Conversations of race needed in SA

THE PANEL: Daryl Glaser, Katima Brown, Tawana Kupe, Stephen Friedman and Eusabius McKaiser held a debate on opposition parties in South African politics on Tuesday.

THE PANEL: Daryl Glaser, Karima Brown, Tawana Kupe, Stephen Friedman and Eusebius McKaiser held a debate on opposition parties in South African politics on Tuesday. Photo: Caro Malherbe

Opposition parties in South African ignore the lived experiences of race realities, concluded a panel of political experts at Wits on Tuesday night.

The panel, comprised mostly of political analysts, said that one of the challenges of a left wing party would be to articulate issues of poverty and inequality for people who experienced racial domination.

This was the consensus among the panellists debating the State of Opposition Parties.

Radio host and author Eusebius McKaiser and Wits deputy vice chancellor Professor Tawana Kupe co-chaired the event which included media executive Karima Brown, political commentator Stephen Friedman, and Professor Daryl Glaser, head of Wits’ political studies department.

Clear as mud 

McKaiser, who recently published his book, Could I Vote DA?, opened the debate by critiquing the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) stance on “the race issue”.

The root of the DA’s problem is that its position on race is as “clear as mud” in a country where race is a very important part of South Africans’ identity and discourse, he said.

Furthermore, McKaiser said DA politicians have conflicting views on policies regarding Black Economic Empowerment (BEE).

He said this comes with the DA continuously displacing conversations of race with conversations of class.

Bowling over the black voter 

The issue for the DA, as McKaiser describes it, is “how to bowl over black South Africans who are ‘gatvol’ with the African National Congress (ANC) , without running the risk of losing “the white ‘tannies’ in Krugersdorp” who aren’t and don’t want to be included in a party that is open about race.

The DA needs to buy into the social construction of race in SA and buy into BEE, he said.

Brown pointed to the strategic political blunders of opposition parties since 1994 and said she believes opposition parties have failed to be left wing. She argued that opposition parties make the mistake of using the ANC’s analysis and policies to oppose it, and instead form “pale imitations of the ANC”.

DA – a racialized party 

The DA, which Brown described as a strongly racialized party, attempted to claim struggle credentials but ultimately lacked “struggle cred” and exaggerated the significance of Helen Zille’s personal role in exposing the murder of Steve Biko.

For Brown, the ANC understood South Africa more than any other party.

Friedman continued next with the sentiment that SA did not yet have a significant left wing party. He said if SA were to have a left wing party it would be formed out of a trade union, more specifically, out of National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa).

He reminded the audience that “to many South Africans the ANC is still the party that represents liberation from racial domination.”

“70% of the population remains unorganised, excluded and voiceless despite having a vote.”  A left wing party needs an agenda whereby they attempt to organise these communities, and pay heed to their lived experiences and concerns, said Friedman.

A multiparty democracy 

According to Glaser there seemed to be an overall embrace for a multiparty democracy. However, he chose to look at parties which multiply within itself, focussing on the failed merger between the DA and Agang.

He said the decision to merge would have left them with fewer votes than they originally had. This had subsequentially left Agang lacking credibility.

During question time McKaiser pointed out that the ANC needed to take its opposition seriously and do an analysis on what the DA had done in the Western Cape.

“I’m tired being told by my family living in the poor areas in Cape Town how amazingly the DA is doing,” said McKaiser.

Racism plagues UFS

Despite the appointment of its first black vice chancellor, the University of the Free State (UFS) still gets slammed with allegations of racism.

In 2009 when Professor Jonathan Jansen was appointed as the first black vice chancellor of UFS, hopes were high that this could be the change the university needed to fight back against racist claims. All facts point to Jansen having made in-roads, despite the slamming he is now receiving from the student movement.

Luzuko Buku, representative of the South African Students Congress (SASCO) said: “What Jansen has done since his arrival in the University of Free State is not to transform the university from its notorious racist conditions on black students but he has been working very hard to protect and cover up racism by sweeping such cases under the carpet.”

Covering up 

Last week it was alleged that two white UFS students, Kobus Muller and Charl Blom, tried to drive over a group of black pedestrians, side-swiping Dumane “Muzi” Gwedu, a fifth year BCom student. Gwedu then followed the car until it came to a stop where he approached the two drivers. This resulted in a violent attack on Gwedu.[pullquote] “The accused called the victims “kaffirs” and then drove off”[/pullquote]

A News24 article reported that Jansen had doubts about whether the incident was indeed racist, even though the accused called the victims “kaffirs” and then drove off.

During his inaugural speech in 2009, Jansen chose to forgive four white UFS students who, in 2008, filmed a video humiliating and degrading black campus workers. In his speech, Jansen dropped the case against these students and said, “They are my students. I cannot deny them any more than I can deny my own children.”

The move was controversial with some terming it a brave gesture of reconciliation and others warning it sent the wrong message to racists. Since the incident, Jansen has been blamed for adopting too reconciliatory an approach.

Racist reports 

Other incidents of alleged racism at UFS were reported in 2010 when a female student, Pinky Mokemane, was dragged next to a car driven by two white UFS students.[pullquote align=”right”]”Student accommodation for a ‘non-affirmative action’ female.”[/pullquote]

In January 2014, an advertisement appeared in a Bloemfontein newspaper, advertising student accommodation for a “non-affirmative action” female. The VC reacted by distancing himself and the university from the advert, which shows embedded racial profiling within the UFS community. He said:  “The varsity does not oversee private accommodation and it makes it difficult to regulate the ridiculous requirements they have of some students.”

Another ongoing example of racial profiling at UFS is their residence segregation. It appears that there are still many residences which give white students preference. With only 20% of UFS students being accommodated at the institution’s residences it is hard enough finding a spot if you’re white, let alone black.

UFS has its form of a transformation office too, the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice, an institute made for research and discussion among specialists, international students and politicians.

The general student body apparently can go to the Human Rights desk. This desk was not available for three days. The co-ordinator, Breggie Hofman Wits Vuvuzela was informed, was out of town and the second in charge “had a crisis”. Students will just have to save those reports of racism for later.



A night out for R100

LOCAL HANGOUT: Kitchener's Carvery Bar at the corner of De Beer and Juta street is an old English style pub with a modern edge, within walking distance from Wits. Photo: Caro Malherbe

LOCAL HANGOUT: Kitchener’s Carvery Bar at the corner of De Beer and Juta street is an old English style pub with a modern edge, within walking distance from Wits. Photo: Caro Malherbe

Location, cost and reputation, what more could you ask for? The second oldest bar in Johannesburg, Kitchener’s Carvery Bar, is a golden oldie, right in the heart of Braamfontein, especially convenient for Witsies.

Looking like an old English pub, Kitchener’s will surprise you with its contemporary edge. The bar swings with live music performances ranging from indie rock and Afro beat DJs on Thursday and Friday nights.[pullquote]”Their menu has a little bit of everything”[/pullquote]

Their menu has a little bit of everything, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. According to the manager, the American Burger with a slice of cheese is the most ordered item on the menu, going for R48. The party-goers favourite would have to be the chip ’n dip which is a plate of slap chips covered in any sauce of your choice for R35 – great for lining the stomach before (or after ) a few too many beers.

The sauces you can chose from are mushroom, pepper, cheese, garlic, jalapeño, green pepper, Mexican, chakalaka or roquefort.

Depending on who you ask, the perceptions on prices vary, but the consensus seems to be that the meals are value for money, but that drinks prices on the other hand are on the steeper side of things.

Located on the corner of Juta and De Beer streets in Braamfontein, Kitchener’s endorses a local craft beer called Ace’s, a Mitchell’s Brewery lager. A pint of beer goes for R30 whilst a Black Label dumpie is R21. Spirits prices start from R14 a shot and a small can of coke is R14 as well.

On Saturdays, Kitchener’s fills up with Jozi locals and foreigners alike selling second-hand clothing and accessories in the court area. There are two bars and a carpeted dance floor that has been worn out from years of stomping and swaying.

What can R100 get you at Kitchener’s? An American burger with cheese for R48, an Ace’s draft and depending on which night you go, R20 cover charge for nights of performances. All of this adds up to R98.

OPINION: Joburg, my lover

I come from Cape Town, a city in South Africa, but really, its own little country.

The Republic of Cape Town moves to its own rhythm. It nonchalantly sways with the Atlantic tide and pumps to the beat of the south-eastern wind. It’s a giant film set, picturesque, landscaped and any other slushy adjective you can think of equivalent to a scene out of a Jane Austin novel.

I have always been one for change. I’ve moved around a lot in my life and am somewhat of a “yes man” when it comes to trying new things. When I was given the opportunity to study journalism at Wits University, I jumped on that bandwagon in a heartbeat. I knew nothing about Johannesburg at the time—this goes for almost all Capetonians.  But I like to think that after a year in the City of Gold I can make some comparisons.[pullquote]”I love being able to say that my home is in Cape Town despite many of the people there being so insular and set in their own ways.”[/pullquote]

What I love about Cape Town is that I can go from work to the beach. I love that the sun sets so late at night and that I can do more for less. I don’t have to spend much on travelling and the public transport is great. I love being able to say that my home is in Cape Town despite many of the people there being so insular and set in their own ways.[pullquote align=”right”]”For an aspiring journalist, I had to get off this one lane avenue and onto the highway.”[/pullquote]

Capetonians LOVE getting involved in any public petition such as, let’s say, bringing back doggy water bowls at the Corner Café because their Maltese poodle is so parched after a long walk on the promenade. Discussions on e-tolls or the upcoming elections don’t draw the same passion as a thirsty shitzu.

For an aspiring journalist, I had to get off this one lane avenue and onto the highway.

Moving to a city where I knew no one helped me focus on what I was trying to achieve. At first, I made my Joburg experience all about my studies. But it didn’t take long for me to realise that Jozi has so much to offer, and making my studies my first priority was going to be difficult.[pullquote]”There is a certain swag about this place, like a large thug smoking his cigar.”[/pullquote]

There is a certain swag about this place, like a large thug smoking his cigar. People don’t mess around here, they know what they want and where they are going and make no apologies for their ambitious spirit.

Compared to Cape Town, Joburg is a difficult city to live in. People talk fast and loud. They cash cheques, break necks and drive angry. Jozi hardened me up. It’s given me perspective and relinquished my need for everyday comforts and vanities – something Capetonians know far too much about.

I think there is something so magical in people believing that a place can bring them opportunity and that their dreams can come true. You can feel and see this in the people in Jozi.[pullquote]”Drenched in memories and history,Joburg makes me feel like anything is possible”[/pullquote]

I love the rawness and dirtiness of the Joburg city. It seems drenched in memories and history. Joburg makes me feel like anything is possible and that being here instantly connects me to the rest of the world and everyone in it.

Cape Town to me will always be the Mother Land, my mothers’ land. But Joburg is the man in my life who gives me butterflies and fireworks – my lover, who encourages me to be crazy, to push myself and to explore.


Witsies ready for the general elections

REGISTERED: Drama students Kelly Heckstein and Ashleigh Kelly talk politics during lunch hour at the Theatre. Photo: Caro Malherbe

REGISTERED: Drama students Kelly Heckstein and Ashleigh Kelly talk politics during lunch hour at the Wits Theatre. Photo: Caro Malherbe 


South Africans have until 5pm tonight to register to vote for the 2014 national general elections. It is still unclear though whether the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) will see the number of registered voters they were aiming for.

Wits Vuvuzela was on main campus today asking students if they had registered to vote for the upcoming elections. 

Are you registered? 

Ashleigh Kelly is a BA Drama student who strongly believes that it is important to vote but said she identified with people who opted not to vote.

“Not wanting to vote comes from the fact that we don’t know who to vote for. Democratic parties haven’t, especially with the born-frees, given us enough reason to trust their party,” she said.

Sitting next to her on the brick wall outside the Wits Theatre, Kelly Heckstein, a BA Performance and Visual Arts student, said she is registered to vote and plans on voting.

“If we want a say in how the country is run then we should vote and to make sure the majority rule is not an overriding rule and there are certain voices in parliament that can help.”

[pullquote]“As the youth, we are smarter than people in power right now so we know how to think about things and implement them, so if we are not going to vote we are not going to remove these people with authority.”[/pullquote]

The “born-free” vote

Born-frees (the term used to describe people born in democratic South Africa), make up 25% of all registered voters. Voting holds a certain responsibility and this figure could make a substantial difference to electoral outcomes. But it is unclear if those of the 25% who  have registered will actually cast their vote.

BA student, Kenny said he was registered to vote but does not plan on voting as he has no interest in politics.

Vutu Mapodi, 2nd year BA, said “It’s a nice activity to do, you feel part of something and not left out.”

Ayanda Mgete, 2nd year BA, said that the problem, with South African politics lies in leadership. “As the youth, we are smarter than people in power right now so we know how to think about things and implement them, so if we are not going to vote we are not going to remove these people with authority,” said Magete

On 7 May South Africans will line up at the voting polls to make their mark. Born-frees will cast their votes for the first time making this election a momentous one in the history of the country.


New contender in the arena

Third year law student, Zareef Minty, is the national youth president for businessmen Kenny Kunene and Gayton McKenzie’s new political party, the Patriotic Alliance (PA).

The slight looking 20-year-old Minty, who is also a fashion designer said the PA was youth-centred and had a strong focus on giving second chances to the reformed, like two of its own founders.

Second chances and new alliances

“If Nelson Mandela could have that chance to be reformed (sic) coming out of jail and having an opportunity, then we should allow Kunene and Gayton to have the same thing.

“In the same way a student has been charged with something should be allowed to have a future as well,”  said Minty.

“Ex-cons” Gayton McKenzie, president of the PA and general secretary Kenny Kunene, met each other in jail and following their release in 2003, became business partners.

National youth president for the Patriotic Alliance, Zareef Minty, explains how he manages between being a law student, political figure, fashion designer and author. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

JUGGLING: National youth president for the Patriotic Alliance, Zareef Minty, explains how he manages between being a law student, political figure, fashion designer and author.                                                                         Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

Minty met the two through his clothing line partnership, after Kunene was asked to be an ambassador for Minty’s own fashion label, Self Made Billionaire (SMB). “Kunene liked the idea of an up and coming clothing brand worn by celebrities,” said Minty.


He said the party also included more young people in its decision-making. He said four of the party’s 12-member national executive committee were under the age of 25.

“We are the only party out there who allows youth to have a platform in the NEC. The ANC and the Democratic Alliance has a separate Youth League so you don’t get young people in parliament,” he said.

Minty is sixth on the PA’s parlimentary list, which means if they manage to get six seats after the national elections this year, he could be sitting in parliament and not in stuffy lecture rooms.

The party’s focus on the youth and a “practical approach” to politics are what Minty believes will make the PA “a better alternative to the ANC”, which he said was policy heavy with little to no implementation thereof.

[pullquote]”…if they manage to get six seats after the national elections this year, he could be sitting in parliament and not in stuffy lecture rooms.”[/pullquote]

He believes that PA would be able to relate mostly to the born-frees because it was a party that did not  have any “baggage”.

Campaign trail

The PA’s campaign trail on campus has come with its own set of issues, “Until we have permission to be a club or society on campus we can’t really go out in a group and recruit people. We have been working by going person to person, trying to get them to join,” he said.

The PA, often referred to as the “coloured” or “gangster party”, was founded in Paarl in the Western Cape three months ago and plans to contest in the upcoming elections.

Minty said they have a good chance of having up to six seats in parliament after this year’s elections.

Minty is treasurer of the Wits Law Students’ Counsel and the chairperson of the Student Discipline Committee, which influenced his alignment with the PA and their belief in reforming and empowering the previously charged.

Before the PA, he was part of the ANC Youth League on campus where he took up position as treasurer but the PA presented him with an opportunity for national leadership

Along with the multitude of things Minty has on his plate this year, he plans to publish a motivational book, Empire by March.  Let’s watch this space.


Big Bucks for the VC?

More than R 2, 5 million. This is what  vice chancellor Adam Habib took home last year just after releasing his book in September, South Africa’s Suspended Revolution, which blames socio economical unfairness between those in power and those who are poor to be one of South Africa’s biggest constitutional flaws.

However, at his book launch, he did declare that in 2014 he would decline any increase of salary. Put within context, in the country with the highest wage gap, where some CEOs reportedly earn R640-million a year, R2.5-million is high from where students sit, not the private sector.[pullquote]“Politicians deliver when they are economically uncertain about their future” [/pullquote]

In his book Habib actively warns politicians and those in power with “assets, property, shares and bonds” that they need to engage in a “social compact” or reach a compromise by buckling down on their spending and sharing more. If they don’t, they stand the risk of losing everything.

Top earners need to put a cap on it

At the book launch, Habib wagged a finger at South Africa’s elite when he criticised their greed, saying a cap needs to be put on their high earnings as “this is how we can achieve inequality reduction and political delivery”.

“Politicians deliver when they are economically uncertain about their future,” said Habib.

In an email sent to Wits Vuvuzela in September 2013, it was declared that Habib’s annual pay check was R2, 533,706, only slightly more than what his predecessor Prof Loyiso Nongxa, who earned R2, 2 million.[pullquote align=”right”]“All executives, excluding the VC, took only an inflationary increase.” [/pullquote]

Last week Habib confirmed his salary for 2014 was the same as the year before as “the VC took zero increase.”

He said, “All executives, excluding the VC, took only an inflationary increase.” Could this be a hint that Habib is aware there is a divide between what he says and what he does, and therefore chooses to lay low when it comes to cashing in?

Not the highest we’ve seen

Considering what Habib earns, he still falls into a modest income bracket when compared to VC Professor Malegapuru Makgoba of the University of KwaZulu-Natal who is currently more than R3.4 million and UJ’s Professor Ihron Rensburg who earns a salary of R3.3 million.

Six years ago the former VC of Mangosuthu University of Technology Aaron Ndlovu earned R3.68 million six years ago and until 2010, former University of South Africa’s VC, Professor Barney Pityana, held the top earning position of  R3.7 million a year.

UCT’s Dr Max Price earns just over R 2,2 million and Professor Russel Botman  from Stellenbosch University is paid R2.4 million.

Academics are not paid equally 

Professor Raimi Gbadamosi, president of the Academic Staff Association of Wits University (ASAWU), said the decision may be a question of him knowing what the budget of the university is to which he is responding to as part of his responsibility.

Gbadamosi said it is known that academics are not paid equally.[pullquote]“Ideally there should be some kind of relationship between staff and executive income.”[/pullquote]

Every year ASAWU enters into negotiations on academic staff salary.  At the last salary negotiations, the current pay package was “balloted” on by members and was accepted.

“Ideally there should be some kind of relationship between staff and executive income. But, as long as the pay of senior executives is transparent and they fit within a particular benchmark nationally, then as a body of academics we just need to accept it.”

Gbadamosi believes that academic pay is a separate discussion all together from what university management are paid.  “As long as the members I represent are paid fairly and appropriately, that is my primary concern.”

Habib salary lies toward the high- middle of the scale when compared to other academic executives in the country. Big Bucks, but it could have been worse.


Women caught in a political patriachy

South Africa is stuck in a space where women politicians are the target for unfair gender-based criticism and humiliation.

This was the subject of a discussion at Wiser on Thursday called“The trouble of being a female in politics” with a panel composed of Rebecca Davis from the Daily Maverick, Eusebius McKaiser from Power FM and journalist and Wiser fellow Khadija Patel.

Davis wrote an article for Daily Maverick last week on the special problems for women in politics. The article, which caused wide debate, addressed the way the South African media and society as a whole dealt with the merger between the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Agang and their respective female leaders, Helen Zille and Mamphela Ramphele.

The press conference was marked with a kiss between Zille and Ramphele, demonstrating their long friendship. But the panelists pointed out that the kiss soon became a meme, and was compared to acts of lesbianism and sexual provocation.

The merger soon failed but Davis noted that criticism of Zille and Ramphele made hay of the two leaders being women.

“Let’s face it, the DA-Agang merger was disastrous, but the fact that they were women should have been irrelevant.”

“This suggests that there is an illegitimacy to women owning the public space in South Africa,” said Davis.

Both the DA and Agang have also been criticized for being too “top heavy” with female leadership.

However, Davis said a political party with an all-male leadership is never recognized for its “weirdness” or criticized for being “too masculine”.

McKaiser believes that South African politics does not have a problem with a lack of female representation. He argues some of the best performing politicians are female, a fact that is often overlooked. McKaiser uses African Union chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as an example of a woman succeeding in politics. But McKaiser adds that she has yet to make a public mistake and therefore has been spared gendered criticism.

Patel said she was personally pained by the gendered discourse used on women. “It is already hard for a woman to be in politics without these remarks hoisted on you.”

An example of this would be the press referring to Ramphele as “gogo”, a term which helped describe her as an old and confused woman, when she is actually younger than President Jacob Zuma. The fact that he is old is seen as a political advantage and an indicator of accumulated wisdom instead of senility, Patel said.


Try, try, try again

SCRUMMAGE: Tuks trashed Wits 53-8 at their Varsity Cup match on Monday. This is the second loss for the team this season.  Photo: Caro Malherbe

SCRUMMAGE: Tuks trashed Wits 53-8 at their Varsity Cup match on Monday. This is the second loss for the team this season. Photo: Caro Malherbe

The manager of the Wits rugby club, Andy Royle, is worried about the lack of experienced players in the team and is concerned it will throw them off for this year’s Varsity Cup.

The drop in experienced students came as a surprise after eight failed to qualify academically, said sports officer Yvonne Swanepoel.

As per a Wits ruling, out of these eight, only three can be chosen to play as non students for the University, making the picking box only 25 players full, with 13 of these playing for the first time for Varsity Cup.

“In the beginning of the year we were quite healthy but then when a further two didn’t make it we were completely thrown off in preparation for the season,” said Royle.

In terms of experience and combinations, the squad is lacking in preparation and “can’t go out on the field and expect to get great results”, said Royle.

“We try to keep a balance where we have either two in the back and one in the front or the other way round, but the inexperience in the team has definitely thrown us out.”

Tuks thrashed Wits on Monday night 53-8. Royle said “the guys know what needs to be done and how they can improve and will keep fighting in every match of the season”.

Although the team has not been practising together for long, Royle feels it is still better than last year’s team and can only improve from here on.

The academic requirement for rugby players stands at a total of 48 academic points.  Any less than this does not necessarily go against Varsity Cup rules but Wits would not let them play.

Wits allocate points to all subjects. Dependent on the marks received, a certain amount of points will be given. For example: the subject Marketing may allocate X number of points for a student who got an A symbol, then X number for a B symbol and so on, according to Estelle Nobin, deputy registrar from the School of Commerce, Law and Management.



Wits Varsity Cup sorrows

Tuks receive another line out at the 10m mark. Photo: Caro Malherbe

WITS THRASHED: Tuks receive another line out at the 10m mark in their match against Wits last night. Photo: Caro Malherbe

Wits walked away empty handed at home after a crushing 53-8 loss against UP-Tuks, (University of Pretoria), on Monday night.

It was a disappointing loss as Wits struggled to establish themselves in a match reminiscent of the club’s poor performance in last year’s competition. The team finished last on the log in the 2013 season after failing to win a single match. 

Wits started off on a high note, scoring the first try of the match within the first five minutes, thanks to scrumhalf, Matt Torrence.

Tuks equalised two minutes later with a try by Wiaan Liebenberg. Former junior Springbok, Dries Swanepoel put Tuks in the lead with another try within minutes of the first. Missing the second conversion, the score stood at 8-13 to Tuks, 15 minutes into the game.

Wits  clearly lacked discipline and made some silly mistakes, handing over penalties and helping Tuks gain ground towards the try line where Swanepoel scored his second try of the match plus a cleared conversion. At half-time Tuks lead with 21-8.

A full Wits FNB Stadium shows their support while singing the South Africa national anthem. Photo: Caro Malherbe

A full Wits Rugby Stadium shows their support while singing the South Africa national anthem. Photo: Caro Malherbe

At half-time, the filled-to-capacity Wits Rugby Stadium were entertained by the Wits cheerleaders who now boast two male  members.

During the second half, Wits upped their defence preventing Tuks from scoring as they made a playfor the  close to the try line. At almost an hour onto the game, Tuks managed to push through with Swanepoel scoring his third try for his team, leading 29-8 after a successful conversion.

Tuks’ Swanepoel received a yellow card for a high tackle on fly half, Ashlon Davids. However, the officials seemed to have made a mess of things as Tuks continued with a 15 man team.

A further three tries were scored by Tuks captain ,Reniel Hugo followed by wing, Jade Stighling and replacement for Swanepoel, Leneve Damens scored the last try of the night, finalizing the scoreboard at 52-8.

Tuks, last year’s Varsity Cup champions, admittedly were surprised by Wits’ effort. Man of the match, Swanepoel said: “It was tougher than we thought it would be. Wits came in very hard but unfortunately it was our night.”

Wits coach, Andy Royle went into the game with only five members from last years’ final Varsity Cup match against UCT. A number of players did not meet Wits’ academic requirements and therefore have restrictions on their playing time. Royle was hoping his team would make a comeback after last year, but the lack of experienced players in the Wits side is going to make things tricky for the rest of the season.

New Witsies party at Freshers’ Bash


Freshers enjoyed the annual bash arranged by the Wits SRC. Photo: Caro Malherbe.

The West Campus postgraduate parking lot was transformed into the ultimate party venue on Friday night as the annual Fresher’s Bash took place under the auspices of the Wits SRC (Students’ Representative Council).

A massive stage, beer stand and food stalls greeted first years who arrived dressed for a night of celebration. The bash normally marks the end of the orientation period for new students as they head into the academic programme which starts on Monday.

The event was meant to kick off at 6pm, but this was delayed due to a few last minute hitches. One of the alcohol delivery vans only arrived at 7:30pm, leaving hordes of party-goers waiting outside the closed gates. However, as soon as the gates were opened they stormed the stage area and the delay was quickly forgotten.

A few of the local DJ acts that lit up the stage was AKA, DJ Doctor Malinga, Major League,  DJ Naves,  Euphonic, DJ Moflava and DJ SPHEctacular from MetroFM.

First years who attended the party seemed only had good things to say about it on Twitter. Innocentia Kgaphola (@Innokgaps) said, “AKA on stage killing the crowd!! #FreshersBash”

Porchia Wilson ‏(@djpopzeecurlz) said, “#FreshersBash off the chains”.

The party went on well into the early hours of the morning with Wits buses circulating until 2.45 am.



Editorial: And that’s all folks

Emotions are at an all time high, tempers are flaring and stress levels are increasing by the day. It’s crunch time for every student in South Africa, finishing off a year of studies and although some might be happy that it’s coming to an end and December is just around the corner, others are sad to be leaving and to be handing over the conch to the next bunch.

Team Vuvu is made up of 17 students who have become so close to each other that sharing food, fights and bodily gases has become an everyday norm. We have become a family.

Like every family, ours comes with problems, metaphorical divorces, abortions, marriages and births. We’ve been through it all.

This last paper was not compulsory for us but Team Vuvu decided we just couldn’t leave our faithful fans hanging high and dry without one more edition to wet the holiday appetite.

It has been a busy year to say the least. If we were not knee deep in issues of sexual harassment, we were quarrelling with the SRC, the PYA, the legal office and even the Vice Chancellor. But after the tears had dried, the fists had dropped and the ink had settled nicely onto the pages, they all became part of the family too.

Our message, dear reader, is that whatever your experience has been this year, whoever you loved, hated, beat up or built up, we hope those experiences and people are ones that have changed you for the better, expanded your mind and helped you grow.

In closing this chapter in life you are inclined to reflect and wonder if those New Years’ resolutions were actually accomplished. Looking back we would like to think that this years’ Team Vuvu made some kind of mark at Wits and helped improve things on campus.

Well, we did bag a Vice Chancellor’s team award for transformation.

Apart from the award we look back at 2013 as the year Wits students had their say, the year a number of burning issues were exposed and the year we became addicted to coffee.  We bid you farewell, dear reader, and hope that next years’ Team Vuvu will not drop the spirit stick and keep the journalistic passion alive.