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Th­ese chil­dren need help im­me­di­ately and we have to find out who took the video be­cause it ap­pears an adult was tak­ing it

CityPress - - News -

Vi­o­lence Against Women and Chil­dren. I’ve been phon­ing and email­ing, but they never had the cour­tesy to re­spond,” Ni­chol­son said.

Lim­popo po­lice spokesper­son Colonel Ronel Otto, how­ever, de­nied that the po­lice were re­luc­tant to in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter.

“The in­ves­ti­ga­tion is on­go­ing and we’ve in­ter­viewed peo­ple. The Fam­ily Vi­o­lence, Child Pro­tec­tion and Sex­ual Of­fences Unit is be­ing as­sisted by a spe­cialised unit to find the source of the video. The chil­dren are, how­ever, not known.”

But Ni­chol­son re­futed Otto’s state­ment, say­ing that the Tho­hoyan­dou Vic­tim Em­pow­er­ment Pro­gramme knows where the chil­dren live, but po­lice only met with the or­gan­i­sa­tion once and did not come back to them to be shown the home.

“We even have a num­ber for the al­leged mother and know the school the girl at­tends. We keep on say­ing that if they can take the photo of the chil­dren, we can take them to the house and the school. I won­der where they are in­ves­ti­gat­ing,” Ni­chol­son said. “We’ve been ap­peal­ing and phon­ing them, and they’ve ig­nored us. The po­lice told us they would only step in af­ter the Tho­hoyan­dou Vic­tim Em­pow­er­ment Pro­gramme found the adult groom­ing these chil­dren and had taken the chil­dren to our trauma cen­tres.”

Child­line in Dur­ban alerted the KwaZulu-Natal po­lice about the mat­ter last year. The or­gan­i­sa­tion’s so­cial worker, Joan van Niek­erk, said lo­cal po­lice did not man­age to trace the maker of the video or iden­tify the chil­dren.

“Th­ese chil­dren need help im­me­di­ately and we have to find out who took the video be­cause it ap­pears an adult was tak­ing it. We are hop­ing the po­lice will fol­low up,” Van Niek­erk said.

“We ex­pe­ri­ence this in chil­dren de­prived of fam­ily life. It’s a very dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion.”

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