New technology for world’s oldest profession

LADIES OF THE NIGHT SAFE:  The trio of architects stand with their new invention at International Union of Architects  in Durban in hope to save sex workers.                              Photo: Provided

LADIES OF THE NIGHT SAFE: The trio of architects stand with their new invention at International Union of Architects in Durban in hope to save sex workers. Photo: Provided

THE WORLD’s oldest—and one of its most dangerous—profession might become safer thanks to a new invention by a trio of Wits students.

Third-year architectural students Lamy Subira, Yoliswa Dlamini and Andre-Juan le Sueur began working on the project in April this year as part of an assignment to improve the day-to-day activities of street traders.

“We spoke to the sex workers, we were really made aware of the safety issues. It was a natural step really, a really easy way to ensure safety,” said Subira.  The students created a wristband that would connect to a structure which Subira described as “street furniture” with a Wi-Fi router.

“We spoke to the sex workers, we were really made aware of the safety issues. It was a natural step really, a really easy way to ensure safety,” said Subira. 

Sex workers will be able to clock-in at the start of their shift to an organisation with an existing database for sex workers. “It’s more than a device, we are architectural students after all. It’s an intervention,” said Subira.

The device would protect sex workers registered in the system in a “disguised way” where they would log in once they’re in the radius of the Wi-Fi network where the wristband can work. The wristband has four buttons where they can pick one of four options – on-line, offline, jump and panic.

‘On-line’ shows that the sex workers have clocked in their shift, ‘offline’ means that they have finished working, ‘jump’ means that they are with a client and ‘panic’ is when they are in a potentially dangerous situation.

Registration to the device includes the creation of login details which would alert the organisations once they are in the area of the Wi-Fi router.

“It’s an intervention, social and architectural that consists of a piece of street furniture which meets a security system and social awareness,” Subir said.

The device will improve the safety of sex workers who want to trade without worrying for their safety. The students agreed that “it was absolutely based on their immediate issues.

“Their safety is their primary concern but that stems from ranging issues. They face a lot of stigma that manifests in so many different ways; nurses refusing them healthcare, police brutalising them, the general public pushing them to the outskirts of society.”

“One thing we learnt is that not all sex workers in the trade chose to do such under difficult circumstances, they don’t always choose it under duress,” said Subir.

The students are currently presenting their device at the International Union of Architects in Durban.

 

Here, there, everywhere foreign nationals just can’t win in SA

MAKING A LIVING: Immanuel Adu has been in South Africa for 2 years . He works at a local salon in Braamfontein. Here he works on Helen Mdumela's (left) nails. Photo: Bongiwe Tutu

MAKING A LIVING: Immanuel Adu has been in South Africa for 2 years . He works at a local salon in Braamfontein. Here he works on Helen Mdumela’s (left) nails. Photo: Bongiwe Tutu

CORRECTION: The original article initially said that the African Centre for Migration & Society (ACMS) was the African Centre for Immigration and Society (ACIS)  when it should have read the former. Wits Vuvuzela regrets the error which has been corrected.

Foreign national traders living in Braamfontein face challenges that deplete the quality of their lives.

Vanya Gastrow is a researcher for the African Centre for Migration & Society (ACMS). She says one of the biggest challenges are the high levels of crime against foreign national traders as well as corporate competition.

“Some traders also experience red tape problems, especially in the spaza market, where local authorities are often misinformed or in disagreement about the laws governing spaza shops,” Said Gastrow.

“We as foreigners face a lot of difficulties as we are not opportune to get jobs,” said Cameroon-national Edwin Chi who works at Big Brother Salon in Braamfontein. He added that most foreign nationals in South Africa survive by starting their own businesses because “vacancies [for jobs] are reserved for South Africans no matter how qualified you are, as a foreigner you won’t get the job”.

Chi explained that a few weeks ago the salon he works at was robbed by police who said they were looking for illegal activity in the shop. Chi said they were told as foreigners they have no rights in South Africa. “They were searching, searching and when they left we realised they had taken all the money.”

SA Police Service (SAPS) Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said he were unaware of the alleged xenophobic attack since a case had not been opened by the shop owner. Unless a case was opened “we cannot comment on the issue,” Dlamini said.

“They were searching, searching and when they left we realised they had taken all the money.”

Immanuel Adu manages another local salon. He said: “unless you have the right documents, it’s very difficult to get help from the government, you also can’t get loans from banks to start a business”.

Gastrow explained: “Another challenge is lack of access to reliable documentation. Asylum seeker and refugee permits often don’t meet documentation requirements for banks, visa offices, and landlords.”

“These permits also require frequent renewals, resulting in traders needing to reapply for bank accounts or trading permits each time their documentation nears expiry.” Gastrow added that foreign nationals cannot open bank accounts access loans, import and export goods, or get premises for their shops.

During the xenophobic attacks in 2008 and now in recent months South Africans accused foreign nationals of taking their jobs and over populating “their areas”. Chi and other foreign nationals told Wits Vuvuzela that it was better to live amongst themselves in the city than in the townships because it’s safer.

Gastrow said foreign traders bring small business skills into the country. “They pass these skills on to those they work with. Some traders also study towards degrees and diplomas … and then contribute to South Africa’s formal work force.”

ACMS hosted a seminar at Wits University earlier this week about the earnings of informal foreign traders in and around Johannesburg in light of the xenophobia many foreign nationals are faced with.

Fluff is not all that young people want from radio

Generation Y: Panelists at Joburg Radio Day discussed ways of keeping the youth tuned in. Photo: Luca Kotton.

Generation Y: Panelists at Joburg Radio Day discussed ways of keeping the youth tuned in. Photo: Luca Kotton.

The Joburg Radio Days conference ended today with a focus on the youth segment of radio consumers. Rofhiwa Madzena weighs in on the debate.

The Debate

Radio today does not focus enough on the youth , according to one of the speakers on this morning’s opening panel on the final day of the 2014 Joburg Radio Days conference at Wits University. Speakers on this panel tried to outline their various approaches to attracting and servicing the youth market.

Lerato Makate, programming manager at Voice of Wits said: “VowFM radio is more than just an on-air party.” She added that the perception that young people do not like talk and intellectual content on radio station needs to be changed. Makate said radio needs to focus on a combination of talk and music which is something “not many campus radio stations do.”

J.P Schlueter, formerly of German youth station Dasding, was also a part of the panel. He emphasised that even the staff of youth stations need constant reevaluation especially as they cease to be young people. “It’s important for young people to make programming for young people,” Schleuter said and added that systems in Germany are not favourable to youth development.

Schlueter argued that for success in youth radio, stations need to be radical and consistent but at the same time regularly make changes that keep up with the youth.

The CEO of Yfm, Kanthan Pillay countered the call for more intellectual content on radio stations whose target market is young people. After a comment from that the audience that “youth radio is filled with mindless fluff … it sidelines intellectual programming to an hour,” Pillay said the more serious content on youth radio needs to be “broken down into bite-size chunks” and integrated into everyday radio so that listeners can have continue to have interest.

Pillay did say that having a great physical presence in society appeals to the young people. This thought was shared by Makate who added that being on the ground allows young people accessibility to bring and discuss issues that affect them.

My thoughts

A great deal of the conversation that took place today was great in the sense that it stressed the importance of the inclusion of young people into all forms of broadcast media.

Generation Y (or is it X?) as we are known is the future and it is essential that the previous generation of broadcast media pioneers consider our relevance in an increasingly digital society, one which we understand and can navigate through better.

While there is the understanding that there needs to be a greater presence of youth radio in society, there seems to be a disconnect in the ways that this could be established. “Mindless fluff” works just fine for many young people and some radio stations capitalise on this but I think that in doing so, they have ignorantly chosen to look past other, more relevant issues and ideas relevant to young people.

It’s a challenging process to integrate the new with the old but it is something that needs to happen.

Even though there are some disparities in the way this process is supposed to occur it is encouraging to see that there are debates and efforts towards this end.

OPINION: Youth Day – a lost understanding but not a lost opportunity

The length of the pause a South African teenager took on television today was a little more than just awkward. She was asked, in an interview, about the significance of June 16th.

The pause led to nothing but a confession that said she did not know the significance of the day, except to say that “on this day we wear our school uniform and don’t go to school”.

That pause though was more than enough time for me to formulate my dramatic shock at the ignorance of young South Africans who now understand very little of the patriotism and hope for a bright future which was expressed by the youth of 1976.

I guess that’s it, we have reached an era where the sacrifices made by the young people that came before us have become insignificant, merely a small slice of the great history that makes up this young democracy.

This young girl was indeed just one of the millions of young people in South Africa who are celebrating the lives they’re afforded today, non the wiser of the blood which was shed so that we could walk into an elevator used by white people also, share the same public toilet seat as our white fellow citizens and also, but most importantly benefit equally from an education system which was previously reserved for those South Africans who were not black.

I cannot help but wonder about the relevance of these all these celebrations which we’re a part of today in commemoration of the anti-apartheid struggle given the lack of understanding of the occasion particularly among the youth of today.

The baton was passed onto us a long time ago and even though we have run a long way, we have a really long way to go.

I cannot fully exclude myself as I doubt that I, or you as the reader, will ever fully understand the plight of the people that lived during the apartheid regime and the struggles they willingly pursued so that I may be able to write my thoughts to share and that you may be able to read them, freely.

The students who protested in 1976 did so with the prospect of a quality education and essentially a better life; many of them lost their lives and in doing so lost out on the opportunity to see the fruits of their labour.

They did however leave a platform on which we can appreciate their work in the name of freedom as well as advance it by utilising it to the best of our ability the opportunities that have been given to us.

But have we pioneered on to ensure that we can curb our vulnerability to the dirty remnants of discrimination, unemployment and inequality that are ever so difficult to make clean. I would hate to think that the courage expressed by the youth that came before us was in vain.

I figure that if we don’t fully understand the efforts of those that participated in the June 1976 protests we should at least try our level best to grab all the opportunities that have been laid out for us to seize and make the best of.

The baton was passed onto us a long time ago and even though we have run a long way, we have a really long way to go.

Aside from the annual celebrations we are to do the best that we can to make sure that we live, and we live well, for those who made the decision to afford us this opportunity.

We must rise above our circumstances, as the youth of 1976 did, to make the best of our lives in this democracy.

AUDIO: Vuvuzela journalists respond to backlash on VOWFM

On Monday Wits Vuvuzela journalists, Rofhiwa Madzena and Thabile Manala were invited to an interview by radio DJ 88 Keyez at VOWFM. This following the backlash from various student bodies after an article which was published by the journalists about Mcebo Sisulu who, in the article confessed to lying about his identity.

Following the interview on Monday, Rofhiwa and Franz Kruger, acting Head of Department at Wits Journalism went on VOWFM’s current affairs show Breaking Ground to discuss the issue further with the EFF Wits’  Tokelo Nhlapo. The EFF Wits released an official statement slamming the story which published on Sunday.

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Wits student known as a Sisulu finally admits to lying

CORRECTION: The original article initially said that Mcebo Sisulu claimed to be the love child of Zwelakhe Sisulu and the sister of Swaziland’s “King Zwelathini”, when it should have said a “Swazi princess.” Wits Vuvuzela regrets the error which has been corrected.

Following a three-week investigation into the academic credentials as claimed by Wits Junction Res House Comm head, Mcebo Sisulu, he finally admits he has been lying about his identity and, in fact, is not a grandson of Walter Sisulu.

By Thabile Manala and Rofhiwa Madzena

Mcebo 2

NOT A SISULU: The head of the Wits Junction Residence house committee, has been calling himself Mcebo Olyate Sisulu and giving interviews to Wits campus media about his Sisulu family background. He now says his name is Mcebo Freedom Dlamini and he is not related to the Sisulu’s. Photo: Luca Kotton.

On May 7, as South Africans flocked to the polling booths, Wits Vuvuzela interviewed the head of the Wits Junction Residence house committee, Mcebo Olyate Sisulu, about his famous family’s political background and the influence it has had on his passion for politics and social change.

In the unpublished article titled: “‘Young Sisulu Buck True to Family Heritage”, Sisulu recounts his childhood memories of growing up in the Sisulu family home in Orlando West.

He talks about how the home was a refuge for the children of politicians in exile, comrades in prison and many others who were on the run from the police.

In the interview he said: “I love the ANC (African National Congress). When I was introduced to politics I was inducted into the ANC … I was born into it and the family, so everywhere I go I see black, gold and green.”

Degrees in actuarial science and nuclear physics 

And while Wits Vuvuzela was keen to publish an article about a Witsie who was also the grandson of the great Walter Sisulu, it was the younger Sisulu’s claims that he was studying towards an undergraduate degree in politics and an honours degree in mathematical statistics that raised suspicions about his claims.

A quick look at Sisulu’s publicly available Facebook profile revealed that he claimed to hold another two degrees, one in actuarial science and another in nuclear physics.

Before publishing the article on election day, Wits Vuvuzela contacted Mcebo Sisulu to ask which of Walter Sisulu’s sons was his father.

“Zwelakhe,” he said.

But just a year ago, in an interview with VoWFM for the Your Campus, Your Story show, Mcebo Sisulu was featured as a cool kid on Wits campus due to his life as a Sisulu.

On that show, he said his father was Maxwell (Max) Sisulu, the brother of Zwelakhe.

Online research about the Sisulu family could not substantiate either of these claims.

Claims to be a lovechild of Zwelakhe Sisulu and a Swazi princess

Responding to a question about who the head of Junction Res house committee is, a source at Wits University told Wits Vuvuzela, “Mcebo Freedom Dlamini.”

So, our journalists went back to Mcebo Sisulu for clarity. Although reluctant to discuss his family history this time around, he eventually said he was the lovechild of Zwelakhe Sisulu and a Swazi princess.

Zwelakhe Sisulu, a former journalist and editor, died in 2012 at his home in Johannesburg at age 61.

Describing his birth as “controversial,” Mcebo said he was born in Mozambique and raised in Tanzania.

Prior to this though, he said he was raised in Orlando West and even mused about his life there.

“There would be 20 people sleeping in one room … my grandmother [Albertina Sisulu] would even take my food, and give it to other people,” he said.

“My family knows nothing of a Mcebo.” – Max Sisulu.

When Wits Vuvuzela spoke to people close to Mcebo Sisulu asking about his claims, each person responded by saying that he is a Sisulu but it is a sensitive story.

Reactions from members of the Sisulu family

Wits Vuvuzela made contact with a source close to the Sisulu family who spoke directly with Zwelakhe Sisulu’s widow, Zodwa, about Mcebo’s claims.

The source indicated that she herself did not know of any Mcebo Sisulu.

According to the source, Zodwa Sisulu said if Mcebo was indeed an offspring of one of the Sisulu’s, the family would have gladly welcomed him.

In a chance encounter a while later Wits Vuvuzela journalists had the opportunity to ask Max Sisulu, brother of the late Zwelakhe, about Mcebo Sisulu’s claims. Max Sisulu, a former speaker of parliament, said: “My family knows nothing of a Mcebo.” He added: “… Zwelakhe didn’t have a lovechild, so I don’t know.”

Personally recruited to study a “secret” degree 

In two formal interviews with Wits Vuvuzela, Mcebo Sisulu maintained he was the son of Zwelakhe Sisulu and despite being a lovechild, his father and his grandparents (Walter and Albertina), loved and cared for him.

When questioned about his degrees and qualifications, Sisulu initially accused Wits Vuvuzela of “invading his Facebook” but then claimed he was personally recruited by the University of Pretoria to complete a degree in nuclear physics.

The degree, he added, was a “secret” one and so it would be difficult to verify its existence.

“We know each other and we know where we meet as a family.”

He also claimed on his Facebook profile that he was invited to speak at a Golden Key breakfast on the basis of his academic qualifications. Golden Key recognises academic achievers across the world through local chapters at universities.

According to a source who did not want to be named, and who organises events for the organisation, Sisulu was never a guest speaker at the breakfast nor any of the other events hosted by Golden Key at Wits.

Offers leads on other story if article is not published

During the interviews with Wits Vuvuzela, Mcebo Sisulu pleaded with the journalists to “drop” this story, saying he would face repercussions from the Sisulu family if the story were to be told. He also said it would attract negative publicity for his family.

During the investigation, Sisulu arrived unannounced, with two other students at the residence room of one of the Wits Vuvuzela journalists close to 11pm one evening, telling her to drop the story.

He offered leads on other stories if Wits Vuvuzela did not publish the article.

The journalist was shaken enough by the experience to report the incident to Wits Campus Control.

During one of these interviews, Mcebo Sisulu said: “I don’t want to cause public spats, it’s uncalled for. We know each other and we know where we meet as a family.”

“I introduce myself anyhow I feel like introducing myself … It has nothing to do with who I am.”

In the middle of last week, Mcebo Sisulu made contact with Wits Vuvuzela and arranged another meeting.

Clearly agitated, he announced at the meeting: “My name is Mcebo Freedom Dlamini. “That’s my stage name [Mcebo Sisulu]; that’s the name I decide to call myself when I’m excited.”

When asked about why he needed a “stage name,”, he said: “Where I’m from, when you like a leader you call yourself by that politician’s name. I’m a politician and I love politicians.”

“I introduce myself anyhow I feel like introducing myself … It has nothing to do with who I am,” he said.

Asked if he is the son of Zwelakhe Sisulu, he said, “No I am not.” Asked if he is indeed a Sisulu, Mcebo Dlamini said, “I’m not.”

A ‘geeky’ social networking site created by a Witsie is connecting students in 24 countries

Students worldwide are benefiting from a Witsie’s online social networking platform to make learning about the sciences easier and more interactive.

Houston Muzamhindo, a 3rd year BSc student has created IQMates, an intellectual social networking site for students studying in the various science faculties to learn from each other through “interactive learning”.

“The site combines social networking and education, so it’s like a platform on which knowledge can be shared.”

“We are creating a community for students and tutors to communicate to have academic colaborations where students can share information from any university in the world.”

Muzamhindo explained that the site has 21 courses avaliable to students including computer sciences and maths. He said: ” We have over 3 100 registered students with tutors and videos from lecturers and tutors from USA to India, in 24 countries now.”

The website has also assisted different recruiting companies to find students to mentor by giving them internships. “IQmates will impact the lives of the students, they are passing and landing their first jobs.”

Muzamhindo and his team have recently been recognised by Microsoft as one of 35 technology startups in SA that have high growth, job creation, youth empowerment opportunities and that will bring change to communities.

Muzamindo says that reaching this level of success has not been easy. “I sacrificed a lot, my school and many all nighters … learning how to code. With no programming background since I didn’t do Computer Science, it was sacrifice all the way even until now.”

IQmates also has a store with student focused classifieds which allows students to connect with each other.

Q & A with Mbali Ntuli

At the age of 26 Mbali Ntuli has made significant strides in the political arena as youth leader for the Democratic Alliance (DA). But being a leader has not stopped her from being critical of her own party….

Why doesn’t the DA Student Organisation at Wits have a presence?
We are only four years old as a youth wing so for the first two years we weren’t really able to contest in SRC elections because resources were focused on starting up the branches. We got a lot of young people in first and second year to head them up but then they enter honours year and they are under pressure and they let the ball fall so it’s all about leadership.

How successful has the DA been in using middle class black people to appeal to masses?
Two things, the first, neither Lindiwe [Mazibuko] or Mmusi [Maimane] or I actually are upper class in terms of our background, my mom was a teacher and my dad was a taxi driver. We are just in an age where black parents worked damn hard to get their children into middle class schools. I mean I work in Umlazi everyday giving them water, et cetera and they don’t give a fuck what I sound like when I speak English as long as I’m able to help them.

What are your thoughts on comments that the EFF could become the main opposition?
I’m surprised about how well the EFF has done but I don’t think they’ve done well enough to take over as the official opposition.

What do you make of the DA’s campaign?
Well I think the fact that we have grown in every election means that we are obviously doing something right. To be honest I think that this campaign has been different, 2011 was good, it was a positive campaign and people related well to our previous campaigns. It’s weird but this year my party’s been pretty negative in this campaign and I don’t think its sat well with some of us because we wanted to focus more on ourselves than the ANC and this [negative] strategy doesn’t work.

How much of a platform are young people given to contribute to the running of the party?
I sit on decision-making bodies that are the highest, like the federal council, but to be honest you need to have a lot of political capital to get stuff that you want pushed and I should technically be second after Helen [Zille] but that’s not how politics works. So it’s a balancing act and I think I don’t have as much power as I should as youth leader. So like the concert [at the DA election rally] we had on Saturday, I said to them ‘we need to not fucking bore people, it’s a fucking concert’ and 35% of the songs were slow jams, like who the fuck wants to go and listen to that?

How seriously are you taken as a young leader?
Most people, activists and members take me very seriously and that’s what matters more but I don’t think that some of our senior leaders take the youth as seriously as they should.
There’s a number of reasons, ageism being one. But I take great comfort in the fact that I’m probably going to outlive all of them so it doesn’t worry me so much now. But I’m also not the type of person who’s overly ambitious and trying to prove myself. I’m very happy to take my time and learn and grow.

Rhodes, Tukkies react to Wits scrapping of LLB degree

Wits University’s decision to discontinue its undergraduate LLB degree has been met with a mixed reactions from other universities.

The deputy dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Pretoria, Anton Kok, said Tukkies would  not follow Wits’ lead and will continue to have future lawyers enroll for an undergraduate LLB degree.

“We recommend to our students to complete the BA (Law) or BCom (Law)before enrolling for the LLB,” he said. However, Kok said the University of Pretoria had recently changed its LLB requirements.

“We recently amended the curriculum of our LLB curriculum to emphasise the importance of research skills, analytical problem-solving skills and writing skills,” Kok said.

Tuks students are also able to complete a postgraduate LLB after studying for an undergraduate degree in an unrelated degree.

Jonathan Campbell, dean of the law school at Rhodes University, said that the change was a good move by Wits.

“The two year degree programme is the way to go, its educationally more sound,” said Campbell since the change allows for a broader and better legal education which he said is currently lacking in South Africa.

Campbell said Rhodes has had a similar programme to the one proposed by Wits  since 1999.

While students are not allowed to register for the undergraduate law degree in their first year of study, they may register in their second year of study or alternatively register for the degree with a completed undergraduate degree.

Representatives of the University of Cape Town), University of Western Cape, and  Stellenbosch University could not be reached for comment.

Current LLB students will not be affected by canning of degree at Wits

A throughput rate of only 30% is the primary reason for the discontinuation of the four-year LLB undergraduate degree at Wits.

The Wits School of Law announced earlier today that it will be dropping the degree from 2015 and introducing a postgraduate LLB at the same time.

Wits Vuvuzela spoke to Professor Vinodh Jaichand, head of the Wits School of Law, about the decision.

According to Jaichand, only about 30% of students finish their law degree in four years and even fewer become successful lawyers.

Jaichand said graduates of the degree need be able to practice in society with more than just textbook knowledge and added that it is an experiential issue.

He also said: “the students who leave Wits Law School are very good but they might well be a little bit short on life skills.” He added that, for example, while graduates might be able to litigate a divorce according to a textbook, they may “have difficulty in fully understanding the nuances of a divorce.”

LAWS OF LIFE: Professor Vinodh Jaichand explained that students do not have enough experienxe to enter the law profession with their undergraduate degrees. Photo: Bongiwe Tutu

LAWS OF LIFE: Professor Vinodh Jaichand explained that students do not have enough experience to enter the law profession with their undergraduate degrees. Photo: Bongiwe Tutu

He said the changes in the School of Law will help students to complete their degrees within the minimum required time, and assist with the mounting costs of additional years of study due to a high failure rate.

Jaichand also said that students who do the postgraduate LLB with an undergraduate degree in fields other than law will open more doors to a variety of career opportunities ensuring that students who study law can work “beyond the courtroom.”

Witsies who are currently enrolled in the four-year undergraduate LLB will not be affected by the change. From next year only students with a prior undergraduate degree will be able to enrol for the Bachelor of Laws degree. The BA Law and BComm Law degree remain unaffected by the change.

Jaichand also said there will be no retrenchments within the School with the implementation of the new system.

 

‘Do it for Chris Hani’ say protesters at ‘Vote NO’ campaign launch

WE SAY NO: ANCYL and SACP members gathered outside the location of the launch in protest against it.

WE SAY NO: ANCYL and SACP supporters  gather outside the launch of the ‘Vote NO’ campaign in protest of it. Photo: Rofhiwa Madzena

The launch of a campaign calling for South Africans to spoil their vote in the upcoming national elections attracted a small protest from political parties at Wits today. 

The  Sidikiwe Vukani! [We are fed up! Wake up!] campaign, formed by African National Congress (ANC) stalwarts Ronnie Kasrils and Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge was formally inaugurated at a small launch held at the campus in Braamfontein. 

Joined by Wits senior lecturer Vishwas Satgar, the group were called ‘traitors’ by protesters who were kept outside of the launch venue by Campus Control security officers.

Satgar, a lecturer in International Relations, said he and the other former ANC members were accused of slander, of attacking on the democracy and treason.

He added that the criticism was expected: “We welcome this as it is in the spirit of [a] democratic debate”. He also said: “If you vote for the ANC you vote for the Guptas who are parasites in the country”.

[pullquote]“I think he undermines the intellectual capacity of South Africans.”[/pullquote] 

WE'RE LISTENING: ANC veterans Ronnie Kasrils, Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge and Vishwas Satgar listen to a question asked by a journalist about the new campaign

WE’RE LISTENING: ANC veterans Ronnie Kasrils, Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge and Vishwas Satgar listen to a question asked by a journalist about the new campaign. Photo: Rofhiwa Madzena 

A statement released by the campaign read: “We want a just, fair and egalitarian society as promised society as promised in the freedom charter and clarified in The Constitution and the Bill of Rights.” The campaign calls on voters who are disgruntled with the ruling party to either spoil their vote or vote for a minority party.

Kasrils said the ANC cannot be reformed from the inside: “There is a need to speak up and not speak within the organisation.”

Kasrils was speaking inside the South West Engineering building at Wits while members of ANC, SACP (South African Communist Party), COPE, and Agang protested the launch from outside.

Secretary of the ANCYL (African National Congress Youth League), Yamkela Fanisi said “the issue of spoiling votes is not going to necessarily assist anyone, in fact, it’s not going to contribute to the development of this country … the idea of saying that people must spoil is recklessness and irresponsible of an old person like him [Ronnie Kasrils].”

Fanisi added: “I think he undermines the intellectual capacity of South Africans.”

Wits Vuvuzela spoke to political analyst Professor Daryl Glaser, head of the Politics Department at Wits, about the significance of the campaign in the run-up to the national elections on May 7.

Glaser said people are disillusioned with Zuma’s ANC and don’t really know where to put themselves or where to place their votes. He said the campaign more aimed at regular ANC voters. “Its aim is to try to punish or discipline the ANC into becoming the ANC that these campaigners want it to be.”

Glaser said he is sceptical about the effect of the campaign on the ANC and the impact will depend on which people spoil their votes at the polls.

The launch was attended by about 100 people with about 60 people protesting outside the venue.

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