The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) informed the NEWS that Member of Parliament Mike Waters shared information about Don Mattera Child and Youth Care Centre (CYCC) without the commission’s consent.
The NEWS received the above feedback on June 26 when it requested comment on a press statement issued by Waters on June 24.
Since February, the NEWS reported extensively on allegations which included sodomy, rape and damaged structures at the centre.
Also read: MEC calls for inquiry into Don Mattera Child and Youth Care Centre’s management
The allegations were made by politicians, former residents of the centre and staff members of the centre.
“Not only does this violate the SAHRC Act, but it potentially compromises the commission’s ongoing monitoring of this matter,” said Gail Smith, spokesperson for the SAHRC.
Smith said the information included in the press releases issued by Waters was part of a letter sent to him.
“The letter to Waters contained sensitive information regarding evidence obtained by the commission during an ongoing investigation,” she said.
“Waters has chosen to share it with the media out of his own volition and with his own objectives in mind.”
Smith explained that the information was sent to Waters to update him as a complainant.
Smith said the commission and the Department of Social Development started investigations at the CYCC in September 2017.
“Despite starting an investigation, the SAHRC has not produced a report. The commission will continue to monitor the centre through unannounced inspections,” said Smith.
A request for comment and an update was sent to the Gauteng Department of Social Development. The department was asked for an update on its own investigation and its findings.
This request was sent on June 27 at 11am and feedback was requested by June 29 at 9.30am.
At the time of going to print no comment had been received.
Also read: Former resident speaks out against Don Mattera Centre