The PiG ruminates over its loss 

The Wits Postgraduate Club remembered its fallen patrons who ‘contributed to the making of The Pig what it is today’. 

Family, friends and members of the Wits Postgraduate Club (the PiG) gathered for an hour-long heartwarming candle-lit memorial service to honour four of its loyal members. 

About 45 people showed up at the club on Main Campus on Friday, May 19, at 19:00 to pay their respects to late Wits alumni, Ricardo Oduah, Eddie Ombagi, Percy Makholwa and Mzwakhe Ngubeni who passed away between 2020 and 2023.  

Wits PhD law student and MC for the evening, Tulani Mafulela opened with a couple of jokes about the deceased, which took everyone down memory lane and lightened the mood in the room. He offered the guests drinks and urged them to treat the memorial like a party, to which they gladly obliged as they broke out in song.  

“I have known our four brothers since 2016. If you speak about Ricardo, you’ll end up speaking about Eddie and if you speak about Percy, you’ll also bring up Mzwakhe. They were all close and connected that way,” said Mafulela. 

The foursome had been members of the PiG since their studies and continued going until their untimely deaths. “Everyone knew them [at the club] and they deserve to be celebrated because they contributed to making the PiG what it is today,” said Flavia Kigozi who has officially been president of the club for a year. 

Wits mining engineering alumnus, Ricardo Oduah, passed away on August 3, 2022, at the age of 40, from heart-related complications. Oduah, who lived in Northcliff, regularly went for checkups, however, collapsed and died at work. His wife, Nonhlanhla Ngwenya, attended the memorial but asked a family friend, Leon Okonye, to present her speech as she felt overwhelmed. She later told Wits Vuvuzela that although the service had taken her “back to square one” she was glad that the club had acknowledged Oduah. 

Nonhlanhla Ngwenya and Leon Okonye celebrate the life of Ricardo Oduah at The Pig. Photo: Sfundo Parakozov

Wits PhD holder in political science and international relations, Percy Makholwa, was undergoing chemotherapy for stage-four colon cancer when he passed away in March 2023 at the age of 39.  

“It was difficult being the sister of someone who was good at everything, but one of his greatest achievements was graduating at Wits,” said his 28-year-old sister, Zanele Makholwa. “When I saw him walk across that stage, I also wanted to do that and I’m glad I did,” the bachelor of nursing science honours graduate, said.  

Zanele Makholwa eulogises her late brother, Percy Makholwa, at the PiG. Photo: Sfundo Parakozov

Mzwakhe Ngubeni passed away in 2020 because of a covid-19 stroke. “Mzwakhe was the biggest blow we had as a family here at the PiG. It was unexpected because he was only diagnosed on the day he passed,” said Kigozi. The mother and girlfriend of the computer science graduate could not make it to the memorial due to the travelling distance from Rustenburg, North West. The memorial was livestreamed for their benefit. 

Ngubeni’s best friend, Lerato Seohatse, told the gathering that he was grateful for the service because he could not attend his friend’s funeral since he had lost his mother around the same time.  

Lerato Seohatse sings a song to honour his best friend, Mzwakhe Ngubeni. Photo: Sfundo Parakozov

Another unexpected death was that of Eddie Ombagi, who graduated with a PhD in gender studies in 2019. He passed away in April 2023 at the age of 34 due to asphyxia.  

Kigozi told Wits Vuvuzela that the four had all passed away at a time when members of the club could not collectively grieve or attend their funerals for various reasons, hence the memorial service. 

“The idea was not for people to come and cry. The idea was to remember them and be happy that we got to share those moments with them at the PiG. That will speak to the fact that the PiG is more than just a bar and restaurant, it’s a home,” said Kigozi. 

The memorial officially ended at 20:30, however, Kigozi confirmed that they had stayed well past midnight as everyone continued to reminisce about the good times spent with the deceased.  

FEATURED IMAGE: The Wits Postgraduate Club members pose for a picture during the memorial service on Friday, May 19. Photo: Sfundo Parakozov


SLICE: Finding my life purpose via spirituality 

Time spent with a higher power is a perfect moment for self-introspection.   

The Easter period and Ascension Day have come and gone without me showing my face in church. This has left me feeling guilty as if I have compromised and abandoned my spirituality.  

The Very-Well-Mind website describes spirituality as a belief in something beyond the self which can be expressed religiously, traditionally, through meditation or in whichever form anybody desires.  

Spirituality has been a very important aspect of my life that I have expressed through praying, reading the Bible and going to church. The time spent with a higher power is a perfect moment for self-introspection and finding out whether you like who you are, or the terms and conditions set by your faith. 

I have experienced spirituality as a way of looking within and escaping from the physical world. It has helped me to find purpose and meaning in my life and to cope with stress and depression.  

Research from Psychology Today shows that spiritually inclined people are associated with better physical and mental health, lower blood pressure, stronger relationships and improved self-esteem. This resonates with me because every time I have distanced myself from God, I have felt a sense of disorder and uncertainty in my life.  

However, the indoctrination of religion by the people closest to us is a large contributing factor to feelings of guilt, shame and insecurity when we “derail” from what is expected of us. A 2015 academic paper says that feelings of guilt motivate more religious participation because of the pressure to conform and to be accepted by society.

This is true in my experience because my grandmother entrenched the idea of praying and going to church every Sunday. Therefore, not going on these essential days feels like a betrayal of her and God.  

I questioned my faith after the death of my aunt in August 2021. I was furious because she had always been fiercely spiritual. How could she die? Most importantly, what God would take away a mother of two young boys, a sister, a daughter and aunt from her family?  

A few months later, my neighbours invited me to youth sessions at their church, Christian Missionary Fellowship International based in Melville. For a change from other evangelical churches I had attended, I met people who did not claim to have all the answers about God.

Being with my peers also made it a more relatable experience as we were all trying to find our identities within the religion as opposed to trying to blend into something I did not comprehend. For example, we discussed complex yet relevant topics such as premarital sex, how to deal with addictions and how to create a better relationship with God.   

This helped me realise that spirituality does not prevent bad things from happening, it just helps one to deal with them with a clear and hopeful mind.

The guilt I have been feeling since not going to church for Easter had nothing to do with societal expectations of me but my expectations of myself and my spiritual journey. 

To forgive myself and move on, I have started the journey of nurturing myself through prayer and meditation. I believe that spirituality can die out like a plant when it does not receive enough water and sunlight. That is why I will keep working on myself to be the best version of me.

FEATURED IMAGE: Sfundo Parakozov. Photo: File


Smile foundation keeps Madiba´s dream alive  

At least 23 Kids from disadvantaged backgrounds affected by facial abnormalities and severe burns, will have their lives changed through surgery at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital  

Smile Foundation has partnered with Sensodyne and Lancelot to perform reconstructive surgeries on 23 children at Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital (NMCH) from May 7 to 14.  

The foundation is currently based in 12 of South Africa’s leading hospitals where they host smile weeks to assist disadvantaged children who are affected by facial abnormalities and severe burns with life-changing surgeries.  

Smile Foundation CEO, Kim Robertson-Smith said, “each child deserves to live a normal life and not be bullied at school.”  The foundation has done 1066 procedures in the past 12 months; however, this week, the foundation is focusing on children based at the NMCH.  

Most children will be undergoing cleft lip and palate repair surgery except for five-year-old burns survivor Nonhlanhla Zwane and another child who is undergoing full ear reconstructive surgery. 

The non-profit organization started 23 years ago when Nelson Mandela requested assistance for a child who could not smile — and it has since kept the late president’s legacy alive by continuing to assist children with these specific surgeries.  

This week, Wits Vuvuzela visited the hospital to meet with parents and kids who were waiting for their surgeries and those that have completed theirs. Mother of nine months old Ayama was gleaming with joy holding her baby who was still in pain from her cleft lip surgery, which took place on Monday. 

She expressed that her excitement was because her baby will finally be able to breastfeed as she previously could not latch onto her breast.  

Southern African director of the Smile foundation, Sibusisiwe Yona succumbed to tears as she mentioned that “every 3 minutes there´s a child being born with a cleft.”  

Clinical Director Pinky Chirwa holding nine months old Ayama who just had her cleft lip surgery. Photo: Sfundo Parakozov

Meanwhile, mother of Nonhlanhla, Smangele Zwane was anxiously anticipating the tissue expander surgery (for skin reparation) on her daughter. Nonhlanhla was only nine months old when she almost lost her life in a house fire which took her grandparents and cousin. She was in the Intensive Care Unit and managed to recover but lost her ear, some of her fingers and part of her nose before her first birthday. The surgery is especially significant as this month is National Burn Safety awareness. 

Smangele Zwane preparing her daughter, Nonhlanhla for her tissue expander surgery. Photo: Sfundo Parakozov

Smith added that they have been working closely with the Wits Surgical Society (WSS) to train them on how to treat burns. “They [WSS] climb Kilimanjaro and host events where they raise funds and that all goes to the smile foundation so it’s really incredible,” said Smith. “We’re hoping that they can assist by going out into communities and educating them further on preventing and treating burns properly.” She added that most people go to the hospital weeks later after being burned which is not advisable because the burn continues to expand.  

The Public Relations Manager of NMCH, Ayabulela Poro took the visitors on a tour and explained that the hospital is designed according to the children’s imagination. “We hosted workshops with the kids and asked them about their thoughts about being in a hospital, they did some drawings hence the doodles on the hospital walls.” 

“You´ll notice the proximity of this hospital to the Wits education campus, that’s because [the land] was donated by Wits as a result of their cooperation with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and this was initially a hockey field.” Said Poro.  

FEATURED IMAGE: Plastic and Reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Sheree Koonin performing tissues expander surgery on burns survivor Nonhlanhla Zwane. Photo: Sfundo Parakozov


The Sabbath: a musical journey of grief and healing 

Jazz musician dazzles music lovers with an acoustic concert 

Multifaceted South African musician, Gabi Motuba debuted her new project, The Sabbath in a concert held at Wits Chris Seabrooke music hall on Saturday, May 6. 

Motuba is a Johannesburg-based vocalist, composer and music facilitator whose music is centred around world politics, black studies, religion and genre studies. She released her first album, Sanctum Sanctorium in 2016 and Tefiti Goddess of Creation in 2019. 

In the project, released on June 28, 2022, Motuba shifted her focus to talk about her experience with grief; as her father lost his battle against Covid-19, during the pandemic. As a result, the project consists of five lamentation songs  that would leave any listener in a state of melancholy.  Motuba told Wits Vuvuzela that: “The project is largely a very reflective work for me in terms of moving from trauma into grief and into the pursuit of restoration”. 

Wits music alumni, Tembinkosi Mavimbela, who played double bass during the performance said that in The Sabbath, Motuba showed immense vulnerability. He described her performance as a form of supplication to a higher power. “Her performance was a prayer indeed; it takes courage to be vulnerable on stage and we shouldn’t look at a Sabbath in one direction because we approach prayer in different ways.” 

Thembinkosi Mavimbela interacting with friends and fans after the concert. Photo: Sfundo Parakozov

What added to her performance was the concert took place at the state-of-the-art music hall . The venue is the only space in the city that is exclusively designed to optimize live musical sound with modern acoustic design. This added to Motuba’s exceptional vocal range.  

Wits art student, Rethabile Zilila said that she was surprised at how audible everything was but appreciated the spacious nature of the hall.  

Motuba explained that as a composure, mostly working with string instruments, she chose the venue because she knew the acoustics of the room will produce a beautiful sound.   

The attendees’ sight senses were also activated. While Motuba was performing, there was a background theme inspired by nature on display.  

Wits Fine Arts lecturer, Zen Marie, who was in charge of the displays said he sets up the landscape in response to the music.  

This was evident as he displayed dark clouds as she was performing a track titled, Nabu Lobosuku , which means here’s the night. This exuded a dimmer and sombre atmosphere with the mood in the room quietening down as everybody was enthralled by her voice.  

The final part of the performance had a much lighter and brighter landscape, consisting of clear skies, which was an important moment showing the transition from grief to freedom. One could clearly feel the biblical reference as she sang the last track on the album, Amen, meaning the end. 

The hour-long concert was attended by the likes of Thandiswa Mazwai and former head of the Wits School of Arts Professor Brett Pyper.    

Rethabile Zilila and Thandiswa Mazwai posing for a picture. Photo: Sfundo Parakozov

FEATURED IMAGE: Gabi Motuba thanking her audiences after her performance. Photo: Sfundo Parakozov


Wits transgender community wants to fight gatekeeping 

 Safe Zones at Wits helps transgender groups to navigate life beyond Wits.  

Safe Zones at Wits University and the trans-led non-governmental organisation, Be True 2 Me, have managed to bring diverse groups together through social support meetings for transgender staff and students. 

There are online sessions every second Thursday of the month and in-person meetings every Friday at the Wits Disability Rights Unit Boardroom in Solomon Mahlangu.  

On Friday, May 5 the session focused on making information more accesible with attendees eager to know more about chest binding, Hormone Replacement Therapy and which doctors to consult about gender confirmation surgeries. 

Programme coordinator for Sexual Orientation and Gender Advocacy, Tish Lumos told Wits Vuvuzela that the group sessions are open to everyone and guarantee confidentiality. Lumos said practical resources on offer include a library and no-perishable food.  

Group member Jenna Searle said, “I’ve been to the online meetings on Thursdays, but I just liked the idea of interacting with young students.” 

While Wits alumni, Lethabo Msibi said, “There are transgender people around, but we can’t see each other, so this gives us a sense of community.” 

For Jessica Bonthys, attending the session was about supporting her partner, Searle.  “I wanted to get a different perspective and I didn’t know what to expect today but I found the information about transitioning very interesting and it’s nice to know that there are trained professionals taking care of your well-being,” they said.  

The community also hosts an annual mentorship programme called “Train the Trainer Training,” which is a 12-hour training session for allies who want to advocate for and support members of the LGBTQIA+ community.  

The next session will be on Friday, May 12 at the Wits Disability Rights Unit Boardroom from 13:30-15:30.   

FEATURED IMAGE: The Safe Zone Keychain with the shield that identifies a person as an ally once they have completed training. Photo Candice Wagener


Students urged to stay LinkedIn after graduation

Student Life runs workshops to help students navigate the world of work after graduating.

Student Life hosted a Life After Graduation workshop on Tuesday, May 2, whose aim was to equip students with tools to navigate the corporate world through the use of LinkedIn after graduating.

Kingsway residents engage in group discussions during the LinkedIn workshop on Tuesday, May 2, 2023. Photo: Sfundo Parakozov

Life After Graduation is a running programme at Kingsway student accommodation in Auckland Park which presents weekly workshops on networking, personal branding and job searching. This week’s was termed “LinkedIn Workshop”.

Host and chairperson of Life After Graduation, Mietani Chitambira, carried an engaging workshop in which he separated attendees into groups and gave them five minutes to answer the question: Why is it important to know how to tell a story?

In order to sell or market yourself, and to avoid confusion and lack of engagement, were two recurring answers from the groups. Chitambira linked this to the importance of marketing yourself on LinkedIn to attract potential employers. He also touched on the importance of writing a brief yet concise LinkedIn profile and recommended the use of ChatGPT for assistance.

“Here at Kingsway when it rains, we don’t have a big turnout but today we had a big turnout which is odd during test week. It shows how hungry people are for the information,” Chitambira told Wits Vuvuzela.

Manager of Student life, Nyasha Savala, added that people needed to start treating LinkedIn as they would their Instagram page by constantly updating it. Nevertheless, she said that the turnout was great, and she was always happy to see the growth in the workshops.

Student Life will keep in touch with the attendees by sending information about job vacancies, and will also give the students certificates of attendance at the end of the workshops.

Kabelo Mohoraselabe, a University of Johannesburg student told Wits Vuvuzela, “I actually liked [the workshop] and I found it very informative. I have to update my CV and make sure I work more on my skills and experiences so I can update my LinkedIn account.” The next workshop, titled Conflict Resolution in the Workspace will take place on Monday, May 8.


FEATURED IMAGE: Chairperson of Life After Graduation, Mietani Chitambira, gives a presentation on how to create a better profile on LinkedIn at Kingsway student accommodation. Photo: Sfundo Parakozov


#Ashies2023: Rising Suns and Bravehearts dunk to glory 

The Lodewyk family crowned the 17th Ashraf tournament champions.

Rising Suns and Bravehearts rose above 40 teams (24 men and 16 women) in over 98 games played within eight days at Hall 29, Wits University.  

In a gripping 40-minute game divided into ten -minute quarters, the Braam Blues seemed to have the upper hand in the first quarter, but the power-hungry Rising Suns walked away with a 75-62 victory over the Blues. 

Coach Clement Kok of Rising Suns told Wits Vuvuzela, “I am happy with the growth that the boys [Rising Suns] have shown, they have been training together since January.” 

The Rising suns dominated pool A throughout the tournament, thrashing all teams including the Wits Bucks on Saturday, April 30. Despite this, both teams topped the pool and qualified for the quarter finals on Monday, May 1.  

The consistent Rising Suns won the quarter finals against Knights Basketball Club and the Semi-finals against Vest Basketball Club.  

The younger brother of the late Ashraf, Tashliem Lodewyk proudly wore a Vest Basketball Club shirt in support of his brother’s former team. He said he could not believe that the tournament was still going strong after 20 years of his brother’s passing. “When we started the tournament, we thought it would be a one -year thing but tonight we are victorious again,” said Lodewyk.  

Contrarily, the Wits Bucks were left feeling blue after their heart-wrenching defeat against Braamfontein Blues. The Witsies opened with two-point field goals, but the Blues swiftly rained on their parade. The Bucks remained hopeful going into the second half although they were down 27-33, but the Blues crushed their hopes winning by 64-37.  

Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the bravest of them all?  

All the way from Malawi were women’s division winners, Bravehearts who were an absolute force to be reckoned with throughout the tournament.  

The team started the game with a two -point field goal against Celtics Finest and tried to maintain their lead through to the end, eventually winning 67-39.  

Bravehearts point guard, Riana Damaris said, “When we started the match it was a bit hard because we were tired after the previous game [semi-final] but we adjusted ourselves.” 

Former Wits Alumni and Celtic Finest player, Modiegi Mokoka said that she is glad that the tournament is expanding towards the SADC region as it helps South Africans to see different styles of play.  

The awards ceremony kicked off a bit later than anticipated due to multiple injuries throughout the games. Handing out the medals was the nephew of Ashraf, Raul Lodewyk and niece Zayaan Devilliers. 

Four women and men were given the All-Stars of the tournament medals. The four women were Lufuno Mutungutungu, Tadiwa Mabika, Modiegi Mokoka and Rachel Ngona respectively. Whilst Neo Mothiba,  Tshiamo Ngakane (Wits Bucks Coach), Emmanuel Shine and Harisson Banda emerged as All-Stars for the men.  

The most valuable player awards (MVP) were won by Riana Damaris for the ladies and Bidza Akoulou for the men’s division. 

FEATURED IMAGE: Vest Basketball Club players defending against Rising Sun’s point guard. Photo: Sfundo Parakozov


#Ashies2023: Wits Bucks balling differently 

 The 17th Ashraf Lodewyk Memorial Basketball tournament returns with ten more teams vying for the win.  

The Wits Bucks (first team) put on a stellar performance in their first Ashraf basketball tournament game on Wednesday afternoon, April 26.  

The Wits Bucks faced off against Wanderers Scorpions Omega and led the game comfortably from the beginning with a thrilling win of 67-28 when the final whistle blew.  

Scorpions Omega’s Ethan Murray was substituted after committing three fouls in the first half of the game. Assistant coach, Thabo Gumede said that he felt like there was a lack of communication and defence on their end.

Wits Bucks player Jacques Mahanga said, “I feel like their [Scorpions Omega] performance was really good; we didn’t underestimate the team although we knew that we’re not at the same level-we still came out with a lot of intensity, and I love our intensity.” 

Wits Bucks player Isira Harisinghe getting ready to strike after being trapped by a Scorpions Omega defender. Photo: Sfundo Parakozov

Wits Bucks fan, Keeyanda Tshipamba said, “It was a very good game for Wits especially in light of their performance in the ICSL internal league, they were not doing so well so this is bringing our spirits up.” 

The Bucks are not anticipating easy games especially since the tournament has grown with a total of ten more teams compared to last year’s 30. Teams compete in either the men’s or women’s division, with a further division into four pools (A to D) which will battle it out over the eight-day tournament. 

With four more games to play, the Bucks need to secure the top two positions in their pool to compete in the finals on Monday, May 1. 

 Young Bucks trailing behind  

A few courts away, the Wits Young Bucks (the second team) lost 45-55, in their first game against the Midrand Heat Basketball Club.  

A game which was meant to be their comeback against UJ Orange Wave on April 26, ushered in a crushing defeat, with a final score of 19-44.  

Going into the second half, UJ was leading 22-11 while Wits player Silas Lyuke, was substituted after a clash with the opponents, leading to a leg injury. The UJ side committed a foul against Matoti Buthelezi and was consequently awarded two free throws, but only netting one.  

UJ coach, Mandla Ngema said, “We didn’t play well at all, we thought it was gonna be easy playing against a second team.” 

Whilst Wits Young Bucks assistant coach, Angelo Quinn said to Wits Vuvuzela, “I felt it was a good game and a good reflection of the [Ashraf] program and it showed that we can compete at a higher level.” 

The Young Bucks have three more games to play in their pool (C) and two of them will be played on Saturday, April 29 against Giant Ballers and University of Pretoria 1st.  

FEATURE IMAGE: Wits Bucks players: Tirivashe Gapara, Jacques Mahanga and Chirag Jashi, congratulating each other after their 67-28 win against Wanderers Scorpions Omega. Photo: Sfundo Parakozov


News24 and Groundup share the spoils at the Taco Kuiper Award

Winners topped 29 entries that lifted the lid on the hidden goings-on in the public and private sectors, report Sfundo Parakozov and Sbongile Molambo 

Leslie Jamieson of The Valley Trust, joint winner Ray Joseph and Taco Kuiper Award convenor of judges, Anton Harber at the award ceremony on April 21, 2023. Photo: Sbongile Molambo

A News24 investigation into the assassination of whistleblower Babita Deokaran and a Groundup expose of corruption at the National Lotteries Commission (NLC) are joint winners of the 2023 Taco Kuiper Investigative Journalism Award.

In the documentary, Silenced, Jeff Wicks details how he dug through 60 000 Gauteng health department emails, phone records and company ledgers to continue the work Deokaran had started exposing corruption at Tembisa Hospital, before she was assassinated in August 2021.  

Ray Joseph’s winning entry on the corrupt dealings at the NLC was the latest instalment in an investigation he started several years ago, and that he has tenaciously stuck to, which resulted in the firing of the Commission’s CEO, CFO and board in 2022. 

The 17th edition of the Taco Kuiper Award highlighted the importance of “ensuring the accountability that is the foundation of good governance, democracy and economic prosperity” and had “seen journalists tackle issues at every level of our society”, said Anton Harber, the convenor of the award, at the ceremony held at the Wits Club on April 21. 

The prestigious award, in which the joint winners shared R240 000 and the runners-up got R60 000, are a collaborative effort by the Wits Centre for journalism (WCJ) and The Valley Trust (the fund created by Taco Kuiper before his death in 2004).  

News24 investigative journalist, Jeff Wicks, accepts his award at the Taco Kuiper investigative journalism award. Photo: Sbongile Molambo

Harber said there were 29 entries, which came from 13 different outlets, including an entry from Wits Vuvuzela by student journalist Tannur Anders, now an intern for news agency Thomson Reuters. 

Wicks told Wits Vuvuzela that the Deokaran project was very challenging as it required an incredible amount of data and processing. “I’m very happy to have been honored, especially considering the shortlist and I hope it’s a tribute to the life of Babita Deokaran, who sacrificed herself to fight against corruption.”  

Joseph said investigating the lottery commission took over six years of his life. “This was a dangerous project. I was reported to the State Security Agency, court cases were launched [against me] and my family was attacked. So, to describe this win, I would say it’s wonderful.” 

The TimesLive team of Tankiso Makhetha, Graeme Hoskens and Aaron Hyman secured the runner-up position for their investigation into the murder of 16 people at the Mdlalose Tavern in Soweto.

“The significance of WCJ’s collaboration with The Valley Trust is that they brought the money to the table and their generosity is making this [event] happen”, said Harber, who also announced his retirement from running the award after 17 years.  

FEATURED IMAGE: Joint winners Ray Joseph and Jeff Wicks with The Valley Trust’s Leslie Jamieson and award judge, Anton Harber, at the Wits Club on April 21, 2023. Photo: Sbongile Molambo


Wits football club made to eat dust  

Witsies efforts to be at the top of the ABC Motsepe League shattered, after a dismal loss this past weekend.   

Wits University football club has lost 4-1 in a match against Soweto Super United (SSUtd) at Sturrock Park in Braamfontein.  

The two last faced off on October 15, 2022, in a tough match at Trezona Park, Roodepoort, where the final score was a draw of 2-2.   

Wits football player Nathi fights off Soweto Super United players in the ABC Motsepe league match at Sturrock Park on April 1. Photo: Sfundo Parakozov

Currently sitting in the 10th position on the Gauteng ABC Motsepe league, Witsies’ hopes of securing a place in the top eight became dimmer in the first half, after conceding three goals from SSUtd players, Benjamin Thando, Thabang Chuene and Lebogang Sentsho, respectively. 

In attempts to counter the stronger rivals, Wits defensive player Bradley Mongwe sustained an injury and had to be substituted before the end of the first half. 

However, going into the second half, the Witsies seemed to be in control of the match in the first few minutes, but were later humbled by SSUtd striker, Walker Jacko, who scored a fourth goal in the 86th minute. 

Midfielder, Saluleko Mathonsi managed to net in the first goal for Wits university at exactly 90+2 minutes, just before the whistle blew. 

The league consists of 19 teams and the top eight are awarded cash prizes. The ultimate winners get around R50 000, and the prize money goes down from position one to eight. The team that takes the eighth position gets R15 000.   

The Wits players went into the match with 45 points, whilst SSUtd was sitting with 59. Separated by 14 points, the Witsies could not secure a victory, or equalize in score to lessen the gap.

With the season coming to an end on May 1, 2023, the loss means the Witsies will not be able to secure the runner up position even if they win the next five matches.   

When asked about the performance after the match, Mathonsi said, “to be honest we started off very badly, in the first 10 to 15 minutes we were not in control of the match, and we were punished for that”.  

Wits university will be playing Pretoria Ally’s Tigers on Wednesday, April 5, at Philip stadium, Soshanguve. Pretoria Ally’s Tigers beat the Witsies by 1-0 the last time they met at Sturrock Park in December 10, 2022.  

The Wits assistant coach Andile Zulu expressed his disappointment on the team’s performance; but said his very hopeful that they will execute better in their next match.

FEATURED IMAGE: Soweto Super United players walking off the Sturrock Park field after their 4-1 victory against Wits univerity football club. Photo: Sfundo Parakozov