Help sought for children in Milnerton

Fabian Ah-Sing

Some unsupervised children performing acts of a sexual nature in public in the Milnerton area have residents worried.

The three boys and two girls, believed to range in age from about 10 to 14, have been seen in various spots and have drawn the attention of the City and Ward 55 councillor Fabian Ah-Sing who is trying to find them to ensure their safety.

Scores of residents posted comments on the Milnerton Neighbours Facebook page. Some said the children had been seen having sex in public and running naked or scantily clad on the beachfront.

Maureen Nicholas commented, saying an elderly couple had been “distressed” to see a “scene of wanton debauchery”, with the children performing various sex acts on the lawns in front of their complex at 5pm in the afternoon.

“When the kids knew that authorities had been called, they sauntered off, totally unperturbed. They are back and performed again on the beachfront two days ago. A neighbour saw what they were up to and rushed out and sent them off. Only to be laughed at and taunted,” read the post.

Tabletalk messaged Ms Nicholas on Facebook to verify her comments, but she did not respond by the time this edition went to print.

Katherine Noelle Davy commented, saying: “These are children. Social services need to get involved.

Milnerton resident Vanessa Levenstein tried to arrange assistance by asking: “Is there a ward councillor or social worker who can respond to the very upsetting post, regarding the neglect of a group of children in our area? This issue needs to be dealt with correctly. These children need help and fast.”

Milnerton Central Residents’ Association chairman, Peter Walsh, said: “This is a highly contentious and sensitive issue. These are children you are talking about, and never mind the social ills that have befallen them. And therefore social services and the appropriate support structure should be involved.”

Mr Ah-Sing said he was investigating and had alerted the Department of Social Development and law enforcement so the children could get help.

“I hope to locate them soon so that they can participate in the kids’ school programme and join the sporting and cultural events, which will take place this coming week,” he said.

Colleen Pietersen, of TLC, had heard about the children and said they were probably acting out.

“A child who behaves like that is looking for attention. All children need structure and consistency. Where are their parents? I would love to help them.”

Suzette Little, mayoral committee member for social development and early childhood development, said the children were from Joe Slovo. Officials had tried to arrange a meeting with their parents to make them aware of available help but it had been cancelled due to “poor attendance”.

Ms Little said her directorate had referred the matter to the provincial Department of Social Development.

The City would liaise with the department to run a family-strengthening programme in the area as well as more sex education in schools.

“The children will also be invited to be part of the holiday programme during December which has a life skills component that addresses behavioural problems,” she said.

* Residents who spot misbehaving minors can contact 107 from a landline and 021 480 7700 from a cellphone. Or call law enforcement at 021 596 1999 who will notify the Department of Social Development about the matter.