Killing at Florence fuels fear among students

Litaletu Zidepa and Dana Da Silva

Students have mixed feelings as to whether or not they felt their safety was compromised after a killing which took place last weekend outside a hijacked building next to Esselen Residence.

Florence House is a derelict, building next to Esselen that had been hijacked since 2012.  Last weekend’s killing, a stabbing, is allegedly the result of a fight between rival groups in the building who want to claim ownership.Wits Vuvuzela has previously reported about the safety and security issues that have faced students regarding the buildings activities.

In 2014, a shooting occurred where a bullet was fired through a window of a student’s room. The student was not home at the time and no one was injured.Students have been voicing their concerns about the buildings activities and hygiene issues (due to the open sewage) since 2012. When asked about the recent killing Arthur Muhapelwa, a BComm Accounting student, said that he felt scared and uncomfortable.“I would say the reason for me to be so is because I have that thing on my mind that, what could happen next? Maybe it could be me, so my safety is like violated at this time,” said Muhapelwa.

THE REAL WATCHDOG: Readys Nukeri and German Shepherd 'Rex' work as part of security for students living at Esselen. Photo: Litaletu Zidepa

THE REAL WATCHDOG: Readys Nukeri and German Shepherd ‘Rex’ work as part of security for students living at Esselen. Photo: Litaletu Zidepa

Second year BSc in Biochemistry student, Kgomotso Kibi, felt that she should’ve been told about these incidents earlier before she moved in.“The thing is I heard about it a long time ago while I was moving in so I feel like I was robbed in a way,” said Kibi. “I should have been informed before, but then during the house meetings the house comms have assured us that the matter was actually addressed and they’ve taken precautions.”

However, police say that Wits students staying in Esselen are not in danger.“It’s a safe place for students,” said Sgt Mduduzi Zondo of Hillbrow police station.“In terms of this area, we haven’t had such complaints from Wits to say like students, they are experiencing this and that,” said Zondo.Other students didn’t feel bothered by the incidents that have been taking place at Florence.

“Well I don’t really feel much that affected, it doesn’t really scare me that much,” said third year BSC Biochemistry student Thuile Mazibuko.Mpho Hopewell Molefe, Bachelor of Arts first year student, also shared the same sentiment. “I don’t have a problem with it. It’s pretty dodgy, but it depends on what kind of person they are. I’m here to study. Whatever happens there happens.”Head of Wits communications, Shirona Patel, said that the university was “extremely disturbed” in regards to the most recent killing.

“Although it did not impact directly on our students, the safety of our students living in this residence is of immense concern to the university,” said Patel. Patel said the university has implemented more security measures at the residence, with a guard and dog patrolling the area until late hours.

Umswenko: Vuvu Style Diaries

By: Litaletu Zidepa and Queenin Masuabi 

“Fashion is about dressing according to what’s fashionable. Style is more about being yourself”- Oscar de la Renta

The Style Diaries is about spotting the latest trends on campus. It is dedicated to students who are fashionable, trendy and daring. Each week #TeamVuvu will feature students who define style.  

HEAD WRAPED: Fourth- year LLB student Lebo Shikwambani, sporting a vibrant head wrap to complete her 'all black' ensamble.

HEAD WRAPED: Fourth-year LLB student Lebo Shikwambani, sporting a vibrant head wrap to complete her ‘all black’ ensemble. Photo: Queenin Masuabi

Lebo is sporting the ‘all black’ trend, this is complemented with a denim waistcoat and black Chelsea boots. She tops it off with an Afro-centric turban, adding colour to the outfit. “Sometimes it’s political, and sometimes it’s cultural relativism. I chose the turban because I love statement pieces and piecing items together.” she said.

VINTAGE: First-year Chiraag Kathwaroo is wearing a vintage jersey, which he sported with the trendy 'man bun' and retro steampunk inspired thick plastic round sunglasses. Photo: Queenin Masuabi

VINTAGE: First-year student, Chiraag Kathwaroo is wearing a vintage jersey,  sported with the trendy ‘man bun’ and retro steampunk inspired thick plastic round sunglasses. Photo: Queenin Masuabi

First-year Actuarial Science student, Chiraag Kathwaroo, is wearing an oversized jersey, faded blue jeans and denim sneakers. He is sporting the trendy ‘man bun’ to complete his outfit. “Everyone goes to Cotton On and Top Shop to buy these jerseys and all end up looking the same. I literally just stole my dad’s clothes from the 80’s and the 90’s, and that’s where I get my fashion inspiration from.”

For more fashionistas, follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter: WitsVuvuzela. 

Wits launches new garden chess board, hopes to attract more players

The Wits Chess club hosted the Wits Blitz Open tournament on Saturday to officially launch their partnership with Donate-A-Piece.

 

CHECKMATE: Wits Chess Club former member and Donate-A-Piece co-founder, Denis Ovcina giving the new garden chess board a try. Photo: Litaletu Zidepa

CHECKMATE: Former Wits Chess Club member and Donate-A-Piece ambassador, Denis Ovcina (left) give the new garden chess board at Wits University a try. Photo: Litaletu Zidepa

Wits University is hoping to increase the number of chess players in its local club through the launch of a new outdoor garden chess board.

The new board was launched together with a partnership with Donate-A-Piece at a tournament at the main campus on Saturday.

Tebogo Rabothata, Wits Sports Officer for the Chess club said: “I am so grateful for the opportunity that Donate-A-Piece has given us, I am looking forward to having a great partnership with them.” The organisation is a aimed at increasing participation in the sport and will sponsor the Wits Chess Warriors in their 2015 USSA (University Sports South Africa), campaign this year.

Former Wits Chess Club chairperson, Zweli Mabaso said the club was identified as a potential partner by Donate-A-Piece as a result of its strong performance.

South African cricketer and Donate-A- Piece ambassador Temba Bavuma, told Wits Vuvuzela that “If you look at Wits itself, it has the perfect platform to launch a campaign like this. This will enable a reach of a variety of people and I think it’s a perfect platform to spread the awareness around chess.”

WINNER: Matt Pon was among the winners at the Wits Blitz Tournament. Photo: Litaletu Zidepa

WINNER:  First-year BComm PPE student, Matt Pon, was among the winners at the Wits Blitz Tournament, coming in at second place. Photo: Litaletu Zidepa

The Donate-A-Piece Wits Blitz Open tournament winner Rodwell Maketo took home R1200, while first-year BCom PPE student, Matt Pon won R900. Jefferey Mthetho finished in third place.

Read more about the Wits Chess Club

 

Wits in global gender equity

GENDER EQUAL: Director of the Wits Gender Equity  Office, Jackie Dugard states that the HeForShe campaign will be an opportunity for raising a profile of issues across key institutions an society, and learning from each other and offering leadership. Photo: Provided.

GENDER EQUAL: Director of the Wits Gender Equity Office, Jackie Dugard states that the HeForShe campaign will be an opportunity for raising a profile of issues across key institutions and society. Photo: Provided.

 

Wits University became one of the IMPACT 10x10x10 champions by joining the UN Women’s HeForShe solidarity movement. This made Wits one of 10 universities around the world that has committed to tangible steps to improve gender equality across the university. 

Director of the Wits Gender Equity Office, Jackie Dugard, told Wits Vuvuzela that it is a great honour and a privilege for Wits to be part of the campaign.

“The movement is a platform for learning, exchange and leadership. So, this means that there will be an opportunity for raising the profile of issues across key institutions and society, and learning from each other and offering leadership,” she said.

Wits has pledged to have women occupy 32% of the Heads of Schools roles by 2019 and to increase women in professorship roles to 30%. Campaigners plan to publish annual reports on campus violence and work on non-traditional techniques to spread the message of gender equality, including “ambush lectures”, to reach all students.

Wits plans to develop and implement a curriculum for gender sensitisation aimed at students, faculty and staff, along with programmes that will address gender-based violence.

The university’s commitment to a gender-equal environment includes developing a comprehensive system to report, predict, prevent, and address gender-based harm on campus. Institutions also commit to using non-traditional supporters to mainstream gender equality and to increase the representation of women staff in the context of South Africa’s complex “dual diversity” mandate.

When asked about the nature of gender discrimination at Wits, Dugard said: “We see quite a lot of that among students, we see that there is sexual violence, sexual assault, rape and we also see people calling each other things which are unacceptable.

“At staffing levels, we see issues around failure of particular staff members to acknowledge the position of women as being equal, so we still see staff members who regard women as inferior, so, yes, I think Wits is certainly a microcosm which is a larger sexist society,” she said.

Enhle Khumalo, who holds the SRC Research and Policy portfolio, told Wits Vuvuzela: “Wits is an institutionalised machinery and so it’s a big deal that it’s joined such a movement because this enables the conversations to start happening, because a lot of the time I feel like, especially when it comes to issues of patriarchy, it’s sort of an invisible violence because it’s normalised.”

Khumalo said: “There are behaviours at Wits that need to be unlearned, and if that’s to say there is gender discrimination, yes.

“And even look at some of the structures we have, you see that it’s the women that are deputised, or it’s the women made to be a secretary. Those are particulars of patriarchy.

“We as students need to cultivate a culture of discourse in regards to what it means to be women, and don’t run away from the word ‘feminism’, you don’t have to subscribe to the vanguard for transformation,” she said.

As part of gender activism on campus, Wits students recently showed their support for the RedMyLips campaign by encouraging both men and women to stand in solidarity against sexual violence and to support rape victims.

Wits acted against four lecturers in 2013 for sexual harassment, dismissing three. Earlier this year Wits Vuvuzela reported some students from Wits Men’s Res were singing “I love pussy” at rugby matches.

Wits Chess club to host tournament

The Wits Chess Club is set to host their Blitz Chess Tournament on May 16, in a bid to launch a new sponsorship deal with Donate-A-Piece. The organization donated a new outdoor chess board and sponsored the Chess Warriors in their 2015 USSA campaign.

CHECKMATE: Wits Chess Club chair, Evasan Chettiar (left) holds full SA colours and the World University (FISU) colours. He represented University Sports South Africa at the World University Chess Championship held in Katowice, Poland, forming half of the South African team. Photo: File

CHECKMATE: Wits Chess Club chair, Evasan Chettiar (left) holds full SA colours and the World University (FISU) colours. He represented University Sports South Africa at the World University Chess Championship held in Katowice, Poland, forming half of the South African team.                                                                                         Photo: File

 

Donate-A-Piece is a chess organisation aimed at encouraging participation in sport, donated a new outdoor chess board to the Wits Chess Club in April 2015, which is aimed at investing knowledge to chess players at Wits.

Club chair Evasan Chettiar, third-year BEng, told Wits Vuvuzela that the person behind the sponsorship is Zweli Mabaso, a former Wits Chess Club chairperson

“The aim of the event is to attract strong chess players from around Johannesburg to introduce them to the strong chess scene at Wits, potentially getting them more involved with the club, and promoting the club’s new relationship with Donate-A-Piece,” he said.

The Donate-A-Piece Wits Blitz Chess tournament is a speed chess tournament with a R1200 prize.

The chess community at Wits provides both formal and informal chess tournaments. “Every year, we send a team of our most talented men and women to represent Wits at the University Sports South Africa (USSA) National Institutional Chess Open,” he said.

The club has featured in the top three university chess clubs in South Africa for the past six years.

In 2014, for the first time in Wits history, two of the club’s members, third-year LLB student, Seadimo Tlale and third-year BEng student Evasan Chettiar, represented USSA at the World University Chess Championship held in Katowice, Poland, forming half of the South African team.

This year, with more than 100 registered members, the club hosted several formal tournaments, encouraging members to stay active and preparing them for the USSA.

“Students can expect to see some of the country’s highest rated chess playing students facing off in exciting games. Anyone interested in putting their skills to the test are more than welcome to enter this open tournament,’ said Chettiar.

The tournament will take place at Bozzoli Sports Hall at the Bozzoli Sports Pavilion (East Campus) from 9am to 4pm on Saturday.

A R100 entry fee will be applied to non-members and R80 if registered online, all proceeds will go towards the club.

The tournament will be of a 9-round Swiss system format.

COOL KID ON CAMPUS: Lebohang ‘Nova’ Masango

Feminist writer, social activist and tattoo enthusiast, Lebohang ‘Nova’ Masango is a widely revered poet. Her avid interests in the way human beings create meaning and also relate to each other led her to doing her Honours in Anthropology. 

Nova on the mic: Lebohang 'Nova' Masango  is a believer in the power of words; she can be seen devoting her words on stage with her healing and emotionally charged poems. Photo: Provided

NOVA ON THE MIC: Lebohang ‘Nova’ Masango is a believer in the power of words; she can be seen devoting her words on stage with her healing and emotionally charged poems. Photo: Provided

Why did you choose to call yourself ‘Nova’?

My name ‘Lebohang’ is a very common name so I just wanted to create something unique. There was this one gallery in Newtown called the ‘Afro Nova’ and I had a big afro at that time so I decided ‘cool, I’ll just call myself Nova’. And when you think about the meaning Nova, it meaning a big, powerful explosion on a star also speaks to how I like to imagine myself.

When did you fall in love with poetry?

What cemented my love for poetry was seeing Lebo Mashile on this programme called Latitude in my teens. It was her being a visual anthropologist, basically, traveling all around the country and engaging with different peoples’ ways of life. She’d end each episode with a poem and it always blew me away. What it conveyed is that poetry is an invaluable way to tell stories and to narrate the lives of the marginalised. I also used to hang around in Newtown a lot when I was in high school, so I would just go a lot of poetry performances.

You are part of Rookie Magazine writers, how does it feel to work for a magazine that is directed at aiding teenage girls, worldwide?

Rookie Magazine is truly fantastic. It’s just about making teenage girls’ lives easier and it’s full of advice and experiential essays on everything from the politics of the day to sex, music and book recommendations. What happens often is that teenage girls are dismissed as irrational, hormone-crazed and indecisive. I believe that the teenage period is important because that’s when you begin to critically construct who you become for the rest of your life. It’s rare that teen girls are given a space within media that centres them completely and affirms them in all their complexities.

What is the Zazi Campaign, and why is sexual health education important for young women?

The Zazi campaign is a positive media messaging campaign for young women specifically about sexual health. It is important because there’s a lot of messaging out there that says ‘don’t do this, don’t do that’ and what Zazi is doing, is affirming the positive in its programming: do use double contraception, do use a condom and birth control, do get in touch with your local practitioners for regular check-ups. We travel all over the country and hold educational sessions as well.

How does Lebohang Masango juggle her school work and everything that she does?

Well the truth is I don’t [Laughs], I really don’t know how I do it, but the only thing that gets me through is that I say ‘yes’ to everything. And it’s not the healthiest thing to do because I don’t have time but for some reason it works. I really don’t have any kind of formula but I work hard to make those ‘yeses’ work for me.

Atman, an ineffable exploration of colours.

Armed with works on canvas, paper and cloth, Wits Fine Arts Masters student, Sheekha Kalan exhibited her art work as part of her Masters project this week at the Wits Fine art project space, The Point of Order. 

 

THE EXPLORATION OF COLOUR: Sheekha Kalan's mother Swamini Vishwamohini supporting her daughter. Photo: Litaletu Zidepa.

THE EXPLORATION OF COLOUR: Sheekha Kalan’s mother Swamini Vishwamohini gazing at her daughters work. Photo: Litaletu Zidepa.

 

An exploration of expressions of personal understanding through ineffable use of paint, cotton, colour, powder, pencil and space. The artworks left the visitors indulged with creative curiosity and challenged them with the intellectualism of modern art.

Describing her exhibition as “connecting the creativity that is within a person”, the MA student hopes one day she will change people’s perspectives through her art.

The nature of exploration has been central to her work: the threshold- the self as the subject of individual consciousness, the soul, and the supreme personal principle of life in the universe….the Atman.

Her Masters Research topic is on: Encounters with the Ineffable in Selected Artworks by Anish Kapoor and Karel Nel. 

ATMAN:  Kalan's work  explorats the self as the subject of individual consciousness, the soul, and the supreme personal principle of life in the universe. Photo: Litaletu Zidepa

ATMAN: Kalan’s work explores the self as the subject of individual consciousness, the soul, and the supreme personal principle of life in the universe. Photo: Litaletu Zidepa.

“The ineffable describes that which is too great or profound to be expressed in words and is often linked to the spiritual; the fluid and unfixed, the transcendence and the notion of revelatory,” she said.

In previous installations, Kalan has used a fusion of wood, cotton and wool, an intrinsic to her artistic exploration, which she explains as “creating environments that would draw the viewer into a contemplative and emotive space.”

“I am interested in drawing connections between spatial experiences and inward reflection or contemplating experience.”

The presentation brings together canvas, powder pigments, cotton and thread, transparent plastic and pencil on paper, and  uses these elements to articulate a foreground of a spatially experiential dimension.

The exhibition presented a range of colours, light, scale and materiality which are important elements in  Kalan’s work. When asked about these elements, Kalan said: “Through my articulation of these elements in the gallery space, my intention is to present works that will open up a contemplative space for viewers that may generate an ineffable experience.”

For a participant at the exhibition, this experience aims to showcase a process of drawing out from the invisible into the visible which awakens a stronger perception of the life force termed Atman by the artist.

“The self as the subject of individual consciousness, the soul, the supreme personal principle of life in the universe.”

Using inspiration from her muses, Kapoor and Nel, Kalan said: “I examined how both artists use their chosen materials, forms, and means of display in their artworks to perceptually engage the viewer in ways that can be seen to connect to ideas of [the] metaphysical.”

ENCOUNTERS WITH THE INEFFABLE: the exhibition presented canvas, powder pigments, cotton and thread, transparent plastic and pencil on paper, articulating them to foreground a spatially experiential dimension. Photo: Litaletu Zidepa

ENCOUNTERS WITH THE INEFFABLE: the exhibition presented canvas, powder pigments, cotton and thread, transparent plastic and pencil on paper, articulating them to foreground a spatially experiential dimension. Photo: Litaletu Zidepa

On the subject of art in South Africa and upcoming artists like herself, Kalan said: “I feel like the art field is becoming more open and accepting of different people and different ideas, which I find very inspiring. Everybody is supporting each other to be more creative.”

The Atman exhibition by Sheekha Kalan is still showing at the fine art project space, ‘The Point of Order’ at corner Bertha and Stiemens street, Braamfontein.

 

Let’s talk about feminism

The Critical Thinking Reading Group (CTRG) held its weekly meeting at the CALS Seminar room, discussing feminism and racial critiques of feminism, earlier this week.

CRITICAL THINKERS TALK FEMINISM: Nomonde Nyembe is part of CTRG, which holds weekly meetings to discuss and critique thought provoking materials. Photo: Rafieka Williams.

CRITICAL THINKERS TALK FEMINISM: Nomonde Nyembe is part of CTRG, which holds weekly meetings to discuss and critique thought provoking materials. Photo: Rafieka Williams.

According to Nomonde Nyembe, CTRG key speaker, the purpose of the talk was to dissect and critique mainstream feminism, primarily looking at the exclusion of women of colour in the feminism dialogue.

CTRG at the Wits Law School was formed in 2013 as a desire to establish a platform for intellectual stimulation that extends beyond the lecture and tutorial domains.

On the agenda was a critique of Sojourner Truth’s Ain’t I Woman speech, Kimberle Crenshaw’s Mapping the Margins article and Angela Harris’ Race and Essentialism.

The speech was a precursor to the discussion about Angela Harris’ Essentialism article.

Three generational waves of feminism were discussed in detail.

Fourth year LLB student, Anele Nzimande pointed out that there is a regular monitoring body that supresses your blackness as a woman of colour.

“I have heard the sentiment from many black feminists saying that the initial wave of feminism did not view black women as women, so by that very idea, it excluded them because they were not viewed as women in the first place” she said.

The conversation shifted to the subject of marginalisation, and the argument of who is more vulnerable to this notion.

“Black women are doubly squandered on the grounds of race and gender.”

Mbe Mbhele, a fourth year Law student said: “I am very reluctant on speaking on politics of feminism[sic], I do understand that experience of women is different from men. I posit that we all remain black in the bigger scheme of things.”

This sparked a discussion from the women in the room.  Nzimande asserted that “There is a failure to recognise that black women are doubly squandered on the grounds of race and gender.”

On the topic of essentialism, PhD Constitutional Law student Sanele Sibanda closed the conversation by criticising the liberal position of feminist legal theory.

“The issue is about the effect of putting across one voice, a univocal theory. Putting this one voice has a tendency to universalise the female experience.” he said.

He states that universalising the female experience is a silencing effect because dominant voices seek to speak for those who are marginalised.

“So you end up with this idea that being a woman can be reduced to an essence and all the different experiences of differently situated women can be captured in this essence,” he said.

The CTRG members hold weekly meetings to discuss and critique thought provoking materials that will stimulate intellectual conversations among Wits students. Those who want to awaken and sharpen their critical abilities are encouraged to join and participate in the next discussion.

The next meeting is about Queer Theory and will take place on  May 4 at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) Seminar Room at West Campus.

Charting the pioneering women in academia

Women continue to struggle to gain a foothold in South African academia despite the gains made in decades. This timeline highlights a few of the women who have held prominent positions in academia.  

Out of a total of 4 000 professors in South African, only 34 are women. Wits Vuvuzela looks at some of the most significant strides made by women in academia in this country.

18 September 1999 – University of Cape Town: Chancellor Graca Machel

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Graca Machel. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

On the 18th of September 1999, Graca Machel was appointed as the University of Cape Town (UCT) chancellor. Machel is the titular head and representative of UCT.

Machel is a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF and chairperson of the National Organisation of Children of Mozambique, and the president of the country’s UNESCO commission.

November 2002: Wits University: Vice-Chancellor and Principal Norma Glasgo Reid Birley

Norma G. Birley was appointed the vice-chancellor and principal at Wits University in 2000, following a 25-year career in academia. A statistician and health service researcher, Birley has also held the positions of director of an academic consultancy firm, associate professor of the University of Ulster and an honorary professor of Sussex University.

Birley is also an author and has three published titles, two of which became standard text books in research methods for nurses.

November 2007: Tshwane University of Technology Chancellor Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

In 1983 Mlambo-Ngcuka became the first president of the Natal Organization of Women, an affiliate of the United Democratic Front. In 1984, she worked as a youth director for the Young Women’s Christian Association Board in Geneva.

Mlambo-Nguka prides herself in serving women in informal settlements and African independent churches.

2010: Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Chancellor Susan Santie Botha

Botha serves as the Independent Non-Executive Director of Tigers Brands Limited and of Imperial Holdings Limited.

In 2013 she was appointed the non-executive chairperson for Curro Holding Limited, she serves as a member at the National Business Initiative, Institute of Directors as well as the executive director (Management Services) for MTN Group Limited.

17 February 2010: Vaal University of Technology Chancellor Advocate Pansy Tlakula

Tlakula is an independent non-executive director at trading and distribution at Bidvest and a director of mining and investment company Lehotsa. She works the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, where she acts as special rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information.

Tlakula is a former Chief Electoral Officer of the Independent Electoral Commission. She holds a B. Proc degree from the University of the North, an LLB degree from Wits University and an LLM degree (summa cum laude) from Harvard University.

In 2006, Vaal University recognised and acknowledged her commitment to human rights by awarding her with an honorary doctorate in Legal Studies

August 2013: Wits University Faculty of Humanities Dean Ruksana Osman

Osman is an elected member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAF). A Wits alumnus, Osman holds degrees from two universities. She is an eminent academic, member of ASSAF and serves on various academic and advisory boards and research committees. A former Spencer doctoral fellow, she completed her PhD in Higher Education Studies and Policy.

November 2013: Wits University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Beatrys Lacquet

Beatrys Lacquet was appointed in November 2013 as the deputy vice-chancellor responsible for managing infrastructure, services, maintenance, information technology, security and Wits libraries.

Lacquet served as the dean of the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment at Wits for six years. She is the first female to have served as a dean of Engineering Faculty as a South African university.

In 2003 she was the De Beers Chair of Electronics in the School of Electrical and Information Engineering.

March 2014: Wits University Dean of Student Affairs Pamela Dube

Dube worked at the University of Johannesburg as a special advisor to the vice-chancellor, with oversight of the Student Affairs and International portfolios, she also served as the Executive Director for Human Resources.

In 2013, Dube was appointed as the deputy vice-chancellor designate for student affairs, advancement and international. She worked as a director for higher education policy and support in the national Department of Education.

She served as a committee member for the Higher Education HIV and AIDS programme, while Heading International Partnerships and Learning & People Development at NECSA.

10 April 2014: Mangosuthu University Chancellor Lindiwe Sisulu

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Ms Lindiwe Sisulu has been a member of Parliarment since 1994 and is a member of ANC’s National Executive Committee, while serving as the minister of Public Services and Administration.

She has held positions as a member of the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress (ANC). Serving as the Minister of Housing from 2004 to 2009. In 2004 and 2005 she was awarded the President Award for Housing delivery by the Institute for Housing of South Africa and the International Association for Housing Science Award.

Sisulu returned to her former portfolio of Human Settlements (Housing) in 2014.

#TRANSFORMWITS announces manifesto

Correction: Wits Vuvuzela apologises for the errors which initially appeared in the article. We have corrected the movement name to #TransformationWits and the name of Wits student, Shaun Stanley.

The second phase of the #TransformWits movement took place Thursday afternoon where a number of pillars were discussed and opened to students and workers present at the meeting. 

WITS TRANSFORMATION: The second phase meeting of the TransformationWits movement was attended by a number of students who showed solidarity with the proposed manifesto. Photo: Sinikiwe Mqadi

WITS TRANSFORMATION: The second phase meeting of the TransformWits movement was attended by a number students who showed solidarity with the proposed manifesto.  Photo: Sinikiwe Mqadi

This was the second #TransformWits meeting after the initial introduction of the movement to the University. The first meeting was aimed at getting responses and ideas from the Wits community.

The second meeting was aimed at discussing feedback from UCT and Rhodes University meetings to show solidarity with students from these institutions and to announce the movement’s manifesto.

#TransformWits manifesto

The movement’s manifesto is divided into six pillars which the current working committee felt would best describe what the movement is set out to do. Speaking on how the movement would work from now on and the pillars of the movement, a member of the working committee, Panashe Chigumadzi said: “The movement centers black pain and those who are marginalized. There will come a point where people will be   told to leave the room if they go against these notions.”

The six pillars of the #TransformWits movement are:

  1. Africanisation of University Symbolism and Institutional Memory;
  2. Radical Revision and Africanisation of all University Curricula;
  3. Fast-track Africanisation of Academic staff contingency;
  4. An end to Worker Discrimination and Outsourcing;
  5. An End to Financial Exclusion of Students;
  6. Revision of the Departmental Academic Structures that impede output of Black students.
Reactions to the manifesto

Wits community member, MA Philosophy student Shaun Stanley said that “there is, in the academy, some notion of what ‘African Philosophy’ is as it relates to issues within social sciences”. However what he believed to be vague, “is exactly what ‘African Mathematics’ or ‘African Science'” would look like. Stanley maintained that it was strange that a movement that is aimed to transform the university would seek to exclude some members of the university from joining the movement.

In response to Stanley’s second comment, a student who introduced herself just as Tshepiso (MA Politics student) said: “Black people’s issues must be heard first. All other issues will be dealt with later”.

WITS TRANSFORMATION: Politics postgraduate student,  Panashe Chigumadzi member of the working committee addressing students and working members. Photo: Sinikiwe Mqadi

WITS TRANSFORMATION: Politics postgraduate student and committee member Panashe Chigumadzi, addressing students and working members. Photo: Sinikiwe Mqadi

The manifesto can be found on the TransformWits Facebook page.

A memorandum will be handed over next week Wednesday to the Wits management. The Wits community is encouraged to give their feedback through email and Facebook before then.

The #TransformWits movement, which was started by Politics postgraduate students, was inspired by the University of Cape Town #RhodesMustFall movement, where members of the UCT community demanded the Cecil John Rhodes statue be removed from the university as the beginning of a transformation process at the university.

The statue of Rhodes was removed by UCT management Thursday, 9 April at 5:30pm.

#TransformWits will also host regular events next week at the Piazza outside the Great Hall at 1:20pm, and regular evening events at Central Block CB 38 from 5pm.

Radio 702 and Old Mutual raise thousands for Wits fund

The Radio 702 Afternoon Drive team Xolani Gwala, Udo Carelse and Johnathan Fairbairn joined heads with the Old Mutual “More Than Yourself” campaign in a bid to raise funds for the Wits SRC Humanitarian Fund. 

The three 2015 MTN Radio Award finalists ran for the Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra and half Marathon raising R34,750 from donations.

“The Afternoon Drive Team identified running as a way of getting closer to communities and off the back of this we were approached by Old Mutual to get involved with the charity angle of the Two Oceans Marathon. Via the portal morethanyourself.co.za there are a number of charities they have selected which fit in with their own brand values.” Said Gwala.

Following the student loan crisis in February, the Wits SRC has been able to raise money to help students faced with financial exclusion through campaigns like the #1Million1Month and the Nescafe Human Chain event.

702 TEAM RUNS FOR HUMANITARIAN FUND: (from left) Jonathan Fairbairn, Pheladi Gwangwa, Udo Carelse, Xolani Gwala and Mzo Jojwana. Photo: Provided

702 TEAM RUNS FOR HUMANITARIAN FUND: (from left) Jonathan Fairbairn, Pheladi Gwangwa, Udo Carelse, Xolani Gwala and Mzo Jojwana. Photo: Provided

Udo Carlese stated that as a show, the Afternoon Drive team are passionate about education as they are often approached by students and parents asking for assistance in funding tertiary studies.

“In order to keep the momentum started by the students themselves going, we gave this campaign our support. ”

“Unfortunately, we can’t help everyone, but we were so inspired by what the Wits SRC were doing with the One Million 1 Month campaign, that we decided their proactive and mature approach to raising funds for students was one with which we could strongly associate. In order to keep the momentum started by the students themselves going, we gave this campaign our support. ” he said.

The Radio 702 team told Wits Vuvuzela that they are happy to report that they all finished with respectable times. They were delighted with the amount they raised.

“This is not the end, only the beginning, and we hope to contribute more as the year progresses.” said Xolani Gwala

Gwala is a seasoned runner while sports news reader Udo Carlese and Johnathan Fairbairn are newcomers to the running sport.

The primary aim of the Humanitarian Fund is to create a purse that will address and meet financial burdens when approached by those who come from an unprivileged background, unable to meet their basic necessities.

The fund was established in 2010 under the leadership of SRC President, Bafana Nhlapo, in response to students who were in urgent need of funding, assisting students whose needs have not been met by NSFAS funding.

The Old Mutual ‘More Than Yourself’ campaign gives an opportunity to join with others to do great things, by donating directly to a cause of your own choice and start fundraising to improve communities.

Go to http://morethanyourself.co.za and make your own contribution.

 

 

 

Wits Fine Art students raise funds with Pungwe

NewWork15 collaborated with Pungwe @Live Studio for an art exhibition at Noswal Hall Residence. The exhibition was held as an activation of one of many Wits School of Arts fundraising events for fourth-year Fine Arts students ‘grad show’ taking place at the end of the year.

 

FUNDRAISING: Gontse Mathabathe is among the  Fine Arts students raising funds for 'grad show'. Photo: Litaletu Zidepa

FUNDRAISING: Gontse Mathabathe, a fourth-year Fine Arts student, is part of the NewWork15 group that is raising funds for the ‘grad show’. Photo: Litaletu Zidepa

A collaboration between fourth-year fine arts students who call themselves New Work15  and an organisation called Pungwe gathered up for their first exhibition at Noswal Hall to raise funds for Wits School of Arts ‘grad show’, taking place at the end of the year.

Guided by the concept of pungwe (an occasion for devotional watching, or an observance) the audience was guided to a video installation display, meddled with musical and instrumental collaboration between Siya Makhuzeni and Nick Field.

Gontse Mathabathe,  4th year Fine Art, said: “We have decided to collaborate with Pungwe, which is kind of a social organisation that brings together different creatives and different artists into one space. Our main purpose for these events is to try and bring a kind of Wits School of Arts environment to Braamfontein.”

The event brought together dj’s, Kapula, Mma Tseleng, beat boy dancers and musical segments from ‘Ippyfuze’ songstress Siya Makhuzeni and Nick Field. This was accompanied with wine and food sold by the Fine Art students.

PUNGWE: 'Ippyfuze' Songstress Siya Makhuzeni and Nick Field collaborated in a fusion of instrumental and musical segments to entertain students. Photo: Litaletu Zidepa

PUNGWE: ‘Ippyfuze‘ Songstress Siya Makhuzeni and Nick Field collaborated in a fusion of improvised mimics and instrumental musical segments. Photo: Rafieka Williams

“The event will help create awareness to the NewWork15 Fine Art student group and make people aware that we do exist in the Wits School of Arts. We also hope to raise funds for our grad show which is going to be an exhibition of our work, while keeping people entertained,” said Gontse.

The Wits Fine Arts students presented a video installation using various images of everyday people, talking about their journeys, creating an atmosphere that integrated with the car installation art work which was constructed in the exhibition space outside Noswal Hall.