrique Boutique hotel, Rosebank Union Church, Roman’s Pizza and Rays of Hope.


Emotional Intelligence Soft Skill training


Matla a Bana Gauteng started 2013 with a Bang..
Jan 23 a group of 19 senior FCS delegates attended an Emotional Intelligence training and their feedback was so positive that the company extend the training to 12 Feb for a follow up session. The group was so eager to learn and completed an assignment as part of the evaluation!

Thank you very much Imsimbi!

924 challenge Impacts on Training!


Matla a Bana once again secured the sponsorship of training from our loyal training providers LEAP, Reach Africa and Owitz marketing for 20 FCS commanders. This training was part of the 924 challenge sponsors secured. This training emphasised the importance of the 16 Days of Activism campaign creating awareness on “No violence against women and children”.

The senior FCS delegates were equipped and empowered with unique skills and ability to lead by example.

Eastgate Courtyard Hotel sponsored the venue and Sandton Townlodge the catering.

Together with the business community we definitely made a difference.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Our cyclists getting ready

We are very proud of our group of 14 cyclists who will take part in the Xtreme for Kids cycle tour and the Cape Argus Cycle Race. The group consists mainly of men who have decided to stand up against abuse. Included also in our group is well-known singer, Annique. The Xtreme tour will start on the 28th and the group will cycle from Johannesburg to Cape Town where the rest of the team will join them for the Cape Argus. Thanx guys (and girls!) for your dedication!

Parow Prosecutors Trained

We would like to thank Cat Rieper who assisted MAB by training the prosecutors at Parow Court on Monday. This two hour training session was focused on the trauma and the needs of the child-victim. A short debriefing session followed and we once again realized who traumatized the officers of the law is as well.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Incentive Awards

The Gauteng Incentive Awards will take place again thanx to our loyal sponsors. Thank you MassMart and Grain Trust for making this possible! The winning cop who will be awarded next week has made headlines by solving a serious high profile case - but you have to wait and see who it is!

Strat session

Charities should be run like a business. That is our approach. MAB managers in a serious strat session today to plan for this year. Last year we helped 20 000 children - it is sad to say that this year we hope to be able to help more.

Thank you to all our sponsors. You are in our minds as we do our planning for this year!

Thank you also to O R Tambo City Lodge who is sponsoring our accommodation and breakfast for our trustees.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Theraphy Pilot project WC

We have managed to secure the services of a therapist who is already working at the Parow court with victims.  She will start on 1 March and will work 10 hours per week at a discounted rate.

Together with the NPA we have decided to help 5 children who has already been identified. These are the worst cases. In addition to that there is one little girl who was severely raped by her father. The case had to be eventually withdrawn and he was released due to her inability to testify. She will also be included in the group of 10 children who will be helped, as she was the motivation for this project. The remaining 4 children will be new cases identified by the court's social worker and prosecutors.

We have decided to do it this way so that we can monitor how successful early intervention is.  We will use March to see what the response and attendance is (many parents do not have money for taxis ets - so we will be able to establish what the challenges are).

We will use the next two weeks to renovate one of the offices at Bellville court to be child friendly so that it can be ready in March.

We are also looking at the possibility of launching a volunteer program where we train volunteers in assisting the children who are done with the court process. We have identified a wonderful program that was designed specifically for this. We will run this separately from the above program as the initial cost for training and books are expensive. We will have to find additional funding for this.

We would like to thank the following sponsors for making this come true:
Grand West Casino
Dischem Foundation
Gordon Rademeyer

Thursday, February 7, 2013


For many years the public were scared to call rapists by their gender for fear of stereotyping. But for many years NGO’s working in the field of abuse have seen the affects of deeds done by men. A solidarity report says that a child is raped in South Africa every 3 minutes. Most of these are young girls between 8 and 12. Most of them have been raped by someone they know. This someone is a father, a grandfather, a brother, the mother’s boyfriend, the neighbour – all of them men.
The extremely violent rape and death of a student in India and more recently in Bredasdorp has highlighted the fact that the offenders are indeed violent and ruthless men. It is also becoming more evident that the current reporting and intervention systems dismally fail the victims of these offences. Many cases, especially where children have been raped, are thrown out of court because of the inability of the child to testify. In these cases medical evidence is of utmost importance, but a lack of proper training in the field of forensic medical examinations results in doctors who are not equipped to do the examination, let alone testify in court. Therapy during and after the court process is none existent and it is a luxury only the wealthy can afford.
This paints a grim picture of the situation in South Africa. It has become an unsafe environment for women and female children where perpetrators roam free and victims are deserted. Currently many of the NGO’s working in the field of women and child abuse are running responsive programmes. And they are overwhelmed even with the low reporting rates. They also acknowledge that this is a pandemic that they cannot stop, they can only help. So who should take responsibility for this then?
During the opening of a Matla A Bana Child friendly Reporting Facility at Ceres Police station, Western Cape police commissioner, General Lamoer, challenged men to take responsibility for these deeds. He reiterated this message during the 16 Days of Activism Campaign. He boldly acknowledgeD that men are indeed the perpetrators and that change will only come from men standing up and taking action. Like drunken drivers and alcoholics they need to admit that they have a problem. Only once this start happening will this terrible problem be addressed.
A group of business executives, and all men, from Johannesburg took up his challenge. Originally included in the Matla A Bana Cape Argus team, they have now undertaken to cycle from Johannesburg to Cape Town. During this tour they will be visiting schools in the regions and doing interviews to spread this message. Their dream is that this Xtreme For Kids Tour will grown into a national event during which men have the opportunity to raise their voices against women and child abuse.
“It is initiatives like this and the participation of men that can tip the scale”, says Matla A Bana CEO Monique Strydom. “Where we work you will find women helping other women to pick up the pieces. Very few men actually become involved in the restoration work after the deed was done. But they can make a huge difference by speaking out and setting examples for young men out there”.
It is time that South Africa is no longer seen as a country where children are being raped and abused, but as a true reflection of the rainbow nation it claims to be.
For more information on Matla A Bana or the Xtremeforkids Cycle tour, please visit


Cape Talk interviewed Monique Strydom today and will do so again tomorrow. Her message is that men must stand up and take responsibility for their deeds.