Habib apologised to all students who had been victimised by these lecturers and added that the university would not tolerate any future incidents of sexual harassment.
However,Wits Vuvuzela independently confirmed that Moyo and wa Mamatu are the two dismissed staff members.
When Wits Vuvuzela first contacted them, both Moyo and wa Mamatu said they were unaware that they had been dismissed. Wa Mamatu said he had already resigned and the university was attempting to claim “moral authority” by firing him.
[pullquote]“I resigned and if the university says that I have been fired, this is the university trying to claim moral authority,”[/pullquote]
“I resigned and if the university says that I have been fired, this is the university trying to claim moral authority,” wa Mamatu said.
Wa Mamatu said he resigned in May and was working until the end of July as part of his resignation. Wits drama department head Kennedy Chinyowa said he knew nothing about wa Mamatu’s resignation.
Wa Mamatu’s attorney David Mogaswa told Wits Vuvuzela that on Thursday morning he received an email from the university about the dismissal which went straight to junk mail. He still cannot read the contents of the email.
On Thursday morning, Moyo confirmed to Wits Vuvuzela that he had received news that he was dismissed and was disappointed by the outcome.
Moyo said that he didn’t expect any fairness from the hearings, and “institutions are like machines and I think the major thing at the moment for Wits is its reputation and all of its institutional energy is focused on that.”
“The idea behind legal justice is that punishment must correlate with offence, but I am not sure this applies in my case,” said Moyo.
[pullquote align=”right”]“I received the harshest punishment that one won’t get even in hell I think.”[/pullquote]
“I received the harshest punishment that one won’t get even in hell I think.”
Moyo said that while he was unhappy with the outcome, he still loves Wits, the School of Language and Literature Studies and the Faculty of Humanities. He is happy that he was able to give his side of the story during the hearings.
“What matters to me is that I got a chance to tell the truth at the hearing. Once I did that, I found relief and could sleep peacefully knowing that between me and my creator everything is sorted,” Moyo said.
Moyo speculated about whether the students who testified against him would also have peace and said they had been “unjust”.
“These things have a way of coming back to you if you treat a fellow human being unjustly, even at old age,” Moyo said.
Moyo said that he had been expecting a promotion that had been derailed by the sexual harassment allegations made against him.
[pullquote]”My promotion to associate professor could have been through in April, but instead in March I was accused of harassing students. That’s life.”[/pullquote]
“My promotion to associate professor could have been through in April, but instead in March I was accused of harassing students. That’s life.” Moyo said he did not know most of the women who levelled accusations against him.
Wits Vuvuzela first reported the accusations against Moyo in March, resulting in the investigation. Moyo said most of the women in the article did not participate in the hearings.
He also said he had nothing against Wits Vuvuzela and its articles on sexual harassment on campus. “You did a great job in some stories, but certainly not in all cases.”
Wits Vuvuzela spoke to some of the women who made complaints against Moyo. Refilwe Kumalo, who testified against Moyo, let out a big sigh when she heard about the dismissal from Wits Vuvuzela.
[pullquote align=”right”]“I am happy we won, I was able to stand up and protect my rights.”[/pullquote]
“I am happy we won, I was able to stand up and protect my rights.”
She said facing Moyo in the hearing was “disgusting and horrible”. Another student who also testified against Moyo said justice had been served: “Hopefully lecturers will learn how to conduct themselves.”
Moyo and wa Mamatu were two of four staff members under investigation for sexual harassment. The outcomes of those hearings are to be announced in the coming weeks.
JUBS KICKS BUTT: Jubs (blue) and Junction (green) fight it out ’til the finish with Jubs showing Junction how its done. Photo: Prelene Singh
JUBILEE Residence proved unbeatable in their game against Junction on Tuesday night in the second season of the Wits Internal Netball League (WINL) at Diggs Field.
Jubs thrashed Junction 28-4. Junction proved unmatched for their opposition team who were well practised for the game.
Jubs hit the floor running with aggressive defence and great airborne throws from the only male in the group. Jubs managed to basket nine goals in the first quarter, leaving Junction behind by eight goals.
Umpire Hitekani Makhabele, 2nd year BCom, had a tough job at hand keeping the Jubs players under control with their scoring spirits.
Whilst the ball spent the most time in the Jubs banding area, Makhabele blew the whistle for many centre passes.
By the end of the second quarter, Jubs proved a definite force to be reckoned with, with an imposing 14-goal lead over Junction.
Junction was lazy in defence and failed to take advantage of their passes. The players did not give accurate cues to one another and this proved detrimental to their whole game.
The third quarter started off well for Junction when they upped passing tactics and defence. They managed to basket two goals with Jubs only scoring one goal.
The pressure mounted in the last quarter with both teams improving their game with harder zone defence, paired with more direct attacks.
Both teams were grinding their hardest with Junction players screaming encouraging words (“Come on girls”) to up the momentum in a final push to the finish line.
This team spirit, while it was good, went down in flames when Jubs scored a further seven goals in the last quarter.
At the same time in the next court several other teams competed vigorously..
Lindiwe Radebe, vice chairperson for Wits Netball, said that if you want to be a part of the WINL all you need to do is get a team together and get registered to compete.
The WINL is in its second week of the second season.
The tournament features 12 teams including Barnato, David Webster, Jubilee, Sunnyside, Girton, Medhurst, Medics, Reith, Esselen, Braamfontein Centre and newcomers Madova.
Games are scheduled from 6pm every Tuesday during the season.
Fired! Dr Last Moyo pictured at a Wits event last year. Photo: Dinesh Balliah.
by SHANDUKANI MULAUDZI and PRELENE SINGH
Two of the four Wits University lecturers accused of sexual harassment have been dismissed.
Although the statement did not name the lecturers, Wits Vuvuzela has learned that the dismissed lecturers are Tsepo wa Mamatu and Last Moyo.
According to a statement released today by Wits vice chancellor, Prof Adam Habib, “the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, has just dismissed two employees who have been found guilty of sexual harassment.”
Habib declined to name the individuals.
Habib said that the hearing was conducted and chaired by independent senior counsel who submitted the guilty verdict to Wits University.
Both of these lecturers were found to be in breach of the University’s Sexual Harassment Policy, Relationship Guidelines and the University’s Code of Conduct.
“The staff members have been found guilty of sexual harassment and misconduct, and one of them has also been found guilty of sexual/indecent assault,” said Habib.
Habib apologised to all students who had been victimised by theses lecturers and added that the university would not tolerate any future incidents of sexual harassment.
The cases of the remaining two suspended lecturers are ongoing and these outcomes will be announced over the next couple of weeks.
Tsepo wa Mamatu, a lecturer in Drama has also been fired from Wits for sexual harassment. Photo: Provided
As previously reported by Wits Vuvuzela, the university was conducting two inquiries and it is said that the campus-wide inquiry “is expected to be completed in the next two weeks”.
This inquiry is being led by the Head of the Centre of Applied Legal Studies, Professor Bonita Meyersfeld and Joe Mothibi from Norton Rose Fulbright.
Read more in the Wits Vuvuzela print edition or online this Friday.
Six students from a Taiwan university came to South Africa as apart of a culture exchange programme. They were chosen from a long process of entries through a competition and are one of 35 teams who do this around the world.
They visit many locations while in South Africa and yesterday they visited Wits University. The event started off in Hofmeyer House in the morning where students from the university met the Taiwan students and immersed themselves in the Chinese culture by painting their faces in a symbol which representative this.
Students from both universities mingled and play games in order to get to know each other further.
Afterwards everyone met at the Wits Amphitheater where the Taiwanese students put on a show which included song and dance.
MAGICAL ILLUSIONS: Phumzile Sitole, BA theatre graduate from UCT in a timeless surreal space of dreams while performing the play Afrocartography at the Wits Theatre. Photo: Prelene Singh
A STORY of a young girl who seeks her identity by travelling into a realm where imagination, dreams and memory overlap, is being told to Wits audiences to symbolise afro-culture and the migration history of being African in the world.
A stage performance called Afrocartography: Traces of places and all points in between launched at the Wits Theatre on Friday July 19, as part of its 30th birthday celebrations. Produced in conjunction with the Wits Repertory Company, the piece is billed as an explorative and truly African performance piece.[pullquote align=”right”]“Its new, fresh, exciting and poetic and a seminal work for every South African,”[/pullquote]
The main character is Traveller, who takes the audience on a mystical journey of self-discovery. The play takes its audience through a walking route around the Wits Theatre. “It serves as a walking metaphor to capture the essence of travelling, identity, location” as an African person, said co-director Khayelihle Dom Gumede.
Afrocartography carries overriding themes of migration in Africa. The experiences of black people who were faced with dislocation and its emotional consequences are depicted in the stage performance. The play incorporates issues faced by African people through the decades on this continent.
Phumzile Sitole, a graduate from UCT plays the role of Traveller and Tshego Khutsoane, a Wits graduate, plays the map maker who directs The Traveller in her journeys.
The performance is written by Mwenya B Kabwe. She co-directed the play with Gumede, who won the Emerging Theatres Directors’ bursary from the Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts. Liya Gonga choreographed the performance.
Kabwe is a well-travelled, Zambian-born writer who has studied at many institutions in the UK and South Africa, including UCT. Gumede said the play was based on Kabwe’s journey in different parts of the world and it was her experiences that led her to “redirect her identity and her journey as a ‘politan’ of various kinds”.
The performance has been described as “Afropolitan” and as an alternative way of being in the world.
The play was first shown in Barcelona in 2009 and again in Cape Town, said Gumede. However, this was the first time it was having a full run. The play took seven weeks to produce, from rehearsal to performance night, said Gumede.
Audiences can expect a mixture of mystery, curiosity, humour and a suitcase of emotion. “Its new, fresh, exciting and poetic and a seminal work for every South African,” said Gumede.
ONE of the investigations into allegations of sexual harassment against Wits staff members has almost been completed.
“The first of the reports is expected in the week commencing August 5 2013,” Wits spokesperson Shirona Patel said.
Three Wits staff members were put on special leave pending an investigation into accusations of sexual harassment. Their accusers have been waiting for the outcome of these investigations.
A lecturer accused of sexual harassment, Dr Last Moyo, has pleaded not guilty to the accusations brought against him.
Refilwe Kumalo, 3rd year BA, testified against Moyo, a member of the media studies department, at a June 1 hearing where the lecturer said he was innocent of the accusations made against him. Kumalo said the hearing was “intense and it’s a big deal”.
[pullquote align=”right”]“The first of the reports is expected in the week commencing August 5 2013,”[/pullquote] Wits spokesperson Shirona Patel said.
Allegations against Moyo were first raised in an article published by Wits Vuvuzela in March. Several students, including Kumalo, came forward and said Moyo had behaved inappropriately towards them.
In addition to Moyo, Prof Rupert Taylor of the politics department and senior drama lecturer Tsepo wa Mamatu have been placed on special leave pending investigations.
Dr Lord Mawuko-Yevugah of the international relations department has also been placed on special leave pending an investigation. However, the nature of the complaint against him is not known.
Patel said all the cases were still being heard but would be wrapped up soon. She said the process was confidential and no information could be released at this time. The university would release a statement after the reports on the allegations were made, she said.
Drama department head Kennedy Chinyowa said he was interviewed during wa Mamatu’s hearing but had not received any further information on the investigation.
Chinyowa said, as far as he knew, all the interviews of witnesses related to wa Mamatu’s hearing were scheduled to be done by June 28.
[pullquote]“The hearings are actually under way; until now there has just been a promise but now they are actually under way,” [/pullquote]
In an interview with Wits Vuvuzela, wa Mamatu said he was not coming back to Wits. However, Chinyowa said he was not aware that wa Mamatu had resigned.
“I’m not aware of this. And I am the [head of department], and officially we do not have any information about him resigning,” Chinyowa said.
Prof Daryl Glaser, head of the politics department, said he was “hopeful” because some action on the accusations had been taken after a long delay. The accusations against Taylor were first made in Wits Vuvuzela last year.
“The hearings are actually under way; until now there has just been a promise but now they are actually under way,” Glaser said.
“I know some people have been called to give evidence. I can’t say anything about what I’ve heard has happened in the hearing itself.”
Glasser said a result in Taylor’s hearing had been delayed because of postponements.
“For legal reasons, I think the defence has called for postponements, so the whole thing has been stretched out as a result,” he said.
Meanwhile, the campus-wide inquiry by law firm Norton Rose Fulbright into sexual harassment policy at Wits is also under way and will be completed by the end of August.
Joe Mothibi, employment and labour lawyer director at Norton Rose Fulbright, said the inquiry is examining “how widespread sexual harassment is on campus across all borders” between lecturers and students.
Mothibi urged students to come forward and approach him about any experiences they have had or if they know of any sexual harassment cases as “the university is a microcosm of the country and everyone is stakeholders in this problem”.
All parties coming forward will be kept “strictly anonymous”, Mothibi said.
CELEBRATIONS broke out yesterday when students and workers of the university gathered on the Great Hall steps to commemorate Mandela’s 95th birthday.
Close to 1000 people of the university circled around the Bambanani Brass Band from Alexander, who played for the choir of people that sang happy birthday to our “Tata”, as South Africans lovingly call him.
The band consisted of ten members which entertained the crowd by playing trumpets and drums. The band also danced a choreographed pantsula piece to add to their performance. The Brass Band also sang a hymn and got the crowd involved through clapping their hands.
The Wits choir also made an appearance where they took centre stage a sang happy birthday to Madiba with the crowd. It was a nostalgic moment for some as seen on people’s faces when they wished the father of our nation, by closing their eyes.
Cleaners were in abundance and students could be seen among them singing and clapping their hands in joy as the band played vibrant sounds through their brass instruments.
Witsies celebrated this special day which is International Mandela day by joining in and participating in acknowledging the legacy that is Madiba.
People also seemed to be extra for filled by the celebrations that Mandela is still alive today, despite many days of anxiety around his health, people indulged celebrating his life as well.
FIERY PREFORMANCE: Zewande Bhengu, 4th year Dramatic Arts, and Lebogang Shikwambane, 3rd year LLB, performing the play Fire: Burn at the Nunnery. Photo: Prelene Singh
A FULL package of straight drama, music and physical theatre can be expected by audiences attending the Wits 969 Festival currently running at the Wits Theatre and Nunnery.
The 969 Festival kicked off last week Tuesday and will end on July 21.
The festival, which features productions that were performed at the National Arts Festival, is celebrating their 10th anniversary by feeding the appetites of culture hungry audiences in Joburg. The festival saves local theatre enthusiasts the 969km slog to Grahamstown.
Wits Theatre director Gita Pather said: “The theatre is an arena of contestation of opinions, of ideas, of world views, of realities.”
[pullquote align=”right”]“Apart from offering Joburg the chance to see some great shows from the [National Arts] Festival, it also provides performers with the ability to extend the life of their plays,”[/pullquote] said Pather.
“Apart from offering Joburg the chance to see some great shows from the [National Arts] Festival, it also provides performers with the ability to extend the life of their plays,”said Pather.
Tonight at the Nunnery, Phillip M. Dikotla’s Skierlik will be performed. Dikotla is a “unique South African voice” and was the best production winner at the 2013 Zabalaza Festival and was a 2012 Arts and Culture Trust award winner.
Skierlik has received rave reviews and standing ovations. The production takes the audience on a journey through the eyes of Thomas, the son of an Afrikaner farmer, in January 2008. The play is based on a horrific massacre that occurred in Swartruggens in North West three years ago.
Audiences can also catch Writer’s Block, directed by Witsie Nicky Rebelo and performed by Jennifer Steyn.
The production follows the struggle of Terry Rankin, a teacher of creative writing who faces writer’s block after she leaves South Africa following the death of her partner.
Audiences will be taken on the road of nostalgia, suppressed emotions and discovery, said Pather.
Both these shows will be performed this weekend. Audiences should expect serious drama, a walk down memory lane and potent social acts.
“Nobody walks away from a performance unchanged”, said Pather.
THE MOVEMENT from artistic imagery to the spoken word is the reason for the significant interest in the William Kentridge lecture series currently being held the Wits theatre in Braamfontein.
Internationally acclaimed South African artist Kentridge has been hosting a lecture series since 20 June. Tickets have been sold out every night and some famous faces were even spotted in the audience.
Wits Vuvuzela spoke to Kelly Gillespie, a senior lecturer in the department of Anthropology at Wits and one of the organisers of the lecture series.
The lecture series entitled “The Five drawing Lessons by William Kentridge” draws from philosophical epistemology, knowledge and art practice.
One would not think that art would create interest in the mainstream public however from the very first evening, the Wits theatre was packed to capacity with people keen listen to one of SA’s most prolific and celebrated artists.
Gillespie added that Kentridge conducts activities in his lectures. He uses visuals and sound to break from the monotony of a lecture in order to immerse the audience in the heavy content spoken addressed in the lectures.
Gillespie said the lecture series was initially presented at Harvard University in 2012. She said that sometimes local artists tend to showcase their work abroad more often than they do locally. Kentridge is doing these lectures for the local public for free.
Kentridge is one of South Africa’s most celebrated artists. Photo: Provided
Kentridge is also a Wits alumnus. He obtained a BA degree from the university where he majored in Politics and African Studies.
His work is very content-dependent which draws on his South African upbringing during the years of apartheid. Kentridge is best known for his print work and animated films.
The “Five drawing lessons by William Kentridge” is part of the Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism session on “The Life of Forms.”
Gillespie also told Wits Vuvuzela what to look out for in the coming lectures
The lecture series started on June 20 and will come to a close on 2 July.
TWO people injured and hospitalised after police opened fire on protester’s and students outside UJ in Soweto, yesterday afternoon. Following Obama’s arrival in the country masses of people flocked outside the Town hall meeting to protest Obama’s visit to the country.
Protester’s objected to issues surrounding the war in Afghanistan and issues around global warming and the US not signing the Kyoto Protocol, which aims to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.
Witnesses at the scene tweet about what they saw happen between protester’s and the police. Tasneem Essop, the secretary for the Wits SRC tweeted that within the crowd of protester’s was students, including Wits students.
Members of the public further express their concern and objection to the amount of money the South African government has spent to accommodate Obama into the country. SABC News reported that many people protested because of the US supporting Israel and the involvement of the US military in the war in Irag and Afghanistan. UJ students protested against the University awarding Obama with an honorary doctorate.
Yeah so the government recently spent R900 million on accommodating Barack Obama in this country..I do not know the purpose of his visit but I do know that an unbelievable amount of families could of been housed and fed with that money and even relieved of poverty..and the mere thought of it being spent on a president that I don’t see contributing significantly to our people, sickens me..
USA President Barack Obama’s first visit to South Africa has received a lot of outcry over the past few days. Several labour unions, political movements and civil society bodies will stage protests and pickets during Obama’s two-day official visit. Some University of Johannesburg students will also protest against UJ’s decision to award Obama an honorary doctorate. The anti-Obama protests are aimed at Washington’s support for Israel and the US military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. President Jacob Zuma said government would not stop planned mass protests against Obama’s visit this weekend.
What do you make of Obama’s visit to SA? (Comments to be broadcast on SABC News)