Rupert Taylor in Wiki wars

Controversy around the dismissal of former politics professor Rupert Taylor has continued to his Wikipedia page which has been changed more than 50 times in the past two weeks by rival editors.

Taylor was dismissed in September following an investigation into accusations of sexual harassment by Wits.

The editing, mostly by anonymous users, started in September with a simple change noting Taylor’s dismissal in what was then only a two paragraph biography.

“Professor Taylor was reportedly fired by Wits University in September 2013 for sexual harassment,” read the edit.

The next day another user substantially lengthened the biography to eight paragraphs and changed the line referring to Taylor’s dismissal.

“In 2013 Professor Taylor was, according to Wits University’s Head of Communications, put on special leave and ‘escorted off the campus’,” read the change.

Shortly thereafter, the Wiki war over Taylor’s page was in full swing with this sentenced removed only to be added again the next day. Several other changes were made, back and forth, to the page.[pullquote align=”right”]Removed links as it is misleading, all false reporting pertaining to Taylor’s case [/pullquote]

A major change was made on October 7 when Taylor’s page was changed to suggest that the professor was dismissed due to racism on the part of Wits.

The edit read: “In 2013 Professor Taylor was dismissed for ‘improper conduct’ by the historically-white Wits University for having had an affair with an African student; in a context within which that University has become increasingly ‘toxic’”.

Links to news articles on the allegations of sexual harassment were added and removed several times during the Wiki war.

Wikipedia requires that users give reason for editing a page. One user who had removed links to the news articles justified the action by calling them “false reporting” and threatened other Wikipedia editors with “civil legal action”.

“Removed links as it is misleading, all false reporting pertaining to Taylor’s case will be facing civil legal action so please do not repeat on this page,” read the edit.

Editing to Taylors’ Wikipedia page has continued throughout the month and it is not clear when the tit for tat editing will end. The page was last edited on Wednesday.

In September 2012 Taylor stepped down as head of the political studies department following allegations by students of inappropriate behaviour were published in Wits Vuvuzela.

Taylor was put on special leave in March 2013. At the time he denied the allegations and told Wits Vuvuzela he was considering legal action.

 

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Naming and shaming

MEDIA Monitoring Africa’s William Bird and his IT partner Billy Einkamerer have introduced a new website that aims to restore “truth to journalism”.

The site, newstools.co.za, will buckle down on the trend of “churnalism”, a word combining “churn” and “journalism”. Bird said many journalists have come to rely on churning out press releases which have just been copied and pasted.

“The site is in beta stage and many bugs still need to be addressed, but for now the site is available to any member of the public who wants to find out if a piece of writing is an original or not,” said Einkamerer.

Bird notes the decline of journalists working in newsrooms over the past years and at the same time the increase in the number of people in public relations .

[pullquote align=”right”]“You can follow every single link to an article where the same paragraph has been used so you can determine where the paragraph comes from and how reliable the source is.”[/pullquote]

“We are seeing more and more stories that are being ‘churnalised’ and spin doctors are pleased with the new trend in media because they are getting copy all the time, which comes from the same source,” said Bird.

The website plans to name and shame journalists and media houses who churn out recycled news and press releases.
The site will allow users to find out who is “churnalising” the most.

“When you use our website you search a particular article or paragraph, it locates the same article fairly quickly and reveals where it has been found before,” Einkamerer said.

It also shows the percentage of the article’s match to other articles already online.

“You can follow every single link to an article where the same paragraph has been used so you can determine where the paragraph comes from and how reliable the source is,” said Einkamerer.

Einkamerer said journalism is the pursuit of truth and the website will allow for more transparency and bring back accountability. He believes that true journalists will get more credit and those who are lazy will be exposed.

Drugs for kids: “How to sell a disease”

Luc Hermann gave a seminar on how corporates dodge tax during day two of power reporting. Photo: Ray Mahlaka.

Luc Hermann speaks about the marketing strategies of Big Pharma in selling drugs to children.  Photo: Ray Mahlaka.

French journalist, Luc Hermann has made a career out of deconstructing “spin”.

Hermann, (@LucHermann) talked yesterday about how big pharmaceutical companies sell their drugs” at Power Reporting: The African Investigative Journalism Conference.

Hermann’s 90-minute CNN documentary: How to sell a disease investigates the multinational drug company, Pfizer, and how they managed to get doctors and reporters across the world to help them sell anti-depressant drugs to children.

Suicidal effects

His investigation started by looking into the case of a teenage boy in the US who committed suicide two days after taking the drug, Zoloft. Zoloft, which is an equivalent to the adult anti-depressant popularly known as Prozac, which is predominantly prescribed for the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

In launching the drug, Pfizer released statistics which showed that up to 200 000 children in France could possibly suffer from undiagnosed OCD. The statistics had the effect of causing alarm among parents and doctors who worried that they may have overlooked the signs of the disorder.

Hermann says, “In the press, Zoloft can be prescribed to kids as early as six years old.”

Playing with statistics 

Pfizer’s statistics showed that one to two per cent of children are affected by OCD. Hermann says the disease makes basic functioning incredibly difficult for the sufferer. Children with OCD have difficulties to focus, have problems with anxiety and have obsessions with routines.

It makes it hard for them to learn and can make life very frustrating. These statistics allowed Pfizer to draw the conclusion that one child in every class in France could be affected by OCD.

The forced insider

The family of the boy who took his life after taking Zoloft took Pfizer to court. Their lawyer made contact with Dr David Healy, whom Hermann calls the “forced insider” in his documentary.

Healy was the key reviewer of data that found that Pfizer had noticed instances of suicidal tendencies by patients who took their anti-depressant drugs.

“If a child is diagnosed with OCD they will be hospitalised and treated under strict circumstances and then, yes, doctors will prescribe Zoloft or Prozac in order for kids to deal with their condition.

These decisions though are beyond the scope of the role of the general practitioner and if a prescription is issued at this point the patient should be carefully monited.

“Doctors will say that you have to monitor the patient for the first seven days of taking the drug, but no-one told the family of the boy this,” says Hermann.

Journalists get taken-in

Hermann’s investigations revealed that Pfizer targeted journalists and major media outlets who they invited to events and press related trips that were “quite appealing”.

The company fed information to reporters about the prevalence of the disease and the benefits of their drugs.

The Prime Time News (PTF1) channel in France aired a programme where they discussed how this disease affected children. “This programme was aired to about eight million people in France,” Hermann says.

None of the 25 journalists ever revealed that they were taken on an all expenses paid trip to Istanbul by Pfizer.

Hermann warns journalists that they should always be aware of how they are influenced and also of possible links between reporters and major companies.

Free-for-all drugs

Hermann ended his talk off by saying that six million children in the United States take these kinds of drugs, mostly Ritalin, for attention deficit disorder (ADD) and then Zoloft and Prozac. “What is most shocking is that some cases the schools have the power to prescribe these drugs, not only doctors.”

“These pharmaceutical companies have no idea how it affects children in the long run.” Hermann stresses that he wishes he did more to confront journalists who published articles endorsing the use of these drugs and who were effectively “spun” by Pfizers public relations team.

A step back in media freedom for Pukke paper

The journalists at Wapad, the student paper of North West University’s Potchefstroom campus, said a decision to ban their publication is part of a plan to control media distributed on campus.

On Monday, Pukke’s marketing and communication department told Wapad editor Kevin du Plessis that the paper would not be published due to uncollected advertising fees of almost R80 000.

[pullquote]Banning, part of a plan to control the newspaper’s content to ensure it upholds the university’s reputation.[/pullquote] The university said neither a printed edition nor an online edition will be allowed to be published for the rest of the year until the money is collected.

 

Controlling media 

However, du Plessis said the banning was part of a plan to control the newspaper’s content to ensure it upholds the university’s reputation.

“This would mean that the newspaper will be managed by the marketing department and that everything will have to be checked by them before being published. The new chief editor they are going to appoint will also be an employee of the marketing department,” du Plessis said.

Wapad takes the fall for outstanding money

Pukke spokesman Johan van Zyl, in an article published on the M&G Online, denied du Plessis’ accusation and said Wapad could be published after the debt was settled.

“We stand for media freedom and actually promote it. It’s up to them to put the funds as soon as possible,” van Zyl told the website.

Promoting critical thinking

Du Plessis said this year has been a “culture shock” for the paper in terms of content. Wapad journalists have tried to write about prominent issues that promote critical thinking and expose injustices within the university including issues of sex, race, discrimination and abuse.[pullquote align=”right”]The blowback to Wapad’s articles have included physical violence.[/pullquote]

Earlier this year, Wapad published an article on a lecturer who made discriminatory and homophobic remarks. The lecturer allegedly said homosexuals are unnatural and should not exist.

Wapad also reveal the harsh treatment of first years by student leaders in Veritas residence. They published images of male students, bent over with their bottoms exposed, badly beaten and bruised to the point of having large, open sores.

Violent repercussions 

The blowback to Wapad’s articles have included physical violence. Last Saturday, du Plessis was assaulted by a student from Veritas men’s residence.[pullquote]”The university only cares about their reputation and tradition”[/pullquote]

The student allegedly hit du Plessis in the face for publishing an article which he claimed was disloyal to Veritas res.

Du Plessis said the university does little to provide the newspaper with feedback on what actions will be taken when the paper reveals misbehaviour.

“The university will never give us a formal press release to tell us what they are going to do about it. They only care about their reputation and tradition,” he said. [pullquote align=”right”]“I will keep fighting this fight because I want the person who takes over from me to be able to continue with what we have achieved and be able to write independently.”[/pullquote]

Boycotting Wapad

Du Plessis said leaders in residences have boycotted the paper in the past by telling students not to read it and not allowing it to be delivered.

“I will keep fighting this fight because I want the person who takes over from me to be able to continue with what we have achieved and be able to write independently,” said Du Plessis, who is leaving the paper at the end of the year.

In Wapad’s May edition professor Johannes Froneman announced that he will step down from his position of media regulator at the paper. He said he was disappointed with the lack of independence the paper has from the university and that this infringed on their right to freedom of speech.

Hearing the deaf

MEANT TO BE: Witsie, Chelsea van der Merwe fell in love with sign language after she attending the first class three years ago. Photo: Provided

MEANT TO BE: Witsie, Chelsea van der Merwe fell in love with South African sign language after attending her first class three years ago. Photo: Provided

Witsie, Chelsea van der Merwe, is the go-to-girl when it comes to making sure the deaf get heard.

Van der Merwe, a third year drama and South African sign language student (SASL), said Wits is one of the only institutions to offers a degree in sign language in the country. This year Wits also introduced an honours course in SASL, which is a first for the country.

Van der Merwe said she fell in love with sign language from the first class she attended.

“I went home after class that day and told my mom: ‘I want to sign, this is what I am meant to do.”

Van der Merwe managed to find a way to combine her passion for drama with her love for sign language by interpreting for and acting in many deaf films in Johannesburg.

“When they do a deaf production, they don’t even do auditions anymore. They call me straight away.”

Telling their stories

Van der Merwe administers theatre workshops for deaf people who use the platform to tell their stories and share the hardships of what life is like being deaf.

She said there was a deaf girl who told the story of being raped by acting it out on stage. Because the girl is deaf she couldn’t communicate to the police or to her family what had happened. She had also never been told about rape and did not know that she was not meant to bath before being tested for rape.[pullquote align=”right”]“Most people don’t know that sign language is actually not universal.” [/pullquote]

Another deaf man got tested for HIV and found out he was positive. He was not given a pre-test or post-test counselling or informed about the virus and how it can be managed with anti-retrovirals, because the counsellor could not communicate with him.

These educational productions create awareness about the deaf community in South Africa and expose the lack of support for them.

“Most people don’t know that sign language is actually not universal,” she said.

Creating awareness 

Van der Merwe was born in South Africa but has lived all over the world and was educated in Dubai.

Having dyslexia, she was sent to a special needs school for pupils with learning disabilities. In Dubai, special needs teachers are highly qualified and know how to teach these children, said Van Der Merwe.[pullquote]There are over 800 000 people in South Africa who are hearing impaired.[/pullquote]

“Moving back to Johannesburg was really hard for me because there is no place for dyslexic people in South Africa.”

Van der Merwe said in South Africa dyslexia is not seen as a disability and there are no “special concessions” for people with learning issues. Because of this she felt a connection with deaf people as another minority group which is compromised in society and marginalised.

“I just wanted to help people overcome the barrier.”

Empowering the deaf

There are over 800 000 people in South Africa who are hearing impaired. For them, getting an education is very difficult as they cannot meet the requirements to get accepted into university.

South African universities require applicants to have been educated in two official languages, but do not recognise sign language in this regard.

Van der Merwe has plans to start a company that will introduce sign language and deaf awareness to the corporate world. This would mean that banks, courts, offices hospitals and other institution will all eventually have a communication policy that includes the deaf.

Van der Merwe also teaches deaf children at St Vincent School for The Deaf in Melrose every Friday.

 

Right2Know campaign gets loud

Protesters sang out against the proposed 'Secrecy Bill' outside of Luthuli House. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

Protesters sang out against the proposed ‘Secrecy Bill’ outside of Luthuli House. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

Right2Know campaign members protested outside Albert Luthuli House today against President Jacob Zuma signing the Secrecy Bill.

About 10 protesters dressed in their red and black Right2Know campaign shirts, held banners and posters that shot down the Protection of State Information Bill which President Zuma has yet to sign.[pullquote align=”right”]This is a bad bill for South Africa, send it back to parliament and scrap it![/pullquote]

Dan McKinley, Right2Know spokesperson outlined the reason for the protest. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

Dan McKinley, Right2Know spokesperson outlined the reason for the protest. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

“It is there on his desk. We ask you Zuma to listen to the people and do away with the Secrecy Bill!” said Dale McKinley, spokesperson for Right2Know in Gauteng.

He said the bill would bring South Africa down and take the country back to the oppressive apartheid-type regime which censored media and whistle blowers.

“This is a bad bill for South Africa, send it back to parliament and scrap it!” he added.

Whistle blowers in a crisis

McKinley said there is the crisis of whistle blowers who are “dying out, being stopped, fired and killed” for exposing corruption. One banner read: “Exposing corruption is not a crime”.

“Do the right thing and pass legislation which protects whistle blowers in the country”, said McKinley, appealing to Zuma who visits Luthuli House on Mondays.

 

Protesters wore masks to conceal their identities in fear of being victimised if identified. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

Protesters wore masks to conceal their identities in fear of being victimised if identified. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

Right2Know (R2K) celebrated their third anniversary last week. They have been campaigning against the Secrecy Bill since 2010, persistently challenging the government’s decisions around this Bill.

National Key Points act

McKinley said Right2Know also opposes the National Key Points act which conceals expenditure like in the case of Nkandla.

The protest was supposed to be carried out in front of Luthuli House but members were told today the ANC headquarters is a National Key Point and cannot be protested in front of.

“That is why we aren’t standing on the other side of the road. Today we were told Luthuli House is a National Key Point,” said McKinley.

They stood across the road on the corner of President and Sauer Street.

Siphiwe Segodi lead the small crowd that had gathered in song and dance. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

Siphiwe Segodi lead the small crowd that had gathered in song and dance. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

 

Protesters danced and repeated chants, singing: “Down with the Secrecy Bill. Down! Down!”; “Down with Zuma. Down! Down!”; “Forward with Right2Know. Forward! Forward!”

Some of them wore white masks to cover their faces. A woman who led the singing said: “You must hide yourself. The baboons in there will see us!” – referring to members of parliament inside Luthuli House.

Devereaux Morkle from the South African Press Association said to one of her colleagues: “I would also wear a mask if I was taking part in this protest.”

The Spy Bill

The campaign also opposes the government’s intentions of adopting the Spy Bill which could threaten the privacy of citizens via cell phone tapping.

“We demand good governance”; “Power to the people and not the Secrecy Bill” and “Defend our whistle blowers” were some of the phrases painted on signs held by the protesters.

 

Wits sexual harassment inquiry complete

 by Shandukani Mulaudzi and Caro Malherbe

 

Prof Bonita Meyersfield outlines some of the findings from the report. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

Prof Bonita Meyersfield outlines some of the key findings from the report. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

Wits has pledged to undertake a multidimensional approach to issues of sexual harassment on campus by formulating a special task team initiated by the vice chancellor’s office. These measures and others were announced today at a press conference called to make the findings of an independent inquiry into issues of sexual harassment at Wits University.

Vice chancellor Prof Adam Habib said he takes full responsibility for the abuses that happened at Wits and that the report highlights the failure of the university’s system to address rumours and allegations decisively.

Habib added that the university welcomes the recommendations and will form a Senior Executive Team to start a plan of action on how the issue of sexual harassment will be dealt with, in line with the culture of the institution.

Special Task Team 

The special task team will originate from the VC’s office and comprise various experts from within the university including gender specialists, the transformation office, sexual harassment advisors, legal expertise and student representatives.

Habib said student representatives will not be solely from the SRC but from various sectors of the student body.

[pullquote align=”right”]“The inquiry was one of the most difficult tasks for the whole team to undertake because we were dealing with our own university. But it was important and totally worth it.”[/pullquote]

 

Vice Chancellor, Adam Habib and registrar  Kirti Menon deliberate questions from the media. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

Prof Adam Habib, Kirti Menon and Prof Andrew Crouch field questions from the media. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

Difficulties of investigation
Prof Bonita Meyersfeld, the director of the Centre of Applied Legal Studies at Wits was part of the team who compiled the report together with lawyers from law firm Norton Rose. She said this was one of the most difficult inquiries to undertake.

“The inquiry was one of the most difficult tasks for the whole team to undertake because we were dealing with our own university. But it was important and totally worth it.”

Meyersfeld said students and members of staff were initially reluctant to speak to them but in the last two months of the inquiry they were more willing to come forward.

“The emotion involved in both students and staff alike is evident throughout the university and administration. Students felt they were not listened to and not taken seriously.”

[pullquote align=”right”]”There were other perpetrators discovered during the inquiry.”[/pullquote]

Meyersfeld said the students were also worried about following the legal process as they were worried about being re-traumatised by speaking to various entities about the same incident.

Members of staff, although they shared the same sentiments also worried about the threat posed to their careers if they came forward.

Continuing investigation 

Two cases have already been dealt with and the accused persons have been dismissed. Habib said there are two other cases that are on-going.

“Two have been dismissed and another who began investigations will hopefully be released to me tomorrow. The fourth is yet to begin.”

The on-going investigation is that of Prof Rupert Taylor, while the one that has not yet begun is that of Dr Lord Mawuko. This was confirmed by a reliable source who did not want to be named.

SRC President, Sibulele Mgudlwa answers a question from teh audience. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

SRC President, Sibulele Mgudlwa answers a question from the audience. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

Meyersfeld said while there were other perpetrators discovered during the inquiry. However cases were dealt with on a confidential basis and unless students asked for their accusations to be pursued, they were not.

Habib added: “We pursued various other avenues to get to the bottom of it [new cases]. But in those instances our findings yielded no further investigation.”

Habib thanked the media for blowing the whistle on issues of sexual harassment as this forced the university to take immediate action.

 

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Wits Business School journey back to #1

by Caro Malherbe and Shandukani Mulaudzi

After the resignation of Professor Wendy Ngoma, Director of the Wits Business School (WBS), Professor Adam Habib plans to fix the leadership “crisis” in order to restore the school to its former glory.

Habib said it was imperative to fix leadership first before trying to fix structural challenges, enrollment and reputation.[pullquote]“It is no longer the number one school and that is not acceptable. We cannot have a situation where the number one school is not in the heart of the economy.”[/pullquote]

“To fix a problem, you first need to fix the leadership. Because you can have the best structure in the world but if you have the wrong leaders, it’s not going to work.”

No longer number one

Habib said the school was number one in the country a few years ago but has lost its place and that needed to change.

“It is no longer the number one school and that is not acceptable. We cannot have a situation where the number one school is not in the heart of the economy.”

Ngoma resigned earlier this month leaving the school without leadership. Habib said he was shocked as they had discussed her plans to resign however prior to her announcement there had been no formal agreement. “It took me by surprise when she announced it to the school and didn’t talk to me first because we wanted to manage the news flow around the issue.”

Leadership crisis

[pullquote align=”right”]“It hasn’t been able to keep its directors, its directors hasn’t found it to be a happy place, staff are unhappy as such.”[/pullquote]Wits Vuvuzela previously reported that leadership problems had contributed to the loss of MBA enrollment which the communications manager Jackie Mapiloko denied.

Habib however, said leadership was a crisis before Ngoma’s tenure and still continues to be. “I can say that we have had a problem with leadership, and it’s not only Wendy’s fault. I think that the problem with the business school is that it has had a leadership crisis for a number of years.

“It hasn’t been able to keep its directors, its directors hasn’t found it to be a happy place, staff are unhappy as such.”

MBA enrollment- A “technical glitch”

Habib blamed the low number of MBA student enrollment on a “technical glitch” but said lack of leadership led to the issue being insufficiently handled. He said WBS will not lose its international accreditation as enrollment numbers cannot affect accreditation based on a single year.

WBS has complained about there being a lack of autonomy from the main university when it comes to making decisions and financial management. Habib said the right leader is first needed before discussions of autonomy can be held. “Find the right leader. Then we’ll benchmark the autonomy required for this school compared to all the other business schools in the country and in the world and we’ll implement.”

The business school will be searching for candidates both locally and globally to fill the directorship over the next two weeks.

 

 

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Habib talks love, family and Savernake

FIRST LADY: Fatima Habib at her mantle with family photographs at her home in Saxonwold. Photo: Prelene Singh

FIRST LADY OF WITS: Fatima Habib stands at her mantle with family photographs at her home in Saxonwold.        Photo: Prelene Singh

Fatima Habib, the wife of newly installed Wits vice chancellor Adam Habib, proves that behind every powerful man is an equally strong woman.

Fast talking and immaculately presented in a dark blue dress with black stockings and black heels, Habib spoke assertively on the porch of her nine bedroom home in Saxonwold about life since joining the Wits family. “I have a list on my computer that is called ‘Reasons why I will divorce Adam’.  Buying this house is one of them,”she said jokingly.

[pullquote align=”right”]I have a list on my computer that is called ‘Reasons why I will divorce Adam[/pullquote]

“We had bought it at an auction and it was a real mess, but after I renovated it … it turns out Adam was right.” They moved to their home in Saxonwold in 2003 and Mrs Habib spent a lot of time renovating and improving the house. “Our boys grew up here, they love our home.”

“Refugees of love”

Habib met her husband while they were doing their undergraduate degrees at the University of Natal. They were both anti-apartheid activists who were part of the United Democratic Front (UDF).

FAMILY FIRST: Habib explains that everyone in the family have a mutual understanding to agree to disagree, respectfully. Photo: Prelene Singh

FAMILY FIRST: Habib explains that everyone in the family have a mutual understanding to agree to disagree, respectfully.              Photo: Prelene Singh

“Adam was always off doing work in the township so what happened was he used to borrow my notes.”
“We were ‘refugees of love’, as Adam likes to tell people. I think it’s so corny”, she says while her face lights up like someone newly in love.

“My mother didn’t like Adam and his aunts didn’t think I was right for him. So we thought screw all of this and we buggered off to Wits to do our honours.”

From Wits, Habib received her honours in applied psychology and then went on to do her masters in economics and industrial labour studies.

“We said that after we finish our masters we will get married.” she said.  “Since Adam got the VC job at Wits I think hectic is an understatement, the most difficult part is actually, as a family, having dinner together.”

They have two sons in Parktown Boys School. One is in Grade 8 and another in Matric who will be studying astrophysics next year at either UCT or Wits.

The Habib family value the importance of fitness and keeping fit. “Adam and I run in the mornings and on weekends we go for walks. We try to connect with the children by going out to dinner or Saturday brunches and movies because I feel that that is very important to do.”

Working progress

After 10 years the Habib family will now have to move to their next “working progress” of a home. Part of the conditions of being VC of Wits is that the Habib family has to live at the official residence of the vice-chancellor, a heritage house known as Savernake. If not, Wits will lose an asset worth R40 million. “There was a lot of controversy around Savernake.

When we were first told we would have to move out of our home I was appalled. The toilets don’t flush, the electrical and plumbing needs to be fixed and the entire kitchen is shot to hell and gone.”

Wits has started phase one of the three phases of refurbishment at Savernake.

After phase is complete they will relocate from their current home.

Habib plans to take her chef, driver and gardener with them instead of taking Wits up on its offer to supply staff. “My staff have worked for me for ten years and will continue to do so.”

Habib is very involved in the fixing process of Savernake.“The construction team and the architects and myself work together because I am quite rigid about management. Making sure it’s on budget and on time.”

 

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Wits VuvuzelaSavernake will stay in the hands of Wits.  April 15, 2013.

Wits VuvuzelaWits facing R12m cost for VC house. March 15, 2013.

 

South Africa wins for Mandela

Unite4Mandela: Supporters at the FNB Stadium in Soweto during the Bafana Bafana soccer match

Unite4Mandela: Supporters at the FNB Stadium in Soweto during the Bafana Bafana soccer match. Photo: Caro Malherbe

The Nelson Mandela Sports and Culture Day at the FBN stadium in Soweto saw both the Boks and Bafana Bafana play to victory.

The stadium was a alive with #humanspirit as a diversity of South Africans came to show their support for the two major national sports teams. Dressed in green and yellow, supporters came flooding in from all walks of life. The feeling was that no matter what the outcome, uniting together for a common purpose was a win for us all.

Not only did South Africans unite for their love of soccer and rugby but  the day was in honour of tata Mandela #Unite4Mandela, the man who represents unity itself.

Bafana Bafana vs Burkina Faso

A sea of South African flags was seen and vuvuzelas heard as Bafana Bafana came running onto the field, ready to take on Burkina Faso.

With a score of 2-0, Bafana Bafana set the mood for the rest of the day. With so many fans cheering and encouraging our team, Burikina Faso did not stand a chance.

Man of the match, Siphiwe Tshabalala, scored the first goal in the first half and Luyolo Nomandela scored in the second half.

[pullquote align=”right”]This win helped fans regain their belief in Bafana.[/pullquote]

Coach Gordon Igesund said he hoped that the team will be able to carry on with the trend for their important match against Botswana on 7 September.

FNB Stadium: South Africans came from all walks of life to show their support.

FNB Stadium: South Africans came from all walks of life to show their support. Photo: Caro Malherbe

Springboks vs. Argentina

The amount of stadium goers doubled when the Springboks vs. Argentina game kicked off.

Playing their first game of the Rugby Championship Test series, the Boks brought the heat when they annihilated Argentina with a score of 73-13.

After the first half, it was clear that it was going to be an easy win. Although the Pumas held on by the skin of their teeth and showed fighting skill, they could sadly did not manage to beat the sterling team.

The Springboks showed great discipline by receiving only four penalties to Argentina out of the 16 handed out.

It was raining tries for the Boks while the roaring cheers from 50, 000 audience members gave the Boks even more steam for domination.

The team held the Nelson Mandela Sports and Culture Day Cup high as they celebrated their massive victory and Adriaan Strauss was named man of the match.

Springboks: Argentina stood no chance against the persistent Boks. Photo: Caro Malherbe

Springboks: Argentina stood no chance against the persistent Boks. Photo: Caro Malherbe

Bafana Bafana Legands vs. Italian Legends

The first match of the day was played by the SA Masters who lost 2-0 to the Italian Legend.

The Bafana Legends were the team who won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1996, two years after the first free and fair political elections in South Africa. The team played on Saturday in honour of the man who made it all happen.

After the sport, supporters were treated to some culture when the stadium became alive with music from some of South Africa’s top acts. Kurt Darren, Elvis Blue and Toya Delazy were some of the musical icons who performed and got the stadium rocking.

All proceeds from the day will be going towards building a new Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital.

The day was a mammoth affair for all South Africans across the country and was a great example of how far we have come in the fight for freedom and unity.

Halala: War cries could be heard all around the stadium. Photo: Caro Malherbe

Halala: War cries could be heard all around the stadium. Photo: Caro Malherbe

GALLERY: Oppikoppi 2013

By Caro Malherbe, Pheladi Sethusa and Shandukani Mulaudzi

This year’s Bewilderbeast festival treated 20 000 fans to a wide range of local and international acts. Team Vuvu got to experience it and documented it with their lenses.

Rumble in the tunnel

COLOURED SLOGANS: PYA candidate spray paints the tunnel. Photo: Caro Malherbe

COLOURED SLOGANS: PYA candidate spray paints the tunnel. Photo: Caro Malherbe

THE PROGRESSIVE Youth Alliance (PYA) may have acted improperly when they painted the tunnel connecting East and West Campus as part of their SRC electoral campaign.

The PYA painted the tunnel on Monday with slogans urging students to vote for them. Lemese Abrahams, head of SRC Administration, told Wits Vuvuzela: “I would have to check if they asked for permission, but I was not aware the tunnel was painted. [pullquote]The tunnel should not be touched.[/pullquote]”

Abrahams said that the SRC and PYA have are only allowed to paint on the graffiti wall outside the Matrix “for freedom of expression purposes.” When told the tunnel had been painted with PYA slogans Abrahams said: “I will send someone immediately down to assess the situation. If that is the case, they will have to paint it over.” A representative from the PYA could not be reached for comment.

PYA member Nompendulo Mkatshcwa told Wits Vuvuzela on Monday during the event that the tunnel painting was done “to let students know that the PYA are still here.”

The PYA is made up of youth organisations such as, the South African Students Congress, Young Communist League, the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) and Muslim Student Association.

The tunnel was a canvas of vibrant, luminescent colours as members stood singing and spray painting the walls. “We are moving”, “Do Right!” and “Our Wits, Our PYA, Vote PYA”, were some of the things written in spray paint on the tunnel walls.

The candidates, some wearing various ANCYL and PYA T-shirts busted into song and dance while students walked through the tunnel, viewing the spectacle.