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Tribute to Ian du Toit, co-founder of Children In Legal Disputes (edited)

© Anne-Marie Rencken-Wentzel 2004

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Ian du Toit

(There are many who did not know who Ian du Toit was, within the context of CHILDS, but if you read on you will agree that he will be missed by many who never even met him. Anne-Marie Rencken-Wentzel, co-founder (with Ian) of CHILDS, wrote this moving tribute to a man who did much for people like us. I would like to thank those in Australia and New Zealand who assisted in searching for his children, whom he did finally speak with before he died. Thank you, -- Ady Dodds.)

Ian du Toit the co-founder of CHILDS ~ Children In Legal Disputes died on the 26th October 2004.


We, the Board and members of CHILDS honour and remember Ian and his vision that children have the right to an ongoing relationship with both parents after one or both of them choose to end the relationship. Ian and his children, Adam and Victoria, did not enjoy that privilege in spite of his relentless efforts to be part of their lives.


Ian, like many other parents in South Africa and across the globe, did not have access to his children, was not informed when they were ill, in hospital, had to undergo surgery, received an accolade, met a first boyfriend or girlfriend, did poorly at school, or was just not okay and needed a hug from dad. Ian could not attend gala evenings, attend rugby and hockey matches and do the daily caring things parents do for their children as they lived outside the borders of South Africa. Living far away from each other without a proper court order in place was one of the reasons he and his children were successfully alienated.


Ian spoke out against a system that allowed the form of alienation he and his children was subjected to. He put thinking, time effort and his personal resources, at times limited, into our organisation to help fight the wrongs that allows often long lasting damage to come to the lives of families.


There were times that Ian was ready to give up and just walk away but those were short-lived moments. He always encouraged every one at CHILDS in spite of his own pain at times visible, saying the children are the real victims. They are the victims of the circumstances they do not understand ~ circumstances created by the parents.

At CHILDS we know that the system we live in allows the pain and suffering Ian, Adam and Victoria, and to a sure degree the mother of the children and her husband must have suffered ~ no matter who was mostly at fault in the alienation process.


We salute Ian, a warrior in the fight against the abuse perpetrated against families at the time of separation and divorce. We honour him for his efforts to change legislation, to influence the thinking of the judiciary and the mental health worker, the aid the volunteer worker, to support the mothers and fathers separated from their children and to empower children separated from their parents to speak up for themselves.


We at CHILDS will continue the work you were the architect of.


See also:




Peter Douglas Zohrab

Latest Update

29 August 2017