Medics demand transformation

Wits medical students protest over transformation

Wits medical students protest over transformation on Wednesday                Photo: Ayanda Mgede

Wits medical students staged a protest on Wednesday afternoon, calling the Faculty of Health Sciences out on illegal student exclusions and delayed processes of transformation.

The students complained about the slow rate of transformation at Medical School and some students falling victim to what they say are illegal exclusions.

“Management failed to give students a criteria to even begin with so how are they now telling them that they failed to meet a criteria?” said Nkosinathi Maluleke who led the protest and currently sits in the Student Transformation Committee.

The students raised concerns about the processes of dealing with students who had not been attending compulsory activities in their field, which is part of their course.  The compulsory activities include field experience, such as working in a hospital, to gain real world experience.

The protesting students say that the faculty forced them to deregister for the course this year and come back next year because of failure to meet their due performance scores.

This was, however, overturned this morning when the faculty announced that its decision would be withdrawn. Martin Veller, the dean of health sciences, told Wits Vuvuzela that “The reason why we withdrew that was because the process was not according to the rules of the university and we will address that as it was not correct.”

But Veller said he was concerned about students not wanting to take responsibility for what they came to Medical School to do, he said that it did not look good to have medical professionals who were not seen in their skills environments. “We can’t guarantee if you really acquired those skills and that was our contention,” said Veller

Veller added that they were committed to a broad transformation project but that it is always limited by resources that are available to the faculty. “We’re in the process of addressing transformation and many other issues they raised but no transformation is ever fast enough,” he said.

The students read out a memorandum with their tabled demands and gave management seven days to respond in writing. Veller that the protest showed a level of impatience that he admires from the students but said a lot of the demands were already being addressed by the faculty

Wits Student Representative Council (SRC) Vice-President Motheo Brodie said that the SRC was aware of the demands by students and that they have been engaging with the Student Transformation Committee in the Medical School Council.

“I hope that management will respond because if they don’t, this might not have a pretty ending,” he said.

RUGBY: Victory for Medics after 10-years of trying

Tendai Dube & Lutho Mtongana

The Young Doctors (Medics) celebrate their 16-13 win against Masakhane in the finals of the internal rugby league.     Photo: Lutho Mtongana

The Young Doctors (Medics) celebrate their 16-13 win against Masakhane in the finals of the internal rugby league. Photo: Lutho Mtongana

CORRECTION: Wits Vuvuzela initially reported that Men’s Res won against the Engineers but it was the Engineers that won the game. We regret the error.

After a 10-year losing steak, the Medics have finally claimed the top spot on the internal rugby league by beating Masakhane 16 – 13 at Wits University last night.

The Young Doctors scored the winning try of a high-pressured game that saw both teams at 13-all in the last ten minutes.

“My favourite part of the game was when Charl Stonewall Bosman (medics) slotted that drop goal”, medics captain, Patrick Chappel said.

“It was a tremendously difficult game, it was really tough, there has been a slow rivalry between us and Masakhane for a while now but it was fantastic and the boys are over the moon,” said Chappel.

Although the game ended sadly for the Masakhane boys their captain, Katlego Maseko believes the team put their all in the game.

“The team played amazingly, I think the boys put their all and their hearts into it but as captain, I let them down”, Maseko said.

“We deserved more from the outcome of the game,” he added.

The first half of the game showed Medics leading 13–0 against Masakhane but the Masakhane boys came back hard after an intense pep talk from their captain, telling the team to put out their hands, face-up and grab for the coveted trophy. In the second half Masakhane managed to equalise the score 13-all, but it fell short as the Medics scored once more.

The evening started with a “curtain raiser” match between, Mens Residence playing once again against the recently disqualified Engineers, Engineers won 47-8.

Humanities (Titans) and South African Hellenic Association (SHA) also played a “bowl final”, where the Titans walked away 64-0.

The battle of the rugby shield tightens

Wits rugby team Medics “Young Doctors” is currently number one at the university, having lost none of their matches this year from ten teams. Their latest victory was against Monash for the Rugby Internal League play off.

Following Young Doctors is Masakhane with 208 points and the Engineers with 173 points. The SA Union of Jewish Students (SAUJS) which still have not won any games since the league started, managed only 50 points and continue to remain at the bottom this semester.

SAUJS have not played any games this semester and have been troubled since their team had a leadership deficit – their manager only just returned two weeks ago from a two month trip overseas. Alan Leonard, Rugby Internal League coordinator, said, “If SAUJS cannot continue then the scores for SAUJS will be wiped out and it will be as if they had not played. That levels the playing field”.

Meanwhile, Masakhane is determined to take the Medics on in the finale after they lost only one game last semester against the Medics. Katlego Maseko, Masakhane captain said his team had no problems, had “the best defence in the league” and he hoped to see Medics in the final.

Even though the Medics have done extremely well their captain, Donovan Heslop disclosed that “one part of our game that needs work is our defence and kicking, this has always been a problem with us our strongest asset has been our attack, we have very exciting players who are able to create tries when needed.”

TEAM HUG: The Medics rejoice after winning a game. Photo by: Tendai

TEAM HUG: The Medics rejoice after winning a game.        Photo by: Tendai Dube

For the past three years the Medics have only made it to the semi-finals, not winning the cup. Heslop said this time, “Our goal is to make the final and hopefully win the league.”

As for Mens Res, they opened this semester with another loss. Leonard said, “Last week their fitness was not up to scratch and they seem to change their team every week.”

“I think the other teams have got stronger but also with the disruptions the teams have not played the same number of games,” he added.

Monash captain, Tatenda Mtemeri said that one of the reasons for their lack lustre performance well is that they had a lot of new players most of which were under 19. They had only three seniors remaining.

However, it’s not really a Super 6 anymore; this year all teams will play until the semi-finals. This means that all teams on the league, Medics, Masakhane, Engineers, Commerce, Monash, Humanities (Titans), Mens Res (Raiders), South African Hellenic Association (SHA), MGI Tigers and SAUJs will be part of the remaining three rounds of the games.

The Rugby Internal League Final will take place on September 10, with only three rounds left until the play-offs. The last week will see a five game round if SAUJS emerges from its leadership crises and continue to play, according to Leonard.

Close on the Medics’ heels for winner, according to the current standing, looks likely to be Masakhane or the Engineers.

Netball league teams eye coveted title

Going up the ranks: Goal Scorer Miya Mathaphela (left) from Medhurst during a game against Jubilee which saw them earning a 25-9 victory. Photo: Nqobile Dludla

Going up the ranks: Goal Scorer Miya Mathaphela (left) from Medhurst during a game against Jubilee which saw them earning a 25-9 victory. Photo: Nqobile Dludla

The top three Wits Netball Internal League (WNIL) teams are not planning on backing down until they get the coveted title once the season resumes next week Tuesday.

This semester will see all teams continuing to prove why they are the best at what they do.

This of course won’t come without a fight, as the other teams attempt to dethrone the Medics who are the current defending champions since 2011.

“We’re only coming back stronger than we were before,” said Medics captain, Florencia Mnisi.

“We strive to be the best. In doing so, we’ve got to keep improving our skills and being better than we were before.”

Medics are leading with 12 points followed by the new residence team, Noswal Hall, and Medhurst, both also with 12 points on the log. What puts Medics in the lead is their goal difference (GD) score sitting at 129 compared to Noswal Hall at 66 and 64 for Medhurst.

These top three of the 12 performing teams won all four of their matches last semester.

Medics’ history as defending champs, after dethroning the once most-feared team Jubilee, is posing a threat to other teams yearning to attain the title. Last year Medhurst walked away with bronze medals in third place while Jubilee lost to Medics and came second.

“We’re like a target everyone wants to get to, so we get pressure because we need to hold on to our title. We are all after victory,” said Mnisi

New kids on the block

True to Mnisi’s assessment, new kids on the block Noswal Hall “want it all”.

“A juggle of the positions would be more interesting, I mean why introduce something new if we want to keep things constant? I believe competition is healthy, keeps everyone on their toes. I would like to think it’s motivating,” said Keneilwe Manda, acting captain of the Noswal team.

Noswal have been playing without a captain since the season began in April. This, however, has not held back the new kids from outperforming Junction by 14-9, Braam Centre by 45-7, Reith by 23-13 and Esselen by 21-8.
“Team work and cooperation is what has kept us together without a captain,” said Manda.

While fitness is a key area for improvement from last semester, Manda also emphasised “making a bigger name for the new kids on the block”.

“We are a team that wants to show that [people should] never underestimate a developing team,” said Manda.

Compared to the other two top teams, Noswal has new players who have not experienced the league before.

Speaking on the performance of the top three teams, WINL coordinator, Ofentse Moropa, said: “If you had asked me before the season started, I would have said that they [Medics] would win without a doubt. However, it is Noswal’s first time in the league and they look like they’ll be the dark horse of the competition and might cause major upsets.”

Indeed, at number three, Medhurst realises that to move up on the score board will take a lot of commitment and effort from the whole team.
Medhurst faced last year’s second-place winners Jubilee last semester in a disappointing match that left Jubilee wondering what had hit them with the score 25-9 in Medhurst’s favour.

“We plan on going up the ranks and the only way to do that is to stay focused and practising and giving each game our best. We are hoping to be number one. We would love to take the trophy home this year,” said Medhurst captain, Apel Kunene.