by Nqobile Dludla | Feb 20, 2015 | News
Wits Basketball Lady Bucks players, Modiegi Mokoka, Fortunate Bosega and Bronwyn Tyler are among the 12 players selected to represent the South African national basketball team in the upcoming FIBA Africa Zone VI qualifiers.
The Lady Bucks players were called up by the national squad after they performed well at the national senior provincial games held in September 2014 at Wits.
Through various intense training sessions and camps that ended in January they made the official squad that will be competing with teams from the southern hemisphere to qualify for the All African Games.
Motivation not an issue
Mokoka is “extremely excited” to be called up by the national team saying, “not many get the chance to do so.”
“It’s a goal most, if not all, serious participating athletes have. We kill ourselves in our respective fields to possibly be recognised one day. Motivation has never been an issue, striving to get better and compete overwhelmingly well is something inert with most athletes, myself included,” said Mokoka.
“We kill ourselves in our respective fields to possibly be recognised one day.”
But Witsies won’t just be playing for South Africa, several other students will be playing for other African nations.
Yowana Nyangu, who plays for the Lady Bucks, will represent the Zimbabwean ladies team while Wits Buck’s Munyaradzi Andrew Gonese will represent the Zimbabwean men’s side. All five students will be in action in the FIBA Zone VI qualifiers in Zimbabwe this coming week.
An achievement unique to Wits
Mokoka, who is proud of her team, said: “Winning nationals then having our ladies represent their national teams is an achievement no other group in the university can acclaim”.
South Africa will start playing in the qualifier next week. They need to beat Zimbabwe and Botswana to move on.
by Nqobile Dludla | Feb 20, 2015 | Opinion
I remember watching The King’s Speech in second year, a movie recommended to me by my friend Kundai. Of all scenes, I specifically remember the dialogue between King George IV and Lionel Rogue his speech therapist.
Upon realising that Lionel is sitting on “St Edward’s chair, a seat on which every King, every queen, sat”, he breaks into a tantrum and says: “Listen to me, LISTEN TO ME!” When Lionel challenges the King on why he should be listened to, the King finally exclaims “Because I have the right to be heard, I HAVE A VOICE!”
It had taken the King so many years to take ownership of his voice and realise that he, like most people have a voice.
“social media has opened up a private sphere which allows me to form words at my own pace.”
I wish I had that confidence growing up. When I was just eight years old, ‘owning’ my own voice didn’t make any sense.
I desperately wanted God to change or take away my voice. I didn’t want to own it. I suffered from a stutter.
At that age I would often go to our bathroom, kneel down on our white cold tiles and ask: “Why me God? Why ca…ca..can’t I s….s..speak like normal people. Please change it. Take it away. Make me normal”
That following morning I woke up excited that God had listened to my prayer.
Thrilled to greet my Dad I opened my mouth and realised that God hadn’t listened when I found myself stumbling on “Sssssss…sa…sawubona Ba…ba” (Hello Dad).
It didn’t make sense to me why I spoke (and still speak) differently from my peers who would often stare in discomfort, impatiently waiting for me to finish my sentences.
I was full of energy and had words to share but was never afforded the platform or the opportunity to express myself I had to consider how those around me would feel by the public discomfort caused by my stammer.
Many people who stammer (myself included) shy away from expressing themselves fully for fear of being looked at with a blank stare as we shape words with our mouths just to be disappointed when we can’t release them. For so long I wanted to a have voice. A voice that commands, a voice that gets people’s attention.
As I’ve grown up I’ve learnt that I don’t need to speak perfectly in order to have a voice and be heard. My voice is different and unique.
“social media has opened up a private sphere which allows me to form words at my own pace.”
For a young lady who never underwent speech therapy, writing and social media has opened up a private sphere which allows me to form words at my own pace. The privilege of being able to form my own words in private hides the “weird” techniques I use such as rocking back and forth and stopping mid-sentence to take a huge breath.
Like the King when he finally said “I have a voice”, I realised that by acknowledging and embracing our differences we can participate in and understand the diverse world we live in.
Finding my voice is finding the strength to realise that I, like everybody else can own my voice.
by Nqobile Dludla | Feb 15, 2015 | Sport
PLAYER OF THE FUTURE: Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt praised the performance of Markus Lecki, one of the new signings for the team. Photo: Nqobile Dludla.
Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt was full of praise for his newly signed players after The Clever Boys tamed Swaziland’s Royal Leopards in the CAF Confederations Cup first leg at the Bidvest Stadium on Saturday.
The game, which saw Wits win 3-0, was led by the young debutants while the big names like Sibusiso Vilakazi, Onismor Bhasera, Fatty Papy, Thulani Hlatshwayo and Moeneeb Josephs were rested in the stands.
Markus Lecki who formed a strong wall of defence at the back alongside Tebogo Moerane, lived up to Hunt’s predictions as “a player of the future.”
“Markus Lecki was fantastic at the back and certainly very good. He is quick at passing balls, very calm, good in the air, can play at the back, reads the ball well”, said Hunt.
Hunt strongly believes that letting the youngsters lead in the Caf Confederations Cup will train them for the next season when he signs all of them.
“We want to sign them up for next season. We need to play them in this competitive level. When we play [Moroka] Swallows next week Tuesday, we’ll approach them as we did today. Play more kids, play more of them and put them in an environment that’s going to be hostile. So let’s see who has the guts and the makings of a player”, said Hunt.
Unleashing a 3-0 win
The start of the game in Johannesburg saw both sides come out guns blazing, with Ngcobo threatening, but failing, to head a lead goal in the opening minutes.
In the 40th- minute, Ngcobo came in again with a long shot from Christopher Katongo’s cross but instead went over the goal post frustrating the players.
A hopeful Royal Leopards’ Sikhumbuzo Ntimane tried to frustrate The Clever Boys even more when he tried to net in a lead but his attempt met the hands of Wits’ goalkeeper Boafela Pule.
A minute before the half-time whistle though, Ben Motshwari put The Clever Boys into the lead with a brilliantly executed strike.
Redeeming himself, Ngcobo fired in a header from Tebogo Moerane who dribbled past the fast paced Royal Leopards.
Vincent Pule’s persistence was evident in the second half where he tried to penetrate Royal Leopards’ wall, but his shot went wide of the target. A second chance came in the 66th minute when Shameegh Doutie had the opportunity to put The Clever Boys in a 3:0 lead but his attempt met the hands of Mphikeleli Dlamini.
In the 78th minute, The Clever Boys took full advantage of their front line, with Ngcobo firing home Nyembezi Setelele’s cross for his second Bidvest Wits goal of the night, leaving the final score at 3-0.
Despite the competitiveness of Swaziland’s Royal Leopards, coach Sifiso Ntibane said his team “knew that they [Bidvest Wits] were going to put more goals in the box.”
“My boys tried. We were frustrating Wits in the first half, except in the last 30 seconds when they got a chance outside the box. All in all my boys were competing. They were there. That second goal my defender went out of the field and had a lump on his head and that’s when they got the space to get that second goal”, said Ntibane.
by Nqobile Dludla | Feb 13, 2015 | News
SHUT DOWN: The last day of the Wits Beer Garden was shut down last night after a stampede at the entrance. PHOTO: Roxanne Joseph.
Students and visitors at the final beer garden of the Wits Orientation Week were unexpectedly evacuated from the event yesterday evening after a stampede at the entrance.
Members of the City of Johannesburg Emergency Management Service (EMS): Events were forced to intervene and advise Wits campus control to shut down the event after a stampede occurred outside the venue on the Library Lawns.
EMS safety officer Rendani Mukondeleli told Wits Vuvuzela the event was oversubscribed and became “risky” with 5000 more people in attendance than the 3000 approved by JMS.
“There was a push at the entrance and that push was affecting people inside and we then declared the event unsafe due to a number of risks,” said Mukondeleli. He said the stampede started after people waiting to enter realised the armbands needed to access the event were finished.
“That was when we switched off the music and closed down the bars because if you allow students to consume more beer they then refuse to go anywhere. So we then opened all gates to evacuate students,” added Mukondeleli.
Amogelang Mangayi, deputy secretary of the SRC (Students Representative Council) which organised the beer garden, said that the overcrowding led to frustration and resulted in the stampede.
“The lines were backed up so far past Umthombo [Building] and that created frustration with the crowd. During that frustration, a panic ensued and people started to push to get in and at that moment in time we made an executive decision and decided to close down all entrances and then start to calm the crowd down. That didn’t help and so people started pushing through the barriers and people got hurt”, said Mangayi.
Disappointment and anger
There were no serious injuries reported apart from three minor injuries, including “a bee sting, alcohol vomiting and a panic attack”, explained Lamese Abrahams, head of Wits SDLU (Student Development and Leadership Unit).
Visitors who had already paid for their tickets expressed their disappointment and frustration at the closure of the beer garden. Second year Biological Science Lamangwe Vezi said: “I feel like I wasted R10 because I got inside and then all of a sudden there was a stampede, no more music and then we’re all going out. They should have just cancelled it or found a bigger venue in the first place.”
Tebogo Theko who studies at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) said: “This wasn’t really nice hey. It was so ratchet. I got in here, bought a ticket and then all of a sudden it was packed. Last year was better. This year it was just chaotic. We should have gone to Braam.”
Precious Mahlangu, third year Geology, could only witness the stampede from outside as she could not get in. “I only managed to go in when they had already opened the gates for people to go out. It was really useless going in because the music was already off”.
In light of the incident Mangayi says security at tonight’s Freshers’ Bash will be much tighter and more “diligent”. “There will be separate entry points for pre-sold tickets and for those who want to buy tickets.”
by Nqobile Dludla | Feb 9, 2015 | Sport
MY TURN: First years patiently wait for their turn to get their posters signed by Bidvest Wits player Christopher Katongo. Photo: Nqobile Dludla
First years talked non-stop about finally meeting their favourite Bidvest Wits players on Sunday at the orientation week welcome day friendly match between the Clever Boys and the Wits Football Club.
First-year Sonwabile Nzeke from Klerksdorp couldn’t believe that he finally got to meet the Bidvest Wits team in person.
“Yoh I’m not even going to wash my body today because my favourite Bidvest Wits players signed my arm. I even stole a few signed posters [of the squad]”
“The level of facilities were impressive because we come from rural towns where there is hardly anything. From the sport facility, to how the players played,” said Nzeke.
His newly-found friend, Lesiba Phahladira, was also in awe as it was his first time ever at a stadium.
“The match was quite entertaining because this was my first time at the stadium for a live match. My favourite Bidvest Wits player is Rowen Fernandez. When he signed [my hand] I felt like calling my mom and say ‘Fernandez touched my hand’. It was so great,” said Phahladira.
The emotional Ramathaba Masipa Bidvest Wits said he “almost cried” when he saw Moeneeb Josephs who is widely known as ‘Slim Kat’.
“Yoh I’m not even going to wash my body today because my favourite Bidvest Wits players signed my arm”
“From a very young age I’ve always been a supporter. It was great seeing them, I even got an autograph and took pictures with Katongo, Slim Kat. Yoh, I almost cried I was emotional. I’ve always wanted to meet Slim Kat in person and he was so friendly. On the pitch he is normally crazy so I expected him to be mean,” said Masipa.
Conflicted in which team to support, the stadium shock nonetheless in excitement when Yusuf Jappie’s only winning goal sent Bidvest Wits into a lead just before half time.
“It was a good game. The university played very well to be honest. Good on the ball, good technically. We have a lot of young players coming through so this is a perfect opportunity to look at them and see at what they can do and these are the games that give us that indication. We’ll continue to groom but individually they are talented and that’s important for us,” said assistant coach Andre Arendse.
by Nqobile Dludla | Oct 11, 2014 | News
Project W members of the Wits SRC (Students Representatives Council) have rejected a decision by the vice-chancellor (VC) about portfolio allocations and will continue to contest the outcome of the process.
Wits VC Prof Adam Habib has ostensibly put an end to the ongoing student leadership spat between Project W and the PYA (Progressive Youth Alliance) by endorsing the recent portfolio allocations but Project W say they will not accept the positions allocated to them.
All members of the SRC were informed of the VC’s decision via a letter on Wednesday but in response Jamie Mighti of Project W said, “We are unavailable to serve in sham portfolios and remain of the view that they were not in the interests of students and are thus unconstitutional.”
According to the response, sent in an email to the Dean of Students, Dr Pamela Dube, Project W said they “cannot serve in portfolios created without our consent and consultation. We will not therefore be taking up those specific portfolio allocations.”
Project W have notified the University that they “will be seeking further recourse from the student body through a referendum as well as through various other platforms both legal and otherwise.”
“We are unavailable to serve in sham portfolios”
On Friday, October 3, Project W walked out of a meeting of the SRC once again, arguing that ‘the best interests of the students are not being considered by the PYA in the portfolios that they are trying to bully the SRC into adopting”, according to Mighti.
“There is a continuing attempt by the PYA to create white elephant portfolios within the SRC to undermine the ability of Project W to serve the students and to attempt to emasculate the organisation’s longevity at the university,” he said.
Mighti added that “A cost benefit analysis of the portfolios proposed by both parties reflects the malice and bad faith of the PYA, as well as illustrating that they have little concern about student problems.”
Speaking to Wits Vuvuzela on behalf of the PYA, Sasco chairperson Nompendulo Mkatshwa said: “We are receptive of Prof Habib’s endorsement of the list as re-constituted on Friday, 3 October 2014 as requested by colleagues of Project W. It cannot be that the leadership of students is held ransom by the lack of understanding of democratic centralism by others. It is unfair to the movement we are in – a movement driven by the interest of students.”
Mkatshwa said the portfolios of the SRC elect are in no way exclusive of the development and progress that ought to be achieved by the SRC in the interest of students.
“Now that Prof Habib has endorsed the list, those that want to lead can finally begin doing what students voted for them to do. Not everyone got the office they may have dreamed of, from executive to the last portfolio holder however, a good leader will always make the best of what they are given”, said Mkatshwa.
The VC’s intervention in the tussle between the SRC members, is based on Clause 30 (1) of the SRC Constitution which provides that: “After due notice of its failure to carry out any function or duty, should the SRC continue to fail in carrying out any of its functions or duties, the vice-chancellor has the power to carry out any such function or duty in the spirit and manner prescribed in this Constitution.”
“Having outlined the University’s position, I would like to consider this matter resolved and look forward to working with the new Student Representative Council”, said Habib in his letter.
The 2014/2015 Students Representative Council
1. Mcebo Dlamini, President
2. Shaeera Kalla, Deputy President
3 . Senzekahle Mbokazi, General Secretary
4 . Amogelang Manganyi, Deputy Secretary General
5 . Mthuthuzeli Mahlangu, Treasurer
6 . Tanya Otto, International Students Affairs
7 . Gwinyai Dube, Strategic Planning
8 . Omhle Ntshingila, Clubs, Societies & Organizations And Student Governance
9 . Waseem Talia, Student and Legal Services
10. Jamie Mighti, Campus Wellness
11 . Fasiha Hassan, Academic
12 . Kabelo Murray, Social and Community Development
13 . Thamsanqa Pooe, Transformation
14 . Enhle Khumalo, Research and Policy
15 . Blaise Koetsie, Projects, Media and Campaigns
by Nqobile Dludla | Sep 23, 2014 | News
The choice of Mcebo Dlamini for Student Representative Council (SRC) president was not contested within the Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA) , one of the organisation’s leaders said.
“There’s no one who contested presidency, Mcebo was elected unopposed,” Wits Young Communist League secretary David Manabile told Wits Vuvuzela. The Young Communist League is part of the PYA.
Last week, Wits Vuvuzela reported that there was disagreement within the PYA over who should be SRC president. According to one of the PYA leaders interviewed in the article, there was a struggle to decide between Dlamini, Amogelang Manganyi and Senzekahle Mbokazi for president. There was disagreement over their different levels of experience and ability to carry out their duties.
But Manabile rejected this claim and said only Dlamini was mentioned as a potential president at the PYA’s deployment committee meeting and the following branch general meeting (BGM).
“We adopted recommendations of the deployment committee as they were. The only name raised for presidency was Mcebo Dlamini,” said Manabile.
“Those faceless people you interviewed might have had a different view but rest assured in the meeting we had, no one raised any other name for presidency.”
Sharing the same view, incoming president Dlamini said PYA members who believed there was a contest for SRC president were “lying”.
“There wasn’t any contestation for presidency, the sources were lying. I do not know if they were in the same BGM that we were in,” Dlamini said.
Although presidency was uncontested, Manabile said that PYA members in the BGM, which is the organisation’s highest decision making body, had differences over who would be Dlamini’s deputy.
“We did have different views as to who must deputize him but at the end we reached consensus, we left the meeting united, believing in the leadership that the BGM has agreed upon,” said Manabile.
A deployment committee list seen by Wits Vuvuzela listed Dlamini as president and Manganyi as vice president. The house reshuffled Manganyi to deputy secretary general and Shaeera Kalla from secretary general to vice president. Mbokazi who was initially given CSO and Student governance, was moved to secretary general.
Dlamini said although the vice president and secretary general portfolios were contested, that should not be seen as though “we are fighting”.
“It’s not like we are fighting when we contest. Contestation is fine and is allowed. It’s wrong for people who were in the BGM to witness this contestation and say that there is bad blood,” said Dlamini.
by Nqobile Dludla | Sep 19, 2014 | News
IT’S PYA DAY: Project W’s Jamie Mighti (left) attempts to argue a point to PYA member and former SRC president Sibulele Mgudlwa (right) after Project W walked out of the SRC’s first meeting over the selection of portfolios. Mgudlwa attempted to bring Project W back to the meeting. Photo: Nqobile Dludla
by Ilanit Chernick and Nqobile Dludla
The abrupt end of the new SRC’s first meeting, which climaxed with a dramatic walkout by Project W who accused the Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA) of being “illegitimate and undemocratic”, followed a week of behind-the-scenes battles over positions on the new council.
Project W walked out during the vote for new portfolios, which they said were decided without their input by the PYA—who have a majority of the seats on the new SRC.
The vote carried on with PYA member Mcebo Dlamini being elected as the new SRC president.
However, while the PYA presented a united front at the SRC meeting, the decision to select Dlamini and other SRC executive committee members was far from unanimous.
“There are also older comrades in the PYA who influence the decisions on the presidential candidate and the executive committee. The process is increasingly frustrating,”
Wits Vuvuzela spoke to leaders in the PYA, who confirmed the alliance struggled to make a decision on who should be elected to the important executive positions. All the PYA leaders requested anonymity because they were not authorised to speak on internal alliance politics.
According to one PYA leader, there was a struggle to decide between three presidential choices, Dlamini, Amogelang Manganyi, and Senzekahle Mbokazi with disagreement over their different levels of experience and ability to carry out their duties.
Some PYA members believed Dlamini was the strongest candidate because of his position as Wits Junction chair despite a controversy earlier this year over his false claim to be a member of the prestigious Sisulu family.
“People want Mcebo despite controversies surrounding him in the Sisulu question,” the PYA leader said.
According to this PYA leader, Mangayani’s suitability as a SRC president was questioned because he is currently a fifth-year medical student and would face time constraints next year that would affect his ability to meet presidential duties.
This process of selecting executive members of the SRC was made more complicated by senior PYA leaders outside the current SRC attempting to influence the selection of positions.
“There are also older comrades in the PYA who influence the decisions on the presidential candidate and the executive committee. The process is increasingly frustrating,” the PYA leader said. He declined to name the senior PYA members involved.
However, a second PYA leader interviewed by Wits Vuvuzela denied that lobby groups within the alliance had been allowed to form.
“The PYA don’t squabble,” the second PYA leader said, “We meet as a collective. Those members with experience try to advise or give opinions when choosing candidates for exec or president but things change all the time.”
However, this PYA leader admitted the alliance had little control groups and friends within the PYA who form “behind closed doors” and who have decided on backing their own candidates.
“But we call all members of the PYA together to decide who should be presidential candidate. We decide and solve these issues together,” the PYA leader said.
The politicking within the PYA ended with Wednesday’s meeting and the walkout by Project W.
Wits Vuvuzela had initially been denied access to the portfolio meeting. However, after a short conference between Project W’s Jamie Mighti and outgoing SRC president Shafee Verachia she was allowed in “as a student” so long as she put away her camera and voice recorder.
The meeting was held in Senate House and chaired by Verachia. It was attended by 14 of the 15 newly elected SRC members. Also in attendance were representatives from other Wits student councils and three members of the current SRC.
The meeting was also attended by former SRC and PYA members Sibulele Mgudlwa, Joyce Phiri and Tshepo Ndlovu, Ntshembo Vuma and Thabang Ntshanana. A Project W member, Zuhayr Tayob, was also in attendance.
The meeting first voted for the executive positions, including president, with PYA members taking the top five slots with little protest from Project W.
“What do they expect me to do, teach yoga?”
However, 20 minutes into the meeting an argument erupted during a debate over portfolios. Both the PYA and Project W had proposed new portfolios for the SRC and motivated for them during the meeting.
Verachia then moved to have a vote on the portfolios, however Mighti objected saying there should be an open debate over the proposed portfolios before the vote.
Verachia responded that both organisations had already motivated for the proposed portfolios and further debate was not needed.
After another brief exchange between the participants, Verachia again moved for a vote resulting in the Project W members gathering their belongings and walking out of the meeting.
“We walked out because it was an illegitimate forum. They are not allowed to dictate positions to us, and this was an unjust abuse of power,” Mighti said.
Verachia adjourned the meeting after the walkout and Mgudlwa successfully attempted to convince the Project W members to return to the meeting. Verachia then cited SRC rules governing meetings and reconvened the meeting with the remaining SRC members.
“The PYA have chosen to dictate positions to us instead. Positions which we will not agree too because they are redundant white elephants which is a betrayal to students’ needs,” Mighti said.
Mighti, who was made the Campus Wellness officer, said his position was redundant because there were already university structures to help student health.
“What do they expect me to do, teach yoga?” he asked.
Mighti said they would lay a complaint about the meeting with university authorities. Failing that, they would seek an interdict at the South Gauteng High Court to overturn the outcome of the meeting.
Vice-chancellor Prof Adam Habib said he was “gathering information” about the situation.
Verachia said the PYA were preparing a statement in response to Project W’s walkout and subsequent accusations. However, it had not been sent to Wits Vuvuzela as of our print deadline.
by Nqobile Dludla | Sep 17, 2014 | News
I PUT IT TO YOU: Speaking to former SRC president, Sibulele Mgudlwa (Right) after Project W walked out of the SRC meeting, Project W member Jamie Mighti (left) contested the procedure in which the meeting was conducted. Photo: Nqobile Dludla
The first meeting of the newly elected Student Representative Council (SRC) held earlier today was declared an “illegitimate forum” by Project W members who subsequently walked out. The allocation of portfolios to new members continued after the walkout and was done entirely by members of the PYA (Progressive Youth Alliance).
At the start of the meeting which took place in Senate House, Project W’s Jamie Mighti objected to the process of voting for new portfolio holders and instead called for a discussion about the portfolios.
Mighti argued that the meeting “is governed by laws of the SRC constitution.” “According to the law, we are supposed to contest (the new proposed portfolios) and deliberate and not just go on a vote”, he said.
Outgoing SRC President Shafee Verachia who was chairing the meeting, denied Mighti’s request and started the process of voting. In objection, all six Project W members gathered their things and walked out.
Speaking to Wits Vuvuzela after the meeting, Mighti said: “We walked out because it was an illegitimate forum. They (PYA) are not allowed to dictate positions to us, and this was unjust abuse of power. They disregarded the SRC rules and procedures and refused to recognise them.”
Verachia adjourned the meeting after the walkout and reconvened it after a short break with the remaining SRC members, in accordance with rules governing meetings of the SRC. The PYA then nominated Project W members for vacant portfolios after key portfolios were filled.
Mighti said his organisation regard the portfolios allocated to them by PYA as “null and void” as Project W did not decide on them nor accept them.
“Because they did not discuss them or even deliberate them, they are playing with students’ lives. The portfolios proposed are white elephants. They are redundant positions which do not allow us to help students to our full potential”, said Mighti.
Project W told Wits Vuvuzela that they intend to lodge an official complaint with the university, and if the university refuses to recognise their complaint, they “will get a high court interdict from the high court, making today’s meeting completely illegitimate and reversing any outcomes that were decided upon”.
2014/2015 SRC Portfolios
President: Mcebo Dlamini
Vice President: Shaeera Kalla
Secretary General: Senzekahle Mbokazi
Deputy Secretary: Amogelang Manganyi
Treasurer: Mthuthuzeli Mahlangu
Students and Legal Services: Waseem Talia
Academic: Fasiha Hassan
Projects, Media and Campaign: Blaise Koetsie
CSO and Student Governance: Omhle Ntshingila
Research and Policy: Enhle Khumalo
Campus wellness: Jamie Mighti
Transformation: Thamsanqa Pooe
Social and Community Development: Kabelo Murray
Strategic Planning: Gwinyai Dube
International Affairs: Tanya Otto
by Nqobile Dludla | Sep 3, 2014 | News
A number of controversial tweets about the Wits SRC (Student Representatives Council) elections were sent from the Voice of Wits (VoW FM) twitter account earlier today. Mike Smurthwaite, VoW station manager, confirmed that the twitter account of the station had been hacked and the tweets were not official VoW FM tweets.
Speaking to Wits Vuvuzela, Smurthwaite said his team noticed something strange when the morning crew tried to log on to the station’s Twitter account, only to find the password was not working.
The crew then tried to recover the password by using the ‘lost password’ feature on Twitter which would send an email to the registered account.
According to Smurthwaite, VoW then discovered they could not access their email as the account has been in maintenance mode since this morning.
“I didn’t see any notification that it was going to happen. It just happened to have coincided at the point these guys took control of our account. They said they’ll send us a notification when it’s back up and that notification hasn’t been sent,”, said Smurthwaite.
The alleged hacker tweeted SRC elections related tweets and retweeted other student organisations.
HACKED: The VoW FM twitter account was hacked and used to send tweets in support of the EFF. Graphic: Wits Vuvuzela.
VoW had not tweeted or retweeted anything since the morning, Smurthwaite said.
“All of those retweets and tweets are done by someone or a group of people acting with their own agenda,” he said.
VoW FM has lodged a complaint with the Student Development and Leadership Unit (SDLU) to pass on to the election officer to investigate the matter and assure the campus community that the tweets and retweets from the station’s account do not represent the views of VoW.
“It looks like we are supporting a particular entity and as an organisation we are politically neutral, we provide a platform for people to debate and we leave it up to people to decide which stories they believe or who they want to support or what the facts are,” said Smurthwaite.
Smurthwaite believes there is a possibility the hacker knows someone who works at the station, that an employee was bribed or that a former employee who was “pissed off” with the organisation saw it as an “opportunity because now they have political ambitions.
“We can however say for a fact that no one was doing it here at the station because you can see exactly what people are doing at what machines and we track user activity. So we can see that it wasn’t happening here, which means that this person was using it from another location,” Smurthwaite said.
Around 6pm this evening, VoW managed to recover access to the Twitter profile but declined to delete the earlier tweets until an investigation is completed.
by Nqobile Dludla | Sep 2, 2014 | News
TRIED & TESTED: Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA) candidate Mcebo Dlamini tries to convince students to vote for the “very same leadership that has been with you through thick and thin”. Dlamini was addressing a crowd of students at one of the lunch circuses held outside the Wits Great Hall. Photo: Nqobile Dludla
The Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA) continues to maintain it will dominate the 2014/2015 Student Representatives Council (SRC) owing to its track record ahead of the elections this week.
The PYA believes Witsies will send the votes their way as the “tried and tested party,” despite criticisms from their opponents that they (PYA) are far too reliant on their historical achievements.
Speaking to Wits Vuvuzela, PYA candidate Amogelang Manganyi said: “As a tried and tested party, we are still relevant”. “When I speak about us being tried and tested, it speaks to the notion of candidate for candidate, experience for experience, organisation for organisation, we’ve been here the longest, and we know how things work”, said Manganyi.
Among other critics of the PYA, Valentine Ndlovu, 2nd year BA who wasn’t moved by the history lesson given by the PYA at Monday night’s circus at the Highfield Dining Hall pointed out how much the PYA “usually talk about what [they’ve] done” and challenged the organisation on what it’s planning to do for students.
“Rehashing history isn’t really viable. We need to keep up with the times. We can’t always go back to the stuff that you’ve done”, said Patience Raidani, 1st year BA.
Zimbali Mncube who is also in 1st year said you must “re-articulate interests, you cant keep tracking old interests, that yesterday I did this. People want new interests, you must rejuvenate those interests”.
Thabiso Funde 1st year BA felt that as a first year she doesn’t know the PYA’s track record and therefore is interested in what they are offering.
“As first years we don’t know exactly what you [PYA] did and we can’t go off by assumptions that you [PYA] guys did this and that’s going to carry on. We need to know what you [PYA] are offering”, said Funde.
Project W who occupied SRC seats for the first time last year, have also challenged PYA’s “tried and tested” slogan, claiming that “PYA makes superficial promises that don’t (sic) hold water”.
“Straw houses built by competitor’s burn down. The PYA makes superficial promises that don’t hold water and fall apart as straw houses fall when set on fire”, said Project W candidate Kabelo Murray.
Who will occupy the seats?
Despite being challenged by critics and the arrival of the Wits EFF, the PYA is “confident” that the SRC will remain a PYA-led SRC ahead of the elections.
“I think generally students trust the Progressive Youth Alliance however when it comes to elections, you can never be certain because last year we were certain that we were going to get all 15 seats and we didn’t,” said Ntshanana.
Ntshanana also added that he doesn’t “think the [Wits] EFF have penetrated the space, they have been on campus for less than 6 months and I think what students want to know is what you have done for them which is a question that the [Wits] EFF cannot answer because they haven’t done anything”.
Wits EFF member, Tshepo Goba thinks otherwise. Goba claims that they “have raised the bar and brought in a new brand of politics” to Wits.
“As the [Wits] EFF we have raised the bar, we brought in a new brand of politics, we stuck to our guns even when we are being labelled as backward and racist and anti-progressive. It’s really up to the students”, said Goba.
Project W who are also confident about retaining SRC seats based on their “hard work” and “growth”, said: “We will definitely get seats and we will make a difference when we go to the SRC and we have the students that we serve to thank above everything”, said Project W candidate Thamsanqa Pooe.
by Nqobile Dludla | Sep 1, 2014 | Sport
THE BEST: (L-R) Nadia Krüger won Best Female Boxer while Siphamandla Mamba walked away with Best Male Boxer title on Saturday at the Wits Boxing Tournament. Photo: Nqobile Dludla
Wits Boxing Club boxers walked away with best female and best male boxer titles on Saturday at the Wits Boxing Tournament held on campus.
Siphamandla Mamba was named the best male boxer while Nadia Krüger was the top female. Mamba also took the Best Bout (fight) title in a tournament that saw Wits hosting Eldos and North West University boxing clubs.
Although Mamba walked away with the coveted titles, he was not overwhelmed by his performance.
“I feel like I could have done better because I wasn’t throwing as many punches as I would have loved to,” said Mamba.
Krüger though was a little more positive. “I’m satisfied with my performance, but improvement is always needed. My opponent fought well and I think we both can learn out of our performances”, said Krüger
Although “surprised” to be given the titles, Mamba’s boxing prowess spoke for itself when he faced Zusiphe Sicwebe from his own club even before he laid his hands on the trophy.
Sicwebe, also known as “Zues”, moved away from Mamba, as soon as the fight began. Sicwebe, who often waited for Mamba to strike first, couldn’t find a rhythm for his jabs and counters.
Mamba drove the action in the first round, but had difficulty in closing the gap to land anything clean. Still, the tough favourite plugged away, hoping to break the barrier that was Sicwebe’s movement and defence.
All it took was one shot from Mamba to change things and that’s exactly what happened early in the second round. In this round both boxers were more energetic and more aggressive.
Mamba tried to trap Sicwebu against the ropes but Sicwebu quickly moved away from Mamba’s follow up left hook to the face. Sicwebu no longer played the defence game, making it more challenging for Mamba to follow through with combination punches.
It didn’t take long for Mamba to regain his rhythm in the third round which saw the pace of the fight losing momentum as both boxers played it clean, but not following through with strong target jabs. Mamba won eventually while Sicwebu walked away with Best Bout award.
Krüger’s head jabs
Krüger’s fight was more aggressive and energetic. Her opponent was Tshepiso Lehutjo who suffered head blows from Krüger’s combination jabs to the head.
Lehutjo tried to be unpredictable by changing her jabs to score points to the stomach, but this made it easier for Krüger who easily threw a left hook that exploded the second it connected with Lehutjo’s jaw.
“I’m very impressed with our boxers, especially since a lot of boxers went into the ring for the first time. It’s very important because the first time is really not about winning or losing but getting rid of that fear of getting into the ring which is scary”, said Wits Boxing coach Njabulo Mahlalela.