Schlagwort-Archive: communities

Berlin-Johannesburg-Kooperation

Im Interview mit Michael Müller, Senator für Stadtentwicklung und Umwelt des Landes Berlin

(Autor: Ghassan Abid)

© Michael Müller, Senator für Stadtentwicklung und Umwelt des Landes Berlin, hielt sich vor Kurzem in Johannesburg auf. Er nahm an der Metropolen-Konferenz teil und traf unter anderem auf den Johannesburger Bürgermeister Mpho Parks Tau. Im Interview mit "SÜDAFRIKA - Land der Kontraste" erläutert der SPD-Politiker den Ausgang seiner Arbeitsreise. (Quelle: SenStadtUm.Berlin)

© Michael Müller, Senator für Stadtentwicklung und Umwelt des Landes Berlin, hielt sich vor Kurzem in Johannesburg auf. Er nahm an der Metropolen-Konferenz teil und traf unter anderem auf den Johannesburger Bürgermeister Mpho Parks Tau. Im Interview mit „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“ erläutert der SPD-Politiker den Ausgang seiner Arbeitsreise. (Quelle: SenStadtUm.Berlin)

2010sdafrika-Redaktion: Wir begrüßen auf „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“ den Senator für Stadtentwicklung und Umwelt, Herrn Michael Müller. Vor Kurzem hielten Sie sich anlässlich der Metropolen-Konferenz unter dem Motto „Caring City“ zum ersten Mal in Südafrika auf. Wie erlebten Sie den Johannesburger Ballungsraum?

Antwort: Johannesburg ist eine lebendige Metropole. Die Stadt und der riesige Ballungsraum können mit einer starken wirtschaftlichen Entwicklung aufwarten und mit einer gut entwickelten Infrastruktur. Aber natürlich sieht man auch die sozialen Probleme, die eine Großstadt wie diese hat. Es waren spannende Tage hier, die aus stadtentwicklungspolitischer Sicht, aber auch für mich ganz persönlich sehr interessant waren.

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Ubuntu in Germany Column

RTL story about HIV schoolgirls shows how foreigners see South Africa

(Editor: Alex Smit-Stachowski is speaking in her column about life as a South African now living in Germany. The South African journalist lives in Krefeld, in North Rhine-Westphalia/ Germany).

Every third schoolgirl in South Africa is HIV-positive! The German television RTL ran an incorrect story on a weekend in March 2013 about sugardaddies who target young teens for sex in exchange for money or presents. On the face of it – it’s another typical another day in Africa. Aids, underage sex and no values – what do you expect from a Third World country being run by the locals? I am fed-up with such shoddy reporting about Africa.

© The German television RTL reported that every third schoolgirl in South Africa is HIV-positive! A journalist from the newspaper Sowetan misunderstood a report on statistics. RTL has adopted wrong information, said Ubuntu columnist Alex Smit-Stachowski. (Source: flickr/ Joseph A Ferris III)

© The German television RTL reported that every third schoolgirl in South Africa is HIV-positive! A journalist from the newspaper Sowetan misunderstood a report on statistics. RTL has adopted wrong information, said Ubuntu columnist Alex Smit-Stachowski. (Source: flickr/ Joseph A Ferris III)

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NGO-Direktor Braam Hanekom im Interview

Polizei in Südafrika ist von Rassismus gegen afrikanische Flüchtlinge befallen

(Autor/ Editor: Ghassan Abid)

Deutsche Interview-Zusammenfassung:

Südafrika hat ein großes Rassismusproblem im Zusammenhang mit afrikanischen Flüchtlingen. Insbesondere die Behörden des Landes, allen voran die Polizei und die Einwanderungsbehörden, sind von xenophoben Strömungen gegen Afrikaner betroffen. Ermittlungsverfahren im Hinblick auf die Misshandlung von Ausländern durch Polizeibeamte werden all zu oft erst gar nicht betrieben. Zu dieser Erkenntnis kommt auch Braam Hanekom, Gründer und Direktor der NGO PASSOP. Der gebürtige Simbabwer versucht mit seiner in Kapstadt ansässigen Organisation die Grundrechte von afrikanischen Flüchtlingen, Immigranten und Asylanten durchzusetzen. Denn nicht jeder, der Recht hat, kriegt auch sein Recht. Vor allem dann nicht, wenn diese keine Aufenthaltspapiere bekommen. Nur hochqualifizierten Afrikanern steht der legale Aufenthalt am Kap offen. Vor 2009 sind pro Jahr rund eine Viertelmillion Simbabwer abgeschoben worden. Trotz der Einheitsregierung in Simbabwe von 2008, welche aus den Parteien MDC and ZANU-PF zusammengesetzt ist,  machen sich – bei einer Arbeitslosenquote von 85 Prozent durchaus verständlich – weiterhin viele Simbabwer auf dem Weg in das südafrikanische Nachbarland. Diese erwartet nicht nur eine fremde Umgebung, sondern auch Fremdenfeindlichkeit durch Staatsdiener sowie Township-Bewohnern und ein unsicherer Rechtsstatus.  Flüchtlinge, so Hanekom, werden in der Regenbogennation als Gefahr wahrgenommen. Einige Hilfesuchende stellen einen Asylantrag, die anderen leben illegal im Untergrund. Bei absoluter Armut, hoher Arbeitslosigkeit und unzureichenden Schulplatzkapazitäten mündet der Wettbewerb um die begrenzten Ressourcen in einen Hass gegen Afrikaner ein. Der NGO-Direktor spricht in diesem Kontext von der „Afrophobia„; einer Xenophobie, die sich ausschließlich gegen afrikanische Flüchtlinge richtet. „Die Armen greifen die Armen an„, hält Hanekom mit Bedauern fest. Solange in Südafrika die Ungleichheit bestehen bleibt, wird die Fremdenfeindlichkeit fortbestehen. Hanekom erwartet in naher Zukunft die nächsten Ausschreitungen gegen afrikanische Flüchtlinge. Im Mai 2012 jährt sich zum vierten Mal die Gewaltwelle gegen Flüchtlinge im Johannesburger Stadtteil Alexandra.

© PASSOP is counting to one of the most important NGOs for protecting and promoting „the rights of all refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants in South Africa“. (Source: flickr/ PASSOP)

© PASSOP is counting to one of the most important NGOs for protecting and promoting „the rights of all refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants in South Africa“. (Source: flickr/PASSOP)

© Braam Hanekom, founder and director of the NGO PASSOP

© Braam Hanekom, founder and director of the NGO PASSOP

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We would like to welcome on „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“ – the German Gateway to South Africa – Mr. Braam Hanekom, founder and director of the NGO „People Against Suffering, Oppression and Poverty (PASSOP)“.  You are originally from Zimbabwe and assisted the most important oppositon party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) by president Morgan Tsvangirai. How would you describe the actually situation in your native country, if you are hearing the government hasn´t money to finance elections?

Answer: Thank you for giving me this opportunity – it’s great to see people in Germany taking such an interest and caring about issues in South Africa and the region. To answer your question, the situation in Zimbabwe remains much unchanged since the formation of the unity government in 2008. There is a still a political deadlock between the MDC and ZANU-PF. While Mugabe has been pushing for early elections this year – probably because he currently has the finances to run a big propaganda campaign through the diamonds that were recently uncovered, as well as the fact that he is not getting any younger – the MDC and regional partners have maintained that the preconditions for fair and sound elections outlined in the Global Political Agreement have not yet been met. It is clear that although there has been a minor economic recovery in Zimbabwe, it has been the rich who have prospered while the vast majority of the population is suffering in poverty and have to cope with a 85% unemployment rate. Therefore, the situation remains precarious and we are trying to push the South African government to take a more active and assertive foreign policy approach towards Zimbabwe to ensure it’s stability. 

© Immigrants from Zimbabwe are living as second class citizens in South Africa. The South African government is ignoring the xenophobic tendencies in their authorities. (Source: flickr/PASSOP)© Immigrants from Zimbabwe are living as second class citizens in South Africa. The South African government is ignoring the xenophobic tendencies in their authorities. (Source: flickr/PASSOP)

© Immigrants from Zimbabwe are living as second class citizens in South Africa. The South African government is ignoring the xenophobic tendencies in their authorities. (Source: flickr/PASSOP)

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: PASSOP is protecting and promoting „the rights of all refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants in South Africa“. There are estimates that 5 million African refugees living in South Africa, mostly from Zimbabwe. Which are the biggest problems for these humans?

Answer: Immigrants that come to South Africa find it extremely difficult to get documentation. Only people who have advanced degrees are able to get work permits. All others, including teachers or nurses, for example, are unable to get work permits. As a result the only chance immigrants have to document themselves is to apply for asylum. The vast majority of applicants are however rejected, and are forced to live in South Africa without documents. This has negative implications for the realisation of their basic rights. They are often exploited, discriminated against and left in vulnerable positions. They are also often faced with a hostile and xenophobic environment in South Africa, and are subjected to verbal threats and physical violence. To put it simply: people come here fleeing hunger and conflict, but once they get here, life does not get much easier for most of them. 

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Several South African communities are strucked by xenophobic violence such as Du Noon in 2008, Imizamo Yethu in 2008, De Doorns 2009, Masiphumelele in 2009, as well as Mbekweni in 2010. What are the factors for these hate outbreaks?

Answer: There are many theories. I guess this ‚hate of foreigners‘ is common in countries around the world, including the States and Europe. Like in other regions, hence, xenophobic tension here is essentially the result from the competition for scarce resources, like jobs or access to schools, and many South Africans feel that foreigners are making lives more difficult for them in these ways. The difference in South Africa compared to other parts of the world is that the tensions here more often turn violent. This excessive violence here is the result of a number of factors, including that the scars from the Apartheid regime have not yet fully healed in South Africa, there are deep inequalities and frustration across the country, and the media is making it worse by being flooded with gruesome images of murders or crime, which perpetuates the ‚culture of violence‘.  By the way, it is probably more appropriate to call this ‚afrophobia‘ rather than xenophobia, because you don’t see any Europeans being attacked, just other Africans.  It is the poor attacking the poor, fighting over the crumbs left behind by the (mostly white) elite and rich. It’s very sad.

© PASSOP demonstration in Cape Town. The NGO held in 2009 a demonstration calling for all Zimbabwe's political prisoners to be released. (Source: flickr/  Sokwanele - Zimbabwe + PASSOP)

© PASSOP demonstration in Cape Town. The NGO held in 2009 a demonstration calling for all Zimbabwe’s political prisoners to be released. (Source: flickr/ Sokwanele – Zimbabwe + PASSOP)

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Would you agree the opinion that the South African police is afflicted with racism against African refugees?

Answer: Yes, and even if it is not just racism, it is definitely a very clear apathy or indifference towards foreigners, which means that in practice, many cannot access their rights. We constantly hear cases in which police officers refuse to open or investigate cases for foreigners, as stipulated by law. This police apathy is in fact what makes outbreaks of xenophobia possible. If the police doesn’t protect vulnerable foreigners, then who will. It is a major problem, but it is acknowledged by political leaders. I recently laughed when I had a debate with a police chief on the radio about this, and he admitting that it was a massive problem but that there were ‚pockets of excellence‘ in the police force.  

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Do you think xenophobic violence could arising in the near future again?

Answer: Definitely. We are now coming up to the four year anniversary of the major outbreak of May 2008, but the tensions are still boiling right under the surface because the preconditions have remained the same. As long as South Africa is plagued by the current levels of inequality, they will keep resurfacing. I am not saying that the majority of South Africans are xenophobic at all, but there is a certain group of frustrated young South African men across the country that are prone to violence. 

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: What should the South African government and first of all the Department of Home Affairs undertake for avoiding xenophobia?

Answer: The government needs to create more jobs and work harder to reduce the inequality. The Department of Home Affairs should give foreigners a chance to document themselves by issuing temporary work permits, rather than forcing them to be undocumented and then deporting them in their thousands. This deportation of foreigners is an important issue. The deportation of Zimbabweans was stopped between 2009 and 2011 – prior to 2009 about 250,000 Zimbabweans were deported every year. Going into communities doing immigration raids and targeting foreigners was one of the key factors that triggered the xenophobic violence, because it legitimized the mistreatment of foreigners in the eyes of many in the townships („if the government can kick out foreigners, so can I“) and it also led to huge instability. Five months ago deportations of Zimbabweans was resumed, and already 20,000 have been deported and immigration raids have started again. This is dangerous for stability and needs to handled very differently. 

© Braam Hanekom is originally from Zimbabwe. His organisation PASSOP is protecting and promoting „the rights of all refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants in South Africa“

© Braam Hanekom is originally from Zimbabwe. His organisation PASSOP is protecting and promoting „the rights of all refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants in South Africa“ (Source: PASSOP)

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We took notice that with your programme coordinator David von Burgsdorff a German citizen is engaged in your NGO structures. Is PASSOP maintaining relations to Germany and if yes, which ones?

Answer: Yes, David is my right-hand man who has helped me build up this organisation. He embodies the classic stereotype of ‚German efficiency‘ – it’s amazing how he gets things done. In fact, he is the only of our 11 full-time staff members who is not African, although I suspect at heart he is by now more African than German…  We don’t receive any funding from Germany, nor have any formal relations with the German Embassy at this point, but what is certain is that through David our staff have become big admirers of your country and it’s people! 

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Braam Hanekom, PASSOP director, thank you very much for this interesting interview!

Sarah Britten in interview

„The poor who rely on service delivery by the government will suffer most.“

(Autor/ Editor: Ghassan Abid)

Deutsche Interview-Zusammenfassung:

Sarah Britten ist in Deutschland weitgehend unbekannt. In Südafrika zählt sie zu den Who’s Who der nationalen Blogger- und Journalistenszene. Eigentlich kommt sie aus der Werbebranche und analysierte für ihre Doktorarbeit die nationale Identität Südafrikas aus der ökonomischen Perspektive heraus. Dementsprechend hält Sarah Britten fest, dass das Multikulti-Konzept in Südafrika besser funktioniere als in den USA oder Australien, wenn es beispielsweise um die muslimische Gemeinde geht. Zwar steht dem Land noch viel Arbeit bevor, doch verbinden eine gemeinsame Nationalflagge, Verfassung und Braai das Volk. Die infolge der Kriminalität ausgelöste Abwanderungswelle von mehrheitlich gut ausgebildeten Südafrikanern weißer Hautfarbe, welche als „brain drain“ bezeichnet wird, begegnet die Journalistin mit einer zu beobachtenden Gegentendenz. Denn zunehmend mehr Bürger kehren in ihre Heimat zurück. Die Regierung ist nun in der Pflicht, die Arbeitsbedingungen – vor allem für medizinisches Personal – zu verbessern und die Ursachen der Kriminalität anzugehen. Presse- und Meinungsfreiheit in Südafrika sieht Sarah Britten durch die geplanten Regulierungsvorhaben seitens der Regierung als nicht ausrangiert an, sondern eher als eingezwängt. Sie betont, dass die größten Leidtragenden der Secrecy Bill die Armen selbst sein werden. Deutschland besuchte Sarah Britten im Oktober 2011, wobei ihr Berlin sehr gefallen hat und sie diesen Ort auf Basis ihrer Erfahrung als beste Stadt für Touristen bezeichnet. Gegenwärtig bloggt sie für das renommierte südafrikanische Online-Medium Mail & Guardian.

© Sarah Britten, blogger, journalist and book author. She is also a blogging member of Thought Leader from Mail & Guardian.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We would like to welcome on „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“, the German Gateway to South Africa, Ms. Dr. Sarah Britten – blogger, journalist and book author.

You completed your PhD at the University of the Witwatersrand with focus on new national identity in South African advertising industry. Is South Africa counting to the successful multicultural societies?

Answer: We have our problems but for the most part we muddle through. In one respect, we manage multiculturalism far better than most: unlike other nations, Muslims are one of our many communities and are not seen as a threat as they are in the US or Australia.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: How would you describe South African identity? Does it exists?

Answer: South Africa is very diverse and we have a long history of division between groups. So we have had to work hard to find something we have in common. We have our flag, which is a very important symbol of the nation. There is the braai – our version of the barbecue – which is now celebrated as National Braai Day on September 24. And there are other aspects of life that only people who are South African or who live in South Africa will understand: minibus taxis, biltong, robots (traffic lights) and so on.

We also have our constitution, which celebrates its 15th birthday this February. This document is the bedrock of our democracy and I have worked closely with Media Monitoring Africa on the strategy for a campaign we are launching soon. We will be asking ordinary South Africans to publicly declare their support for our constitution, as a nation-building exercise.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: South African media are reporting constantly about the brain drain phenomena, which means, that well-trained South African citizens – especially whites – are emigrating to UK, Australia oder New Zealand. How should government counteracting to this challenge?

Answer: The brain drain dominated public discourse in the earlier part of the 2000s, but in the wake of the recession, some South Africans returned. In general, government needs to improve working conditions, especially for medical staff. The underlying factors that drive emigration – mainly crime – have been there for a long time. To address crime is no simple matter, because it means tackling the root causes,  poverty and a culture of lawlessness, as well as improving policing and the criminal justice system. Affirmative action policies have also been cited as reasons driving skills from the country.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: You are blogging on Thought Leader, an editorial group blog of quality commentary and analysis from Mail & Guardian. Thought Leader is known as a thought-provoking forum. Do you think, that the freedom of speech & press freedom could be scrapped by the South African government (e.g. by Secrecy Bill)?

Answer: Freedom of speech and press freedom won’t be scrapped, but they will be constrained. The Secrecy Bill will have implications far beyond the media. Because it will make it more difficult for civil society to have oversight of state activities, especially corruption, it will impact all aspects of life. The poor who rely on service delivery by the government will suffer most.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: How would you characterize your profession as journalist and blogger? Which aims are you following with your editorial writings?

Answer: Blogging is quite different from journalism. Because it isn’t paid, I write about whatever I feel like – anything from politics to lifestyle – and I don’t spend as much time crafting it because I can’t justify it. Journalism, because I get paid for it, requires getting quotes from sources, checking facts, and crafting.

Both blogging and journalism are sidelines for me, as my main source of income is communication strategy and social media.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: What kind of perception do you have from Germany and German literature?

Answer: I visited Germany in October last year – Bonn and Berlin – and enjoyed my time there. There is so much culture and history, and Berlin is the best city for tourists I have ever visited. I would recommend it to anyone. Interestingly enough, my first book was translated into German! I don’t think we see enough German literature here in South Africa. I know German literature through my university comparative literature studies, and German philosophy has had an immense impact on Western thinking.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which further dreams would you like to realize, especially in editorial and literary context?

Answer: I have many projects in the pipeline – too many in fact. I would like to publish more serious fiction, as well as non-fiction and commercial crime fiction. I will be kept busy for a long time to come!

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Sarah Britten – blogger, journalist and book author – thank you very much for this interview.

1.460 Kinder verschwinden jedes Jahr

Im Interview mit Judy Olivier, Nationalkoordinatorin der NGO Missing Children South Africa

(Autor/ Editor: Ghassan Abid)

Deutsche Interview-Zusammenfassung:

Wenn es um das schlimme Schicksal von Kindern geht, dann wird oft geschwiegen. Ob in Deutschland oder in Südafrika – der Missbrauch von Kindern bleibt ein Tabuthema. Allerdings grenzt sich Südafrika von Deutschland dahingehend ab, dass der Verbleib von verschwundenen Kindern am Kap ein deutlich größeres Problem darstellt. Bisweilen führt die Regierung keine Statistiken über den Handel und die Zwangsprostitution mit Kindern. Nach Angaben des „Missing Persons Bureau of South Africa“ ist lediglich bekannt, dass jährlich über 1.460 Kinder als vermisst gemeldet werden. Diese Zahl wird von mehreren Experten in Frage gestellt, wenn man bedenkt, dass die jährliche Anzahl der vermissten Kinder in Deutschland bei bereits 50.000 liegt. Die Statistik-Misere und Defizite der öffentlichen Verwaltung am Kap sollen jedoch in diesem Artikel ausgeblendet werden.

Missing Children South Africa, eine national agierende NGO, setzt seit 2007 hierbei an und bietet besorgten Eltern Hilfe beim Aufspüren ihrer Sprösslinge an. Ihre Mission ist es, dass aus Vermissten keine dauerhaft Verschwundenen werden. Laut Judy Olivier, Nationalkoordinatorin der Organisation, werden jedes Jahr 380 Kinder an Missing Children gemeldet. Die meisten Minderjährigen können durch die Öffentlichkeitsarbeit dieser NGO und in Zusammenarbeit mit Polizei, Medien, Gemeinden und Schulen gerettet bzw. aufgespürt werden. Die Erfolgsquote liegt nach eigenen Angaben bei 87 Prozent. Für rund 3 Prozent der 380 Kinder ist allerdings jede Hilfe zu spät – sie sind tot. Ferner macht Missing Children South Africa auf Missstände aufmerksam. Beispielsweise gehen immer noch etliche Polizisten davon aus, dass auch bei vermissten Kindern eine Wartezeit von 24 bzw. 48 Stunden zu beachten ist, bis die Polizei einschreiten kann. Diese Annahme ist falsch, beklagt Judy Olivier, da die Frist zur Vermisstenanzeige und der damit verbundenen Einleitung von polizeilichen Maßnahmen nur bei Erwachsenen eine Anwendung findet. Denn die ersten 24 Stunden sind entscheidend, ob ein Kind lebend oder tot aufgespürt wird, heißt es in kriminalistischen Kreisen. Für 2012 möchte Missing Children South Africa weitere Polizeistationen besuchen, mehr Leute erreichen und ihre finanzielle Situation verbessern. Denn auf der nationalen Ebene arbeiten nur drei bezahlte Kräfte für diese NGO.

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© Judy Olivier, National Coordinator of Missing Children South Africa

© Judy Olivier, National Coordinator of Missing Children South Africa

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We would like to welcome on „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“ – the German Gateway to South Africa – Ms. Judy Olivier, National Coordinator of Missing Children South Africa. Ms. Olivier, your NGO has been launched in 2007 in response to the kidnapping and brutal murders of children. What is your organisation doing exactly?

Answer: To provide a structure of re-active support to the family, authorities and other NGO’s when a child goes missing. We design a flyer of the missing child and then our aim is to distribute it to as many people as possible as quickly as possible to create as much awareness as possible about the missing child.

To provide pro-active national awareness to children and their families, media, authorities, communities and schools. Visiting schools and communities, educating/informing them about the reality of children going missing, what to do when a child goes missing, sharing safety tips and also informing communities about the reality of human trafficking.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Could you tell us, how many children are kidnapped and murdered each year in South Africa?

Answer: Again, based on the cases reported to Missing Children SA, 3% of the children reported missing to our organsiation were tragically found deceased.  3% of children are victims of kidnappings – this includes stranger abductions as well as non-stranger abductions. If we look at parental abductions, approximately 7% of the cases reported to our organisation falls under this category. Where one parent takes the child without the permission from the other and disappears with the child.

© Vermisst wird seit dem 16.01.2012 das Baby Mlondi Thwala, zum Zeitpunkt des Verschwindens rund 1 Monat alt, aus der Provinz Kwazulu-Natal. Mit solchen Vermisstenanzeigen macht Missing Children South Africa in Zusammenarbeit mit Polizei, Medien, Gemeinden und Schulen auf diese Fälle meist erfolgreich aufmerksam. Die Erfolgsquote liegt nach eigenen Angaben bei 87 Prozent.

© Vermisst wird seit dem 16.01.2012 das Baby Mlondi Thwala, zum Zeitpunkt des Verschwindens rund 1 Monat alt, aus der Provinz Kwazulu-Natal. Mit solchen Vermisstenanzeigen macht Missing Children South Africa in Zusammenarbeit mit Polizei, Medien, Gemeinden und Schulen auf diese Fälle meist erfolgreich aufmerksam. Die Erfolgsquote liegt nach eigenen Angaben bei 87 Prozent.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which information do you have in regard to child trafficking in South Africa; in which provinces are children most in danger and who are the offenders?

Answer: Unfortunately statistics about child trafficking in South Africa is not available from MCSA at this stage. The possibility exists that the children that are still missing, could have fallen victims of trafficking, but we can unfortunately not prove this at this stage. We are slowly but surely compiling stats on human trafficking. Please try the organisation ANEX. It focuses specifically on exploitation of children. I am sure they will be able to assist.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Missing Children SA is also collaborating with the South African Police Service (SAPS). Which structural police deficits in context to child abuse prevention should be encountered?

Answer: We are very fortunate to work closely with SAPS and it is wonderful to get the necessary collaboration from the different stations. The assistance received from the stations differ from town to town and province to province. Some of the officers working with missing children, for example, are not yet aware that there is no waiting period to report a child (or any other person) missing. A lot of the officers (and other South African citizens) are still under the impression that one has to wait 24 hours (or even 48 hours) before reporting a person missing. This is an area we try to improve on a daily basis.

About prevention of child abuse, please be sure to try the organisation Matla-A-Bana.  Matla-A-Bana focuses specifically on child abuse in South Africa and works very closely with SAPS as well. They will be able to give you thorough feedback about this.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: The in Durban located NGO Bobbi Bear is criticising the patriarchal Zulu tradition. Bobbi Bear is denouncing the South African police and justice for missing will to defeat the child abuse situation in KwaZulu-Natal. Are you agree with this perception?

Answer: I am familiar with the NGO Bobbi Bear, but unfortunately cannot comment on this. I am unaware of this statement. We work only with children/individuals reported missing to SAPS. Maybe again you can try Matla-A-Bana for a comment about his, as its focus is again on child abuse.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which projects in 2012 are pursuing by Missing Children SA?

Answer: In 2012 we will continue to expand our network and get more and more people involved to assist us when a child goes missing. More SAPS stations will be visited, and we will continue to strive to build relationships with them to be able to work together even more efficiently. On 25 May 2012 – International Missing Children’s Day – we will be aiming to create as much awareness as possible about the reality of children going missing, using the media and other resources. We are partnering with more and more NGO’s on a daily basis and our focus this year will be specifically on getting more involved with organsations fighting against Human Trafficking.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Is Missing Children SA cooperating with German organisations or authorities?

Answer: At this stage Missing Children SA are working within the borders of South Africa only. Once an international case comes to our attention, we will refer them to Interpol or the Missing Persons Bureau. We hope to change this in the future. However, at this stage we are only 3 paid employees running the organisation nationally. As soon as we get the necessary financial resources to appoint more permanent employees, we will definitely look into expanding our borders.

I thank you for your interest in our organisation. Should you require any further assistance, please be sure to let me know.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Thank you very much for your assistance offer! Judy Olivier, National Coordinator of Missing Children South Africa, much success in your work!

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