IMAGE: Tugging at Heart Strings

Photo: Sibusisiwe Nyanda

Photo: Sibusisiwe Nyanda

Tugging at Heart Strings:Aamir suleman and Vuyolwethu Mntonintshi went to Nazareth House in Yeoville For Mandela day. The Wits Business School staff traded in their proffessional suits and ties for more play-friendly gear as they enjoyed games in the sun with Nkateko Chuene(7), Reabetswe Letsoko (7),  and other Nazereth Kids. The team also brought a big Maiba cake to the festivities. Part Packs with educational toys and more sweet treats were given to the childern at the end of the eventful day

Bidvest Wits signs new players

RAY MAHLAKA

THE new football season will kick off with Bidvest Wits signing stars Moeneeb Josephs, Matthew Booth and Benjani Mwaruwari on the squad, according to reports in the media.

Josephs has secured a three year contract with the Clever Boys.

Booth and Mwaruwari have signed a one year contract, with an option to extend the contract for an additional year.

The signing of players to Bidvest Wits is a move away from the club’s tradition of young players, as the trio are in their 30’s.

The Clever Boys are currently training in Cape Town for the next season start in August where they will face Platinum Stars.

The club also starts the season with new coach Gavin Hunt who replaces Clive Barker.                                                                    

Bidvest management declined to comment on details of the new signings.

New gear for the Clever Boys

Bidvest Wits Football Club will be going into the season with a new jersey following the cancellation of its two-year technical kit partnership with Nike.

According to its website, Italian sportswear company Kappa will be sponsoring Bidvest Wits kit. Last season the team wore a white and blue home jersey that was sponsored by US-based sportswear giant, Nike.

Ricky Joseph, who is the brand manager of Kappa, said the new look will be completely fresh and the brand will appeal to students. Ricky said the sponsorship is a strategic attempt from Kappa to relate to the student market.

“Kappa is reaching out to the students at Wits and creating a fresh identification with the great brand amongst all students and supporters alike,” said Joseph.

The club’s “new look” home jersey is white while the away jersey will be navy blue.

According to the Bidvest website, the team has entered into a one-year agreement with Kappa to supply the club’s merchandise and playing kit until the end of the 2013-14 campaign.

Joseph said: “Kappa has a long and rich heritage in football, specifically football in South Africa and we are delighted to be associated with Bidvest Wits, a club with a great prospect, a bright future and whose ambitions match our own.

“We share their passion, desire and energy for football and we’re extremely excited to be part of the next chapter in the Bidvest Wits story.”

Kappa has supplied kits for a number of leading clubs across Europe and the rest of the world, including teams in the PSL, Supersport United and Amazulu FC.  Kappa will also be supplying the Bidvest Wits coaching staff with training wear items

Students lament loss of Lord

STUDENTS have laid a complaint against the Wits International Relations department about their marks, saying that they are not being assessed properly following their lecturer’s placement on special leave.

Dr Lord Mawuko was placed on “special leave” pending an investigation about four weeks ago. Mawuko’s third year International Relations class has been merged with another class taught by Dr David Hornsby.

His former students have complained that Mawuko’s class is behind those of Hornsby’s, making it difficult for them to catch up.

Hornsby confirmed to Wits Vuvuzela that the classes have merged and acknowledged that Mawuko’s classes were a week behind. However, he said Mawuko’s class had a catch up session after the lecturer was put on special leave.

“With the departure of one lecturer the course hasn’t changed and the course is no different to how it has been run”

Student Concerns

Innocentia Kgaphola, 3rd year International Relations, said the department is “having difficulties coordinating the class. Why aren’t they taking responsibility that the standards are not the same?”

The student’s biggest concern was that due to Mawuko’s special leave their work will be assessed by lecturers whom they have never interacted with and do not know.

Third year student Nqobile Radebe said: “They have been bringing different people to lecture us. We have not been fairly assessed. We don’t get the marks we deserve.”

Mawuko had also been responsible for receiving presentation topic submissions from the third year International Relations class. However, due to being placed on special leave he could not be present and assess the presentations.

Instead, the presentations were overseen by Dr Mopeli Moshoeshoe.

Third year International Relations student Luzi Maposa said in a letter to the department that Moshoeshoe told students that he was “merely there to observe”.  But Moshoeshoe wrote comments on their presentations and Hornsby, who is also the course co-ordinator, gave students their marks.

Maposa wrote in his letter that the student’s “main issue” was that while Hornsby marked their presentations, he did not see them first hand and “all but relied on bullet points which he requested from each group, which did not reflect the image of the presentation since they were merely assistance tools.”

“The stand-in lecturer [Moshoeshoe], who did not even ask what topic each group was presenting on, cannot paint a clear reflection of the quality that went into the presentation since it omits all that was elaborated through speech and illustrations on the board,” continued Maposa’s letter.

Kgaphola said the situation has left students feeling confused and unfairly treated by the department.

“Nobody explained what was happening. Nobody explained why Lord [Mavuko] was put on special leave. It’s just a mess, we don’t know what’s happening,” Kgaphola said.

Hornsby responds

However, Hornsby denies this and said students are not just assessed by their presentation; they still have essays, exam and a participatory mark. Hornsby said he had consulted with Mawuko about the students’ assessments.

Hornsby said that immediately after the presentations he and Moshoeshoe had a meeting and Moshoeshoe recommended marks.

Hornsby said he doesn’t understand why there is confusion amongst the students as there was a talk last week to discuss Mawuko’s absence and marks would be assessed.

Head of department Prof Gilbert Khadiagala said the students complaints have been addressed by the department.

“We told the students that we are going to have an impartial person to deal with the marks. We have done everything we can; the final person to deal with the marks will be the external examiner”.

Additional Resouces

Wits Vuvuzela April 26 2013: Oh my Lord, wenzeni?

If you behave you get a tablet

There are nice gift incentives for good behaviour:  the dean of students, Prem Coopoo, presented members of the Wits All Residence Council (ARC) with tablets last month.

Fifteen of the 18 ARC members were promised tablets as an incentive to ensure that last year’s all residence “Wits 90” heritage celebration picnic would be incident free.

In an email interview with Wits Vuvuzela, Coopoo confirmed this.

Coopoo said because of previous misconduct at the ARC picnics, there was a lot of debate on the future of the ARC picnic. The Student Services Advisory Committee had then decided that 2012’s ARC would be granted permission to host the picnic based on certain conditions.

“As an incentive to host an incident free picnic, I offered the ARC members tablets,” said Coopoo. “These picnics have always been without incident except for two consecutive years in 2010/2011 when we had alcohol abuse and a stabbing,” said Coopoo

Coopoo said her office had provided the funding for the tablets and that the tablets were for the members to keep.

Justice Nkomo, former Chairperson of 2011/2012 ARC, was able to confirm that he had received a Proline 9.7” tablet from Coopoo in good faith.

“All members of last year’s ARC received Tablets because of a resolution that emanates from the student advisory committee,” said Nkomo.

According to the company’s website, the Proline tablets  retail for R2 295.

Nkomo said the ARC had received the tablet because they put in extra effort in organising the event and that he could not confirm whether other student representative councils would receive gifts if they performed according to the set standards.

Nkomo, upon receiving the tablets, said that other students should not be outraged that the university was spending money on them. He said the Proline tablets were among the most inexpensive on the market.

He added that he hoped to re-launch the SRC’s “one student one tablet” campaign so that all students could be equipped.

Wits lowers application fee

Wits University has decreased its application fee following a proposal from the department of higher education for universities to drop application fees. The department of Higher Education South Africa (HESA) has requested tertiary institutions to lower their application fees in order to allow students the opportunity of applying to various universities. Carol Crosley, Deputy Registrar  said: “There had been an  initial discussion at a HESA forum with other universities where the scenarios of a student applying to 3 different universities could easily cost up to a R1000 each one charging about R300- R350.” Tsakani Mashile who is applying to Wits said “I think it’s good that the application fee is cheaper, because some of us don’t afford R300 so R100 is more convenient.” The proposal had not been formally implemented by 2012, but according to Crosley   “The University decided that, in the interests of our broader population, we would reduce our undergraduate fee to R100 for South African citizens.” “When you apply to universities, you are not guaranteed to get in so your R400 is gone,” said Mashile. Crosley said the university has suffered financial loss from the decreased amount, but the numbers of applicants had increased. “We have compared stats – on 26 March 2013 we had 796 applicants on 26 March 2014 1793 applicants”. According to Crosley students applying this year for 2014 have not complained about the amount- they have commented that we are much cheaper than other universities fees vary between R200- R375 Rehaugetswe Modise from Tebogwana High School said “I think it helps for those who need the subsidy, it’s a reasonable price, for some of us who can’t afford R400 to apply” The University of Johannesburg has not decreased its application fee, from R400 in 2012, it has in fact increase it to R450 for 2014 applicants.

Once bitten twice shy

A WITS honours student is facing assault charges after hitting and biting a fellow student.

Simamkele Dlakavu, chairperson of the Wits Dreamgirls, appeared at the Randburg Magistrate’s court last week after allegations she assaulted her co-worker and fellow Witsie Ruweshka Gopie, a third year law student. Police spokesperson Captain Kym Cloete said Dlakavu was charged with assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and was released on a R500 bail at the April 17 court appearance.  The alleged assault happened on February 12 when Gopie agreed to give Dlakavu a lift to Sandton where they were working together at an event.

According to the website, Timeslive, the argument started when Gopie got lost on the way to Sandton. Dlakavu then left their employer a message saying Gopie was incompetent and did not want to work at the event. The employer later called to give directions. However, an argument between the two women still ensued.

“She started calling me a slut, said my family hates me, she called me a bitch, she said no one at res likes me,” Gopie told Timeslive.

She said Dlakavu began attacking her while she was still driving. Hitting her on the head and biting her twice. Gopie was later given a tetanus shot and put on a precautionary two week course of antiretrovirals. Wits Vuvuzela tried to reach both Gopie and Dlakavu, but neither could be reached for comment.

Residence cluster manager Doreen Musemwa could not comment on the details of the alleged assault. However, she told Wits Vuvuzela the two students had to be separated and Gopie had been placed in another, temporary residence.

Musemwa said she could not have the girls in the same residence.

The case was postponed and Dlakavu is due to appear in court again on May 21. Wits spokesperson Shirona Patel said intimidation allegations had also been lodged with the University by Gopie. She said this was being investigated by the Wits legal office.

Support Staff strike for better working conditions

Workers sing and shout outside the Senate Room.

Workers sing and shout outside the Senate Room. Photo: Nomatter Ndebele

By Palesa Radebe and Mfuneko Toyana

Wits University’s support staff and unions picketed outside the Senate Room on Thursday afternoon demanding an end to the mistreatment of outsourced workers.

Congregating outside the room as academics and Wits administration officials entered, workers shouted  “Phantsi nge outsourcing Phantsi” (down with outsourcing).

The workers were gathered in their numbers to deliverer a memorandum to out-going Vice Chancellor Loyiso Nongxa.

In his address to the workers, Nongxa seemed to agree with the workers’ grievances. Speaking in isiXhosa, he began by saying: “We as black people, especially those of us from the rural areas, grew up being undermined and we continue to be mistreated. I apologise to all of you that have been treated unfairly”.

Nongxa spoke of his unhappiness at the fact that when workers had problems, they never spoke up for themselves, but always sent spokespeople to speak on their behalf. He said the practice should end and, to loud applause and whistles, that the workers should speak for themselves.

Nongxa finished by saying that: “whether you work for in-sourcing or you work for out-sourcing, you still work for Wits and that has not changed”.

“This should not end with you complaining, you have to make sure that you find a way forward and a resolution”, he added.

The memorandum distributed by the striking workers calls an end to outsourcing and  better treatment of support staff, who say they are paid low wages and are not even allowed to use the same toilets as students.

It also calls for full health, education and employment benefits, as well as job security.

Wits Workers Solidarity Committee, said they support the workers who came out to demand the end of outsourcing.

According to two cleaners who wished to remain anonymous, the picket was partly sparked by the workers inability to access the campus after their access cards were deactivated without their knowledge.

 

Witsies working for Pride

Gay Pride:members of ACTIVATE at this year's society sign up

Gay Pride:members of ACTIVATE at this year’s society sign up

Palesa Radebe

MEMBERS OF the Wits gay community are collaborating to petition for the reinstatement of The Johannesburg Gay Pride parade.

Last month, the board of the Johannesburg Gay Pride Festival Company announced it was ending its support of the event it has hosted for the past seven years.

There has been an outcry within the gay community regarding the cancellation of Pride. “It’s the only time in the year where gay people from all walks of life and all races come together,” said Dumi Msibi the chair of ACTIVATE, which represents the campus lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and asexual (LGBTIA) community.

“As a gay person it’s one event that’s always there on the calendar, it’s a fixture, it’s great. You get to meet people, you get to interact with your friends. Everyone comes to Pride, everyone you haven’t seen will be there, it’s one of those events everyone looks forward to, so it [the cancellation] is very unfortunate” said Msibi.

The Wits Kaleidoscope Society, which provides a network for LGBTIA students, has been attending Pride for the past two years.

“It’s sad to know we no longer have what many call ‘A Gay Christmas’,” said Thuli Mathabela, a representative of Kaleidoscope Youth network.

“Students will no longer have a bigger platform where they have felt safe to be themselves without judgement,” Mathabela said.

“So many individuals of our community deal with discrimination on a daily basis, be it family or socially. They face excruciating experiences and Pride was, honestly, to most of them the only happy event they looked forward to.”

According to Tish White of the Wits transformation office, the announcement by the board will not necessarily be the end of Johannesburg’s Pride event.

“Individuals and NGO’s are collaborating to discuss a new board and the way forward for Joburg Pride”

The board’s vote follows the disruption of last year’s event when activist group, 1 in 9 Campaign, protested the parade and demanded one minute of silence for lesbians killed in townships.

The board said it had lost Zoo Lake as a venue for the event and the event had changed, from a low risk to a high risk security threat. They had also lost support from the SA Police Service.

palesa@witsvuvuzela.com

 

To view other stories surrounding homosexuality and controversy in South Africa click on the following links:

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SANDF offers graduates recruitment opportunities at the Randshow

By Palesa Radebeedited

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) wants to attract the youth to the military, with their exhibition at the annual Rand show.

According to Captain Prince Tshabalala, the senior staff media Liaison at SANDF, the indoor and outdoor exhibition at the Randshow will be used as a platform to “focus on communicating the role of the national defence force and will have a number of displays showing casing military capabilities”

SANDF at a media briefing illustrated their plans to have a line-up of vehicles, aircraft and military displays and exhibits. Tshabalala said everyone interested in the defence force will get exposed to the Air force, Navy, Army and the South African Military service.

Tshabalala added the exhibition was SANDF way of presenting the various career opportunities available to matriculates, job seekers and graduates.

Major Ntsiki Mantshongo who works in the defence corporate communication department said,

“Graduates and students who are interested in the defence force should be age between 18 and 22, and should have obtained a good mark in mathematics and science in grade 12”.

Mantshong said the force is also interested in students at universities who have graduated from a variety of faculties. Though the force will be recruiting graduates for variety of faculties, they do have a preference for technical and engineering students.

“The force has a university reserved training program for students studying towards Engineering or any technical subjects. They will get offered contracts to finish their studies and pay it off by working for the Force.”

“For those interested in the Pilot training program the Air force will also be recruiting students that have maths and science level 5 and who don’t have phobias.” He said.

The exhibition will be held at the Randshow from the March 28 till the first of April.

 

 

Silent protest to commemorate Fukushima nuclear disaster

Toxic secrets: One of the activists standing firm  during the silent Protest on Empire road.

Toxic secrets: One of the activists standing firm during the silent Protest on Empire road.

Greenpeace Africa organised a silent protest on Empire road to commemorate the second anniversary of the Fukushima disaster, earlier this week.

A group of activists lined down Empire road wearing black t-shirts with gas masks, holding posters reading “Secrecy is for Skelms and Not another Fukushima”. This was done to oppose the secrecy within the South African government to build nuclear programmes.

The protest was also called for transparency in Nucleur building projects.

The Fukushima earthquake struck Japan two years ago, which was followed by a tsunami leading to the biggest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

According to Ferrial Adams Greenpeace Africa climate and energy campaignerthe government is planning on extending nuclear energy with a 9600mw input in the country”.

Adams said that the government has been silent after the announcement of the nuclear extension.

“The Fukushima nuclear disaster revealed considerable corruption in the nuclear power sector. However the South Africa government has not learnt from the fukushima disaster “Adams added.

Greenpeace has submitted two requests to the Department of Energy to access information, in order to get a full understanding to South Africa’s nuclear plans. Adams said the first application was refused and the second one has not received a response to date.

“Our government continues to operate in secrecy by withholding basic information, if we are serious about a clean, safe energy future then the need of our people must be put ahead of that of the nuclear lobby,” she said.

Adams hopes the protest create awareness on the danger of nuclear energy. “Greenpeace calls on the South African government to stop its nuclear plans and transform rhetoric to true commitment in expanding the renewable energy sector,” she said.