Disciplinary hearing postponed for #WitsSeven

The disciplinary hearing of the five Wits Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and two other students who were suspended after the Great Hall fight has been postponed because they were charged with rules that no longer exist.

Wits EFF members at the men's res march. Photo: Tanisha Hieberg

Wits EFF members at the men’s res march. Photo: Tanisha Hieberg

At the disciplinary hearing which was held on September 16 Advocate Dali Mpofu, representing the students, pointed out the rules the students were charged with were out of date. He presented the disciplinary committee with the new set of rules that had been adopted by University Council in April 2015.

The new General Rules for Student Conduct makes allowance for students to disrupt “classes, meetings or any other activities of the university” if such conduct is reasonably directed towards the exercise of the right to assemble, to demonstrate and picket peacefully and unarmed.

“none of the suspended seven actually have charges against them.”

 

Speaking to Wits Vuvuzela, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Andrew Crouch confirmed that the seven students were charged under the old rules of conduct. He said that this was an “administrative error” which does not change the university’s stance on the matter.

“Anything that results in violence is deemed to be misconduct,” he said.

The charges follow an SRC debate on August 18. Wits EFF interrupted the proceedings by getting on the Great Hall stage and singing struggle songs. This resulted in an altercation between the various political parties turning violent. Following this, seven students were suspended most of whom were Wits EFF members.

Vuyani Pambo briefing EFF members after the great brawl

Vuyani Pambo briefing EFF members after the great brawl

Anele Nzimande, a Wits EFF member, said based on the video footage they reviewed, none of the suspended Wits EFF members were involved in the violence.

“In fact it was Project W who tried to physically remove our members from the Great Hall stage,” she said.

Nzimande added that since the charges are being amended “none of the suspended seven actually have charges against them.”

In a letter written to academic and administrative staff, Politics doctoral student Lwazi Lushaba, one of the suspended students, said that the disciplinary charges under the an old code of conduct had serious implications. He said the disciplinary hearings were “an issue that is now costing the university hundreds of thousands of Rands, has exposed the inefficiency of the Legal Office of the university but has also questioned the integrity of the university itself.”

The suspended students will be served with new charges by Friday, September 25 and the disciplinary hearing will resume on November 30.

New Student Rules of Conduct

New Student Rules of Conduct

new rules pg2

Real Talk with Queen B!

South African celebrity Bonang Matheba shares six insights about success.

Bonang Matheba shares here journey to success with young woman at Alexandra theatre.

Bonang Matheba shares here journey to success with young woman at Alexandra theatre. Photo: Sibongile Machika.

 

The Queen of everything, Bonang Matheba, was a huge drawcard at the Nedbank Talk for Success at the Alexandra Theatre last night.  Over 100 young women packed the theatre to hear what radio host, TV presenter and Revlon brand ambassador had to say about her road to success.

From her simple beginnings in Mafikeng and Hillbrow, to becoming a Stuyvesant promo girl in clubs, and finally being South Africa’s favourite” it girl”, these are the lessons she’s learned along the way.

1. Bottle your uniqueness and sell it.

“To make yourself stand out, you must find something that is unique about you that you can bottle and sell.”

2. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

“Every single thing I have done I have planned for.”

Having been rejected several times for jobs at YFM, Metro FM and even Top Billing, Matheba has learned that when you have a plan life’s little hiccups can’t keep you down.

Every time she was rejected she would tell herself “O ho abang kitse ba (these ones don’t know me), I’m going to be on Top Billing”.

3. ‘Overnight’ success takes 2-4 years

Matheba said we live in world where everyone wants ‘instant’ everything. “No one puts in the work anymore.”

When you work for your money, you don’t have to ask for anything, you and have to thank anyone for “helping you out”.

Hard work makes is fulfilling. You get to say ”Chomi, I was at the promotion for nine hours selling cigarettes ko kong, mara  ke rekile di louboutin”, she said while flicking her heel to show off her red bottoms.

The Nedbank igniters: Bonang Matheba, Zoey Brown and Ciko Thomas

The Nedbank igniters: Bonang Matheba, Zoey Brown and Ciko Thomas. Photo: Sibongile Machika

4. The world doesn’t owe you anything.

“Success is your responsibility. Entitlement is a delusion of grandeur.”

5. Believe you are worth it.

The Secret principle says:  think it, write it down, say it out loud and if possible try to experience what it would feel like to achieve it.

6. Break down the barriers.

“You can be whatever you want, whatever! I’m living proof.”  From Hillbrow to Top Billing, the biggest barrier is your mind. So change your mind set.

 

Movie review: Thina Sobabili: The two of us

Believe the hype.Thina Sobabili is everything you hoped it would be.

Set in Sandton extension one otherwise known as Alex, Thina sobabili is the gripping story of two siblings Thulas and Zanele who are facing life ekasi and the socio economic problems that come with it.

Thulas is the increasingly possessive and over protective brother of Zanele who finds herself a sugar daddy in the hope of breaking out of ekasi. Theirs is a simple story that depicts the realities of some (possibly many) young South Africans today.

Director, Ernest Nkosi has managed to show case townships in a way that is realistic.

The movie has done very well internationally. It won two audience’s choice awards from the African Diaspora International Film Festival in New York and the Pan African Film Festival respectively.

Thina Sobabili is an independent film that has a small but strong cast. Leading man, Emmanuel Nkosinathi Gweva makes his brilliant debut along side Busisiwe Mtshali who has been on a few productions including SABC1 sitcom Thandeka’s Diary.

Winning cast: Richard Lukunku, Emmanuel Nkosinathi Gweva,Zikhona Sodlaka, Thato Dhladla, Busisiwe Mtshali and Mpho "Popps" Modikoane

Winning cast: Richard Lukunku, Emmanuel Nkosinathi Gweva,Zikhona Sodlaka, Thato Dhladla, Busisiwe Mtshali and Mpho “Popps” Modikoane

Unlike other South African movies, which often seem to exaggerate, mock or marvel at township conditions and the kasi lifestyle. Director, Ernest Nkosi has managed to show case townships in a way that is realistic. Without adding or taking anything away he makes Alex seem normal, like it is for Thulas, Zanele and some of the viewers.

Abuse is one of the main themes of the movie. Mosibudi Pheeha who is the writer of the movie is not superficial in how she addressed abuse. She goes beyond the violence and gives us a glimpse into the psyche of both perpetrator and victim.  The movie also does well in showing the legacy of abuse, how is creates a vicious cycle of perpetrators and victims who often share deep bonds.

Apart from a few visual bloopers Thina Sobabili is impressive. The story line is authentic and unpredictable. This makes it a very good movie which gets a vuvu 4/5.

Lots of drama at School of Arts imbizo

Students from the Drama department had the most complaints at the first Wits School of Arts student imbizo (meeting).

At an imbizo hosted by the Wits School of Arts (WSOA) student council on Monday afternoon, students from the drama department took the opportunity to file their frustrations. The imbizo was intended to acquaint students with the council, which was elected three months ago, and brainstorm ideas on future activities.

One of their more serious complaints was that drama students felt that they did not have enough access to the Wits theatre. Students are not allowed to use the theatre unless it is during an exam or an actual production.

“The Wits theatre is a separate entity from the school of arts. It functions as a business that need to generate profit.”

Each student is only given 30 minutes to familiarise themselves with the theatre stage before their exam starts. Students said their performance marks suffer because 30 minutes is not enough time to familiarise themselves with the space and use it efficiently.

Chairperson of the WSOA student council Nolo Mmeti,  said they have looked into the problem before. “The Wits theatre is a separate entity from the School of Arts. It functions as a business that needs to generate profit.” For this reason there is very little they can do about it. He also said when students are allowed to use the theatre often things are broken and equipment is not returned on time which leaves them with very little room to negotiate around the matter.

Students also complained that the School rules state that students are to receive their provisional marks a week before their exams but this does not happen for all departments. While others said that some lecturers do not give clear criteria of how students will be assessed. One student went on say that“sometimes I think marks are dependent on how close one is to the lecturer”.

A learder in the arts: Nolo Mmeti, Chairperson of the Wits School of Arts student council.  Photo; Sibongile Machika

A learder in the arts: Nolo Mmeti, Chairperson of the Wits School of Arts student council. Photo; Sibongile Machika

The council gave feedback on some of the requests that they received last semester and assured students that all new matters would be looked in to.

From language barriers between students and lecturers, to marks that are released with students names, students felt  that council had done a great deal in raising real student issues with management and getting timely results.

Mmeti said they hope to have more of these imbizos to “instil a collaborative culture” between students and their council. He also said there isn’t enough “artist collaborations between students of various study years” and they hope to change that.

Students are encouraged to keep an eye on the Wits School of Arts social media sites to find out about events and information regarding their various departments.

Electrical workers march to Habib

In a final attempt to save their jobs as sub-contractors for Wits University, MJL electrical workers made an impassionate plea to the vice chancellor, Adam Habib, and the rest of Wits management.

Workers and students gathered at The Great hall before their march to Senate House. Photo by Sibongile Machika

Workers and students gathered at The Great hall before their march to Senate House. Photo by Sibongile Machika

Yesterday MJL workers together with members of the workers coalition gathered outside the Great Hall in what they called “a final act of desperation”.

The workers marched to Senate House to hand over a petition and open letter addressed to Wits University. The petition called on students and staff to put pressure on Wits management to take their request seriously.”

“Thina siyay’isaba lendawo, yimbi lendawo siy’asaba lendawo yibi lendawo”

MJL spokesperson, Richard Ndebele said “This petition is about us getting our jobs back, we are asking the university to hire companies that can absorb MJL workers.

About 100 people attended the march including members of staff, students, student leadership and other workers in the university, some of whom are sub-contracted and employed by the university. In solidarity they sang struggle songs as they walked to meet Adam Habib. “Thina siyay’isaba lendawo, yimbi lendawo siy’asaba lendawo yibi lendawo”

In their letter the MJL workers who have been out of work since March blame the University for not doing enough to help them. Workers have been in a salary dispute with MJL Electrical owner George Cresswold since last year. They said that if Wits management acted sooner they wouldn’t be in this situation.

Wits management has previously said it is not the university’s responsibility to guarantee works jobs.  However they are prepared to support the workers in a legal battle against Cresswold as a friend of the courts.

Cape Town’s First Thursday comes to Jozi

Cape Town’ First Thursday team brings a feast of art and culture to the Jozi night crawler.

Two weeks ago Cape Town’s First Thursday team announced its move to Johannesburg. This Thursday, 7th May, they host Jozi’s first free arts and culture experience.

Think everyday Braamfontein on steroids.

First Thursday is a the free cultural experience in which some local galleries,restaurants and concept stores open for extended hours on the first Thursday of every month.  The idea is to bring arts and culture back to the people while giving artists exposure.

“the perfect alternative night out for the art loving, wine drinking jozi night crawlers.”

Unlike traditional high society arts events which are often  perceived to be reserved for the prim and proper elite, First Thursday is much more informal, you can dress as you please, you don’t have to know a thing about art and nobody will be shhhing you in the galleries. The aim is to encourage people to come explore, experience and celebrate art as they wish.

The concept has been very successful in Cape Town and is the perfect alternative night out for the art loving, wine drinking jozi night crawlers. Take a look at what you can expect this Thursday.*

The inaugural event is from 5pm till late. Some of this month’s highlights are Simon Gush’s “workplace” showing at the Stevenson gallery, “Wake up, this is joburg” showing at Fourthwall Books and “Time and again-A Penny Siopis retrospective” showing at The Wits Arts Museum.

 

There are 12 more cultural hubs participating this week including Kitcheners, Great Dane and the Neighbourgoods market. Maps showing all the venues will be available at all participating outlets and can also be viewed below.*

Advice from the First Thursday team follows:

BEFORE YOU GO
  1. Browse exhibitions, performances, and other events on our highlights page.
  2. Familiarize yourself with locations using our Google map (link in the navigation).
  3. Decide where you’d like to start.
  4. Invite old friends, new friends, family, and colleagues or do it on your own.
  5. Grab a printed map at your first stop.
  6. For more information check out the event website
GETTING THERE AND PARKING

We recommend taking the [Rea Viya] Bus or cycling if you can. If you’re driving, park near to where you think you might end up. Don’t stress yourself out trying to find parking on the doorstep of where you want to go. Parking a little further away and enjoy the walk.

* Video and map taken from the First thursday website

YOUR MAMA’S KITCHEN: FOOD FOR YOUR SOUL

Your Mama’s  Kitchen is  a music event that organizers hope will happen annually to keep band-culture alive in Braamfontein.

Making live magic: Moeketsi Tapisi and Thabiso Mphahlane of New Creation. Photo: Sibongile Machika

Making live magic: Moeketsi Tapisi and Thabiso Mphahlane of New Creation. Photo: Sibongile Machika

Watching a live concert is completely fulfilling .

It was a pleasant surprise then to hear about an event called Your Mama’s Kitchen which was held at The Bannister Hotel on Friday evening.

The main idea behind the event was to bring back live bands.

Tapisi, who is also a guitarist in the band New Creation and one of the organizers of the event said, “We saw a gap. There’s Pop Bottles which is only djs and there’s Joy of Jazz which doesn’t cater for the young people.

“So Mama’s Kitchen was an idea that came from a friend of mine Super, the rapper of New Creation, and the idea was basically that we have Impande Core’s Radio 1, 2, 3 who have established a name for themselves, therefore we can bring them together with other bands to create something fresh. An opportunity for people to experience live music and for the bands to get a following nyana”.

” something that was written by the Gods of music that someday there‘d be bands like these, that would play music they are not expected to play”.

The line-up attracted quite a crowd, with almost 100 people making their way to the rather small basement space where the event was hosted.

It featured four unsigned bands, namely Don’t Mind Don’t Care (DMDC), Radio1, 2, 3, The Undergrounds and New Creation, with the headline act being The Muffinz.

Thabang ‘Bassick’ Moletsane of DMDC expressed the band’s pleasure at being exposed to larger audiences. Bongani ‘Fingerzz’ Mathunjwa, his band mate, also said that the variety of sounds exhibited at your Mama’s Kitchen allowed people to transcend the borders of genres and enjoy the music without boundaries.

Drummer of DMDC, Xolani ‘Cush’ Mtshali agreed and further stated “we’re trying to get to more ears, we want to move this thing to a more commercial scene. To us events like this are important because then we get to more ears and we won’t get stuck in dungeons”.

Vocalist of Radio 1, 2, 3 Smanga, explained how the coming together in events such as Mama’s Kitchen was a powerful way of showing that live music and the culture around it is not dead. He further stated that it was their “cause, something that was written by the Gods of music that someday there‘d be bands like these, that would play music they are not expected to play”.

The event certainly attracted young people from all walks of life. It was symbolic of the lively and very different mixture of young people that live-in and walk through the streets of Braamfontein.

Finger Magic: Bongani 'Fingerzz' Mathunjwa of DMDC

Finger Magic: Bongani ‘Fingerzz’ Mathunjwa of DMDC Photo: Sibongile Machika

Displaced twice, ready to move back ‘home’

 SAM Philane, a Mozambican national, was chased from his home in Primrose by a xenophobic mob last week. Now’s he’s living in a displacement camp. But he’s not angry, he just wants to go back to his home in the East Rand.

SAFE HAVEN: Living in a tent, Mozambican national Sam Philane and his partner Angelina Chiabo have fled their home in Primrose, fearing xenophobic violence. They have taken shelter at a camp established by charity Gift of the givers in Mayfair.            Photo: Sibongile Machika

SAFE HAVEN: Living in a tent, Mozambican national Sam Philane and his partner Angelina Chiabo have fled their home in Primrose, fearing xenophobic violence. They have taken shelter at a camp established by charity Gift of the givers in Mayfair. Photo: Sibongile Machika

After hearing that the xenophobic mobs were starting to form in the Primrose area of Germiston, Sam called his girlfriend, Angelina Chiabo, asking her to gather up their valuables for safe keeping. But by the time he got home it was too late, their house had been looted. All they had left was one suit case and a box full of their documents and family pictures.

Thousands of foreign nationals have been displaced since the xenophobic attacks started in Durban three weeks ago. As more attacks have been reported across the country, foreigners have been fleeing for camps in fear for their lives. Many of them have had their possessions stolen or burnt, including their passports and immigration papers. The loss of their document makes them even more vulnerable to attacks from police and civilians.

“want to get paid the same salaries as the people who are educated, while they don’t even have matric.”
Philane and his girlfriend fled from their home and initially went to the Primrose displacement camp in Germiston. However, Philane said the conditions there were not good with men, women and children sharing the same tents at the camp. They then moved to a camp in Fordsburg which was set up by NGO Gift of the Givers.

A home away from home 

Their temporary home is a small tent with two foam beds neatly made up and clothes stacked on top of a suit case. Philane, a Mozambican national, is adamant that this is only temporary. He has been in South Africa since 2000 and he sees himself as a dual citizen.
“I am not angry,” he said. Nor is he making any arrangements to leave this country. He seemed more concerned about his community, asking what is going to happen to the perpetrators, some of whom he knows personally. He wanted to know if leaders have discussed re-integration plans that will allow both perpetrators and victims back into the community.
Philane believes that the attacks are a result of frustration. He said like everybody else, he goes where the work is but there are not enough jobs for everyone.
He believes that locals struggle to find job because they “want to get paid the same salaries as the people who are educated, while they don’t even have matric.”
Philane adds that South Africans forget that some of their countrymen are also in Mozambique where they too are working as foreigners.
“We all follow the work,”
he said.

Slice: Raising the future

Struggles of the young, successful and independent.

Lulu

I’m 24, I live in Jo‘burg North and I’m working on my second degree. By most people’s standards I’m well on my way to success. Yet I hardly ever feel that way. Mostly because these achievements are nothing to write home about, at least not on the global scale.

People are often shocked to learn that one of my main goals in life is to be a mother. A mother of six to be exact. Six beautiful, cultured, free-thinking individuals that will give birth to more of this kind of human. That is the legacy I want. Planning, praying and hoping for my family is what keeps me up at night.  Not the rat race.

Judge me not

Women like myself are constantly judged for putting their efforts into finding a life partner and building family rather than chasing a career.Such women are often seen as lacking ambition or having low self-esteem. Some people – usually other women – even dismiss such aspirations as their way of dealing with coming from a broken home. Well my self-esteem is doing just fine. I don’t have broken family issues and I am perfectly capable of having a kick-ass-career, if that is what I want.

“I would rather wake up at 7am to bake cup cakes with my little girl than be stuck in traffic on my way to work.”

The truth is, there is no profound reason for me wanting a family more than I want a career. This is just the kind of life that I want. I would rather wake up at 7am to bake cup cakes with my little girl than be stuck in traffic on my way to work. This is not to say that I don’t want to work, it just means that my career choice was specifically selected to allow for such a life.

From an early age we are all taught to work hard for what we want and who you want to become. We are encouraged to work on our spiritualty, our health and career constantly. Yet one of the most important aspects of one’s life must wait until all the other things are perfectly aligned? Who are you meant to share your career achievements with? Who are you meant to travel the world with? Who else is meant to benefit from all the wealth we’re accumulating?

We are finally in a world where women can choose whatever life they desire and make it happen. So if I need to serial date to find my life partner, I will. If I have the option to marry rich to ensure my six kids are well taken care, I’ll take it. If being a mother means I must adopt across racial lines then so be it. The point is that my life choices are nobody’s business, not even the feisty feminists who fought for me to have this choice.

 

OPINION: The sad reality of a new graduate

Despte the pomp and ceremony of a graduation, graduates across the country are faced with rising unemployment. 

grad fine print

THREE CHEERS FOR THE NEW GRADUATES: Wits Education graduate celebrates victory with each other outside the Great Hall last week. Photo: Wits Vuvuzela.

 

Congratulations you made it. You’ve got the edge. You’re a Wits graduate.

Soon after the glamorous preparations, soon after your glorious victory lap across the Great Hall stage, and soon after the beautiful euphoria of your family celebrating your wonderful achievement, reality sets in.

In just 24 hours you go from being the celebrated minority of young graduates, to officially joining the multitudes of unemployed youth.

Let that sink in for a minute.

Here are some facts that should help you come to terms with your new situation. These facts might even help get you employed or even change your life.

First of all everything that the speaker at your graduation ceremony said is true. You’ve done well and everyone is very proud of you. But this is also true of all the other new graduates from institutions across South Africa. So you’re not as special as you might like to think.

SA has a 36.1%  unemployment rate according to StatsSA. Some of those people also have degrees. In the professional working scene having a degree of sorts is a minimum requirement.

As they say in therapy, the first step to solving a problem is acceptance. So accept that the chances of you landing the first job you apply for, with your own office that has a view of the city and comes with a nice R20 000 plus salary is rather slim.  

“We can’t all be DJ Sbu, Forbes only has 100 places on their list.”
The alternatives – graduate programs or apprenticeships

A more realistic goal is getting into a graduate program. Private companies, small-to-medium enterprises (SMMEs) and various government departments offer these annually.  These programs are designed to give you a more practical idea of what your job entails and give you some experience.

An alternative could be an apprenticeship, which is more of a one-on-one relationship with a mentor who grooms you to one day fill their shoes. In any of these positions you will do the worst jobs, you’ll work the longest hours and you will earn the least amount of money.  This is called “paying your dues”.

As a young graduate you need to realize that in the industry nobody knows what you’re about or what you’re capable of and you haven’t yet formed any relationship that could count in your favour. Basically you’re not worth much … yet.

What if you hate your first job?

Secondly, once you do get a job, there is the possibility that you might hate it. Maybe not what you do but rather the idea that you must wake up everyday at a certain time and do what you are doing to earn enough to get the basics and maybe a Big Mac nyana. You might hate your boss or the company you work for. Truth is at some point most people don’t like their jobs. This is what being a grown up is about, you do what you must to do to get what you want.

Finally, even after slaving away for three to five years at Wits and working for another two to three years you may just realize that the system is not for you. This is not the life you were made for. But before you run off to be the next big thing remember this. Whether you like it or not the system has been around forever, it works and there is a reason it works. We can’t all be DJ Sbu, Forbes only has 100 places on their list.

But if you really do have a ground-breaking new idea or a burning passion don’t let me stop you. Go be great, flourish after all not so long ago you were the privileged, educated cream of the crop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

University gives birth to new pregnancy policy

WITS students who are pregnant are being requested to leave res by the time they are eight months along, according to several students.

Second-year student Mbali Ngcobo*, who is four months pregnant, said she was told by her res matron that she would have to leave her residence before she gives birth.

“I understand why I must leave, some people are dramatic and if I give birth in res it could be traumatic for some students,” she said.

Ngcobo’s experience is not unique according to several female students who have had friends who also had to leave residence after they had gotten far along in their pregnancies.

While Ngcobo said leaving res will be difficult and may impact her studies, she has made peace with this. She is hoping to give birth during September holidays and then return to Wits to take her exams in October.

GROWING BELLY ISSUES: Wits students are being asked to leave res at 8 months of their pregnancy,in line with a new policy under discussion Photo: Wits Vuvuzela

GROWING BELLY ISSUES: Wits students are being asked to leave res at 8 months of their pregnancy,in line with a new policy under discussion Photo: Wits Vuvuzela

Ngcobo said she has the support of her family. However, they are not from Johannesburg and are unable to give her much practical support. She plans on moving in with a friend when she leaves residence.

Doreen Musemwa, assistant registrar of East campus residences, would not comment on the allegation that pregnant students are told to leave res when their eight months into term. She said a new policy is still under development and is “aimed at protecting the university and the university community, staff and students alike”.

“How the mother copes with all of this will also then impact on her academic career.”

Shameen Naidu of the Counselling and Careers Development Unit (CCDU) could not confirm how many students at Wits are pregnant. However, she said having a baby while a student could be difficult.

“They may have to leave their infant with a family member, it may be psychologically distressing for both the mother and the baby,” Naidu said.

“How the mother copes with all of this will also then impact on her academic career.”

Wits Vuvuzela spoke to other healthcare professionals on campus who said they don’t believe that the forthcoming policy is meant to be punitive.

Yvonne Matimba, head of Campus Health, said she cannot comment on the pregnancy policy as it is still being discussed. However, she said Campus Health does offer a variety of contraceptive methods for free.

*Names have been changed at the request of the individual