Police visit the family after Karlien files a complaint

Henry

The singer Karlien van Jaarsveld deserves a medal after she intervened during a worrying incident between a young child and her parents and reported a complaint to the police.

And even though the police in Gauteng found after a thorough investigation that there was no cause for concern, Van Jaarsveld’s actions deserve praise, the police said.

Ao. Johan van Dyk, police spokesperson, confirmed on Friday that an experienced investigation team, consisting of detectives and a social worker, had already visited the family’s home.

“After a thorough investigation, it was found that the incident (in the restaurant) was an isolated incident. The police’s investigation has therefore now been concluded,” says Van Dyk.

Van Jaarsveld lodged a complaint with the police earlier in the week after she saw a mother allegedly dragging her daughter around in a Pretoria restaurant and verbally bullying the child.

Van Jaarsveld and her husband, Joe Breytenbach, visited the Rasam Tandoori restaurant in Moreleta Park in the east of Pretoria on 30 December.

In a post on her Facebook page, Van Jaarsveld writes how the mother “every now and then makes an ugly comment towards the child”. Attached to the post is a photo of Van Jaarsveld and Breytenbach. According to Van Jaarsveld, the photo was taken before she realized what was happening at the table behind them.

Van Jaarsveld then goes on to write: “Then she calls her princess in a Snow White stepmother type tone then she says to her, what are we going to do with you? The little girl doesn’t say anything, she just looks scared at the mother. ‘We are ashamed of you, you have no respect for me, you are just like that ugly princess from Shrek,’ (sic)”.

According to Van Jaarsveld, the mother looked at her child “with hatred”. The girl apparently appeared terrified and cried a lot. The mother apparently looked at her child with “devil-possessed eyes” and also tried to “convince the father to work up to the quiet, little girl”.

Later, writes Van Jaarsveld, she heard the mother tell her daughter how disappointed she was in her. It was at this stage that the little girl apparently looked up and said “sorry”. The mother then apparently violently grabbed her by the arm and dragged her across the table.

Van Jaarsveld also writes that she later walked up to the parents herself and confronted them.

“Then the father turned to me and said ‘don’t worry not I have everything under control’. The mother was immediately innocent and said to the little girl ‘look how you upset the aunt, no my kid it’s not right, now look again what you did to us, you’re disappointing us again, come kid we’re going for a ride’. “

Van Jaarsveld concludes her post by saying how deeply the incident disappointed her. “If you happen to read this, I’m on your trail, just know that.”

Van Dyk confirmed on Friday that the police had received the complaint that Van Jaarsveld had reported.

“The police acted immediately and made a home visit,” he says.

According to him, the parents scolded their child in the restaurant and it was an isolated incident.

“After the home visit, no evidence was found that set off any alarms for the team of experienced investigators.”

Van Jaarsveld praised for intervention

Van Dyk appealed to people to follow Van Jaarsveld’s example and contact the police if they suspect foul play.

“Especially in matters of violence, many people are too afraid to speak up. For her to stand up and take a stand deserves a big thumbs up.”

After she brought the incident to the attention of the police, Van Jaarsveld posted again.

It reads: “Daughter of the restaurant, you will live forever in my heart and mind, I will continue to fight for your baby, you are beautiful and you do not deserve to be scared and jerked around. You deserve to be loved and safe,” (sic).

“I have taken all the steps, the matter is in the right people’s hands.”

In a statement, Unchain our Children, a charitable organization that campaigns especially for children’s rights, praised the police’s quick action.

“We thank the police for being so quick to respond and investigating the case with the necessary seriousness,” says Wayne van Onselen, chairman of Unchain our Children.

Like the police, he was also full of praise for the good example set by Van Jaarsveld.

“People should remember that they can also report cases of child abuse anonymously. Rather be overcautious than just keep quiet.”

Ronél Brink, Van Jaarsveld’s mother and manager, said when asked that she had no insight into the matter and was therefore not going to comment.

  • People can report any form of violence or abuse to the police on the crime line on 0800 10111 or by visiting their nearest police station.