There are now countless cases that follow this basic outline in the US, Canada, Australia, and elsewhere. And now we have an example from South Africa. Increasingly, families are fighting back against the judges, police, and assorted "court whores" who are allowing their children to be murdered by violent fathers like JAMES BOTHA during court-ordered visitation.
Tiaan’s family sues authorities
November 15 2010 at 09:59am
By ZELDA VENTER
Tiaan Botha, 4, who was shot and killed by his father.
The heartbroken mother and grandparents of a boy who was four when his father shot him in the back before committing suicide, are claiming R20 million in damages from the authorities, claiming they failed them in protecting the child from being killed by his father.
Marinda Alida Botha of Sinoville and her parents Pieter and Alida van der Merwe issued summons against a Sinoville policeman, two family advocates, a psychiatrist, two psychologists, a magistrate and the ministers of justice and constitutional development and police.
They stated in papers filed at the Pretoria High Court that these authorities, in one way or another, let them down and that this contributed to little Tiaan being killed by his father James Botha on May 25, 2008.
Tiaan’s mother said her unstable husband often threatened to kill the child and to then commit suicide.
She conveyed this to the various authorities involved in making recommendations to the court regarding the father’s access to the child, but they did not act on her fears.
Tiaan was at the time of his murder on a weekend visit to his father in Groblersdal as his parents were in the middle of a divorce.
The mother had no choice but to let him go to his father as he had obtained a court order giving him the right to take the child every second weekend for a visit to his home.
Botha stated that on that fateful day she and her mother went to the Sinoville police station to ask for help after her husband did not return the child at 4pm, as agreed.
She told the policeman on duty that her husband refused to answer his telephone, often threatened to kill the child and himself and that the child was in grave danger.
The policeman paid little attention to her plea for help and did not regard her complaint as urgent, she said.
He also omitted to immediately phone the Groblersdal police station to arrange for someone to visit (James) Botha’s home and to remove the child from his care.
“If the policeman paid the necessary attention to the complaint and acted on it, there would have been enough time to spare the life of little Tiaan,” it was stated.
Regarding the claim against two family advocates and a clinical psychologist, the mother said they were to investigate what would be in the best interests of Tiaan in light of the pending divorce.
She, her estranged husband and Tiaan consulted one of the family advocates and the psychologist on September 14, 2005.
Botha told them her husband was an alcoholic, was aggressive and would not hesitate to shoot himself and the child.
She also told them that he was a former policeman attached to the riot unit and the drug unit and that he suffered psychological scars from those days.
The mother even handed in a suicide note her husband had written to their child in June 2005 - when he was a year old.
She said they paid little attention to her complaints and she was silenced and told to only stick to their questions.
The mother complained that they did not refer her husband for psychological evaluation but instead recommended he had the right to access the child without supervision.
Botha said they once again had a consultation with the psychologist and family advocate in August 2007, a few months before Tiaan was killed.
Once again she told them that her husband was aggressive and capable of killing himself and the child.
They again paid little attention to her fears and they once again recommended her husband have unsupervised access to the child and that Tiaan could sleep over at his father’s house, she said.
A Groblersdal magistrate, who personally knew James Botha, twice issued a protection order in his favour against his wife.
The magistrate simply told Botha he “will speak” to her husband, it was stated.
The magistrate also ordered the father could take his son for a weekend visits on every alternative weekend.
The last protection order was provisional but before the parties could head back to court, Tiaan was killed by his father.
The mother and grandparents said all these parties contributed to the child’s death. It severely traumatised them and they will never see him grow up or be able to give him love.
They said they will never be able to lead a normal life again, as they daily miss him terribly.
According to them they had lost all faith in the authorities and in the system which was supposed to protect them.
The mother is claiming R10m in damages and the grandparents R5m each.
Their attorney Ronel Coetzee confirmed that summonses were issued to the defendants. - Pretoria News