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Kimberley - The Noupoort Christian Care Centre (NCCC) has come out guns blazing, accusing the Centre for Child Law (CCL) of launching an attack on Christianity.
The CCL compiled a scathing report on how children who are battling with substance abuse were being abused and ill-treated at the NCCC instead of being cared for and rehabilitated.
“That organisation came here on a witch-hunt. They are hell-bent on seeing the NCCC closed down and that is not correct! That report is one-sided and it was compiled through the views of drug addicts! We, as the management of the facility and the parents of the children who are here were snubbed by the CCL team,” the NCCC director Sophocles Nissiotis fumed.
He said that the team of CCL that was led by Professor Ann Skelton, the director of the CCL, was not competent to investigate the children’s conditions because none of them were social workers or psychologists.
“The team that came here specialises in legal matters. They are not social workers and they know nothing about what is happening here.
“They cannot come here and spend four hours with 19 children and then make a report that is credible. All those issues contained in that report are not the truth,” Nissiotis said.
He added that the according to the order of the Northern Cape High Court, the correct institution that was supposed to have investigated the centre was Child Line and not CCL.
“The order of the Northern Cape High Court mandated Child Line and not the Centre for Child Law to join proceedings as a friend of the court, because the minor children are in positions of vulnerability” Nissiotis said.
He said that the NCCC “vehemently” denies all allegations made against in the CCL report about the situation at the facility.
“We deny allegations of excessive punishments, violations of children’s rights, that the children are not receiving proper therapy, that parents are being forced to hand over guardianship to the centre, that the children are prevented from attending school and that clothing or warm blankets are withheld from children,” Nissiotis said.
On Friday, the Northern Cape High Court ruled that NCCC should be evicted if it failed to pay an amount of R801 597 that it owed Transnet for renting the latter’s premises in Noupoort.
Nissiotis said that they have already paid the rental money the NCCC owed to Transnet.
“We refused to pay this amount of money to Transnet at first because they did not want to pay us the money we have already spent in the general maintenance of the building. Instead they wanted to evict us,” he added.
The Northern Cape High Court Acting Judge MC Mamosebo also ruled that an arbitrator should be appointed by the chairman of the Arbitration Foundation of South Africa to determine if Transnet is liable for the costs of the maintenance as carried out by the NCCC.
“If the arbitrator rules that the applicant (Transnet Limited) is in fact liable, whether, with regard to each and every item of maintenance conducted by the respondent (NCCC), such maintenance was necessary. The arbitrator shall determine the total amount of the necessary maintenance,” Mamosebo added.
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