South Point residence mum on an incident that took place at one of their parties, raising serious concerns about the management’s response to the safety and security of students.
It’s been a little over a month since an alarming incident unfolded at a Retro Block Party hosted by South Point, where students were stubbed while others had their phones stolen. However, management at the student residence has not made any headway in finding the culprits.
According to one of the witnesses, on the night of the party, April 28, 2023, intruders gained access to the party by paying an entrance fee like anyone else. The party was hosted in one of the South Point buildings, 87 Juta in Braamfontein.
While mingling and dancing, students suddenly heard screams and saw cell phones being stolen. The security officer was called, and the suspected intruders were removed from the party. Angry victims then followed them outside to try fight for their belongings.
What these partygoers did not know was that the intruders had additional team members waiting outside – a scuffle ensued, and some students were stabbed in the process.
The party is an annual event, and this year’s party was designed to commemorate South Point’s 20th anniversary, and it is reported to have begun at 17h00 in the evening.
Wits Vuvuzela spoke to workers at South Point about the incident, but they did not want to be named in fear of retribution from their employer.
“Yes, I heard about a boy who was stabbed, but I can’t say much about it because I don’t know what’s going on, and management doesn’t tell us anything,” said the worker.
Wits Vuvuzela contactedSouth Point manager Mahlodi Mathiba, who was not aware of the incident. “Unfortunately, I don’t know anything but let me refer you to the student liaising who should know”, the manager said.
The manager then referred us to the student liaising officer, Brenda Sambo who said she was aware of the situation but was uncertain about the facts. What the student liaising said is that “I don’t really know the story, the only thing I know is that students’ phones were stolen, and they ran after the suspects only to get stabbed”.
One of the witnesses, Ngwato Mashile (22), said they have been left traumatised by the incident. “I was hurt, it really affected me because those people aimed for sensitive parts without even looking where they were stabbing, and I thought the students were dead, and I’m still traumatized because the screams keep replaying in my head,” he said.
Mashile, like other witnesses and even the victims have thus far not received any kind of assistance from their landlord.
RELATED FEATURED: Outside the residence in question, 87 Juta. Photo: Patience Masalesa
One of Johannesburg’s most scenic destinations is a nature reserve in the middle of the city – just a stone’s throw away from Wits University.
The Wilds Nature Reserve (The Wilds) is a 40-acre public park located between Killarney, Parktown, and Houghton. It is known for its tranquil ‘koppies,’ natural waterfalls, indigenous gardens, wildlife, and footpaths leading to breathtaking cityscape skylines.
In the 1990s extending into the 2000s, The Wilds was seemingly a ‘no-go zone’ due to its notorious reputation of rampant crime, neglect, and overgrowth of vegetation.
“People stopped coming because of crime,” said Sabelo Matihidi, a coffee shop employee at The Wilds.
That was until Johannesburg-based artist Patrick Delaney decided to reclaim the park through a community initiative in 2014. While it focused on clearing overgrown vegetation for visibility, the move also allowed locals to keep watch over the space.
When suspicious activity is noticed by walkers, security is alerted. “We [the community] are the park’s necessary eyes and ears,” said Delaney.
“Like [The Wilds], Central Park had a serious rough patch…It was notorious for crime and [being] in bad condition, but the community turned it around,” said Delaney.
Security at the park has also improved significantly in recent years. Security guard Petunia Matemane said: “We will protect this park, we are not scared.”
This change has not gone unnoticed. “People are coming back to the park,” said Matihidi. “It feels already feels peaceful now.”
The community also works alongside Johannesburg’s city parks and zoo department (JCPZ) to maintain the grounds.
Located around 2kms from main campus and just over 1km from education campus, Wits and the Wilds could have a mutually beneficial relationship. As a large historic reserve, with a vast array of indigenous biodiversity and urban architecture surrounding it, the possibilities for research are seemingly endless.
Students and staff also use the park as a location for study groups, walks, picnics, or to simply clear their minds. “The outdoors is incredibly crucial to your physical and mental well-being – people at Wits should utilize the reserve,” said Delaney.
There are also often activities such as guided hikes, picnics, and yoga. It is the perfect space for Witsies to visit when wanting an escape from the ‘hustle and bustle’ of the city.
FEATURED IMAGE: View overlooking the Johannesburg skyline from the east Wilds. Photo: Seth Thorne
Freelance facilitator and chaplain Philip Allan Stoneman (47) is a man with a rich history of experience and accolades to his name. He is the founder of Trauma Support South Africa and is a qualified facilitator and assessor who does freelance training and awareness presentations for Creative Foundations Training, ImpiMed Medical Services and Tensho Security.
Stoneman was also the founding director of the iThemba Rape and Trauma Support Centre – a position he held for seven years. Prior to that, he was involved with the Emergency Services Chaplaincy on the East Rand between 2000 and 2005.
He has served as a trainer for the South African Institute for Traumatic Stress (SAITS) from 2008 to 2011 and has facilitated several workshops for the Gauteng Department of Health and Department of Community Safety. Stoneman joined the South African Police Service (SAPS) as a reservist in 2006 to better understand the effects of trauma on officers and workers.
In May 2015, he was called as a stated supply minister to the Dalpark Presbyterian Community Church where he ministered until July 2019. He is an ordained pastor and falls under the authority of the Order for Christian Service and Order for Christian Mission. Stoneman currently ministers as a community chaplain in the Fairleads Benoni Agricultural Holdings as a volunteer.
ROBBED: Customers at the Clicks store in Braamfontein were robbed by six armed men on Friday morning. Photo: Nokuthula Zwane
The Hillbrow Police are looking for six armed men who quietly walked into the Braamfontein Clicks store on Jorissen Street and proceeded to rob customers of valuables such as cellphones.
According to a witness, the robbers walked into the store at about 11am on Friday, September 9, and asked customers to lie down on the floor. After taking their valuables, they allegedly demanded to see the manager, however, after they were told she was not around, the men quickly left the store before the armed response arrived on the scene.
A Wits student who was present during the incident alerted friends and family on social media of the incident. “I decided to go to Clicks to buy few things, thank God I left my phone because its was battery low. Two minutes inside Clicks, 6 armed guys got in, not even shouting, just whispering to each one of us to lie down,” the student wrote.
Hillbrow Police Station spokesperson, Sargent Mduduzi Zondo, said “no injuries had been reported and no shots were fired during the incident”. He said a case of “company robbery” had been opened at the station and investigations were underway. However, no arrests had been made.
Shortly after the incident, two notices were posted at the store: “We are offline, sorry for your inconvenience” and “It is with great regret that we don’t have a parcel counter, so if you leave your parcels it is at your own risk, Clicks will not be liable for any damage or loss for goods”.
Afterwards, the store was closed until further notice.
Wits Vuvuzela tried to get comment from the Clicks Braamfontein management, but were referred to the corporate Human Resources (HR) department. All calls to Clicks HR went unanswered by the time of publishing.
In this episode we take a look at the work of Joburg Theatre, through the eyes of the people that work at there. Justine, who has been at the theatre for more than 20 years, walks us through its history, and Mbongeni, a ballet dancer, tells us how he came to make this beautiful theatre […]