SAFE AND SOUND?: At the Internews station, Power Reporting delegates got the chance to have their software and anti-virus checked for safety. Photo: Lameez Omarjee
Hackers pose the threat of defacing media organisations or putting news sources at risk. Besides surveillance by mobile companies and internet service providers, digital safety is most threatened by using pirated software, followed by spam.
Pirated software creates “weaknesses or vulnerabilities” and create an “open window” for hackers, said Dylan Jones from international non-profit organisation Internews. Surveillance technology poses a greater threat to journalists than regular citizens because journalists collect and work with information.
“Surveillance technology can track your physical location, the calls you make and messages you send and to whom.”
Pirated software is most well-known as programmes for which the users download and do not pay for. However, some journalists may be using pirated software without even realising it if their devices are set up by others. This puts them, their sources and their work at risk.
Surveillance technology can track your physical location, the calls you make and messages you send and to whom. It can cause financial loss and theft to individuals, companies and government and journalists can lose years of work, said Jones.
Zimbabwean journalist Winstone Antonio said he was aware of telephone hacking, but he was not sure about the extent to which it happened, or how he could become a victim or the measures to protect himself.Antonio says as a journalist he is most concerned about “protecting his sources.”
Antonio said he knows using pirated software poses a threat to his work and tries to get a specialist to check his devices regularly. For journalists and delegates at the Power Reporting Conference, Internews set up a work station to check if their mobile devices and laptops have genuine software. The station offers the free service of updating software with genuine programmes. Additionally the anti-virus software is checked.
“You can’t trust a pirated anti-virus to protect against malware,” said Jones.
Previously Antonio relied on using strong passwords to protect the different accounts on his devices. Since attending the session on how to be digitally secure, he learnt that “encryption of data” could be useful in helping him protect his sources. This works by encoding the data before it is sent to a cloud archive like Google Drive.
“You need to have a secure foundation before you do anything else,”said Jones. Encrypting data on devices is among the most important protection measures.
Apple products and Android devices come with encryption settings to protect data. However, a lot of countries have laws against using encryption, said Jones.
Jones also suggests practical ways to keep your digital accounts and movements secure. These include using “real” software and anti-virus applications, updated programmes and two-step verification to protect accounts.
Unnecessary information or messages, photos and videos should be cleared from your device. Using a password is more effective than a four-digit pin or a swipe-pattern and fingerprint technology.
Although, these solutions are not perfect, they are better than not having any safety measures at all.
PRESS POWER: Human rights ‘defender’ and journalist Rafael Marques de Morais received a standing ovation for his address at Power Reporting’s third Carlos Cardoso memorial lecture. Photo: Zelmarie Goosen
Standing in solidarity with imprisoned Ethiopian journalists, Rafael Marques de Morais received a standing ovation from fellow journalists and other guests, at the Carlos Cardoso memorial lecture held this evening at Wits University.
Human rights activist and journalist, de Morais delivered the address for Power Reporting’s third Carlos Cardoso memorial lecture. He stressed the importance of investigative journalism in advancing democracy and defending the freedom of expression in the face of opposition and fear incited by government authorities.
Driven by “national and civic conscience”, de Morais says he is proud of his work in defending the rights of fellow Angolan citizens through the exposure of conflict diamonds and corruption. “Journalists should defend constitutional rights”, he said to a packed auditorium.
SOLIDARITY BROTHERS: Human rights ‘defender’ and journalist Rafael Marques de Morais received a standing ovation for his moving address at Power Reporting’s third Carlos Cardoso memorial lecture. Photo: Zelmarie Goosen
De Morais criticized the Ethiopian government as an enemy to journalism for arresting and imprisoning journalists. “Journalists and human rights campaigners must be embarrassed for doing little to support our peers in Ethiopia.”
He also called for a campaign to move the African Union, currently based in Ethiopia, to a country that respects human rights.
Although the challenges of investigative journalists have not changed since de Morais started practicing, he says the Internet has proven to be an advantage in publishing content and reaching wider audiences. De Morais has started his own watchdog website Maka Angola which exposes corruption through his investigations.
De Morais told Wits Vuvuzela that as the values in society have deteriorated, so has the quality of investigative journalism. He says investigative journalists can combat opposition if they realise “government officials are men and women like us”. He says we can limit their abuse of power because “the power comes from the people”.
De Morais said he corresponded with but never met Carlos Cardoso, in whose name the lecture was given. Cardoso, a journalist and a Witsie, was murdered in Maputo in 2000 while working on a investigation into fraud at a major bank.
It is party season at Wits with res parties and the Engineer’s Breakfast still to hit campus. But with dangers of date rape, theft and drunken fights threatening festivities, Witsies have developed their own ways of safe-guarding their after-dark activities.
First year, BSc student Xiao Liang always makes sure to hold her drink in her hand at all times and when dancing, makes sure no one dumps anything inside.
Wandile Ngwenya, 2nd year BAccSci said “I’m holding a bottle and if I’m not looking I put my thumb over it.”
Melissa Kabanguka, 2nd year BA Psychology said it’s important to go out with friends you trust. “Don’t stay alone with someone you are not comfortable with”.
Witsies are encouraged to drink responsibility to avoid dangerous situations.
WORK, SLEEP, REPEAT: Applied Drama MA student Limpho Kou reenacts a “sleeping” situation amongst Witsies working and studying in the CNS labs in Senate House, to draw their attention to the issue that their peers live and sleep in computer labs and libraries on campus. Photo: Lameez Omarjee
A new project to create awareness about homeless students sleeping in campus libraries and computer labs, is gaining attention.
The project was spearheaded by a Wits master’s student, as part of her academic research. It aims to give voice to students living in computer labs and libraries on campus.
The hope is that through exposing this on-going issue, there would be some solutions by the Wits community to help those who do not have the financial means for proper accommodation.
As part of a project for theatre as activism, education and therapy, masters in applied drama student Susie Maluleke chose the topic as she remembers seeing students sleeping in the CNS labs on campus since first year.
The project plan consists of hosting workshops at the project sites: the computer labs and libraries, to ask students whether they know that their peers use the same space for sleeping or living.
Additionally, with the help of classmates, Maluleke will put up displays of make-shift sleeping spots, “I’m going to provide a blanket to create a sleeping display, but not a comfortable sleeping place to make people realise the space is used for different purposes.”
Maluleke identified the students through their “huge bags”.
“You could see these people weren’t living anywhere outside that space.”
At the time Maluleke felt there was nothing she could do, but now she has an opportunity to address the issue by creating dialogue around it and find help for these students by talking about it.
A friend of hers knew someone who spent two years living and sleeping in the labs, “because they didn’t qualify for financial aid from NSFAS”. Students struggle to afford accommodation off campus and transport costs for places outside Johannesburg are also hard to cover.
“You get to go to Wits but you might not be able to afford to eat or live.”
Maluleke had a friend who was sleeping in the computer labs because she could not afford to pay for taxi services from Wits to Soweto every day. “They don’t have bus services, they don’t have scholarships.”
She was particularly struck by the fact that there was no visible information in labs indicating where students could seek help. “It saddens me. There must be something that can be done about these people.”
Lecturer Cherae Halley who gave the students the project as part of their course said they were required to find a community or site to address a social issue for their final year project. In previous years, students raised awareness about the sexual assault by lecturers on students, according to Halley.
Even though this is course work, this project could possibly help the homeless students, through raising awareness.
Her supervisor Anthony Schrag commended Maluleke for taking on a local and context specific project that resonated with national issues. “We have these positions of privilege that people sort of access but not really access. You get to go to Wits but you might not be able to afford to eat or live.”
The project is only in its beginning stages and will continue until the end of the semester. However, Maluleke hopes the impact of the project will be big enough to continue even after she graduates. She hopes that Wits would create a body for students to go to for help.
She does, however, know of a student in the same situation who received help from Wits Services.
“She is trying to challenge those departments and challenge them to do more about it. If she makes an impact future students that arrive here might not find themselves here, said Schrag.
Maluleke will only know how successful the project is once it is complete. “Success for me will be creating dialogue within those spaces. Make people engage or talk.” Schrag agreed, “With art you don’t really know until you do it.”
Halley sees the potential of the project to grow and impact the Wits community.
HECTIC HEADER: During soccer practice at Diggs fields on Tuesday, Wits team captain Tebogo Digoamaje said he is confident in his team’s performance for their upcoming semi-final match against Tuks in the USSA Gauteng League, where a top three spot will get them to nationals. Photo: Lameez Omarjee
If the Wits men’s soccer team beat Tuks, Pretoria University’s log leaders, next week, it will go through to the national finals of the University Sports South Africa (USSA) tournament in December.
Through this possible win at next week Tuesday’s match, Wits would attain one of the top three positions in the Gauteng USSA League and would then qualify for the national tournament to be held in Durban, in the first week of December.
Meeting for the second time with their opponents, Wits University football coach Karabo Mogudi said his men were more than prepared for Tuks.
Cruising through competition
“They are good football players; they play high intensity football which is a strong point for them. I’ve prepared the team to play the same as well. They must bring it on because we know we [are] going to bring it too,” said Mogudi.
Wits thrashed Tuks with a 3-1 win the last time there was a face-off between the two in August. Mogudi is confident his team could win against them again, even though the match is in Pretoria, on their rival’s home turf when they duel on Tuesday, September 23.
The rankings so far are as follows: Tuks first, Vaal University of Technology (VUT) second, Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) third and Wits, in fourth place.
Attaining a position in the top eight of the USSA national champs will then qualify Wits for the Varsity Football league. They did not qualify last year.
“The team should be the star. I don’t want individualism … if the team wins, the players shine. It’s that simple”
Wits team captain Tebogo Digoamaje, 2nd year BSc Property Studies, who joined the team last year felt that their performance this season was better because the squad was bigger. About 25 players are registered for the USSA Gauteng League. Last year the smaller team battled without squad rotations between games.
Digoamaje revealed that past lost matches were due to mistakes they had made, rather than their opponent’s performance.
However, he had “full respect for every opponent” they played against. In preparation for their game against Tuks, he said, “We’ve implemented a number of strategies, various ones, and the coach will decide which will lead us to victory and get us to nationals.”
Left wing Neo Makua, 3rd year BSc Quantity Surveying, felt confident that the team will go through to national championships. “The coach made us become a team, so we put the team before the individual.”
Although there are strong individuals playing, Mogudi emphasised team play rather than individual stars. “The team should be the star. I don’t want individualism … if the team wins, the players shine. It’s that simple,” he said.
Mogudi is confident in the team’s tactics and credits his technical team, which consists: assistant coach Dumisani Thusi, goal-keeper coach Kgabo Ditsebe and team manager, Sanele Nene for developing new ideas and strategies for success.
COURT ORDER: Witsie Adam Gordon, third year BCom Law student triumphed over his coach and took the top spot in the Wits Tennis Club Championships. Photo: Bongiwe Tutu
By Lameez Omarjee and Bongiwe Tutu
In a scorching battle for the top spot, a Wits student outplayed his coach at the men’s final of the Wits Tennis club championships, earlier today at the Bozzoli tennis courts.
Third year BCom Law student, Adam Gordon, was quick to take the lead over Wits head tennis coach, Byron Werbeloff (23). Gordon finished the first set 6-1. Werbeloff fought hard to recover but conceded the second and final set 6-4 to Gordon.
Despite his quick victory, Gordon felt he could have done better. “It feels good. I did what I could to win, it helped that I remained consistent.” He added: “I didn’t play my best tennis, I should have been more aggressive”. Werbeloff also felt he could have been more aggressive in the game.
Tennis club tournaments are open to all members and this is why Werbeloff could play in the championship even as a coach. Werbeloff however gave his second place to student Rishay Bharath, 2nd year BSc mechanical engineering, saying “since I am the coach I would rather have one of my students take the win”. Witsie Mike Stephansen, 3rd year BAccSci, was placed third.
In another match Vladimer Makic, 2nd year BSc Applied Maths took fourth place when he beat Michael Wrathall, 1st year BSc aeronautical engineering. Makic said he won because “I served like a machine.”
The Wits tennis club has “raised record numbers of tennis players” and is one of the top five university clubs in the country, according to Werbeloff. A wooden racket tournament will be hosted in October to raise funds for the team, possibly for bursaries. The club hopes to revive tennis and reach the number one spot in the country.
The Women’s finals will take place on Tuesday at 5pm, at the Bozzoli tennis courts.
PLAN A: Wits Masters students hosted a career day at Morris Isaacson Secondary School in Soweto yesterday after they identified the need to make information about career options more accessible to learners from underprivileged areas. Photo: Lameez Omarjee
A group of Witsies spent part of their weekend with learners at the Morris Isaacson Secondary School yesterday to try and expose the youngsters to a wider range of careers options.
The Masters in Development Theory and Policy students, who are also part of the non-profit organisation, Rethink Africa, visited the school in Soweto to “express the broadness of the choices” available to grade nine and 10 learners.
“Normally people are told you can either be an accountant, engineer or physicist but there are other careers that people never get a taste of,” said Witsie Ayabonga Cawe.
Cawe said one of the most important things of the initiative is to share information not normally accessible to students of Soweto. “One of the biggest challenges is that most people don’t see themselves going to university. They don’t have resources to get there and don’t have role models in their social network who have been to university and done so successfully,” he said.
The purpose of the day’s event was to “empower young people in local communities, specifically in the underprivileged areas,” said one of the organisers, Nompumelelo Melaphi.
“I come here with no expectations, only to profess, now that I am at liberty to do so, that my heart is and always will be yours.” – Edward Ferrars, in Sense and Sensibility.
Jane Austen ruined us … or rather Emma Thompson did, with that exceptional screenplay. We expect men to profess exactly what they mean when it comes to love. We expect them to be expressive.
Women. We always seem to take it to the extreme when it comes to our affections. If it’s not too much, it’s too little. It’s never in between. Either way, you are almost certain to come across as “crazy”. I hate that.
I hate that a conversation with a guy is never just a conversation with a guy. And I hate that we are blamed for over-thinking statements like “you’re brilliant”, or “you look lovely” or “you get me”. I hate that we are prone to misreading those “harmless” words and actually thinking a guy might like us. We were seriously misinformed by those Drew Barrymore films.
The flipside is having your guard up all the time. This is my favourite default. Sure, being risk averse is boring, but it is safe. You will not be the one lying on the bathroom floor, wiping tears away on a Friday night because you finally realised that “he’s just not that into you”. (That movie ruined us too, by the way).
You will, however, be the shoulder on which your damaged friend leans while you hand her a Kleenex. And you will be relieved that you are not her, for one night.
Every other night, you see, you’ll be attending parties alone. Banquets and weddings included. (Gay best friends are not as abundant as one would think). And it’s not some hard-core act of supreme feminism. It is excruciatingly awkward.
I know because I have had to answer questions like: “Where is your date?” or “Don’t you have a boyfriend?” or “Have you considered becoming a lesbian?” And I have had to watch purses. I am the official PURSE GIRL. It is not cool to be the purse girl, unless you’re Tina Fey.
“I’m so sorry for all those guys out there who do not have any balls.”
I wouldn’t know how it is for guys, but I have heard (from a guy) that approaching a girl with a “big” personality and intellect is quite daunting. Apparently it’s much easier to forego that girl for a less intimidating one. Gee … I’m so sorry for all those guys out there who do not have any balls. (Not really, it would be a disservice to humanity if they had the opportunity to procreate).
So the rest of us are in a catch-22 situation. You can’t wear your heart on your sleeve, but you can’t wear your “go-away” face either.
I like to consider what Mindy Kaling would do. Only because she’s a Hollywood leading lady of colour, who happens to be a graduate from Dartmouth College (I know, right! She’s talented and smart) and is in denial about her weight. Also she dated BJ Novak, so she makes good choices. Unfortunately, I don’t have her on speed dial.
So the next sensible thing to do is this: don’t create unrealistic expectations or manufacture relationships in your head. A conversation with a guy is just a conversation with a guy. And a compliment from a guy is a just compliment from a guy.
Also, do not do this:
Elinor Dashwood: “Did he tell you that he loved you?”
Marianne Dashwood: “Yes … No … Never absolutely. It was every day implied but never declared.”
The upfront fee for next year will remain frozen at R9 350 but it and other fees may still increase in 2016, according to deputy vice-chancellor of finance, Prof Tawana Kupe.
The university had proposed an increase of the upfront registration fee to R10 300 from R9 350. General tuition fees will still increase.
When asked if the freeze will have an effect on the following year’s upfront fee, Kupe said, “In 2015, we will go through the normal processes for setting the various fees, including the upfront fee payment for 2016.”
The upfront fee free was the result of a long process of negotiations by the SRC which reached an agreement with the University Financial Committee (FINCO) surrounding fee increases in 2015, said SRC president Shafee Verachia.
The agreement was reached just over a week ago at a meeting with FINCO, and will be forward for approval to the University Council, which Vice-chancellor Prof Adam Habib, Verachia and Deputy Vice-chancellor, Prof Andrew Crouch, among others.
Verachia said the SRC successfully negotiated the freeze by commissioning a team of postgrad accounting and actuarial science students to investigate whether or not the upfront fee was unnecessarily high.
Kupe said the freeze is based on a further assessment made by FINCO, which has enabled them to recommend that the university is able to accommodate a freeze in the upfront fee and will not lose any income because “the freeze in the upfront fee amount is not a discount on the fees for 2015”.
He said there was recognition that some fees, such as the Health Sciences degrees, Wits has become too expensive and have been reduced. This is especially significant for international students, who were only allowed to pay their tuition fees in a set of instalments for the first time this year.
Currently, international students studying health sciences will have their fees cut by 60 percent, dropping to R74 680 from about R191 990.
The university had previously justified the increase of the upfront fee by saying it had high costs at the beginning of the year. Kupe said fee increases were necessary due to rising costs.
“Fees have to increase every year because of rising costs, the fact that our government subsidy is not rising as much as inflation and that some of our costs are related to items that are imported,” Kupe told Wits Vuvuzela.
“As you know, the rand has fallen against major currencies and this fall increases our costs. We also have to ensure we have enough financial resources to offer a quality education.”
By Lutho Mtongana, Luke Matthews and Lameez Omarjee
Wits Vuvuzela spoke to some Witsies to find out about their thoughts on the broadcasting of pornography on local television. This comes with the news that the Justice Alliance of South Africa wants to overrule the decision by Icasa to allow the broadcasting of three pornographic channels on TV after 8pm.
FAITHFUL IDENTITY: By wearing her hijab whilst playing soccer, Naeema Hussein believes she’s representing her faith at a “higher level”. Photo: Lameez Omarjee
Watching the Wits University women’s soccer team, you may spot a hijab-wearing soccer player at the centre back, defending the goals.
Second-year BSc physiotherapy student Naeema Hussein chooses to play soccer in her hijab (headscarf) to represent her Islamic faith at a “higher level”.
Hussein says: “My faith pushes me to want to achieve more and say you can excel and aspire without needing to compromise your faith or your Islamic identity.”
After matriculating in 2012, she was awarded a university entrance scholarship for her distinctions. Hussein was later awarded the Bidvest Wits Football Club bursary and has been playing for Wits for the past two years.
She takes credit for initiating playing with a hijab at Wits: “They were very open to it, very considerate.” The South African Football Association changed their regulations to allow Muslim women to play in a hijab. This also helped her cause.
Hussein’s passion for soccer comes from her “Egyptian blood”.
“I have three brothers … We’ve been soccer crazy ever since I was small,” she says.
Hussein’s soccer career started in grade eight when she joined the Parktown Girls’ High School soccer team. “I was so excited. So I started on the second team, building myself up.” A year later, she was in the school’s first team and pushed for a ladies’ team at the Marks Park Football Club.
In 2010 the team was one of the youngest invited to compete at the Arsenal International Soccer Festival in London. “I think we came back with experience that was priceless,” says Hussein.
The exposure to higher levels of soccer pushed the team to perform at their best.
“It pushed me further because I was forced not to procrastinate.”
In her matric year, Hussein captained the first team at her school. At the time she was playing for three different soccer teams while balancing schoolwork. “It pushed me further because I was forced not to procrastinate. I managed my time way better like that.” The soccer was a stress relief between studies: “I think it’s important to keep a balance.”
Hussein was also the recipient of this year’s Golden Key New Member Chapter Award at Wits. It recognises academic excellence, leadership roles, commitment to community work and participation in extracurricular activities.
Hussein is a member of the Wits Muslim Students’ Association and the Muslim Youth Movement. Last year she served on “the core” of the Palestinian Solidarity Committee.
Additionally she is part of Awqaf South Africa. Awqaf is an Arabic word for assets donated or purchased for specific charitable causes that are socially beneficial. It focuses on youth and leadership development, immediate poverty relief and long-term community investments.
Her Awqaf membership has given her an opportunity to attend an international leadership programme in Jakarta, Indonesia for two weeks in December. “They’ve given me a platform to push myself further,” she says. “When I come back it’s my responsibility to go and facilitate courses to educate others.”
Hussein and a group of girls under the Islamic Careline organisation two weeks ago launched a leadership development programme for young Muslim women between the ages of 18 and 25. Called Hayatoon-Nujoom, (“our star”) which they hope to expand to other demographics.
“The key thing is I empower myself so that I can empower those around me and at the end of the day, it’s the empowerment of the entire society, the global society that we are living in.”
CHECKMATE: Evasan Chettiar (left) and Seadimo Tlale (right) will represent South Africa at the World University Chess Championships. Photo: Lameez Omarjee
Two Witsies will be competing in the World University Chess Championships in Katowice, Poland, which starts next week.
This is the first time players from the Wits Chess Club have qualified to participate in the international tournament and represent South Africa, says sports officer Tebogo Rabothata.
Seadimo Tlale, 2nd year LLB, is the only woman in a South African team of four. Tlale has played chess for 17 years, since the age of three. Evasan Chettiar, 2nd year BEng, chairperson of the club, whose been playing since grade eight, will also compete.
Both teammates top the University Sports South Africa chess rankings and the Wits team of 65 members. To prepare for the tournament, Chettiar says one can study the style and strategies of opponents provided on online databases. That way, “you can adapt your game based on their strengths and weaknesses”. Other than that, you can just reinforce your own tactics, he says.
Rabothata says he worked hard to find sponsorship for Chettiar and Tlale to go to Poland. The sports department only contributed 25% of the funds. “We’re going overseas and we’re going to represent the university, but they’re only sponsoring us 25%; it should be the whole [amount],” says Chettiar.
“It is the only sport where men and women, and people of different social classes, could compete equally.”
Chettiar and Tlale will both receive South African international colours and University international colours for qualifying. Competitors will play 11 rounds that will be judged for a score out of 11. These points will determine their ranking.
Tlale founded a chess club to teach chess to primary school boys and girls from a township from her hometown in the Free State. “It was basically about affording them the opportunity to also be exposed to the kind of opportunities I get,” she said.
Both Chettiar and Tlale agree that chess has influenced strategic thinking in different aspects of their lives. “[It] gives you a lot of confidence in your own mental abilities,” says Tlale.
“Every time you make a move there’s a consequence. So it teaches you about how to look for potential consequences for your actions in everyday life,” says Chettiar. Tlale believes chess helps bridge social inequality gaps. She says it is the only sport where men and women, and people of different social classes, could compete equally. “It’s not about who you are or where you come from. It’s literally about what you know.”
Rabothata is proud of his players. He says the chess club will benefit from the experience the two players will gain. “They have won a battle; what is left for them is to go to Poland and win the war.”
Today we’re taking a look at the #WitsShutdown protests which are over historical debt and unaffordable accommodation, which have seen several students suspended, physical clashes between protestors and security and disruptions to the academic programme for many. In this bonus episode of We Should Be Writing, we let students unpack their views on what has […]