BREAKING: Fired sex pests named

Dr Last Moyo pictured at a Wits event last year. Photo: Dinesh Balliah.

Fired! Dr Last Moyo pictured at a Wits event last year. Photo: Dinesh Balliah.

by SHANDUKANI MULAUDZI and PRELENE SINGH

Two of the four Wits University lecturers accused of sexual harassment have been dismissed.

Although the statement did not name the lecturers, Wits Vuvuzela has learned that the dismissed lecturers are Tsepo wa Mamatu and Last Moyo.

According to a statement  released today by Wits vice chancellor, Prof Adam Habib, “the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, has just dismissed two employees who have been found guilty of sexual harassment.”

Habib declined to name the individuals.

Habib said that  the hearing was conducted and chaired by independent senior counsel who submitted the guilty verdict to Wits University.

Both of these lecturers were found to be in breach of the University’s Sexual Harassment Policy, Relationship Guidelines and the University’s Code of Conduct.

“The staff members have been found guilty of sexual harassment and misconduct, and one of them has also been found guilty of sexual/indecent assault,” said Habib.

Habib apologised to all students who had been victimised by theses lecturers and added that the university would not tolerate any future incidents of sexual harassment.

The cases of the remaining two suspended lecturers are ongoing and these outcomes will be announced over the next couple of weeks.

Tsepo wa Mamatu, a lecturer in Drama has also been fired from Wits for sexual harassment.  Photo: Provided

Tsepo wa Mamatu, a lecturer in Drama has also been fired from Wits for sexual harassment.
Photo: Provided

As previously reported by Wits Vuvuzela, the university was conducting two inquiries and it is said that the campus-wide inquiry “is expected to be completed in the next two weeks”.

This inquiry is being led by the Head of the Centre of Applied Legal Studies, Professor Bonita Meyersfeld and Joe Mothibi from Norton Rose Fulbright.

Read more in the Wits Vuvuzela print edition or online this Friday.

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National Science Week: Applied Maths solves 200 year old astronomy riddle

Wits science students Zwane Sicelukwanda, Edwin Mokoena and Ntomfuthi Khumalo talk to Vuvuzela about their experiences of the astronomy talk. Photo: Nolwazi Mjwara

Wits science students Zwane Sicelukwanda, Edwin Mokoena and Ntomfuthi Khumalo talk to Wits Vuvuzela about their experiences of the astronomy talk. Photo: Nolwazi Mjwara

THE discovery of a massive collision of galaxies in space, a complex and massive astronomical riddle was made simple by Witsies.

This was all revealed at an astronomy talk chaired by Director of the Cosmic Dust Laboratory Prof David Block, at the new Wits science stadium on Monday night.

The talk was part of National Science Week hosted by Wits University all week to put the spotlight on science and technology research.

“No other team of astronomers had discovered this [collisions of galaxies]. This happened on our door step. Wits Applied Maths solved the riddle, solving a 200 year old riddle,” Block said.

School pupils and university students were part of the audience and were treated to graphical images of galaxies, space and years of research conducted by the Wits science team.

Block said the challenge was making people interested in science, as he is involved in an astronomy outreach programme which brings “1000 students” to Wits.

He also extended an invitation to Wits vice chancellor Prof Adam Habib to address people at astronomy talks.

[pullquote align=”right”]”There is now a paradigm shift in sciences and it’s amazing to learn new things.”[/pullquote]

Bavukile Dlamini, 3rd year mechanical engineering, said he was inspired by the astronomy talk and that Wits was at the forefront of astronomical research.

“It was very interesting and informative. There is now a paradigm shift in sciences and it’s amazing to learn new things,” Dlamini told Wits Vuvuzela.

While Zwane Sicelukwanda, 1st year BSC computational and applied mathematics urged young people to be involved in sciences as the industry has a lot of “old people”.

Through his astronomical research career, Block met renowned physicist Stephen Hawking and former president Nelson Mandela and joked that “UJ [University of Johannesburg] was not there”.

The Wits Science week runs from July 29 to August 2.

 

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[GALLERY] Taiwanese student ambassadors visit Wits University

Six students from a Taiwan university came to South Africa as apart of a culture exchange programme. They were chosen from a long process of entries through a competition and are one of 35 teams who do this around the world.

They visit many locations while in South Africa and yesterday they visited Wits University. The event started off in Hofmeyer House in the morning where students from the university met the Taiwan students and immersed themselves in the Chinese culture by painting their faces in a symbol which representative this.

Students from both universities mingled and play games in order to get to know each other further.

Afterwards everyone met at the Wits Amphitheater where the Taiwanese students put on a show which included song and dance.

Watch a video of the event below:

 

Without training students are ‘wasted potential’

 

Martin Moshal addresses executives to be a part of the Moshal Scholarship Program at the Radisson Blu Hotel. Photo: Caro Malherbe

Martin Moshal addresses executives to be a part of the Moshal Scholarship Program at the Radisson Blu Hotel. Photo: Caro Malherbe

The Moshal Scholarship Program invests in individuals who could end up mopping floors if they are not given opportunities.

The program that started in 2010, by Martin Moshal, seeks out exceptional individuals who have the potential to succeed.

“Potential is being wasted because they are too busy mopping up floors instead of mopping up the country,” said Moshal, when he addressed a group of executives at a conference at the Radisson Blu on Friday.

Selina Thebede is a UJ Business Science student. She majored in finance, economics, accounting and information-systems and is now a graduate of the Moshal Scholarship Program.

Before she was awarded the scholarship she found herself being uncertain of where she would end up. She did not think tertiary education was even an option.

Thebede overcame a lot in her life and now gives back to society by being actively involved in charities and using what she has learnt to be an example to others.

Like Thebede, 400 other students from Israel and South Africa have been given the opportunity to be properly educated because of the Moshal Scholarship Program.

“The way scholar selections take place is rather unique. Not only do we take academics into account, we also look for students with dogged determination to better themselves and their communities,” said Kate Kuper, Moshal president.

“In Jadish, the word for luck is ‘muzzle’,” said Moshal. .

“Most people who are successful got to where they are because of luck. This program is aimed at giving students from disadvantaged backgrounds a bit of ‘muzzle’ by creating opportunities for success”, he said.

The conference was to create corporate partnerships with top businesses in the country that will give Moshal students the opportunity to build networks, receive mentoring, internship possibilities and financial support.

Professor Jonathan Jansen from the University of the Free State spoke about the “graduate of the future”. His body language grabbed the audience’s attention, as he knocked over a bottle of water from the table while flinging his arms around in explanation.

Jansen said: “The pool of well-trained graduates will be small.” Receiving education is just half of what is needed to be successful. The other half is practical training in the working world, something that one does not get from at university.

The program is offered to students at all main South African universities, including Wits.

The conference room was made up of representatives from companies such as Investec, IQ Business, The National Treasury and a few major South African banks. As well as university and oil and mining companies such as Sasol and Anglo American delegates, just to name a few.

Corporate partners will follow students throughout their studies as potential future employees.

Gareth Cliff is one of the directors and partners of One on One Productions. This company has joined the program to train students in additional skills such as presentation, etiquette, body language and general dispositions- practical skills which are often overlooked as being necessary to find a job.

Jansen said he believed the program is beneficial because the time students spend getting a degree, being educated and training in the working world all “come together in a beautiful way”.

La Bonne Vie

LE GOOD LIFE: Samkele Kaase and Karabo Ntshweng having fun in studio. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

LE GOOD LIFE: Samkele Kaase and Karabo Ntshweng having fun in studio. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

Two great minds and voices have come together to bring Witsies and all those in Braamfie ‘the good life’ on VoWfm.

La Bonne what?

[pullquote]”We want to expose Joburg in its entirety”[/pullquote] La Bonne Vie is the French phrase for ‘good life’ and is now the name of a lifestyle and entertainment show hosted by Karabo Ntshweng and Samkele Kaase.

“We want to expose Joburg in its entirety,” said Ntshweng. She added that they want to give students a taste of the good life that falls within their budget.

Kaase and Ntshweng said that they went about doing this by attending events, informing people about events and having weekly give-aways. Events and places that students previously might not have had access to or just didn’t know about.

Kaase said that they connect with the people who own all the hotspots in Braam and make their proposals for deals and give-aways for the show.

Who’s it for?

Kaase said: “The show is very androgynous. People often assume that lifestyle shows are for women.” The pair added that they are about reaching out to students in the Braamfontein area who want to make things happen for themselves.

Natural progression

The co-hosts have always wanted to work together and this show was the natural progression of their professional relationship. Ntshweng said that they have both been at VoW for a long time and that they wanted to host an “entertaining talk show” that did more than just play popular music.

Kaase is still a student at Wits and Ntshweng now works at a popular Johannesburg radio station.

Witsies can catch La Bonne Vie on Thursdays at 7pm and podcasts are going to be available on VoW’s website from this week onwards.

National Science Week: Be an archaeologist at Wits for a day

DIG IN: Andrew van der Heever shows a student how to excavate. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

DIG IN: Andrew van der Heever shows Wits Vuvuzela journalist Liesl Frankson how to excavate an archeological site. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

Ever dreamt of being Indiana Jones?

 As part of National Science Week, The Wits Origins Centre offers children and students the chance to be an archaeologist for a day as part of their “Discovering the Past” exhibition.

ROCK ON: Andrew van der Heever   . Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

ROCK ON: Van der Heever  explains the process involved in finding objects. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

Kids and adults of all ages have the chance to spend time at “The Dig” in the South African Rock Museum where they can dig through different layers of earth to uncover different, but genuine artefacts in the simulated digs. More than 150 people  have already visited the centre since the exhibition opened on Saturday. During the course of National Science Week visitors can also tour the museum for free.
Andrew van der Heever, MA in Archaeology, and collection manager of about one million artifacts in the museum,  guides school pupils and students to dig, stop, map and screen their archaeological finds.
According to van der Heever, archaeologists cannot just take the objects out of the dig before mapping it. “Context is the most important, how the artifact formed how it fell into place. the environment also gives context,” he said.
One of the aims of the project is to attract children and students of all ages. Van der Heever said not many people know about archaeology, as it is not taught in schools. “The idea is to get youngsters involved. If you get more people into archaeology, you can get more funding.”
Although sciences such as Engineering, Biology and Physics receive the bulk of funding and interest, the Archaeology third years are very passionate about the profession.
Archaeology forms part of van der Heever’s love of history. Monica Gumede, 3rd year Archaeology, fell in love with archaeology after she met the archaeological legends at Wits such as David Lewis-Williams, went to the veld schools and got first hand experience of archaeology and digs. Now she has never been as passionate about anything else.

Witsies in campus hostage drama

800px-The_Wits_University_Great_Hall

by Nomatter Ndebele and Mfuneko Toyana

Members of Wits’ Law School locked themselves in a storeroom and called police after they were threatened with a gun by two men on Friday evening.

Nonkululeko Sunduza, academic officer of the law school council, said two men barged into their meeting; one of them holding what she says was a letter of admission, wanting to “know” about law.

Sunduza said one of the men was tattooed and had a gold tooth, while the other looked as if he were a “ hobo”

[pullquote align=”right”]“Ithii ngikhiphe izibhambu zam ngizonibonisa kahle” [Let me take my guns out so I can show you][/pullquote]

“I noticed that the other guy (The hobo), wasn’t really paying attention, he was just looking around” said Sunduza.

According to Sunduza the tattooed man became increasingly frustrated as he didn’t seem to understand what they were saying to him about the letter.

When they couldn’t answer his questions, he said in IsiZulu:“Ithii ngikhiphe izibhambu zam ngizonibonisa kahle” (Let me take my guns out so I can show you.)’

Sunduza screamed and told her fellow council member Lerato Thini to lock the door.

The eight council members then ran and locked themselves in the storeroom where they called Wits Campus Control. From the storeroom, Sunduza said she heard the men say: “We have to do this … we’ve been in cells together”

[pullquote]”Eight policemen arrived armed with rifles.”[/pullquote]

She said she also heard one guy explaining to the other how to use a gun. “Kufanele kuqhume isbhamu” (A gun must go off).

Fearing that Campus Control was taking too long to respond, the hotages called the police.

Senior investigating officer at Campus Control, Michael Mahada, told Wits Vuvuzela that he arrived on the scene and found Sunduza and Thini outside talking to Campus Control officers.

He said a few minutes later, about eight policemen arrived armed with rifles.

Mahada said one of the first things he noticed was a bag laying in the hallway with its contents scattered all around.

“There were some study guides of some sort, some clothing, and other documents”, Mahada said.

The “documents” turned out to be a letter from Wits acknowledging one of the men’s application to study at the University, as well as other personal papers.

Mahada said there was no gun in the bag or amongst the scattered items.

[pullquote align=”right”]She also told Mahada that her son was “not right”.[/pullquote]

“At first I thought the stuff belonged to a student. When I asked the suspect he couldn’t explain himself.”

Mahada said he then called one of the numbers on the documents, and the woman who answered said she was the suspects’ mother.

She also told Mahada that her son was “not right”.

Mahada said Campus Control would be looking at CCTV footage as they continue to investigate.

Constable Mduduzi Zondo of the Hillbrow Police station confirmed that a case of intimidation has been opened against the suspect, after he was apprehended on campus by the police.

The suspect remains in custody and is set to appear in a Hillbrow court tomorrow.

His accomplice ran away and has yet to been found.

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UJ says no to EFF

 

EFF founding members Julius Malema and businessman  Kenny Kunene march through the streets of Soweto. Photo: Thuletho Zwane

EFF founding members Julius Malema and businessman Kenny Kunene march through the streets of Soweto. Photo: Thuletho Zwane

RAY MAHLAKA and THULETHO ZWANE

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) supporters were barred from entering the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Doorfontein Campus on Friday.

“Luthuli House was sabotaging us,” said EFF municipal co-ordinator and former ANC youth league secretary Walter Mokorodi. He said  UJ’s decision to bar them from entry was politically motivated.

“We were given permission to be at UJ, but were refused entry. The ANC sent UJ students messages not to attend [the event]. We ripped up ANC t-shirts,” said Mokorodi.

EFF released a statement “condemning” UJ’s decision to close the campus to EFF’s event and Julius Malema, their commander-in-chief.

However EFF still maintains proper procedures were followed to secure a venue for Malema’s speech.

“EFF condemns the decision to close the university campus against the EFF event despite the fact that permission for the event was granted,”said EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.

Ndlozi said “UJ has chosen a political side, fallen prey to the cheap tricks of the ruling party which use public institutions like the police, NPA [National Prosecution Authority], SABC…”

UJ media relations coordinator Herman Esterhuizen said “the university didn’t cancel the event. There was no application. The submission was not in the time period of the university”.

Esterhuizen said the UJ process for booking or hiring a venue should happen eight-weeks prior to event, and said  the university did not “cancel the event”.

An EFF delegate handed Wits Vuvuzela the minutes of a meeting where booking of the  venue was discussed. The document, with a UJ letterhead, which was not confirmed by UJ, shows that Mayibuye Anarchist Society requested to book room 2212 on July 2 to use on July 18. The minutes show the venue bookings were approved by the UJ bookings and hiring committee.

UJ Venue bookings and hiring commitee minutes.

UJ venue bookings and hiring committee minutes showing a late venue application. Image: Provided.

Ndlozi said in a statement: “Economic Freedom Fighters were held at ransom because the toothless lapdogs of the African National Congress vowed that the EFF will not enter University of Johannesburg.”

EFF Mpumalanga media liaison officer Mpumelelo Masina said “people can cast out the fact we are disgruntled people who just want to sing and dance, we have intellectuals.”

Masina said EFF will be launching in Marikana on August 17 , a day after the first anniversary of the Marikana Massacre where  34 miners were killed.

 

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Mandela’s legacy in question

Representatives of several political parties came together on Friday to debate the legacy of Nelson Mandela. Photo: Mfuneko Toyana

Representatives of several political parties came together on Friday to debate the legacy of Nelson Mandela. Photo: Mfuneko Toyana

“Don’t blame Mandela because black people are lazy”.  The president of the Wits Debating Union (WDU), Jamie Mighti, said he was willing to be unpopular and tell fellow black students this “inconvenient truth”.

Mighti was speaking at a debate held by the WDU about former president Nelson Mandela’s legacy focused on whether Mandela sold black people out in the name of peace and reconciliation.

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) representatives Hon M A Mncwango and  Bonginkosi Dhlamini, the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) Makashule Gana and Andile Mngxitama of the Economic Freedom Fighters or EFF also formed part of the debating panel.

[pullquote align=”right”]”Mandela cut deals with white people at the expense of black people.”[/pullquote]

The IFP, DA and WDU all argued that Mandela did not sell black people out but rather “chose peace over justice” so the country could move forward.

This is in light of Mandela’s decision to protect the private property rights of the wealthy, who were still mainly white.

Mandela was also criticised for his decision to keep South Africa a capitalist state.

Public figures such as his former wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe, have publicly called him a “sell out” for choosing to have black and white people live and work together on what they have called the “stolen” land of black Africans.

Gana of the DA said it was important to consider history and context when looking at what Mandela did for South Africa: “Many other African states were collapsing and skilled people were leaving these countries with no skills transfer … He was driven by that fact and the Freedom Charter, which stated that South Africa belongs to all who live in it.”

Mngxitama was the only panelist who disagreed with the stateman’s approach to building a new South Africa: “Mandela cut deals with white people at the expense of black people. That is his unique contribution, that’s his legacy.”

The activist-turned-politician was met with a room full of applause and cheers when he said the EFF planned to “take the land and he economy back.”

He also said that under their (EFF) rule, all members of parliament would be forced to use public hospitals and take their children to public schools – “then they’ll be sure to make Baragwanath a quality hospital”, he said, to which the crowd responded with more applause and screaming.

[pullquote]”Don’t try party like a white kid. He’s going to leave you behind because he’s 12 years ahead of you.”[/pullquote]

Mighti said he was alarmed by the approach of “the Andiles and Malemas of this world”. He urged fellow students to forgive and forget about the apartheid regime and focus on being better students to ensure a more promising future. “What Andile says makes for good slogans, but it doesn’t make for a good supper”.

He said more black students needed to be in the library and “not at Puma [Social Club].

Don’t try party like a white kid. He’s going to leave you behind because he’s 12 years ahead of you. He had a good education, you have catching up to do.”

A student, who chose not to be named,  shouted at Mighti: “You insult us as blacks and yet you are black. This is what the system wanted.” He argued that the 24 hour libraries on main campus are used by black students, objecting to his claim that black students don’t put in as much work as their white mates.

He said white students were able to do better because they had resources like Apple iPads, computers with internet access and cars, which made their learning simpler.

Mighti ended his address by saying to black students “look in the mirror and ask yourself why you are not the top student in your class. There’s too much ‘instagraming’ and ‘facebooking’ going on”.

The debate ended without final remarks from Mngxitama as he was “summoned” to Soweto to join the EFF’s National Assembly.

The debate, which was held at FNB 101 last night, was aimed at addressing what the WDU has called “ongoing conversations” among young people.

Another debate will be held next week Friday as part of the WDU’s “Responsible Reconcilliation” Series. Next week’s topic is Socio-Economic Integration.

Wits accused 11 complain VC is “player and referee”

THE ELEVEN charged Wits students have raised concerns about the chairperson presiding over their disciplinary hearing.

Advocate Jennifer Woodward was appointed by Vice Chancellor Adam Habib.

“The chairperson was appointed by the same vice chancellor who is prosecuting us,” said SRC secretary Tasneem Essop.

“The vice chancellor is a player and a referee. It doesn’t make sense. How can you charge students then decide who the judge is,” said SRC international student affairs officer Pearl Pillay.

Habib defended the appointment of Woodward and called her a “senior and well-respected” advocate. He said the Wits Legal Office recommended the appointment of an independent person which was supported by management.

He said the recommendation was made because of the case’s “potential reputational risks and the need to ensure a fair, transparent process.”

Habib said the committee holding the hearing was independent and its decision could be reviewed and appealed by a committee appointed by University Council.

The students were charged with contravening the university’s code of conduct after they disrupted a concert by an Israeli pianist during a protest for Israel Apartheid Week in March.

The 11 charged students have resigned to losing the case. They said the hearing process was biased and fraught with double standards and inconsistencies.

SRC president Sibulele Mgudlwa said: “The judge was frustrated and disallowed our lawyer from getting instruction from us. Our lawyer was scolded and shouted at but when the same behaviour was showed by the prosecutor, it was ok.”

Essop told Wits Vuvuzela the venue of the disciplinary hearing was moved without the charged 11 students’ knowledge. She said they were scolded by Woodward when they arrived late at the new venue and were not allowed to explain why they were late.

Habib confirmed the inquiry venue was changed but said the SRC’s legal representative team was made aware of the change.

Essop and Pillay said the judge was “extremely patronising” and treated the charged 11 students “like children”.

“We got a gag order for tweeting. The university threatened to charge us with more misconduct charges. What is the university scared of?” said Essop.

Pillay said the charged students were ordered not to tweet during the trial after Deputy Vice Chancellor Prof Yunus Ballim was offended by something he saw on twitter.

“The next day, the prosecutor printed 68 pages of our tweets. The judge asked us not to tweet. We wanted the media to know,” said Pillay.

Habib told Wits Vuvuzela Woodward decided a “trial by media” was not best for the circumstances “given the manifold and diverse interests in the case”.

He said while the media wasn’t allowed to attend the inquiry, “there were no objections should the student wish to comment to the media outside.”

SRC president Sibulele Mgudlwa disputes this and said the accused students wanted the media to be present.

“We made calls for the media to be there and for the trial to be public. The university and the disciplinary hearing presiding officer [Woodward] has rejected our calls.”

Mgludlwa said they [the students] haven’t laid a formal complaint against the university but “we might be writing a letter of complaint to the vice chancellor” depending on what their lawyer advises.

The trial of the 11 Wits students will resume August 13.

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