Vuvuzela Exhibition

Some of the photos from Wits’ own journalism deparment and former  students on the Vuvuzela were displayed last week in the Senate House Concourse:

 

Witsies “Click” and tell

First prize winner: Stefan van Bruddenbrock, Second prize winner: Margurite de Villiers, Third prize winner: Sipho Mhlambi

 WITSIES’S photographic talents were showcased at the opening of the Wits-Carnegie student photographic competition and exhibition.

The event, hosted by the Transformation and Employment Equity office, took place in the Amphitheatre on May 12 when the winners were announced.

The guest speaker was photographic icon, Dr. Peter Magubane, who inspired everyone with his work of the past 57 years.

Explaining the passion and determination one needs for photography, Magubane said: “If someone told me not to take the picture, I still took it.”

When the moment finally arrived, project manager Hugo Canham and Magubane pulled back the black covering to reveal the winners.

Stefan van Bruddenbrock, a 1st year BSc nuclear science and engineering student, was the winner of R10 000. He said he was very surprised and did not expect to win. He found inspiration for his winning photo, Circles within circles, by walking around Wits.

“When I saw it [the circles], I took the picture. That is how I take most of my photos,” said Van Bruddenbrock. He plans to spend the money on a new lens and save some of it.

Stefan van Bruddenbrock with his winning photo

A holiday to Australia with her father is in order for runner up, 3rd year Zulu anthropology and English literature student Margurite de Villiers. She secured R5 000 with her interesting photograph of the Great Hall titled Imagineers.

Margurite de Villiers and her prize winning photo

While studying towards a masters degree in microbiology, Sipho Mhlambi still found the time to come third in the competition. His photo, Sunlight when it rains, is going to pay for some security features and a sound system for his car.

Sipho Mhlambi and his prize winning photo

There were 50 participants and about 250 pictures entered this year, compared to only 17 participants in the previous competition.

“I am really impressed with the ideas and the quality of the photos this year,” said Canham.

The plans for next year are bigger and better and he said they will build on the relationships that have been created between them and the students.

The competition judges were Dr. Veronique Tadjo, head of French studies at Wits, Iris Dawn Parker, a visiting scholar, Jo Ractliffe, a senior lecturer in photography at the Wits school of arts, and Lieza Louw, a senior lecturer in filmmaking.

The photographs will all be put into the Wits Archive together with narration from the photographers.

Dean of Humanities at Wits Prof. Tawana Kupe and Dr. Peter Magubane

Dr. Peter Magubane looks on at the exhibition

 

Students examine photos at the exhibition

DA mayoral candidate campaigns at Wits

“SMILE like this,” said one student holding a DA pamphlet next to the face of Mmusi Maimane, who was campaigning at Wits last Friday.

 Vuvuzela had a chance to interview the DA’s mayoral candidate for Johannesburg while he spoke to Witsies on the library lawns, handing out pamphlets and having heated debates with some students.

“Our democracy is like a boyfriend you can’t get rid of,” he told Witsies lounging on the lawns.

“Even if you don’t like me, just vote for the sake of democracy.”

Maimane said if a party is not performing they should be removed from power.

“Witsies should not have to belong to certain political parties to secure jobs,” he said, encouraging students to take the elections seriously.

Maimane has been criticised by the ANC for being too young and not having any political experience.

“Experience should be treated very carefully and youth is relative,” he said on Friday.

He said there are other DA candidates the same age as he is and even party leader Helen Zille didn’t have political experience when she started.

Maimane holds a masters degree in theology and is currently doing a second masters degree in public administration. He also studied at the Wits Business School.

Talking about what he would bring to Johannesburg if he were elected mayor, he said: “I want libraries to have free internet for young people and a transport system that runs from Orange Farm to Sandton.”

He said municipal administration should be corruption free, more efficient and free from politics.

“People have to be assessed on their work, whether or not I like you.”

Some of the students at the campaign said it was nice to have a politician who doesn’t “uhm and ah” when he talks and that has realistic goals.

S. Ganede, a 2nd year BA student, who debated strongly with Maimane, said: “He impressed me with his rationale. I’m going to endorse him.”

Fellow 2nd year BA student, L. Leketi, mirrored Ganede’s impression of the mayoral candidate.

“I am very impressed with him and how he interacts with people.”

Zero tolerance for staff or student plagiarism



A former Wits professor was dismissed because of plagiarism in nine of his publications according to recent reports.

Professor Abebe Zegeye was the director of the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (Wiser) for about two months but was dismissed after Wits was informed of his plagiarism.

Asked about the Zegeye case, deputy vice-chancellor: advancement Professor Rob Moore said on Monday there are three measures in place when academics are employed.

The first measure is testimonials from reliable individuals which the academic provides. The university then contacts those individuals and thirdly they assess the publications of the academic.

“The assumption is that these testimonials are not the applicant’s brother,” said Moore.

The applicant provides a list of their publications and a written assessment and analysis are done by the university. Moore added that there are rigorous examinations into the publications.

“Whether it’s foolproof, that is the question,” he said.

Elaine Milton, the director of employee relations, also attended the meeting.

“There have only been three cases of plagiarism in seven years,” Milton said.

When asked why the dismissal of Zegeye was kept quiet, Milton said the process of dismissal is confidential and not published to protect the reputation of the academic.

“The report [Zegeye’s dismissal] had a limited circulation,” said Moore.

Milton added that only seven or eight people saw the report and that it must have been leaked by one of the people, but that it definitely didn’t leak from the university.

Milton said the only time the university would make the reason for dismissal known is if someone asks for a reference. If further enquiries were to be made they would always be truthful about dismissals.

Moore said Wits was the only institution Zegeye worked at that investigated and prosecuted him for plagiarising.

Zegeye went to work at the University of South Australia as the director of the Hawke Research Institute after his dismissal. He resigned after the Mail & Guardian article on April 15 which exposed his plagiarism.

Moore said the university’s stance on plagiarism doesn’t change and they are “strongly against it”.

Alex Rilgour and Panashe Paradza, 1st year BA law students, said their opinion on the matter was that it was “ridiculous”.

“Especially since we are nailed so hard for it,” said Rilgour.

Paradza added, “There is no need for a double standard.”

They didn’t know about the link to the Wits plagiarism document but said it gets drilled into them, which is a good step towards eliminating it.

A look at political parties before you go to the polls

WITH upcoming elections, you might be asking: Why should I vote and who should I vote for? This is what the main parties are promising.

African National Congress (ANC)
Parks Tau, the expected mayoral candidate, recently said on 94.7 Highveld Stereo that he would ensure that government workers are held accountable.
 In their manifesto, President Zuma states: “Our manifesto is affordable, realistic and achievable. It draws from our experience in government.”
The ANC is promising to create 4, 5-million work opportunities, to expand youth programmes as well as housing opportunities.  You can find the manifesto on www.anc.org.za.
The ANC’s campaign has been affected by controversies such as the DA exposing their open toilet saga in the Free State and Julius Malema’s recent statements about “whites” stealing land from black South Africans.

Democratic Alliance (DA)
Wits DASO chairperson, Nazley Sharif, says, “This election offers voters, especially the youth, the chance to make a change and bring a better life to the place where you live.”
Sharif says they are committed to creating an environment for job creation, assuring students of future jobs.
With regard to students, Sharif says, the DA Youth will take proposals on how to reform the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) and they are lobbying to scrap VAT on textbooks.
The DA built open toilets in Makhaza, Cape Town, which started the string of open toilet exposés between the ANC and DA.
The mayoral candidate for the DA is Mmusi Maimane.

Congress of the People (COPE)
COPE’s 2011 manifesto says: “Our responsibility is to ensure that the vision of a new South Africa that the People’s Congress had, will be translated into reality in 2011.”
 Along with a comprehensive list of other goals, COPE will promote the following:
 “The interests of children, persons with disability, youth, women and older people in every ward by ensuring that ward committees have sub committees to cater for these groups.
Appointing professionals to improve productivity and guarantee service delivery.”
COPE’s reputation has been compromised by its leadership squabbles between its founders, ANC defectors Mosiuoa Lekota and Mbhazima Shilowa. Former COPE youth leader, Anele Mda, recently returned to the ANC and said that COPE had no political vision.
Cope’s mayoral candidate for the elections is Preddy Mothopeng.

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP)
According to its manifesto the IFP believes that “local government must work for you and with you in all that it does”. Their logo is “It’s about you!” and the IFP states that their councillors will “be a person of integrity, be accountable to you and be available to you at all times”.
Other aims include stopping corruption and prioritising spending on infrastructure and basic services.
As with Cope, the IFP was affected by the defecting of their former national chairperson, Zanele Magwaza-Msibi, and others who went to the NFP.
Their mayoral candidate for Johannesburg is Mzwabanzi Ntuli.

Sawubona to African languages studies

LEARNING an African language could become a condition for graduating in the near future.

This move was suggested by higher education minister Blade Nzimande and has caused quite a stir in the media and among citizens. Reading articles on Media24’s website, I was amused and shocked to see some of the comments that were made. They ranged from it being a good idea and developing our skills, to “Blade, what are you smoking because it really has to be some good stuff”.

In a way I agree with the smoking theory. Why introduce this at such a late stage in the education process? Why not introduce it when our brains are young, fresh and eager to absorb new information? It has been proven that after the age of 12 the ability to learn a new language is almost gone. That makes things even worse for older learners because we learn slower and forget faster.

On the other hand, I believe the move could be a good idea and it is a great skill to have, even though the thought of learning a new language sets off warning lights in my brain. It is in this area specifically that I admire black people. They often speak five to six languages fluently, compared to my measly two and a half. The half being slang and the little bit of Sesotho I can remember from school.

Adding to the already heated conversation, CEO of the Pan South African Language Board, Chris Swepu, challenged government to make speaking one African language part of the requirement for employment in the public service.
This is definitely something that would make me sit up and pay attention if I was planning on working in the public sector.

The idea might be met with some resistance, especially from students who still have to go through it (sucks to be you), but it could also add to our already diversified nation.
So let’s stop acting like variki’s and say sawubona and dumela to African languages.

One click away from R10 000

WITSIES stand a chance to win some serious cash with the third Carnegie student photographic project in conjunction with the SRC and transformation office.

Hugo Canham, the Carnegie projects manager, said: “This project was conceived out of recognition that transformation is a difficult topic to talk about.

“Art and photography present an opportunity to ‘talk’ about transformation in a creative manner.”

The competition allows students to interpret transformation through their photographs and “to show what transformation means to you”.

The dominant theme in 2008 was protests compared to buildings and objects in 2010. The organisers are looking forward to what students will come up with this year.

Photos can be taken by anyone and with anything, Canham said. Last year’s winner, Ogorogile Motswane, took his picture of Senate House with a cellphone.

SKY HIGH: The winning photo from the Transformation Photographic project in 2010. This interpretation of Senate House was taken with his cellphone.

At the final exhibition on May 12, three people stand to win R10 000, R5 000 and R2 500. There is a possibility of Nikon cameras being added to the prize according to Canham.

The prize money has doubled since last year and the organisers hope this will attract students from all departments to participate in the competition.

“The judges will not consider whether you are doing art or not. They don’t want art, they want your interpretation of transformation,” Canham said.

The photos from the competition will be archived in Wits’s records and compiled into a coffee book. Students will also be able to comment on the photos with their thoughts or feelings.

“This competition is a chance for students to leave their mark at Wits and to show future generations how they saw Wits at the specific time,” Canham said.

The Carnegie Foundation in New York has sponsored this competition and other transformation initiatives at Wits for the past few years.

Wits Professor part of Japan rescue team

A Wits professor is on the rescue team from South Africa in Japan following the destruction caused by an 8.9-magnitude earthquake and tsunami.

Professor Efraim Kramer, the head of the emergency medicine division, has a new role to fulfil -the role of medical director in the disaster response team from Rescue SA.

The rescue team consists of about 40 people who were flown to Japan on March 14 and have been in Sendai tending to the survivors’ needs. The team consists of medical doctors, logistic experts and emergency services members.

Kramer and the rest of the team are situated in a base camp in Sendai. He said: “We are undertaking a search and rescue/recovery in the devastated area of the tsunami.”

Reports of the destruction have been flowing in via news websites, social networks and visual media.

“The destruction is far worse than what you see on TV. The energy is worse than that of a nuclear bomb. It is a picture similar to Hiroshima,” Kramer said.

The South African rescue team is battling the cold and debris and Kramer is there to make sure his team does not suffer any illnesses. The team should return by March 28 if their mission is successful.

The earthquake was the largest to hit Japan and is recorded as the seventh strongest in history. The official death toll is 9 300, with about 13 800 people still missing according to the National Police Agency in Japan.

The earthquake and tsunami left Japan in a scene of destruction with roads and houses washed away, universities damaged and very little shelter available.

Japan lies between four tectonic plates: the Eurasian, North American, Philippine and Pacific plates. The earthquake started when the Pacific plate slid beneath the North American plate, sending the tsunami in the direction of Sendai.

The Turkish in Town

Zoo Lake’s beautiful trees and green grass had an extra touch of magic on Sunday 13 March.

The second Turkish festival was held here and Vuvuzela had to go see what the hype was about. The festival showcased a range of traditional Turkish music, dance, band performances and various examples of Turkish food. The queues were long and the sun was hot, but it was all well worth the wait.

Turkish dancers welcome festival goers. Photo: Mignionette de Bruin

The homemade food looked good and tasted even better. The baklava,bisi (bread dish similar to vetkoek), sϋtlac (rice pudding) and the Turkish coffee were all equally delicious.

The entertainment was traditional Turkish and included some beautiful Mozambican dancers and singers. There were also stalls featuring carpets, clothes and ebru (paper marbling). Ticketholders also stood a chance to win trips to Turkey.

According to the festival’s website it aims to “demonstrate the potential of Turkey in terms of tourism, food, culture and music by displaying samples”. They lived up to their goal because the atmosphere made it feel like you were walking on the streets of Turkey.

The festival was organised by four NGOs namely, South African Turkish Business Association (SATBA), Turquoise Harmony Institute, (THI), Horizon Education Trust (HETR) and Fountain Education Trust (FET). These organisations were established by the Turkish people in South Africa to give back to the community.

SATBA said last year’s festival was on a smaller scale and about 5 000 people attended; while they were expecting around 15 000 people to attend this year.

Attention chocoholics – Lindt to the rescue

CHOCOLATE is a word that melts in your mouth. It is a word that can brighten any woman’s day. And as we all know: “Life is like a box of chocolates…you never know what you’re gonna get.”
Lindt recently opened their chocolate studio in Johannesburg. The store at Design Quarter in Fourways represents Lindt in every way. The studio is the first of its kind in Johannesburg, it is shiny, new and, best of all, filled with chocolates.

Lindt’s Chocolate Studio (Johannesburg) opened in November 2010, joining the studio in Cape Town. There you will find Lindt’s chocolate bars and truffles as well as some extras such as cookbooks, starter kits and fondue sets.

What comes as no surprise is that the ladies of Wits love their chocolate. Danita Da Costa, an economic science student, and Jacqueline Cameron, an actuarial science student, both fall under this category.
Da Costa had heard of the studio and plans on going there when she has the time. Cameron had not heard about it but said she will definitely go there.
“We must do an excursion there one of these days,” Da Costa jested.

Boikanyo Tseukudu, a bachelor of arts student, is keen on breaking the stereotype that only women love chocolate. He had not heard about the studio but said he would go there.

The studios offer 12 workshops, including chocolate appreciation and cake creation & décor, by renowned pastry chef Dimo Simatos who has worked in elite restaurants locally and internationally.

The golden bunny from Lindt acts as a sign that Easter is near. The bunny is a well-known tradition and was born in 1952 when one of the Lindt maîtres chocolatiers saw a rabbit in his garden. His son was so intrigued by it that when it ran away he started crying. His father decided to make him feel better by making a milk chocolate rabbit with a golden bell attached to its neck so his son could find it again.

Lindt chocolate was developed by Rodolphe Lindt in 1879 and described as the world’s first real melting chocolate. Since then Lindt has provided its customers with the finest chocolate, adding some interesting combinations along the way, like sea salt and chillie chocolates.
Someone once said: “A balanced diet is a chocolate in both hands,” and “If at first you don’t succeed, have a little chocolate.” Lindt has taken these quotes to heart.

Lindt chocolate studio opens it doors in Johannesburg

Yummy chocs from Lindt studio. Photo: Mignionette de Bruin

CHOCOLATE is a word that melts in your mouth. It is a word that can brighten any woman’s day. And as we all know: “Life is like a box of chocolates…you never know what you’re gonna get.”

Lindt recently opened their chocolate studio in Johannesburg. The store at Design Quarter in Fourways represents Lindt in every way. The studio is the first of its kind in Johannesburg, it is shiny, new and, best of all, filled with chocolates.

Lindt’s Chocolate Studio (Johannesburg) opened in November 2010, joining the studio in Cape Town. There you will find Lindt’s chocolate bars and truffles as well as some extras such as cookbooks, starter kits and fondue sets.

What comes as no surprise is that the ladies of Wits love their chocolate. Danita Da Costa, an economic science student, and Jacqueline Cameron, an actuarial science student, both fall under this category.

Da Costa had heard of the studio and plans on going there when she has the time. Cameron had not heard about it but said she will definitely go there.

“We must do an excursion there one of these days,” Da Costa jested.

Boikanyo Tseukudu, a bachelor of arts student, is keen on breaking the stereotype that only women love chocolate. He had not heard about the studio but said he would go there.

The studios offer 12 workshops, including chocolate appreciation and cake creation & décor, by renowned pastry chef Dimo Simatos who has worked in elite restaurants locally and internationally.

The golden bunny from Lindt acts as a sign that Easter is near. The bunny is a well-known tradition and was born in 1952 when one of the Lindt maîtres chocolatiers saw a rabbit in his garden. His son was so intrigued by it that when it ran away he started crying. His father decided to make him feel better by making a milk chocolate rabbit with a golden bell attached to its neck so his son could find it again.

Lindt chocolate was developed by Rodolphe Lindt in 1879 and described as the world’s first real melting chocolate. Since then Lindt has provided its customers with the finest chocolate, adding some interesting combinations along the way, like  sea salt and chillie chocolates.

Someone once said: “A balanced diet is a chocolate in both hands,” and “If at first you don’t succeed, have a little chocolate.” Lindt has taken these quotes to heart.

South Africans are brutes on the roads

FISTS in the air, veins popping and words that luckily, can only be heard from inside a car.

Even Witsies sometimes give in to road rage.

Wayne Naidoo, an aeronautical engineering student, says, “I do not hoot at people but swear really loudly”. He forgets incidents quickly, however, and believes most people do the same.

Another aeronautical engineer, Alesha Saligram, does not get angry and never hoots. She does not mind if people cut her off as long as they indicate early.

However, electrical engineering student Carl Wolmarans feels iritated when people drive too slowly or too fast. He thinks that people who drive slowly are incompetent. He believes road rage impairs your judgement and endangers other drivers and pedestrians.

Kirsten Cox, an LLB student, not only throws legal terms around but her fists too. Her pet peeve is taxis and she has had “staring matches” with taxi drivers in the past. She says taxis act as if they own the road, drive at their own speeds and don’t care about the people around them.

The term “road rage” was first used in 1980 and has been classified as an official mental disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Synovate, a global research company, conducted studies on road rage in South Africa and found that aggressive driving has been reported by 51% of drivers, with Gauteng being the worst.

Synovate’s Chief Operating Officer, Albert McLean, said this behaviour is becoming more acceptable and this could increase the aggression on our roads.

“South Africans are clearly extremely aggressive on the roads,” said McLean.

Bruce Sharkin, a professor from Pennsylvania, mentioned three factors, namely demographics, the environment and human factors, which contribute to road rage. Sharkin says some drivers find the environment too stressful and get overly angry with other drivers.

The Arrive Alive Road Traffic report stated that the human factor contributed 82% to the number of fatal crashes in 2009. This included people who were driving too fast, too slowly or who made irrational decisions.