Investigative Stories from Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa win at Africa Check awards.
On Thursday afternoon 8 March, students at Wits University had the chance to participate in Steers’ quirky campus game –
The guys played a series of touch rugby games. But instead of normal touch rugby, students played Steers’ special Soft Side version – Hugby. Hugby is touch rugby involving seven team members per side that have to hug their opponents as opposed to tackle them, while passing a teddy bear instead of a rugby ball. A total of 10 teams were chosen , with five 10-minute matches being played. The teams battled it out for the ultimate prize – the Steers Hugby Cup!
Team members of the winning team were awarded R1000 in cash, with special prizes of R500 each being awarded to players for things like Metro Man of the Match.
Photos taken by Taryn Fritz Public Relations and Communications
The political road for ANC Youth League firebrand Julius Malema has come to an end. The expulsion verdict was announced late on Wednesday evening.
The disciplinary committee said Malema had showed no remorse in his conduct and had continued to defy the organisation.
However those who have a dying desire to see Malema down and out for good will have to wait. A life line of 14 days to appeal the decision has been granted by the disciplinary committee.
Whether Julius will appeal or not remains unknown. If he does, would the committee make the sentence less harsh?
According to media reports Malema has accepted the decision by the ANC but has not given up hope.
If an appeal is lodged, part of the argument by Malema’s lawyer Dali Mpofu would be that the national disciplinary committee’s decision was issued with “unseemly haste”, violating the party’s procedures.
Other youth league members were unsuccessful in their appeal against their sentences for ill discipline and remain suspended from the ANC for three years.
Apart from the appeal, Malema could still keep his head above the water. He can take the matter to the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) which has the power to overrule the disciplinary committee’s decision.
Back in 1976, secretary-general of the ANC Alfred Nzo wrote that the NEC expelled eight of its members from the ranks of the organisation for pursuing factional activities in the liberation movement. Nonetheless the members continued with their disruptive activities.
The current youth league has stated on numerous occasions that it would defy the ruling. It remains a mystery what Julius and his supporters have planned to counter the decision.
Could this be a case of a cat with nine lives and we should anticipate the return of Malema?
Vuvuzela took a poll early on Thursday to suggest possible careers the youth league leader could pursue. The responses ranged from farming to the next president.
If Malema’s political career does end up six feet under, could the league succumb to the mother body’s decisions and expectations of how a youth league should operate?
If not, South Africans should anticipate another firebrand leader like Malema.
The tribe might have spoken, but this does not seem like the final word. Who will outlast, outwin and outplay the other?
A Twenty-year-old student from Botswana was shocked to discover her car stolen from what she thought was a secure parking at the Wits Junction residence parking lot last Friday.
“I feel terribly let down by the promises of safety and security at the Junction. The residence fee should cover adequate and reliable security”, Gayathri Raveendran said.
The 4th year medical student’s 2003 white Toyota RunX was parked outside the Shosholoza building at the Junction parking space when it was stolen.
The residence, which costs R49 000 a year, is in the process of installing boom gates. The motorised gates are currently not working. Vuvuzela witnessed people opening and closing the gate themselves without any security check.
The security guard only opened for cars exiting the premises. On the day the car was stolen, the exit gate was not working and students and visitors had to use the entrance gate to exit, said a Wits Junction employee who asked not to be named.
At the time Raveendran’s car was stolen, the Park Lane entrance was in use, but the security cameras had not been set up and the security guards placed at that entrance were new, according to Raveendran.
She said she would advise the Junction not to rely solely on the security guards but to take additional measures like changing parking bays to avoid patterns.
Despite repeated attempts by Vuvuzela to speak to Robert Sharman, director of campus housing and residence life, no comment has been received.
Anyone with any information concerning the loss of the car with a Botswana registration number B774 ATY should please contact Vuvuzela on 011 717 4082/28, or come to the 10th floor of University Corner.
Bianca Bothma is a master’s student in film and television
Q: Tell us about your film:
A: Constructing Jo’burg is a short experimental film made up of a series of animations. The animations show Johannesburg in a more intimate portrait of the city that is creative rather than a place you cannot go to.
Q: What does the film mean to you?
A: My film was screened with other films at the first annual Jozi Film Festival. It was great because I was telling stories about Jo’burg.
Q:What inspired the film?
A: My investigation on how much we can move around the city of Johannesburg.
Q: What got you into film making?
A: I have always been interested in photography since high school
Q: Who do you look up to?
A: It changes all the time. Right now, I am currently inspired by a book I’m reading by director Werner Herzog. He has made over 53 films, and he has travelled all over the world. I am currently reading a book of his screenplays. They are socially relevant. He is experimental and a very progressive film maker. I am trying to get into his head.
Check out the trailer to Constructing Jo’burg
Gumboot dancing, poetry, traditional seTswana dancers, actors and many other performances marked the official reopening of the Johannesburg City Library (JCL).
After an upgrade and extension process, the library was officially reopened to the public on Valentine’s Day.
The facelift included repairs and extensions to the original structure which amounted to R68 million.
The first two floors of the refurbishment houses computers with internet access, while the third floor is an area for exhibitions.
There is also an underground theatre.
“We’ll be forming partnerships with tertiary institutions as to what kind of materials we should store in the library for their students. We’ll be giving secondary resources for university students and often prescribed books,” said Monyatsi Ramela, JCL assistant director.
Director of Higher Education and Libraries in Africa, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Dr Tade Aina says they are supporting six university libraries in South Africa.
They include Wits, Rhodes, University of Cape Town and others.
“Our collections have been automated and digitised.
It has created a new space for the support of research and postgraduate training.
The six universities have been connected to a research system, where other institutions can access the collections at other universities.”
The library boasts accessible collections of approximately 600 000 items.
The library was one of the most prominent buildings erected in Johannesburg during the 1930s. It opened its doors on August 6, 1935.
The current library structure is an amalgamation of two buildings and was designed by John Perry, a Cape Town-based architect.
The library was closed for renovations in April 2009.
“The rejuvenation of the city library gives us an opportunity where people can access research materials, there is also free internet and Wi-Fi which the people can use. We anticipate the number of people using the library will increase, “said Executive Mayor Parks Tau.
A coffee shop is also on the cards. Most of the refurbishment has been completed with outstanding work due to be finished by the end of May 2012.
Hungry students who were looking forward to a meal at the main dining hall were treated to an eyeful while waiting for their mouthful. The main dining hall, located on the first floor of the Matrix, was renovated over the holiday. “We had a lot of students and we noticed last year that the serving area was very small, that’s why we decided to expand it,” said Bontle Mogapi, the liaison officer at the main dining hall. A salad bar was added to the area along with a space for students to choose their own toppings for pizzas and burgers. The meals are made while they wait. “I think it’s beautiful,” said Mashele Skhulile, a 3rd year civil engineering student, “The service is much better than last year.” Mogomotsi Mosewu, a 2nd year student agreed: “The food is nicer and better than last year. [The layout] is quite confusing at first but I’ll get used to it.” Along with the installation of Wi-Fi, a coffee lounge has been added to the area as well. Mogapi said this area will be ready in two weeks. “Students can load money onto their cards and buy cakes and sandwiches.” The coffee lounge will only be available to residence students who have booked meals at the main dining hall. “If it’s popular, then we would obviously consider including [other] students,” Mogapi said
The three students who “trashed” Senate House concourse last year are still waiting for a verdict on their hearing.
The disciplinary inquiry took place on Wednesday 15 at the Wits legal office.
Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, James Pendlebury and Komnas Poriazis, from the Wits Workers’ Solidarity Committee (WWSC), argued the littering action was undertaken in solidarity with the strike by outsourced workers on campus in August last year.
The hearing was chaired by Professor Stephen Tuson, who will solely judge the case, and the outcome is expected in two weeks.
“The hearing and the way in which it was conducted went well,” said Ndlozi.
When asked if he was confident about the outcome he said he didn’t know what the verdict would be but was proud of their actions.
“We believe in what we did,” Ndlozi added.
Pendlebury and Poriazis also felt they had a fair hearing.
The students didn’t want to comment on the hearing itself because they didn’t want to be seen to be trying to influence the final decision.
Yusuf Peer, SRC policy, constitution and legal affairs portfolio holder, said: “As the SRC we felt that the entire process was flawed from the start.”
He added they could not find clear documents that show where the boundaries are for lawful or unlawful protest at Wits.
“Substantially there was no real destruction to the university and there was no real damage done,” said Peer, who helped the students to prepare their arguments.
Acting SRC president, Tebogo Thothela, was one of the witnesses at the hearing.
The council organised a rally the day before the hearing encouraging students, lecturers and workers to sign a petition requesting the charges to be dropped.
The request from the students for the hearing to be public was also denied.
South African Students’ Congress (SASCO) and Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA) members showed up at the hearing to show their support for the students.
Dineo Sitole from the PYA said it was shocking that management allowed the charges to be investigated so soon, since they were only sanctioned late last year.
“We should be looking at the workers and the working environment, as opposed to checking on students,” she added.
The McDonalds Top Jock competition has returned once again to university campuses across the country. The competition aims to cultivate and scout for the countries musical talent.
On Thursday February 16, Thula Nombika was announced as the winner of the competition’s Wits leg.
Four students were shortlisted to battle it out on the decks integrating the McDonalds jingle into their mix. Only one winner would represent the university at the national event at the end of the month.
Fourth year mechanical engineering student, Nombika says he was lucky to be called on at the last minute after another contestant dropped out.
“I was called 15 minutes before the competition started. I’m excited I won, because I also entered last year. I failed to win because of a scratch during my mix,” said Nombika.
Second runner up, Marcel “DJ Cheezo” Kleinsmith was disappointed he did not win. “I was nervous at first, my performance was okay but I didn’t win.”
The 3rd year BHSc Pharmacology student, Kleinsmith is also a part time deejay and he sees it as a hobby.
National Marketing Manager for McDonalds Telma Tsironi said the competition is about approaching the youth of South Africa and to cater for the needs of young people 24/7.
Tsironis also applauded the talent at Wits, “The crowd was amazing and the talent was great. Wish they could all be winners, but there is only one winner.”
South African DJ Euphonik is the competition’s judge for all the 10 legs and the final showdown.
The ultimate Top Jock who will be announced on March 30 at the finals, will walk away with a 12 month deejay course and other prizes.
McDonalds Brand Manager, Monica Sithole said there is also a digital campaign where students can upload demo’s and mix’s for other prizes and another option where tickets can be won for the final event at Melrose on www.topjock247.co.za .
Commuting to campus using taxis during my undergraduate years put a strain on my marks.
Moving closer to campus was the only solution because the construction of the Gautrain was still ongoing at the time
I had a “traumatic” experience living in student accommodation for the first time during my honours year.
My idea of communal living took a turn for the worse when cleaners went on strike or failed to clean the communal areas for that day or the loud music after midnight woke me up while I was sleeping.
For me, the Gautrain was life—changing.
I now commute daily on the Gautrain which makes travelling between Pretoria and Johannesburg much quicker and more convenient than taking a taxi. Since the route between the capital city and Rosebank was opened, I yearned to return to living in the comfort of my own home.
So, I have chosen to live at home this year and commute on the Gautrain which costs me about R50 a trip, 35 minutes on travelling and the convenience compared to taking a taxi.
But yet another illegal work stoppage by Gautrain bus drivers threatens this happy arrangement.
Each strike cripples the Gautrain service resulting in interruptions and inconvenience. Gautrain management has fired another group of 300 drivers.
According to media reports, bus drivers say their complaints of 11-hour shifts and a lack of transport to and from work had been ignored by their employers.
The bus drivers claim they work long hours without a toilet or lunch break.
Since the bus drivers went on strike, I am forced to wake up much earlier just to arrive on campus on time for my lectures. I live in an area where there are hardly any taxis.
I walk for about 45 minutes to the station, am on the train for 20 minutes and then have to pray for a direct taxi to Braamfontein from Rosebank on Jan Smuts Avenue.
A part of me does sympathise with these drivers who are probably breadwinners in their own homes. These men could also be heads of families.
But, did the drivers fail to read the fine print before inking their signatures on their contracts? Were they not told of their working hours, and the rules and regulations of the company before accepting the offer?
Or was there so much excitement at the prospect of working on the Gautrain that they failed to listen to the possible irregularities from management?
I don’t know, call it whatever you want, I might have lost touch with understanding the “working-class” lifestyle or my ramblings may just be symptoms of middle-class problems.
I could also just be bitter because of the disruption to my daily routine of using the Gautrain and the buses.
However, these bus drivers might possibly need to be treated fairly by management. I am still thinking about this while standing in the snaking queue at Noord taxi rank en route home.
The Love Shack is a show that looks at romantic relationships, sexual practices and psychology in a fun and innovative way for students. The show will be educational in some aspect, but will have a light-hearted tone. Through books and sound research, the show looks to be informative in an entertaining manner.
Tonight’s show will feature FHM managing editor Louis Raubenheimer and Sunday Times astrologer Linda Shaw as well as a Wits Masters student in Anthropology, Ziaad Choonara.
More than anything, the Love Shack is a sexual wellness show, we are trying to get students involved in issues surrounding relationships, love, sex. Basically breaking the stereotypes and opening conversations about sexual orientation and sexuality, says Sentle Nell.
The Love Shacks resident sexologist, Dr Elna McIntosh will answers all the cringe questions related to sex and relationships. “No holds barred, she really goes into it, no pun intended,” says Nell.
“The show will look at the dynamics of Valentine’s Day and whether people still celebrate it versus it just being another well publicised money making scheme,” says Sibahle Motha, the show’s producer.
Another guest on the show will be Cape Town based pastry chef Jacqui from Charly’s Bakery who’ll be talking about the romantic special orders people put through for the day.
One of the show’s producers Thuli Mdakane says there are a lot of prizes to be won from Durex and the new Cherry Zumbak. “Make sure you listen to VOWFM 90.5 this evening from 6pm till 7pm and you can also catch it via audio streaming on www.vowfm.co.za and clicking on Listen Live”
Let South Africa speak, be taught and do business in an African language.”
Musician Simphiwe Dana made this point during the Golden Key Thinkers Symposium at the Great Hall on Tuesday. The annual symposium is an initiative that aims to encourage a thinking community with the hopes of transforming society.
Dana is known not only for her award-winning music, but also for her strong views on the poor state of public schooling in the country. She also fears a loss of diversity as African ethnic groups lose their culture and their languages. For this reason she proposes the re-instatement of mother-tongue education in schools.
In her address, Dana said African states were failing because they had not yet moved on from the scars of their past, pre-independence.
“A lion cannot deny its carnivorous nature. It will die, just like African states are floundering because they are upholding colonial systems.”
As she finished speaking, she faced a sea of hands, but only two questions were allowed. One of them questioned the logistics of her proposal for mother-tongue education in a country with 11 official languages.
“Diversity is beautiful,” Dana responded. “Africa has a million languages. But we need to unify towards a common cause.” She said this was a step towards developing a united Africa.
Other guests included cabinet spokesperson Jimmy Manyi, who drew attention to the statistics that showed that broad-based empowerment had yet to reach its target in various sectors.
Advocate George Bizos stressed the importance and strength of the country’s Constitution and the way justice had grown from the days of apartheid to build South Africa into a budding democratic state.
Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel urged the audience to equip themselves with a “toolbox” of attributes that the country needed in its leaders. He highlighted, among many qualities, a commitment to service, without a sense of entitlement.
“Why are we doing what we are doing? If the objective is service, then you are more likely to be recognised as a good leader,” he said. It does not work the other way around, he added.
“The test of leadership is frequently in circumstances adverse to where you want to be.”
Other speakers included Primedia’s head of news Yusuf Abramjee, columnist and Twitter celebrity Khaya Dlanga, environmental strategist and SABC weather presenter Christina Fatti and other leaders in their fields of expertise.
The symposium also managed to trend on Twitter. By the end of the evening, #GK_Thinkers was trending across the country.