October 2017 Volume 38
WITSReview The magazine for ALUMNI and friends of the University of the Witwatersrand
South Africa R25 (incl. VAT & postage) International R50 (incl. postage)
Circle of Excellence Award 2017 (CASE) Best External Magazine 2016 (MACE)
201-300 BAND GLOBALLY
ACADEMIC RANKING OF WORLD UNIVERSITIES
UN IV E RS IT Y
RAN K I N G S
R A N KED
CENTRE FOR WORLD UNIVERSITY RANKINGS
THE BEST IN AFRICA 2 01 7
The Academic Ranking of World Universities is released annually by ShanghaiRanking Consultancy, an independent organisation. It ranks the world’s 500 best universities on research performance. The Centre for World University Rankings lists the world’s top 1000 institutions, based on a variety of factors.
RIPPLES OF SUCCESS The medical class of 1967 recently held its 50th anniversary reunion. It was a privilege meeting these wonderful alumni and conversations I had with many of them on their perceptions of Wits provided food for thought.
The class toasted the illustrious teachers and mentors who had prepared them for their medical careers and were justly proud of their classmates, most of whom have enjoyed success practising as specialists in the alumni diaspora.
There is no denying that the University has challenges. But they are not the norm or unique to Wits. Negative news in South Africa often gets more traction especially when it reinforces preconceptions. Emotions often trump facts.
The achievements of this class are not unique. In global rankings of alumni success over the past few years, including those of alumni wealth, Wits University has been variously placed from 7th for “most popular among billionaires” to 56th for the “most millionaire alumni” to 139th for “global employability”. My American counterparts assume we must be a very wealthy university. Not so.
Whatever one may think of present-day Wits, most alumni believe they received a world-class education and want future generations to have the same experience.
While the University does enjoy immense goodwill and support from many, we do have an uphill battle with pessimism (about our future as a university and as a country), generalisations and a rush to judgement. There is a disconnect between the University attaining exceptional results in the global rankings and the perception held by some that standards are dropping. There is a disconnect between allegations that the University and/ or its students are violent, anti-Semitic or racist (against whites/blacks) and the peaceful and harmonious reality on an everyday campus. And perhaps these negative perceptions feed into the incongruity of having successful alumni and being an under-resourced university.
The medical class of 1967 started a project to capture the biographies of its members. Class representative Professor Gladwyn Leiman noted, “The biographies started arriving, a small trickle and then a major tsunami of the thoughts and deeds and activities and global accomplishments of a single Wits Medical School class. Can you imagine the effects of this one School, in its perch on the ‘white water ridge’ in the southern part of the African continent, during its whole century of educating medical graduates?” The ripple effect Wits graduates have in all fields of endeavour around the world is profound and the ripple effect of providing the same opportunities to future generations can change lives and destinies. Peter Maher Director: Alumni Relations
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
CONTENTS October 2017 FEATURES
28 Free Peopleâ€™s Concert 44 Gauteng City-Region Observatory 49 Food 58 Natalie Knight 62 Honorary degrees
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
Image: Shivan Parusnath/Wits University
Image: Frank Black
Editor: Peter Maher email@example.com Contributors: Heather Dugmore firstname.lastname@example.org Lyrr Thurston email@example.com Kathy Munro firstname.lastname@example.org Ufrieda Ho email@example.com Graphic Design: Jignasa Diar firstname.lastname@example.org Printing: Remata Published by the Office of Alumni Relations, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Address: Private Bag 3, Wits, 2050, South Africa T +27 (0)11 717 1090 E email@example.com www.wits.ac.za/alumni UPDATE CONTACT DETAILS: www.wits.ac.za/alumni/updateyourdetails SUBSCRIPTIONS PER COPY: South Africa R25 (incl. VAT & postage) International R50 (incl. postage) PAYMENT OPTIONS: Online payment using a Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Diners Club credit card at: www.wits.ac.za/alumni/payment or by electronic transfer or bank deposit to: First National Bank, Account No. 62077141580, Branch Code 255005, Ref.No. 29613 (+ your name) or by cash or credit card payment at the Alumni Office.
49 REGULARS 01 04 06 10 12 18 20 66 68 78
Editorial Letters Sport Art and social Networking events Centenarians Research news Witsies with the edge Books Obituaries
WITSReview is published twice a year. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the editor, the Office of Alumni Relations or of the University of the Witwatersrand. ÂŠCopyright of all material in this publication is vested in the authors thereof. Requests to reproduce any of the material should be directed to the editor.
Circle of Excellence Award 2017 (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) Best External Magazine 2016, 2015, 2012 & 2010 (MACE) Best External Magazine 2014, 2013, 2012 & 2011 (SA Publication Forum)
Cover: The Free People's Concert, 1973 Story on page 26. Image: Frank Black/Getty Images
Dear editor... Several readers responded to Michael Hobson’s letter (WITSReview, May 2017) about entertainment in Johannesburg in years gone by. Their letters have been edited for length. We also note that Michael’s letter originally referred to Sauer Street, which has been renamed Pixley ka Isaka Seme Street.
The theatre on the corner
Michael Hobson says: “Mr Arridge also asks about the 20th Century cinema. It was in Rissik Street, corner Jeppe…” Correction: the 20th Century cinema was on the corner of Von Brandis and President Streets. I went to this cinema many times and remember seeing From Russia with Love, starring Sean Connery.
Stay in touch Please share your news and remember to update your contact details. We’d especially love to hear of Witsie families and Witsies who share a birthday with the University (1922). Please help us to keep in touch with all our older alumni if they don’t have email addresses or social media accounts. Please email letters to firstname.lastname@example.org.
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
I came to live in Johannesburg in 1952, aged three. I often went to the Apollo Cinema in Beit Street, Doornfontein. I remember seeing Tarzan there as a child. I was very scared and left before it ended! I also went to the Alhambra in Doornfontein, the Metro in Bree Street, His Majesty’s in Commissioner Street, and the Monte Carlo in Jeppe Street. I saw many movies, as well as James Last and his Orchestra, at the Colosseum in Commissioner Street. At the Victory Cinema in Louis Botha Avenue, Orange Grove, I saw Some Like It Hot, starring Marilyn Monroe. My husband took me to the Civic Theatre on our first date to see a play called Eureka. I saw Pieter-Dirk Uys in an excellent show at the Wits Theatre. Marisa Rothbauer
Struts and frets I started learning guitar in 1958 at Charlie Macrow’s Studios, which was opposite the Bijou Theatre. Shortly thereafter, the Bijou gave its final performance. RB Wemyss (BSc Hons 1969)
Ducktails at the Plaza Michael Hobson’s letter has struck many chords in my memory. Damelin College, for instance. I matriculated from Damelin in 1953, in the days when that College was in a rather shabby tenement building at the east end of Bree Street. Down at street level was a small café, which boasted a large pinball machine. What better entertainment could the Damelin students have wished for! Mr Hobson situates the 20th Century Cinema at the corner of Rissik and Jeppe Streets. Surely that was the Plaza. Wits students of 1950s vintage knew about the Plaza – in fact, one issue of the Wits Rag magazine in the mid-50s ran a brilliant epic poem, beginning with this bold scene-setting: “Lash le Roux went to the Plaza, Like Samson to the gates of Gaza...” The fictitious Lash le Roux was a “ducktail”. Think James Dean’s Rebel Without a Cause. I remember the Bijou. I also remember a theatre a block or so to the north, the Savoy. In Joburg in the 1950s were also a clutch of “cafe bio’s”. I never ventured into one. Many who were in residence at Wits in those days will remember the two Braamfontein cinemas, the Albert and the Gaiety (known as “The Bert” and “The Gat”). Ian Bird (Rev.) (BSc Eng 1957) Haddington (near Edinburgh), Scotland
Our feature on Witsies in love (May 2017, Vol. 37) plucked some heartstrings.
A window opens to romance I met my husband Keith at Wits, in Gate House on East Campus, where we both had offices. It was early in 1972 and we were young lecturers; he was in Business Economics and I was in Economic History. I went looking for a window-opening pole, which was lodged outside his office. We met in the corridor on the 6th floor. We became engaged in two months and married in four. Our wedding reception was at Hofmeyr House; the dress was homemade, as was the cake; and the total cost of it all was R180 for 40 guests. That sum was just under half of my month’s salary.
Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management. Keith has always supported me in my work. Kathy Munro (BA 1957) Honorary Associate Professor, Architecture and Planning
Where families are made The feature on Witsie couples got me thinking about my own family’s strong connection to Wits. My wife Helen (née Hill, BA 1973) and I met at Wits, as did my late parents, James Craig (MBBCh 1942) and Hilda Craig (née Bertin, BSc Physio 1944). My mother and wife both resided in Sunnyside, where Helen was Senior Student in 1972. My brother, James Craig (MBBCh 1970), and sister, Pauline Heaver (née Craig, BSc Physio 1970), followed in our parents’ academic footsteps at Wits. Graham Craig, SRC President 1972 (BSc Eng 1973; MSc Eng 1986), Melbourne, Australia
Romantic roofwetting for the Bozz We have been married for 44 years and are still Wits people, as indeed are our children, with six Wits degrees between them. I have worked in three faculties, started the reading programme for blind students, founded the Aletta Sutton Child Care Centre, taught economic history, was Director of Wits Plus, and finally was Acting Dean of the
We think we may have been the first couple to have our wedding reception at Wits’ GR Bozzoli Sports Pavilion in 1978, shortly after it was opened. We were married on 7 October 1978. The sports club at Wits was brand new. In fact, building materials were very much in evidence outside the building, and the kitchen facilities had not been used until that day. We had 200 guests and the venue was absolutely perfect.
I had just completed my MBA at the Wits Business School in 1978. Lynette (née Holder) had already been teaching for about three years, having completed her diploma at the Johannesburg College of Education (affiliated to Wits). We spent the first night of our honeymoon at the “new” Carlton Hotel. James Pullen (BSc 1977, MBA 1979) and Lynette Pullen Cape Town
Engineered to last Earlier this year I met Mr Barend Jacobus Stander, who is 100 years old and must surely be the only surviving member of the Wits Civil Engineers Class of 1942. He gave me permission to send you a photo of him that I took in April. John Clarke (BA FA 1969)
Senior alumna visits Wits Distinguished pathologist Dr Shirley Siew (born 1925; MBBCh 1947, Master of Surgery 1963) visited the Faculty of Health Sciences this year.
THE POWER OF
Image: Peter Maher
Image: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix
The “Clever Boys” visited campus on 8 August to meet their fans and sign autographs outside the Great Hall.
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
Greater goal Wits has launched a Sport Transformation Fund which will give disadvantaged student athletes a chance to attend university. The fund will offer generous scholarships for studies, accommodation and meals. This will change the lives of elite athletes. Looking beyond individuals, Wits believes that universities can play a catalytic role in the transformation of our national sporting teams. And the impact may be felt even more broadly: through sport and education, the University hopes to contribute towards the transformation and healing of our society. Contributions to the fund provide empowerment investment solutions for corporates as well as tax benefits for individuals. For more information, please contact Adrian Carter, Director of Wits Sport: email@example.com or +27 11 717 9419.
Image: Peter Maher
Bidvest Wits were the Absa Premiership and MTN8 champions in the 2016/17 season. Wits is the only university in South Africa with a Premier Soccer League team. The football club was started in 1921 and played in its first league season in 1922.
The first young athlete to receive a bursary from the fund is Sisipho Magwaza, a Grade 12 learner from Hoërskool Transvalia in Vanderbijlpark. She is the head girl and captain of the hockey and athletics teams at her school, and has a place in the U/21 SA hockey team. “I am truly humbled and grateful for this life-changing opportunity,” said the multi-talented goalie.
Make the most of being a Witsie. Stay connected
University of the Witwatersrand Alumni
See more benefits at
firstname.lastname@example.org www.wits.ac.za/alumni www.wits.ac.za/alumni
Alumni House Alumni House Wits Club Barns Complex Complex Wits Club & & Barns West Campus West Campus Tel +27 +27 11 Tel 11 717 7171090 1090 Fax 086 086 406 Fax 406 4146 4146 Email email@example.com WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
Hockey history on Wits turf
The SA women’s side met Ireland on Wits turf
Slam dunk at USSA Wits Basketball teams – the Horny Bucks and Lady Bucks – both emerged national champions at the 2017 University Sport South Africa tournament. The men’s chess team also took national honours. The football, hockey and rugby teams all improved their performances at USSA this year.
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) Hockey World League held its World Cup qualifier semifinal at Wits’ Education Campus in July. The venue has state-of-the-art artificial turf, rated the best in Africa, which was installed in 2013. Twenty international teams (10 men’s and 10 women’s teams) competed for a place in the Hockey World League Finals 2017 and the Hockey World Cup 2018. The South African women’s team qualified to compete in the World Cup in London. Wits Hockey Sports Officer Erika Venter said hosting one of the biggest international events in hockey was a historic occasion in Wits’ rich sporting history and would no doubt have many positive spinoffs. Thanking the Wits organising team, FIH Operations Manager Eduardo Leonardo called the tournament “probably one of the best World League Semi-Finals”.
ANDY WARHOL @ WAM
The Wits Art Museum’s attendance records were smashed at the July opening of Warhol Unscreened: Artworks from the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Collection. Five thousand art lovers turned up to see more than 80 of pop artist Andy Warhol’s major screenprints. And the exhibition continued to bring in the crowds: 13 544 visitors in the first five weeks, about halfway through its run. The famous Campbell’s soup cans were on show, along with images of Marilyn Monroe, Muhammad Ali, Mickey Mouse, Uncle Sam, Santa Claus, the collection of portraits of “Ten Famous Jews”, a miscellany of animals and more.
Images of Andy Warhol paintings © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
Warhol is in school and university art syllabi and the exhibition brought new audiences to WAM. It was made possible by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and supported by the advertising agency Black Africa and Business Arts South Africa. Explaining Warhol’s popularity, curator Lesley Cohen said: “His work is highly accessible and also speaks to the consumerist, celebrity obsessed, media soaked society that urban South Africans live in. A very diverse constituency of young people know his work and since they are such avid social media users they helped enormously in publicising the exhibition.” A related exhibition at WAM, One Colour at a Time, displayed recent South African screenprints curated by Artist Proof Studio, Prints on Paper and the Wits School of Arts’ Division of Visual Arts. The aim was to encourage an appreciation of the screenprinting art form, which has a long history in Johannesburg. WR
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
WAM hosted a number of “talkabouts” – guided tours where experts explain the importance, innovation and impact of the works on show. 11
Images of WAM interior: Mark Lewis
Faculty of Health Sciences reunion
Health Sciences reunion and golden anniversary for the Class of 1967 The annual Health Sciences Reunion was held in September and the Class of 1967 celebrated its 50th year since graduating. The reunion programme included symposia on teaching, learning and research; a lecture by Professor Glenda Gray (MBBCh 1986) on “The intersection of health systems development and social justice”; a trip to the Cradle of Humankind; campus tours; class catch-ups; and a gala dinner. At the dinner held at the Wits Club on West Campus, Professor Martin Veller, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, and Dr Paul Davis, President of the Health Graduates Association, spoke of the renewal under way at the university and the current research success being experienced by the medical school. They appealed to alumni to support their alma mater.
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
The gathering acknowledged the role Wits had played in their career success. Professors Gladwyn Leiman and John Gear from the Class of 1967 led a toast to the illustrious teachers and mentors they had as students at Wits. The Class of 1967 also enjoyed a private dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel in Westcliff sponsored by classmate Professor Stephen Joffe and his wife Sandra. Prof Joffe is CEO of the Joffe Foundation, Co-Chairman of Joffe Medicenter (a healthcare services company) and Esteemed Quondam Professor of Surgery and Medicine at University of Cincinnati Medical Center. The event reunited alumni from around the world and for the Class of 1967, Prof Leiman observed, “Old faces turned into younger ones and we enjoyed as though 1967 were yesterday.” WR
Images: Peter Maher
01 Dr John Gear and Professor Gladwyn Leiman paid tribute to the illustrious lecturers and mentors who taught them at Wits Medical School 02 Clockwise from top right: Ali and Shira Bacher, Alan and Dawn Kisner, Bennie Skudowitz and Viv Fritz at the Health Sciences reunion dinner held at the Wits Club.
03 The Medical Class of 1967 (Left to Right) Bottom row: Alan Kisner, John Gear, Pete Colsen Seated: Errol Judelman, Bill Gibson, Jackie Gardner, Bennie Skudowitz, Heike Rolle-Daya, Colin Nates, Ben Mervis Middle: Allan Katz, Helen Feiner, Kees van der Meyden, John Fassler Back: Herman Massyn, Barry Schoub, Geoff Wilson, Alan Matisonn, Bill Roediger, Andre van der Walt, Anton Schepers, Lewis Levien, Andrew Alison
ART & SOCIAL
Wits Art Museum hosted alumni and other friends to learn more about the landscape painter Moses Tladi (1903-1959). He was the first black painter to have had a formal exhibition in South Africa and the first to exhibit at the South African National Gallery. Senior curator Julia Charlton guided visitors through the exhibition, pointing out that a landscape is never simply a picture of a place â€“ it carries much more meaning and emotion, especially in the context of South African history. The story of Tladiâ€™s too-short life is not widely known, and the paintings have not been circulating in the art market. He worked as a gardener in Johannesburg, served in World War II and was forced to leave his home under apartheid.
Image: Peter Maher
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
Images courtesy of Print Matters
01 Caught in the Wind 02 The House in Kensington B 03 No. 1 Crown Mines
04 Winter Landscape
EOH celebrates 50th Ernest Oppenheimer Hall celebrates its golden jubilee this year. The Parktown residence was built to replace Cottesloe Residence, which housed ex-servicemen after World War II. It is now home to about 400 students. A function on 22 April brought together past chairpersons of the House Committee to share anecdotes of their time at EOH. A formal dinner was held on
16 September, after which guests posed for a group photo (left). The 50th anniversary has also been marked by the establishment of a fund for the upkeep and development of the residence and to support students in need. EOH alumni can contact Nazime.Randera@wits.ac.za to update their details or to contribute to the fund.
The Civil Engineering Class of 1973 is planning to hold its 45th reunion in July 2018. Please contact the organiser, Carlos Mendes, for details: email carlos@ smagroup.co.za or phone 082 443 7488.
IDEAS TO TALK ABOUT Emma Sadleir 16
The audience was spellbound when Witsie Emma Sadleir (BA 2006, LLB 2008) spoke at an alumni and student networking event at the Science Stadium on 26 July. Sadleir, an attorney who specialises in social media law, shared important and in many cases surprising information about reputational risk in a world where nothing seems private any more. The basic rule: if you wouldn’t put it on a billboard next to a highway, don’t put it in digital format! “Confidentiality is learned behaviour and we all have to teach it, because people default to oversharing,” Sadleir said. Older alumni and students alike learnt a lot, in an entertaining way, about protecting personal and corporate information. “It was an honour to be asked to speak to the @witsalumni yesterday,” Sadleir tweeted later. “Super nostalgic day at my old hunting ground.”
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
Former Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela at the Wits Alumni networking event
Thuli Madonsela Advocate Thuli Madonsela was a popular guest speaker at an alumni networking event on 23 May. The much-admired Wits alumna (LLB 1991, LLD honoris causa 2017), South Africa’s former Public Protector, spoke about “how to heal our troubled world”. She said that “one of the greatest calls right now is to find a way to make sure that everyone that deserves to be in a university gets into university. We also have the power to make sure that once people are at university there’s a system that makes sure they are not desperate and destitute.” Adv Madonsela’s biography, No Longer Whispering to Power, by Thandeka Gqubule, was published in 2017 by Jonathan Ball.
Professor Sharlene Swartz, a research director at the Human Sciences Research Council
Professor Sharlene Swartz (BSc 1990) gave a talk at the Wits Club in August on her book, Another Country: Everyday Social Restitution. She urged the alumni, staff and students who attended to be aware of how the past remains present in South Africa, and to talk about what individuals can do to restore people’s humanity. She calculated just some of the costs of apartheid that black people continue to bear, and suggested inheritance as one area where white people could “make good”. The issue of corruption in South Africa, she said, should not distract us from the greater problem of inequality. Her book tells of people’s daily experiences of inequality, and of her own “cycling in and out of consciousness” as a young white South African – the way she was aware of injustices but was able to “forget” this at times in her daily life.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Adam Habib (above) hosted a reunion dinner for alumni at the Royal Swazi Spa in Swaziland on 1 July 2017. About 130 guests attended, ranging from recent graduates to veterans from the 1950s .
Images (networking events): Peter Maher
01 Jeanne Crokaert with Strilli Oppenheimer 02
02 Isa Teeger, Dr Joe Teeger and Dr Susan Teeger 03 Queen Elizabeth sent a birthday card 04 The opulent birthday cake 05 Jeanne Crokaert with Georgina Jaffee
06 Jeanne Crokaert (far right) celebrated her 100th birthday in July at a masked dinner party at the Ritz in London
A TOAST TO OU 04
Pearl Colman (Kessel) (BCom 1937; BA 1959; BA Hons 1960; MA 1963) celebrated her 101st birthday in April, at home in New York. Pearl was born on 23 April 1916 and was the Dux of Germiston High School in 1933. After obtaining her first degree and having three children, she returned to her studies at Wits. She qualified as a clinical psychologist at Tara and worked at the Johannesburg Child Guidance Clinic. In 1965, Vice-Chancellor Professor ID MacCrone asked her to set up South Africa’s first student counselling centre. Pearl worked closely at the centre with Dr Yvonne Blake (BSc Hons 1955).
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
Images: Gomes Photography
Jeanne Crokaert (Pinn) was born in Johannesburg in July 1917 and celebrated her 100th birthday this year at a “masked ball” at the Ritz in London. Among the many speeches, her granddaughter Kerrin-Lee Nell and friend Isa Teeger spoke of Jeanne’s courage, commitment, humour and ability to overcome obstacles. She matriculated at Kingsmead College in 1935 and graduated from Wits with a BA in 1940. Though confined to a wheelchair by Guillain-Barré syndrome, she lives in three countries and gets about with the help of wonderful staff and friends. She travelled extensively with her second husband, Pierre Crokaert, on business trips. Pierre worked in the diamond industry for De Beers and
died at the age of 100 in 2008. Jeanne’s father, a stockbroker, was from Lithuania and her mother, a talented pianist, from England. They lived in Houghton Estate in Johannesburg. After graduating, Jeanne worked on the railways as a counsellor to young women whose husbands had gone to war. She remembers the poverty she saw in small South African towns at this time. Throughout her life in South Africa, she continued raising money for railway charities. News of Jeanne’s 100th birthday came from her cousin Georgina Jaffee, who lectured in Sociology at Wits. Her husband, former Wits student leader Glenn Moss, is the author of The New Radicals: A Generational Memoir of the 1970s, which was launched at the Wits Club in 2014. WR
R CENTENARIANS! At the time, she told the Rand Daily Mail: “We hope the service will reduce the number of failures, especially among first-year students.” Then, as now, some students needed help with adjusting to the semi-independence of university life, and with personal relationships and study skills. In 1980, at the age of 65, Pearl retired and emigrated to the USA to be with her family. She worked full-time for a children’s services non-profit organisation until the age of 80. Her son Professor Martin Colman (MBBCh
1964, MMed 1970) is an oncologist and is married to Elinor (Israch) (BSc 1965). His brother Robin Colman and Robin’s wife Deborah Clare (Spencer) both worked at the Wits Computer Centre in the 1970s. The middle son, the late Dr Neville Colman (MBBCh 1969, PhD 1974), was a distinguished haematologist and outstanding athlete who was married to Dr Glenys Lobban (BA 1970, BA Hons 1971, MA 1972). Pearl was married to Advocate Harry Colman (BA 1936, LLB 1938), who taught law parttime at Wits. He died in 1966. WR
LOOK OUT! The sungazer (Smaug giganteus), a lizard species endemic to the Highveld region of South Africa, is losing its habitat to farming and industrialisation. It is also under threat from the illegal global pet trade.
Image: Shivan Parusnath/Wits University
PhD student Shivan Parusnath (MSc 2014) has found that the speciesâ€™ population has declined by more than one-third over the last decade. It has lost almost half of its habitat forever. The sungazer is a grassland specialist and lives in burrows. It needs a particular soil type, prey species, temperature and humidity to survive, and it has a complex social structure. It is also almost impossible to breed sungazers in captivity.
Parusnath is using novel genetic techniques to understand the effects of habitat transformation on the population structure of the sungazer. These methods can also be used to check whether a trading permit may be granted for an animal.
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
A sungazer lizard in its natural habitat
What is modern behaviour? Images: Craig Foster
The study of early human behaviour has received a big funding boost from the Norwegian Research Council – US$18-million over the next 10 years. Wits researchers will benefit through their collaboration with the University of Bergen’s Centre for Early Human Behaviour, which now has Centre of Excellence status. A-rated Wits archaeologist Professor Christopher Henshilwood – one of the most cited researchers in the world – also runs the Centre for Early Human Behaviour, which brings together the work of experts in climate research, neurological science, psychology, geology and social sciences. The team has already shown that Africa is where modern human cognition began to develop.
01 Bifacial points from the Still Bay tradition 02 Nassarius kraussianus shell beads strung as jewellery during the Still Bay period 03 Howieson's Poort stone segments mounted as an arrow head
Recently, the international team of researchers has shown that certain cultural innovations developed during a much drier period of time in southern Africa (about 66 000 to 59 000 years ago), and these innovations allowed people to inhabit a greater range of environments. This may have been the key to success for modern humans. It was during this dry period that new, more efficient and flexible technologies such as the bow and arrow were invented. This tech-tradition is known as Howieson’s Poort.
04 The Blombos Ochre (bottom left), dated to around 75 000 years ago, is one of the oldest forms of evidence suggesting that symbolic thought and other forms of modern human behaviour arose in Africa. It was recovered from excavations at Blombos Cave in the southern Cape.
The earlier, also innovative, tech-tradition found in southern Africa is known as Still Bay. 03
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
“Homo sapiens was anatomically modern by 200 000 years ago in Africa, but there is no archaeological evidence to demonstrate that behaviour was modern at the time. Attributes of modern behaviour, perhaps inspired by changes in the human brain, are only recognisable after 100 000 years ago. Before we can study the process, we must critically define the criteria for the term ‘modern behaviour’ and then find a means to recognise such behaviour in the record. This seemingly simple research statement involves complex exploration by a team of specialists.”
Image: David Pearce
Ancient African art Some rock art in southern Africa is much older than previously thought â€“ at least 5 500 years old in places. New techniques of dating show also that paintings were made at the same sites over long periods (more than 1000 years, in some cases). Knowing when an image was made may shed light on huntergatherersâ€™ lives and interactions with other groups, according to Professor David Pearce (BSc 2000, BSc Hons 2001, MSc 2002, PhD 2008), Director of the Rock Art Research Institute at Wits. The new technique involves taking tiny samples of pigment so as not to damage the painting, analysing them to find out which of them contain the most carbon black (because these are the most likely to reveal dates), and applying accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon dating. Background: Detail from panel of paintings at RSA TYN2, a site in the Eastern Cape. Flakes of painted rock which had fallen on the floor of the rock-shelter were analysed.
Sitting on another time bomb
Only about half of the children in South Africa get enough exercise. And around the world, it’s even fewer (20%). For the first time in history, there are now more children who are overweight and obese than those who are under-nourished or stunted. The prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents in South Africa is as high as 30%. “We need special efforts – not just
Hunger: the root of our problems
from researchers in the area of physical activity, but also from teachers, parents, coaches, all the way to policy-makers – to try to improve lifestyles and health in South Africa,” says Dr Rebecca Meiring (BSc 2005, BSc Hons 2005, MSc 2007, PhD 2014), lead researcher in exercise physiology at the Movement Physiology Research Laboratory at Wits.
“Apart from the thousands of children who die from hunger each year, 25% of all South African children are so malnourished that they are classified as stunted,” writes Dr Tracey Ledger (BCom 1989, BCom Hons 1990, PhD 2015) in her blog. “These outcomes are significantly higher than any other country with a similar GDP per capita. South Africa is a world leader in child malnutrition.” Trained in anthropology and agricultural economics, she is the author of a book called An Empty Plate (Jacana Media, 2016), which looks at problems in South Africa’s
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
agri-food system. She asks why farmers get low prices for their produce but the poor still can’t afford food, and what can be done to change this pattern, which she calls “the single biggest threat to our dreams of building a new society centred around humanity and personal dignity”. Dr Ledger is now working on a book about why so many development projects in South Africa – particularly food gardens – fail. “I am particularly interested in the study of failure. I think we can learn as much from why things don’t work as from why they do work.”
Spotless spot The new, ultra-clean, metal-free Wits Isotope Geoscience Laboratory, based in the School of Geosciences at Wits, is a boon for scientists from a wide range of disciplines. It allows them to perform high precision, contamination-free experiments aimed at separating elements and isotopes from a range of natural materials.
Wits Isotope Geoscience Laboratory
High precision analysis of elements and isotopes is extremely important in geosciences, but also used in medicine – for example in the diagnosis of cancer and bone diseases – and in palaeosciences for establishing the origin, movement patterns and diets of now extinct animals, including 25 our human ancestors. 25
Pressure's on Surprising results emerged from a study of hypertension in West, East and South Africa: there were stark differences in the prevalence, awareness and control of this condition. Prevalence ranged from 15% in a research site in Burkina Faso to 54% in Soweto. Hypertension is associated with ageing, rapid urbanisation, bad diet (refined and fast foods) and insufficient exercise. Relatively affluent South Africa has the highest prevalence and the largest number of people whose blood pressure is still not controlled, even on treatment. Increased life expectancy (the result of better health care) is expected to increase the incidence of hypertension, which means an epidemic could lie ahead. Professor Michèle Ramsay (PhD 1987) was one of the authors of the paper that reported the results.
Wits has a new quarterly magazine, Curios.ty, which aims to make University research open and accessible to all.
Image: Lauren Mulligan
“Instead of shipping our samples to Europe at a huge cost, scientists in Southern Africa will have a world-class facility on their doorstep,” says the lab’s Director, Dr Grant Bybee (BSc 2008, BSc Hons 2009, PhD 2013).
01 Eland and Benko, the 2015 #FireGrazer image by Hannelie Coetzee 02 Locust and Grasshopper, the 2017 image by Hannelie Coetzee burnt over Eland and Benko
The art of
grasslands management The artist Hannelie Coetzee presented her second Art/Science #FireGrazer performance at the NIROX Sculpture Park in the Cradle of Humankind in June. This entailed burning an image into the grassland – a process undertaken by the government-funded Working on Fire job-creation programme. This year’s image, Locust & Grasshopper, overlaid the 2015 burnt image, Eland & Benko. Coetzee has an Advanced Diploma in Fine Arts from Wits and taught in the Fine Arts Department in the 1990s. She worked with ecologist Professor Sally Archibald (BSc 1997, PhD 2010) and entomologist James Harrison (BSc 1994) on both #FireGrazer performances, using art as a tool to convey scientific ideas.
The images of insects emphasise the important role of these small creatures in savanna ecosystems. The word “hittete” comes from an Afrikaans idiom, “Dit was so hittete”, meaning “it was touch and go”, and refers to damage to the planet caused by humans. In 2015-2016, research on the site tested whether small, managed fires created more productive grassland communities. Wits MSc student Felix Skhosana (BSc 2014, BSc Hons 2015) monitored antelope usage of the burnt veld. Now the research will go beyond grazing to look at the value of this habitat to bird, insect and wildflower species. The goal is to build consensus on appropriate land management, Archibald explains.
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
Photo: Shivan Parusnath, Wits
FREE PEOPLE'S CONCERT
THE T A H T DAY T L E F E L P O PE
EE R F
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
â€œWits University was one of the very few venues in the country where we could present mixed bands and audiences; it was a place where township and suburb could meetâ€?
FREE PEOPLE'S CONCERT
B Y H E AT H E R D U G M O R E
It has been 46 years since the first Free People’s Concert was held at Wits in 1971. Back then, as always, music was a way for everyone to imagine and be part of a different South Africa – starting on campus. WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
The Free People's Concerts in the early 1970s gave a stage to many folk musicians. Children were welcome but didn't always appreciate the noise!
It was South Africaâ€™s Monterey, Haight-Ashbury, Woodstock; a platform for counterculture with music as the vanguard. For a few special hours, it was another country where the great heart of music enveloped the crowd.
FREE PEOPLE'S CONCERT
“It was a song that made it all possible,” says the founder of the Free People’s Concert, David Marks, a Durban-based musician, music producer and archivist of 3rd Ear Music. The song was Marks’ ‘Master Jack’, which hit the American charts in 1968, rising to number 18 on the Billboard Top 100. “What struck me was how lucky I’d been with ‘Master Jack’ when there were so many musicians in South Africa who weren’t being recognised. So when I got my first royalties in 1971 I used them to begin promoting, recording and presenting South African singer/songwriters and township jazz musicians. A concert sound system from my friends at Hanley Sound in the United States was sent over to me at no charge. Parts of this sound system were from the iconic 1969 Woodstock Festival. My goal was to organise a free concert and offer our great musicians a platform.
“In the same breath it was an act of defiance against Connie Mulder, the Minister of Information (incongruously a Wits PhD), who was clamping down on the few existing mixed hotspots for music. It was a case of ‘no blacks; no women; no dogs’,” says Marks. And so it was that Marks launched the first Free People’s Concert on a beach in Durban 1970. The following year it moved to Wits. The lineup included Wits first-year student Johnny Clegg and his new music partner Sipho Mchunu, the Mamelodi group Malombo and Ahmed Mukhtar. It was free to all and any donations from the audience went to the educational NGO, Teach Every African Child (TEACH). “Wits University was one of the very few venues in the country where we could present mixed bands and audiences; it was a place where township and suburb could meet,” says Marks. To organise the concert, the 3rd Ear team worked with student leaders from the SRC and NUSAS’s cultural wing, Aquarius. “Many of these student
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
leaders went on to become latter-day luminaries in government and the media; some were chased into exile. One or two, like Craig Williamson, were state spies, but him we’d rather forget.” Over the years the Free People’s Concert grew into a major national happening, attracting a crowd of 28 000 in 1985. The focus was unreserved freedom with an anti-apartheid undertone. South Africa was at war; the townships were in flames and many South Africans, including Wits students and academics, were in jail or underground or in exile. Anyone who opposed the status quo was sjambokked, shot at and dragged into police vans, even if they were doing nothing more dangerous than dancing. The Free People’s Concert offered respite. It opened its doors to people from every race and sector of South African society and explored the nation’s shattered psyche and unclaimed future through the music of the times. All the while, apartheid was tightening the chokechain on the nation, with PW Botha wagging his presidential finger and warning about the swart gevaar. The concert used a loophole in the law: if the event was a private function, entrance was free and the musicians played for free, there could be no restriction on who attended. This worked for a number of years until permits were required. The venue also had to be changed to accommodate the swelling crowds and administrative opposition. From the swimming pool at Wits in 1971, it spilled over to the library lawns, then off campus to Milpark and finally to Kelvin. Every year there were stumbling blocks in its path. In 1976 the National Education Board issued a state edict that “non-whites” might not attend “this Woodstock-type open air festival on the campus” without the necessary permission. The Department added that “according to government policy, mixed gatherings of any kind are not encouraged as a rule” and that it contravened the Group Areas Act.
01 Guitarist Ken Henson and David Marks with the sound system, parts of which were from the 1969 Woodstock festival 02 Concertgoers 03 Newspaper cutting, 1975 04 Sammy Brown... there are no barriers when it comes to music, 1975
05 David Marks mixing sounds at the 1974 concert 06 Johnny Clegg and WaMadlebe, 1972
JOHNNY CLEGG (BA 1976, BA Hons 1977, DMus honoris causa 2007)
“Sipho and I performed at the Free People’s Concert circa 1971. Our Zulu dancing team also performed there. At one level it was an exuberant and innocent event, as artists spoke and performed from stage. At another level it was a unique event in that many of the singer/songwriters who performed there were challenging the status quo and were given a unifying platform at a time when the national cultural environment emphasised separation and exclusion.” 06
FREE PEOPLE'S CONCERT
I CAME ALONG TO FEEL FREE “I came along to feel free,” said Wendall Pietersen, described as “a Coloured man” in an article in the Rand Daily Mail on Thursday 1 June 1972. Pietersen, a social work student at the University of the Western Cape, was helping to organise the collection of clothing and blankets for Operation Snowball at the concert. He left South Africa in 1978 because his involvement in community projects was seen as political incitement, and he has been living in Italy since 1980.
On the same page of the newspaper, a large headline read: ‘Nationwide campus unrest escalates’. The article reflected on Wits Student’s coverage of the Republic Day celebrations, with a front cover picture of sheep being herded down a narrow street and a caption which read: “A nation celebrates”. The article challenged South Africa “to look at itself, at all the deaths in detention, malnutrition, poverty, break-up of families, detention without trial” and asked the following question: “How willing are we to make the most elementary personal sacrifice for the sake of humanity we shout so loudly about?”
The Free People’s Concert gave the police and government “the jitters”, as an article in Wits Student put it. They got the jitters at the sight of black and white musicians and concert goers having a thoroughly good time together. They baulked at the sight of Sammy Brown flaunting his sultry moves at the Free People’s in ’75 when he called on the audience to do the same, as his backing band Cheyenne got right into the groove. At the same concert, activist musician Jeremy Taylor made a surprise visit home from Britain. He’s remembered for ‘Ag Pleez Deddy’ but what he should be remembered for is his 1960 anticolonial anthem, ‘Piece of Ground’. “Despite apartheid and all its laws, there were many very good people exploring and sharing thoughts of humanity, community and freedom through music, and the Free People’s personified this,” continues Marks. “Today, the term ‘struggle icon’ is applied to so many of our top musicians when they die, but it destroys them in history because they played such an important role simply by playing jazz or South African rock or being part of the vivid cultural life of Dorkay House in Eloff Street. Here, musicians and performers of every creed and colour would come together to create new sounds and new stage productions for a different country. It needs to be emphasised that they made a difference without having to hold what has become the requisite struggle card.” In the beginning the Free People’s Concert acts were mostly folk and soul singers, but this expanded to include the full spectrum of South African music in the 70s and 80s – from the raw South African rock of the late great Wits alumnus James Phillips, to the haunting Zulu chant of Wits alumnus Johnny Clegg and Sipho Mchunu, to the marabi/kwela of Mango Groove with Wits alumna Claire Johnston’s arresting voice in the lead. In every single act the Free People’s lineup showed what a vibrant, fun, non-racial, free South Africa could be like. No one can forget the Cherry Faced Lurchers intoxicating the audience with
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
their signature ‘Do the Lurch’, followed by their anti-apartheid theme song ‘Shot Down’. Meanwhile the police circled in the streets or mingled in all-too-conspicuous civvies among the concert goers, wearing, as Marks puts it: “slightly skew wigs, army issue boots under their jeans and slightly visible revolvers”.
Count Judge Wellington Band
In every single act the Free People’s lineup showed what a vibrant, fun, non-racial, free South Africa could be like.
Wits alumnus, writer and editor Shaun de Waal wrote that songs like Phillips’ ‘Shot Down’ “evoked the terrible emergency years and spoke directly to the hearts and minds of a youth taking a cold hard look at who they were as white South Africans”. At the concert you could hear all the songs the SABC refused to play. These were the songs that inspired Lloyd Ross and Wits architecture alumnus and lecturer Ivan Kadey to start Shifty Records in the late 1970s. They recorded non-commercial South African music, the music of the Free People’s Concert, including the mixed-race punk band National Wake, of which Kadey was a member. De Waal described the mood of the 70s and 80s as “the new South Africa in twisted embryo”. He wrote: “We detested the apartheid state, and we reviled the Calvinist morality that came with it.” In revolt, a subculture of young, mostly white, politicised South Africans threw consequence to the wind as they lost themselves in the music. Some of the great musicians spanning those 16 years included: Des and Dawn Lindberg, the Genuines, Benny B’Funk and the Sons of Gaddafi Barmitzvah Band, Kalahari Surfers, éVoid, the Aeroplanes, Tighthead Fourie and the Loose Forwards, Richard Jon Smith, PJ Powers and Hotline, Dr C, Splash, African Jazz
Pioneers, Steve Newman and Tony Cox, Afrozania, Nyanga, Mike Dickman, Via Afrika, Horn Culture, Radio Rats, Wasamata, Larry Amos, Psychoreptiles, Midnight Hour, Spectres, Believers, Bright Blue, Unhinged, Winston’s Jive Mixup, the Kêrels, the Abstractions …
In its way, the Free People’s played an underestimated role in breaking down all sorts of barriers, racial, ideological, cultural, subcultural and gender. “One of many vivid examples in my mind is of a group of Hell’s Angels dancing around a bonfire with members of the SRC after one of the concerts,” says Marks.The Hell’s Angels had roared in to see what these Wits “communists” were up to. “They landed up partying with the ‘communists’ and helping to clear up and burn the refuse from the day’s events to make sure there was no mess afterwards.” For Marks, the Free People’s Concert was a story about living and surviving the times. And it should not be forgotten. “It took a lot of people giving freely of their time to put on those concerts,” says Marks, who subsequently organised other major concerts like Splashy Fen. He adds that he generally withdraws from events that grow beyond what they were meant to do. For him, the Free People’s was an exception: “It did remain true and it is important to safeguard the memory of these gems in the strange, strange world we live in.” WR
FREE PEOPLE'S CONCERT
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
De Waal described the mood of the 70s and 80s as “the new South Africa in twisted embryo”. He wrote: “We detested the apartheid state, and we reviled the Calvinist morality that came with it.” In revolt, a subculture of young, mostly white, politicised South Africans threw consequence to the wind as they lost themselves in the music.
Photos: Mark Guthrie, Flickr
FREE PEOPLE'S CONCERT
LIKE A CHUNK OF ONE’S YOUTH FLASHING BY Cape Town-based author Glenn Moss was Wits Chair of NUSAS in 1971, the first year of the Free People’s Concert at Wits. That same year he became Vice-President of the SRC.
“Thinking back to that first concert is like a chunk of one’s youth flashing by. I was in second year and David Marks pretty much organised the whole thing, assisted from NUSAS’ side by our cultural committee Aquarius, led by Elaine Unterhalter. She went into exile in the mid-70s and is now a Professor of Education and International Development at the Institute of Education, University of London. “NUSAS recognised culture and music as incredibly important in exposing students to multiracial environments and building a community of resistance. In developing levels of political resistance you have to develop a whole life engagement around it as an alternative community to students’ existing community. A free, multiracial concert was certainly part of this; an act of resistance in the early 1970s. “Johnny Clegg was in the first line-up and it was also his first year at Wits; he majored in social anthropology. Like many of the musicians of the time, he was musical and political. From 1971 he started working with the Wages Commission as he was fluent in isiZulu and he translated the Wages Commission’s newspaper and pamphlets.
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
“Professor Guerino Bozzoli was the ViceChancellor at the time. He was well known for his resistance to apartheid educational policies and the government’s attempts to clamp down on student activism and protest. “These were highly charged times. In October 1971 Ahmed Timol, who was working underground for the Communist Party, died, four days after being detained by security police. Officers claimed he committed suicide by jumping from the 10th floor of John Vorster Square Police Station, now known as Johannesburg Central Police Station. All these years later, an inquest is under way to reveal the real reason for Timol’s death. Wits medical student Salim Essop was arrested with Timol and he testified at the recent High Court inquest hearing. “Alongside the anti-apartheid activism on campus in the early 1970s, there was an international counterculture movement, in the spirit of the Paris protests and the anti-Vietnam protests in America. Marches and protests became far more spontaneous on campus. Prior to this, marches were in academic gowns. The mass-based participatory political environment provided the
“I was in matric and 17 years old when I attended my first Free People’s Concert in 1985 with a group of school friends from Greenside High in Joburg. I was having singing lessons with the legendary Eve Boswell but I was not yet on stage. I was simply a member of the audience there to see my obsession at the time, the bands éVoid, EllaMental and Petit Cheval. “We managed to get in front of the stage when this strange band called Mango Groove came shuffling on. They all stood in a line and there was no lead singer but I was impressed by their marabi/kwela fusion and original sound. One month later I was in the band practising at Dorkay House in Eloff Street. As it happened, one of the guys in the band had asked Eve Boswell to recommend a female singer and she suggested me. Our first gig was at the Hot Tin Roof in Rosebank and from then on it was me on stage performing with Mango Groove at the Free People’s, at the same time as I was doing my BA at Wits in Philosophy, Politics and English. “I realised how small my life had been. Wits and Mango Groove opened my eyes hugely. We could
perfect context for the Free People’s Concert. “I think it was the first time that such an extensive outdoor event took place on campus. There were thousands of people, many from off campus, and a large number of black people. People were casually dressed; a lot of jeans and T-shirts and colourful, flowing, hippie-style clothes. “As political students in NUSAS we identified with the ethos of the counterculture and freedom but not with the drug culture of hippiedom. It was far too easy for the security police to use drugs as a reason for arrest.
Image: Deon Maas
01 Glenn Moss addressing an Ahmed Timol memorial meeting, Wits Great Hall, 1973, with Helen Joseph third from the left. Inset: Glenn Moss now 02 Johnny Clegg and Paul Clingman 1976 03 Mango Groove
not perform at some venues because we were a multiracial band, or the police would arrive and there would be violent outbreaks. It was ‘welcome to the real South Africa’. “Thirty years later I think we are definitely in need of another Free People’s Concert, to draw on the power of music to break down barriers and bring people together. It would be a brilliant thing to do and there is so much inspiring South African music to showcase. There is real heart in this country, South Africans are resilient and resourceful and our country is worth fighting for.”
“For many Wits students, the Free People’s Concert offered a sense of something special and unusual happening, with talented musicians and a multiracial audience enjoying themselves in the sun. It offered a sense of what a different society could be or what a different ‘normal’ could be. “It’s so important to remember that there was this vibrant happening in our history during these oppressive and difficult times. Wits can be extremely proud of its vibrant culture of resistance; it was the epicentre of new things happening that spread out elsewhere and this contribution needs to be celebrated.” WR
FREE PEOPLE'S CONCERT
FREE PEOPLE’S CONCERT 12 MARCH 1972 Joburg-based musician and Wits alumnus Paul Clingman (BA 1973) was one of the Free People’s musicians.
“In thinking back on the Free People’s Concert of 1972, there are conflicting emotions, as with everything to do with the past. Of course I was very young – only 21 – and the ideals and the music were everything I lived for. I was writing songs and what my songs stood for – the breaking down of barriers, the possibility of seeing, hearing and sharing the cultural and human experience of others – was encapsulated in some way by that day. “The cultural censorship I experienced at that time at the hands of the only media outlet available then – the SABC – and the commercial censorship I experienced at the hands of the timid recording industry was for me overcome on that day. It was the first time I was able, along with everyone else there, to make myself part of another world – one devoid of the laws that interfered with life, and one connected in spirit with the world beyond our borders, in which freedom to be and say and think and create were paramount, valued – and possible. “There was an atmosphere of almost unreal resonance and opportunity in that little moment – of a place in which the artificial barriers were
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
more than surmounted – they were eliminated. No artists were paid. No tickets were bought, but we knew that donations made to TEACH were a tangible expression of what we stood for. “I was doing a postgraduate HDip Ed at Wits at the time, so the venue was very familiar to me – indeed it was one of the only places where such a show could even have been contemplated, let alone successfully mounted. The response was amazing. The audience came in their thousands. There were families, children, and they came from all sorts of backgrounds and places. To see them all mixing freely in front of me, identifying with what I was doing, and celebrating the defiance and determination of simply being there, was exhilarating. “For once I was able to stand on a stage not only saying and singing the things I was saying and singing, but actually, by my presence there, able to be those things as well. In later, harder years, when I was touring in townships, and so many more of my songs were proscribed and prohibited, and even today – still writing – I could look back at that little moment in which a certain hope was realised. “Other concerts like it would follow in time, but in many ways, being before its time, the Free People’s Concert was something that stood outside the days that hemmed me in, both physically and artistically, and remained a moment that not only promised a possibility, but embodied that possibility.” WR
01 Artists performing in front of the Great Hall,1972
THE 1982/83 FREE PEOPLE’S CONCERT
02 Paul Clingman, 1972 03 Gavin Rabinowitz, back then 04 Gavin Rabinowitz, now 03
Gavin Rabinowitz (BA 1983, LLB 1985) was the SRC’s Chair of Culture and one of the organisers of the Free People’s Concert in 1982/83.
“It is definitely time to reawaken the Free People’s at Wits. Music is a great bridge; it’s a cliché but true.” BOOK PROJECT RECORDS CONCERT HISTORY The Hidden Years Music Archive Project (HYMAP) has launched a two-year Oral History and Book Project to document the history of the Free People’s Concerts. The project aims to connect with musicians,
He left South Africa for London in 1987 to avoid being drafted into the South African Defence Force. He did a Master’s degree at the London School of Economics, qualified as a lawyer and worked as a partner in an English law firm for a number of years before setting up his current business: a financial service company investing in real estate and other assets. “I had run the Wits Jazz Club for a year and was very involved in music. When I was appointed to the SRC one of my roles was to help organise the Free People’s Concert, which was the climax of Orientation Week. “David Cohen was Chair of the orientation committee and I was Vice-Chair. We had a huge
organisers and audience members who were present and involved with these festivals from 1970 to 1986. It is supported by the Volkswagen Foundation and the Africa Open Institute for Music, Research and Innovation at Stellenbosch University. If you were there and would like to share your memories, photographs and recordings from the Free People’s Concerts, please contact Dr Lizabé Lambrechts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FREE PEOPLE'S CONCERT
SOUNDS OF THE TIMES 1970 Free People’s Concert launched in Durban
Concert moved to Wits; 5000 people; musicians included Johnny Clegg and Sipho Mchunu, Des and Dawn Lindberg, Ahmed Mukhtar, Malombo
Edi Nederlander, The Dunbar Street Folk Group, The Casaloma Brothers and more…
1975 Banished musician Jeremy Taylor sneaked in from what was then Rhodesia to play
Permission to hold concert refused by Bantu Affairs Commissioner
Permission granted in terms of Riotous Assemblies Act; then called off because a permit under Group Areas Act couldn’t be obtained in time
1981 Concert open to students only; compered by Capital Radio DJ Kevin Savage; Wits said future of concert was being reconsidered because of the noise
1982 Concert held at Syringa Spa
Concert held at Kloofendal Amphitheatre near Roodepoort; 9000 people; PJ Powers and Hotline, Steve Newman & Tony Cox, Angie Peach, Via Afrika, Corporal Punishment
1985 Concert held in Orientation Week; crowd of 28 000; Wits Student reported on aggression, violence and litter; said concert must be rethought
Concert held at Fun Valley resort
1987 Concert recorded by Shifty Records; bands included Benny B’Funk & the Sons of Gadaffi Bar-Mitzvah Band, Simba Morri, Ian Fraser, the Cherry Faced Lurchers, the Spectres, the Genuines, Winston’s Jive Mixup, the Kêrels
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
amount to organise, including the venue, permits, acts, food, drink, security, stage, sound and so on. At the time I was 22 years old and in my final year of my BA studying Law and Psychology. I was very excited to be arranging what was then one of the largest open-air festivals in South Africa. I was completely undaunted by the task – I guess that’s the beauty of youth and naivety. “The challenge was not to find suitable acts for the concert, because everyone wanted to play at it, but to find a suitable venue which could accommodate so many people and the non-racial mix. Eventually we found a wonderful site in Roodepoort, slightly further out than we wanted but in a beautiful natural setting. “The list of performers included Johnny Clegg and Juluka, Steve Newman, Paul Clingman, Splash, Via Africa, PJ Powers, éVoid and many more.The aim was, of course, to have a wonderful music festival but also to expose the musicians to such a large crowd. “On the day of the concert David and I arrived early in the morning to meet the security crew. They arrived with dogs – poodles! David and I laughed so much, wondering how this would intimidate anyone. “The headline act was Johnny Clegg and Juluka. I stood on the side of the stage to watch it. The sun was setting on what had been a beautiful sunny day, the crowd was absolutely mesmerised by the band. I will never forget the look on all their faces, sheer joy and exuberance. I get goosebumps just thinking about that moment. “A week after the concert the security
police called me, I thought it was David Cohen joking with me. Eventually I realised it was not him. Two cops came to see me at my parents’ home and produced a recording of Splash (one of the bands), singing about freeing Mandela, a song which they said was banned. They asked me for a statement and for the band’s details. I said I was too busy on the day and that I did not remember what they sang about and had none of their details. “I feel very fortunate to have been given such a wonderful opportunity to do something that was so well appreciated and attended. Not many have the chance to work with wonderful people and arrange something so substantial at such a young age. Moreover, we were never daunted by it; instead, we all pulled together and despite the really dark times, we had a huge amount of fun. “It is definitely time to reawaken the Free People’s at Wits. Music is a great bridge; it’s a cliché but true.” WR
“I just remember loving [the concerts] – the music, the ‘struggle poetry’, the political speeches and even the ‘ungovernable’ performers and RAG organisers (those who resisted taking instructions from us SRC and NUSAS leaders).” Rosemary Hunter, SRC President 1987/88
“The FPC was a great platform for upcoming musicians and bands. … The first general meeting with all the bands was always a bit surreal. You'd have heavy metal rockers like Band of Gypsies in one corner, all leather and studs and scowls, and you'd have the hippies like Tananas in another, exuding peace and good karma, and then there would be emo/new wavers like eVoid, with their make-up and angst. And they all wanted the prime time slots. It was pretty wild.” Paul Jammy , SRC organiser
Photos courtesy of The HYMAP Collection, Documentation Centre for Music, The Star. Photographers: Frank Black, Mark Guthrie, Josh Spencer
e z a
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
a p s s â€™ g n e t u a G B
Image: Gareth Pon
s e c a 45
Call it the big smoke, the concrete jungle or whatever else you like, but urban living is the reality for more than half the world’s population. The United Nations predicts that by 2050, the number will be 66%.
a perfect home in many senses, perched above bustling Braamfontein, with views towards the fringes of the city. It looks out onto big-city life with its constant reminders of the region’s diversity, the aspirations of its citizens, changing social mobility trends and everyday realities. Every day, 13-million Gauteng citizens face the challenges of transport, drought and climate change, violent crime, food security, housing shortages and access to decent healthcare.
High-density living in a time of competing needs, limited natural resources and huge economic divides calls for smarter thinking and planning, deeper context and clearer insights. What’s needed is a collective response. One such response is the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO), a partnership between Wits, the University of Johannesburg and the Gauteng Provincial Government. The GCRO receives core funding from the province and has a mandate to link up with other think-tanks, agencies and universities. Among them, the partners can conduct solid research and analysis to inform policies that make the province a healthier and happier place to live in, according to GCRO Executive Director Dr Rob Moore.
“We are a diverse bunch,” says Moore of the multi-disciplinary team of researchers and academics, who include economists, architects,
Image: Papama Tungeli
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
Image: Mikey Rosato
The GCRO’s engine room is located on the sixth floor of University Corner on Jorissen Street. It’s Image: Chrystal van Niekerk
Inside the offices, small details reflect some of the GCRO’s DNA. The contour line pattern of the floor calls to mind science, geography and space. Display shelves and tables have been made from wood reclaimed from old lab benches. It speaks to sustainability and creativity in recycling and reusing. There is a “shelf wall” of plants donated by staff members – another example of resourcefulness. In a corner there’s a giant puzzle on a table, still unfinished. It’s a metaphor of play in creative solution-finding and also of the truth that the bigger picture is complete only when many elements are in place.
Image: Irene Lambrianos
Image: Thelma Mokubetsi
Image: Sam Senyasemore
Image: Gareth Pon
Image: Holger Deppe Image: Papama Tungeli
geographers, town planners and architects. This is important in preventing silo-thinking. Their research spans areas from youth sub-culture in townships, to green infrastructure for the city, to ways to close inequality gaps and alleviate poverty. In the nine years of the observatory’s existence it has come to be a valuable information resource for the public and decision makers. Moore served Wits as a Deputy Vice-Chancellor for seven years. He now leads the GCRO team of just over 30, with 19 full-time staff members as well as visiting researchers and interns.
GCRO presents its findings in an interactive, highly visual way. “It’s about getting ideas across to people,” says Moore. Researcher Dr Richard Ballard picks out economic growth, social cohesion and governance as three primary areas of focus for the observatory and the province in general. Homing in on social cohesion, he says spates of xenophobic attacks are cause for deep concern but can’t be simply wished away. “We can’t get to the goal of being less adversarial by appealing to people’s better natures or by scolding them for being intolerant – there are many complex reasons, which we need to break down. “Most people don’t think of themselves as intolerant, or xenophobic, or racist, or sexist. They have rationalised their intolerance into their everyday thinking and practice in such a way that it doesn’t operate under a grand banner,” Ballard says. GCRO has looked to build on programmes like
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
the long-running Roll Back Xenophobia campaign. “We can build up a body of learning from all the many existing and past initiatives to make a positive difference,” says Ballard. Another project is the Quality of Life Survey, which has been compiled every two years since 2009. It covers perceptions of issues on Gautengers’ minds, from safety and security to e-tolls, migration trends, food, homosexuality and abortion. This year, GCRO produced its “Gauteng as a village of 100 people” (http://www.gcro.ac.za/ Village-of-100/) interactive animation. It groups information by theme and questions and includes a section to see how “people like you” responded to the same set of questions. It even has background sounds like screeching hadedas, ringing telephones, muted chatter and music – typical of Gauteng urban life. The website (www.gcro.ac.za) offers a tool to measure government performance and a profile of statistics and perceptions in different wards. There’s also the popular map of the month, a visual snapshot of a subject. Air pollution, homophobia, xenophobia and informal business are some of the subjects covered so far. Ballard says: “Sometimes a single map of the month can kick off a big policy debate just by juxtaposing a few layers of information – the April 2015 map on mega human settlements is one example.” It’s the point really: a different way of seeing and different ways of presenting that vision so people do stop and take a second look. WR
fo d Witsie
Blame it on Jamie Oliver and the Masterchef phenomenon. They’ve made food innovation sexy and everyone’s lapping it up – literally. And when it comes to trends and innovation, it’s no surprise there are Witsies in the mix. Ufrieda Ho checked in with some of them.
HT EYSTO U P O E N A N DORL IIA A L VES AND P
Image: Peter Maher
Pink is a good colour, as long as it’s not associated with sausages. Andria Neophytou owns the Olives and Plates catering business and remembers the “psychedelic pink” viennas, oily fried foods and dried-out Chelsea buns that were canteen fare at the Wits Medical School 15 years ago. She set out to change this with an expanded salad bar, a hot food section and freshly made baked goods. “It was all about sustaining students and whoever else used the canteens with a good meal, not cheap, non-nutritious junk,” she says. Andria’s long association with Wits has made her family. She went on to run food outlets at other Wits campuses, including the Donald Gordon Medical Centre and the Wits Business School. The jewel of her establishments, though, is the Wits Club (next to Alumni House), with its Cape Dutch architecture and garden under old trees. “I remember thinking that I couldn’t possibly
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
manage another facility, five years ago when Wits approached me. Then I saw the building and the location. When you’re at the restaurant you don’t even know you’re on campus; it’s tucked away and it’s very special,” she says. The Olives and Plates restaurant doesn’t just serve the Wits community; it’s open to the public for lunch and for private functions. For the last four years it has been awarded Restaurant Association of South Africa awards, including the crystal trophy for best service in 2013. Andria’s favourite part of the restaurant is her cake table. A baker at heart, she can’t help keeping the table groaning with offerings like salted caramel cheese cake, Ferrero Rocher cake and pecan nut pie. Beats a stale Chelsea bun any day. WR
ELA & LOSYISO BIKITSHA TANKISO MAKW KOTA KING Kasi meets hipster; it’s how they roll at Kota Kings, says Tankiso Makwela (LLB 2012), one of the partners behind the Braamfontein foodie joint that’s bringing township tastes to the ’burbs. Kotas are traditionally a quarter of a standard government loaf of bread, hollowed out and jammed with everything – chips, russians, viennas, atchar, eggs, cheese – it’s quintessential urban fast food. Loyiso Bikitsha (BCom) calls the kota “South Africa’s most-loved power sandwich” and believes that it deserves to have a far bigger fan base than township locals. Tankiso and Loyiso, who met at Wits when they were pursuing degrees in law and marketing and management respectively, knew that the combination of food, business and the chance to put a creative spin on a kasi classic was what they wanted to invest in.
He and Loyiso say that having a common purpose and having the deepest respect for each other means they get through differences of opinion with their eye on the goal of growing their business. It’s essential in the notoriously fickle foodie space. Kota Kings is a small, casual eatery in the heart of Braamfontein on Juta Street. This is a rejuvenated part of Joburg which attracts a trendy, young, urban set. For Tankiso, this is the ideal clientele to try their re-imagined kotas. Re-imagined is panini bread replacing government loaves and fillings like bacon and avo along with the regular kasi favourites.
Tankiso says: “We have been friends for the longest time and getting into business together just seemed right.”
Kota Kings underwent a relaunch at the beginning of August with new set menu items alongside the “make your own kota” option. They’ve also added colour to freshen up the décor.
They had tried their hands at a business venture in Port Elizabeth but it went belly up. Even so, Tankiso says: “Failure in that business has actually made us more confident. It means we are up for whatever may still come our way.”
But there’s more on the cards – the duo are looking to open a second branch in Jabulani Mall in Soweto by the end of the year. It means returning the kota to its kasi roots but bringing with it serious suburban swag. WR
Loyiso (left) and Tankiso (right)
RSTHOFER CLEMMY ANTDU TDTAONFIEO OLDFO S 52
Desk jobs can be a great way of finding out what you would rather be doing. Add serendipity and true grit, and you have Tutto Food Co. The pair who own it are behind the giant pans of paella bubbling up most weekends across Johannesburg and the canary-yellow food truck that became an icon at festivals and events around Gauteng. Back in 2011 the Forsthofers (both Witsies) were roped in by friends based in Cape Town to set up a paella stall at Neighbourgoods market in Braamfontein. A weekend gig allowed them to channel their passion for food while still keeping their day jobs. “Gradually we started branching out to other markets and taking on private catering in our own capacity. That’s when we knew we had to take hold of the opportunity before us,” Clemmy says. As a full-time business they have had to stand out in a foodie scene that demands an artisan edge,
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
fresh aesthetics and, above all, happy tummies. For them, the spectacle of their enormous paella pans being fired up is food theatre at its best. Their philosophy is cooking from scratch and on site. Says Clemmy: “Our customers love being able to watch us put the food together and to see that it’s freshly prepared.” Their food truck came next, popping up across the city, making them pioneers in changing the foodie scene and putting the emphasis on great food fast, not fast food. They admit there have been challenges, largely because city bylaws haven’t kept up with the trend of pop-ups, food trucks and the creative experimentation that urban life demands. But Clemmy says: “When you own a business
there is an enormous amount of pressure to make it work. As a married couple with no other source of income, our relationship was also on the line. You have to be strong enough individuals and stay positive. We are lucky to have each other to lean on and our passion for what we’re building.” Clemmy (Eccles) has a BA in English Literature and Philosophy (BA 2008), Honours in English (BA Hons 2009) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Management (PDM 2010). Daniel has a BA in Philosophy and Economics (BA 2009) with Honours in Philosophy (BA Hons 2009) and a PDM with distinction (2010). “Very different from studying food! We both feel
They both completed postgraduate diplomas in marketing and these “gave us the backbone we needed for our business in terms of finance, strategy, operations and marketing,” she adds. The pair launched a new product called toasties, which they are selling at markets. But a trailer accident prompted a move into a solid retail space: Baba G, a rotisserie deli in Illovo. It's named for baba ganoush, the aubergine dip, and specialises in flavours of the African Mediterranean region. WR
NC R E A M E L L A B L U A P E C E I UL'S HOMEMAD
Paul Ballen (BA 2011, BA Hons 2012, PDM 2014) got an ice cream maker for his 21st birthday and started making his own flavours. The business that snowballed from there, Paul’s Homemade Ice Cream, now offers a tormenting variety, including roasted pineapple, lemon and basil, green tea and white chocolate, dulce de leche, speculaas cookie butter, chilli chocolate, white rabbit, red velvet, halva, licorice … If this sounds disastrously decadent, you also get vegan and sugarfree varieties. Paul is a fitness enthusiast himself. His friend Josh Amoils (BCom 2011) joined him in the business and now they employ a small team of staff at their Orange Grove HQ. The gourmet product is carefully made, thoughtfully and artistically packaged, and available in Johannesburg stores or a mobile ice cream bar. It also shows up at parties and catered events, which triggers a donation of profits to a children’s feeding scheme.
Miles Kubheka (BCom 2000, MM 2009) took a plunge from the IT industry into food. He is the founder of Vuyo’s, a brand which started out with boerewors roll carts and is now a restaurant in Soweto’s well-known Vilakazi Street. See page 69 for his book.
Image: Mariki Uitenweerde
Image: Conde Nast
our BAs helped in opening our minds and learning to look at things from multiple angles, both analytically and socially,” says Clemmy.
Image: Zukiswa Zimela, Destiny Connect
By the age of eight, Tshepo Lethea was watching his granny Dikeledi Lethea make magic from eggs, flour, butter and sugar.
T S HDEI CPK YO’ S LC EA KTEHS E A
The alchemy of baked goods making people happy stuck with him and today the former civil engineering student is a director of Dicky’s Cakes, the speciality cake shop his gran started in 1996. “Actually civil engineering training does help, because I can think through some of the structural builds when stacking big speciality 3D cakes,” says Tshepo, who completed his studies in 2015. The 3D cake designs are one of the new avenues of growth for the business, which got its start in the most unlikely way. It was back in 1994, just before the first democratic elections, and Tshepo’s grandfather was stockpiling dry goods in their Soweto home in case the South African miracle turned out to be an apocalypse.
them at work. The business grew and now has nine branches, from Soweto to Alexandra and Tembisa and dotted across Joburg. “I still love our scones best,” says Tshepo, but the business has kept pace with cake trends such as huge personalisation and a wow factor in design. Best of all, Tshepo says, is when his granny, who is now in her 80s, visits the stores. She still has her say. “We really are a family business. My brother is also a director,” he says. The next focus for Dicky’s will be in franchising, possibly in the form of container stores that can be set up in more locations.
When the new day dawned bright after all, the family sat with a pantry full of products that had a sell-by date.
“As you grow a business you have to be scalable but you can’t try to do everything yourself. With a franchise we can use our brand to have new partnerships,” he says.
Dikeledi, a factory worker at the time, turned them into queen cakes, scones and biscuits and sold
It sounds like having your cake and eating it – the kind of challenge Dicky’s is more than up for. WR
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
Image: Clare Louise Thomas
J O N AT HB AE ANN TRH EOR BE IN S O N Taking a gap year from corporate life and travelling the world changed Jonathan Robinson’s worldview 12 years ago. It set him up to build a business on the triple bottom line of profit, people and planet. Jonathan, a former IT specialist, is the man behind Bean There, the artisan coffee roastery that became South Africa’s first roaster of certified direct fair trade coffee.
The company’s single-origin, 100% Arabica coffee is good too. A favourite is the Ethiopian coffee, which Jonathan says is appreciated for its balance of body, aroma, acidity and easy drinking.
“Direct fair trade means every year I meet the farmers we buy from across Africa, and we know these relationships are about improving farming methods that benefit people on the ground. We have developed a business model that is good for everyone along the chain,” says Jonathan, a BCom Marketing graduate (1996).
Bean There has two coffee shops in Joburg and one in Cape Town. It also sells its coffee machines and accessories in the retail space, hosts coffeetasting evenings and has a mobile unit for events.
Spreading the prosperity hasn’t been bad for business, either. In fact Jonathan believes it builds sustainability, partnerships and employee job satisfaction, which help future-proof a business.
In the next phase Bean There wants to work more with educating and training its employees and to get consumers to understand more about coffee appreciation and the benefits of direct fair trade. “Not just being successful but being significant is what we strive for.” WR
Image: Vivid Images
AW E L A A P IW E BNR EXWUS TSE RA’ SNCIR M T F A
Apiwe Nxusani Mawela admits to not being a huge fan of beer when she was first thrust into a brewery. What she did love, even at high school, was how biology and the alchemy of fermenting could transform ingredients into cheese, yoghurt and yes, even beer. She holds a degree in microbiology and genetics from Wits (BSc 2006) as well as a BSc Honours degree in microbiology from the University of Pretoria. She started her career as a brewing trainee at South African Breweries, learning all aspects of the business, and has gone on to earn accolades as a pioneer for women and black people in the industry. Among her achievements: first person in South Africa to complete the National Diploma in Clear Fermented Beverages (NQF 6) through the FoodBev SETA; first black female shareholder in a microbrewery in South Africa – Brewhogs microbrewery; first black South African to be accredited as a training provider by the Institute of Brewing and Distilling; and first black person to be certified as a beer judge in South Africa through the Beer Judging Certification Programme. Today Apiwe’s business is Brewster’s Craft. She’s
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
applying her scientific knowledge as a consultant to help established brewers tweak and enhance their beers. She also runs short courses to help home brewers get started and she organises expos for schoolchildren. “I don’t get to design my own brews but I love being part of developing better beers. Our craft beer industry is still growing in South Africa and what’s enhancing the industry is more science, better training and better quality management. Breweries are also improving distribution; it means more people are being exposed to what craft beer is about,” the brewster says. Nowadays a good day for Apiwe may end with having inspired a cohort of young brewers before reaching for a cold Belgian-style white beer – her favourite right now for being light on the hops but uncompromising on flavour, like good craft beer should be. WR
Back when Perseverance Khumalo (BSc 2016) was a second-year student of Geographical Information Systems, she started baking for friends and small functions. People so loved what she turned out from her kitchen that they were happy to part with money for her creations. It was enough to convince the home baker to take the entrepreneurial plunge and register her business, The Slice Delights, in April last year. The business has taken off even as she has been doing her honours.
“I love geography and I love baking. They seem like two different loves, but I really want to be able to do both,” she says. She’s juggling her studies and the baking business quite comfortably right now, even though she admits it does mean being wellprepared, focused and dedicated to what she’s committed to achieving. And while the hard slog of lectures, assignments and exams may be dreary some days, she knows it’s part of the long-term investment in herself. She’s loving that her business is getting attention, like a feature on a morning TV show. Word of mouth referrals are also driving customers to her door. She says bespoke cakes are a hit and so are her “cap cakes” – cakes shaped like branded caps. Whatever she bakes, she says, must leave her kitchen as “bliss in a bite” and “delight in every slice”. “What I’ve learnt in the last year is that you can’t cut corners on quality. In fact, people are prepared to pay for quality and it’s what makes your cakes stand out. Your cakes have to taste as good as they look – it’s not just the decorating,” Perseverance says.
LO P E R S E VT HEE RS LAI CNE CD EE L IKG HHT SU M A
Image: V ivid
She hopes that one day The Slice Delights will be an employer of more young people. WR
N ATA L I E K N I G H T
Image: Debbie Yazbeck
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
BY UFRIEDA HO
A LONG UNFOLDING From being painfully shy to being intrinsically linked to the story of South African art, Natalie Knight looks back on 40 years of colourful collecting.
“The shapes, textures and composition of the designs appealed to me and the quality of the finished pieces awakened my aesthetic sense.” Natalie Knight on her love affair with Ndebele art
A palm-sized silver metal cube was one of the first art pieces curator and art dealer Natalie Knight collected. The cube is a Willem Boshoff creation. Over the years as a working artist Boshoff made several of these cubes, which open up into 3-D puzzle boxes. Inside they are full of facets, elevations, plateaus and sharp edges juxtaposed with smooth surfaces. Knight’s fingers pull apart her cube to reveal its exquisite interior, then push it back together again in its contiguous perfection. She replaces it on a display tray in her Joburg home. She says the cubes didn’t come with a big price tag back then – she literally gave them away. These days they are sought-after art treasures. In their changing fortunes, their complexities, contradictions and also their completeness, the cubes seem an apt metaphor for Knight’s story as one of South Africa’s enduring art arena personalities. Now, at the cusp of 80, Knight has published The Big Picture, her “art-o-biography”. She calls it part memoir, part art history and a catalogue of beautiful images of art. Though it’s her own story, in parts told by Lana
Image: Zamie Liknaizky
N ATA L I E K N I G H T
Jacobson, it’s also a social record of sorts. Knight’s story reflects its time: apartheid framing, a time of different technologies and the insularity of communities divided from each other. As memoir it’s intensely personal, blunt and honest in places, reflective and funny in others. The plot is full of her family members, but the book is also a cast of artists, celebs and characters who in their time made history or at least headlines. Making tea in her Joburg home days before the annual Turbine Art Fair in Newtown – an art calendar highlight – Knight is as busy as ever. She’s selling Jane and Billy Makhubele’s work at the premier winter fair and has prepared a stack of the packaged beaded cloths. “I thought I had retired from all of this,” she says, half laughing, half exhausted. But backing away isn’t in her nature. She’s been going full-tilt since she was a teenager, qualifying as an attorney (to make her attorney mother happy, she says) before becoming a playwright and arts journalist. It was her fascination early on with the beadwork of the Ndebele, however, that would catapult her into the world of art dealership and curating. “The shapes, textures and composition of the designs appealed to me and the quality of the finished pieces awakened my aesthetic sense.” Her attitude of “not backing down” was crucial in
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
steeling her to persevere with researching Ndebele art and establishing working relationships with artists like Esther Mahlangu. Mahlangu famously painted Ndebele designs on the BMW that went on display at the British Museum earlier this year. It was, after all, the mid-1970s. The country was choking on spilt blood, and apartheid’s wicked constraints would inevitably skew Knight’s adventures as amateur anthropologist. She had returned to Wits to do a BA majoring in History of Art and History of Drama in 1975 and had the skills and drive to undertake rigorous research. But segregation, racial tensions and even pressure from her husband Zamie Liknaitzky, who was understandably nervous about her expeditions, added to the limitations she felt. Knight, though, went on to become an authority on the beadwork, and compiled Ndebele Images in 1979. Her love affair with Ndebele art is the jumping-off point for her book. From there it winds back to her early childhood and the tragic loss of her father. It’s also a love story about the man she beat on the tennis court but ended up marrying 60 years ago. “It really was Zamie who taught me about art. Before I met him I never so much as stepped into an art gallery,” she says. Yet she excelled on this new career path: from selling art posters in her first shop, called the Poster Box, to joining the Hyde Park set by 1987
Over the years she exhibited works by giants like Andy Warhol, David Hockney, Joan Miró and Henry Moore, as well as South African artists like Boshoff, Tommy Motswai, David Koloane and William Kentridge. That world did come with its pretensions, she admits; the “kisses in the air” as epitome of superficiality. She includes herself in this criticism and points out a comment in the book from an acquaintance who later become a friend, Helen Heldenmuth. “Natalie was frankly full of herself and totally unapproachable when she owned the gallery,” said Heldenmuth. “I did not find her a very nice person.”
01 Zamie photographed Andy Warhol as he photographed ice hockey star Wayne Gretzky
Image: Berna Jersich
with the opening of her gallery in that suburb.
02 Esther Mahlangu and Natalie 40 years later 03 Natalie with David Krut, preparing for the David Hockney show in 1981
The inclusion of such a harsh comment about herself marks a turning point in her life, one that would lead her to close her Hyde Park gallery by 1995. As her religious life deepened she chose to become an observant Jew. Saturdays had been busy at the “office” but now it could not stay open on Shabbos.
In 2009 she secured a four-year contract with Wits to realise a dream to transform West Campus. Her task was to acquire, curate and install artworks in six buildings on West Campus and do it all on a tiny budget. West Campus, not traditionally linked to the arts, needed some connection with the world of expression 03 and creativity, thought Professor Kathy Munro, Dean of the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management at the time.
For Knight, turning points are like switching gears, though, not coming to a halt. Her career as curator and exhibition organiser grew after the gallery closed and in a post-apartheid South Africa she was finding she could bring to the foreground more black artists who had previously had limited access and exposure to the art buying community.
“It was a dream job,” says Knight. Today the campus is an eclectic, living gallery. Even someone rushing to a lecture may have reason to pause at a Sam Nhlengethwa lithograph, or stop to admire a watercolour print by Ephraim Ngatane or even take a break on an art bench on a staircase.
There were more highlights to follow, such as international exhibitions featuring Thomas Kgope and Motswai’s works and the Mandela@90 exhibition at the Constitutional Court in 2008.
Her relationship with Wits continues with a commission by WAM (Wits Art Museum) to curate a one-man show of the works of Alfred Thoba, scheduled for March next year.
Throughout she kept finding new platforms on which to show her beloved Ndebele art treasures. Her home still overflows with pieces she’s held on to. She calls them stock, but they are unsold partly because Knight admits there’s a constant internal tension between her dealer and collector sides.
There’s no stopping the girl from Orange Grove who grew up “painfully shy” but became the woman who could pull off impossible exhibitions, say no to Warhol and put Ndebele art on a world stage. There’s always the next thing for Knight – as she quotes in her book: “…the last chapter is not yet written.” WR
WITSIES THINK POSITIVE
Convocation Exco member, Dr Vukosi Marivate
Among Wits’ honorary graduates of 2017 were alumni Edward Webster, Stephen Koseff and Adrian Gore. Their acceptance speeches all touched on the themes of trust, positive thinking and the importance of institutions as South Africa faces numerous challenges. They provided a sense of historical perspective and some ideas about what it takes to succeed in one’s chosen field.
Investec CEO Stephen Koseff (BCom 1973, CTA 1975, MBA 1984) received an honorary DCom for his contributions to society through education and business. At the graduation ceremony, he talked about economic growth and transformation, saying that this is not government’s problem alone. Business is part of the solution – key to creating jobs and lifting people out of poverty. There is no time to waste; South Africa is economically one of the most unequal societies in the world and is at a critical point. Our democratic institutions need to be protected: “they are our country’s immune system, crucial in fighting the self-replicating virus of corruption, poor governance and ineptitude”. Koseff co-chairs the youth programme of the CEO Initiative, a group of business leaders working with government and labour to build confidence in the economy. It
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
was set up under the auspices of the finance minister when that post was occupied by Pravin Gordhan, and plans to place a million young people in internships over three years. South Africans must be equipped with the skills needed in the fourth industrial revolution if they are to compete globally, he noted. When Benoni-born Koseff joined Investec in 1980, it had eight staff members. It is now a global bank and asset manager. It takes time, resilience and know-how to build a business, he said. Success does not happen overnight and populist promises are dangerous. There is no alternative to capitalism, he maintained, and in fact the goal of business has shifted during his career from maximising returns to looking after all stakeholders and ensuring sustainability. “We need to rebuild trust and not fall prey to negative narratives,” Koseff said. WR
Acting President of Convocation, Dr Maurice Goodman
ADRIAN GORE Discovery Group founder and CEO Adrian Gore qualified as an actuary at Wits and has now received an honorary DCom from the University. He started Discovery 25 years ago, on his own, at the age of 27. The company now employs 10 000 staff. In his graduation address, he shared some observations about what makes people successful. “Real and sustainable success is not about money. It’s about purpose and impact. The rest tends to follow.” Three attributes that lead to success are: setting goals and taking bold action; a sense of urgency; and positive thinking. “We inherently yearn for symmetry, uniformity and fairness, but that is an error of logic,” he said. Very few things in interconnected systems are evenly distributed. Most are Pareto distributed, or 80/20 – a lot at one end, and a long tail. The decisions we make in life are distributed like that too, he said: “those in the tail will determine your destiny”. “The rest of your life is not a long time,” Gore told the graduands. “Every year doesn’t count the same. Time has a perceived quality. As you get older, the years get shorter. You’ve already lived a lot of your perceived life. Don’t waste time.” Thirdly: “People believe that being
negative is realistic. This is the wrong response. Being positive is a sophisticated response to the world.” Human brains evolved to keep us alive under certain kinds of threats which no longer exist, he said. The threat to our survival now is not scarcity but abundance – the lifestyle diseases that come from too much of a good thing. Another threat we face now is institutional failure. In 1992, when Discovery started, it was easy for some people to feel negative about South Africa. We still have challenges, but Gore shared some positive statistics: since 1996, GDP has risen 70% in real terms; life expectancy is nine years longer; the population living in poverty (LSM 1-4) has halved; and the black middle class has grown bigger than the white population. Gore is noted for his achievements in developing innovative health insurance and other financial services, and he chairs the South African chapter of Endeavor, a global non-profit organisation that assists entrepreneurs. He sits on the World Economic Forum Global Health Advisory Board. Gore met his wife Lauren at Wits, and two of their children are Wits students. His parents are also alumni. WR
EDWARD WEBSTER Professor Edward Webster (BA Hons 1964, PhD 1983) founded and directed the Society, Work and Development Institute (SWOP) and was the head of Wits’ Sociology Department. Over a long career at the University, he was active in efforts to make it a more open and inclusive institution, and to develop the curriculum and staff. In 2004 he was rated as the top sociologist in South Africa by the National Research Foundation for his scholarly work.
The University also conferred honorary degrees on: Jazz musician and anti-apartheid activist Hugh Masekela Professor Shula Marks, researcher and teacher of South African history, and human rights activist Jabulane Mabuza, President of Business Unity South Africa, Telkom Chairman and former CEO of Tsogo Sun and Chairman of SA Tourism
“Wits has given me a splendid journey,” he said at the graduation ceremony where he received his honorary DLitt.
Professor Harvey Dale, a US expert in nonprofit law and a supporter of South Africa through Atlantic Philanthropies
Professor Webster spoke about the generations of Wits students he had taught – about 25 000 students over 40 years. First was the “Soweto generation”, committed to the struggle for change in South Africa. Then came the 1994 generation, “aspiring to become the new black professional class”. Many of them excelled; they had a sense of belonging and of being “partners in the production of knowledge”. Around 2009, the next generation became noticeable, guided by postcolonial theory and led by black female students.
Patricia (Pat) Horn, who has helped organise workers, self-employed women and street vendors. Advocate Thuli Madonsela and Patrice Motsepe (see WR May 2017)
He concluded: “If we are to build trust and mutual respect between the generations, we need to make our classrooms places where our students are not only the consumers of knowledge produced elsewhere.” Prof Webster also noted on the occasion that his family are all graduates of the Faculty of Humanities at Wits: his wife Luli Callinicos, son Kimon and daughter Alexia. WR
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
Images: Gordon Harris
Janet Love (BA 1998) accepted the University’s Gold Medal on behalf of the Legal Resources Centre. She is its National Director. The centre was founded in the late 1970s and has played an important role in helping people who could not afford legal representation, especially during the apartheid years. Justice Carole Lewis (BA 1974, LLB 1975, LLM 1985) also received the Gold Medal. She has served Wits as a student, lecturer, dean, Senate member on the Wits Council, and Deputy Chair of the Wits Council, and has written many significant judgments.
R100* IS ALL IT TAKES
Small, regular donations by alumni will make Wits a wellresourced university, able to compete more effectively in the global rankings and provide greater access to a world class education for future generations. Enhance the reputation of your Wits qualification, change lives and show appreciation for the education you received. DONATE to the Wits Annual Fund TODAY at www.wits.ac.za/annualfund.
YOU can make a difference! All donations to Wits are tax deductible! *about ÂŁ6; US$8; AU$10; CAD$10
Tel: (011) 717 1093
Professor Fulufhelo Nelwamondo (BSc Eng 2005; PhD 2008) was this year awarded the Order of Mapungubwe in Silver for his excellent contribution to science, particularly the field of electrical engineering. He is the Executive Director of CSIR Modelling and Digital Science.
LINDA GREENWALL 66
Dr Linda Greenwall (BDS 1984) received the British Empire Medal for service to dentistry in the UK and abroad, particularly in respect of the work of the Dental Wellness Trust in South Africa. She started the Trust in 2011 to help people with little or no access to basic oral healthcare. It supports supervised tooth-brushing and washing programmes for thousands of children in South Africa.
Image: Dental Wellness Trust
Dr Godfrey Sauti (PhD 2005) has been selected for a NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal. He is a materials scientist at the US National Institute of Aerospace, working on nanomaterials such as carbon nanotube fibre for use in rocket thrusters to launch spacecraft.
TIISETSO LEPHOTO Dr Tiisetso Lephoto (BSc 2010, BSc Hons 2011, MSc 2013, PhD 2016) is a postdoctoral fellow in the School of Molecular and Cell Biology. She has won several awards, most recently Best Young Researcher from the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the NRF's Excellence in Science Engagement award. Dr Lephotoâ€™s work is focused on the control of pests in agriculture.
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
WITSIES WITH THE EDGE
Alan Mabin (BA 1972, BA Hons 1973, MA 1977), Emeritus Professor in the School of Architecture and Planning, received the French National Order of Merit in May. He has been a key figure in city planning, development and urbanism for over 30 years. Prof Mabin helped the Institut Français d’Afrique du Sud to develop networks in South Africa, and in turn was able to build an international network of urban studies scholars and introduce them to South Africa.
FUNEKA NKOSI PhD student Funeka Nkosi (BSc 2012, BSc Hons 2013) was one of five young South African scientists who attended the 67th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Germany in June. These annual meetings call together about 30 Nobel laureates to meet the next generation of leading scientists from all over the world, and foster an exchange of knowledge among disciplines. Nkosi’s research concerns the performance of lithium-ion batteries, which are used in cellphones, laptops, cameras and electric cars.
Image: Peter Maher
LYNN MORRIS HIV vaccine researcher Professor Lynn Morris (BSc 1982, BSc Hons 1983) received the Harry Oppenheimer Fellowship Award in June. She plans to use the fellowship to work on a new method to prevent HIV infection in women. An antibody that has been found to have exceptional antiviral activity against HIV will be engineered into bacteria found naturally in the vagina, in order to develop an anti-HIV probiotic for use intravaginally. If it works, it could provide a cheap, practical and effective way to empower women to protect themselves from infection. Prof Morris heads the HIV Virology laboratories at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases and is a Research Professor at Wits.
WITSIES WITH THE
WRITING EDGE 01 Ruth First 02 Jonathan Ancer
Image: Jacana Media
03 White students protesting at Wits in the 1970s
Uncovering Craig Williamson By Jonathan Ancer
Jonathan Ancer opens his book about the apartheid spy Craig Williamson with the rediscovery of a university essay he had written on the day that the journalist and activist Ruth First was killed in 1982. Ancer pursues and ultimately meets Williamson, her killer. The action extends from 1972 to the present, but with the fullest account devoted to the political events of white student resistance politics in the 1970s and 1980s. This is a well told story of a repulsive individual who had no personal morality, but then I have never believed that spies have any conscience and I donâ€™t buy the argument of a higher political ideal.
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
Craig Williamson was educated at St Johnâ€™s College (Ancer gives a somewhat unfair caricature of the private school education of the late 1960s). How fascinating to note that John Kane-Berman,
who has recently published his memoirs (see page 70), was also a St Johnâ€™s boy, who was authentically and clearly on the other side. Williamson was at Wits slightly later than KaneBerman. He registered in 1972 for a BA degree and in his second year joined the SRC and started his career in student politics. This took him on to work at the NUSAS office in Cape Town and to supposed work abroad against the South African state. He never graduated from Wits (the signs were there that he was not a serious student). What was unknown until 1980 was that Williamson was actually a member of the Special Branch of the South African Police and was gainfully employed to infiltrate the left-wing student movement. He slipped into the world of spying on his fellow students while befriending them and supposedly furthering the aims and interests of students. The impression is given that white, Englishspeaking student politics was the only real resistance to the apartheid government for a few critical years after the Rivonia Trial and the collapse of the African Resistance Movement. It was something of a glamorous game, but at some point it became deadly earnest with lives put at risk, lives ruined and lives lost. Individuals fled the country for fear of arrest and arbitrary imprisonment on the basis of information fed into the apartheid system by Williamson. One is reminded of the banality of evil. Was Williamson spying for its own sake, the sake of his ego and career advancement, or for an ideology? This book is profoundly disturbing and unsettling. I could not put it down and read it through at one sitting. If you were a student or a young lecturer (as I was), you lived through this time of turmoil, anxiety and protest on the Wits campus. Memories came creeping back of a dreadful time in South Africa when resistance and the fight for democracy took many forms and white student politics was one element on the struggle. I was aware that our lectures were reported on (I taught
economic history) but one made the effort to provide students with subject-specific literature and an international context for the South African political scene. One was determined that no rumoured spy or tape recorder in the classroom would destroy academic freedom. Like Ancer, I was recently surprised though when I asked three intelligent graduates of the next generation whether they knew of Williamson and they said they did not. How could such a man, who wrought such havoc, have walked away from memory and notoriety? There were bitter betrayals when Williamson and his ilk set people up and then told all. There were other police spies and informers, but Williamson was the most dangerous. After his exposure as a spy, he went on to participate in appalling deeds in the 1980s. He was the man behind the parcel bomb that killed Ruth First in Maputo and another that killed Jeanette Curtis Schoon and her daughter, Katryn, in Angola. He was responsible for the bombing of the London offices of the ANC. Ancer has carefully researched and written about the men and women who worked with, trusted and engaged with Williamson and how their lives too were ruined by betrayal. The story raises questions of responsibility, remorse, betrayal and accountability. When does a spy become an agent provocateur as he or she penetrates the heart of an organisation and ends up providing leadership and direction? I found this the most disturbing aspect of this personal story. As upsetting was the later sequence of events and the fact that though Williamson chose to appear before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission) he was given amnesty. Ultimately Ancerâ€™s investigative journalism will make sure the story of Williamson is not forgotten. This is a clearly written account with careful endnotes of interview sources and an index. It is another form of testament of our times. WR Reviewed by Katherine Munro
Dancing the Death Drill By Fred Khumalo (Umuzi, 2017)
Image: : Joanne Oliver
The story begins in France, in 1958. Jean-Jacques Henri is waiting on tables. Moments later, two diners are lying dead. It falls to an artist, Jerry Moloto, to tell the tale of his friend the waiter, aka Roelof de la Rey, aka Pitso Motaung. The scene shifts from the Anglo-Boer War to a Sotho village, an unlikely love match and a mixed-race childhood in Bloemfontein. Then comes the call to serve the King of England in fighting the German Kaiser – an opportunity to “prove my worth as a man”, says the young Pitso. On 16 January 1917, he is on the SS Mendi, watching Table Mountain recede in the distance. Just weeks later the Mendi goes down in the English Channel, with more than 600 black troops “dancing the death drill”, after a collision with the SS Darro. This action-packed novel by Fred Khumalo (MA 2015) follows strands of South African history, exploring feelings of love, hope, duty, comradeship, injustice and rage, culminating in that restaurant murder. The author explains, in a note at the end of the book, how he was haunted by the real-life story of the Mendi, and finally did the detailed research that led to his work of historical fiction. WR
Johannesburg By Fiona Melrose (Corsair, 2017)
Fiona Melrose (BA 1996, BA Hons 1997, MA 2000) studied English and Politics at Wits and explored careers in academia and political analysis before turning to writing novels. Her second, Johannesburg (Corsair, 2017), was written fast, during a visit to her home town from the UK. She says she found the city “physically and emotionally overwhelming”.
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
“The most complicated, fraught and, in some ways, consistent relationship of my life has been with Johannesburg. Every effort to leave seems to see me return though choice or obligation.” It so happened that former president Nelson Mandela died just as she began to write – an event that “provided the tone and temper” of the book. The author also used Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs Dalloway as a “scaffold” for the story, which plays out over the course of one day in the life of a woman who has returned to Johannesburg to plan her mother’s 80th birthday party.
From A Big Big Dreamer to Living The Dream By Miles Kubheka
Image: Mariki Uitenweerde
(Tracey McDonald Publishers, 2016)
It started with the TV commercial for Hansa Pilsener, featuring a character called Vuyo – a “big, big dreamer” who succeeds in business. Miles Kubheka (BCom 2000, MM 2009), who was working in IT at the time, decided to register “Vuyo’s” as a trademark and bring the character to life. From selling boerewors rolls at a mobile vending cart, he went on to open a restaurant, first in Braamfontein and then in Soweto’s famous Vilakazi Street. Now he has produced a book of lessons learned from his business journey. “If there was a recipe out there that guaranteed true success we would all be devouring it,” he says. Conditions change all the time, and people have different tastes. What’s more, he says, we might learn more from people’s failures than from their “recipe for success”.
In an interview on BBC radio, Melrose said that she saw parallels between Johannesburg and the post-war London setting of Mrs Dalloway, both cities holding “untreated grief”. She explained that the book does not pretend to represent all of Johannesburg, though it depicts the city through the eyes of several very different characters. However, it does respond to her observation of a “huge divide between people who are seen and heard and those who are not”. The novel is described as “a love song to a city and a manifesto on love”. WR
Image: Taryn Millar
In his book (Tracey McDonald Publishers) he says one big lesson for him was the importance of reading: profit and loss statements, contracts, business books – everything you can. Kubheka also shares what he learned about legalities, locations, marketing and funding to grow a business. WR
show a clarity of thought. His analysis is evidence driven. His objective is always to expose the fault lines and fallacies of erroneous policies and their human consequences. This is a memoir of some significance, though Kane-Berman has never been in government, never sat in parliament, never become an ambassador and never been a captain of industry. He made his mark as the director cum CEO of the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) between 1983 and 2014. It is a balanced account, taking the reader from childhood, parental and family background, through school at St John’s College, the university years at Wits (BA 1968) and Oxford to a career in journalism and then on to leadership of the Institute.
Between Two Fires: Holding the Liberal Centre in South African Politics By John Kane-Berman (Jonathan Ball, 2017)
Memoirs are an important measure of and witness to our times. A good memoir tells a personal story, but also reflects on the meaning of a life well lived against the political changes of an era. John Kane-Berman has been an intrepid researcher, writer, analyst and influential commentator on the South African political scene for half a century. He tells the story of his life from the perspective of a particular political philosophy, liberalism. It is liberalism that defines his world view and consistently shapes his centrist activism. He has been an outspoken and fearless critic of government, whether of the Nationalist or ANC variety; he has fought fire on left and right. I have always admired Kane-Berman’s writings as they
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
His family were politically engaged, and opposed to the National Party. Kane-Berman pays homage to the many people whose ideas he absorbed. His father was a leading figure on the Torch Commando, a war veterans’ organisation that stood for democratic rights. His was the classic liberalism of the 1960s; he loved his time at Wits and blossomed as a student leader. The liberal creed of Wits energised students and they drew on international support and became a point of opposition to government. It was NUSAS that invited Robert Kennedy to South Africa in 1966 and Kane-Berman sees the fate of this student organisation as a tragedy for South African liberalism. The demise of the Liberal Party was another blow, yet liberalism survived, and Kane-Berman was its heir, using the SAIRR as its vehicle. The early chapters (which I found most compelling) are the background to a career as an impassioned critic of government. Kane-Berman is a liberal and proudly used that philosophy as a moral compass to guide his life and speak truth to power from the platform of the Institute, which had been established in 1929. He made the organisation his own, reshaped its finances and ensured its survival. Its annual survey, which
Once the ANC came to power, KaneBerman and the Institute were no less outspoken critics; after 1994 the old lefties became the new right, but now the challenge for liberals was to explain why a defence of economic freedom, private enterprise and private property was not only for the benefit of the rich but even more important for the poor. There was always the danger that liberalism could slip sideways into libertarianism, but the South African strand has deep historical roots that go back to Cape liberalism, economic and political traditions that grew out of Adam Smith and a fundamental belief in human equality and equality of opportunity. Kane-Berman is clearly critical of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the policies of black economic empowerment, but I don’t think he has all the answers for a country that has passed through a revolution and that still grapples with race and redress, youth unemployment and the lack of economic growth. For Kane-Berman, economic success requires a return to the basics of liberal democracy. Liberal pragmatism has to trump revolutionary ideology, but perhaps this view misses the complex and fractured history of this country. WR Reviewed by Katherine Munro
The Little Black Book,
A Resource Guide For Women Across South Africa By Precious Moloi-Motsepe
Image: Annalene JH Rautenbach
began in 1947, became legendary for its detailed information and analysis. Year after year it provided a damning indictment of the apartheid government. Kane-Berman grasped that the publication of research was its unique role and bore witness to what was actually happening in the country. His Institute stood for reasoned analysis, gradualist change and liberal principles and policies.
Developed by the Motsepe Foundation’s Women’s Unit, this book is like having all your most practical friends, experienced elders and professional experts at your side to help you. “It is my hope that this guide will be a handson resource to help women make informed decisions and to take charge of various aspects of their lives,” says Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe. As clearly and simply as possible, it provides information about your rights, health, education, economic empowerment, social and legal issues. Starting with what to do in an emergency, it also has advice about a multitude of situations you might face at some time. Just a small sample: enrolling your child at school; taking care of an elderly parent; budgeting; managing debt; dealing with addiction, depression and bullying; and drawing up a will. There are useful contacts for every topic and an index at the end. Best of all, it’s free. You can download the book from the Motsepe Foundation’s website (http:// motsepefoundation.org) and share it as long as you don’t try to resell it. Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe (MBBCh 1987) was a general practitioner for 20 years. She is executive chairperson of African Fashion International and works through several organisations to educate and empower people.
Science, Race and the Search for Human Origins By Christa Kuljian (Jacana, 2016)
As time passes, daylight and shadows move across a wall hung with face masks. Some almost cease to look human; others emerge as recognisably so. Such is the effect that may come to mind when reading this book by Christa Kuljian (MA 2007), a research associate at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research.
“Science is moulded by its social and political context,” she writes in the introduction to her highly readable take on a subject so closely linked with Wits University over the years. Charles Darwin’s hunch was that humans shared common origins in Africa, and Wits scientists have been preeminent in exploring that idea, all the way from fossil-hunting to the anatomy of living people and to breakthroughs in genetics. The book, Kuljian explains, is guided by questions like: “How have the changing scientific views about race, and racism, affected the efforts to understand human evolution?” and “How have the beliefs of individual scientists, and the times in which they lived, shaped the narrative of human origins?” Wits scientists like Robert Broom, Raymond Dart, Phillip Tobias, Himla Soodyall and Lee Berger come to life as characters in the book, which is illustrated, indexed and supported by pages of notes and sources. Equally, the author strives to restore the human dignity of individuals whose
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
Image: Siven Maslamoney
bodies and lives were sometimes treated, in the name of science (not to mention politics), in ways that appall us now. Part 1, “Searching for Difference”, covers the period when scientists were preoccupied with looking for differences between anatomical forms and with grouping them into types. Part 2, “Searching for Humanity”, shows how this approach began to shift, along with our ideas about human nature itself, and Part 3, “Searching for Unity”, covers the period in which scientists have come to accept that “biologically, race has little meaning”. The book helps the average reader to understand the evolution of knowledge as well as our knowledge of evolution. It was shortlisted for the Alan Paton Award for Non-Fiction. WR
Apartheid Guns and Money By Hennie van Vuuren (Jacana Media, 2017)
Apartheid Guns and Money is “probably the single most important book that has been written about South Africa for the last 20 years,” said Achille Mbembe, Research Professor at the Wits Institute of Social and Economic Research, at the book’s launch in May. It gives us “a deeper look at the long history of state capture in South Africa”. The author, Hennie van Vuuren (BA 1998, BA Hons 1998), and a team of researchers have exposed some of the economic crimes that propped up apartheid. Heads of state, arms dealers, bankers and many more were enriched by flouting arms sanctions and laundering the money that paid for weapons. The book debunks the myth that the apartheid regime was self-sufficient and isolated, says Van Vuuren. It sets out the way the regime beat sanctions: through state secrecy and security; a secret war economy in which corporations were accomplices; laundering of money by banks; and powerful allies and their proxies. From 1977 to 1994, about half a trillion rand in today’s value was moved offshore to procure weapons for the apartheid state, Van Vuuren says. At least 47 countries collaborated to break arms, oil and trade sanctions against South Africa. Van Vuuren says is it “fundamental to understand both the nature of power in South Africa and the nature of elite criminality – the way in which corruption has become ingrained in the practice of our politics and business.”
From the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, “a mix of factors gave rise to a perfect storm that left an indelible impact on our history and society. It was a time of unparalleled abuse of power. … [when] economic crime not only festered, but became state policy.” The apartheid-era pattern and many of the actors “rapidly ingratiated themselves into the new order”. In the introduction to the book, Van Vuuren adds a personal note: “Under apartheid, my classification as white brought me spoken and unspoken privilege and, most importantly, the benefit of a solid public education. I am a product of state subsidies that saw me attend universities beyond the reach of my parents, neither of whom completed their schooling or lived a life of plenty.” Van Vuuren was Wits SRC President in 1996/97. He is now the Director of Open Secrets, a nonprofit organisation which aims to promote private sector accountability. It is supported by the Open Society Foundation, the Claude Leon Foundation and the Heinrich Böll Foundation. Open Secrets also works with the SA History Archives and Lawyers for Human Rights, and supports calls to release the entire apartheid archive. The book is based on years of research and is accompanied by graphics which set out important facts and connections visually. Van Vuuren also co-wrote a book about South Africa’s arms deal, The Devil in the Detail: How the Arms Deal Changed Everything (Jonathan Ball, 2011). WR
The Precious Years:
A Guide to Early Child Development â€“ Birth to Three Years By Jacqui Couper (Penguin Random House, 2016)
There is global recognition of the importance of promoting optimal early child development and the need for early intervention if children experience developmental delays. The most critical role players in ensuring that this happens for children between birth and three years of age are parents, caregivers and healthcare workers. This book is a well-researched and easy-to-read
reference and covers the breadth of child development topics, ranging from defining child development to how to manage children who are developing differently. Couper (BSc OT 1985, MSc Med 2001) draws on her experience as a paediatric occupational therapist and her many personal encounters with parents, caregivers and health professionals to add depth and application to the text. In addition, the book provides useful information and insight into many common and topical parental concerns. It is a useful guide to how parents and caregivers
Married to Medicine:
Dr Mary Gordon, Pioneer Woman Physician and Humanist By Jack Metz and Gordon Metz
This is a biography of a remarkable woman, who for many years was South Africaâ€™s best-known woman doctor. Her life story has been written by a nephew and a great-nephew and draws on the archive held by the Adler Museum of Medicine at Wits.
Married to Medicine is published by and available from the Adler Museum of Medicine, 7 York Road, Parktown. Tel: 27 11 717-2081; Price: R140. Email: email@example.com.
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
This story of Dr Mary Gordon also adds to the body of literature on the Jewish immigrant experience in South Africa. The Gordon family had their roots in Lithuania, where Mary was born in 1890 into an Orthodox family in Telz. The family left Telz in 1900 and settled in Warsaw, where Mary at the age of 14 earned a certificate to teach at primary school level. But restrictions imposed on Jews limited her educational ambitions in Poland, and in 1907 she emigrated to Sunderland in England. Of particular interest is the chapter recounting the English Jewish immigrant experience before World War 1. By 1916 she had qualified as a doctor at the University of Durham.
Image: Penguin Random House
can promote children’s development and provides important information and “red flags” on when to be concerned and seek help. This book is highly recommended as a reference for parents, caregivers, undergraduate students and professionals or entry-level workers working with young children within the health, education and social development sectors. WR
Reviewed by Wiedaad Slemming, Division of Community Paediatrics, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of the Witwatersrand
She gained war-time hospital experience in England and in 1916 emigrated to Johannesburg, taking up a position at the Johannesburg Hospital. By this stage her family was in South Africa. Dr Gordon’s association with the Johannesburg General Hospital lasted 30 years, though she went into private practice in 1919. A photograph of the medical staff there taken in 1928 shows her as one of two women in the large group of men. Over time she worked in all of the public Johannesburg hospitals. She was a member of staff of the Wits Medical School from 1923 to 1946, and the first woman lecturer in medicine. The 1932 fracas in University circles over the appointment of WH Craib to the Chair of Medicine and the possible role of anti-Semitism in this appointment is fairly discussed. The authors of this biography take up a different view to that of Wits historian Bruce Murray. Mary Gordon established herself in Johannesburg as a pioneer woman physician and much-loved medical teacher. She became an authority on women’s health issues, and her advice on diet and obesity is as relevant today as it was then.
There are some fascinating insights on working as a medical doctor in Johannesburg between the wars. Dr Gordon saw service during World War 2 as head of the Department of Physical Medicine at Cottesloe Medical Hospital, ultimately commanding the Medical Division at that hospital. By 1944 she was a major at Roberts Heights Military Hospital and had registered as a specialist physician. Her Jewish identity clearly mattered to her and in 1946 she emigrated to Palestine. In 1958 she returned, for reasons that are not clear. In the final phase of her life she worked at Baragwanath and associated Soweto clinics. At the age of 70 she took up a post at Tara Hospital. She continued practising medicine until her death in 1971 at the age of 80. Her bequests and endowments, including a bursary at Wits, reflected her belief in the medical education of women and the care of children. Reviewed by Katherine Munro, School of Architecture and Planning
Wits University fondly remembers those who have passed away
Joan von Willich (1926-2016)
Joan von Willich (Leviseur) (BSc Eng 1949) was the second woman in South Africa to qualify as an engineer (Ruth Damant was a year ahead of her at the University of Natal). She worked in Pretoria, Vanderbijlpark and Newcastle, and retired to Howick in her 70s. Her husband, Wilhelm (Wiv), died in 2013. They had five children: Ilse, Dawid, Karen and Manfred von Willich and Tess Frost. “My mother was born in 1926 and died on the day after her 90th birthday,” said Ilse. “She kept her sense of humour and exploratory interest to the end. At 88 she went ziplining (for the first time) on the Karkloof Canopy Tour. She had loved rock climbing and hiking all her life. She also learned some Esperanto in the last three years of her life. She combined gentleness, laughter, adventure, integrity, caring and many other qualities. “She was a highly competent civil engineer.
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
Despite her being small, female and quietly spoken, her authority as an engineer was never questioned by colleagues, students or employees. Being a female engineer wasn’t without its hitches. She was once offered a top job without the post (or the pay), and was expected to find this an honour because she was a woman. She told me later that it was the only time she had ever opened and shut her mouth several times without getting anything out. The event had a happy outcome, however, as it resulted in her starting her own consultancy, which she thoroughly enjoyed, and ran until she was in her seventies.” “She had such confidence and pleasure in her profession,” said Tess. “I felt a fierce pride in her when she scrambled up buildings under construction. She was admired and liked at university. She was the rarest of teachers. Though she easily understood scientific and mathematical ideas, she was able to break things down into simple building blocks to help others understand.” Joan was in the legendary 1948 Class of Civil Engineering at Wits, the largest group of civil engineers to enter the South African economy in one year, and one of the most successful. Most of the 54 graduates were ex-servicemen who had been granted bursaries by Jan Smuts. The class put a plaque on the Hillman Building and published a volume of memoirs (compiled by Tony
Williams, Don Walker and Don Muller). Sir Jack Zunz, who designed the Sydney Opera House, was among them. Another was Alex Combrink, who built the Johannesburg General Hospital. Prof Mitchell Gohnert says it was decades before another woman engineer graduated, so Joan “was a bit of a maverick. At that time, civil engineering was considered a man’s job. I personally know several fellows from the class of ’48, and they said that she fitted in with the guys, and was admired for her academic abilities.” He tells the story of the infamous 1948 class photo (left): “The fourth year class finished their final year project the night before the class photo. They celebrated the entire night, and alcohol flowed freely. The next morning the rather intoxicated group assembled at the appointed time for the class photo. The Head of Department (Prof Sutton) was so infuriated by the state of
Jerry Steele (1931-2017)
Jerrold Turner (Jerry) Steele, a former Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Finance and Administration of Wits University, was born in Boksburg and went to school at Christian Brothers Colleges. He completed the Certificate in the Theory of Accountancy (1953) and obtained a BCom (1961) and MCom (1966) from Wits. In 2009 the University conferred an honorary DCom on him for his service to financial management in higher education. He was appointed as a Senior Lecturer in Accounting at Wits in 1956, but his interest in information technology gave his career a new direction. He became Director of the University’s Computer Centre and, in 1976, Professor of Applied Mathematics and of Applied Information Processing. Serving on the Education Committee of the Public Accountants’ and Auditors’ Board, he oversaw the quality of the education and training of articled clerks at universities. He introduced the concept of “academic articles”,
his students that he swore that the class picture would never hang on the walls of the Hillman Building. Sutton’s request was honoured for many years. However, after several years of searching, we found the photo in 2009 and placed it proudly among fellow graduating engineers. I am sure that Prof Sutton would have agreed that 61 years was sufficient punishment. The class of 1948 were the first group of students returning from the war. They were a hardened bunch of guys, and they found Prof Sutton’s response absolutely hilarious.” In the class memoirs, Joan wrote that her mother had played an important part in making it possible for her to study science up to matric and to enrol for engineering. She said she enjoyed university life so much that she had to repeat a year. She enjoyed her career too: “the camaraderie of people – employers, architects, engineers, contractors – all engaged in reaching a constructive goal together was good fun.” WR
whereby trainee accountants could spend part of their articles at university as tutors and junior lecturers. His specialist computer knowledge influenced the education of accountants and the profession itself. He served Wits as Dean of Commerce between 1979 and 1984. Due to his stewardship as Deputy Vice-Chancellor, the University’s financial position was stronger than that of many South African universities when he retired. He was a strong proponent of transparency and developed the University’s first Executive Information System. In retirement, he played a major role in the higher education sector on matters of governance, financial management and reporting. Professor Steele is survived by his wife Professor Margaret Steele (BAcc 1980), former head of the School of Accountancy (1987-1995), and their three children, who are all Wits graduates.
Esmé Berman (1929-2017)
The art historian Esmé Berman (born Cohen) (BA 1950; BA Hons) was one of the “Wits group” of 1948-1950 who studied art under Professor Heather Martienssen. (The group included Cecil Skotnes, Christo Coetzee, Larry Scully and Nel Erasmus.) She went on to produce a comprehensive work, Art and Artists of South Africa (first published in 1970 and followed by several editions), which contains biographical detail on artists and information on related subjects such as art associations and museums. Much of the information was generated by her original research and personal meetings with artists around the country. The first of its kind in South Africa, the book remains a standard reference source, widely used by scholars and learners and praised for its accessible style. Berman generously lodged the research papers and archives relating to this work – an invaluable national resource – with Wits’ Historical Papers.
Sibulele Mgudlwa (1991-2017)
Sibulele Mgudlwa (BCom 2016) was born in Bhisho in the Eastern Cape and matriculated from Dale College in King William’s Town with six distinctions and half-colours for debating and academics. At Wits, he joined the South African Students Congress Organisation, the Young Communist League and the ANC Youth League. He was elected chairperson of the Accounting School Council and appointed as chairperson of Wits’ Student Parliament. Sibulele was elected the SRC president (2012/13) and earned the respect of many, regardless of their affiliations, through his caring service and humble personality.
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
She also wrote The Story of South African Painting (1975, updated in 1993). In 2010 she published Alexis Preller: Africa, the Sun and Shadows, a book accompanying a major exhibition curated by Berman and Professor Karel Nel, and offering fresh analyses and interpretations of Preller’s work. She continued to write in her 80s, producing monographs on Walter Battiss, Maggie Laubser, Irma Stern and Hendrik Pierneef. The University conferred an honorary DLitt degree on Berman in 2016 in recognition of her contribution to the history of art. Berman studied for her Honours degree in Psychology at the same time as her BA in Fine Arts. In 2014 she wrote for the Wits Review: “My student years at Wits – 1946 to 1950 – spanned a uniquely self-contained chapter in the University’s history. I describe the era as ‘unique’ and ‘selfcontained’, because, for those four post-WWII years, campus demographics and character were conspicuously affected by the massive influx of ex-servicemen, impatient to make up for the ‘lost time’ spent in military service, and hugely disdainful of the ‘juvenile’ antics of their teen-aged fellow-freshers… At the outset, such frivolity was scornfully dismissed by the jaded old-young veterans, in their macho khaki bunny jackets and clunking army boots. And within the grossly overcrowded halls of academe, the volatile convergence of two such incompatible groups seemed precariously unpromising. Yet, by virtue of some kind of campus alchemy, each faction benefited from encounter with the other, and their integration generated a
creative dynamism that was probably unequalled in any other period in the history of Wits.”
Joan Wagner (1927-2017)
She wrote that 27 May 1948 was the opening night of The University Players’ production of Jean Paul Sartre’s The Flies, in which she was playing Electra. “During the intermission between the second and third acts, from portable radios amid the audience – which was anxiously awaiting results of the previous day’s General Election – came the news: that Jan Smuts, leader of the ruling United Party, had lost his seat. From that moment onward, for almost the entire second half of the 20th Century, South Africa was forced to endure the imposition of the oppressive ideology of apartheid. For Wits, that election was a turning point. Students of the era spent their university years on both sides of the historical divide.”
Dr Joan Mary Wagner (MBBCh 1949) was an outstanding clinician who had been associated with the Department of Paediatrics for over 50 years, starting at the Transvaal Memorial Hospital for Children (TMH), then at the Johannesburg Hospital. She also trained at Great Ormond Street Hospital, London. She was in line to succeed Dr Israel Kessel as Consultant Paediatrician at TMH in 1965, but was pregnant with her twins and the post went to Prof Solly Levin.
After studying further in the UK, Berman started the Children’s Art Centre in Johannesburg and taught disabled and underprivileged children. She herself had been born blind in one eye. In addition to her writing and broadcasting, she lectured at Wits and UCT, acted as a consultant to the Rembrandt van Rijn Art Foundation and the Gertrude Posel Gallery (precursor of the Wits Art Museum), and chaired the Johannesburg Art Gallery Jubilee Committee. Her contribution to establishing the Cape Town Trienniale helped to launch the careers of artists like William Kentridge, Penny Siopis and Karel Nel. Her efforts also brought the work of masters like Rodin to South Africa. In 1971 she founded the Art Institute South Africa, built its Audiovisual Centre in 1978 and in 1984 launched The Patrons’ Trust. When her husband Hi became Mayor of Sandton, she took on the role of Mayoress. From 1987, the couple lived in Los Angeles, and she lectured at UCLA, the Parsons School of Design and the University of Judaism. They returned in 2002, just before Hi died. Her son David and daughter Kathy survive her; her son Russell died in 1973. A book about her is in production. WR
Joan maintained her interest in general paediatrics by continuing to do ward rounds long after her retirement age. She is remembered with affection by the more junior doctors for not only her clinical skill and her caring attitude to the patients but also for the care she took of the registrars and housemen by providing them with emotional support and food after the ward rounds. She was the mother of “developmental paediatrics” in South Africa. She worked with communities to develop services such as Nokuthula School, Harvey Cohen Centre, Sunshine Centre, Selwyn Segal and many others. She was a core member of the team which developed the widely used START early intervention programme. Her compassion for disabled children and their families knew no limits. She left a legacy for the doctors working in the neurodevelopmental clinics at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic (previously the Johannesburg General), Rahima Moosa Mother and Child (previously Coronation) and Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic hospitals. Joan and her husband, Prof Ian Webster, had four children. She and the late Prof Webster, who was Director of the National Centre for Occupational Health, endowed a medal for the Wits candidate with the best performance in the examinations for the Diploma in Occupational Health.
Victor Raynal (1925-2017)
Victor Anton Raynal (BSc Eng 1950), born in Mozambique, was the third generation of a family that had been involved in the electricity supply industry in Southern Africa since 1898. His grandfather and father worked for the Électricité De France Company in Mauritius and then Mozambique. When Victor was eight years old, his father died of malaria and he was sent to boarding school at Marist Brothers in Johannesburg. He completed secondary school at the age of 16 and started a five-year apprenticeship with the Johannesburg City Council (JCC). Realising that he had potential, the JCC awarded him a scholarship which enabled him to study Electrical Engineering at Wits.
Joel Goodman Joffe was born in Johannesburg, the son of Abraham and Dena Joffe, and attended Marist Brothers College. He graduated from Wits with a BCom in 1952 and an LLB in 1955. His career in law, business and philanthropy, and especially his contribution in the area of human rights, earned him an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Wits in 2001.
He then had a professional training attachment with Ferranti in Oldham, England, which was at that time one of the largest electrical engineering distribution equipment manufacturers in the world and was developing the world’s first commercially available computer. Victor turned down lucrative job offers in the UK and other Commonwealth countries to resume working for the JCC in 1955. In 1970 he was appointed as Assistant City Electrical Engineer (Distribution). This responsibility involved providing reticulation for a densely populated area of about 500 square kilometres, which included Soweto. Victor was a member of the Council of the South African and UK Royal Institutes of Electrical Engineers and a Fellow of both Institutes. In 1994 he received a 50 years’ membership award from the SAIEE. After taking early retirement from the JCC at the age of 55, he worked for Croswell Engineers until he went into semi-retirement in 1989. Victor was a keen competitive sportsman and chess player. He leaves his wife Margaret, a daughter and a son. Two sons predeceased him.
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
He qualified as an attorney and later practised as an advocate at the Johannesburg Bar. After the Sharpeville massacre in March 1960, he was planning to emigrate to Australia with his artist wife Vanetta (Pretorius) (BA 1960) and young daughters Deborah and Lisa. James Kantor, his law firm partner, was then arrested, as was Kantor’s brother-in-law, Harold Wolpe, who was the ANC’s lawyer. Joffe agreed to help manage Kantor’s affairs before leaving, but was approached to defend Nelson Mandela and other ANC members in the 1963-4 Rivonia Trial. The legal team, which included Bram Fischer (posthumous honorary LLD 2015), Vernon Berrangé, George Bizos (BA 1951, LLB 1954, honorary LLD 1999) and Arthur Chaskalson (BCom 1952, LLB 1954, honorary LLD 1990), managed to avert the death penalty. Later, Mandela used to tease Joffe about being “the man who sent me to jail”. He went on to defend and support others accused of political offences, and was subjected to police harassment. In 1965 the family were forced to leave South Africa. His third daughter, Abigail, was born in the UK. There, he and fellow Wits graduates Mark Weinberg (BCom 1952, LLB 1954, honorary DSc Economics 1990) and Sydney Lipworth (BCom 1952, LLB 1954, honorary LLD 2003) started
Hambro Life Assurance, which became Allied Dunbar. Joffe was Deputy Chair until 1991.
He was a founder member and trustee of a wide range of charitable organisations in the UK, including the JG and VL Joffe Charitable Trust, and International Chairman of Oxfam from 1995 to 2001. He campaigned for consumer rights, for socially responsible business practices and for assisted dying for the terminally ill. Oxfam said he was determined to make the organisation “as efficient as it was passionate. ‘Passion and good intentions are no value to anyone without effective implementation,’ he said.”
Abraham Pieter Keeve Steyn, founder of a well-known firm of consulting engineers and for many years a member of Wits’ Council, graduated with distinction from Wits in 1945, with a BSc Eng (Civil). In 1952 he set up his firm in Braamfontein, and it soon won an important tender to survey the land for the future Sasolburg. In 1995 Dr Steyn retired. He was married to Christine (Grey) for 71 years and she died just two months before him. They had three children: Marie, Ina and Danie.
From 2000 to 2004, he chaired the Giving Campaign, which encourages philanthropy by the wealthiest in society. The Joffe Charitable Trust gave millions every year to mainly African causes and especially to causes that were less likely to find support easily. “One does what one believes is right,” Joffe told one interviewer. Mac Maharaj, whom Joffe defended on charges of sabotage in 1964, said in a tribute: “Every time I turned to him for support … he was there – not as an act of charity, not as a means of increasing dependency, but as an act of empowerment.” Joffe remained closely involved with South Africa and, through his family trust, was among the University’s most generous individual donors. He contributed funds towards commemorating Bram Fischer and spoke at the ceremony where Fischer posthumously received his honorary doctorate. He was awarded the CBE in 1999 and became a Labour peer as Baron Joffe of Liddington in 2000. Lord Joffe was a man of great integrity and skill and has been described as wise, enthusiastic, hard-working, generous, forthright, kind and courageous – though diffident. His “weakness”, the Financial Times reported in 2011, was tennis. He died on 18 June 2017 at home in Liddington,
Tiisetso Moja (1969-2017)
Tiisetso Moshate Nathan Moja (MSc Eng 1997, MBA 2009) died in a car accident on 12 April 2017. Born in Pretoria and educated first in Atteridgeville and Ga-Rankuwa and at Waterkloof House, he shone academically – as did his twin brother Tshepo. Tiisetso attended St Alban’s College and UCT before furthering his engineering and business studies at Wits. He excelled in his career in telecommunications and information technology, and was Group General Manager at MTN at the time of his death. A number of engineering graduates benefited from his professional mentorship. He was married to Hilda (Kithinji) for 23 years and they had two sons, Moagi and Neo. Swindon, aged 85, after a short illness. “We will remember Joel fondly for his towering intellect, big heart, and tremendous sense of fun, along with the many great contributions he made towards a fairer society for all,” said Humanists UK, an organisation of which he was patron. WR For details of memorial gatherings, please contact Lynda Murray, Lynda.Murray@wits.ac.za.
Thomas Hopwood (1924-2017)
Desmond Bond (1941-2017)
Thomas Wynne Hopwood (BSc Eng 1950) followed in his father’s footsteps as a civil engineer. Tom Hopwood Snr served in World War I, repairing bridges and canals destroyed by the Germans in Europe, and recorded much of this in photographs. He went on to a career in water engineering. Tom Hopwood Jnr was in the first class to enrol at Wits after World War II, during which he had served in the SA Signals Corps, flying transport planes between North and South Africa. He was also an amateur photographer. “He treasured his time at Wits,” wrote his wife Jill, “and always spoke feelingly about those days, having fond memories of some of his professors – Prof Gewers being one. Tom spent his engineering days as a municipal engineer, in Pretoria until 1971 and thereafter in Port Elizabeth. Would that there could be more of his ilk today – going steadily to work patiently and diligently at a not very glamorous job, but keeping the wheels turning in the cities.”
Desmond Harvey Bond had the unusual accomplishment of being a chemical engineer and a writer and translator. He grew up in Johannesburg and attended King Edward VII School, where he did well in Latin, singing, mathematics and sport. Later in life he became a competitive swimmer, and he always loved music. He qualified in engineering at Wits in 1966, then obtained an MSc in Chemical Engineering at the University of Texas and an MA in English at the University of North Texas. He worked as a specialist in engineering and the environment, managing projects in many countries. He had lived in Mobile, Alabama, since 2005 and was married for nearly 47 years to Ann Lillian Snyder Bond, who survives him.
Doug Rodd (1924-2016)
Douglas Harvey Rodd (Dip Arch 1951, BArch 1975, MArch 1989) was born in Hillbrow, Johannesburg, in 1924, and attended King Edward VII School. After matriculating, he started articles in his father’s accounting firm but after three years took up part-time studies in Architecture, qualifying in 1951 and marrying in the same year. He then joined the prominent practice of Hanson and Tomkin, where he worked until 1961. He did most of the working drawings for the Geology building at Wits. After Hanson emigrated, Doug practised independently until he was invited by Monty Bryer to create the partnership of Monte Bryer and Rodd Architects. They were responsible for the design of the ABSA Towers building in downtown Johannesburg and the Wartenweiler Library at Wits. Their most
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
significant commission was the Johannesburg Civic Centre, won in 1962. Doug worked with Bryer until the latter retired in 1980. He was then appointed as a part-time lecturer in Architecture at Wits, and also undertook a Master’s degree in Architectural Conservation, graduating at the age of 64. As a heritage specialist, Doug contributed significantly to the documentation of Witwatersrand sites. In 1993 he was appointed by the National Monuments Council to survey mine-related buildings and was involved in identifying the location where the Freedom Charter was signed. His colleague in Hanson’s office, Herbert Prins, paid tribute to Doug as an architect and heritage consultant: “He was utterly reliable, a brilliant draftsman, and did fine watercolour renderings of buildings. His work on the mining-related buildings of the Witwatersrand was excellent, thorough and significant, and I think, remains unique in this field of study.” Doug is survived by his sons Howard and Mike and daughter Cheryl. His wife, Sylvia, died in 2006.
Wits and Braamfontein Reimagined
Wits University has initiated the urban revitalisation of the Braamfontein Precinct under the auspices of a Reimagining the Wits Property Project – one where we create a surrounding environment attractive to top achieving students and leading academics, and in turn establish a metropolitan and cosmopolitan academic neighbourhood which constitutes the centre of an urban knowledge economy. Taking cognisance of the wider socio economic dynamics in and around Braamfontein, the University plans to bring people and activity to the campus periphery by way of creating welcoming, well managed, effective and iconic entry points into the University while breaking up monolithic street edges by including different retail typologies.
Taking Braamfontein back – the Wits facts
Wits has 37 000 Students and 4 500 Staff Is number 1 in South Africa as a whole in Shanghai Rankings, ranked in the top 2 of SA universities in QS ranking Owns 400Ha of property in Braamfontein and Parktown valued at R8 Billion Manages some 665 buildings across its campuses Residences in Johannesburg house 6 150 students Has 14 museums spread across its campuses One hundred businesses to be incubated at Tshimologong in 2018 Over 20 000 visitors to the Wits Art Museum annually Over 50 000 Planetarium visitors annually Is one of the initiatiors of the Walkable Braamfontein project which will see Juta Street transformed into a 2Ha linear park There are 9 new pedestrian gateways incorporating retail, information hubs and leisure space planned for completion by 2019
Research, Excellence, Transformation Information: Yael Horowitz E firstname.lastname@example.org
Louise Emanuel (1953-2017)
Louise Sharon Emanuel (BA 1974, PDE 1976), an internationally influential psychotherapist specialising in the treatment of children and adolescents, died in the UK of a neurological disease in May 2017, aged 63. She was born in Johannesburg to Abraham and Valerie Berkowitz (both Wits graduates: BSc Eng 1939 and BSc 1943, respectively) and studied English and French at Wits. With her postgraduate diploma in education, she went on to teach at King Edward VII School. She moved to London in 1981 and qualified as a child and adolescent psychotherapist, the field in which her husband Ricky Emanuel also worked. They had two sons, Alex and Adrian.
Her work focused on helping children who had suffered trauma or had behavioural problems. She was known for her acute observation of young children and the way they related to their parents, enabling her to connect with them and understand their thoughts and feelings. Emanuel developed the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust’s
Cecil Charles Enfield (1927-2016)
Dr Bernard Levinson (MBBCh 1951, Dip Psych Med 1959, PhD 1970) writes: “This is a lament for Charles Enfield (MBBCh 1951). He was my buddy in those glorious, unbelievably exciting undergraduate years. We were learning how to be doctors. It was the time of Rudolph’s Cellar (an infamous drinking hole), beards and corduroy trousers. With his rich, luxurious voice, it was also his time for acting on the Johannesburg stage, for dancing the male lead in the local ballet company, a time for playing league tennis. “This was also the time we all fell deeply in love with Medicine. We were the class of 1951.
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
model for working with children under five, and set it up in a number of countries, including South Africa. She also developed methods to test how effective the intervention was. With Elizabeth Bradley, she co-edited a book called What Can the Matter Be? (2008) and in 2004 published Understanding Your Three-Year-Old. Lately she worked with Siya Phula Phula, an NGO which helps child-headed households. The Association for Infant Mental Health UK is to award a Louise Emanuel Prize for a contribution to the field. She is remembered by the Australian Association for Infant Mental Health for the “insightful intelligence and passion” she brought to her work, and as a friend who was curious, energetic, generous and fun. Emanuel enjoyed travelling, hiking, reading, theatre, film and art, and wrote poetry. In addition to her husband, sons and mother, she leaves her brothers Ivor, Frank and Dan Berkowitz – all Wits-trained doctors. WR
“Then we spread everywhere. Charles went to England. He married divine Sylvia, a psychologist, and began the study of Psychiatry at the Tavistock Clinic. Armed with the great John Bowlby’s magic, he emigrated to Australia and founded the first Institute of Family Psychotherapy in Sydney. “Does every class have their own unique, flamboyant, colourful personality trailblazing fresh ideas? Charles was ours. Massively multi-talented. Devastatingly charming. Shifting easily from seriously wise to brilliantly intimate, caring and fun loving, in a disarming flash. Charles leaves his wife, two children, five grandchildren and an alive, vibrant International Association for Couples and Family Therapy in Sydney, Australia.”
Hertha de Villiers
Peter Fridjhon (1951-2017)
The death of Professor Hertha de Villiers (Graf) (MSc 1957, PhD 1963) signals the end of an era for South African anatomy, physical anthropology and forensic science. She was an inspirational teacher and researcher in two of the University’s Anatomy Departments, and an authority in anthropology and forensic science. Her interest in living people and interdisciplinary research resulted in the production of a statistical and genetics-based analysis of morphology, which had never before been accomplished. She obtained a first-class BSc at the University of Cape Town and then became a Research Assistant in the Bilharzia Research Unit at the South African Institute for Medical Research. Professor Raymond Dart then appointed her as a technical assistant in the Department of Anatomy at Wits’ Medical School, where she was involved in the making and painting of facial casts and worked on the department’s skeletal collections. In 1954 she published three articles which were accepted for a BSc Honours equivalent, and she was appointed as a lecturer in 1956. Her MSc followed in 1957. She was awarded a PhD in 1963 for a thesis entitled: “A biometrical and morphological study of the skull of the South African Bantu-speaking people”. It was published as a book by the University of the Witwatersrand Press in 1968 and was highly cited. In Darwin’s Hunch, Christa Kuljian writes that this study was “groundbreaking in the sense that she concluded there were no distinguishing features between different cultural or tribal groups. … One of the most striking features about Hertha de Villiers was that she brought rigour and statistical analysis to her science. In addition, despite her lab coat, she carried a sense of glamour and sophistication.”
Professor Peter Fridjhon (BSc 1974, HDipEd 1974), former Head of the School of Statistics and Actuarial Science (2011-2016), was associated with Wits for over four decades. He matriculated from King Edward VII School in 1968 and, after obtaining his Wits degree and teaching diploma, taught mathematics at Malvern High School before pursuing a Master’s degree at Lancaster University. On his return, he joined the staff of the Department of Applied Mathematics in 1980, before moving to the Department of Statistics in 1982. Well-known to students in both the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Humanities, Professor Fridjhon always made himself available for consultation on statistics to staff, postgraduate students and industry. During his time at Wits, he served on many School, Faculty and University committees. His contribution to research in the social sciences is also recognised as he served on teams that made fundamental contributions to our understanding of the design and implementation of research projects.
Her work on archaeological sites introduced her to the field of forensic science, and her work on anatomical features contributed a great deal to this discipline. In 1972, she was appointed as Associate Professor in the Department of Anatomy. In 1974 she was transferred to the Faculty of Dentistry, where she remained until her retirement in 1984. She was a role model to many students of anatomy, neuroanatomy, forensic anthropology, genetics and human biology. Professor Hertha de Villiers is survived by her son and daughter and their families. WR
an invited speaker at conferences.
Joanne Sklaar (1953-2016)
On 28 November 2016, family, friends, colleagues and students lost a special person – Joanne Sklaar (Lisus) (BSc Physio 1974, MSc Physio 2000).
Both in her private practice and in physiotherapy departments at Wits and other centres nationally and internationally, Joanne valued nothing more than the pursuit of ongoing professional education. She was an honorary lecturer in physiotherapy for undergraduates at Wits (19802000), supervisor on the Master’s programme until 2007 and external examiner for the University of Stellenbosch Master’s programme (2006-2008). She ran many workshops and courses and was
Pauline Cuzen (1929-2017)
Former Deputy Registrar for Student Affairs Pauline Cuzen (BA 1950) passed away peacefully on 15 May, aged 88. Pauline Anne Thompson was born in Bournemouth, England. During World War II, she and her brother were evacuated to America and fostered by a family in Ohio. After the war, the family came to South Africa and settled in Johannesburg. Pauline married Alan Cuzen and they lived in Botswana for some time, before returning to Johannesburg in 1963 with their five children: Dennis, John, Philip, Ann and Mary. She was a hard worker and lifelong learner, at ease among people regardless of their age or hers. Activities and interests included the Orchid Society, bridge, Continuity Club, University of the
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
Joanne was awarded lifetime membership of the Orthopaedic Manipulative Physiotherapists of South Africa for her exceptional service and contribution to the profession. The private practice she started in 1977 expanded to an association of 23 physiotherapists serving seven branches around Johannesburg. Clinically she dedicated 38 years to treating injuries from the acute or chronic stage to the full rehabilitation of the patient. Her main clinical interest was the neuro-muscular-skeletal system and in particular the neck and shoulder, as well as management and prevention of chronic pain syndromes. She also travelled internationally with sports teams and in 1986 and 1990 accompanied the South African sports teams to the Maccabi Games. Joanne leaves her husband Barnett and children Daniel and Lara. WR
Third Age, Shakespeare, and the Johannesburg Hospital Chaplaincy Team. She loved hiking, and travelled the world to see sights like Mayan temples and the gorillas of Rwanda. She was socially conscious and a strong, independent woman who embraced every opportunity to enrich her inner self and those around her. Pauline was a loyal and supportive Witsie even after she retired in 1992. She attended many alumni events, including last year’s Founders’ Tea. She and her family donated 13 olive trees – one for each grandchild – which are growing next to the FNB Building on West Campus. Those grandchildren described her lovingly as “a force to be reckoned with”. WR
WITSReview In June 2017, WITSReview won an international award for outstanding work. The magazine was joint winner of the external audience print newsletter category in the Circle of Excellence Awards, announced by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Based in Washington, DC, CASE serves more than 3 600 of the worldâ€™s top universities, colleges and related organisations in more than 80 countries. WITSReview was also judged to be the best external magazine in 2016 by Marketing, Advancement and Communication in Education (MACE), a South African organisation.
The magazine for ALUMNI and friends of the University of the Witwatersrand To subscribe to receive a printed copy in the post, please email email@example.com.
Theo Scott (1929-2016)
Theophilus William (Theo) Scott (BArch 1954) was gifted with an inventive and creative mind and consequently found his niche as a research architect at the CSIR, where he spent nearly 30 years in the National Building Research Institute. His career there involved many interesting projects both locally and further afield, and often in remote areas. One of his main interests was the development of low-cost housing, where he pioneered ideas to provide many families with homes. Another was the development of housing suitable for extreme climates and of buildings
Sydney Cohen (1921-2017)
Sydney Cohen (MBBCh 1945, MD 1954, honorary DSc 1987), who has died aged 95, served for two decades as Professor of Chemical Pathology at Guy’s Hospital and was chairman of the World Health Organization Scientific Group on Immunity to Malaria. A scientist with a deep love of nature, he developed from his South African education and wide travel in Africa a determination to vanquish malaria. His pursuit of a vaccine led, in 1961, to a landmark paper in Nature, co-written with Ian McGregor, which found that immunoglobulin from immune Gambian adults had an anti-parasitic effect when administered to infected children. His work stimulated research to identify the parasite molecules involved in the protective immune response. Antigenic variation in parasites has precluded an effective vaccine against all strains of malaria, but Cohen was one of the first to show that successful vaccination was possible using forms of the parasite that live in the blood. Driven by the conviction that it was essential
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
made of special materials – for example in northern Namibia, where there is no stone, or on the volcanic Comoros Islands, where there is no sand. Theo was diagnosed as diabetic while in his third year of study at Wits. He was forever grateful to Professor John Fassler, the Dean of the Faculty, who was extremely supportive of him through this difficult time, even arranging for him to move from his digs into Cottesloe Residence, where he could get good meals. This was 1950, when not very much was known about diabetes. Theo read up
to understand how the immune system might eliminate the parasite, Cohen’s scientific contribution was the application of immunology to the development of malaria vaccines. In recognition of his work, he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society and was appointed CBE in 1978. He was a member of the Medical Research Council and chairman of its Tropical Medicine Research Board from 1974 to 1976. At the WHO, he was a member of the expert advisory panel on malaria for a dozen years until 1989. Wits conferred an honorary Doctor of Science degree on him in 1987, calling him “one of our most distinguished medical graduates”. Sydney Cohen was born in Johannesburg, the last of four children of Pauline (Soloveychik) and Morris Cohen, Jewish immigrants from Lithuania. His grandfather, Shmuel, had opened a wholesale grocery in Pritchard Street, downtown Johannesburg. As Sydney wrote, Johannesburg at that time was “younger than most of its inhabitants, arisen from a hectic mining camp and set among flat-topped, yellowing mine dumps.” His family lived in Honey Street in Berea. Cohen went to King Edward VII School and completed
about it extensively, borrowing medical textbooks from his brother Allan, a Wits medical graduate, and then applied his mind to come up with a plan. Sixty-six years later, he was one of the longestsurviving diabetics in South Africa. Theo’s inventive and creative mind stood him in good stead. Whether it was applied to his career or how to deal with his diabetes, he often had a new and different idea. This ingenuity – which he saw as a gift from God – was nurtured and developed at Wits and he was appreciative of this. He met his wife, Elizabeth Greenshields, while doing his practical year in Zimbabwe. They had two daughters, Brenda and Heather. WR
his medical degree at Wits before sailing to England, arriving ten days after the end of the war in Europe. He treated war injured at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading. The ensuing decade was spent moving back and forth between England and South Africa, lecturing in the Departments of Anatomy and Physiology at Wits. His last post was as Dean of Douglas Smit House, the one remaining residence for black students. When that was shut down under the tightening grip of apartheid, Cohen decided to emigrate, disgusted by the waste of South Africa’s human potential. He often told his son Roger of the infuriating ordeal of extricating his talented black students from unjustified arrest. In England, Sydney obtained his PhD at the University of London and worked at the National Institute for Medical Research in Mill Hill, and then at St Mary’s Hospital. There, his talents as an immunologist were recognised by Rodney Porter, who would win the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1972 for determining the chemical structure of an antibody. He took up his post at Guy’s in 1965 and worked there until his retirement.
John Bird (BCom 1966) began his career at Afrox before moving to Scaw Metals, where he worked for over 35 years, ending his career there as Group Resources Director. He was a lifelong supporter of Wits, South African art and Johannesburg heritage, and his family described him as a model for how to contribute to building our democracy.
Malaria researcher Dr Jean Langhorne, at the Francis Crick Institute, said of him: “His success is reflected not only in the important work that was carried out under his guidance in the lab, but also in the number of people he trained, influenced and nurtured, who went on to contribute significantly to the field.” For the last 30 years of his life, Cohen enjoyed pursuits like painting and gardening, carpentry and golf. He was a longtime member of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club in St Andrews. He had an eye for human foibles, the source of a deadpan sense of humour. When a South African relative suggested he should change his name because “Cohen” was too conspicuously Jewish to make it in Britain, he said that was a wonderful idea – only to add he would call himself “Einstein” instead. Cohen was married for 49 years to June (Adler), who died in 1999. Roger wrote a book about her, The Girl From Human Street: A Jewish Family Odyssey. Human Street is in Krugersdorp. In his last years, Sydney lived in St Andrews with his second wife, Deirdre, who survives him. He also leaves his son Roger and daughter Jennifer and their families.
David Hirschmann (1944-2017)
David Hirschmann, President of the Wits SRC in 1966, succumbed to cancer in Washington, DC on 7 July 2017. At the time of his death Professor Hirschmann was a highly respected and much-loved member of the School of International Service at American University, where he had taught for more than 30 years. His contribution to the university’s International Development Program was recognised in a fellowship that bears his name. Annually, it is awarded to a student for academic excellence and community service: the two pillars that shaped David Hirschmann’s career.
Born in Pietersburg (now Polokwane) in 1944, he matriculated at Capricorn High before enrolling at Wits, where he took each of his four degrees. He read for the LLB (1966) after a BA (1965), but decided against a career in law. Instead, for graduate work, he turned first to the study of International Relations (MA 1970), but found his true calling in the field of Development Studies. His PhD (1979) research on development management in Lesotho formed the basis of his life-long commitment to thoughtful pragmatism informed by theory, and foreshadowed his later commitment to the training of students who would themselves be development practitioners. By the time he completed the doctorate, he had published an article, “Pressures on Apartheid”, in the blue-chip American journal, Foreign Affairs. Its argument not only caught his fierce opposition to apartheid, but anticipated later debates on the role of sanctions in changing South Africa. After two years’ work for the South African
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
Institute of International Affairs, he decided to go to Lesotho for his PhD research in 1973, later taking up a post at the National University of Lesotho. When his then boss, David Kimble, became the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Malawi, Hirschmann followed him to Zomba to teach in the School of Government. There he wrote his jointly authored first book, Women Farmers in Malawi (University of California, 1984), which prefigured critical feminist studies. In 1983 he moved to the United States, teaching at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania; Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas; and American University in Washington, DC. His interest in the issues of South (and Southern) Africa never weakened. In the mid-1980s, he took up a three-month fellowship at Rhodes University, where he completed the only interview-based study of attitudes of black South Africans towards the United States, the basis of his second book. His teaching focused on the management of development and micropolitics, but his research reflects not only creativity and an original mind but the breadth of his scholarly interests. One of his first published articles, “Starring Kamuzu”, merged critical film studies into African politics with its analysis of Malawian government propaganda films. One of his last articles analysed globalisation through two parallel stories: the effort to impose a value added tax on the island of Dominica and the mocking of the tax in local calypso music. His writing on gender, democracy and civil society was both pragmatic and persuasive. Moreover, he is said to have built one of the best Development Studies programmes in the US. David Hirschmann had a wide circle of friends, many from his days at Wits. He was a great storyteller, with a wonderful self-deprecating humour. He is survived by his wife, Professor Deborah Brautigam, his son Matthew and a grandchild. WR Peter Vale, Professor of Humanities, University of Johannesburg
The Wits Theatre
Adler Museum of Medicine
Wits Medical School, 7 York Road, Parktown. T +27 (0) 11 717 2081 E firstname.lastname@example.org Hours: Monday to Friday 09:00 – 16:00. Saturdays on request. Cost free but venue hire tariffs on request.
Wits Art Museum | WAM
www.wits.ac.za/wam. University Corner, Corner Jorissen & Bertha Streets, Braamfontein. T + 27 (0) 11 717 1365/58 E email@example.com. Hours: Wednesdays to Sundays 10:00 – 16:00. WAM has a café and hosts regular events and exhibitions. Admission free. Donations encouraged.
Wits Theatre Complex
www.wits.ac.za/witstheatre. East Campus, Wits University, Performing Arts Administration, 24 Station Street, Braamfontein. T +27 (0) 11 717 1376 E firstname.lastname@example.org Reception hours: Monday to Friday 08:00 – 16:00. Theatre costs vary according to programme. Tickets: www.webtickets.co.za
The Wits Club
www.olivesandplates.co.za Wits Club Complex, West Campus, Wits University. T +27 (0) 11 717 9365 E email@example.com Hours: Monday to Friday 07:00 – 17:00 for breakfast and lunch. Booking is essential.
www.planetarium.co.za East Campus, Wits University, Yale Road off Empire Road, Entrance 10, Milner Park, Braamfontein. T +27 (0) 11 717 1390 E firstname.lastname@example.org Hours: Kiddies’ show (5 – 8 years), Saturdays 10:30.
Maropeng, The Cradle of Humankind & The Sterkfontein Caves
www.maropeng.co.za. Directions: Off R563 Hekpoort Road, Sterkfontein, Gauteng. T +27 (0) 14 577 9000 E email@example.com. Hours: 09:00 – 17:00 daily. Refer to website for rates.
The Origins Centre
www.wits.ac.za/origins. West Campus, Wits University, Corner Yale Road & Enoch Sontonga Avenue, Braamfontein. T +27 (0) 11 717 4700 E firstname.lastname@example.org. Hours: Monday to Saturday 10:00 – 17:00. Closed on Sundays. Public holidays 10:00 – 17:00 (please call ahead to check opening times). Refer to website for rates. Please book online (www.webtickets.co.za).
Wits Rural Facility
T +27 (0) 15 793 7508 E email@example.com Refer to website for public rates.
Details accurate at time of publishing. Please contact facilities directly.
WITS REVIEW I OCTOBER 2017
Published on Sep 27, 2017