“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 recently.
He supported his statement with the statistics that in 97 per cent 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 been saying that the police cannot be held responsible for crime; that crime comes from the community and is perpetrated by members of the community, and that the communities need to start taking responsibility for the crime in their areas.
A group of cyclists, consisting of men only, decided to take on the challenge by speaking out against the abuse of women and children.
The group of business executives will cycle from Johannesburg to Cape Town in ten days and visit schools in various towns en route to spread this message. The XtremeFORkids Cycle Tour will take place from 27 February to 9 March, during which the group will be joined by other riders for the Cape Argus.
This year will be the second tour for the cause and the team decided to kick it off on local turf, making Laerskool Kenmare the starting point.
Kenmare pupils were the first of eight schools across two provinces to be addressed on the value of exercise and how to deal with negative emotions.
This group also will be supporting the NGO, Matla A Bana – a voice against child abuse. This organisation was founded by ex-hostage Monique Strydom in 2002 and 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 police stations.
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 into word and has completed extreme events such as the Cape Epic, Iron Man and 21 Comrades Marathons.
“I feel that it is 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 riders, each with their own passion for the sport of cycling and for protecting children.
The group will be stopping over in Parys, Welkom, Bloemfontein, Colesberg, Graaf Reinet, Uniondale, Mossel Bay, Swellendam, Wolseley and Durbanville.
They will cover more than 1 500 kilometres and be supported by members of the South African Police Services, who will either join them during the ride or when doing talks at the schools.
In Krugersdorp Captain Paula Terblanche of the Krugersdorp Cluster’s Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit also dressed up in her cycle gear to join the team for a ride to Westonaria.
You can show your support by pledging towards this course. Visit www.matlaabana.co.za and follow the links.