SPECIAL REPORT: Child Abuse in Durban - Episode 2

SPECIAL REPORT: Child Abuse in Durban - Episode 2

In this second episode of a Special Report on child abuse in Durban, Terence Pillay chats to Alvin Brijlal from the Victim Outreach Center who says there’s a definite lack of action from Phoenix Child Welfare. 

child abuse - parent hits another parent's child

Listen to episode two of this Special Report on child abuse below, or read the details under the podcast.

A fragmented, inadequate system which fails our children daily – this is how the National Director of World Vision described the state of child protection services last year. Also, perpetrators aren’t brought to justice, and children don’t receive crucial therapeutic and support services that are vital to their recovery and long-term well-being. 

Alvin Brijlal is the head of VOICE, a Victim Outreach Centre in Phoenix. He says the organisation sees on average 130 to 150 cases of abuse a month – and more than a third of this involves children. 

Read: SPECIAL REPORT: Child Abuse in Durban

Alvin says, while the numbers are staggering, the Phoenix Child Welfare isn’t doing as much as they could and getting answers from them is an “uphill battle”. 

I contacted Aroona Chetty, the head of the Phoenix Child Welfare to respond to Alvin’s criticism and allegations of not doing their jobs. She refused her right to reply, saying her board won’t allow it. 

Alvin says he’s fed up with the excuses from social services, including the argument that they are overloaded with cases. He says they’ve been using this “excuse” for a long time and the community is fed up with the lack of action. 

Like the biological father of the 4-year-old child that was abused by her mother while her boyfriend filmed it. The father spoke candidly of his struggle with getting social services to take his claim seriously. He went to them with a complaint of neglect and abuse, and the social worker didn’t get the police to investigate. 

Alvin says he also couldn’t get any answers from social services about this case and others. He says he’s asked the NPA to now charge the social worker in question with “defeating the ends of justice.”  

I requested an interview with the National Prosecuting Authority, but they said, “The matter is pending in court and therefore is sub judice. The provisions of section 28(2) of the Constitution wouldn’t allow such a move.” 

Tomorrow we chat with the South African Police Services about their role in protecting our children. Tune in at 8.40am on East Coast Breakfast. 

In case you missed it, listen to episode one and the Phoenix mom's full interview below:

You can email Terence Pillay at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter: @terencepillay1 and engage with him there.  

If you are a victim of abuse or have witnessed any form of child abuse you can contact Childline on their toll-free number 08000 55 555.

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