Drie kinders brand dood in shack. Sommige kinders vries ook dood.

Hier by ons het daar oor die naweek drie kinders in ‘n shack doodgebrand.

Hulle ma het – na bewering – gaan drink en die shack se deur van buite toegesluit. ‘n Kers het vermoedelik omgeval, en die drie kindertjies, angsbevange, kon nie uitkom nie. As dit waar is, wat volgens die redelik betroubare huiswerkernetwerk in my woonbuurt (waar die kinders se ma gewerk het) het haar verslawing moontlik na die dood van haar kinders gelei. Mxm en eish, sê die netwerk, kopskuddend.

Maar dit moet natuurlik eers in ‘n hof bewys word.

Details rondom die storie loop diep in my woonbuurt se strate, waar die huiswerkers elke oggend om 07:00, wanneer die taxi hulle afgelaai het, ‘n vuur by die ou bushalte maak en opvang oor hul lewens, kinders, en sonder twyfel, hul werkgewers se geite. Die ma het glo ook deel van daardie taxi-groepie uitgmaak, soos ek verstaan. En voorheen was die kinders al van haar weggeneem, as die riemtelegram geglo kan word, waar dit vanoggend met ‘n tongklik in my kombuis geëindig het.

Nou gaan sy aangekla word, waarskynlik tronk toe, waar sy vir baie baie jare tyd gaan hê om oor die dood van haar kinders en die verslawing wat tien teen een daartoe gelei het, na te dink. Ek is baie baie bly ek is nie sy nie. Deur genade, né.

Dit is nie die eerste keer dat dit gebeur nie, en dit gaan ook nie die laaste keer wees nie.

Ek onthou ‘n paar jaar gelede, toe ek nog by Volksblad gewerk het, het ek ‘n storie moes loop doen oor twee sussies wat in ‘n huis op ‘n plaas doodgebrand het nadat ‘n kers omgeval het. Hulle was, so ver ek kan onthou, hul ma se enigste kinders.

Die boer en werkers het vergeefs probeer om hulle te red, maar dit was te laat toe hy met sy vuurvegter by die werkershuis aangekom het. Hulle was nie toegesluit nie, die vuur het net te vinnig versprei.

Ek moes langs die teerpad stop, deur ‘n draad klim en veldlangs stap tot by die uitgebrande werkershuis. Dit het my aan my eie lewe laat terugdink op die plaas. Veldlangs, op voetpaaie, werkershuise toe om te gaan speel op Saterdagmiddae. Maar ek het sonsak elke dag weer teruggekeer huis toe.

Voor ek weg is, het ek saam met die pastoor, die ander plaaswerkers, die boervrou en die wyk se dorpsraadslede wat kom help het, hande gevat en in ‘n kring gestaan terwyl hy bid. My oë was oop. Die ma s’n ook en ons het kortstondig vir mekaar gekyk.

Daardie dag, toe ek terug ry kantoor toe op die slaggatpad, die Vrystaat-son laag op die horison en halfgestroopte mielielandgeraamtes as enigste getuie van die onmeetbare tragedie, het ek geweet sommige stories moet diep gebêre word nadat hulle geskryf is.

Dit maak jou moeg, en dit maak jou oud. Dit maak jou weet dat kinders doodgaan, dat JOU kinders kan doodgaan, dat jy in die nag wakker lê en dink, en weet as jy môre opstaan, gaan jy die laai op dié storie moet toesluit en die sleutel weggooi.

Maar daar is duisende onvertelde stories. Dit is die stories van kinders in gewone huise, nie shacks nie – gewone woonbuurte, wat ook dag na dag wag vir ouers. Ouers wat soos zombies voor rekenaars sit, voor die televisie, in die kantoor vir 16 uur dae, permanent oorsee is. Wat verslaaf is aan sukses, elektronika, hul eie lewens.

Ouers wat iPads in klein handjies stop, permanent nannies het, selfs oor naweke, en “nie nou tyd het nie.”

“Nie nou nie, ek is besig.”

Daardie kinders brand nie dood nie, hulle vries dood.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in photos

My year, 2012, consisted mostly of working. But, seeing as my work includes taking photographs, I made a collection of some of the photos I took on stories I did.

Photos all by Marlene Jordaan, for Volksblad newspaper, South Africa.

I’m not a photographer, but a journalist, please remember!

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2012/12/28/weekly-photo-challenge-my-2012-in-pictureLucy, the only Blood and Semen Dog in our area, with her handler, WO Leon Strydom. Lucy has lead to the arrest of many a rapist. In  one case she sniffed out semen on the underpants of a rapist four onths after the fact. DNA was collected and the man was jailed. Hurray for Lucy!

Lucy, the only Blood and Semen Dog in our area, with her handler, WO Leon Strydom. Lucy has lead to the arrest of many a rapist. In one case she sniffed out semen on the underpants of a four year old rape victim  months after the fact. DNA was collected and the man was jailed. Hurray for Lucy!
I spent many a day in stifling heat driving in the rural areas, looking for these: illegal charcoal factories operating on agrocultural land. I did a few articles on them, and ...well just watch the news in future for an update. Hopefully this will bear fruit soon.

I spent many a day in stifling heat driving in the rural areas, looking for these: illegal charcoal factories operating on agricultural land. I did a few articles on them, and …well just watch the news in future for an update. Hopefully this will bear fruit soon.

Thuli Madonsela, our Public Protector visited Kroonstad to listen to people's complaints about government and corruption. Police had to keep poele, oustide, as the hall filled up to the brom and there wasn't enough space inside. People complained mostly about housing and sewerage, and corrupution.

Advocate Thuli Madonsela, our Public Protector visited Kroonstad to listen to people’s complaints about government and corruption. Police had to keep some of the masses outside, as the hall filled up to the brim and there wasn’t enough space inside. People complained mostly about housing and sewerage, and of course corruption.

Early one morning, whilst on my way to the gym, I was called out to an accident scene near my home. Nothing prepares you for the sight of a dead body on an empty stomach, By the time this photo was taken the police had coevred the body with a brown blanket.

Early one morning, whilst on my way to the gym, I was called out to an accident scene near my home. Nothing prepares you for the sight of a dead body on an empty stomach, By the time this photo was taken the police had covered the body with a brown blanket.

A police officer pn duty at a road block held to search vehicles for illegal firearms and drugs, ad to check vehioles for roadworthiness and the correct papers.

A police officer on duty at a road block held to search vehicles for illegal firearms and drugs, ad to check vehicles for roadworthiness and the correct papers.

Raw sewerage in front of a house in our town was flowing like this for more than two weeks. The minicipality has started fixing the outdated sewerage system, but it is expected to take years and hundreds of millions of rands.

Raw sewerage in front of a house in our town was flowing like this for more than two weeks. The municipality has started fixing the outdated sewerage system, but it is expected to take years and hundreds of millions of rands.

Women toyi-toyi-ing outside the court building against a suspected murderer  of a local woman getting bail. Tje man who appeared was out on bail for another violent crime and was in jail previously for killing his mother.

Women toyi-toyi-ing outside the court building against a suspected murderer of a local woman getting bail. The man who appeared was out on bail for another violent crime and was in jail previously for killing his mother.

My friend Jan came to town to sell hos most deleicious toffees. He lost hos job and coudn't find work again. he started making toffees in hos own kitchen and now has moved to a factory site, three years later.

My friend Jan came to town to sell his most delicious toffees. He lost his job and couldn’t find work again. he started making toffees in hos own kitchen and now has moved to a factory site, three years later.

The investigating officer took me to the scene where a homeless man was stomped on and beaten to death. When we arrived his blood and teeth were still lying next to the road, as was the blanket he always carried with him.

The investigating officer took me to the scene where a homeless man was stomped on and beaten to death. When we arrived his blood and teeth were still lying next to the road, as was the blanket he always carried with him.

I spoke to this man, who was devastated by the death of his borther, at the local state hospital, due to negligence.

I spoke to this man, who was devastated by the death of his brother, at the local state hospital, due to alleged negligence and incompetence. He suffered a heart attack and it took four hours to get him admitted into Emergencies.

 
For Nurses Day, nurses liot candles at the local hospital. We have one of the most well equipped state hopsitals in the porivnce, but have a severe shortage of doctors. Some machines have been unattended for years.

For Nurses Day, nurses lit candles at the local government hospital. We have one of the most well equipped state hospitals in the province, but have a severe shortage of doctors. Some machines have been unattended for years.

Like many towns in South Africa, our town is on the ist for having it's name changed. Kroonstad was, according to legend, named after the horse of thhis Boer-leader, Sarel Cillier's horse Kroon. who broke its leg in the riuver running through the town. This is not quite true, it was name after a local farmer horse who broke its leg in a local stream.

Like many towns in South Africa, our town is on the list for having its name changed. Kroonstad was, according to legend, named after the horse of this famous  Boer-leader, Sarel Cilliers’s horse, Kroon, who drowned in the river that runs through the town. This is not quite true, it was actually named after a local farmer’s horse who broke its leg in another small stream. It looks set to be named Maokeng, which means “place of thorn trees” in Sotho, one of South Africa’s 11 languages.

A man drowned during a party held next to the river in town. The police found im after three days, when his body surfaced under anearby bridge. Here police divers are removing the body in a body bag.

A man drowned during a party held next to the river in town. The police found him after three days, when his body surfaced under a nearby bridge. Here police divers are removing the body in a body bag.

Another farmer who survoved a severe farm attack, and was shot in the stomacj. I interviewed him and hios wife in front of the court building. His life was severely impacted, and he says he only survived with God;s help.

Another farmer who survived a severe farm attack. Louis Boshoff was shot in the back with a .38 revolver, and lost a part of his spleen.  He spent 40 days and 40 nights in hospital. I interviewed him and his wife in front of the court building. His life was severely impacted, and he says he only survived with God’s help. (Please Google: Farm Murders South Africa). Farm attacks occur regularly in the area I work in. The three men that attacked him got 46 years combined.

Photo taken outside of Heilbron, a small twon who has had its fair share of trouble this year. Not only has numerous famr attacks taken place there, but it has been terrorised by a suspected pyromaniac for the pas seven months, with the school, houses, businsses and cars and trucks being set alight.

Photo taken outside of Heilbron, a small town which has had its fair share of trouble this year. Not only has numerous farm attacks taken place there, but it has been terrorized by a suspected pyromaniac for the past seven months, with the school, houses, businesses and cars and trucks being set alight.

One of hte farners in heiobron who was attacked with a peyrol bomb, or Molotov Cocktail, being thrown through his truck window. He survived but was severely burned. He ran home in only hois onderwear and socks, where his wife called the police.

One of the farmers in Heilbron was attacked with a petrol bomb, or Molotov Cocktail, being thrown through his truck window. He survived but was severely burned. He ran home in only his  socks, from where his wife called the police. After months of rehabilitation, he was released from hospital. More farmers and their workers have been murdered in farm attacks since 1994 than soldiers died in the South African/Angola war that lasted 18 years.

The small little police station is headed by a woman commander. They won the best police station of the year award. Within the first week she was there, seh went out to meet all the local farmers and reads the Afrikaans newspaper every day, to learn the language. She is known amongst the locals  as thye Black Barbie of Heuningspruit.

This small little police station is headed by a woman commander. They won the best police station of the year award. Within the first week she was there, she went out to meet all the local farmers. She reads the Afrikaans newspaper every day, to learn the language. She is known amongst the locals as the Black Barbie of Heuningspruit.

The hoghway patrol caught thieves as they were trying to get away with this businessman's tools.

The Kroonstad highway patrol caught thieves as they were trying to get away with this businessman’s tools.

I spoke to Ivy, who has been waiting for 17 years for her new house. The foundation was laid in 1994\, and sinve then nothing has been done. She lives ain a shack on the premises, which floods every time it rains. She gave me her poillow sje sleeps on to sit on during the interview.

I spoke to Ivy, who has been waiting for 17 years for her new house from the government. The foundation was laid in 1994, and since then nothing has been done. She lives in a shack on the premises, which floods every time it rains. She gave me the pillow she sleeps on to sit on during the interview.

A few weeks after I started working at the paper, two smaal boys were killed in an accident. She is still waiting for justcie to be done. here I pictured them at the funeral. The two boys were buried in one grave.

A few weeks after I started working at the paper, two small boys were killed in an accident. Elsie, their mother, is still waiting for justice to be done. Here I photographed Elsie and her husband Pieter, at the funeral. The two boys were buried in one grave. Taking photographs at funerals is the aspect of my job I like the least.

Sports wpmen from across the province gathered to listen to Natalie du Toit, the first person to ever qualify for the paralypmpics and ten regular olympics. She has now retired from swimming.

Sports women from across the province gathered to listen to Natalie du Toit, the first person to ever qualify for the Paralympics and the regular Olympics. She has now retired from swimming.

Maize eraly in the year. This is what our economy is made of, in the Free State.

Maize early in the year. This is what our economy is made of, in the Free State.

A new radio station openede in Parys. Here the station mangaer and a colleague took me to a sight they wabted at firs for their mast. It overlooks the C=Vredefort Dome, the largest meteor impact crater in the world.

A new radio station opened in Parys. Here the station manager and one of the DJ’s took me to a site they wanted to use at first for their radio mast. It overlooks the Vredefort Dome, the largest meteor impact crater in the world. (Google it!)

In Parys, is Magashule Street, named after the premier of our province. hated by some, revered by others, he is one of the most controversial figures in local politics.

In Parys, where you can find  Magashule Street, named after the premier of our province. Hated by some, revered by others, he is one of the most controversial figures in local politics. The street name is attached to a sun powered street light. These street lights got residents of Parys up in arms, because they were only erected in the streets surrounding Magashule Street. These streets were also paved.

Dr Yvetet Pozyn. who rescues all kinds of wild animals at her wildlife rescue centre HART, treats them, heals them and releases them back into the wild. This little ostrich, who broke its leg, is now a resident of the farm.

Dr Yvette Pozyn. who rescues all kinds of wild animals at her wildlife rescue center HART, treats them, heals them and releases them back into the wild. This little ostrich, who broke its leg, is now a resident of the farm.

The Tunnel of Evil, (an unused brick oven) as it is called in Viljoenskroon, a small town. Many rapes took place in here, and here the policeman, who eventually caught the rapiat, showed it to me. The rapist even had blankets inside. He wass ent to jail and the municiplaity has promised to close it up.

The Tunnel of Evil, (an unused brick oven) as it is called in Viljoenskroon, a small town. Many rapes took place in it. Here the policeman, who eventually caught the rapist, showed it to me. The rapist even had blankets inside. He was sent to jail and the municipality has promised to close it up.

Residents of Kroonstad toyi-toying to get jobs on a road works project. Politicians are only goving work to friends and family, they told me.

Residents of Kroonstad toyi-toying to get jobs on a road works project. Politicians are only giving work to friends and family, they told me.

Farming is the heart of our economy in ou area. HJere I visited a tractor demonstration day near Hennenman, a small agricultural town.  I

Farming is the heart of the economy in our area. Here I visited a tractor demonstration day near Hennenman, a small agricultural town. I didn’t have on the right shoes, and couldn’t walk at the end of the day, because of small little thorns, called duwweltjies (small devils) which were ploughed loose. No more sandals on Agricultural days!

Roads roads roads, the bane of our existnece. Major fraud was uncovered in our provincial roads dept, and upkeep of roads has come to a vitrual standstill. This is one of the worst in our area, the road between kroonstad and Lindley.

Roads roads roads, the bane of our existence. Major fraud was uncovered in our provincial roads dept, and upkeep of roads has come to a virtual standstill. This is one of the worst in our area, the road between Kroonstad and Lindley.

A police truck full of stationery fell over on the highway next to our town. This led to all traffic being rerouted through our town for a few hours. This was probably the most cars some people saw all year!!

A police truck full of stationery destined for Cape Town  fell over on the highway next to our town. This led to all traffic being rerouted through our town for a few hours. This was probably the most cars some people saw all year!!

At Brickfields, an abandoned brock factory, abround forty epole, including chiuldren, live under dire conditions. They have only one oustie, open toilet an didný hav e a tapp until a local churcj donated one and connected the water.

At Brickfields, an abandoned brick factory, around forty people, including children, live under dire conditions. They have only one outside, open toilet (no covering, just the loo) an no running water. A local church donated one and connected the water. What was surprising was how clean everything was kept. They even have post delivered!