All must be alert for child abusers

As if South Africans did not have enough to worry about, now the exposure of a child pornography ring with international links will give every parent cause for concern.

The arrests of six men in South Africa, with suggestions that dozens more may follow, depict an extensive network in many parts of South Africa. The police must be commended for their work.

We hope they root out each one of these hideous criminals, of whom quite a few have occupied positions of trust. The disclosure that one of them was a headmaster at a junior school is alarming. If your child isn’t safe with those is charge of their school, who can you trust? Some of the suspects are reportedly charming personalities whose overt behaviour would not arouse the slightest suspicion.

Coming so soon after the inexcusable early parole for Cezanne Visser (glibly called Advocate Barbie) the arrests have already heightened calls for stricter punishment of those who abuse children in this way.

Quite right, too. Specialised courts and the child-protection unit couldn’t come soon enough. But we can’t rely solely on them. We must all be alert.


today in print