Don’t get stumped by cricket bru

Infographic by Mia Swart

It’s that time of the year again – when camp chairs, people  lathered in sun screen and crowded cars make their way to stadiums to watch cricket.

I use the word “watch” loosely here because even though I have been to many cricket games, I’ve never really watched. I have no recollection of who won and who lost.I don’t even remember who was playing.

What I do recall is the amount of booze that was flowing, getting burnt by the sun and the many details of the “deep meaningful conversations” I had with my friends pitch side. This cricket season I refuse to be a mindless spectator. I want to engage and scream my lungs out like the rest of the crowd. I sought out the help of a few fanatics. CRICKET 3

Hopefully what they told me will help other people who have been using the cricket as an excuse to work on their phuza faces.


Let’s start with the teams. There are 11 players on each team. “Teams bat in successive innings and attempt to score runs, while the opposing team fields and attempts to bring an end to the batting team’s innings,” said student and player, Kagiso Mathaba.

An inning is just one half of the game that each team gets an opportunity to bat or bowl.

Simply, apart from winning, part of the game is to get as many runs as possible without losing too many wickets.


The fastest way to do this is to hit 4s and 6s. A 4 is when the ball hits the boundary line and a 6 is when the ball is hit clean over that line. The slowest way of getting runs is manually running between the wickets.

Some of the main ways of being taken out are: a direct catch after the ball has been hit by a batsman, LBW (leg before wicket) when the ball hits a batsman’s leg which is directly in line with a wicket.

A  run out is when a batsman fails to make it back to the crease (you might have to look this up, I did). Also each batsman represents a wicket, so by the time 10 wickets/batsmen have been bowled out it’s late for the said team.

Duckworth-Lewis method

What I found most interesting is the fact that a team can win a game without playing an entire game.

Apparently when it rains, the Duckworth-Lewis method is used to calculate how a team would have carried on playing had it not been for the rain – but they have to play for a considerable amount of time for this method to be used.

“It’s a strategic game, it’s as much about playing as it is about thinking – it’s about tactical one-upmanship.

“The greatest thing about cricket is the commentary,” said a sports aficionado in the Wits Vuvuzela newsroom.

It’s all in the hands, from spectators who lift beers to umpires with their customised signals, to commentators who offer visual illustrations of the game as it unfolds.

Witsies celebrate 2013 Nobel Prize

Prof Bruce Mellado from the High Energy Physics group at Wits displays the processing unit the group is building for a new super computer. Photo: Mia Swart

Prof Bruce Mellado who is one of the lead physicists with HEP, a project at Wits University that contributes to the Atlas project. Photo: Mia Swart

The 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded today to physicists François Englert, 80 (Belgium) and Peter Higgs, 84 (Britain), “for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles.”

Known as the Higgs Boson particle, the work of these two physicists was confirmed by discoveries made during the Atlas experiment at CERN’sLarge Hadron Collider.

Wits University is today celebrating the achievement of the Nobel Prize as a team of Witsies are regular and significant contributors to the Atlas project.

Speaking to Wits Vuvuzela, Professor Bruce Mellado said: “It’s an accolade for everyone involved and it’s great that a few strong people in South Africa had contributed.

Together with Dr Trevor Vickey and Dr Oana Boeriu, Mellado leads a team of Wits staff, students and post-doctoral scholars at the High Energy Physics Group (HEP), in the School of Physics who directly contribute to the work associated with the Nobel Prize winners.

Mellado said that it’s good that the theorists who proposed the mechanism received the Nobel Prize and that the scientific community acknowledged the greatness of the discovery.

“In the end we want to have South Africa make a strong contribution to future accelerators and experiments to explore the Higgs Boson.”

Higgs and Englert share the prize money of 8m Swedish kronor (about R12,5 million) for their theoretical discovery made almost 50 years ago.

Earlier today Wits University released a statement indicating that the lead physicists were available for comment:

Dr Trevor Vickey at or on 27 11 717 6884 or 072 966 0617

Professor Bruce Mellado on on 27 11 717 6889 or 061 303 2579

Dr Oana Boeriu on on 27 11 717 6885 or 072 971 6333



‘Wapad’ wheels on the roll again

The editor of Wapad, the student paper of the North West University’s Potchefstroom campus is happy that the newspaper will soon be back in business.

But Kevin du Plessis, Wapad editor said: “We have many things to sort out in the coming weeks to protect Wapad’s independence for coming generations of student journalists.”

The paper’s journalists already had many discussions underway about the paper’s independence thanks to the support they received from their Communications lecturers.

Du Plessis said the social media response and its role with regard to the newspaper’s reinstatement was their “saviour”. “The word got out so quickly and it served as a great platform for discussion.”

[pullquote align=”right”]“the right of a student newspaper to appear without editorial interference was emphasised by campus management”[/pullquote]

Beeld newspaper reported on Wednesday that the campus’s marketing and communications department announced the newspaper would appear again on October 10.

Pukke spokesman Johan van Zyl said about R 40 000 of the advertising fees were collected. The outstanding debt would be settled by campus management to ensure that the next editorial team do not start their year in debt.

Van Zyl said management decided that Wapad could be published again because some of the money had been collected.

Last week media reported that the Pukke’s marketing and communication department told Du Plessis that neither a printed edition nor an online edition of Wapad would be allowed for the rest of the year, until almost R80 000 in outstanding advertising fees were collected.

Wits Vuvuzela spoke to Du Plessis who said the decision to ban the newspaper was a plan to control the newspaper’s content to ensure it upholds the university’s reputation and that it was a plan to control media distributed on campus.

Beeld reported that Van Zyl said the newspaper’s expenses must be sustained by advertising income and “the right of a student newspaper to appear without editorial interference was emphasised by campus management as well as the fact that any newspaper can appear with a sustainable income.”


UCT blogger “exposed”

CORRECTION: The statements of Qamran Tabo were taken from a report compiled by Kieran Duggan, David Horscroft, and Ben Steenhuisen. In an email to Wits Vuvuzela Tabo claims that quotes attributed to her in the report were based on hearsay. Wits Vuvuzela would like to emphasise that it did not speak with Tabo directly and apologises if this was in any way implied in the article.


A current University of Cape Town student has been exposed as the alleged administrator of the controversial UCT Exposed blog which published academic grades, private information and correspondence of UCT students.

Pabie Tabo, also known as Qamran Tabo, is thought to be the originator of the blog and facebook page. Earlier this year, Tabo was embroiled in controversy for an articke in the UCT student newspaper called ‘the most attractive race poll’.

A report detailing her alleged involvement in the blog was compiled by UCT students Kieran Duggan and David Horscroft, as well as former UCT Computer Science employee Ben Steenhuisen. They wrote that the blog “publically name[d] and shame[d] people based on their marks or dress sense, accused UCT members of racism, and sexually objectified other UCT students”. It caused emotional distress to several of the blog’s targets, one of whom talked of suicide.

The “honeypot”

Duggan, Horscroft and Steenhuisen investigated the site by contacting the site’s administrator, named as “John Smith”. They shared a link hosted on their own server, which promised “juicy information” if clicked on.

From this link, known as a trap or “honeypot”, they were able to determine the geographical position of the computer used by the administrator when “he” accessed the link. They traced it back to a computer in UCT’s Computer Sciences building. During the time the link was accessed, the computer was logged into the UCT profile of Qamran Tabo.

Tabo responded to the report by denying any association with the blog. She alleged that a third party accessed her UCT login profile to publish information. “I let someone use my PC in the lab on Friday. It was after a Maths test and I even have an alibi.”

The researchers who compiled the report said it would be “relatively easy for UCT investigators to confirm or deny whether or not it was Tabo who accessed her UCT profile from the computer lab in question by reviewing security camera footage”.

Earlier in the year Tabo conducted a poll with the stated purpose of discovering which race was most attractive to UCT students looking for love. In an article, called Is love colour-blind?, she claimed the poll found Caucasians to be most attractive to other races.

Equality scholarships for ten new Witsies

WORKING TOGETHER: Habib discussing how 'we' can building a stronger university Photo: Ray Mahlaka

WORKING TOGETHER: Habib discusses how ‘we’ can build a stronger university
Photo: Ray Mahlaka

Wits plans to offer ten new scholarships to talented first year students.

The ‘Vice chancellor Equality Scholarships’ is the brainchild of Professor Adam Habib and will be presented to 10 students from the most marginalised schools.

The scholarship will be similar to the current merit scholarships that the university offers.

Habib said each the qualifying student would receive about R 100 000 in funding.

The students’ study fees and residence fees will be paid in full throughout their degree, as long as they attain a certain level of performance.

If the students pass their first year at the university, their second year will be paid as well. Habib said the rationale of the scholarship is that any university must be a home for talented students, whatever their degree.

“That’s a bloody good student”

“Our thing is, if you’re going to be a nationally responsible university, a university of this country, you must be able to make sure you have a home for poor people as much as you are a home for rich people. And that means you are taking talented students.”

Habib said it can’t be expected of a marginalised student or someone who comes from a marginalised school to compete on an equal footing with somebody from a private school, so Wits wants to equalise the playing field.

[pullquote align=”right”]You must be able to make sure you have a home for poor people as much as you are a home for rich people[/pullquote]

“If you have got five A’s or four A’s from a student who is in a school that does not even have laboratories, that’s a bloody good student.  And so they must be given a shot.” The scholarships will be an attempt on Wits’s part as a public institution to address inequality in society. Funds for the scholarships will come from Wits and donors.

Although 10 new scholarships are planned for future first years, Wits is also driving a new scholarship fund for postgraduate students. Habib said the idea for the postgraduate funds was similar to the idea for the equality scholarship funds, “to address the needs as a society”.

Wits currently has 9 800 postgraduate students, which is about 30% of the total student population.

VIDEO VOX: What are Witsies voting for?

By Mia Swart and Pheladi Sethusa

SRC elections officially began yesterday. A steady stream of students entered the tents set up on Main campus throughout the day. It was a different story at Education campus. Wits Vuvuzela went out in search of potential voters to find out what they were looking for from the new leadership they would help to elect.


Caught between gender roles


CHILDHOOD TRAUMA: ‘Sthe’ regresses to his unhappy childhood state.          Photo: Mia Swart

CHILDHOOD TRAUMA: ‘Sthe’ regresses to his unhappy childhood state. Photo: Mia Swart

By Thuletho Zwane and Mia Swart

Torn pieces of paper filled the stage. Crumpled clothing and ties surrounded wine and beer bottles.

Sithembiso Khalishwayo, simply known as ‘Sthe’, appears and screams in anger: “As a child, I thought like a child, I spoke as a child. As a child I spoke of ignorance, ignorance is bliss”.

Sthe crawls under a chair, places his hands over his ears and face, shakes and cries uncontrollably – yelling nursery rhymes in an attempt to shut out the voices in his head: “Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb…Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall…”

Water Glasses covered in Packets of Salt is a physical theatre production, with elements of dance, about gender roles and sexuality. It asks if sex remains a sacred bond between two people, or if it has transformed into something that happens when it’s desired or taken by force, leaving a path of emptiness, guilt and fear.

“The play deals with sex. The idea of being a man, of being a female. What defines the roles of the mother figure and the father figure and how it affects the child?” said Sthe.

He wanted people to experience the same emotions he felt when he performed, he said. The play has a mixed bag of emotions – “emotions we as human beings don’t want to feel but we have to feel them at a certain point in time.”

Sthe said [pullquote align=”right”]The play came from a very personal space. It encapsulated his stories and stories of other people. “I wanted to show a side of me that I haven’t shown in a while, who I am, how I view the world.[/pullquote]

“If you want to see theatre at its core, people should come watch it. It is an emotional rollercoaster.”

Sthe is an actor, teacher, writer, dancer and choreographer who studied at the Wits School of Arts, majoring in physical theatre and performance.

The play is one of a series of plays in the Drama for Life Sex Actually festival, which will run from August 20 to 31 at the Wits Theatre. Water Glasses covered in Packets of Salt will be performed August 23 at 6pm and on August 29 at 1.15pm at the Wits Downstairs Theatre.

The spook wrote my matric

ACCUSED NUMBER 35: Elizabeth Mpofu displays the charge sheet that her accounting exam had an irregularity. Photo: Mia Swart

ACCUSED NUMBER 35: Elizabeth Mpofu displays the charge sheet
that her accounting exam had an irregularity. Photo: Mia Swart

By Nolwazi Mjwara and Mia Swart

A WITSIE is a year behind in her studies because her former school was involved in the first matricm exam fraud in the history of the Gauteng department of education (GDE) to involve ghost writers.

Elizabeth Mpofu, 2nd year LLB, was one of the “35 to 40” students who had irregularities in their final matric examinations. While she and the other students wrote their exams in good faith, their former schools had allegedly brought in other people to write exams under their names.

The two implicated schools, Robin Hood College and Vine College in the Johannesburg CBD, are private independent schools with the same director. Both receive larger government subsidies if their final matric pass rates are high.

[pullquote align=”right”]“Up until today we do not know what really happened to our original scripts, and the matter has been swept under the carpet for far too long now.”[/pullquote]

 Wits Vuvuzela was not able to obtain comment from the director of the two schools at the time of going to press. His cellphone message told callers that he was currently out of the country.

Not guilty

Mpofu wrote her matric in 2010 at Vine College and passed all her subjects -except for one.

“Well, when the results came out in 2011, I got the shock of my life. My accounting results had been blocked as a result of an irregularity I had allegedly committed.”

All the students affected by the fraud were initially called to face charges of irregularities before the GDE, but were found not guilty.

Mpofu was only permitted to rewrite her accounting exam at the end of 2011. She obtained a result of 79%.“Up until today we do not know what really happened to our original scripts, and the matter has been swept under the carpet for far too long now.”

Approached for comment, GDE spokesperson, Gershwin Chuenyane, said it had been recommended that the candidates’ marks be declared null and void and that the principal and all the educators from the two colleges be suspended from conducting any examination activities. The schools had to be de-registered as examination centres.

The GDE has taken over all examination activities and administration of the National Senior Certificate exams at the two colleges since 2011. But Chuenyane said the GDE could not institute charges against the principals and educators of Vine and Robin Hood Independent Schools because “they were not employed in terms of the Employment of Educators’ Act”.

Mpofu said: “I have since tried getting some legal advice from the Wits Law Clinic and I have been told that I can’t open a case without the final report of the investigation.”

Intimidated learners

Another former pupil affected by the fraud, Nonhlanhla Siwela, said she too had to wait an entire year to re-write her examination.

Siwela had two blocked subjects:physical science and life sciences.

The principal of the school in 2011, a “Mr Sibanda”, was present at her disciplinary hearing. “He told us to tell the board that the papers did belong to us. We all knew that they did not belong to us because the handwriting did not match our own.

“He also said that the department of education was racist and that they were jealous of the schools because they were private.”

Siwela said they were upset that the department had not told the former learners what action had been taken against the schools and their staff. They feared the evidence had been destroyed.

Another affected learner who studied at Vine College, Thabitha Ndlovu, discovered during the GDE’s investigation that three subjects, life sciences, physics and mathematics had been written for her. The ghost writers had passed the subjects with results of over 60%.

Transie Missions

Witsies use various modes of transport to travel to and from campus everyday. Some take 15 minute walks, while others have to travel for up to two hours. Wits Vuvuzela went out to bus stops, popular taxi pick up points, pedestrian crossings and trains stations to find out how the commute is for students and staff.

A day in the life 

Witsie Yusuf Bapeekee at the Braamfontein train station. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

Witsie Yusuf Bapeekee at the Braamfontein train station. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

Yusuf Bapeekee used to travel by motor bike when he lived in the West Rand near Kagiso. He recently moved to Mayfair and now walks daily to and from campus. [pullquote align=”right”]“I normally leave campus around 3.30, [but] because it’s Ramadan I leave around 1.15, after prayers.”[/pullquote]

“I never see anything out of the ordinary… just small school kids that walk free not scared. I see them and I feel free.”

Bapeekee said it took him “half hour tops” to make the commute. He said he left home at 7.15am. “I try to be early for my lectures”, he said as a smile grew across face.

“I normally leave campus around 3.30, [but] because it’s Ramadan I leave around 1.15, after prayers.”

Bapeekee said he enjoyed the walk. “It’s free to walk, plus it’s exercise.”

Asked about the crime associated with route around Enoch Sontonga Avenue, Bapeekee said:

“If I saw more students I’d feel even better.”

Walk on by 

Ntombi Mbatha carefully crosses the street. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

Ntombi Mbatha carefully crosses the street. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

A short brisk walk is all it takes for Ntombi Mbatha, 1st year BHSc, to get to and from campus. She lives at a Southpoint building just two blocks away from campus.

Even though her journey is uncomplicated she nearly got hit by a taxi once. She said that experience has made her think more than twice before crossing the street now.

She is fascinated by the high school students she passes on her way because they remind her of her days as one of them.

Ntombi feels very safe walking in Braamfontein.

“I went downtown once and it was just such a mess, Braam is better,” she said.


Ngake Mukgowane rushing to catch his train home. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

Ngake Mukgowane rushing to catch his train home. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

 Staff travels

Students aren’t the only ones who have to commute to and from Wits. Staff members also have their own transport missions.

Ngake Mukgowane is a Wits staff member who uses the train to commute.

He leaves his home in Dobsonville at 5.30am every morning and has to travel for about an hour and a half to reach Braamfontein station.

Mukgowane has been working at Wits for 18 years and has been a train commuter for most of those years.

He was in a rush to catch his 4pm train when Wits Vuvuzela reporters found him.

60 minute trip

John Malungani shows us how to call a taxi. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

John Malungani shows us how to call a taxi. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

John Malungani, 1st year BSc Com Sci,

has to commute for at least one hour a day to get to campus.

He says that he is more than willing to make the trip because of the good reputation that Wits has.

John lives in Tembisa. There is no taxi that comes straight from there to Wits, so he has to walk for another 15 minutes once he reaches Noord taxi rank.

He wishes he lived a little closer so that he could work and study till late on campus like other students.

“It’s hard travelling for two hours a day,” said Malungani.


National Science Week: Be an archaeologist at Wits for a day

DIG IN: Andrew van der Heever shows a student how to excavate. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

DIG IN: Andrew van der Heever shows Wits Vuvuzela journalist Liesl Frankson how to excavate an archeological site. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

Ever dreamt of being Indiana Jones?

 As part of National Science Week, The Wits Origins Centre offers children and students the chance to be an archaeologist for a day as part of their “Discovering the Past” exhibition.

ROCK ON: Andrew van der Heever   . Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

ROCK ON: Van der Heever  explains the process involved in finding objects. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

Kids and adults of all ages have the chance to spend time at “The Dig” in the South African Rock Museum where they can dig through different layers of earth to uncover different, but genuine artefacts in the simulated digs. More than 150 people  have already visited the centre since the exhibition opened on Saturday. During the course of National Science Week visitors can also tour the museum for free.
Andrew van der Heever, MA in Archaeology, and collection manager of about one million artifacts in the museum,  guides school pupils and students to dig, stop, map and screen their archaeological finds.
According to van der Heever, archaeologists cannot just take the objects out of the dig before mapping it. “Context is the most important, how the artifact formed how it fell into place. the environment also gives context,” he said.
One of the aims of the project is to attract children and students of all ages. Van der Heever said not many people know about archaeology, as it is not taught in schools. “The idea is to get youngsters involved. If you get more people into archaeology, you can get more funding.”
Although sciences such as Engineering, Biology and Physics receive the bulk of funding and interest, the Archaeology third years are very passionate about the profession.
Archaeology forms part of van der Heever’s love of history. Monica Gumede, 3rd year Archaeology, fell in love with archaeology after she met the archaeological legends at Wits such as David Lewis-Williams, went to the veld schools and got first hand experience of archaeology and digs. Now she has never been as passionate about anything else.

Wits buses, new branding

NEW LOOK: Wits marketing are designing a new brand for the buses that will replace the "Witrs 90 Celebration" design. Photo: Mia Swart

NEW LOOK: Wits marketing are designing a new brand for the buses that will replace the “Witrs 90 Celebration” design. Photo: Mia Swart

By Caro Malherbe and Mia Swart.

The Wits marketing and communications department is changing the branding on Wits buses – but students feel the money would be better spent on maintenance and internal improvements.

Marketing manager at Wits, Ferna Clarkson said they were in the early stages of designing new branding for the outside of buses. The 90 Years of Celebration branding was outdated, but there had been no resources, such as time and manpower, until now.

Clarkson said that no repairs would be done to the interior of the buses at this stage. But many students feel that updating the exterior branding of buses seems insignificant compared to the repairs that need to be done.

Students told Wits Vuvuzela the condition of the buses was not bad but, if money was to be spent, they would prefer it to be spent on improving the interior of the buses. They complained mainly of breakdowns and broken seats.

Wits Vuvuzela caught a bus to the Wits Education Campus last week and reported that the hinges of both front seats were unclipped. These seats are meant for “disabled students and students with limited mobility”.

Mazvita Moyo, 1st year Medicine, said the conditions were generally not that bad, except for peak times. “But in every bus, there’s a broken seat. If it’s a full bus, people are going to sit on the broken seats…if you want to get to class on time.”

Mtwakazi Bula, 2nd year Medicine, said the bus timetables were “hard to read. Make it user-friendly and more accessible”.

Unclipped seats

According to Wits Operations Manager for Transport, Sue-Ann Reed: “The seats of the buses are checked every evening when the buses are cleaned and inspected. We have observed that the seats do at times unclip when the students stand up.”

The plastic clips under the seats were being replaced with steel brackets, which would prevent the seats from becoming unclipped.

Reed said the buses were serviced regularly. A safety inspection was done every 14 days and a brake test every 30 days. All the buses were sent for roadworthy tests every six months as required by legislation. Minor repairs and maintenance checks were done by the mechanics onsite when required.

Bus driver Freddy Mabasa said there were sometimes problems with the buses, but there were mechanics on standby to assist the drivers. If drivers experienced problems, spare buses were available.

Clarkson said the branding of the buses was paid for by Luxliner Coaches, as a service to Wits. But the artwork and design of the branding was decided and provided by Wits Marketing Department.

Luxliner have started to remove the old branding. Some buses have been spray-painted white in preparation for the new branding.

“We are hoping to receive the final artwork and design from Wits Marketing Department in time for the branding to be completed during the June/July vacation period, as fewer buses will be needed,” said Reed.

Tirade mars anti-gender based violence campaign

WHILE University of the Witwatersrand students were signing pledges for an anti-gender based violence awareness campaign, a male member of the Student Representative Council verbally abused a female Wits Vuvuzela reporter.

Tokelo Nhlapo, SRC  vice president internal, swore and shouted at journalist Emelia Motsai before other students told him to back away.

Motsai covered the campaign on Friday for Wits Vuvuzela. She was approached by Nhlapo who showed her a copy of the Wits Vuvuzela  opinion article she had written.

“He shouted ‘Fuck the hell out of here’ and he shouted I must never take their pictures again”, she said.

According to Nhlapo, the reason for the outburst was an opinion piece written by Motsai that argued the SRC was using the students to further their own cause. Nhlapo said he was “taken aback”.

SRC secretary Tasneem Essop confirmed the outburst but said she didn’t think it was a gender-based incident. “It was an incident based out of anger based on a certain article,” she said.

Nhlapo admitted that he should have addressed his issues with Motsai better. “What was meant to be an attack on her views became an attack on her as a person,” he said.

“I acted out of frustration, anger and impulse. My act was foolish and I will apologise.”

Nhlapo said his outburst was personal and not in his capacity as SRC vice president. “It was me. I was hurt. I personally felt anger about the article.”

SRC president Sibulele Mgudlwa said the SRC denounced any form of assault, verbal or otherwise, on anyone.