As a result of the covid-19 pandemic, hardcopy circulation of the Wits law school newspaper Dumelang was brought to a halt.  

The Wits Olive Schreiner school of law newspaper, Dumelang, has gone digital as of Wednesday, March 3, 2021. The paper, which was revived in 2018, has abandoned the print version in favour of an online publication due to the limited number of people on Wits campuses currently.

The publication, which was established in 1937,  was previously printed and distributed on Wits campuses until 1989. It was revived in 2018 as a print publication but will now move to a WordPress-hosted site. Thando Mbalane, Dumelang editor-in-chief, told Wits Vuvuzela that the aim of the newspaper is to include students in the philosophy of law by creating high quality legal journalism.  

“What we want to do is essentially bridge the gap between being a student and being a practitioner and make the conversation to include students. Although we primarily cater to students, we don’t exclude other legal practitioners and even people aren’t lawyers,” said Mbalane. 

Dumelang has permanent members who are contributing writers responsible for content creation as well as non-permanent members who can submit article proposals or written pieces for the monthly edition.  “We are not just disseminating information, we want people to not only discuss things but to come up with solutions and alternatives … to analyse events and occurrences in their unique informed voice, we are looking for well researched pieces,” Mbalane continued.  

The paper seeks to write about socio-legal and economic issues, with the hopes of sharing a greater understanding on these topics. Examples of these are the moral and ethical challenges surrounding covid-19, and gender-based violence in South Africa. 

Founder and treasurer of Dumelang’s 2018 revived edition, Neville B Van Der Spuy, shared his hopes for the newspaper on their webpage, “The role of a central and trusted source of information; this is something most people have never seen online. I wonder how such a platform can bolster the sense of overarching identity in an otherwise relatively confused and highly decentralised environment. I hope to see Dumelang reveal these things, and more.” 

FEATURED IMAGE: A screenshot taken from the Dumelang landing page. PHOTO: Leah Wilson.