Viva Women’s Month, Viva!

WITH Women’s Month coming to an end, Vuvuzela spoke to two well-known alumni to get their views on Women’s Month and why Men’s Month is not in South Africa’s future.


Helen Zille, leader of the Democratic Alliance


Helen Zille

Helen Zille, leader of the DA, has made a name for herself in South African politics. She obtained a bachelor of arts degree at Wits and says Women’s Day (and month) allows South Africans to remember the women who made difficult choices in the past so we can have a more equal society today.

“It [Women’s Month] is also a time when we should recommit ourselves to opening up more opportunities for women and address the challenges women face in South Africa,” Zille says.

She says women should do whatever they feel like doing in Women’s Month and “not only what they have to do”.

“Women’s Day is significant but also slightly patronising. It enables society to compartmentalise women’s issues, rather than dealing with the underlying causes…

“So many men think it is their right to have multiple concurrent sexual partners…and young girls are often forced into their first sexual experience.

“Let’s deal with those core issues every day and not compartmentalise women’s issue into one day or month each year.”

Zille’s ultimate spoiling experience would be a meal with her family and she says there is no Men’s Day in South Africa because “every day is Men’s Day”.

Samantha Cowen, presenter on 94.7 Highveld Stereo's Breakfast Xpress team. Photo: courtesy

Samantha Cowen

Samantha Cowen’s voice is well-known in the wider Joburg area. She has hosted the Rude Awakening and the Breakfast Xpress on 94.7 Highveld Stereo for about 10 years now. She is also an ex-Witsie and says Women’s Month gives a chance for women to regroup and identify challenges.

“The maternal mortality in this country is still too high, as is HIV transmission among women and there’s a lost generation of women in their late 40s and early 50s who haven’t had the education and opportunities the rest of us have.”

She also thinks women should “not do anything” on Women’s Day or Month.

“I think women do too much on a daily basis. We’ve forgotten how important it is to have a nice cup of tea and a little sit down. And exhale.”

Her ultimate spoiling experience would be an afternoon where she has to do nothing at all and to “not think about anything at all”.

She does however think there should be a Men’s Day and Month. “I think men are in a very difficult position at the moment. Perhaps a day to reflect on the various talents we should be celebrating in the male gender would give both sexes a chance to acknowledge those.”

And why does she think there is no Men’s Day or Month in South Africa? “I have no idea! Find me a parliamentary suggestion box and I’ll pop it in!”

Bidvest Wits losing the battle against Amakhosi

Dejected Bidvest Wits midfielder,Fabricio Rodrigues(centre),walks to the change rooms after the team lost to Chiefs on Wednesday night.


THE CLEVER Boys failed to outsmart Kaizer Chiefs, suffering a repeat 2-1 loss with three points at stake, in a high-flying Absa Premiership encounter at FNB Stadium on Wednesday night.

The defeat came while Wits were still recovering from an MTN 8 quarter-final defeat at the hands of the mighty Amakhosi, at the same venue three weeks ago, with the same score-line.

The game got off to a rather slow start with both teams showing respect for each other in the opening minutes. As a result, the first 20 minutes saw minimal scoring opportunities created. 

With home support behind them, Chiefs started opening the game up in the latter stages of the first half, with Siphiwe Tshabalala notably posing the biggest threat to the Wits defence on the right side. Tshabalala supplied two assists to Josta Dladla and Kaizer Motaung Jnr respectively to put Chiefs in the lead, but Wits keeper, Energy Murambadoro, pulled off good saves to keep the half-time score at 0-0.

Chiefs keeper Itumeleng Khune was also busy keeping out the Wits attack which was spearheaded by pacy wingers, Bongolwethu Jayiya and Sifiso Myeni, who had to be closely watched.

The attacking play by both teams was more exciting in the second half and it was Chiefs who broke the deadlock with a powerfully headed goal by Dladla, in the 53rd minute, from a Tshabalala cross.

 Playmaker, Thando Mngomeni, was introduced into the game by coach Roger De Sa to add firepower to the Wits attack and the Clever Boys were rewarded with a 67th minute equaliser by Sibusiso Vilakazi, setting up the game for a grand finish.

Chiefs coach Vladimir Vermezovic was not to be outdone with substitutions and sent on striker Lehlohonolo Majoro, who scored within five minutes via a header from Dladla’s cross.

Wits continued to fight back but the resilient Chiefs backline held on strongly, coping with Wits’s threat. The final whistle meant Chiefs sailed to the top of the Premiership log with three wins from three games. Wits stand in ninth position with four points,  also from three games.




Med school`s hidden treasure

When people think “Wits Medical Campus”, students walking around in white coats with stethoscopes around their necks is what typically comes to mind. Vuvuzela took a tour of the Adler Museum of Medicine and the Huntington Museum to discover the treasure of secrets many Witsies are unaware of.


Open road gunfight near Wits

A RUSH hour shootout took place near Wits last Friday morning resulting in at least one wounded person.

 At about 8am on August 19 a witness called into the John Robbie show on talk radio station 702 to report a shooting she had witnessed on Barry Hertzog drive.

The caller claimed she was transporting her son to varsity in Newtown when she saw  “one man get out his car and shoot through another man’s car window”.

Police arrived shortly after the call and detectives had arrived by midday to conduct an investigation.

Another witness, 21-year-old Sukoluhle Ndlovu, who was standing and handing out pamphlets at a traffic light close to the incident, recalled the order of events:

“I saw two cars arrive and later two men were running away from some policemen, who were shooting at the men from the cars. They caught one man after they [the police] shot him in the foot. The man who was running away from them also had a gun. Netcare came after the man had been shot and took him to hospital.”

“I heard that they were having a misunderstanding in the road… and that they were racing.”

A metro policeman who was at the scene refused to comment on what happened, saying only that “this was not a [car] accident”. No official reports of the event have been released to the public.

Ndlovu is originally from Zimbabwe and came to South Africa because she believes there are more work opportunities here. “I came to South Africa to support my mom by helping her pay school fees”.

 However, she says that seeing events like this is strange as her country doesn’t have as much violence:

“In Zimbabwe if you have a gun they will arrest you, crime is rare over there but in South Africa it is dangerous because you can carry a gun”.

A RUSH hour shootout took place near Wits last Friday morning on Barry Hertzog Drive resulting in at least one wounded person


Wits needs to wisen up in its water use on campus

WITS cites its reasons for not being a forerunner in the practice of water conservation principles on the lack of automated irrigation systems.

With South Africa in danger of running out of water by 2030, Wits needs to make some changes in its use of water in the irrigation of plants, sports fields and wash-up of sports facilities.

But, steps will be taken to ensure that overwatering of plants and landscape on Wits campuses will not take place again after Vuvuzela informed the Wits grounds facilities manager of property and infrastructure, Andries Norval, about separate incidents of overwatering at JCE.

“It’s been switched on since early this morning,” said a JCE security guard at 1pm when asked about the muddy puddles and overspray at the exit to Wits medical school. Around the Highfield residences the sprinkler system had also been spraying largely onto pavements.

Norval says he will ensure that overwatering “does not happen again at the sites reported (and other sites). I will also arrange to have the settings of the sprinkler system checked to ensure there is no unnecessary overspray onto paved areas”.

Highfield Reith Hall’s housekeeper was unable to find any Sonke Plantscapers’ workers, the company managing Wits’s grounds, to ask them about the sprinklers and why water was left gushing for hours and onto pavements.

Wits also waters parts of the main campus at mid day and sports fields are watered for the full day during the week. Tennis courts are also hosed down during the day instead of scrubbed with a broom. This is the time of day that water conservation teachings state not to.

“Ideally watering should be done early in the mornings and late in the evenings, but unless automated irrigation systems are installed, this is not possible at Wits. There are strategic plans to do exactly this in future and a start has been made this year to install such systems,” says Norval.

Ryan Hill, Sonke Plantscapers’ manager, says he “also noticed the watering on JCE was on a little too long on Monday”. “We normally water in the mornings and then switch off at 1pm, when we come back from lunch,” he says.

Water waste and management is a global concern. The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry says South Africa’s concern is that fresh water resources could be used up within the next 20 to 30 years if water conservation and water demand management do not become more than just municipal priority.


SOAK UP: A leaking tap, left on for hours on the cricket field resulting in a muddy puddle at Wits,East Campus