Jubs leap their way to the top spot

JUBS KICKS BUTT: Jubs (blue) and Junction (green) fight it out ’til the finish with Jubs showing Junction how its done. Photo: Prelene Singh

JUBS KICKS BUTT: Jubs (blue) and Junction (green) fight it out ’til the finish with Jubs showing Junction how its done. Photo: Prelene Singh

JUBILEE Residence proved unbeatable in their game against Junction on Tuesday night in the second season of the Wits Internal Netball League (WINL) at Diggs Field.

Jubs thrashed Junction 28-4. Junction proved unmatched for their opposition team who were well practised for the game.

Jubs hit the floor running with aggressive defence and great airborne throws from the only male in the group. Jubs managed to basket nine goals in the first quarter, leaving Junction behind by eight goals.

Umpire Hitekani Makhabele, 2nd year BCom, had a tough job at hand keeping the Jubs players under control with their scoring spirits.

Whilst the ball spent the most time in the Jubs banding area, Makhabele blew the whistle for many centre passes.

By the end of the second quarter, Jubs proved a definite force to be reckoned with, with an imposing 14-goal lead over Junction.

Junction was lazy in defence and failed to take advantage of their passes. The players did not give accurate cues to one another and this proved detrimental to their whole game.

The third quarter started off well for Junction when they upped passing tactics and defence. They managed to basket two goals with Jubs only scoring one goal.

The pressure mounted in the last quarter with both teams improving their game with harder zone defence, paired with more direct attacks.

Both teams were grinding their hardest with Junction players screaming encouraging words (“Come on girls”) to up the momentum in a final push to the finish line.

This team spirit, while it was good, went down in flames when Jubs scored a further seven goals in the last quarter.

At the same time in the next court several other teams competed vigorously..

Lindiwe Radebe, vice chairperson for Wits Netball, said that if you want to be a part of the WINL all you need to do is get a team together and get registered to compete.

The WINL is in its second week of the second season.

The tournament features 12 teams including Barnato, David Webster, Jubilee, Sunnyside, Girton, Medhurst, Medics, Reith, Esselen, Braamfontein Centre and newcomers Madova.

Games are scheduled from 6pm every Tuesday during the season.

Related articles:

Wits Vuvuzela. Esselen grinds Girton. May 10, 2013.


BREAKING: Fired sex pests named

Dr Last Moyo pictured at a Wits event last year. Photo: Dinesh Balliah.

Fired! Dr Last Moyo pictured at a Wits event last year. Photo: Dinesh Balliah.


Two of the four Wits University lecturers accused of sexual harassment have been dismissed.

Although the statement did not name the lecturers, Wits Vuvuzela has learned that the dismissed lecturers are Tsepo wa Mamatu and Last Moyo.

According to a statement  released today by Wits vice chancellor, Prof Adam Habib, “the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, has just dismissed two employees who have been found guilty of sexual harassment.”

Habib declined to name the individuals.

Habib said that  the hearing was conducted and chaired by independent senior counsel who submitted the guilty verdict to Wits University.

Both of these lecturers were found to be in breach of the University’s Sexual Harassment Policy, Relationship Guidelines and the University’s Code of Conduct.

“The staff members have been found guilty of sexual harassment and misconduct, and one of them has also been found guilty of sexual/indecent assault,” said Habib.

Habib apologised to all students who had been victimised by theses lecturers and added that the university would not tolerate any future incidents of sexual harassment.

The cases of the remaining two suspended lecturers are ongoing and these outcomes will be announced over the next couple of weeks.

Tsepo wa Mamatu, a lecturer in Drama has also been fired from Wits for sexual harassment.  Photo: Provided

Tsepo wa Mamatu, a lecturer in Drama has also been fired from Wits for sexual harassment.
Photo: Provided

As previously reported by Wits Vuvuzela, the university was conducting two inquiries and it is said that the campus-wide inquiry “is expected to be completed in the next two weeks”.

This inquiry is being led by the Head of the Centre of Applied Legal Studies, Professor Bonita Meyersfeld and Joe Mothibi from Norton Rose Fulbright.

Read more in the Wits Vuvuzela print edition or online this Friday.



[GALLERY] Taiwanese student ambassadors visit Wits University

Six students from a Taiwan university came to South Africa as apart of a culture exchange programme. They were chosen from a long process of entries through a competition and are one of 35 teams who do this around the world.

They visit many locations while in South Africa and yesterday they visited Wits University. The event started off in Hofmeyer House in the morning where students from the university met the Taiwan students and immersed themselves in the Chinese culture by painting their faces in a symbol which representative this.

Students from both universities mingled and play games in order to get to know each other further.

Afterwards everyone met at the Wits Amphitheater where the Taiwanese students put on a show which included song and dance.

Watch a video of the event below:


The art of the afroculture

MAGICAL ILLUSIONS: Phumzile Sitole, BA theatre graduate from UCT in a timeless surreal space of dreams while performing the play Afrocartography at the Wits Theatre. Photo: Prelene Singh

MAGICAL ILLUSIONS: Phumzile Sitole, BA theatre graduate from UCT in a timeless surreal space of dreams while performing the play Afrocartography at the Wits Theatre. Photo: Prelene Singh

A STORY of a young girl who seeks her identity by travelling into a realm where imagination, dreams and memory overlap, is being told to Wits audiences to symbolise afro-culture and the migration history of being African in the world.

A stage performance called Afrocartography: Traces of places and all points in between launched at the Wits Theatre on Friday July 19, as part of its 30th birthday celebrations. Produced in conjunction with the Wits Repertory Company, the piece is billed as an explorative and truly African performance piece.[pullquote align=”right”]“Its new, fresh, exciting and poetic and a seminal work for every South African,”[/pullquote]

The main character is Traveller, who takes the audience on a mystical journey of self-discovery. The play takes its audience through a walking route around the Wits Theatre. “It serves as a walking metaphor to capture the essence of travelling, identity, location” as an African person, said co-director Khayelihle Dom Gumede.

Afrocartography carries overriding themes of migration in Africa. The experiences of black people who were faced with dislocation and its emotional consequences are depicted in the stage performance. The play incorporates issues faced by African people through the decades on this continent.

Phumzile Sitole, a graduate from UCT plays the role of Traveller and Tshego Khutsoane, a Wits graduate, plays the map maker who directs The Traveller in her journeys.

The performance is written by Mwenya B Kabwe. She co-directed the play with Gumede, who won the Emerging Theatres Directors’ bursary from the Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts. Liya Gonga choreographed the performance.

Kabwe is a well-travelled, Zambian-born writer who has studied at many institutions in the UK and South Africa, including UCT. Gumede said the play was based on Kabwe’s journey in different parts of the world and it was her experiences that led her to “redirect her identity and her journey as a ‘politan’ of various kinds”.

The performance has been described as “Afropolitan” and as an alternative way of being in the world.

The play was first shown in Barcelona in 2009 and again in Cape Town, said Gumede. However, this was the first time it was having a full run. The play took seven weeks to produce, from rehearsal to performance night, said Gumede.

Audiences can expect a mixture of mystery, curiosity, humour and a suitcase of emotion. “Its new, fresh, exciting and poetic and a seminal work for every South African,” said Gumede.

Related articles: 

Wits Vuvuzela. Zest from the fest. 19 July, 2013

Wits Vuvuzela. Milking memory for drama. July 19, 2013

Wits Vuvuzela. Crowds a mixed bag at 969. July 19, 2013



‘Sex pest’ hearings concluding

By Prelene Sigh and Emelia Motsai

ONE of the investigations into allegations of sexual harassment against Wits staff members has almost been completed.

“The first of the reports is expected in the week commencing August 5 2013,” Wits spokesperson Shirona Patel  said.

Three Wits staff members   were put on special leave pending an investigation into accusations of sexual harassment. Their accusers have been waiting for the outcome of these investigations.

A lecturer accused of sexual harassment, Dr Last Moyo, has pleaded not guilty to the accusations brought against him.

Refilwe Kumalo, 3rd year BA, testified against Moyo, a member of the media studies department, at a June 1 hearing where the lecturer said he was innocent of the accusations made against him. Kumalo said the hearing was “intense and it’s a big deal”.

[pullquote align=”right”]“The first of the reports is expected in the week commencing August 5 2013,”[/pullquote] Wits spokesperson Shirona Patel  said.

Allegations against Moyo were first raised in an article published by Wits Vuvuzela in March. Several students, including Kumalo, came forward and said Moyo had behaved inappropriately towards them.

In addition to Moyo, Prof Rupert Taylor of the politics department and senior drama lecturer Tsepo wa Mamatu have been placed on special leave pending investigations.

Dr Lord Mawuko-Yevugah of the international relations department has also been placed on special leave pending an investigation. However, the nature of the complaint against him is not known.

Patel said all the cases were still being heard but would be wrapped up soon.  She said the process was confidential and no information could be released at this time. The university would release a statement after the reports on the allegations were made, she said.

Drama department head Kennedy Chinyowa said he was interviewed during wa Mamatu’s hearing but had not received any further information on the investigation.

Chinyowa said, as far as he knew, all  the interviews of witnesses related to wa Mamatu’s hearing were scheduled to be done by June 28.

[pullquote]“The hearings are actually under way; until now there has just been a promise but now they are actually under way,” [/pullquote]

In an interview with Wits Vuvuzela, wa Mamatu said he was not coming back to Wits. However, Chinyowa said he was not aware that wa Mamatu had resigned.

“I’m not aware of this. And I am the [head of department], and officially we do not have any information about him resigning,” Chinyowa said.

Prof Daryl Glaser, head of the politics department, said he was “hopeful” because some action on the accusations had been taken after a long delay. The accusations against Taylor were first made in Wits Vuvuzela last year.

“The hearings are actually under way; until now there has just been a promise but now they are actually under way,” Glaser said.

“I know some people have been called to give evidence. I can’t say anything about what I’ve heard has happened in the hearing itself.”

Glasser said a result in Taylor’s hearing had been delayed because of postponements.

“For legal reasons, I think the defence has called for postponements, so the whole thing has been stretched out as a result,” he said.

Meanwhile, the campus-wide inquiry by law firm Norton Rose Fulbright into sexual harassment policy at Wits is also under way and will be completed by the end of August.

Joe Mothibi, employment and labour lawyer director at Norton Rose Fulbright, said the inquiry is examining “how widespread sexual harassment is on campus across all borders” between lecturers and students.

Mothibi urged students to come forward and approach him about any experiences they have had or if they know of any sexual harassment cases as “the university is a microcosm of the country and everyone is stakeholders in this problem”.

All parties coming forward will be kept “strictly anonymous”, Mothibi said.

Related articles

Wits Vuvuzela. Kruger talks sexual harassment. July 12, 2013

Wits Vuvuzela. EXCLUSIVE: Tsepo wa Mamatu speaks. May 31, 2013

Wits Vuvuzela. Sexual lunch: No strings attached. May 31, 2013

[GALLERY] Fans turn out for soccer season opener

On Monday afternoon Wits University faced North West University (NWU)  in the kick-off game for the Varsity Football tournament.

The game took place at the Milpark stadium where hundreds of fans came fully geared up in support of their teams. Wits University got a white-wash from NWU 4-0.

Francois Pienaar, captain of the 1995 Rugby World Cup winning Springbok team could be seen supporting the players.

The stadium shook with cheering fans stamping their feet and blowing their vuvuzelas.


Related links: 


NWU hand Wits a drubbing at Varsity Football opener

Sandwhich: Wits player Tumelo Magethi escapes NWU defenders Photo: Prelene Singh

Sandwich: Wits player Mzimkhulu Nhlengethwa escapes NWU defenders Photo: Prelene Singh

North West University (NWU) are early favourites to lift the inaugural Varsity Football title, after the men from Mafikeng thrashed Wits 4-0 at Milpark Stadium on Monday night.

The launch of Explosive Mondays, where student football teams from eight universities around the country will compete every Monday for the next nine weeks, was festive and filled with entertainment on and off the field.

The match, played in front of a packed a home crowd was beamed live by DStv channel Supersport, as will 15 out of the total 33 games, and this raised the atmosphere to fever-pitch on a frosty night in the Highveld.

Prizes on offer for those who braved the cold added to the atmosphere. Cash prizes for the most vocal fans and res’s with the most colourful supporters, a raffle for five cases of beer and a sea of freebies made it a memorable evening.

Memorable that is, for all except the Wits student team, who were a goal down within the first 15 minutes, and forced to chase shadows in the second half when UNW put on an exhibition of idiski, or more precisely “ukupencila” – vernacular in South African townships for “keep-ball” and dribbling.

While the team from the North West was much fitter, quicker, and more aggressive in attack throughout the 90 minutes, the score at half-time could have been in Wits’s favour had the home team turned their dominance in possession into goals.

Wits were comfortable on the ball playing crisp, one-touch football that delighted Witsies, who chanted war-cries and bayed for NWU’s blood.

Phenyo Mongalo, Zachary Cohen, and captain Mzimkhulu Nhlengethwa were inventive in midfield and fed the strikers well, but Wits front-line just wasn’t up to the task and squandered plenty of chances to score.

Wits paid the ultimate price for their wastefulness, conceding a penalty in the 11th minute and another three goals in the final quarter of the game.

Wits head coach, Karabo Mogudi attributed the disappointing performance to the recent university vacations, which he said affected his team’s fitness.

“If our conditioning level was at the required standard we would have done much better,” he said.

Mogudi said NWU were fitter and sharper than his charges because they had been training in preparation for National First Division (NFD) play-offs.

He also said the tournament was a great initiative, but stressed that it was important for the players to be successful on and off the field.

“I’ll only know the benefits of the tournament at the end of the year, when everyone passes and does well in their studies … when they come back to me and say ‘coach, I don’t owe the University anything”.


Oh dear! The fourth goal really knocked the stuffing out of Wits Photo: Prelene Singh

[Updated with Video] Witsies celebrate Mandela day

CELEBRATIONS broke out yesterday when students and workers of the university gathered on the Great Hall steps to commemorate Mandela’s 95th birthday.

Close to 1000 people of the university circled around the Bambanani Brass Band from Alexander, who played for the choir of people that sang happy birthday to our “Tata”, as South Africans lovingly call him.

The band consisted of ten members which entertained the crowd by playing trumpets and drums. The band also danced a choreographed pantsula piece to add to their performance. The Brass Band also sang a hymn and got the crowd involved through clapping their hands.

The Wits choir also made an appearance where they took centre stage a sang happy birthday to Madiba with the crowd. It was a nostalgic moment for some as seen on people’s faces when they wished the father of our nation, by closing their eyes.

Cleaners were in abundance and students could be seen among them singing and clapping their hands in joy as the band played vibrant sounds through their brass instruments.

Witsies celebrated this special day which is International Mandela day by joining in and participating in acknowledging the legacy that is Madiba.

People also seemed to be extra for filled by the celebrations that Mandela is still alive today, despite many days of anxiety around his health, people indulged celebrating his life as well.



Zest from the Fest

FIERY PREFORMANCE: Zewande Bhengu, 4th year Dramatic Arts, and Lebogang Shikwambane, 3rd year LLB, performing the play Fire: Burn at the Nunnery. Photo: Prelene Singh

FIERY PREFORMANCE: Zewande Bhengu, 4th year Dramatic Arts, and Lebogang Shikwambane, 3rd year LLB, performing the play Fire: Burn at the Nunnery. Photo: Prelene Singh

A FULL package of straight drama, music and physical theatre can be expected by audiences attending the Wits 969 Festival currently running at the Wits Theatre and Nunnery.

The 969 Festival kicked off last week Tuesday and will end on July 21.

The festival, which features productions that were performed at the National Arts Festival, is celebrating their 10th anniversary by feeding the appetites of culture hungry audiences in Joburg. The festival saves local theatre enthusiasts the 969km slog to Grahamstown.

Wits Theatre director Gita Pather said: “The theatre is an arena of contestation of opinions, of ideas, of world views, of realities.”

[pullquote align=”right”]“Apart from offering Joburg the chance to see some great shows from the [National Arts] Festival, it also provides performers with the ability to extend the life of their plays,”[/pullquote] said Pather.

This year’s 969 Festival includes some experienced directors like James Ncgobo, Jenine Collocott and Princess Mhlongo, who won the 2012 Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Drama.

“Apart from offering Joburg the chance to see some great shows from the [National Arts] Festival, it also provides performers with the ability to extend the life of their plays,”said Pather.

Tonight at the Nunnery, Phillip M. Dikotla’s Skierlik will be performed. Dikotla is a “unique South African voice” and was the best production winner at the 2013 Zabalaza Festival and was a 2012 Arts and Culture Trust award winner.

Skierlik has received rave reviews and standing ovations. The production takes the audience on a journey through the eyes of Thomas, the son of an Afrikaner farmer, in January 2008. The play is based on a horrific massacre that occurred in Swartruggens in North West three years ago.

Audiences can also catch Writer’s Block, directed by Witsie Nicky Rebelo and performed by Jennifer Steyn.
The production follows the struggle of Terry Rankin, a teacher of creative writing who faces writer’s block after she leaves South Africa following the death of her partner.

Audiences will be taken on the road of nostalgia, suppressed emotions and discovery, said Pather.
Both these shows will be performed this weekend. Audiences should expect serious drama, a walk down memory lane and potent social acts.

“Nobody walks away from a performance unchanged”, said Pather.

Will digital kill the radio star?

Video by Prelene Singh

Radio practitioners from all over the country, continent and the world came together last week to discuss and debate the future of radio at this year’s Joburg Radio Days conference.

The conference hosted by the Wits Radio Academy at the Wits Club ran for three days from 3 July. The three days drew speakers from community, commercial and public radio stations who presented their ideas on how to revive the industry and shared their experiences of the industry.[pullquote]“There needs to be a shift from talking at people to talking to people,”[/pullquote]

The conference kicked off with a welcome address by Wits Vice Chancellor, Prof Adam Habib. Habib admitted that he knew very little about radio but said that it was a vital platform to the democratic process. He added that like the university, radio was all about the circulation of ideas and conversations.

A further welcome and opening of the conference was proffered by Prof Franz Kruger, director of the Wits Radio Academy. “There needs to be a shift from talking at people to talking to people,” said Kruger. This powerful statement was referenced widely by many speakers throughout the rest of the day.

The first night’s entertainment was provided by the Stone Age Souls – a South African alternative band.  At the dinner a handbook entitled ‘The Community Radio Station’ written by Kruger, VoWfm station manager Mike Smurthwaite, and Romanus Monji was launched.


Prof Adam Habib, Wits vice-Chancellor welcomes speakers and delegates to the Joburg Radio Days conference. Photo: Dinesh Balliah

The future of radio seemed to be one of the constant themes that dominated discussions at the conference. Subjects like online radio, future audiences and technological advancements were discussed.

“Thinking about the future of radio means admitting that we know nothing about what the future looks like,” stated Randall Abrahams managing director of Universal Music South Africa.

Other speakers did not hold back when it came to thinking about the future of radio, many offered advice on how to achieve convergence that could boost the longevity of the radio industry.

Ravi Naidoo, station manager at Highveld Stereo said that incorporating social media makes on air radio content live longer than the allotted three hours it has on air.

Will radio survive the digital era?

On the issue of radio surviving the digital era – most agreed that it would. Nick Grubb of Kagiso Media was most apt saying that it would survive because, “Radio is about real human relationships”.

That said a lot of exciting things are happening in the digital sphere. Streaming services like Simfy Africa allow people to personalise their online radio experience.


VoWfm set up a 'pop-up' studio to bradcast from outside the conference venue. Photo: Emelia Motsai

VoWfm set up a ‘pop-up’ studio to bradcast from outside the conference venue. Photo: Emelia Motsai

Along with this the advent of internet radio stations has changed the game a bit. These stations can start up in less than a week and reach people across the country without facing the same red tape as traditional radio stations would and do.

Community radio stations were also discussed quite widely, one of the most illuminating of these sessions focused on campus radio stations.

Loutjie van der Merwe, station manager at TuksFm – one of the most successful campus radio stations in the country, highlighted the need for campus radio stations not to compete with one another but to focus on transferring knowledge between stations.

Macphersson Mutale from UnzaFM in Lusaka mentioned the power that the youth had through campus radio stations, students in Lusaka engage with politicians via their radio station for instance.


Taxi Radio’s Soli Philander. Photo: Dinesh Balliah

A very strong comment was made by Smurthwaite, he said that radio lacked innovation and that “most commercial stations sound like my iPod with a voice”.

Radio in war zones

The challenges that radio stations of all kinds face were also a hot topic. Shoddy management and licensing issues seemed common. Uncommon and more problematic were stations that were in war zones and other ‘undemocratic’ areas.

Jacques Kokonyange of Radio Muugano in the Congo said that it was difficult trying to balance what the rebels wanted and what the government wanted.

He also mentioned that they are threatened when their broadcasts aren’t favourable. “To protect ourselves we do not broadcast live or take any calls,” said Kokonyange.

While all these discussions were going on, the event managed to trend on twitter – adding much value to argument of the necessity of convergence in radio.

VoWFM dispelled the myth about radio lacking innovation by setting up a pop-up radio station outside the event venue.

WITH AUDIO: Kentridge gives art lessons in Braamfontein

THE MOVEMENT from artistic imagery to the spoken word is the reason for the significant interest in the William Kentridge lecture series currently being held the Wits theatre in Braamfontein.

Renowned artist William Kentridge

Internationally acclaimed South African artist Kentridge has been hosting a lecture series since 20 June. Tickets have been sold out every night and some famous faces were even spotted in the audience.

Wits Vuvuzela spoke to Kelly Gillespie, a senior lecturer in the department of Anthropology at Wits and one of the organisers of the lecture series.

The lecture series entitled “The Five drawing Lessons by William Kentridge” draws from philosophical epistemology, knowledge and art practice.

One would not think that art would create interest in the mainstream public however from the very first evening, the Wits theatre was packed to capacity with people keen listen to one of SA’s most prolific and celebrated artists.

Gillespie added that Kentridge conducts activities in his lectures. He uses visuals and sound to break from the monotony of a lecture in order to immerse the audience in the heavy content spoken addressed in the lectures.

Gillespie said the lecture series was initially presented at Harvard University in 2012. She said that sometimes local artists tend to showcase their work abroad more often than they do locally. Kentridge is doing these lectures for the local public for free.

internationally acclaimed South African artist William Kentridge in a gallery with his work displayed behind him. Photo: Provided

Kentridge is one of South Africa’s most celebrated artists.  Photo: Provided

Kentridge is also a Wits alumnus. He obtained a BA degree from the university where he majored in Politics and African Studies.

His work is very content-dependent which draws on his South African upbringing during the years of apartheid. Kentridge is best known for his print work and animated films.

The “Five drawing lessons by William Kentridge” is part of the Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism session on “The Life of Forms.”

Gillespie also told Wits Vuvuzela what to look out for in the coming lectures

The lecture series started on June 20 and will come to a close on 2 July.

Bookings are essential at www.jwtc.org.za.