No World Cup for SA Under 21 Witsie

Published in Vuvuzela, September 14

By Jay Caboz

Demi Du Toit has been chose to represent South Africa in the Junior World Cup Qualifiers to be held in October.

WITS hockey player Demi du Toit has been chosen to represent South Africa in the Under 21 Junior World Cup Qualifier Tournament to be held at the Kaspersky Randburg Astro in October.

Should the team win the tournament, they will automatically qualify for the Junior World Cup, to be held in Canada in June next year.  But Du Toit will be unable to play in this as she turns 21 this year.

“Last October I was told I had been called up into the Junior World Cup squad to join them at camp. However turning 21 in 2012 meant that I was ineligible to participate in the Junior World Cup, meaning that I would only be able to play in the qualifiers should I be selected for the team.”

Du Toit is not the only one. A further five players in the squad also exceed the age limit. Kaila Flemming, Christine Roos, Lisa Hawker and Nicole Kemp will not be able to go.

Du Toit (the only Witsie), Flemming and Roos are among the five players who were selected from Southern Gauteng. Four were chosen from Western Province, three from the Free State and Northern Gauteng, two from Amathole (formally Border) and one from Eastern Province.

She is disappointed at not being eligible, but Du Toit still hopes to make the women’s senior side in the future.  The eligible players were included in the squad to help strengthen it specifically for the qualifying tournament.

U21 SA are firm favourites to win at Randburg and have been scheduled to take on the likes of Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

“In order to make the SA woman’s squad, it’s going to take a lot more hard work, focus and determination.  I believe I have what it takes to be in that team one day and I will put in the work to get there,” said Du Toit.

Du Toit most recently represented U21 SA in the Senior Interprovincial Tournament (IPT) held in August at the Randburg Astro.  They finished in fourth position overall after losing to Northern Gauteng.  The Witsie contributed significantly to the side as one of the top defenders as well as a penalty corner specialist.

“I first played in green and gold when I was 17. I made the U18 South African team. We played a series against Australia and Zimbabwe later that year. The same team then took part in the U21 IPT the following year.”

For Du Toit, every moment on the field is about being accurate, composed and patient. She accepts that balancing her university work and her hockey schedule is her greatest challenge.

jay@witsvuvuzela.com

ALTSA leaders break ranks

Members from the unions ALTSA, ASAWU and NEHAWU gathered outside the Great Hall Steps at 12pm to protest the break down in wage negotiations with Wits Council. Photo by Jay Caboz

By Lisa Golden and Nandi Ndlazi
Photographs by Jay Caboz

Wits Administration, Library and Technical Staff Association (ALTSA) leadership accepted the terms offered by Wits management after last-minute negotiations last night but failed to inform some of their members of this decision. This left the Academic Staff Association of Wits University (ASAWU) and the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU) to strike by themselves today August 28 against Wits management.

This morning confused ALTSA members arrived at the picketing lines, unaware that their leaders had accepted an agreement with Wits management the night before. Some were confused and frustrated when they found out.

This is the second strike by the academic unions this month. They are demanding an increase in salaries for workers, an agreement to structure salaries around the 75th percentile, resolve issues with parking and provide a childcare facility for workers among other issues.

Ian Walters, and ALTSA member and an administrator in the Wits School of Arts, was unaware that ALTSA had backed out of the strike, and only found out when he arrived at campus in the morning.
“I’m staying on strike because I’m in support of NEHAWU and ASAWU. That was the original idea,” said Walters.

Adele Underhay, the president of ALTSA, was unavailable for comment, and some members of the union also couldn’t reach her.

David Dickinson, president of ASAWU said it was regrettable that ALTSA leaders had chosen to break ranks. “I respect the independence as a union and the decision of their leadership is what they must account for to their membership” Dickinson said.

Negotiations between the Wits Executive Council and ASAWU, ALTSA and NEHAWU was re-opened a day before the strike. Photo by Jay Caboz

The Wits Senate (the academic leadership forum) made a call to halt the striking unions “without further delay”. Photo by Jay Caboz

Fellow ALTSA members expressed their disappointment in their leadership’s acceptance of management’s offers. Barbie Pickering from the finance faculty said she didn’t know about their union pulling out at the eleventh hour and they only received the e-mail this morning.

“We went into this thing to support all the unions. We are not happy with our union leadership on that,” said Pickering.

The rally, which started at noon, had speakers that reiterated the unions’ demands. Carl Beaumont, an ASAWU member, congratulated the ALTSA members who turned up at the rally while fellow strikers applauded the group.

The Student Representation Council and the Wits Workers Solidarity Committee again pledged their support for the striking unions.

The final word from Beaumont was that the unions are prepared to strike again if their demands are not properly discussed and considered during negotiations.
nandi@witsvuvuzela.com
lisa@witsvuvuzela.com