Our native country’s court gave me unlimited phone access to the children. Visitation rights were given, which allowed me to see the children 5 hours a day for 3 days over the weekends. In my excitement, I had read this order wrongly and thought I was was only allowed to see them two days consecutively. Most important to me was seeing my beautiful children. This father erred when saying, “You will never see your children again.”
When I phoned, the children all talked together. The eldest child wanted to know where I was, what I was doing? They wanted to know when I will be coming back. I told them I am working and when I am done, I will be back. I could not tell them that this father threw me out of the house. I reasoned if I said anything pointing at this father it will be used against me. Saying I am trying to destroy his “relationship” with his boys. This while he, with carte blanche from a court, openly destroy me and my relationship with my children. Openly emotionally abusing children while telling everyone he is doing it for the good of the children because their mother is mentally unstable/ill, but in reality he is only serving his own purpose.
I loved being able to speak to my children without someone abusing me and them. The smallest child kept on repeating, “Mamma Mamma,” and did his best to speak, even though I did not understand him properly. At two and a half he did not speak well. This child stayed on the phone the longest and cried when someone tried to take the phone away.
Our native county’s court order said I am only to deal with this father’s mother and father. But this father’s family utilised the eldest and youngest brothers for this, never this father’s mother and father. These people made their own rules. I left them to it. To my own detriment, I found out later.
This father and his family started playing different games when I phoned to speak to the children. I made a regular time of phoning at seven in the evening. The children’s regular schedule had this time free. Initially the children were free to speak. The following evening the children were screaming and running around, saying there are jackal and hyenas outside the house. The second child kept telling me he is scared. There are no hyenas on this farm and the jackal would not come that close to the house, because of the dogs. I told this to the children. But, the children kept saying they can hear them outside the house. This father’s father had told me on an earlier occasion he made animal noises outside the window to scare his children. So this was another game of this family. This father’s family members went outside the house and made hyenas and jackal noises. This distraction is obvious and abusive. They must have also realised this and did not do it again.
The following nights after this episode the children were in the bath when I phoned. Elected speaker of this father’s family, the youngest brother, repeated, “Phone back in 5 minutes.” After I phoned again in 5 minutes, “No, not yet out. Phone back in 5 minutes.” I carried on phoning in 5 minutes. After this they started showing DVD’s after the children had bathed. They did not normally allow the children to watch DVD’s the last time we were visiting that farm. Now they played a DVD when I phone. I asked the eldest child and he said they only watched DVD’s at that time. They repeatedly showed the children the movie “The Lion King”. Showing this movie filled with lions and hyenas before bedtime, with the second child’s nightmares, did not seem a wise choice in entertainment. But, if you want to cover up the incident of a child having nightmares of a lion by his bed at night, then this was the DVD to show that child before bedtime. I had never shown my children this movie. I had found it too violent for their ages.
The farm gate was the exchange place in the court order. The first day I picked up the children the eldest two children came running to the car and this father’s youngest and eldest brothers were standing with the smallest child by the farmhouse garage, approximately 60 metres from the gate. They showed I must come to them. The eldest brother held my smallest child as his bait. I did not enter their property and stayed at the farm gate. After a while they came walking towards the gate with the smallest child. Voicing their reason for wanting me to drive into their property, which, they said, is that the dirt road is dangerous for the children.
This father’s family had property on the other side of this road and had crossed it regularly with the children during our previous holiday visits. None of them made a fuss then. The children now climbed into the car at the gate side not the road side. I parked well away from the road as well and not in any way obstructing traffic on this deserted dirt road.
It felt strange seeing my children for the first time after nearly three months. I had feelings of fear. More aptly put, I was scared they did not want me anymore or did not remember me or was cross with me and told me to go away. They did not.
My mother accompanied me and we were staying at a guest house in the nearby town. I took the children there. The children wanted to know if this was where I was staying now. It struck me that these children knew so very little and were confused.
I noticed the eldest child being more quiet and he had a far off look in his eyes that was not there before. The second child was quiet as well and had an absent attitude. The smallest child changed the most. He used to be my cuddly boy. When they took him from me he was still breastfeeding and he was with me most of the time. Now, he had an independent attitude, which was strange for a 2 and half year old. He tried to help himself with things, instead of asking for help like he used to do. He kept himself distant, emotionally and physically.
This family did not send the children’s bottles with them, even though I sent a message asking them to sent these. They did not reply on the message. There were three tin mugs in the plastic bag sent with the children. I asked the children where their bottles are and they said they are not allowed their drinking bottles anymore, not even the smallest child. This two and a half year old child’s behaviour was to press his mouth to the garden hose and to a water drainage pipe outside the guest house. The following day I took the children to the shop and asked them to choose bottles for themselves. The eldest child wanted a sports bottle. The two other children chose teat bottles. They drank two and a half litre of water and juice and ate constantly. The smallest child held on to everything he was given. He loaded his arms with toys, food and the bottle, and refused to put anything down. He never used to do this.
The smallest child kept on rubbing his ears — something he never did before. I asked him why and he kept saying, “Cold.” It was winter in this country, but only cold during the night. I asked him if he felt cold and he shook his head no. He kept on rubbing his ears and I asked him if they were sore. He shook his head no and said, “Cold.”
I asked the eldest child if his smaller brother had been cold. He said at night he picks up his smallest brother when he is crying. There is no one that helps them. He said sometimes he wakes up at night and his smallest brother would be lying on his bed.
I tried not to force myself on the children, but allowed them to decide when they want attention from me. Over the two days they gradually started reacting like they used to and even came and sat on my lap. The eldest child started talking to me as he had before, the youngest child started asking for help and relaxed about “his possessions”. The second child started talking more and held onto me when I walked anywhere.
I had a difficult time emotionally leaving the children with this father and his family after every visit. I knew what they are doing to my children. They had freedom to excessively punish and torture physically, to mentally corrupt and to emotionally paralyse the children. These grand parent’s methods of raising their children were plain in whom they had raised. Outwardly, apparently normal, successful business people with, I can’t decide, either cold, rock hard cores or empty vessels. I could not show my emotions to my children. It was not going to change their situation.
The following day, on picking up the children, this father’s youngest brother came to the gate, but did not want to let the smallest child go and held him in his arms. He said he wanted to speak to me first. I tried taking the child, but he held him too tight.
This man tried to force me to listen to him speaking by refusing to hand over my child. I told him I was going to phone the police and he let the child go. He again started saying I was in the way with the car. I told him I will take a picture for the court, so they can see I am not in anybody’s way. He walked away and never voiced his “concern” again.
The last day of the first weekend’s visit, the children did not want to go into the farm property after our visit and this youngest brother of this father was saying I am making things difficult. The smallest child did not want them to pick him up and the second child stood next to me outside the gate, refusing to move when they called him. The eldest child walked past them into the property without speaking to them.
I gave the children’s bottles that I had bought for them, and I told this father’s youngest brother that the bottles are the children’s. I had given the eldest child two plastic cool-drink bottles with drinking tops and told him to fill this with water as well for them during the day. When I phoned the following evening he told me that this father’s mother had taken away all the bottles, even the plastic cool-drink ones. They all, even the smallest child of two and a half years, were only allowed to drink water out of the tap with their hands. I told the children I will get them new bottles on my next visit. This explained why my smallest child (two and a half years old) put his mouth to everything that he could see contained water. He was thirsty and no one helped him.
With the following weekend’s visit the children were more relaxed and talkative.
The eldest child told me his father had left him alone in the field and went home. I was shocked. This eldest child also said that he was in the harvester with this father’s youngest brother. It was late, he said, and he started feeling cold. He said he told this father’s youngest brother he was very, very cold and wants to stop, but this father’s youngest brother did not stop.
The children said that now they were getting glasses to drink from and did not have to use their hands any longer.
The second child said he had built himself his own house with stones. This is something he had done in the respected country. He would build himself his own house in which to live.
During one of the visits at the guest house we were outside playing in the sand, digging holes and filling them with water. All of a sudden the eldest child said, “We are not allowed to play in the dirt.”
When we had visited the farm before the children had a spot where we played in the sand, dug holes, played with tractors and other toys, making roads and ponds. They had dug a hole the size of a car wheel on that spot. Not one of this father’s family made comments when we did this. Even this father’s father told me over the phone that when they look at this hole they miss the children. I asked the child about this place they had played before, saying, “Surely you are allowed to play there?” The eldest child said no. I asked if they are allowed to play somewhere else in the dirt with their toys. He said no, they are not allowed. He looked sad. My boy loves playing in the dirt. I asked the child where he was allowed to play. He said only on the grass or else they get dirty. This father’s mother had three housekeepers and she herself did not put a hand to washing or ironing. The housekeepers who washed were allowed two basins of water from a borehole and the soap was rationed. So now these people’s reasoning entailed no small child will play in the dirt on a farm, because they get dirty and a little more water and soap were going to be needed.
Apart from what my eldest child had told me, our weekend’s visit went well. The children played in the dirt, blew bubbles or watched TV , etc.
On the way to dropping the children off at the farm the eldest child asked me to drive around the small town. I thought they regularly visited this close by town and I asked him why he wanted me to drive around. He said they were not taken anywhere and stayed on the farm all the time. This translated into isolation.
The following week Saturday 15 September 2012 around 12:00, I received a message from this father that the second child had “fallen off the wagon” and had broken his leg.
I phoned at once, but the child did not want to speak to me. I could hear him crying and he sounded angry through his tears. I had already arranged to pick the children up for a visit the following day. I phoned again later and spoke to the child. I asked him about his leg and figuratively speaking fell on my back. This child was saying the wheel went over him. This information was not in this father’s message to me.
On the Sunday I picked up the children for our visit. This father’s youngest brother drove the children to the farm gate in a vehicle. He opened the back door of their car and stood away from the vehicle. I picked up this child whose whole leg was in plaster and put him into our car.
During the visit this second child was extremely mobile for a child who had broken his leg the day before. He manoeuvred himself. I commented on this and the eldest child said his brother is managing well.
The second child said it was his fault the wheel went over him. He kept on saying that if the plaster of Paris comes off, his leg is going to fall off. If he does not take his medicine, they were going to leave him at the hospital.
Such caring, comforting comments from very “nice, compassionate” people to a four year old child in pain and discomfort, who got hurt through their negligence.
This child needed to go to the toilet and struggled with the leg in plaster. I knew that both this father’s parents were incapable of lifting any of the children. Never mind a child in this condition. I asked the child who helped him on the farm. He said no one.
The children started saying they are not allowed to drink. I asked why, and they said they will wet their beds if they drink. I told them they are allowed to drink during the day and they said no, they will wet their beds. My second child took this very seriously and refused anything to drink. My children used to drink minimum 1 litre of fluid each during a day, with no limits to the amount allowed. It sounded like these children now either wanted to impress, be praised, or was scared of punishment. The aim of this father’s family was no more diapers and no more wet beds. This father wanted me to potty train our first child at three months old. In the world of these “caring, compassionate, trustworthy” people a small child needs to be the least amount of trouble and money, even if the child could be hurt, suffer or feel uncared-for. This was the case with the second child, who told me when he urinates, it burns. But he still refused to drink fluids.
This second child complained of his elbow being sore and his arm hurting him. His right arm was swollen from below the shoulder to the wrist and had a bruise that stretched over half the arm. One could clearly see his arm was bent while the wheel went over it. It was not in a sling or bandaged.
After the weekend I asked this father’s mother via a message for the doctor’s information and contacted the Orthopaedic surgeon to find out about the child’s medical condition. The doctor knew this father had driven over the child. He showed no concern and said the child is fine. I asked the doctor to send me a report. He agreed, but never sent a report, after which I contacted the hospital and got the X rays. The X rays were taken 20:15 the night of 14 September 2012. This father’s message on 15 September 2012 was misleading. The other question was why the X rays were only taken at 20:15 at night? At what time did this father drive over his child? It is already dark outside at 18:30. The other option is that this child did not receive immediate medical care.
The Court made their final ruling on 21 September 2012, saying this father was allowed to leave this country for the respected country and that my visiting rights should not unnecessarily be disrupted. Because of this ruling, this family deemed themselves in control once again. I was fully aware of this and it made me uncomfortable as there was once again no supervision over them. Amazingly I arranged my visitation and encountered no problems with them in this.
The following weekend 23 September 2012 I parked the car next to the road as usual to fetch the children. This father’s youngest and eldest brothers brought the children in the car to the gate. Both these brothers climbed out of their car. This father’s youngest brother opened the back door of the vehicle and moved away as usual. The eldest and youngest children climbed into our car. This father’s youngest brother said the second child did not want to come with us and their advocate said the child did not have to. While he spoke the other brother moved to the front side of our car. I went to this child and asked him if he wanted to go and he shook his head no. I told him I want to visit with him and would like him to come. He made no reply. I picked him up and carried him to the car without him resisting, crying or screaming. My mother was by the back door of our car. I put the child in the car, closed the door and turned. This father’s two brothers was standing on top of us. The youngest brother pressed himself in between my mother and me, asking the second child if he wanted to go with us. The child shook his head no. This youngest brother pushed my mother away and pulled on the door handle, but the back door was locked. The eldest brother started pushing me. I turned my back and tried to switch my camera on, without success. Later I discovered the battery was flat. But I held the camera in front of me anyway, telling this eldest brother to stand back, which he then did. I looked to my right and saw this father’s youngest brother throwing my mother to the ground and holding her down. As if in a dream I looked to my left and this father’s eldest brother was pulling the keys out of the vehicle ignition through the open window. I remember starting to scream and then realised we were in the middle of nowhere. The next thing I know I was holding the keys. I climbed into the driver’s seat and like an idiot put the keys back in the ignition. I tried to look for my mother and then called to her. The eldest brother, through the open window again tried pulling the keys out of the ignition. I kicking at his arm and he pulled back. I turned to look where my mother was. She laid on the ground towards the farm gate. When I started to get out to go to her, this eldest brother grabbed my head and tried to bump it on the door frame, but did not succeed. He let me go and I went to my mother. She was getting up. The two brothers opened the back door of our car and this eldest brother grabbed the second child out of the car and ran with him down the driveway into farm property. My mother, her body with injuries and bruises told this youngest brother she was going to report him for assaulting her. He replied she had fallen on her own.
We drove to the police station in the little town. I told the police that the two brothers removed the second child forcefully out of our vehicle and had assaulted us. The police replied they want to see the court order giving me visiting rights. It was at the guesthouse where we were staying. At the guest house the owners said they will call the police to come there. The police arrived at the guesthouse, stayed in their car and did not want to take a statement and left again. I decided to visit with my children first, since I only have them for a certain period. An hour later another police officer arrived to arrest me on charges of assault on this husband’s youngest brother.
In this youngest brother’s statement he claims: I had forcefully removed this second child out of his vehicle and both my mother and I attacked him. He omits that his eldest brother was present.
I told this police officer who arrived to arrest me, that the eldest brother of this family had attacked me and the youngest brother attacked my mother. They also forcefully removed the second child out of our vehicle.
My eldest child sat next to me and told the police officer the same. I asked the police officer if a 5 year old child can make a statement or be a witness? He said no he cannot take the child’s statement, because he is too young.
Countries do not have the same standards when it comes to law and order. In the respected country a five year old child, in a strange environment (the police station), with strangers who questioned him alone on something which he now knew was not right, is accepted as a statement, without question. It is even used against me.
I told the police officer I will make a statement after having visited with my children. The police officer left.
I phoned the farm and asked to speak to my second child. I asked him if he wanted to visit. He said yes. I asked the police to go with me and I fetched the second child as well. This youngest brother again brought him to the gate in the car and I took the child, without a problem. The children and I spent some time together before I had to take them back.
On this occasion, being tired of the lies, manipulation and false impressions, I decided to record the children speaking and started asking them how the second child’s leg was broken. The following is a transcription of this.
Mother talking to children about accident — (changes from the original transcription: child 1 is changed to child 2 and child 2 is changed to child 1 for the purposes of this writing)
MOTHER: How many wheels drove over you?
CHILD 2: Just one.
MOTHER: Was it the wagon wheel or was it the car wheel?
CHILD 2: It was the wagon.
CHILD 1: The car wheel.
CHILD 2: The wagon drove over me.
CHILD 1: And “this father’s youngest brother” called to daddy.
MOTHER: Did daddy stop or did he carry on driving?
CHILD 2: He carried on driving. He reversed and then he drove over me.
MOTHER: And where was “this father’s youngest brother”?
CHILD 2: “This father’s youngest brother”, he had his bicycle (inaudible)
MOTHER: Did “this father’s youngest brother” see?
CHILD 2: Yes
CHILD 1: He saw “the second child” had fallen down.
MOTHER: Who stopped daddy then?
CHILD 2: No, daddy just……
MOTHER: Who stopped daddy?
KIND 1: “This father’s youngest brother”.
CHILD 1: And then I climbed out the wagon and then I said to “this father’s youngest brother” I must not … it was not me. I was on the wagon. It was “the second child”. I was on the wagon. I was with the maize.
The maize hurt me and “the second child” is under and the wagon drove over him.
MOTHER: Who is with you?
CHILD 1: No one, just daddy. He was driving the car and then he …… then the wagon drove over “the second child”. Then I said no, no, because my dad will not stop. I yelled, but he did not hear the noise and when I stopped, then “this father’s youngest brother” came and then he saw “the second child” is lying on the path and then he told my dad to stop. Then he stopped and looked back and then he saw “the second child” lying there.
MOTHER: And then, what did he do then?
CHILD 1: And then they took him to the hospital.
WOMAN: Did the second child ……[ end of recording ]
In the court order of 25 May 2012 the respected country’s judge ruled that this father is worthy of the trust of their court. Now this person worthy of their trust, whom they had entrusted with the care of three small children, apart from this man walking around saying he is called a pedophile, put small children unaccompanied on a wagon, filled with maize. A moving load. This man worthy of their trust did not watch the children while he was driving. One fell off and he reversed over him. Listening to the children, it also sounds as if this man did not even notice that he had driven over his own child and continued driving.
In my appeal paper to our native country’s court I attached this transcription, as well as pictures of the child’s swollen and bruised arm, and copies of X rays.
As a reply to this, this father still lied about having driven over the second child. I quote this father in court:
On or about Friday 14 September 2012 the second child broke his leg when he attempted to jump unto a moving trailer on the farm, he fell and broke his leg. He received immediate medical care and his leg was set in a cast.
In this father’s message to me on Saturday 15 September 2012 he said the child fell off the wagon and broke his leg. Now this father’s story changed to saying the child tried to jump onto a moving trailer.
That evening my mother and I drove to the hospital to see a doctor in a nearby town and they completed a police report of her numerous bruises and wounds. She was 72 years old. This youngest brother is about 43. She said he threw her to the ground as if he was fighting with a man.
The next day I asked the police to accompany me to the farm. Again this second child did not want to come with us. This father’s youngest brother was there.
I did get annoyed with the second child and told him I am not going to play these games. If he wants to come with, he must come. He said he did not want to. I left and visited with my other children.
What I found strange was that every time I spoke to this second child on the phone he would say he wishes he was a butterfly, then he would fly to me. I did not understand his confusing behaviour.
When arranging the next weekend’s visit I found out that this father was not leaving for the respected country, but was taking the children to a neighbouring country. This father’s advocate apparently told my advocate that I can arrange visitation again for the following week. The children’s school had started and the eldest two children were compelled to go to school. It is deemed a criminal offence in the respected country if the child is kept out of school for no valid reason. Laws did not apply to this father.
I could not get through on the farm telephone in the neighbouring country. I tried cellular numbers and nobody was available. Eventually this father’s local cellular was answered.
One of the first things the eldest child said to me was, “The lady says we are hiding, but we are not hiding.” My poor child did not know that his father was in hiding and, to prevent their voices from being heard, he took them with him into hiding.
The children kept on asking me when they are going home. I could not answer this. They wanted to know why I am not with them? I told them very bad people are keeping me away from them. This was the truth. More than that they would not understand.
The eldest child told me they are allowed to play in the dirt on this farm in the neighbouring country. That at least was good for them and gave them something to do. A few days later the eldest child got hurt. He told me a wire cut his foot open on the sole. He sounded so sad and I could not physically comfort him.
Once again the second child said he wishes he was a butterfly then he could fly to me. He had no idea how much I wished I could be with them. They did not know how this normal want of mine and my emotions were used against me, to lure me and to torture me with. The youngest child again held onto the phone when he got it.
Some people were criticising. They said I should have questioned and recorded the children about their molestation. I have spoken to a number of psychologists to find advice on how to deal with the children and was told professionals should handle these matters with the children. The only information the boys had gotten from me so far was that it is wrong. This, I was told, would result in the child starting to feel ashamed, decreasing the chances of them speaking out.
This manipulative father, that walked around saying he is called a pedophile, was telling my children that I am “sick”. My children had told me this and I replied that they should look for themselves if I had changed at all. My advocate at the time advised me not to speak to the children about their abuse. He assured me the children will be assessed. This did not happen.
I kept on trying to keep contact with the children in the neighbouring country. After a while I again could get no reply. I could get no reply in the respected country either.
The reality of what I and my children were enduring felt so surreal, but for my children’s sake I could not avoid it. I had a responsibility to these children’s lives, who I had brought into this world. Spiritually I clung to God, with hope, faith and trust in Him.
I found it ironic how this father lied and elaborated in his court papers how I had physically kept his children away from him, “their father”. He claimed I made his communication difficult while he was away at work and had to change the truth and actual happenings to create this image. He claimed he feared that his children will be intimidated against him, “their father”. These were all lies just to protect himself. But, now, this father was making my communication with the children impossible, not even just difficult. This father was doing his best to alienate my children from me and to intimidate them, telling them I am “sick”.
His own behaviour is ill. He obtains his goal to silence me and my children with lies and schemes, abusing and manipulating a place where truth and law are supposedly upheld.