Wits change things up for CUT clash

Wits will be making several changes for their match tonight against their Free State rivals.

Midway through the Varsity Shield competition, Wits find themselves in second place while tonight’s opponents, Central University of Technology (CUT) trail them by one point in third position.

Bronson Lange and Ryan Odendaal will take over the centre pairing from Rudolf Prinsloo and Heinke Hartdegan, when they kick off at 7pm at the Wits Rugby Stadium.

Mandla Dube will have a chance to impress on the wing, which sees Zunaid Kock dropped to the bench, while Petrus van Biljon replaces Thato Mavundla at flank.

Tonight’s encounter is most likely to be a close match, as Wits and CUT have the best defences in the league, conceding 71 and 78 points respectively.

Meanwhile Wits will be hoping University of Forth Hare (UFH) can pull off a surprise win over current log leaders, University of the Western Cape (UWC). This result would see Wits regain the top spot, providing they beat CUT tonight.

Clever Boys hoping to oust Chiefs swagg

BIDVEST Wits will hope their forward players are more clinical in spearheading the attack when the Clever Boys look to outsmart Kaizer Chiefs in Saturday afternoon’s Absa premiership clash at the Mbombela Stadium.

Since the resumption of the premiership the students have had a string of unfavourable results picking up only one from a possible six points in their last two fixtures, with a nil-nil draw against Maritzburg United at home and a 3-1 away loss to Santos.

Wits’s previous games have been uninspiring with the goal-shy strikers looking rusty and showing a lack of precision in their finishing after two months without competitive football during the league break.

Despite this, a calm looking Wits coach Roger De Sa believes the result will go their way “if the team continues in the form they are playing”.

“We should’ve won both previous league games because our performances have not been bad.

Against Santos, especially, we controlled 70% of the possession and were unlucky to hit the post five times,” he said.

Wits aims for a top eight finish in the league this season and there will be no room for error, particularly in defence, if they are to turn their fortunes against Kaizer Chiefs.

The Glamour Boys have proven that “swagg beats brains” in their recent battles with the Clever Boys both in league and cup fixtures.

In fact one would have to look back to 2009 for the last time Wits had a victory over Chiefs.

To add to Wits’s woes, Chiefs carry a confidence-boosting 3-0 victory over Moroka Swallows in their last fixture into this game, and the quest to displace Mamelodi Sundowns at the top of the premiership log is more than enough motivation for the Soweto based team.

Wits reserve keeper, Steven Hoffman, believes the “team’s mindset will improve” and the players will be “geared up” for the Chiefs encounter.

“We have been working very hard in training and it is to our own benefit because at the end it will all pay off,” he said.

The Wits players are prepared to work even harder to overturn their fortunes in the league and start displaying the fast-paced and dazzling football for which the team was once known in the league.


Whiter shade of pale

ST PATRICK’S day is less than a month away: just enough time to dust off a green shirt, ready yourself for drinking dyed-green beer and pretend Irish-themed bars are cool.

Every March 17 the Irish celebrate their patron saint by inexplicably drinking copious amounts of Guinness.

However, their folklore also says St Patrick chased snakes across the sea into Britain, so apparently anything goes.

Last week, my friend and colleague wrote a great article about how her Indian family perceive and treat her differently she is unmarried.

This got me thinking about my own cultural identity and the way I define myself. I’m a bit of a buffet of nationalities, my mother is Irish, my father is English but I was born and raised here in South Africa.

My immediate family are the only Roanes in the country, you can look it up on the phonebook, if you can find one. My brother and I are an island of pasty gingerness in a country where I get sunburned at night.

At last count I had approximately 5000 cousins on my mother’s side, the result of six Catholic aunts and uncles and the Pope’s view on birth control.

However, they all live on the emerald isle and as a result I visit them about as often as Winnie Madikizela-Mandela visits parliament. But each time I see them, I am warmly welcomed and it is as though no time has passed between us meeting.

I also can’t understand a word any of them say. I hate to stereotype – it’s such an Italian trait – but they are probably talking about potatoes or leprechauns or something. I just smile, nod profusely and say “yes” to whatever they ask me until they think I’ve suffered a head injury and leave me alone.

While I love going back, and may live and work there in the future, I will ultimately return to South Africa because it is a large part of who I am.

If you subscribe to arguably antiquated notions of what being an African is: skin colour, ancestry or culture, then I should not call myself African, but in my heart, I am.

Despite being a first generation South African and white enough to reflect sunlight.

South Africa is my past, my home and my future. So come St Paddy’s day I will be celebrating my Irish heritage with a Guinness, but I’ll be celebrating it here, at home, in South Africa.

Rehabilitation is better than punishment

The five-year suspension of ANC Youth League president Julius Malema makes me think hard about the allocation of appropriate punishment in getting someone to acknowledge their mistakes and not repeat them.

No, of course Malema should not walk scot free if the disciplinary committee found him guilty of sowing division and bringing the party into disrepute. Those are definitely serious violations of the ANC’s code of conduct.

But suspend him for five years? Seriously?

That seems to us more like a conscious decision to effectively end his political career and silence him forever as opposed to making him acknowledge his wrongdoing and rehabilitate him to ensure he does not repeat the offences.

We are not at all fans of Malema or the ANC, but we certainly do not believe “Juju” is a bad leader. Looking only at his leadership, he has bravely challenged unemployment, education, skills development and other socio-economic issues affecting us as young South Africans, most of which even the senior leaders have not been daring enough to speak out on.

At Wits, the Men’s Res committee is facing suspension for “misconduct” during O-week. For two weeks now they have not been formally charged and have continued to endure the hardships of eviction from men’s res, forfeiting leadership privileges and experiencing academic strain.

How appropriate is all this in ensuring that if at all these young leaders are guilty they acknowledge their wrongdoing and more importantly do not repeat their offences? Is Wits trying to rehabilitate them or simply punish them with the aim of destroying their leadership aspirations?

While they wait for their charges to be laid and disciplinary hearings, it has often been the case that leaders at Wits who have been vocal about sensitive issues have seen their academic careers end prematurely.

Just like Malema who has been “disruptive” and “tjatjaraag” the Men’s Res committee could be in for a tough time.

However, I hope management deals with this issue in a manner that rehabilitates and allows these young leaders to acknowledge their wrongdoings, if any, as opposed to simply punishing them aimlessly.