Perdeby Tuks se amptelike studentekoerant / Official Tuks student newspaper / Kuranta ya baithuti ya semmušo ya Tuks
NWU comes under spotlight
The National Budget
RAMfest: The sleeping beast
Exclusive interview with Karin Prinsloo
P12 P4 P7 P9 Daso protests against Uganda’s anti-gay law
Daso protested outside the Ugandan High Commission last Thursday. Photo: Brad Donald
DAN MAFORA The Tuks branch of Daso last Thursday joined a national protest by the DA Youth outside the Ugandan High Commission. The protest was against an anti-gay law that was recently passed by the Ugandan government. The law criminalises homosexuality and prescribes sentences as harsh as life-imprisonment. James Lotter, SRC deputy secretary and chairperson of Daso at Tuks said, “What is happening in Uganda is a serious case of human rights abuse. We, as Daso, advocate for human rights and are joining this protest today to show support for our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters there.” He added that the South African government’s failure to condemn the passing of the bill is a sign of its lack of commitment to the protection of human rights. National DA Youth leader Mbali Ntuli also attended the protest. “We are happy to see young people fighting for human rights. No government has the right to tell people who to love,” she said. Ntuli also said that the aim of the protest was to get the South African government to publicly condemn the bill as unacceptable and to offer asylum to gay and lesbian Ugandans who were “ousted” by the media there. Shortly after Ntuli’s arrival, the police arrived and told the protesters that it was an illegal gathering as they had not applied to the city council for permission to gather and protest. “We were only expecting 15 people but evidently many young people feel strongly about the issue and that is why they are here,” Ntuli said. Some locals also joined in the protest.
Howard Armistead, an American HIV activist, said that people must be concerned with the gross human rights violations in Uganda. “Every person in the world must be denouncing what happened in Uganda,” he said. On 24 February, President Yoweri Museveni signed the anti-gay bill into law despite resistance from gay rights groups and western donors. “There is no scientific justification for homosexuality, it is just a matter of choice,” Museveni said. US Secretary of State John Kerry has compared the law to apartheid in South Africa. Last week Tuesday, the Department of International Relations released a statement saying that they took note of developments regarding the situation of lesbians, gays, bisexual, transsexual and intersex persons (LGBTI) in the world but did not condemn Uganda’s new law. “We are disappointed in the government’s handling of the issue. We want them to condemn the law, merely taking note of it is not enough,” Ntuli said. Juanita Kallychurn, a second-year LLB student and Daso member, said, “We [Daso] support the gay and lesbian community because of the persecution they experience, in this country and on the continent as a whole. I am here because I believe in equality for all people regardless of race, religion or sexuality.” Third-year BEd student Kholwa Shingwenyana said, “I am bisexual and I have a right to love whoever I want to love. Sentencing someone to life in jail just because they are gay is just the same as taking their lives.” The Ugandan officials did not respond to the protest.
Mbali Ntuli was at the protest. Photo: Brad Donald
Homosexuality illegal Homosexuality punished by death Homosexuality legal
“We are happy to see young people fighting for human rights. No government has the right to tell people who to love.”
Same-sex marriage legal
Homosexuality is illegal in many African countries. Image: Maxine Twaddle
03 March ’14
Keeping up with Pistorius
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When Reeva Steenkamp was killed inside Oscar Pistorius’s home just over a year ago, frenzy was sparked in the South African media. I don’t think a week went by last year where Pistorius’s
From the Editor
name wasn’t mentioned in the news at least once. His murder trial began on Monday with prosecutors arguing that Steenkamp’s killing was premeditated. South Africa’s fascination with this case makes me a little bit uncomfortable. It’s almost as if this story has developed into South Africa’s own Keeping Up With the Kardashians, such has been public interest (obsession in some cases). Riding on this immense interest, some South African media agencies launched a High Court application to allow the trial to be broadcast live. Last Tuesday, Mr Justice Dunstan Mlambo ruled in favour of this, within certain boundaries. Pistorius’s testimony will not be broadcast, nor will the testimony of any witnesses who do not give consent. The cameras, which may not take close-up shots, must be manned from outside the courtroom. South African media agencies say that broadcasting the trial is in the public’s interest, while Pistorius’s lawyers argue that it will prejudice his right to a fair trial. Whether Pistorius’s lawyers are right or not depends on the media. To sensationalise the trial would do a disservice to the South African justice system. There is a real danger that Pistorius will face two trials: one in the courtroom, and one in the media. I think some media agencies began trying him on 14 February last year. I’m not convinced that Pistorius mistook
Steenkamp for a burglar, and even if he did, I’m not convinced it’s okay to shoot someone through a locked door. But we don’t know all of the facts about what really happened. Those will come out in court. What we know now is little fact and a lot of speculation. “What happened that night?” documentaries, books, and articles irk me. Are the opinions of journalists and experts (who I once respected) really valid if the version of events they are based on has not been proven – or disproven – in court? When he delivered his ruling, Judge Mlambo warned the media that, “There is one court that will have the duty to analyse and pass judgement in this matter. And that is this one.” The media and the public alike must take Judge Mlambo’s words to heart. We are merely voyeurs in this case. At the end of the trial, the only person whose judgement will matter is Judge Thokozile Masipa’s. Whether we as individuals and as members of the media agree with the judgement is irrelevant. We must respect the judicial process and we must trust the system. As the trial unfolds and reaches its inexorable conclusion, the many and varied opinions of members of the media and members of the public will provide fuel for hours of conversation and lively debate around dinner tables and braais, in pubs and coffee shops and wherever else we gather. Max
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03 March ’14
Tuks students mugged at knifepoint
MOLEBOGENG MANGOALE Three Tuks students have been attacked, two at knifepoint and one at gunpoint in the last two weeks. These incidents add to recent attacks and muggings that have been targeted at UP students within the Hatfield vicinity. Freddy Kgagane was mugged while walking on his way back from LC de Villiers to Arcadia on 19 February. He was attacked by three unknown men on Park Street just after Pretoria Girls High School. Kgagane told Perdeby that the street was quite dark as street lights were not on. The three men came out of nowhere and told him not to scream or otherwise he would die. One of the men poked him with a knife and instructed him not to make any noise. Kgagane says that they took his cell phone and his bag which had his laptop. “They put me inside a car which had been waiting and drove me to Sunnyside. They dropped me off just outside the DTI [Department of Trade and Industry] building. They told me that they are police detectives and that they are just checking the area,” he said. They continued to tell him that they just wanted to see if students are being vigilant enough when it comes to muggings.
Kgagane said that although he could see that the men were not police detectives by their lack of police uniforms and their not driving a police car, he was too shocked and scared to say anything. “Although I did not go to the police that same night, when I did eventually go to report the matter at the Sunnyside Police Station, the lady who assisted me was very rude and asked why I had not reported the incident that same night. A case wasn’t even opened, they just gave me a ‘lost and stolen’ phone form to fill,” he said. Kgagane told Perdeby that it was his third time walking to Arcadia and that if he has money he usually catches a bus. “The cancellation of the night bus service to Sunnyside and Arcadia is a disappointment. Its cancellation has affected me and I wish they
could bring it back,” said Kgagane. He also said that although the university is doing quite a lot in terms of security on campus, he would appreciate it if something would be done to ensure the safety of students of those that live off-campus especially in places like Sunnyside and Arcadia. Andile Nkonyane, a first-year LLB Law student and Taaibos resident, was mugged at gunpoint on 22 February on Duxbury Road around 17:00 while walking alone back to res. “When I exited the gate, a darkcomplexioned guy came out of nowhere with a gun and requested for my laptop, cell phone and money,” he said. Nkonyane told Perdeby that the man was with a woman and that once they took his items they got into a car and left. “I’m not even sure if the car had been there all the time because the whole thing lasted a few minutes. It was like a
“The cancellation of the night bus service to Sunnyside and Arcadia is a disappointment. Its cancellation has affected me and I wish they could bring it back.”
movie.” He told Perdeby that he has not opened a case with the police because he does not think it will help. Caitlin Cockeran, an English honours student nearly got mugged last week Monday. Two men approached her around 19:00 while she was waiting for a bus on the corner of Festival and Burnett Streets. She told Perdeby that the two men addressed her very formally and respectfully. “When they came up to me I thought they were going to ask me for money because they were very polite. They then said to me that they didn’t mean to bother me but they are going to have to take my phone and my money. I laughed because I thought they were joking,” she said. “One of the guys pulled out a knife and said that he didn’t want to make this violent but he would if he had to. So all he needed was my phone,” she added. Cockeran said that she did not respond for a couple of seconds as she was shocked and this seemed to make the man agitated. He continued to threaten her and say that he did not want to stab her but he would if he had to. A car approached the scene and the two men panicked and left.
NSFAS sBux system: good or bad?
TEBOGO TSHWANE The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is introducing a mobile banking system called sBux to pay for students’ accommodation, food, textbooks and transport expenditures. The new system is aimed at combating the mismanagement and reckless use of funds by both students and institutions. In the past NSFAS paid funds into student’s accounts. With the new system, students will now receive these allowances in the form of sBux vouchers on their cell phones that they can only spend at registered sBux merchants. NSFAS has introduced the sBux system to 12 universities and FET colleges in 2014 and plans to have it running in all universities and FET colleges by 2016. The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) SRC, one of the 12 pilot universities, has said that it completely opposes this new sBux system. The UCT SRC hosted a benchmarking conference on 22 February where the sBux system was one of the issues that was discussed. Attendees of the conference were SRC representatives from UP and the University of the Western Cape. One of the reasons why UCT SRC is rejecting the sBux system is that the new system will create a “student experience” and a “NSFAS student experience”. Students on the financial aid plan will be limited in the places that they can purchase food and this will cause unnecessary differences between them and other students. Fikile Mabena, a second-year BA student at UP and NSFAS recipient, agrees with this
point. She says that although she sees why NSFAS is doing this “it is not something that is constructive in its totality because now we are limited to specific places and you’ll find that we are going to be stigmatised on campus as ‘those’ NSFAS students.” Mabena added that students come to university to get higher education and fit in with their peers irrespective of financial backgrounds. She said that with the new system, this socialisation will be difficult considering that most NSFAS students hide the fact that they are funded by NSFAS A main point that was raised by the UCT SRC was that NSFAS is a loan scheme and not a bursary scheme. Students will have to repay the loan once they begin working so they deserve the responsibility to make decisions with regard to how and where they spend this money. First-year BSc Biological Sciences student, Charmaine Khumalo said, “I think it’s not a good idea … I would have preferred the old system because that way I can budget it to my own needs. It’s like I don’t have any freedom, like I am a slave.” Thandoluhle Dladla, a third-year BA Law student, also mentioned how students will find difficulty in attaining safe private accommodation close to campus that is registered with sBux. UP is not using the sBux system yet. Perdeby asked George Chauke, the manager of Study Finances, when sBux will be implemented at UP. He said that he could not confirm this as it is not clear which universities will be included in the sBux system.
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03 March ’14
The national budget: what it means for students account is before parliament. According to Gordhan, this will increase household saving. Proposed retirement reforms aim to make it easier for South Africans to save for their old age. Parliament has passed legislation to improve the governance of pension and provident funds, and Gordhan wants to improve the collection management of retirement funds. He also wants to move towards a mandatory system of retirement. Healthcare may become more affordable The budget provides for a National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme. The NHI, which Gordhan describes as “a far-reaching reform to make quality healthcare available to all South Africans”, will be tabled in parliament soon. Gordhan says that the success of the NHI depends on improvements to public sector health delivery and reductions in the cost of private healthcare. R1.2 billion has been allocated for NHI pilot projects. More support will be offered to small business owners and entrepreneurs Gordhan promised increased support to small business owners and entrepreneurs and promised R6.5 billion over the next three years to assist owners of small to medium enterprises. The budget aims to ease the tax burden of these enterprises.
MAXINE TWADDLE Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan delivered the budget speech in parliament last Wednesday. His conservative budget did not contain many surprises. In his speech, Gordhan said that the government has a “clear and comprehensive vision for South Africa in 2030, a plan for higher growth, decent work and greater equality”. The first phase of fulfilling this vision, he continued, is a five-year plan and a medium term budget framework. This budget framework is set against an expected 2.7% growth in the South African economy, which is growing more slowly than was predicted last year because of the unsteady global economic outlook. Investment, which Gordhan hopes his budget will promote, is set to rise by 5% over the next year. Gordhan warned that domestic risks – such as delays to the introduction of new infrastructure, a weak Rand, and labour disputes – may hamper this. It is easy to get lost in the long words and big numbers, so here is what students should know about the budget: Education may be easier to access Gordhan said that government has made great strides in improving access to education. R115 billion was spent on higher education alone over the last five years, and Gordhan has allocated billions more to improve education. The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)’s funding from the government will amount to R19.4 billion over the next three years. This will support approximately 500 000 students a year. Over the last five years, R18.6 billion was spent on NSFAS. Last year, R5.1 billion was allocated to NSFAS. This will rise to R6.6 billion for the fiscal year 2016. Spending on social infrastructure, which includes education facilities, has increased from R30 billion to R43 billion. Gordhan also said that 433 schools will be rebuilt. It may be easier to find a job Although 1.3 million people have found jobs since the 2009 economic depression, Gordhan says that South Africa’s unemployment figures (24% of the workforce) are too high. To address this, Gordhan said that government will provide funding for the creation of six million jobs over the next five years. During the last five years, government spent R100 billion to create four million jobs. This year’s budget aims to boost youth employment and Gordhan set out several
Gordhan delivering his speech. Image: timeslive.co.za
strategies that have been adopted to achieve this. Government will step up the implementation of the Expanded Public Works
Gordhan says that government will provide funding for the creation of six million jobs over the next five years. Programme (which provides short- to mediumterm jobs) and implement a new Community Works Programme (part of the public works programme) in every municipality by 2017.
Government will also aim to increase youth employment through the youth employment tax incentive, also know as the youth wage subsidy, which encourages companies to employ people between the ages of 18 and 29. Other strategies for increasing youth employment are establishing special economic zones, industrial incentives and support for agriculture and labour-intensive sectors; improving skills development and further education and training; and providing housing investment opportunities, support for small and medium enterprises, and Jobs Fund partnerships with private and public sector development agencies. Gordhan said that “billions of rand” has been allocated to youth development and employment. Saving money for later may become easier Legislation to allow tax-exempt savings
Excise (a tax on the sale of specific items) on alcohol and cigarettes is likely to increase by 6.2% to 12%. Organisations involved in small enterprise development through grants will be granted tax relief. Grants given to small and medium enterprises will be tax exempt, regardless of where they come from. Paying taxes may not be such a headache... The South African Revenue Service (Sars) has begun the process of reducing the cost of tax compliance. Sars will also implement a single registration system of taxpayers and traders for main taxes. Gordhan predicted R9.3 billion in income tax relief for households. … but partying is going to become more expensive Excise (a tax on the sale of specific items) on alcohol and cigarettes is likely to increase by 6.2-12%. Beer (excluding traditionally brewed beers) will increase by nine cents per 350ml can. Unfortified wine will increase by 13 cents per 750ml bottle and fortified wine by 27 cents per 750ml bottle. Sparkling wine will increase by 62 cents per 750ml bottle. Ciders and coolers will increase by nine cents per 330ml bottle and whiskey will go up by R4.76 per 750ml bottle. Cigarettes will increase by 68 cents per pack of 20 cigarettes, while luxury cigars will increase by R5.11 per 23g. Driving around will also become more expensive. While the general fuel levy increase has been limited to 12 cents per litre, the Road Accident Fund levy will increase by eight cents per litre.
Read the entire National Budget speech on www.perdeby.co.za Parliament listens to the speech. Image: mg.co.za
03 March â€™14
Fun & Games
03 March ’14
In true student fashion, res students have taken to begging this past week. Pssst… is glad that the students are no longer filming themselves doing “good deeds” but reckons that the begging could be taken down a notch. Mopanie for one could do with some begging lessons because Pssst… does not think that overeagerness and desperation is a good look for the Peppies. While Pssst… thinks that a grown adult dressing up in a rhino onesie is rather embarrassing, Pssst… commends Olienthout for doing it for a good cause. At least Olienhout has a good excuse for begging for money, Pssst... wonders what Mopanie’s excuse is. Perhaps they need money to replant the mielies that Maroela destroyed? So while some reses are begging for cash, others, such as Kiaat, are begging girls to beg them to take their shirt off. Pssst... doubts whether Kiaat would actually need money to take off their shirts, word has it the boys are always keen to show some skin. Just ask Inca. Pssst... hears Kiaat purposely hosted a water balloon social with Inca as an excuse to get naked for them. Pssst... must just point out that some Kiaat boys really should not have participated in this activity, but
then again, Pssst... thinks Inca will take anything that comes their way. It’s not like Pssst... heard them complaining anyway. It seems like Kiaat isn’t the only res that likes to show some skin. Pssst... thinks that Jasmyn and Olympus were a bit too happy about their “anything but clothes” social. Then again, Pssst... shouldn’t be surprised because when it comes to boys, Jasmyn is always eager. Another res that is just begging for attention is Magrietjie. Pssst... would like to ask the girls to be a bit more considerate and tone the pink down just a tad. A piazza filled with pink girls is not a great sight to everyone on campus. Oh and while Pssst... is on the topic of begging for attention, can Lilium please stop complaining about all the duties for Miss Varsity Cup? If Lilium doesn’t want to be a part of the competition then Lilium should just quit. Pssst... doubts anyone would even notice anyway. Pssst... hears that Asterhof is obsessed with Lady Gaga’s dance moves and plans to use them throughout their Serrie. Talk about originality.
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03 March ’14
North-West University comes under spotlight
JOANÉ OLIVIER On Friday 21 February, in an article called “Pukke Salueer: ‘Heil’” by Susan Cilliers, Beeld reported that the Wag-‘n-Bietjie residence at the North-West University (NWU) used the Sieg Heil greeting during their primgroet routine. The article was written after a video appeared on YouTube, showing the Wag-‘nBietjie residence’s primgroet incorporating a movement similar to the salute used by the Nazi’s. The Wag-‘n-Bietjie residence’s primaria Jenny van der Heever told Perdeby that the primgroet is a song and dance routine composed by the first-years as a special greeting for the primaria. She added that it was meant to be something special and that their intention was not to portray Nazism. She said that the word “heil” was never used during the primgroet, adding that she wished people would look at the incident within the context it was done and instead of for what it was never intended to be. During Rag, the Wag-‘n-Bietjie women’s
residence and the Hombré men’s residence built a float portraying Hitler and his soldiers. Van der Heever defended this by saying that Rag’s theme “was love versus hate and good versus bad” and that they chose the Nazi theme to represent hate and bad. Marine Opperman, primaria of the Vergeet-My-Nie women’s residence, defended Wag-‘n-Bietjie’s use of Hitler and his men in the Rag float by saying that Hitler has always made the perfect villain and was the perfect symbol for hate. In an interview with Dagbreek, NWU ViceChancellor Dr Theuns Eloff said that anybody who watched the video would see what the primgroet was really about. Dr Eloff said that the “Sieg Heil” was not used as an ending, but was incorporated as a dance movement in the greeting. Van der Heever further defended this by saying that most of the first years were not aware of the historical events that the Sieg Heil represents. Writing for Mail and Guardian’s Thought Leader, Thorne Godinho said that this was not an acceptable excuse. “The appropriation of political symbols that represent the death of
millions of Jews, homosexual, Roma, and others is crass and offensive,” Godinho said. “There is nothing funny about it. Nor can one simply say that residence students are happily consenting to behave like a cult when they extend their arms and repeat political epithets that have a home in 1939 Berlin - or the dingy basement of a neo-Nazi club,” he continued. AfriForum Youth sent out a press release on 25 February saying that the article in Beeld led to Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande’s decision that drastic measures need to be taken at NWU. According to AfriForum Youth chairperson Henk Maree, Beeld editor Adriaan Basson played a big role in Nzimande’s decision by creating an “artificial crisis”, and implied that Basson had been acting to gain revenge for a friend who had worked at the university. Godinho said that, “Amid accusations that the Beeld newspaper engaged in sensationalism, and the outrage that this newspaper dare question university cultures and traditions, which promote exclusion, we’ve managed to forget the real issue at hand: the appropriation
of symbols of hatred by young people.” In terms of how the portrayal in the media has influenced the first years of the Wag-‘nBietjie residence, Van der Heever said that the first years are unhappy that something they have created as a special greeting for their primaria was sensationalised by the media. She added that they still value their work and will cherish the memories for years to come. Opperman told Perdeby that it is important that people realise that the primgroet is not an initiation tradition, but a residence practice. She added that NWU has a human rights policy and that the guidelines for behaviour within the residences are revised every year. Lara Prinsloo, a second-year education and psychology student at NWU, said that a lot of their traditions were taken away because of this human rights policy. Dr Eloff told Dagbreek that traditions that are allowed at the university can still turn from good to bad, seeing as human behaviour cannot always be controlled. Do you think the primgroet was offensive? Watch the video on our website and let us know.
Minority couples on campus: no out of the ordinary love ORENEILE TSHETLO There is a popular notion that love is a fairytale. Will your fellow Tuks students approve if your knight in shining armour arrives in a wheelchair instead of on a horse, if your Snow White just so happens to be black or if your Prince Charming turns out to be the same gender as you? Mashooda Sedibeng, a blind final-year BHCS Tourism student, says that Tuks students are neither accepting nor welcoming of students with disabilities. She says that although she cannot see, she can sense the piercing eyes on her. Sedibeng speaks of a relationship that she had off campus. She says that “people had developed ideas” about her relationship and that many people remarked, “She’s blind and she’s dating that guy. She’s blind, why is he dating her? What’s wrong with him?” She says that their relationship was not out of the ordinary apart from the challenges they faced, which included simple things like her partner wanting to watch movies or rugby matches. Sedibeng adds that people should “stop assuming that you can’t date a disabled person”. Sebideng, who lives in TuksVillage, says that although the university and the residence cater sufficiently to her needs, more could be done to raise disability awareness. This year’s SRC listed “enhancing student life for students with special needs” as one of their strategic objectives at their quarterly Student Forum meeting on 19 February. Sedibeng says that disability awareness should be an ongoing service. She adds that a week should be dedicated to encouraging students to befriend a person with a disability and trying to “experience what [we] experience and get to know [us] better.” Dating someone outside of your race is not always as simple as black and white. A coloured
third-year LLB student, Almaz Goodman, and her black boyfriend, Vilimile Gumede, a fourth-year BA Law student, say that Tuks students have a hard time understanding their relationship. They say that they get stared at on campus and that sometimes people in cars stop to gawk at them. While Goodman says she is not bothered by this, Gumede doesn’t feel the same. He says that although no one has said anything outright, discrimination on campus “happens in hushed tones”. Goodman admits that Tuks students are more accepting than people off campus. Goodman says that there have been friends who have been openly opposed to their relationship. She says although she has black family members, there are those who frown upon her relationship with Gumede. However,
Gumede says that his friends and family endorse his relationship with Goodman and says that a possible reason for this is that “by virtue of her having lighter skin she is regarded as ‘better’”. He explains that society at large still has this inaccurate mentality. Society’s old-fashioned way of thinking taints yet another type of relationship. Remofilwe Paki, a third-year BA Law student, and Boikanyo Maleka, a final-year BA Psychology student, are in a lesbian relationship. Although they say that the university as an institution doesn’t differentiate on the grounds of sexual orientation, they feel that students treat them differently after they have disclosed to them that they are a couple. Although Maleka says that her colourful personality will not allow her to be phased by
what the people around her think, she would rather not disclose her sexuality to people she’s just met. However, she isn’t trying to hide it either. Paki and Maleka’s relationship has sparked controversy in the single-sex residence in which they both live. When asked whether or not she tells potential friends about her sexuality, Paki said that “people in res find out through the grapevine” and that the awkwardness of having to come out is eliminated. “It’s tiring. Every time I meet someone I have to say, ‘Hi, I’m Remo and I’m lesbian.’” The pair notes that there is a misconception, particularly among guys, that if you are black and feminine you have to be straight and society in general has a hard time wrapping their heads around the idea of a gay couple. Mpho Motiang, a training coordinator and counsellor at the Centre for the Study of Aids, which runs the HIV/Aids response programme on campus, says that although eliminating discrimination on any ground is a slow process, the university is taking steps to address these social issues. He thinks that “the only way to hasten this process is if younger people take up leadership positions” as they tend to be more open-minded. Motiang notes that the steps which have been taken towards combating homophobia are lagging behind in comparison to those taken towards tackling racism, which he says is generally regarded as a no-no. Dr Matete Madiba and Dr Willem Jorissen, the director and deputy director of Student Affairs respectively, say that there have been no complaints surrounding these issues and that this is a good indication. However, Motiang is of the opinion that there are clusters of students who discriminate their fellow students because they are either homosexual, disabled or not of the same race as them. He says that those issues have not been reported because no one speaks about it.
03 March ’14
Twitterism: how Twitter has become the terrorist’s tool BEN JOOSTE The world today is more connected than ever before. We are aware of a natural disaster moments after it strikes, even if it occurs half a world away. We can send a message almost instantaneously, whether it is to the person in the room next to you or to someone across two oceans. Social networks and media make this instant interconnectivity possible. Many people use it to further noble causes or movements, but the scale can be tipped the other way too. On 21 September 2013, a terrorist attack shook Kenya as the Westgate Mall was attacked by al-Shabaab militants. More than 67 people were killed in the attack, which the terrorists livetweeted until Twitter shut down their account (@HSM_Press) the day after al-Shabaab took shoppers hostage. Al-Shabaab created another account (@HSM_PressOffice) and ridiculed Kenya’s government as it tried to negotiate the release of the hostages. Prior to this, Kenya’s military spokesperson Major Emmanuel Chirchir had used his personal Twitter account to brag about Kenya’s military success against al-Shabaab. Telegraph journalist Harriet Alexander believes that this provoked al-Shabaab to join Twitter in September 2011 and to tweet about the Westgate attack. Social networks are usually run on open, freedom of speech principles. In 2004, Gabriel Weimann, a professor of communication at Haifa University in Israel, published in his United States Institute of Peace special report that, “The great virtues of the internet – ease of access, lack of regulation, vast potential audiences, and fast flow of information, among others – have been turned to the advantage of groups committed to terrorising societies to achieve their goals.” These networks are not limited to specific regions or countries, allowing communication between terrorists to be fast, accurate, and effortless. This aids them in things like psychological warfare, planning attacks, fundraising, data mining, recruitment and spreading propaganda.
Image: Tahnee Otto
Dr Seth Jones, associate director at Rand International Security and Defence Policy Center, explains that, “The west is currently engaged in a media battle for the hearts and minds of susceptible would-be extremists.” Weimann also claims that a scan in 2004 showed hundreds of websites supporting terrorists, and that this number is growing continually. Some websites spread false threats to specific places and people to instil fear. Terrorists add uncensored, gruesome images and videos of executions (such as American journalist Daniel Pearl’s murder) to spread what is called “cyber fear”. Terrorists can now also use the internet to gather supporters. Many terrorist websites promote freedom of speech and many people in western countries are sympathetic to this. The websites claim to show violence as a necessary last resort and that ideally they want a peaceful solution. Using all the unrestricted information that is available online, terrorists are able to assimilate lots of information on important targets. They can get funding by setting up means for donations all over the world. By scanning internet bulletin boards and chatrooms for people with a similar mindset to their causes,
terrorists can also contact individuals and recruit them. What about the networks in question? Shutting down a terrorist website doesn’t prevent another one from being created. It’s also noteworthy that information from these websites can be used by governments to help the fight against terrorism. Social networks, however, are a bit more complicated. Twitter cannot do much to prevent its platform from being used as a tool for terrorism. An article by Matt Egan published in Fox Business last October, recorded a Twitter spokesperson saying that, “We don’t actively monitor content on Twitter – it’s impossible for a platform with more than 200 million active users sending 500 million tweets a day, in 35 different languages. But we do evaluate reports of abuse and suspend accounts if they violate Twitter rules.” In an ever-changing world, people are adapting in order to make the most of what’s available. Effective terrorism relies on open media, but they’re not omnipotent. It’s possible to flag terrorist tweets and have the account suspended. People need to make their own ideals and stick to them, and must not to be swayed by empathy to support causes they otherwise would not.
Could a lack of interest spur creativity?
Photo: Eddie Mafa
LEANNE CUMMING It seems like the more spare time we have, the more we want fresh and exciting entertainment to keep ourselves occupied. According to the Center for the Study of Boredom, Interest, and Entertainment in America, destructive behaviour such as excessive gambling and drug use may be encouraged by boredom. The institute’s website BoredomInterest.net says that, “Some research suggests that people prefer any form of stimulation over the emptiness of boredom.” Dr John Eastwood, joint author of The Unengaged Mind and a psychologist at York University in Toronto, agrees and says
that boredom has been linked to an increased use of alcohol and drugs. “All instances of boredom involve a failure of attention,” he says, adding that there are three factors involved in attention. Firstly, you must take interest in or engage with an event or activity. Secondly, you must be able to shift your focus momentarily to an unrelated stimulus in your peripheral vision (e.g. an approaching car). Thirdly, you must be able to have enough self-motivation to focus on the task ahead without losing focus, even if it is not that interesting. Eastwood explains that if any one of these factors is absent you will experience boredom. According to the Mississippi State University’s Student
Counselling Services, teenagers and the elderly are more likely to complain about being bored. These groups also tend to exhibit suicidal tendencies. Peter Toohey, Dutch psychologist and classical history lecturer at Calgary University in Canada, says that, “People are in denial about boredom. No one likes to admit to being bored, even though it’s a universal human experience. I think that this is largely because of the Protestant work ethic which has given us a kind of dread of being unoccupied.” Wijnand van Tilburg, a social psychologist at the University of Southampton, says that boredom shouldn’t be considered negative. He says that brief exposure to boredom may help you to re-evaluate what is important to you and can prompt you to abandon meaningless activities. Van Tilburg explains in an article called “Benefits of Boredom”, published in the Holland Herald, that few studies have been done on chronic boredom, the temporary boredom we experience in long lectures or traffic. Chronic boredom is linked to low dopamine levels. Van Tilburg says that psychologists have found that “boredom can play a positive role in prompting us to heighten our sense of meaning in life by taking positive action.” A test conducted by Benjamin Baird and Jonathan Schooler at the University of California has connected boredom to creativity. Baird and Schooler divided students into four groups. One of these four groups was given a boring task to complete while the other three were allowed to relax and daydream. The groups were then presented with a problem and results showed that the group that had been doing the boring task came up with 41% more possibilities to solve the problem than the other groups. Results also showed that the creativity of the group that was given the boring task was doubled after 12 minutes of daydreaming. Teresa Belton, a researcher at the School of Education and Lifelong Learning at the University of East Anglia, said that being able to connect with technology whenever we feel bored is bad for the creative mind, which needs to be kept active. It is debatable whether or not technology may limit our creative minds when we reach for a cell phone or the TV remote when we have time to kill, but perhaps silly doodles do allow us to explore our creative sides by allowing us to make connections between seemingly unrelated ideas.
03 March ’14
Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro are making their way to South African soil for the first time. Image: beta-recorndings.com
RAMfest: The sleeping beast MICHAL-MARÉ LINDEN Every March a melting pot of metalheads, punks, bohemians and rave kids descends onto the dusty plains of the RAMfest entertainment area to create one of South Africa’s premier alternative music festivals. Running since 2007, RAMfest has grown into a weekend of sheer madness and mosh pits with multiple international headliners. This year RAMfest is headlined by five international acts. American metalcore bands Killswitch Engage and Trivium will entertain the spectrum of old and young fans they’ve accumulated over their 15 years of activity. If you prefer fast drums and groaning synths, Austrian drum and bass act Camo & Krooked will have you sorted. Indie fans have Foals to look forward to. Foals is known for their excellent live performances and the wild antics of frontman Yannis Philippakis. Biffy Clyro is finally making the trip from Scotland to come entertain in South Africa. “We’ve wanted to come see you guys for a long time, so thank you for your patience and we hope the shows are going to be worth the wait. They will be for us because we can’t wait to see your beautiful country,” said the band in a RAMfest promo video. Supporting the headliners are various local acts, such as Gangs of Ballet, Shortstraw, Newtown Knife Gang, Pestroy and
Niskerone. RAMfest has seen a venue change this year and moved from the usual Riversands Farm, to Witfontein, Bronkhorstspruit. For those who live a bit too far away to make the daily trip to the festival, camping is included in the ticket price. Just don’t forget your tent or you will have to survive the night in the bushes. If DIY and foliage aren’t your thing, you can always book into the Kreef Hotel for a more luxurious experience. As with every festival there are a number of things to remember, and a number of things to forget. RAMfest is notoriously hot during the day, which often results in a thunderstorm at night. Make sure you bring both sunblock and a raincoat. Wet wipes will become your best friend as hygiene is no one’s priority and your acoustic guitar or a car charger might earn you some new campsite companions. You are not allowed to take your own alcohol into the entertainment area, but plenty of beer will be available at the cash bars. No one enjoys a stuck-up festival goer, so leave the bad attitude at home and save the aggressive energy for the mosh pits. RAMfest is promising you a good time so be willing to get thrown into a Wall of Death, pass out on the floor and make friends with strangers. Let’s make the first major festival of the year the event to beat.
Win tickets to RAMfest RAMfest and Perdeby are giving away four tickets to the Johannesburg leg of the tour. To win, send us a 20-second video that proves you deserve to be at RAMfest. Email the link of your video to email@example.com. The four best entries will each win a ticket. Entries close 5 March. Winners will be announced 6 March.
03 March â€™14
03 March ’14
Sochi Winter Olympics wrap-up A total of 3 000 athletes from 88 countries competed in events across 15 sporting disciplines and saw many memorable moments. One such moment was when Russian skier Anton Gafarov, who after crashing, attempted to finish his event with a broken ski only to be assisted by Canadian ski coach Justin Wadsworth. The men’s ice hockey event was also a major talking point of the tournament, with Canada edging a 1-0 victory over continental rivals USA in the semi-finals. Canada went on to win the gold medal. The tournament was also not without its fair share of controversies. Much has been said about the judging panel that presided over the figure skating women’s final after
an unlikely winner was declared. The panel consisted of an individual who had previously been banned for fixing events at the Winter Olympics. This year also saw six athletes test positive for banned substances, which is an increase from the previous Winter Olympics. Outside of sport, Russian punk band Pussy Riot attempted to use the international event as an opportunity to speak out against Russian President Vladimir Putin, which led to members of the band being beaten. The next Winter Olympics will take place 9-28 February 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea. It will be the second Olympic Games to take place in South Korea after the 1988 Summer Olympics was hosted in Seoul.
Olympic gold medallists. Image: cdn.rt.com
GABRIELLA FERREIRA Russia proved to be an example of home support advantage after topping the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics medal table. The
tournament, which came to a close on 23 February, ended with a humorous closing ceremony that saw organisers make light of the Olympic ring display malfunction that occurred during the opening ceremony.
The final medal count. Graphic: Rebecca Paulsen
2014 BestMed TuksRace a success
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Runners preparing for the race. Image: yoursport.co.za
LAUREN NEUHOFF UP held its annual BestMed TuksRace on 15 February. This year was the 50th anniversary of the BestMed TuksRace. The day was a huge a success as scores of people participated, all with the opportunity to donate R10 or more to the Cancer Association of South Africa (Cansa). Well-known sport stars such as Olympic gold medallist Ryk Neethling and 400m hurdles record holder LJ van Zyl were at this year’s event to show their support. The director of TuksSport, Kobus van der Walt, said that this year’s event had more people than previous years’ events. There were five races: the 1km, the 5km fun race, the 10km, the 21km, and a wheelchair race. Both the 21km and 10km races started just outside the Tuks High Performance Centre and ended at the TuksAthletics Stadium while the fun race took place around
the Rag Farm. Marc Mundell, the event’s MC and South Africa’s fastest walker, participated in the 21km race and told the crowd that one of the 21km athletes finished the 10km in less than half an hour. Anyone was welcome to take part in the races. This year’s theme was “family” and there were parents and grandparents with children of all ages. There were also groups of friends, couples, and brothers and sisters. The event had a family feel with everyone cheering on everyone else. First, second and third places all received gold medals, silver medals were given to the first 200 finishers of the 21km race and first 100 finishers in the 10km race, and bronze medals were given to the other participants. Free shirts were also handed out to the 21km and 10km athletes who finished the race in less than three hours.
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AmaTuks knocked out of the Nedbank Cup BRIAN KIAUTHA AmaTuks lost 1-0 to SuperSport United in their round of 32 Nedbank Cup fixture on 22 February. It was the teams’ second meeting in 2014, the first being three weeks earlier in a PSL fixture where SuperSport United won 1-0. Coming into the fixture AmaTuks were counting on getting back to back wins after they had defeated Platinum Stars 1-0 on 16 February. This was not the case as a late goal by SuperSport United player and former AmaTuks player Mame Niang in extra time saw the visitors grab the win and progress into the next round. SuperSport United began the game with more tenacity upfront and in the midfield than AmaTuks and commanded most of the possession, though they did not have many chances on goal. AmaTuks had a slow start but settled into the rhythm of the game as they had fewer turnovers and good composure with the ball. Forward Geoffrey Massa came close to scoring halfway through the first half but his headed goal was ruled offside. AmaTuks built on this good run as they came close again through Mnyamane but his shot on goal just skimmed over the cross bar. SuperSport had their goalkeeper Ronwen Williams to thank for keeping the teams deadlocked at 0-0 at half time as he was called upon on several occasions to make saves. The halftime pep talk by the SuperSport United coach Cavin Johnson seemed to motivate his players as they began the second half more intent on scoring the first goal and winning the Tshwane derby. This was evident through forward Joao de Oliviera’s clear cut attempt on goal which was comfortably dealt with by AmaTuks goalkeeper Washington Arubi. There weren’t many chances in the second half but when the chances presented themselves they forced good saves from both keepers. Arguably the best chance of the second half fell on
AmaTuks in action. Image: soccerladuma.co.za
Massa’s feet towards the end of the half but he could not convert the chance as Williams was swift to deny the home team the chance to score what would have been the winner. The game ended 0-0 and was forced into extra time. In extra
time, the competitive spirit of both teams was evident. The first half of extra time ended 0-0. In the second half of extra time, Niang headed in a cross to open his team’s goal tally with the match’s winning goal.
Exclusive interview with female African Swimmer of the Year Karin Prinsloo
Karin Prinsloo is Africa’s female swimmer of the year. ImagE: rapport.co.za
KHUMO MEKGWE Tuks swimmer Karin Prinsloo was named the 2013 female African Swimmer of the Year by Swimming World, won five medals and broke three national records at the Aquatic Super Series in Australia. Perdeby spoke to Prinsloo about her success and her plans for the future. The year has started off very well for you, what more do you plan on doing? Because Australia went so well I’m just trying to keep it up.
Hopefully, come Nationals, I can qualify in all the events I want to qualify in and swim in my PB [Personal Best] so that I’m on track for [the] Commonwealth Games. We hear that you were injured last year. What caused your injury and for how long were you in rehab? It started in January 2013. It was my groin injury. I think it was just from running and gym work. Because I’m tall, I think I’m a little bit weaker and doing stuff outside the pool, it hurts or my body takes a lot more strain. After world champs I spent six weeks in rehab and wasn’t able to kick. An injury is an athlete’s nightmare. What kept you going throughout your rehab? Personally, it was a faith journey. In 2013 I grew a lot in my Christianity. Since [the] Olympics I’ve struggled to not think [about] what people would think, but 2013 was the year I finally realised that I am doing [swimming] for God and if you do your best then that is his will for your life. You are known to be a backstroke swimmer but this year it’s your freestyle that has been getting the attention. What was the key to improving your freestyle? The weight[loss] from Olympics, so I’m a lot lighter in the water and the main thing was keeping the elbow high. Also in Australia the freestyle event was before the backstroke event, so three freestyle events then a backstroke event. I swam on my time for the 200m backstroke, which I qualified for the Olympics even after the three freestyle events. I’m happy about my freestyle but I would have loved to see how my backstroke would have been had I swam it first. You crashed out of the 200m backstroke at the 2012 London Olympics. What were the difficulties in dealing with the Olympic pressure? I remember the day before, or even a few days before, I was crying the whole time. If someone wanted to speak to me my eyes would tear up, my emotions were just all around. I went to the Olympics thinking “I just want to have fun” and then I was like, “I want to make the semi-finals,” but I knew even if I made the semi-finals it wouldn’t be good enough for the people at home. But for me it would be a big achievement, just making semi-finals at my first Olympics. I’m not just someone who instantly does well but each year I’m getting better. The hardest thing for me was dealing with what people were going to think, but I’m glad I went through that because I wouldn’t have known how to [deal] with it. Now I can just go from there. You are now being called the “The South African Queen of the swimming pool”. How does it feel to be put on such a platform?
I’m very privileged, blessed and grateful but it’s a lot of hard work to get here. Someone like Suzaan van Biljon that does really well and finished fifth overall at the 2012 London Olympics and no one knows her. It’s scary because people only see when you win something and with the Commonwealth Games coming up, competition is going to be tougher and if I don’t win then people are going to forget about me. It’s just tough to see how [womens’] swimming doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. Now that you’ve set a new national record has your training intensified? Training has been a lot tougher for me since we got back so it has definitely intensified. Now we have to step it up again and just try to make it even better. What does a typical day look like for you? I wake up at 04:40, have breakfast and leave for the swimming pool. From 05:30 to 07:30 I train in the swimming pool then head back home. From 09:00 to 10:30 I’m at the HPC [High Performance Centre] gym on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Then I’m coaching at my swimming school from 12:00 to 14:30. After that from 15:00 to 16:00, I have land training and from 16:00 to 18:00 we’re back in the water again. Could you please tell us more about your swimming school? I took over in 2013 because the girl [the previous owner] thought that I was done with swimming but my friend from high school and I are now running it. We started with 60 kids. Do you have any galas coming up and what will be your strategy be for those? The next gala for me is the Senior Nationals in April. I’m hoping to do well in all the events I want to qualify for (100m, 200m, 400m freestyle and 200m backstroke). I know it’s going to be tough because there won’t be any international swimmers there so I will have to push myself. What is the key to a perfect backstroke and freestyle stroke? I think the core is important because it keeps you up in the water. The kick is essential and looking up straight, not letting your chin touch your chest. Perfect head and body positioning and constantly rotating your shoulders. [For freestyle it is] keeping the elbow high. I didn’t realise how important it was, kicking is also important to pull yourself through the water. The 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil are coming up, what is your plan? If I continue like I am, getting stronger each year, then I should be on my form. [I am] hoping to get a medal and if I do then I’ll be very proud of myself, and if I don’t then I know that I gave it my all.
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