William Cullen and Wartenweiler flooded overnight


FLOOD: Water damage caused part of the ceiling at Wartenweiler library to collapse. Flooding from open taps has closed Wartenweiler William Cullen library. Photo: Provided

FLOOD: Water damage caused part of the ceiling at Wartenweiler library to collapse. Flooding from open taps has closed Wartenweiler and William Cullen library.                                                        Photo: Provided

The Willam Cullen and Wartenweiler libraries were flooded overnight after bathroom taps were left open during the water outage yesterday.

Michele Pickover, the principle curator for the historical papers research archives, said that the staff arrived this morning to flooding on the third basement of the William Cullen library where the archives are kept. Not all the archives were affected but the extensive collection of press cuttings used by researchers was damaged by water.

The collection covers the periods from 1940 to 2000 and captures a lot of the South African history. They have been removed from the original holding area to be dried.

“In the event that they are too badly damaged we will have to try digitise them to make them useful still for researchers,” said Pickover. The Rivonia Trial documents, court papers from the trial of former president Nelson Mandela and others, are safe as they are kept in a separate location.

According to Pickover, the university will be providing dehumidifiers to help lessen the dampness and humidity in the basement. In the long run though the department is looking to move to a new building that will house the archives as the current one is not ideal.

William Cullen library was closed today on the advisement of Property and Infrastructure Management Division as they wanted to inspect the danger of water and electricity to the computers and equipment in the building.

Wartenweiler library was partly closed today. It had two of its floors affected by the flood and kept these blockaded as a safety precaution for the students. They are still in the process of assessing the extent of the damage said Paiki Muswazi, the deputy university librarian.

Both libraries will be open tomorrow.



#BuildaPresident campaign comes to Wits

The #BuildaPresident campaign, inspired by former president Nelson Mandela, will kick off at Wits University this Tuesday, July 21. As part of Mandela day, event hosted by Drama for Life, will appeal to staff and students to make a pledge to good citizenship. Event activities a display a 3 000 citizen-driven image collage reflecting what the ideal South African president should be.

The #BuildaPresident campaign, inspired by former president Nelson Mandela, will kick off at Wits University on Tuesday, July 21. The Drama for Life department will host the event and plans to get the staff and Witsies to pledge to good citizenship.

Anzio Jacobs, event coordinator and Drama for Life student, said the pledge was created to honour the legacy of Mandela. Jacobs said he hopes the event will “draw attention to pertinent issues we face as a country”.

#BuildaPresident: 3 000 images, like this one, will cover the wall behind the Wits Art Museum facing Jorissen Street as part of the ongoing campaign aimed at fostering quality future leaders of South Africa. Photo: Evans Mathibe.

#BuildaPresident: 3 000 images, like this one, will cover the wall behind the Wits Art Museum facing Jorissen Street as part of the ongoing campaign aimed at fostering quality future leaders of South Africa. Photo: Evans Mathibe.

Part of the activities will include rebranding the wall at the university entrance on Jorrisson Street behind the Wits Art Museum (WAM). The rebrand will involve a collage of 3 000 images shared by people and showcasing their views on what an ideal South African president should be.

“We will rig a stage for keynote addresses from various stake-holders,” Jacobs said. “These addresses are intended to voice the university’s pledge to being a good citizen.”

Jacobs added that everyone in attendance will be asked to “record their pledge in order to show the overwhelming commitment of Wits University to a better South Africa.”

The event, which will begin at 13:15, will be hosted in collaboration with Wits Functions and Events, campus radio station VoWFM and the SRC (Student Representative Council).

“We trust that this will be the beginning of a great narrative of Wits doing its part in building a better nation for all,” Jacobs said.

For more information on the event visit the campaign website  or their Facebook page.


OPINION: First hello, final goodbye

Shandukani Mulaudzi writes of the day she finally saw Nelson Mandela – as his body lay in state in Pretoria, South Africa. 

ShanduAs a child I had always wanted to meet Nelson Mandela. I heard about him shaking children’s hands and smiling at them. Some of my classmates had been fortunate enough to meet him and I too longed for the moment where his hand would meet mine and I would be able to brag that I had met a real life hero.

In 1997 we moved to Arcadia and the Union Buildings were right up the road. I assumed Mandela lived there and imagined that one day I would see him driving out and he would at least wave at me. It didn’t happen, he left the presidency and I grew up. I became “too cool for school” and became satisfied with admiring his greatness from afar.

[pullquote align=”right”]”It’s over. Mandela is really gone”[/pullquote]

I finally saw him today and not in the way that I had once hoped for. His smile was wiped off his face and he couldn’t hold my hand nor could I hold his. The colour had been drained off his face and he looked more grey than brown. His face looked like clay. I was sad and what hurt the most was that I couldn’t even see his face fully because I am a little bit too short. I saw enough though. He looked peaceful and that comforted me.

As I walked away from the casket I saw officials on the other side holding out tissues for those who were crying. I did not cry – well at least not immediately.

[pullquote align=”left”]”You left us in the dark. We are powerless.” [/pullquote]

I went down the stairs from the amphitheatre in search of someone who would tell me how they felt about seeing his body lying there. I wanted to know how it felt for them to know that he had breathed his last breath and would no longer be able to share the wisdom and teachings he was known for.

As I walked I overheard a man say: “Ja ne! Go fedile. O tsamaile ka nnete Mandela” (It’s over. Mandela is really gone).

That was when the finality of it all dawned on me. I watched other journalists scramble to speak to people and ask them questions. I had never seen a corpse before this and I needed a moment. Just as I was about to go find a corner where I could bury my face in my dress a man approached me asking for something.


Joseph Tekela travelled from Qwa-Qwa to bid Mandela a final farewell. Photo: Shandukani Mulaudzi.

He was holding his crutch in one hand and an envelope in the other. His ANC shirt sparked my interest and I decided to ask him how he was feeling. He told me that for the first time in his life he saw a corpse and cried.

He told me his name is Joseph Tekela and he is the chairman of the Disability Forum in Qwa-Qwa. He and his colleagues travelled to Johannesburg on September 4 this year to pray for Mandela and wish him well. They had hoped he would get better because they still needed him.

Tekela read his card to me. Some of the words were:

“We thought he would fight for us for the implementation of a two-percent of disability employment. We thought he would fight for us for being included for RDP beneficiary for disability in Qwa-Qwa. Your death crushes our hopes of getting what we deserve. You left us in the dark. We are powerless.”

I left the Union Buildings after speaking to Tekela.  His story broke my heart and it was then that I thanked the Lord for my sunglasses which hid the tears that were now welling up in my eyes.

I overcame my fear of seeing a dead body to pay my final respects to a man who gave his life to a cause he so strongly believed in. Tata Rolihlahla Mandela was a beacon of hope for all and even though he had not been involved in politics for years many still saw him as the man who would save them from the injustices they still face in our country.

Today I saw him for the first time and I said goodbye to him too.  The moment was brief and perhaps a little traumatic but it was well worth it.

R.I.P. Nelson Mandela.


South Africa wins for Mandela

Unite4Mandela: Supporters at the FNB Stadium in Soweto during the Bafana Bafana soccer match

Unite4Mandela: Supporters at the FNB Stadium in Soweto during the Bafana Bafana soccer match. Photo: Caro Malherbe

The Nelson Mandela Sports and Culture Day at the FBN stadium in Soweto saw both the Boks and Bafana Bafana play to victory.

The stadium was a alive with #humanspirit as a diversity of South Africans came to show their support for the two major national sports teams. Dressed in green and yellow, supporters came flooding in from all walks of life. The feeling was that no matter what the outcome, uniting together for a common purpose was a win for us all.

Not only did South Africans unite for their love of soccer and rugby but  the day was in honour of tata Mandela #Unite4Mandela, the man who represents unity itself.

Bafana Bafana vs Burkina Faso

A sea of South African flags was seen and vuvuzelas heard as Bafana Bafana came running onto the field, ready to take on Burkina Faso.

With a score of 2-0, Bafana Bafana set the mood for the rest of the day. With so many fans cheering and encouraging our team, Burikina Faso did not stand a chance.

Man of the match, Siphiwe Tshabalala, scored the first goal in the first half and Luyolo Nomandela scored in the second half.

[pullquote align=”right”]This win helped fans regain their belief in Bafana.[/pullquote]

Coach Gordon Igesund said he hoped that the team will be able to carry on with the trend for their important match against Botswana on 7 September.

FNB Stadium: South Africans came from all walks of life to show their support.

FNB Stadium: South Africans came from all walks of life to show their support. Photo: Caro Malherbe

Springboks vs. Argentina

The amount of stadium goers doubled when the Springboks vs. Argentina game kicked off.

Playing their first game of the Rugby Championship Test series, the Boks brought the heat when they annihilated Argentina with a score of 73-13.

After the first half, it was clear that it was going to be an easy win. Although the Pumas held on by the skin of their teeth and showed fighting skill, they could sadly did not manage to beat the sterling team.

The Springboks showed great discipline by receiving only four penalties to Argentina out of the 16 handed out.

It was raining tries for the Boks while the roaring cheers from 50, 000 audience members gave the Boks even more steam for domination.

The team held the Nelson Mandela Sports and Culture Day Cup high as they celebrated their massive victory and Adriaan Strauss was named man of the match.

Springboks: Argentina stood no chance against the persistent Boks. Photo: Caro Malherbe

Springboks: Argentina stood no chance against the persistent Boks. Photo: Caro Malherbe

Bafana Bafana Legands vs. Italian Legends

The first match of the day was played by the SA Masters who lost 2-0 to the Italian Legend.

The Bafana Legends were the team who won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1996, two years after the first free and fair political elections in South Africa. The team played on Saturday in honour of the man who made it all happen.

After the sport, supporters were treated to some culture when the stadium became alive with music from some of South Africa’s top acts. Kurt Darren, Elvis Blue and Toya Delazy were some of the musical icons who performed and got the stadium rocking.

All proceeds from the day will be going towards building a new Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital.

The day was a mammoth affair for all South Africans across the country and was a great example of how far we have come in the fight for freedom and unity.

Halala: War cries could be heard all around the stadium. Photo: Caro Malherbe

Halala: War cries could be heard all around the stadium. Photo: Caro Malherbe

The youth get keen on doing it for Madiba

THE YEAR 2013 is proving to be the year of the youth.

Philanthropy and politics are making their way to the top of young people’s priority lists. And Mandela Day is a perfect way of engaging in both.

A recent survey by consumer research company, Pondering Panda, showed that nine out ten youngsters had plans of taking part in the Mandela Day initiative this year.

The number of youth giving 67 minutes of their time on former president Nelson Mandela’s birthday has increased threefold, with 33% of those surveyed saying they would be participating for the first time.

The Wits community has also done its bit to celebrate Mzansi’s favourite statesman.

Wits Business School (WBS) went to the Nazareth House in Yeoville. The house is home to abandoned HIV positive babies and children.

The Yeoville home also looks after the aged, mentally challenged and terminally ill.

WBS staff members decided to create a fun-filled day of cake and play for the 30 children of Nazareth House.

Face painting, jumping castles and games were the order of the day as the children enjoyed hot dogs, party packs and a large Nelson Mandela birthday cake.

“We decided to do something more personal and fun for the kids,” said WBS events officer Vuyolwethu Mntonintshi.

The WBS team also bought groceries, clothes and nappies for the home.

“We thought we’d also do some painting and gardening, but the place is actually pretty well-maintained,” Mntonintshi said.

She said they still had plans to buy books and toys for Nazareth House but had to wait for the procurement process at Wits to pass.

The spotlight on Nelson Mandela’s health appears to have brought greater attention to the icon and his legacy.

Some prominent young people decided to have an early Mandela Day.

In the second week of July, Lehasa Moloi of ETV’s Sony Mgongo fame took to Alexandra township with a team of celebrities.

The stars gave residents of the Itlhokomeleng Home for the Elderly manicures and haircuts in the sun. They also enjoyed chats over tea and cake in paying respect to Mandela.

Moloi was raised by his grandparents and is no stranger to frail care as he looked after his grandparents when they were ill.

He said he wished the plight of senior citizens could be “in people’s faces all the time” as they tend to be the “forgotten generation”.

While his condition is said to have improved, the former president’s health continues to be a matter of concern to South Africans everywhere.


Opinions: Mandela’s virtues are our virtues

This Mandela Day will certainly be regarded as the most significant so far – but why do we need a Mandela Day at all?

On July 18, 2009, Mandela’s birthday, Mandela Day was declared an international day for peace and to celebrate his legacy. People pledge to give 67 minutes of their day to do good, a minute for each year Mandela gave to fight against the oppressive apartheid regime.

On the website, the reason for Mandela Day is given as: “To inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the better, and in doing so build a global movement for good.”

But it is this concept of doing 67 minutes of good that interests me most. Why do we need a specific day, time or place to do something good?

In doing 67 minutes of good on Mandela Day, people are joining together in an initiative they feel is worth being part of – clearly, or no-one would bother.  A whole year has passed since the last, but people sit and wait for someone to tell them that this is the day they should start feeling charitable.

This is an example of how humans cross the species border and become sheep. It all stems from our need to be guided, to follow, in an attempt to be normal.

In Tribes, Seth Godin writes about humanity’s need to belong. He says all people want to be part of a tribe, a connection of people who are like-minded and share common beliefs. No matter how big or small, people need to be connected to a leader or an idea.

People look to leaders who have similar perspectives to their own. Everything that has been accomplished over time, including overcoming apartheid, was achieved by the actions of leaders. These leaders are people who take the initiative to vocalise their beliefs and make a change in one way or another.

We follow them because we see ourselves within these leaders. We share their innate morals and cultural outlook. A leader holds a mirror to our subconscious and helps us put into motion what we already knew we wanted to achieve.

Why is it, though, that all credit goes to that particular leader? Why do we attribute all the accomplishments achieved on behalf of our country to one man? Is it up to Mandela to hold us together? Or can we learn from him in the attempt to continue his leadership tasks, working consistently together to keep South Africa on the right path?

With all the greatness the country has achieved, South Africans should look to themselves and their own leadership qualities. If we didn’t share Mandela’s need for change, his forgiveness, his drive and heart, he would never have been able to achieve what he did.

It is now time to take our own virtues into consideration. We need to recognise our inner power and learn to do something with it.

The truth is, South Africa got where it is because we all have the ability to do good. We followed Mandela because we have his qualities and he shares ours.

With Mandela Day approaching, people are suddenly browsing the web for some charity or event to participate in for 67 minutes, do some good and just to be involved. But surely all this does is make us feel complacent; that we’ve done our bit for the year.

Is it not time that we as humans see ourselves as captains of our own ships, makers of our own destinies? The beauty of life is that we are all given choices, and it is up to us to be active in the choices we make.

Give yourself some credit as a South African, and realise that you don’t need a “Day” or a leader to show you the way or to make a change. We all have the ability to be the leaders that the rest of the world needs.

Instead of sitting around and waiting for Mandela Day, do what Seth Godin tells us: “Shine a light, build a tribe and make a difference” today.



[STORIFY] Mandela medical drama

Please click here if this Storify does not load automatically.

[STORIFY]: Mandla airs the dirty laundry

If this Storify does not load automatically, please click here.

Nelson Mandela’s grandson Mandla Mandela spoke in great detail at a media briefing yesterday, following the outcome of the feuding family’s court case over family graves.

He said that he would no longer address the media and he wanted to focus on eradicating poverty in Mvezo.

Did you find this story interesting? or comment as 1 already did!