Kirsten Nematandani, like most people in similar circumstances, rode in to the SAFA top post on a wave of promises and enthusiasm when he was elected president of the football association, in a voting saga more intriguing than his unopposed victory suggests.
To those uninitiated to the politics of the local game, that is.
In Nematandani’s “volley of oaths” was a particular emphasis on the development of young soccer players throughout the country’s nine provinces, saying that the country’s football future lay in the youth structures, whose importance has long been lamented by football experts and the media.
“You need to invest at grassroots level in order to produce a talented pool of players”, Nematandani said at the time.
That was back in 2009 shortly after the former head of referees was elected to the highest and lucrative seat in South African football, less than a year before the country hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Yesterday, nearly four years on, Nematandani again took to the national podium to speak about youth development, this time to inform the public that SAFA would launch the organisation’s Technical Master Plan.
He announced the launch of under-13 and under-15 boys’ and girls’ league, where a 1000 boys and 1000 girls will showcase their talents and be scouted by national selectors for a chance to join a central academy that will further develop their talents, according to a report by Kick-Off magazine.
The much-anticipated plan, in short, details how SAFA will use the hundreds of millions generated by the World Cup and held until now in a FIFA Legacy trust, to invest in “grassroots” development of players and coaches via a league in SAFA’s 311 branches across the country.
The objective is clear enough: to turn Bafana, Banyana Banyana, and all the junior national teams, into formidable sides that reflect and justify South Africa’s abundant resources and widely vaunted passion for the game.
That it took a full four years to finally unveil the grand plan for the revenue of a tournament we knew we would be hosting at least five years in advance which puts the total time to almost a decade is not the main issue.
To be sure, the prolonged time it took to reveal the plan is Lilliputian compared to revelations by a recent Fifa investigation that implicates members of the very same SAFA executive Nematandani captains, in fixing at least two international games before the World Cup.
Calls by everyone from sports minister Fikile Mbalula to worried fans of the beautiful game for an independent enquiry into the controversy have fallen on deaf ears and a din of lip-service.
The figures involved in the suspected fixing are between four and ten million rand. R450 million has been made available by Fifa through the trust for development academies for the development of football in the country.
Recently, SAFA has also been reported to be close to bankruptcy.
It will be interesting to see if Nematandani and SAFA will be able to pull off the juggling act, of achieving its youth development goals, managing the huge World Cup windfall, while trying to pull itself out of a financial hole.
MEET THE TEAM: Andre Arendse (left) and Clive Barker (right) pose with a fan at the Bidvest Wits meet and greet hosted on East Campus, Wits University. Pic: Pheladi Sethusa
Bidvest Wits is facing a goal keeping crisis after the last of their experienced goalkeepers became another victim to injury during a match on Saturday.
Emile Baron suffered a broken leg and had to be stretchered off after a clash with Orlando Pirates striker, Ndumiso Mabena in the dying moments of their defeat at Mbombela Stadium on Saturday. This forced Wits to put, inexperienced 17-year-old Jethren Barr, into the poles as the last man standing.
Wits’ misfortune in the goal keeping department began when Ryan Harrison fractured two fingers earlier this month ruling him out of play. The day before Wits was due to play Platinum Stars (April 17) Jackson Mabokgwane broke his leg during training. Their bad luck continued when Steven Hoffman also broke his leg during practice last week.
The goal keeping crisis facing Wits has led their current goalkeeping coach, former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper, 45-year-old Andre Arendse to look into registering with the Premier Soccer League (PSL).
This will put him on the bench to assist Barr should the need arise. However, it is unlikely that his registration will be complete in time for their next match against the University of Pretoria on Wednesday night.
Although the club is in the middle of a crisis, Wits’ coach Clive Barker remains optimistic. He felt bad for Barr having to make his debut under such circumstances and with negative results but said, “…these things happen…”
“…Cometh the hour cometh the man. We’re fighting for fourth spot and we owe it to those keepers who have broken their bones,” Said Barker.
Bidvest Wits will face off against the University of Pretoria, for a fourth spot, on Wednesday at Tuks stadium at 7.30pm
Wits Vuvuzela April 26: Clever boys eager for fourth place finish
Wits Vuvuzela April 5: Barker brings change
Kickoff. com April 29: Arendse lauds brave Barr
Goal. com April 29: Andre Arendse set to make his return to top-flight football against Tuks
Seadimo Tlale, One Day Leader number 2, dominating at debating.
Seadimo Tlale is the last Witsie standing in SABC’s One Day Leader contest.
The show that aims to find future leaders of the country will soon be coming to an end. With only 3 contestants left, the pressure is on for Tlale to represent Wits, as well as being the last female in the competition.
When asked what got her this far in the competition, Tlale said: “People like the way I reason and stand by what I believe in regardless of what anybody says.”
Known for her skills in debating, Tlale can proudly say that she has won the most debates this season, despite the fact that she is the youngest contestant to ever make it this far.
“The quality that made me stand out the most was that people were amazed about how age is not a factor for me. I go out and achieve what I set to do,” said Tlale.
The finale airs on Mothers Day, Sunday May 12, where the decision will be made on who will be South Africa’s One Day Leader 2013.
With faith and assurance, Tlale is ready to go all the way. She said: “I have overcome great obstacles by challenging very strong opponents with confidence.”
To support your fellow Witsie SMS “Leader 2” to 34068.
Witsies showcasing their graffiti skills on the Library Lawns.
Photo: Caro Malherbe
Sprite has launched a nationwide talent search for the best emcees, dancers and graffiti artists in the country, and this week they’re at Wits main campus.
Sprite is looking for skilled dancers and emcees or “b-boys” who have a love for hip hop.
The winners of the Sprite Uncontainable Talent Search in each category will win a trip to New Orleans with Talib Kweli, the American rap master.
Jody Elliot, one of the ladies handling entries, said: “Anyone can come to the Sprite truck on the Library Lawns and show their talent to the judges in a private booth. Dance groups have a dance floor that they can use and there are also boards put up where people can show their graffiti skills.”
The search will be at Wits for the remainder of the week from 9am to 5pm. There will also be free Sprite given away during lunch hour.
Sprite’s tagline for the competition is: “Show us what you got and represent your hood.” Wits is sure to have some talented representatives.
One of the Braamfontein res jackets for sale at a store in Lagos, downtown Johannesburg. Pic: Wits Vuvuzela.
A STORE in the “Lagos” section of Braamfontein is selling Wits merchandise without the university’s permission.
Wits Vuvuzela found the goods at a store on the corner of Simmonds and Jorissen streets, in an area known as “Lagos” due to the large number of Nigerian merchants. The reporter was accompanied by a fellow student posing as her boyfriend.
Inside the shop, five Wits Braamfontein Centre res jackets were for sale at R400 each. The blue and white baseball jackets have the Wits logo on their sleeve. The jackets are only put out in the late evenings, and are nowhere to be seen in the morning or during the day. [pullquote align=”right”]”they were under the impression that the first batch of jackets had then been discarded.”[/pullquote]
The jackets had names of various people on them, written in ink, with the one reading “S’khu chairperson”. The vendor told the Wits Vuvuzela reporter they had made 150 jackets for Wits.
He added that he could make more of the jackets for us, if we wanted them. When asked if the names could be removed the salesman said this was no problem, all he had to do was wipe it off with some remover.
Wits spokesperson Shirona Patel said Wits branded merchandise could only be sold at the shop in the concourse of Senate House.
“Wits does not have not franchises which are allowed to sell Wits merchandise,” Patel said.
Wits Vuvuzela traced the name “S’khu” back to a former Braamfontein Centre residence chairperson, Skhulile Ngcobo.
Ngcobo said they had contracted a designer to make the jackets for them. When the first batch had come out, the jackets were incorrectly designed, so they asked for the jackets to be re-done. When they received the new jackets, they were under the impression that the first batch of jackets had then been discarded.
While the jackets were being sold for R400.00, the salesman offered a discount, saying he could sell the reporter three jackets for R380.00 each.
The man urged the reporter and her “boyfriend” to come back and buy the jackets as they were selling fast. He suggested that they leave a deposit, so that he could hold them on their behalf.
A WITS honours student is facing assault charges after hitting and biting a fellow student.
Simamkele Dlakavu, chairperson of the Wits Dreamgirls, appeared at the Randburg Magistrate’s court last week after allegations she assaulted her co-worker and fellow Witsie Ruweshka Gopie, a third year law student. Police spokesperson Captain Kym Cloete said Dlakavu was charged with assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and was released on a R500 bail at the April 17 court appearance. The alleged assault happened on February 12 when Gopie agreed to give Dlakavu a lift to Sandton where they were working together at an event.
According to the website, Timeslive, the argument started when Gopie got lost on the way to Sandton. Dlakavu then left their employer a message saying Gopie was incompetent and did not want to work at the event. The employer later called to give directions. However, an argument between the two women still ensued.
“She started calling me a slut, said my family hates me, she called me a bitch, she said no one at res likes me,” Gopie told Timeslive.
She said Dlakavu began attacking her while she was still driving. Hitting her on the head and biting her twice. Gopie was later given a tetanus shot and put on a precautionary two week course of antiretrovirals. Wits Vuvuzela tried to reach both Gopie and Dlakavu, but neither could be reached for comment.
Residence cluster manager Doreen Musemwa could not comment on the details of the alleged assault. However, she told Wits Vuvuzela the two students had to be separated and Gopie had been placed in another, temporary residence.
Musemwa said she could not have the girls in the same residence.
The case was postponed and Dlakavu is due to appear in court again on May 21. Wits spokesperson Shirona Patel said intimidation allegations had also been lodged with the University by Gopie. She said this was being investigated by the Wits legal office.
WINNING IDEA: Nontokozo Mhlungu and her award-winning Hillside Sanctuary.
A WITSIE has won a prestigious architectural award and a R50000 cash prize for her design of a “safe, sanctified and religious” refugee centre.
Nontokozo Mhlungu’s winning project, Hillside Sanctuary: Reception centre for the urban refugee was chosen as winner of the Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Award on April 18. She beat applicants from seven other tertiary institutions including top universities like University of Pretoria and University of Cape Town.
Mhlungu’s project explores the issue of refugee survival in Johannesburg. The idea came about after she watched a Special Assignment report about attacks on Zimbabwean refugees in a Gauteng township.
“I realised that our government and we as a society of architects and professional were failing to recognize and cater to the basic needs of the man on the street,” Mhlungu said.
Mhlungu was inspired by the Johannesburg Central Methodist church which has opened its doors as a sanctuary for migrants and refugees. She wanted to design a “safe, sanctified and religious facility that is better suited to meet the needs of refugees and displaced urban migrants.”
Mhlungu said she felt strongly about architecture playing a role in shaping the lives and communities of the under-privileged.
Even though she now works for a company that specialises in hotel and resort architecture, in the future she wants her work to benefit the needy. Mhlungu hopes that her idea will one day be brought to life: “It would be amazing if I could get an opportunity to pitch the idea to the right people.”
As for the money she won, she has not made any major plans for it yet but she might have to use some of it to pay back Wits for fees. Then “I can enjoy the rest” she said.
We won’t stop: SRC secretary Tasneem Essop (centre), protesting at an Israeli independence day celebration.
THE SRC is calling for a public trial for 11 students—nine of whom are SRC members—who have been charged for possible contravention of the university’s code of conduct.
The group is charged for disrupting a musical recital by Israeli-born pianist Yossi Reshefon March 12 as part of a protest during Israel Apartheid Week. “We want this to be a public trial because it affects the university at large,” said SRC internal vice president Tokelo Nhlapo. On April 15, Vice Chancellor Prof Loyiso Nongxa released a press statement that said a senior counsel had been appointed to act in lieu of a student disciplinary committee. The senior counsel would be empowered to “to chair the hearing, and to carry out all of its functions and to exercise all its powers.”
The SRC members that have been charged are Sibulele Mgudlwa, Tokelo Nhlapo, Joy Phiri, Tasneem Essop, Justice Nkomo, Pearl Pillay, Apelele Pindani, Klaas Mokgomole and Norman Mashegoane. Mbuyiseni Ndlozi and Feziwe Ndwayana are the two students who are not SRC members. The first hearing is scheduled for May 13 at 9am.
“We have no regrets about our actions. We make no apologies to the highest and the lowest offices at Wits,” said Nhlapo who has been charged with six counts of misconduct.
On the same day that Nongxa released the statement, several members of the SRC joined a group of activists to disrupt another Israel-related concert. This time the target of the protests was a performance by Israeli musicians celebrating Israel Independence Day at Gold Reef City. The Wits Choir also performed at the event.
“I was very disappointed that the Wits Choir was performing at the event,” Pillay told Wits Vuvuzela. “Does this mean that they have taken sides?”
Some of the activists at the Gold Reef City action included two Wits students who said they were assaulted by members of the Jewish community present at the theatre. The two Witsies said they would be laying charges against members of the Jewish Community Security Organization, the South African Zionist Federation and South African Jewish Board of Deputies.
The members of the SEBS Committee
Last week Thursday, the SEBS committee held an exclusion briefing for 1st years, at the new Commerce building on West campus.
The briefing informed the students about the possibilities of financial and academic exclusion. Former SRC president Tebogo Thothela advised the students, on the importance of making an effort to consult with their lecturers and to ask for help before it’s too late. Justice Nkomo, treasurer of the SRC encouraged the students to come forward and ask for financial assistance as they have the means to put people in contact with financial sponsors. Academic officer Imaan Carrim told the students that the briefing was not about telling them what to do after exclusion, but rather to help them prevent exclusion.
Winners of the talent show.
From the left: Mokopi 3rd place, (poetry recital),1st place Wits movers(Dance).2nd place Wellem (Classical recital)
THE Education student council (ESC) held a talent show “Bring a can if you can campaign” at Linder Auditorium, on education campus, earlier this week.This was an awareness campaign, in order to help students at the campus who are from disadvantaged backgrounds and cannot afford to get food.
Incoming chairperson Mpmelelo Sangweni said, the event was also to promote the education campus as it is often “Not taken as a wits school”.Former Vice chairperson of the ESC Njabulo Mkhize raised the same concern when he said,“There is a general view that the bachelor of education course is easy and studied by ‘less smart’ people. Education Campus has a history of being silent and boring thus many education students (all the way from first year) are disgruntled when seeing the comparison between main and education campus.
Sangweni said, they hoped to attract a lot of people from main campus, so that they would bring a can of food with them for their campaign, hence the affordable price. The entrance fee charged to watch the contest was R10.
Sangweni said the cans collected would be distributed to less fortunate students, as identified by Mr Zungu, head of student affairs.
Vukile Junior Kamtala, 1st year education, said the event would not only help the energy of the campus, but also help the less fortunate. He also said, although the talent show was somewhat of an “Informal” fundraiser, it would still make a difference.“You don’t have to know where it’s coming from, but someone out there cares” he said.
Kamtala will be one of the students benefiting from the campaign and to this he responded, “I pass off as a well spoken person, but that doesn’t mean I can support myself – its all about humanity”.
The show had 20 contestants, who were judged by SRC Treasurer Justice Nkomo, VoW Fm DJ Sam Kaase, Dj Mlungu as well as Musician Psyfo.
The winners of the show were Makopi who came in third, reciting a poem. Willem came in second after a classic rendition, while Wits movers took first place after bringing down the house with their pantsula / kwaito dance routine.