Wits top Varsity Shield log

Wits ran in six tries to top the Varsity Shield log at home last night, despite a late comeback by the visitors.

The University of the Western Cape (UWC) placed some early pressure on the home side but were unable to cross the line in the first half.

The result means Wits are two points clear at the top of the table, although second-placed Central University of Technology (CUT) have a game in hand.

Centre, Bronson Lange, charged down a kick and ran the ball over to score Wits’ second try of the night. This meant the home side lead 17-2 at the break in what was a more closely contested first half than the scoreboard suggested.

Wits lock, Charles Baggott, scored the first of what would be a binge of tries in the second half.



An incredible display of pace, stepping and some juggling skills then allowed winger Riaan Arends to finish what would become the try of the match. Arends ran from deep in the visitors half, dodged several UWC defenders and just managed to hang on to the ball when a desperate tackle on the try line almost knocked it from his grasp.

The final result of 43-20 flatters UWC, who had just two points until late in the game when they hit back with a pair of tries.

Wits will be hoping to make it three wins in a row when they travel to the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) on February 20.



Men Vuvuzela’s source of knowledge

Men were favoured over women as sources of news in Vuvuzela this year, following a national and global trend.
The informal research process involved looking through the news stories of Vuvuzela from March 4 to September 23. It includes the first three pages of 18 editions as well as the deep captions on pictures.

In total, there were 141 articles and 359 sources, of which 24 were unnamed. Each source was categorised into gender and race and whether they were an expert on the issue or not. Men appear to have been favoured as news informants as they account for 56% of sources, while women account for 37%. Unnamed sources are responsible for the remaining percentage.

Research manager at Media Monitoring Africa (MMA), Wellington Radu, believes Vuvuzela has represented more women this year than the global average. He says the 2010 Global Media Monitoring Project shows female voices and opinions stand at 23% of global sources. Male experts were also quoted twice as often as their female counterparts.

“Women are sometimes reluctant to speak publicly for reasons ranging from lack of confidence to a lack of trust or experience with the media,” said Radu. However, he said, it is debatable whether this is true at Wits because of a higher education level of women as opposed to the national average. Students could qualify as experts if they had a skill in the subject of the article and eyewitnesses were also counted in this category. Experts in general were also preferred overall as 169 were quoted, against 122 students.

Radu said he was disappointed that more experts were spoken to as students outnumber lecturers and heads of departments. However, the fact that students were sometimes counted as experts on a topic could skew this result. Black students were quoted significantly higher than other students at 87 out of 122, with the next closest group, white students, standing at 20.

Witsie global health leader

A budget of over R11billion rand a year will become the
responsibility of a former Wits student.

Dr Trevor Mundel has been announced as president of the
global health programme for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Mundel graduated from Wits with a BSc, BSc honours and a
medical degree. He was also a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford and
has a PhD in mathematics from the University of Chicago.

The Gates Foundation, co-chaired by Bill Gates and his wife
Melinda, is a global charity organisation which focuses largely on health and
education. It provides funding to programmes such as research into new vaccines
and scholarships for students who come from poverty.

Mundel’s appointment was announced on September 13 and he
will take up his new position on December 1.

Prof Helen Laburn, deputy vice chancellor of research at
Wits, said Mundel’s appointment was an indication that Wits’s medical and other
health sciences degrees “set them up for really important, responsible and
influential positions on the global stage”.

Laburn said she remembers him as “a quiet, unassuming but
very bright student”.

The global health programme funds advances in science and
technology to save lives in developing countries. It  aims to improve medical technology and supplies
at an affordable cost to these regions and  focuses on the prevention and treatment of HIV
and Aids and malaria, among others.

As president of the programme Mundel will oversee a yearly
budget of over R11.4-billion. To date, the health programme alone has awarded
about R111.7-billion in grants worldwide, over half of the total grants the
foundation has given.

‘Secrecy Bill’under the spotlight

Opponents of the Secrecy Bill believe its delay signifies a division within the ANC over its contents – a claim which the party denies.

The proposal, also known as the Protection of Information Bill, would give the minister of State Security the power to classify government information. Unauthorised people found in possession of such information could then be prosecuted and face jail terms. This would include journalists and whistleblowers.

The Bill was supposed to be voted on in Parliament on Tuesday 20. It is now in the hands of the National Assembly and not the ad hoc committee.

Right2Know campaigner Dale McKinley said the delay shows “dissension within the ANC itself [over the Bill]”.

The ANC have denied this and said the reason for the delay is to allow further consultation on the Bill. Motshekga believes the Bill will be approved before the end of the year.

The Right2Know Campaign held a night vigil on Monday night in opposition to the proposal. Organiser for the group’s Gauteng campaign, Siphiwe Segodi, said if the bill were passed in its current form it would mean the “death of [our] democracy”.

About 120 people attended the vigil on Constitution Hill and spoke out about how the Bill would affect them.

Segodi said he was not confident the Bill would be dropped or radically changed because of the ANC’s majority in Parliament.

Lyndall Shope-Mafole, Congress of the People leader in the Gauteng legislature, said:

“When I was still part of the ANC, we talked about this threat, while we were in Polokwane. This is exactly what we meant in 2008 and that is what is happening now. We should not be silenced.”

Opposition groups claim the Bill will allow the government to hide corruption and mismanagement.

“There is no reason whatsoever, limited as our current freedom is, that we should give it away in inches again like this,” said a member of the Media Organisation of South Africa.

Malema supporters turn on Zuma

SUPPORTERS of ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema demonstrated their frustration towards President Jacob Zuma and the ANC in central Johannesburg on Tuesday.

Malema, along with other ANCYL leaders, has been charged with sowing division in the ANC and bringing the party into disrepute. The crowd gathered outside Luthuli House, the ANC headquarters, to support Malema during his disciplinary hearing.

Rubbish bins were set alight and signs and T-shirts bearing Zuma’s face were burnt or torn to pieces that morning. Zuma, along with ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe, appeared to be the target of anger for the crowd.

Several shops and companies closed their doors, with the First National Bank (FNB) across from Luthuli House bringing down its steel shutters.

Police reacted by blocking the crowd from approaching Luthuli House with barbed wire and riot police stood between the crowd and the building. The supporters then gathered in front of the wire with a large banner which said “hands off our youth league president”.

They also waved smaller signs which said, “No Malema, no ANC. The people shall govern” and “Zuma a Polokwane disaster”.  At one stage, they also began chanting Thabo Mbeki’s name, another apparent sign of the crowd’s unhappiness with the Zuma leadership.

Kagiso Mokubung, the ANCYL branch secretary in the Northern Cape, said he is “100% JuJu”.

He said the ANC should believe in the “autonomic structure of the youth league”.

Mokubung believes that Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula will take the top job in the ANC in 2012.

Outside Luthuli House, Mantashe said: “When you open the window to bring in fresh air, and mosquitoes also come in, you take responsibility for both the fresh air and the mosquitoes.”

Mokubung said Mantashe “must get his story straight” and either commit fully to the ANC or the communist party. Mantashe holds senior positions in both organisations.


Photos: Brendan Roane

SMS scams: the new phishing pool

SMSes telling people they have won a major cash prize in a competition have just one catch – there is no prize.


SMS is fast becoming another medium to take unsuspecting people’s money.


Known as phishing, the fraudsters send out bulk SMSes telling the recipient they have won a cash prize and the “winner” needs to call the cellphone number provided in the message.


When the number is called, the person is usually informed that they need to supply their personal banking details for the prize money to be deposited.


Nomsa Thusi from Vodacom corporate communications said: “These scams are becoming more rampant.
“In the past, fraudsters have tried to solicit personal information from unsuspecting people via e-mail, they have now turned to using SMS to gain this information fraudulently.”


South Africa reportedly has 51.6-million mobile subscriptions, according to africantelecomsnews.com.


The number of subscriptions exceeds the estimated population, a large market which fraudsters can target.


Vuvuzela received a phishing SMS on August 28 which read exactly as follows: “Congratulation’s you have won R165,OOO



When Vuvuzela phoned the number given in the SMS, the person who answered the phone was reluctant to give his name. He repeatedly asked the reporter to phone back from a cellphone so that he could “verify the winning ticket number”. When questioned further, the man ended the call.


“Nokia South Africa does not run competitions where unsolicited text messages are used as the exclusive means of communication,” said Leo McKay, head of communications for Nokia South Africa.


He said these scams often ask for a deposit or other payment and that Nokia customers would never be asked for a payment to claim a prize.


Thusi said:  “If the SMS sounds too good to be true, for example if you have won an outrageous prize, then it probably is [a scam]. Ignore it.”

New views on Somali crisis

“I SAW a father going to bury his daughter, who was wrapped in a blanket, while women carried shopping and kids went to school”, described an SABC journalist about how middle and upper classes in Mogadishu remain mostly unaffected by the famine.

Vauldi Carelse, who was in Mogadishu for 10 days doing a report for the SABC programme, Special Assignment, said her piece did not do the famine in Somalia justice.

However, despite “a new tragedy unfold[ing] every day” she said there are many families in Mogadishu who live relatively normal lives and still have access to fresh vegetables.

Carelse was speaking at the Women in conflict: Focus on Somalia debate, which is part of the Phenomenal Women series at Wits.

Dr Fahmeeda Moosajee volunteered her medical services in Mogadishu as part of the Gift of the Givers, a South African disaster relief organisation. She said they were the first support the country had received from Africa.

“Maybe if we haven’t heard [of other relief organisations] it is because it hasn’t been broadcast or organisations have done [their relief] quietly?” asked Professor Veronique Tadjo, head of French studies at Wits, in her capacity as moderator of the debate.

Carelse disagreed and said relief organisations such as Doctors Without Borders were driven out of the country by groups such as Al-Shabaab, an Islamic militant group.

Most of the Somali refugees in South Africa are here legally, having declared themselves at the border according to Zaheera Jinnah from the African centre for migration and society at Wits.

Sowdo Hussein Mohamud, a Somali journalist, said she came to South Africa two years ago because of a lack of education and job opportunities in her native country.

She said it takes three months for Somali refugees to reach South Africa because they have to cross several borders and many get arrested, injured or killed along the way.

Hussein Mohamud said while she was walking in Johannesburg, a small child came up to her and said, “I know what’s happening in your country” and gave her 50 cents to help.

Africa’s Big Five Internet Users

A three-dimensional bar graph shows the top five internet users in Africa. The internet user figures are stated first, followed by the population of the country. All figures are estimates for 2011, accessed from www.internetworldstats.com. The map of the flags of Africa is taken from www.dreamstime.com.

Driving to Wits takes a toll on student motorists

TOLL COSTS: The new tolling system implemented on the ‘ring road’ highways (N1, N3 and N12) around Johannesburg will be charging light vehicle motorists 40 cents per kilometre. Government has yet to announce the date when the e-tolling system will begin but this price means that students travelling from the outskirts of the city will have to add the following amounts* to their normal petrol/vehicle costs for a return trip between home and Wits.


on map

Name of Roads



to Wits

(Return Trip)

Cost for

1 day

Cost for

5 days

(1 week)

Cost for

20 days

(4 weeks)

Blue Roads around Gauteng

that will be tolled

Yellow Soweto

(Golden Highway, N1, N12, Xavier)

16km R6.40 R32 R128
Green Kempton Park

(Atlas, R21, N12, N3, Geldenhuys)

64km R25.60 R128 R512
Red Pretoria

(Lynwood, N1, Buccluech)

86km R34.40 R172 R688
Purple Fourways

(William Nicol, N1, Buccluech)

26km R10.40 R52 R208
Pink Alberton

(Reading, N12, Xavier)

28km R11.20 R56 R224



















*These figures are an estimate. Motorists
can calculate their personal journey prices with the above map at http://tollcalc.sanral.co.za/.

But wait…there’s more!

We have all seen the adverts. The mysterious, yet familiar, voice asking, “Are you tired of wasting your time and money on old products that don’t work?” while the actors portray some devastating moment in black and white: like finding some eggshell in your home-made muffin or pushing dirt around with your old mop. Then, in a flash of fulfilment, the new product zooms across the screen to save you from your wretched, miserable life. For only R199.95!

If you haven’t guessed which kind of adverts these are, you obviously are not the kind of student who watches much daytime TV. Verimark, the culprit of most of these ads, is a monster of local advertising, and was recently found to be the fourth largest buyer of TV airtime in South Africa in an independent market research study, the AC Nielsen survey.

However, some of the ads do fall away over time, despite their initial bombardment on our screens. Whatever happened to the knives that could cut through anything? There must be thousands of people out there with intact Coke cans, inferior knives and a severe look of disappointment on their faces.

Due to the increasing popularity of these products, I also worry that our science labs across the country might say, “Sorry, we’ve got no time to discover that new vaccine for malaria, we’re busy exploring the mystical properties of snail shell on acne”.

Despite the seemingly ridiculous nature of such advertisements, they appear to have an effect. The company posted a gross profit of over R200-million for the financial year ending in February and is growing rapidly.

What is in these simple items that draw so many of us toward them; is it the product itself, the way the advertisement is crafted or the promise of a better and easier life? All three factors probably come together in a blaze of psychological branding and the creation of a previously unknown need. All I know is: R199.95 is a small price to pay for some rocking abs that only takes five minutes a day to sculpt.

ANCYL website hacked

The ANCYL’s website was hacked this week, showing a picture of Julius Malema saying: “HA HA HA I have a 16 Million Rand house and all of you don’t!”

The site was compromised last weekend and the picture and message were still up on the site as of Thursday. Duncan Harford, business development manager at Unwembi, the company which hosts the ANCYL’s website, said it was impossible to know the identity of the  hacker at this stage.

He said his company has had hacking attempts on a daily basis for about 15 years but very rarely are they successful. Harford did not wish to comment on whether the matter is under police investigation.

The ANCYL could not be reached for comment by the time Vuvuzela went to print.

Hacked off: The controversy around Julius Malema’s finances is parodied by a hacker on the ANCYL’s website.