Daily Sun’s article, “Dumped in misery” (03/07/09, p.4) by Gregory Peterson about four children abandoned by their parents is one to be glad of. It brought attention to a case of child abuse and neglect, and protected the identity of the children.
In the article, pseudonyms were used and the picture of the children, by Kabelo Tlhabanelo was taken from behind them, which made it difficult to identify them.
Protecting their identities not only protected the privacy and dignity of the children, but was also in line with the Criminal Procedure Act, given that a criminal case is likely to be opened.
The Criminal Procedure Act, Section 154 (3), states: “No one shall publish in any manner whatever information which reveals or may reveal the identity of the accused under the age of 18 years or of a witness at criminal proceedings who is under the age of 18 years”.
In the article, the oldest of the four children was given a voice. He expressed himself by saying, “Our parents left for Thaba Nchu on Friday without saying when they will return back or why did they go”.
Well done to Daily Sun for exposing child neglect, while protecting the privacy and dignity of the children, and giving them a voice.