LEGENDARY former Bafana Bafana coach Clive “The Dog” Barker is looking to improve the fortunes of the Clever Boys this season as their new head coach.
Barker officially replaced Anthony Lopez as head coach of Bidvest Wits in January 2013.
Lopez’ contract was terminated at the end of last season by a “mutual agreement”. During his 5 month tenure Lopez guided the team to four wins, seven draws and five losses, with his last match in a 1-1 draw with Free State Stars in December 2012.
With two wins after three matches, Barker has led Wits to climb two positions on the Premiership log from 9th place to 7th place. The second win was over Chippa United on Wednesday night at the Bidvest Stadium on east campus.
Goals by Matthew Pattison and Ryan Chapman secured a 2-1 the victory in a game that saw the opposition team make it to the scoreboard first.
Barker guided Bafana Bafana to their only African Nations Cup title in 1996, eventually leaving Bafana Bafana after a string of losses.
After a three year absence from coaching, the 68-year-old is happy to have returned to PSL after his last coaching job at with Amazulu.
Speaking to IOL.com Barker said: “This is a club with great infrastructure and lots of quality players. It’s the first time I have taken a coaching position in Joburg. I’m here to try and improve the team.”
Wits goalkeeper Steven Hoffman told Wits Vuvuzela that Barker is a good coach because he instills positivity in the players.
“His aim is to win the league and he just makes sure he gives us that motivation. He lets the players play their own game but still finds a way to make us come together so we can play like a team,” Hoffman said.
The Clever Boys next match will be against top-ranked Kaizer Chiefs on March 2 at FNB Stadium.
Medical school applicants are now accepted partly on the basis of how underprivileged they are, and not on the basis of race, according to Dean of the Health Sciences Faculty Professor Ahmed Wadee.
Wadee was responding to claims from rejected students who said they were not accepted because they were “not the right colour”.
One applicant, who asked to remain anonymous, said she was rejected because the faculty was not allowing any more Indian people having reached their “quota”.
However, Wadee denies race plays a role in the selection on students.
Selection is based on a combination of academic and non-academic scores which determines who is offered a place at the health faculty. However, as some students point out, having “straight A’s” is not a guarantee of getting into medicine.
“The ‘straight A student’ story isn’t always true. There are other things that they consider, like compassion and charity,” said fourth year medical student Creaghan Eddey.
Wadee said the academic criteria only accounts for 80% of the total percentage of the entrance criteria.
He said the downfall of most applicants is the National Benchmark Test (NBT) which counts for 40% of the score.
The other 20% comes from non-academic criteria and uses a questionnaire that determines whether a person comes from a rich or poor background.
“Now, you could be yellow, you could be white, you could be coloured, you could be Indian, [but] if you have no water and no lights you have an under-resourced environment,” Wadee said.
According to Wadee, the Wits Medical School had previously used a racial quota system that was abandoned so that socio-economic conditions could be given priority.
“We acknowledged that system of accepting [race quotas] was incorrect then we changed it,” said Wadee.
Some schools, such as the University of Cape Town, still makes use of the racial quota system.
Wadee said his faculty receives complaints from applicants who feel they were unfairly rejected. “If someone says ‘so-and-so got in and I didn’t’ I say ‘give me the person’s name’, we look it up and show the complainant why they didn’t get in while the other one did.”
“Personal appeals to the Dean or anybody in the faculty do not work,” said Wadee. “In reality, we have 6 000 applicants and in medicine only 250 get in,” said Wadee.
Another fourth year Medical student said: “The faculty has to redress the past. We have to acknowledge our past.” But she added that promoting underprivileged applicants should not trump academic knowledge.
“I think our school gets flack because the process isn’t transparent, no one ever explains this selection criteria to us. That’s why people target [medical school] about acceptance more than others,” Eddey said.
“But If I didn’t get in I would have bitched too,” he added.
FORMER Wits SRC president Morris Masutha has made it to the top six of local reality television show One Day Leader.
One Day Leader promotes young leaders by giving contestants a topic and having them debate and argue their positions. Contestants also go on challenges to different neighbourhoods.
Masuthu said the show was “very challenging” because they only talk about the topic on the day of the show.
Masuthu lives in a house with his fellow top six contestants in Cresta. While he lauds the abilities of some of his competitors “others you obviously wonder how they got there.”
“Sometimes you can be the best guy but if people don’t vote for you then it doesn’t matter,” Masuthu said. One Day Leader is in its second season on SABC1.
The previous winner of the show was a Witsie, Lesley Masibi.
Masutha said he joined the show to advocate free education and to put the spotlight on the plight of rural youth through his non-profit organisation, the Thusanani Foundation.
Hailing from a rural village in Limpopo, Masutha said he started the foundation because he felt the need to bridge the information gap between rural youths and their urban counterparts. He said Wits was his salvation and ticket out of the village but when he arrived on the campus for his first year he felt intimidated by his lack of knowledge.
“When I came to Wits, I felt embarrassed to speak in class because I didn’t want to embarrass myself,” said Masutha. “I could barely speak English so for a while I was this quiet guy at the back of the class.”
One day a fellow student made a comment that offended Masutha and he was moved to speak up for the first time ever. “At that point I didn’t care that my English wasn’t good,” said Masutha. From that day forward, Masutha has not stopped speaking up for what he believes in.
He spoke in large lectures when there was a racist or ignorant comment made, he spoke his way to his SRC presidency in 2011 and now he speaks on a national TV show. Masutha said the hardships he faced at Wits gave him the confidence to speak the way that he does.
“I love Wits, it’s made me into the person I am today, and it really does ‘give you the edge’,” said Masutha. “You go into an interview and you find you are interviewing the interviewer.”
Masutha said education was the only hope of anyone who comes from a rural area.
“Those of you Witsies coming from disadvantaged backgrounds, you will encounter many stumbling blocks at university but if you work harder, your marks will pay for your fees.”
The 2011 winner was given an “internship in the office of the NYDA, a trip to visit a South African ambassador of a country of their choice, a day spent with the State President and a R70 000 budget to spend on a project in a community of their choice” and R20 000 cash.
Students try to protect themselves from the rain last Friday night (8 February) at the annual Fresher’s Bash that was held at the Chamber of Mines parking lot on West Campus. The heavy rains resulted in some students leaving but others continued to party until the early hours of the morning. Students took shelter in toilets, skate boarding ring, under tables and also under plastic table covers hoping for the rain to pass. The line up included acts like Dr Malinga, Euphonik, DJ Vetkoek and others. Below are more photos from the event.
A first year student was robbed in her Wits Junction room in the dead of night by a man who made off with her cell phone and laptop last Thursday.
Head of campus control, Rob Kemp, said: “Access to the room was gained either by use of a key or the door was not locked.” He said the victim was taken to report the incident at Hillbrow station of the SA Police Service.
According to the first year’s floor mate, Aphelele Mpunzana, the robber entered the resident’s room at around 3am and strangled her to keep her quiet.
Most of the residents were made aware of the robbery through an email that was circulated detailing rumours about incident. The email was sent by one of the residents and said a master key was used to gain access to four rooms. The claim was denied by a Wits Junction security official that said there was no evidence to suggest that a master key was used.
Mpunzana also does not believe a master key was used.
“Everyone in this building heard the banging of the doors,” said Mpunzana. “The guy tried to get into everyone’s room. If [the robber] had a master key he would have opened all the doors and not just hers.”
However, she said the main door to the building was unlocked because some student cards for new residents had not been activated.
Kemp said often students create a “serious breach of their own safety” by pressing the emergency release button in order to access their buildings without swiping cards. This is problematic because the door is left unlocked after the emergency button is pressed until security adjusts it back to normal.
Another resident of Block 7 said their student cards still do not work and they have to call security to open the main door for them. He said it was easier to keep the door open.
Both Mpunzana and Thabo*, who lives in the next building admitted to pressing the emergency button and using coins and papers to prevent the door from closing.
“I don’t live [in this building] but I just walk in,” said Thabo. “Which means anyone can take a bus from main campus to Junction, come in here and take a shower.”
Mpunzana said she felt security at Junction was “generally good” but that this incident has made her more wary of her safety. “I’m definitely surprised that something like this can happen in what’s supposed to be the best res on campus.”
All rooms in the building were searched by security but none of the stolen items were recovered.
No arrests have been made and the first year has since moved to another building in Wits Junction.
Kemp said investigations into the robbery are ongoing and urged students not to bypass the security system for their own safety.
*not his real name
At least two female students have reported bad experiences during unsanctioned initiations at their residences during O-Week.
In one case, the victim said she was made uncomfortable by the “sexist” undertones during an encounter with students from a male residence.
“We’re not allowed to look any of the guys in the eye, but that defeats the whole point of orientation and getting to know each other,” said the first year, who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of being singled out.
Although she feels victimized, the student said she still though initiation was important “but to some extent we have lost the point.” She said she was especially frightened by the incident because she comes from a conservative family.
The incident was reported to the Dean of Students Prem Coopoo.
“First year students are meant to be orientated to Wits, not initiated. They need to feel connected to Wits and cared for – not fearful of seniors,” Coopoo said.
Coopoo said students are encouraged to report initiations as outlined in the O-week guidebook.
Third year BEd student and JCE resident Hannah Makgopa said initiation “helps to build bonds among first years.”
She said as part of the JCE tradition, first years are given new nicknames that are written on “virginity tags” which they have to wear around their necks for the duration of O-Week. Makgopa said the nicknames are created by the seniors and are not meant to be malicious.
“When I think of my first year I wish I can do it again,” said Makgopa.
Not all O-week residence activities have gone down well with management: last year initiations were banned at Men’s Residence after some of its residents disrupted an inter-residence talent show while intoxicated. Many people also remarked at how “hardcore” and “militant” the Men’s Residence initiations were.
“Men’s Res was a bit too harsh, if [the first years] do one mistake its 10 pushups or until they say stop,” said Makgopa.
However, Men’s Res student Muzi Phungula said he felt pity for the first years that live at Men’s Residence because they will not be able to go through the “fun things” that he went through in his first year.
He said first years are usually scared at first because it’s a new environment and it can be a “dramatic experience” but initiation built bonds with a shared experience.
A former house committee member from Sunnyside, Memme Monyela, said Men’s Residence initiations were much more “hardcore” than any other residence. She said the first years at Men’s Res were made to run around the field half-naked and occasionally had to brush their teeth with water from the coy fish pond outside the John Moffat Building.
Monyela said there are routine things that are done for fun such as waking first years up at 5am for a run on the field.
“There were others who just didn’t want to participate, they would complain and say ‘We’re tired’” said Monyela. “Sometimes they would complain that running around the field with people watching was demeaning.”
A second year student from Sunnyside Lebohang Makgopa said her initiation “was harsh, but not as bad as other residences.” “We don’t have these rules like other residences…we are a house of royalty.”
CLEARLY my well-motivated prayers to have Valentine’s Day disappear off the calendar have gone unanswered.
Don’t get me wrong, the idea of a whole day devoted to romantic love is tolerable. But hear me out on the obstacles I have in my ability to enjoy the day as much as some of you do.
Firstly, pink and red in all the retail stores is unbearable. I walked into Pick ‘n Pay the other day and they had decked out an entire table full of fake roses, pink champagne and red and white cards. The table cloth was white with red hearts on it.
It’s really hard to miss that table but I make a concerted effort to divert my eyes to the furthest point I could find. I can only imagine how awkward it would be for someone who failed to purchase a fake flower to walk past that table of death with their significant other.
So that’s one of my issues with Valentine’s Day, the shops that look like they’ve been decorated by gleeful four-year- olds. (Pink and red don’t even go well together.)
Another thing that all my coupled up friends do is make out and then look at me over their shoulders asking: “So what are you doing for Valentine’s Day?”
OK, so it doesn’t happen exactly like that. But that question is definitely asked with an assumption that I’m going to be sitting at home alone with a cat, a cold pizza and the soundtrack to Bridget Jones’ Diary.
Being single doesn’t mean I will die alone, only to be found weeks later half-eaten by an Alsatian. What it does mean is that my contribution to boring conversations regarding Valentine’s Day will be a heavy roll of my eyes.
As a person who always looks for the silver lining, I managed to find one awesome thing about V-day: the wine was almost half its usual price.
I wouldn’t describe myself as the Valentine’s Day Grinch. But if I had the opportunity to make it disappear, I would.
The Wits rugby team suffered a 61-8 defeat to the University of Free State (Shimlas) in their first Varsity Cup match at the Wits rugby stadium on Monday night.
Wits only managed to get on the scoreboard by virtue of a try by centre Jacques Erasmus and a penalty from flyhalf Laitume Fosita.
The Wits game was characterized by missed opportunities and physical displays by both teams.
Although Wits were the first to get on the scoreboard the celebrations from the crowd were short-lived when Shimlas responded with penalty of their own, a try and fruitful conversion to bring the score to 8-2.
The match was played in wet conditions but Shimlas dominated from kick-off with a strong physical display.
Riaan Arends received a yellow card for an infringement near the Wits try line and Shimlas took advantage scoring another try to bring the score to 16- 2
Coming into the clash, the pressure was on the Witsies to deliver following their promotion from the Varsity Shield to the Varsity Cup.
Wits was down 2-32 at half time and the home team seemed rattled by the tough Shimlas side.
Wits didn’t fare any better in the second half as they missed a number of penalties but were still able to display some strong defense. But Shimlas continued their onslaught with noteworthy drives and tackles.
The referees were not popular among the Wits crowd as they believed a number of faults by Shimlas were missed.
With 10 minutes left of the game the score was 48-2 to Shimlas and Wits showed no signs of picking up the pace as runs and passes continued to be unsuccessful.
The atmosphere at the rugby stadium was palpable as students rallied behind the Wits team with spirited war cries and cheers. Wits first year residences arrived clad in their respective residence colours and sang through the entire match.
In the end, Wits was outplayed in their first match of the Varsity Cup by a technically superior Shimlas.
Published in Wits Vuvuzela 1st edition, 6th February 2013
The start of a new academic year invariably means the beginning of new chapter for most of us, and for first years, the beginning of a totally different book. Thinking back (very far) to my first year, nothing could match the excitement of not wearing school uniform and being able to chew gum in class. And then when they told me lectures were not compulsory! It was the best of times.
However for many first years the excitement of making it into Wits is short-lived as the woes of trying to find accommodation set in. The sad reality is that Wits simply does not have the capacity to accommodate every student. The accommodation office has repeatedly said that they are doing the best they can with what they have. But is it enough?
Surely an institution as world class as Wits University should be able to deal with this recurring problem. Wits Vuvuzela has religiously reported on accommodation problems at the beginning of each year. Could the elusive solution be as simple as building more residences? But the university did build another residence: Wits Junction in Parktown.
Unfortunately, this newly erected residence fast became known as a place for the elite where few students could afford the residence’s high annual fees ranging from R45000- R50000. Is it any wonder that in its first year of operating Junction only managed to fill only 30% of the spaces available?
The queues outside the accommodations office every year are filled with desperate students and parents and this is testament that we are doing things wrong. Students are then forced into the private accommodation system in Braamfontein that has its own long arm of problems.
On Page 1 we report on students from Central Johannesburg College who were unceremoniously kicked out of their residence in an Aengus Property building in Braamfontein because their financial aid was too little to cover them for the year. The students’ beds were thrown out of the building, while the students sang resistance songs and scuffled with the muscled bouncers. The scene resembled something out of the forced removals of the 1950s.
The new Vice-Chancellor, Professor Adam Habib, has said while Wits is a world class institution it must service our country by becoming a symbol of hope for aspiring poor students. “We must be able to send a symbolic message that we believe in this country and we are prepared to address the challenges of all of our people, poor and rich,” said Habib.
It is a great sentiment, however, when we present Wits as the land of milk and honey, a place where you can change your life through quality education and still cannot provide our students with a roof over their heads, we do the country a great disservice. And as Professor Habib puts it, when the poor have no hope the society will burn.
Published in Wits Vuvuzela 1st edition, 6th February 2013
THE NEW vice chancellor of Wits, Professor Adam Habib, said Witsies are in for “one hell of a ride” when he officially takes up the university’s top job in June 2013.
Habib was offered the position in December of last year and takes over from Professor Loyiso Nongxa, who is ending a 10-year tenure.
Growing up in Pietermaritzburg, Kwa- Zulu Natal, Habib was imprisoned for his political activism in the labour movement in the 1980s. He said he had not lost his activist roots just because he was now in a nice office in management.
“I see management as part of my activism,” said Habib.
Habib outlined his vital goals as transforming Wits to create critical citizens that are both African and cosmopolitan, achieving cutting-edge research and providing a way out of poverty for the country’s brightest students.
“Those are for me activist goals, they’re not managerial and administrative goals,” said Habib.
Habib is currently the deputy vice-chancellor for research, postgraduate studies and the library at the University of Johannesburg. Often appearing in the media commenting on a range of issues, Habib has become a recognisable face in South Africa.
During the selection process for Wits vice chancellor, Habib became a favourite among the three short-listed candidates with various media predicting his triumph.
Last year the Mail & Guardian reported that a source close to the process said the delegation was leaning towards Habib because the university needed “a new lease on life” and had faith that he could bring change to the university.
Habib emphasised that for change to happen he needs the help of the whole Wits community. He said Wits is a great institution that has the capacity to go world-class but he could not single-handedly make the necessary changes to achieve this goal.
Habib arrives at Wits after numerous showdowns between management, staff and students that culminated in many strikes in the last couple of years. Habib said he was aware of some of the “huge tensions” at Wits. He plans to prioritise meetings in the Wits community so he can get a better understanding of the issues.
Speaking at Wits in November, Habib said he wanted to focus on increasing incentives in order for Wits to retain its staff and to make Wits into an institution that was “global but not foreign”.
Habib emphasised the need for a “university pact” that can encourage “a shared vision and sacrifice but for shared gains”.
The Chairperson of Wits Council, Sakumzi Macozoma, who also chaired the selection committee, said in a press release: “We believe [Habib] has the capacity, professionalism, and credentials to lead Wits into the future.”
After a three month transitional period that starts in March 2013, Habib will take over formally from Nongxa, who was the university’s first black vice-chancellor, in June 2013.
Nongxa said he believed Habib’s goals were in line with the goals that Wits has outlined in the 2020 vision and that he believes he will be a great leader for the university.
A colleague of Habib’s from UJ, Professor Angina Parekh, said she wished him well and affirmed Habib had an ingrained activism.
Parekh said although Habib had a caring side he was a “tough debator” and those in discussions with him would have to stand their ground.
Published in Wits Vuvuzela 1st edition, 6th February 2013