Grannies raise their hackles on abuse by own grandchildren

2017-06-22 06:01
Nomzi Masilela speaking during the Imbizo, on Thursday, at Thusong Centre, Khayelitsha.PHOTOS: mBONGISENI maseko

Nomzi Masilela speaking during the Imbizo, on Thursday, at Thusong Centre, Khayelitsha.PHOTOS: mBONGISENI maseko

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Senior citizens in Khayelitsha vented their frustrations, fears and concerns during an Imbizo on sexual violence and abuse held at the Thusong Centre last Thursday.

The Imbizo was organised by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development in partnership with crime prevention and security cluster (JCPS) departments.

Among other concerns they raised were issues of grandchildren who are drug addicts, those who are taken away from them by their parents and those who leave homes to cohabit with their partners.

Nomzi Masilela, 64, appealed for help after her granddaughter, 18, left home to move-in with her boyfriend.

“She decided to leave home and now stays with her boyfriend. I feel very bad about it, because I do not know if she goes to school. I raised her. She left home, because she does not want to take my orders. I need help,” Masilela said.

Another senior citizen who wished to remain anonymous said his grandchild is a drug-addict and that he steals from home to satisfy his addiction.

Another senior citizen said he needed help to bring back his grandchild who has been living with him for years and was now taken away by his mother.

Linda Nyanga, a senior magistrate at the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court, said 19 children were killed in the province since the beginning of the year and only two of them were from Khayelitsha.

“That is way too many. Statistics show that one in three children is in a risk of being raped or killed in the province. Children are mostly abused at home by their fathers, step-fathers, uncle, mother, aunt, brother and neighbour. Sometimes mothers withdraw cases when her boyfriend raped her child. 21 children were removed from their parents by social workers after they noticed that their situations are bad at home,” Nyanga said.

Nyanga encouraged senior citizens to visit courts when they have something bothering them and to utilise their rights.

She said they should also refrain from withdrawing cases of abuse they have opened against their children or grandchildren.

“Spoil yourself with your pension grant. You must not allow your children to abuse you for your money,” she added.

Nyanga said senior citizens should stop falling into deep love with their grandchildren in a way that they do not even want them to live with their parents.

“I know that seniors have too much love for their grandchildren, but you must let them live with their mothers or parents. You can make an arrangement for them to come and visit you at times. I do not even want to comment on the appeal for help for the grandmother whose 18 year old grandchild lives with a boyfriend. She is old enough now to take her own decisions,” Nyanga said.

Mkhuseli Nguqu, a graduate from Chrysalis Academy, said children needed support so that they will not fall into the trap of delinquencies.

“I thank the academy for giving me a second chance.

I have done mistakes in the past that I do not want to commit again. Sometimes children get involved in drugs not knowing about consequences for them.

Children must be guided into sport so that they will not end up in bad behaviour,” Nguqu said.

Nguqu is an indoors soccer coach at the Site B Community hall.

Chrysalis Academy is a youth and leadership organisation that is based in Tokai.

Established in 2000 in response to crime and substance abuse amongst the youth, it has grown to become a life-skills programme and a stepping stone to employment for young people from some of the province’s most deprived communities.

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