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Dear Mr President, child abusers should not be let out into society earlier, writes Lucy Redivo, director of Child Abuse Action Group.
Pretoria - It is with sadness that the Child Abuse Action Group has to accept that Cezanne Visser, a serious child and woman abuser, is now out walking the streets of Pretoria.
* Why did we as a group and as individuals even give so much of our time to attending the court?
* Why did the victims go through the ordeal of days, months and even years to state their case?
* Why did so much time get wasted in investigations, prosecutions and even defence arguments and the many postponements?
* Why did so many experts write pages and pages of impact and other reports?
* Why was so much money wasted by so many? (Mostly taxpayers’ money.)
Then we, who saw and experienced the pain of the multiple victims, had to be satisfied with an eventual incarceration of seven odd years?
And then, six months of her sentence was pardoned by the president – the same one that stands up and says “protect our women and children”. Dear Mr President, child abusers should not be let out into society earlier.
Further, the parole board believes that the three years and three months which Visser served behind bars will pacify the hurt victims and society at large. We must just accept the remainder of the punishment should happen among us. Why did you not add that she should not be in any child’s company, in so doing, all children must be protected that live in her surrounds?
After all she should be on the Sex Offenders’ Register.
She and her mother, Susan Lemmer, walked out triumphant from the parole board last week – they have managed to beat the system.
The parole board should not make her house arrest and movements easier.
Mrs Lemmer, why should your daughter’s pain be considered for clemency while the abused should go unaddressed?
It is a sad, sad week for all who still have to take their child through the system against their perpetrators. Why is the Department of Justice wanting to spend money for special courts to work better, when after all their work is done, some other authority just downgrades the court decisions and make us, ordinary law-abiding citizens, feel even more impoverished as there is no money for therapy and assistance for these affected children and their families?
The abused are further abused due to the lack of understanding that there are laws to protect us and when one breaks the law there are consequences.
Our constitution states that “the interest of the child is paramount”. So why should our children always lose out?
Too many convicted abusers are reducing their sentences by applying to another court. Then this proves that there is no retribution for crimes committed. Do these courts actually consider the victims who now feel abused yet again because they feel as if their word was not believed?
After all, this proves that our leaders are not serious with regard to the plight of our children and women.
Why should we not attempt to change the statistics of our country? One in three girls or women are abused and similarly one in four boys or men. These are atrocious statistics.
These same children will be the cause of much turmoil as adults as most will not be worthy productive citizens.
And why should they be?
Lucy Redivo, Director Child Abuse Action Group
* The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.