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RES REFUGEES

19 February 2008 · Volume 67, Number 1 · 021 650 3543 · varsitynewspaper@gmail.com

ZERENE HADDAD

UCT’S residences have had an unsettling start to the year due to the over-allocation of students for the number of available rooms. Students without accommodation are termed ‘transit students’ whilst they await vacancies. The Student Accommodation Office, commonly known as Student Housing, is responsible for the allocation of students into residences. Overallocation will be resolved when senior students opt to withdraw or are not eligible to remain in residence, thereby allowing new students to occupy these rooms. Many senior students returning to residence found that their rooms had been reallocated. Upon enquiring at Student Housing, they were told that they could not be accommodated in any of the first-tier residences and would have to make alternative living arrangements. Both senior students and freshers who are in this predicament have commented that Student Housing administrative staff has been rude and unhelpful on this sensitive issue. Secondyear student, Robyn Jacka, complained that despite having applied before the 2007 deadline and paying this year’s fees in full, Student Housing did not provide a reason as to why her name did not appear on the list. There are students from SADC countries who have received letters of acceptance into residences, but upon arrival had nowhere to stay. Residences have established temporary dormitories in the common rooms and study areas to deal with the overflow of transit students. This situation is not ideal for a prolonged period of time, as

transit students have very little privacy, no bathrooms or study areas. The transit students do not have direct contact with Student Housing. Instead, they have to rely on Sub-Wardens to relay any information. Graça Machel Residence reportedly has an estimated 30 students who they are unable to accommodate, as they have already reached their maximum capacity of 382 students. Liebe Calitz, the Sub-Warden in charge of Room Allocations at Graça Machel, said, ‘the situation is stressful, with students having their name on the list one day and off the next.’ In addition, half of the Graça House Committee (HC) do not have rooms allocated to them. They are on a waiting list, having organised and hosted their entire O-Week schedule, whilst squatting in their friends’ rooms. The Graça HC will have to disband and re-elect new members if there are no further withdrawals from the residence. The principal reason for this confusion is that the deadline for Summer Term fees is in dispute. According to UCT policy, in order to guarantee a place in residence, a student has to apply by the 2007 deadline, pay any outstanding amount on fees and be academically eligible to continue studying. Student Housing expects the fees to have been paid by 31 January 2008, whereas the Fees Office expects payment by the specified registration date for 2008 full year. If fees have not been paid by the end of January, Student Housing will have removed the student from their list. The Fees Office blames Student Housing and vice versa, whilst the Admissions

SAXXY SEllers - UCT students making hearts skip in morning traffic Office takes no responsibility. Many students embroiled in this situation do not know where they stand with UCT. Third-year student, Tina Swigelaar, said, ‘I thought Summer Term was part of the 2008 year and therefore fees were only due in February. But when I wasn’t on the list for res, I went to enquire at Student Housing and they said I had to pay my outstanding amount, which I did immediately and then they gave me back my room in Fuller.’ Siliziwe Mbulelo Ncanywa of the SRC, who holds the Resident

Coordinator Portfolio, told VARSITY that he was trying to find off-campus accommodation for the transit students. Thando Vilakazi is the SRC Representative in charge of liaising with Student Housing. When asked to comment on the situation, he replied, ‘I would have to clear any statement with a lot of people.’ When asked about his personal dealings with Student Housing, he said he found them to be ‘fantastic’. Mr Raphoto, the Director of Student Housing told VARSITY

Varsity, the official student newspaper since 1942, is committed to the principles of equality and democracy

that they had allowed for 160 transit places and at the moment only 12 students remain in transit. He added that Student Housing will assist students in finding off campus accommodation. The Wardens of UCT residences have no control over the number of students sent to them. They simply try and make the transit students as comfortable as possible. In the meantime transit students have to continue waiting in the hope that accommodation will become available.


2

news

Volume 67 Number 1

Sax’s birthday bash VALENTINE’S Day dawned bright and early for UCT’s freshers, who awoke at 4 am to the sound of Sax. Skimpily dressed to the theme of ‘Sax sells’, students sold the magazine for R20 on every street corner in Cape Town in a bid to raise R700,000 for SHAWCO. This year marks the 75th anniversary for Sax Appeal. In this edition, culture jamming was taken to extremes with Sax’s usual blend of sick humour and unsuitability for young readers. Not wishing to deviate from the strong tradition that has been in place since 1933, Editor Murray Hunter, commented that this year’s Sax was ‘like all its predecessors... nothing but sludge and gutter-smut’. There were the usual contributions from local celebrities such as Gareth Cliff, Catriona Ross, Ben Trovato and James Clarke to name a few. It is estimated that 35,000 copies were sold with the remaining magazines distributed in Pick ‘n Pay and Butler’s outlets until the end of February. RAG cannot provide a final figure yet, as it is still awaiting money from sponsors. Sax appeal is one of RAG’s biggest fundraisers of the year, generating close to 50% of RAG’s total annual income. Hot on Sax Appeal’s tail was the RAG Big Bash. It took place on Friday night at Ratanga Junction. Despite ticket sales being slow prior to the Bash, by midnight the venue was full. The performances were top notch, with Goldfish and Ready D performing simultaneously on each stage to packed dance floors and

cries of, ‘give us more!’ from the crowd. Other performances included DJ Cleo, Euphonik and Prime Circle. Changes to the layout of the venue included a smaller stage in addition to the main Castle Lager arena, providing an extra dance floor. The VIP area was under tighter control, with one access point closely guarded by bouncers. Andre Rodrigues, Vice-Chair of RAG and organiser of the Big Bash, told VARSITY that the event was a success and that he had received only positive feedback so far. Logistically, there were no problems and for the first time in a while, the queues at the entrance were not a factor. Ticket sales appeared to have been successful, but RAG does not yet have a final figure of the amount of money generated.

Eye of the Tiger - students discover their wild side with the Ikey Tiger at Big Bash (above). feel the love - Murray Hunter, SAX Appeal editor shows that actions do speak louder than words (below centre) and joins in the fun with the saxxy sellers.

Photos courtesy of Rag Media

ZERENE HADDAD

SRC member ‘academi- PENTOUR - not a picnic in the park cally excluded’ Res O-Week ends with a flop SRC member expelled for fraudulent activities Tatenda Goredema SRC’S Day Houses Coordinator, Karabo Mkhabela, has been officially declared ‘academically excluded’ from the University of Cape Town. He will be replaced by the Residences Coordinator, Silizwe Ncanywa. This is following alleged fraudulent activities that occurred during the holiday period. According to sources close to the SRC, Mkhabela legitimately obtained SRC funds by forging the necessary documents and attaining the required signatures to attend a conference during December 2007. He spent the financial grant on a rental car which he failed to return by the agreed-upon date, accruing additional charges.

‘...Mkhabela legitimately obtained SRC funds by forging the necessary documents.’ The SRC issued a statement to VARSITY stating that a Disciplinary Committee under Vice- President Internal Garreth Bloor had been established.

He was unanimously found guilty , by the SRC disciplinary committee of three charges in his absence: •Failure to acquire permission from the SRC Presidency to attend a conference as a representative of the SRC and misrepresenting the Presidency's position on the conference to the Treasurer. •Fraud owing, in that he misrepresented the nature of the conference in order to obtain funding.          •The usage of SRC funds for personal use       Because Mkhabela had left the university and resigned from the SRC, he failed to appear on the assigned date. The SRC’s Disciplinary Committee has subsequently handed over the matter to the Registrar’s Office for further investigation.  Furthermore, Mkhabela was affiliated with The South African Students’ Congress (SASCO) which has since condemned his actions in an official statement issued to VARSITY. SASCO

ZERENE HADDAD

PENTOUR is the eagerly-anticipated finale to residences’ OWeek schedule. It is a day tour of the peninsula with all firsttier and some second-tier residences taking part. Traditionally, each residence was responsible for their own alcohol and food, but UCT has tightened the rules regarding alcohol, which could not be consumed on the buses. A decision was reached that food and alcohol was to be supplied collectively at Redhill National Park, one of the designated stops along the tour route. The Students Representative Council (SRC) Karabo MKHABELA - Disgraced member responsible for Pentour former SRC Dayhouses was Residences Coordinator, Siliziwe Mbulelo Ncanywa. Coordinator Redhill was described to the House Committees (HC) as being situated between Scarborough and denounced all forms of corruption Simonstown. The problem arose in student governance and encour- when 13 buses, which were travaged the SRC to take necessary elling together, could not locate action against Mkhabela. SASCO Redhill. After searching for over stated that Mkhabela has been an hour, the buses eventually expelled from the party and fur- arrived at Redhill where the House ther deplored the use of party and Committees had to decide what to student governance structures for do, as the students had not been personal gain. fed. Siliziwe could not be reached In light of these findings, on his cell phone and eventually Mkhabela’s involvement in other two Fuller Hall HC members travuniversity societies is currently elled alone on a bus to an area that under further investigation. had signal. Once contact had been made, it was agreed upon that Royal Sechaba would bring the

food and drink to where the buses were. Upon the arrival of Royal Sechaba, an argument broke out between House Comms and Royal Sechaba staff as to how the food should be distributed. After the residences had been given their lunch packs, some of them had to return home without their alcohol or soft drinks, since the buses had only been booked until late afternoon. This also resulted in students missing out on the final stops of Pentour. Ncanywa commented that lunch was supposed to be served at 12 noon, but since Royal Sechaba had been at another lay-by within Redhill and could not be reached for a few hours, the students were only fed at 3 pm. He arrived at Redhill after 1 pm, as there had been no space on the Royal Sechaba truck and he had to get onto a bus. Ncanywa could not name a specific member of Royal Sechaba who was responsible for the food distribution. A UCT Residence Council member said, ‘I feel that UCT wanting to centralise Pentour and taking control away from House Committees played a part in it being a disappointment. The logistics of it could have been better organised. UCT should either give control back to the HC with an alcohol quota or cancel Pentour completely.’


4

Opinions

Volume 67 Number 1

Letters

SASCO condemns corruption Editorial THE South African Students’ Congress (SASCO) branch at UCT would hereby like to denounce all forms of corruption by people who serve as leaders in our society, and within student governance in particular. This comes as we have just recently been confronted with the dilemma of discovering that one of our employees in the SRC, namely Mr. Karabo Mkhabela, has fraudulently gained access to an SRC hired car and used it for personal traveling during December 2007. We realize that this matter is causing a lot of disrepute to the SRC and SASCO; hence we would like to condemn it in the highest regard. We encouraged the SRC to take very stern disciplinary action against the perpetrator, and to warn those who still aim to use political organizations and governance structures to gain access to resources for fulfillment

of their personal interests. We have, as a result, terminated Mr. Mkhabela’s membership and affiliation with our organization due to the gravity and unacceptability of this matter. We would like to unequivocally avow SASCO’s commitment to groom leadership which is free of corruption, and to effectively deal with those who bring us disrepute by virtue of being corrupt. Such tendencies must never and should never be tolerated in our societies and communities. Revolutionary regards, Tende Nicholus Makofane SASCO-UCT Chairperson

Royal Sechaba’s return OUR strange universe is filled with many mysteries which boggle the mind: Why is there still no bus shelter at North Stop? What is the MacHarry guy’s hat made out of? And of course, is that really chicken in the Rainbow Chinese food? There is, however, one mystery which dwarfs all these others combined: How the deuce did Royal Sechaba (RS) successfully renegotiate their contract with UCT for another year? I have had the tragic misfortune of having been a victim of Sechaba’s food service blasphemy for three years now. Maybe the real mystery is how I’m still alive to tell the tale. Lord knows, each year eating their cooking is like playing Russian roulette with a fully-loaded gun. Can I really afford to tempt fate with another year? I’m not sure I like my odds. I have spent the last seven years of my life living in residences and eating cafeteria food, during which time I have experienced at least five different catering companies at work. I can say with absolute certainty that RS has provided by far, the worst food and service that I have experienced, combined with a total lack of improvement. Boasting food poisoning, long strikes and a disastrously botched computer system pilot project, Sechaba’s track record over the last three years at UCT resembles the trajectory of a cannonball dropped off a cliff. Of course, the sad truth is that at there really is no mystery here. Sechaba was the lowest bidder for the 2008 contract. Gee! I wonder how they managed that with all the high-quality service they provide. Thanks UCT, for caring so much about your students that you not only completely disregarded all student feedback begging you to get rid of RS, but then handed the contract to the company willing to provide the cheapest possible food and service. Thank goodness proper nutrition is so unimportant. As Deputy Head Student of one of UCT’s largest catering residences last year, I kept a close eye on the feedback that students were leaving in our dining hall comments book. I noticed how quickly

promises for change were made and I noticed how pretty much everything stayed the same. I attended an amazing High Table dinner provided by Fedix catering service during Sechaba’s absence from duty and then saw it degenerate completely upon Sechaba’s return. Sure, Sechaba copied a few things from Fedix, but it was a half-hearted move and they did it half as well. This behavior is, of course, unsurprising. After all, how can you expect a company to make improvements if they’re already operating at their bottom line. After three years, the only nice thing I can say about Sechaba is that I’ve really come to like some of their employees. I would be sorry to see these fine people out of work, but I’ve reached a point where I actually feel embarrassed for them being associated with such a degenerate organization. At the end of the day, all problems lead to head office. Not once have I ever seen RS go out of their way to make the student experience more enjoyable as Fedix did. Clearly Sechaba’s chief concern is keeping costs as low as student morale. To anyone paying attention, you’d have a hard time imagining that RS actually had any interest in sticking around. Of course that would assume that the quality of the service provided had some bearing on the ability to retain a contract. And how about the giant whiteboard of pie charts and statistics from ‘student surveys’ that was so prominently displayed in our dining hall towards the end of 2007? According to all the information displayed, students apparently thought Sechaba was the greatest thing since Sparknotes. Too bad no one surveyed me. Not only that, but imagine my surprise upon noting that my particular residence was topping the charts in terms of student satisfaction. Damn! If my res was as good as it could get, the rest of you must have been praying for death every single day. Daniel Davids

‘How was your holiday?’ IT came as no surprise to me when a friend recently made the decision to arrive at varsity, donning a tshirt captioned: ‘My holiday was fine, thank you.’ This was his amusing way of putting to shame the dreaded ‘How was your holiday?’ question. Anyone who is vaguely aware of UCT’s social politics will know that this question is barely escapable at the beginning of term. It would seem as if no student on campus is unfamiliar with asking or being asked the question. In fact, I would go as far as to say that ‘How was your holiday?’ has become an age-old monument on campus. The truth is however, we ask the question not understanding how pointless it is. We ask it because it warms up conversation with the people we know on a greetings-only basis. After all, a true friend would already have heard about your skiing holiday in St Johan or the time you spent renovating an old digs. Understandably, you might be the type who is not bothered by the question at all. Unlike me, your blood may not simmer when the question is thrown your way. Instead, it might fall into the simple category of friendliness or consideration. Whatever your stance might be, you cannot deny a demonstration of how shifty the human race really is. It goes without saying that life expects us to spread our time thin. We pretend to enquire with a genuine interest, forgetting that ‘pretend’ and ‘genuine’ cannot fit into the same sentence. By ask-

ing the question, we compromise an element of our sincerity. How can we really mean it when we ask it umpteen times a day and perhaps further, ask it to people we do not really know? Over time, the question has also come to mean less. Spend a moment reflecting on the political topics of late: race, HIV/AIDS, crime, poverty etc. Overexposure in the media has meant that we skim over these issues, rarely giving them a moment’s thought. These issues are important to South Africans, but the more our ears hear them, the more our minds close to them. In a similar way, ‘How was your holiday?’ has become the holiday version of ‘How are you?’ It means nothing to us. By escaping the question, we would be doing ourselves a huge favour. Firstly, we would cut out a habit which does no more than sap us of our valuable energy. Secondly, we would quickly come to distinguish our true friends from our acquaintances. Finally, the question would mean more if it were asked less. This is not a perfect world however, and it could always happen that only one of the conversers has read this article. The other converser might fall straight into the ‘How was your holiday?’ trap. Should this prove to be an issue, you could always respond with: ‘I read the VARSITY Paper. You should do so too.’ Bianca Meyjes

Finally, the beginning of a new academic year. Many of you miscreants, myself included, have only just started lectures. UCT is infamous for making us pay exorbitant fees and then only giving us six months of education. So if I sound a bit rusty, consider the fact that it’s midway through February and our last edition came out in October. And while I enjoyed living the unemployed life and lolling about on the beach, I’m very glad to be back. Campus came back to life last week in a hive of activity. First years were coaxed into parting with more of their parent’s money in order to join the numerous societies at UCT. I was duly impressed by societies who persisted with recruitment despite extreme weather. Hopefully, last week’s rain and heat will not have deterred ‘ickle’ first years from signing up. Organisations such as SHAWCO and Ubunye rely heavily on volunteers, so if you find yourself twiddling your thumbs, go and make yourself useful. If you haven’t joined any societies, fie on you! Just know that getting a degree is not the be all and end all of university. To this end, VARSITY is still recruiting members. We are looking for staff writers, dtp assistants, editors and photographers. VARSITY is a Development Agency, and our mandate includes training and refining young talent. So if you join us, you can gain some marketable skills. You’ll also get to meet interesting and amenable people, albeit some with dubious personal hygiene. As the year progresses, we will no doubt be beset by many challenges. Many students have already encountered adversity in the form of a lack of accomodation. Once again, UCT bureaucrats have given us reason to sharpen our pencils; this time to report back on the overflow of so-called transit students in residence. These unlucky students find themselves in housing purgatory, and are currently being accommodated in the no-mans land of common rooms and study areas. UCT administration has also proved to be impervious to the plight of some Zimbabwean students who were unable to register for their honours programmes on time. These students have effectively been excluded, despite UCT having no financial and academic grounds on which to exclude them. Excluded students were at the mercy of the South African Embassy, which could not process their visa applications timeously. Thus, they have been excluded through no fault of their own. Nationally, the powers that be have not escaped our attention. The political and economic arenas are fraught with uncertainty. The silver lining is that at least VARSITY will have interesting events to write about. This brings to mind the ancient Chinese curse which reads ‘I hope you live in interesting times.’ Thankfully, our current situation does not yet warrant indulgence in severe bouts of Afro-pessimism or over-wrought Zimbabwean parallels. Despite power cuts, the disbandment of the Scorpions, and Zuma’s impending presidency, there still exists a healthy and irreverent media. The government is constantly held to account and subject to scrutiny. So democracy lives, regardless of liberal hysteria. Enjoy the edition Nabeelah

NEWS GATHERING next newsgathering 21 February LS2A meridian

2008 collective editor Nabeelah Martin, deputy editor Kieran Duggan, chief sub editor Philippa Levenberg sub editors Jade Cooke, Maciek Dubla, Dianne Shelton, operations manager Melissa Rassie, dtp editor Natasha Mayet, images Martin Wilson news Zerene Haddad & Tatenda Goredema, focus Seamus Duggan & Nicole Jonklass business & technology Karl Thomson, opinions Tara Leverton, features Kate Collins arts & entertainment Lara Potgieter, humour Cayle Sharrock, sports Rory Holmes & Lindi Brownell finance & advertising team Philip Voget and Kimberly Urbaniak, marketing & brand manager Lauren Haller, marketing team Nkosilathi Vuma IT manager Timothy Nchabaleng, website editor Emma Nherera, media school director Joy Waddel staff writers Julie Atmore, Gillian Benjamin, Mandy Freeman, Danielle Gordon, Laing Lourens, Megan Lyons, Kayshinee Rye Ramchurn, Tapiwa Tevera external contributers Tami Wightman, Grant Shub, Matthew Sharp

tel 021 650 3543 fax 021 650 2904 email varsitynewspaper@gmail.com location 5th Floor, Steve Biko Student Union Building, Upper Campus advertising email Phil Voget on bosvark23@yahoo.com or fax him on 021 650 2904. Rates and other information available upon request.

disclaimer

The Varsity Opinions section is a vehicle for expression on any topic by members of the University or other interested parties. The opinions within this section are not necessarily those of the Varsity Collective. The Opinions Editor reserves the right to edit or shorten letters. Letters should include the name and telephone number of the writer, and must be received by 5pm on the Wednesday before publication. They should not exceed 350 words, and will not be published under a pseudonym, or anonymously.


5

Opinions

Varsity

Face(less)book

Cannibal Salad

BIANCA MEYJES

Tara Leverton ‘IT IS Zimbabwe... It is Zimbabwe, all over again,’ uttered both non-Zuma supporters and Zimbabwean refugees stranded outside Home Affairs – the former with grim certainty, the latter with sadness and, on occasion, morbid satisfaction. When the country comes to crisis, the first thing the average, hearty South African wants to do is cast immediate and damning blame. This rule, it should be said, applies to all nations equally, with the exception of Kenya, where it seems that the first thing the average person wants to do is hack up their neighbours. Both of these seem counterproductive – not only because we spend far more time locating the source of the problem than we do actually dealing with the problem, but also because we often get it wrong. And we have a slight tendency to overreact. A word of warning to the new people; firstly, do not attempt to wear platform shoes on campus if your courses are ten buildings apart. Secondly, beware that first rush of exuberance and pride which will follow immediately after your admission to UCT. It may lead one to do some rather silly things; in one’s own case, it lead one to sign up for courses for which one had no aptitude, for which one was aware that one had no aptitude and which had

caught one’s eye only because the title of the course was shiny. When one’s mother raised these points, one was quick to dismiss them. ‘No, no, I can do it! I can do anything!’ ‘Yes, dear’, said one’s mother, sighing slightly. When one discovered as much enjoyment in such choices as in a four hour root canal, the resultant emotional swing was equally extreme.

Times are indeed rough when we are forced to resort to Dickens... ‘I will never achieve my ambitions! I will drop out and get a full-time job, fail to do so due to my lack of qualifications, sleep all day, party all night and start smoking hemp!’ ‘Yes, dear’, said one’s mother, sighing slightly. 14 years ago, we made the smoothest transition from dictatorship to democracy in the history of the world. And, once we had accomplished this… well, by God, we could do anything! ‘Yes, dear’. And now that the monster truck of democracy has gotten its wheels

stuck in a muddy patch, we are the new Zimbabwe. But we are an enterprising nation; not all is doom and gloom. Already, helpful suggestions have come forth. Sandra Botha of the Democratic Party for one, has presented the novel idea of dissolving Parliament. The idea was greeted enthusiastically by the House, but was not universally endorsed. De Lille’s ID has forwarded a vote of no confidence in the president, who, during his address earlier this month, let us know that we were in the kak by pulling out the heavy duty quotations; ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ being the flavour of the hour this year. Times are indeed rough when we are forced to resort to Dickens to bring the cheer and hope back into our lives. Zuma’s camp continues to have faith that their leader will bring ‘peace in our time’ [of crisis]. He will stick his fingers into an outlet and electricity will flow forth into the Mother City. He will ban gay marriage and all of South Africa’s moral bankruptcy will dissolve as if it is a fine mist. Archbishop Goodman Khanyase, in particular, has been unfailing in his support. ‘He’ll never be arrested… if he is, we are going to sleep with him in jail.’ One can only hope the good Archbishop remembers to shower afterwards. Welcome to the new people. Be confident. Be cautious.

Nabeelah Martin WOMEN all over the world are using their feminine wiles to get them places. The most prominent and recent example was when Hillary Clinton resorted to crocodile tears in order to win the New Hampshire vote. We all know that Hillary is as tough as nails and can be a bit of a ball breaker. However, this incident shows that not even she can resist the card that women use all too often: crying to get their way.

‘...she knows that she is perceived as a hard woman’ Personally, I believe someone must have been wafting an onion beneath Hillary to induce this saline excretion. Hillary is as wily as they come, and she knows that she is perceived as a hard woman. So in order to soften her image and invoke the sympathy vote, all she had to do was show some vulnerability. Even though, I hate this saying, I am forcibly reminded of it: ‘Frailty, thy name is woman.’ As women, we suffer workplace discrimination. Being a male

pays a premium in the workplace. There is a persistent discrepancy in the salaries of male and female manager salaries. I had to laugh ruefully when I read in a local newspaper that it is considered impolite for women to ask for raises, but ballsy for men to do the same. If a woman is a strong taskmaster, she is perceived as being domineering and unfeminine. These characteristics are revered in men, but disdained in women. Thus, women usually consult more with their underlings, even though they would like to exert more authority. Instead, women leaders quietly suggest a course of action, making other people feel like they came up with the idea all by themselves. I’m certain that Hillary’s crying bout was a great tactical move. The only people she would alienate would be her feminist supporters, but they would have to vote for her anyway. And some would argue that as a woman, crying is the one weapon in her arsenal which her opponent Barack Obama cannot access. In the end, the result worked in her favour and it’s results that count. But on principle, it was an underhanded move which reinforces the perception that women are emotionally weaker. Crying is unbecoming in a contender for the American Presidency, regardless of sex. It suggests an inability to rationally

Photo Courtesy ofinvisible-cinema.blogspot

Frailty, thy name is woman?

BALL BREAKER - No need for crocodile tears deal with problems; an inability to remain level-headed when the chips are down. So women on campus take heed. I know the temptation to use tears is strong, but please refrain. Tears may work on your hapless male tutors, but just remember you’re letting down the gender. Take it like a man! Just kidding, take it like a strong and independent woman who can handle life’s pressure without flailing and wailing about.

Career Development Programme

More haste, less wibbleing

A FEW days ago, I went through my facebook profile and deleted 200 friends. This move, which some would call drastic, was prompted by an epiphany I had. Whilst shopping at Cavendish one afternoon, I walked past a tall stranger. About four metres down the way, I looked back. We caught eyes, vaguely remembering how we knew each other and kept on walking. No greeting, no hug, no ‘how was your Christmas.’ As it turned out, he was a friend of mine on facebook. We had met at some pre-drinks somewhere. He was the boyfriend of someone, who was studying with a someone I sort of knew. Now you tell me, why had I let him be a friend of mine on facebook? A couple of months back, I started a group called ‘We aren’t even friends, so why do you want to be facebook friends?’ I obviously hadn’t stuck to my guns and over time, I had let a few randoms creep into my list of friends. No offence meant to the Cavendish chap, I’m sure he’s a nice guy. The point is, people like him had full access to my 37 photo albums, my tagged pics, my eight intimate notes and my status updates. He could browse through all of that at whim, getting to know my personal life, and walk straight past me without a greeting. The truth about all of this, is that

WHO ARE YOU? - The downside of anonymity ‘facebook’ is actually ‘facelessbook.’ We create this community of fictitious friendships, all giving each other feigned support and ‘thereness’ for each other. In actuality, it is self-indulgence at its best. ‘I will snoop through your things when it suits me, but draw back when there are problems you might be going through.’ It’s interactive, but it’s destructive. I’m not denying that facebook keeps us in contact in a world that is moving faster every day. It keeps us in touch with real friends we don’t see everyday and those we might not see for a long time. The only thing that concerns me, is how we ‘prostitute’ our sites to the people who matter so little in our lives. So next friend request, when you get the ‘How do you know each other?’, it might be most practical to say ‘We don’t.’

The Career Development Programme welcomes new and returning students to campus. Watch this space for news of our career talks (collect a hard copy from CDP reception or download

from

the

CDP

website),

mock

interview programme, career fairs, part-time work opportunities and graduate recruitment programmes. Visit our Career Information Centre in Hoerikwaggo on upper campus for a wealth of career related resources. Whatever your degree programme or faculty, CDP can assist you with career research, interview building

preparation, your

skills

CV and

development, strategies

for

negotiating the world of work. Forthcoming Faculty Based Talks Career Development for students in: Law - Wednesday, 5 March, Kramer LT3 Science - Tuesday, 11 March, Zoology LT2 Humanities - Wednesday, 12 March, LS2B Commerce - Tuesday, 4 March, LS2B Engineering and the Built Environment Thursday, 6 March, Chemical Engineering Seminar Room in the New Chemical Engineering building. All talks are from 13h00 to 14h00.

UCT CAREER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME Hoerikwaggo, Upper Campus tel: 021 650 2497 email: cdp-careers@uct.ac.za www.careers.uct.ac.za


6

Opinions

Volume 67 Number 1

Premature Parliament panic A LOT has been said about the new president of the ANC, and the potential president of South Africa come 2009. Jacob Zuma is a man who has courted criticism and controversy since 2005, when his relationship with his convicted, former financial adviser, Shabir Schaik, was questionably deemed ‘generally corrupt’ and evidence of Schaik making payments to Zuma for political favours was unearthed. Zuma was also accused and acquitted of rape charges. Who could forget the infamous testimony he gave on the stand at the rape trial, where he said that he took a shower immediately after having intercourse with the plantiff, who was also HIV positive. It is a statement that inspires the Zapiro depictions of Zuma in every cartoon he draws of the ANC President. Perhaps there is evidence against Mr Zuma in terms of his illicit financial activities, and at the very least, some of his conduct is questionable. However, the media seems to have taken a judge-andjury stance with regards to Zuma. It appears that papers like the Sunday Times have decided that the judicial system in South Africa

is not good enough to do the job prescribed by the constitution. Certain sects of the media have presented a bias against Mr Zuma through their irresponsible reporting, which serves to make Zuma out to be a convicted criminal,

...the issue of the amalgamation of the Scorpions should not be as controversial as it is turning out to be. when in fact he has yet to be tried by a court of law. The mandate of the media, if memory serves, is to inform the public of current events, rather than present a case for the prosecution and subsequently influence public opinion. When it comes to Zuma, the media seems to have shirked its role of impartial observer and rather decided that Zuma must

be guilty. This is fascinating, seeing that the NPA has so far been unable to prosecute Zuma on the alleged corruption charges. To add to all of this, there is the current rumbling about the impending disbanding of the Scorpions unit, which has been the focus of criticism for the past few weeks. Let’s reflect on the duty and general task of the Scorpions: This is a unit created to run under the direction of the NPA in order to snuff out organised crime. The government has decided to amalgamate the Scorpions into the SAPS. Their duties will still be adhered to, however they will be under both a new leadership (not the NPA), and a new name. Neither the government, nor the ANC have stated that it will stop the investigation and prosecution of organised crime, however certain media sects and opposition political parties are up in arms over the proposed amalgamation. Perhaps they do not understand the constitution, or are just trying to create a stir by linking the disbanding of the Scorpions to the case against Zuma, which will proceed regardless of the amalgamation. The Scorpions are not

Legal ladies of the night Julie Atmore reviews the implications of prostitution legalisation for 2010

COME HITHER - You know you want to highly doubt that if such a bill is passed, emancipated prostitutes will line the streets, proudly waving banners. Prostitutes will still be ostracized and abused by their communities, regardless of their legal status.

...legitimising prostitution for the sake of soccer entertainment... sounds cheap and sleazy. Yes, prostitution is a prominent concern in South Africa, and one that we should not ignore. Many sex workers have turned to the sex industry out of desperation. Do we show them and the rest of the world that we value South

THE FUTURE KING - is Jacob Zuma a scapegoat? the only unit within South Africa assigned to investigating organised crime. Therefore, the issue of the amalgamation of the Scorpions should not be as controversial as it is turning out to be. The only real fear that South Africans can have with the Scorpions issue, is the threat of party politics transcending into national politics.

Africans by encouraging them to sell themselves like curios to the highest-bidding tourist? Vivienne Lalu, a Programme Coordinator at Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT), believes that such a course is not the answer, but that it should be decriminalised. ‘Only a small section of the industry would comply if the legalisation route were taken, while if laws making it a criminal offence were repealed, sex workers would benefit,’ she said. Decriminalising prostitution seems a more appropriate route to ensure the protection of these individuals and the integrity of our government. One hopes that if the government chooses to go ahead with this proposal, they will consult the opinions of the prostitutes themselves – some of whom might not want to be illuminated in the lamp light.

The public should be concerned when a party becomes powerful enough to dictate government policy on issues of serious consequence to the country’s reputation – as was the case in the Soviet Union and still is the case in China.

I vow to thee, my country...

Tara Leverton Photos courtesy of truthdig.com

2010 is two years away. Never mind the small, technical glitches of building soccer stadiums, members of parliament are working on ways to ‘entertain’ the hoards of tourists in between matches. Restaurants, shopping malls, theatre shows, and curio stalls will stand proudly South African, and beside them, will be legalised prostitutes. That is, if ANC MP, George Lekgetho, gets his way. According to Lekgetho, legalising prostitution is one way to ensure a successful soccer tournament. ‘We hear of many rapes because people don’t have access to them [women],’ he said; disregarding Cape Town’s own sizable male sex industry. Lekgetho also added that it will generate taxes from those currently working in the sex industry and benefit the unemployed. I believe in the freedom of choice as much as the next person, but legitimising prostitution for the sake of ‘alterative’ soccer entertainment and tax benefits sounds cheap and sleazy. One can almost see the scene play out as a tour guide informs the visitors of what they can do for Friday night fun: ‘Why not try the lady on Main Street – she’s legal, and proceeds go to the government.’ The national Arts and Culture Department has begun discussing the legalisation of sex workers, but ANC MP, Christopher Galolo, believes the matter should be ‘thrown into a public debate’. Does such an issue deserve precedence over others of greater urgency, such as transport, accommodation and power shortages? A common train of thought is that this directive will liberate sex workers by removing social stigmas. Excuse my negativity, but I

Photo courtesy of bbc.co.uk

Tatenda Goredema comments on the hangman media

THE notion of South Africa’s bright, bonny, switch-knife wielding schoolchildren standing in line to recite a Pledge of Allegiance does seem to run in a disturbingly Stalinist sort of vein. Perhaps this was the reason Thabo Mbeki’s State of the Nation Address was greeted with a lacklustre response; too many members of Parliament were wondering what would be next. Conscription? Government-approved textbooks? God forbid, a return to the days of knee-high socks? This is not to say that the governmental school system is not enough of a fascist machine in its own right; with the prescriptive hairstyles and the archaic and restrictive dress codes that force students to wear the clothes of a gender with which they may not feel comfortable identifying. Or perhaps the gathered members of Parliament were envisioning the days that lay ahead for the already-overburdened educators of this country. Having everyone remember to recite each verse of the National Anthem with equal articulation was difficult enough (even adults find it a challenge). Memorising a tuneless Pledge that doesn’t even rhyme, avowing to serve and protect the values of the Constitution? Oh, dear. And to think we wanted to attract people into the teaching profession. It came as something of a relief to note that the Pledge does not mention ‘loyalty to the state’ or ‘honouring our glorious leader’, but is instead short, plain, and to the point. It stresses ‘recognising the injustices of the past’, ‘honouring those who suffered’ and ‘standing up for justice.’ In all respects, it is so unashamedly noble that one wouldn’t be surprised to see it printed on the

inside pages of a Justice League comic. Mail and Guardian columnist, Lev David, makes the point that our Constitution does, in fact, protect the right of free speech of those who do ‘not recognise the injustices of the past.’ Thus, it would appear that the Pledge which vows protection of our Constitution lies distinctly at odds with it in certain respects. He also queries where, exactly, Education Minister Naledi Pandor found time to arrange it. Streamlining and prioritising, most likely; putting to one side matters of secondary importance, such as ensuring that classrooms have enough chairs and reducing the ridiculously high rate of inschool violence.

...it is so unashamedly noble one would not be surprised to see it printed on the inside pages of a Justice League comic Pandor herself has stated that the motivation behind the Pledge is to ensure that the youth ‘come to have an appreciation of the struggle that was centred on certain principles of humanity.’ Perhaps it has not occurred to the Minister that there are even better ways of ensuring that children are made aware of their own history, and the legacy into which they have been born. For example, supplying them with adequate history books and ensuring that their teachers are competent in the language they are supposedly teaching in.


Zim exclusions fiasco NICOLE JONKlASS VARSITY has learnt that some Zimbabwean students have been excluded from continuing their studies at UCT. This is allegedly due to not being able to obtain their South African study permits in time to register for the 2008 academic year. According to ZimSoc President, Itai Patsi, this was due to the failure of the South African embassy to issue the students with study permits before the allocated deadline. At least two of these students were studying towards their honours degree in Social Work. According to a classmate of these students, who wishes to remain anonymous, the two Zimbabwean students arrived late at UCT as they were still waiting for their study permits in Zimbabwe. The student adds that lectures are compulsory in the UCT Social Development Department. She says that because the Zimbabwean students were unable to attend some of the lectures, they were told that they could no longer attend classes as they would not receive DP. When representatives from the department came to speak to the honours class, they ‘acted as though they wanted to give us a platform to debate’, but they ‘were just coming in to dictate to us their decision,’ says the student. The class responded by writing a letter and signing a petition in support of the students continuing with their studies at UCT. Students also offered to photocopy handouts if the department was not willing to do so. They suggested ways that they could help the Zimbabwean students in catching up on the work they had

7

FOCUS

Varsity missed. According to the classmate, the department was not willing to support this plan. They went on to recite general rules and policies, some of which, the classmate says, ‘did not even matter at that time’. Patsi feels that there is ‘an inconsistency’ in the way Zimbabwean students are being treated in terms of financial and other exclusions. She says that Zimbabwean students ‘are on one hand benefiting from the financial leeway awarded [through the concession (see below)], whilst on the other hand, being disadvantaged for reasons which are beyond their control.’ According to the classmate, the students in the honours class are dissatisfied about the Zimbabwean students’ exclusion. ‘Some of us were discussing the need to conduct an external audit of the department so that we can be given a platform to raise our concerns.’ SOME RELIEF FOR ZIMBABWEAN STUDENTS The possibility of not being allowed to register because of failing to make the initial tuition payment, is another challenge facing even more Zimbabwean students intending to return to UCT. The country’s continuing economic crisis meant that many Zimbabwean students found themselves struggling to acquire the money needed to make their first tuition payment. To assist students in this situation, the SRC and UCT’s Department of Student Affairs, with the approval of the Finance Department, developed a concession plan. This would see a reduction in the initial tuition and accom-

modation fees that Zimbabwean students have to pay. Zimbabwean students with no outstanding fees from 2007 are allowed to pay a minimum of R5,000 towards their first tuition payment and either R 4,000 or R6,000 for their first residence payment. This depends on whether they stay in a catering or selfcatering residence. According to SRC treasurer, Yusuf Mowlana, ‘those applying for the concession will be allowed to register late without incurring late registration penalties and will have until 30 June [2008] to pay the balance.’ The concession plan would benefit only those Zimbabwean students who have sufficient funds to make the first payment, but have not yet been converted into Rands. To qualify for the concession, students have to provide ‘a letter from their bank saying that they have applied for appropriate foreign exchange to cover [the] balance of [their] fees and that they have the funds available.’ In addition, Zimbabwean students are not able to apply for financial aid from UCT. According to Ms Tasneem Salasa from the UCT Financial Aid office, ‘due to the high demand for funding, the university and the government’s National Student Financial Aid Scheme, are unable to fund international students.’

Vox pops On a slightly lighter note, VARSITY wondered if UCT has been living up to expectations.

‘In terms of race in South Africa, I didn’t expect too many whites, like I’m seeing here. I expected something like, maybe, 70% blacks and 30 % whites... I think people from poor backgrounds wouldn’t fit in well here.’ Tokelo Kosana, BSc (Eng) Chemical, 4th Year

‘I expected it to just be, you know, lectures, do your work, study, whatever, but in the end it turned out to be this hectic social, partying - a lot of fun. I love UCT.’ Sharon Haufmann, BComm (Accounts), 2nd Year

VARSITY was unable to contact the Department of Social Development for comment before going to print. We, however, encourage the Department and/ or UCT Management to respond to this article.

‘Well basically, I was at UNISA last year and I just expected it to be a whole lot better [than UNISA] and it is. It’s living up to that. It’s like everything and more.’ Gareth Owen, BSocSci, 1st Year

Finances vs academics Nicole Jonklass talks to the SRC treasurer about financial exclusion WHILE many students worried about the long registrationqueues last week, some returning students found themselves wondering whether or not they would even be allowed to register. For these students, there is a distinct possibility of being financially or academically excluded. Those affected by academic exclusion are students who failed to achieve the necessary results to pass the 2007 financial year. Some of these students received a SUPP code on their 2007 academic transcript and thus, may be readmitted to UCT. This is provided that they passed a supplementary exam written during the Summer school term. All academically excluded students were allowed to appeal their exclusions before the Readmission and Review Committees (RRC), a committee on which the SRC and student councils from each faculty have a seat. Speaking on behalf of the SRC, Treasurer, Yusuf Mowlana, says that an important goal for the SRC is to work towards limiting the number of exclusions through the RRC process as well as to ‘strengthen academic support to students’. He called it a ‘proactive preventative approach rather than a cure’. UCT excludes returning students if part of their tuition for the previous year is still outstanding, or if they have failed to make the initial tuition payment of R11,500 before the due date (8 February 2008), in which case they would not be allowed to register. This

upfront payment stands in contrast to many other South African universities including Wits, whose upfront payment stands at

financial exclusions ‘have the effect of denying education to those who could benefit from it the most R5,000. Students excluded for financial reasons may be prevented from registering, even if they have achieved the necessary academic results to continue with their studies. This is synonymous with the university’s ‘no tolerance policy’ with regards to student debt, a policy which has allowed UCT’s debt to be lower than that of many other South African universities. This is seemingly at the expense of some students’ academic career at the university. According to Mowlana, the SRC takes ‘a grim view on the exclusion of academically eligible students on financial grounds’. He adds that financial exclusions go against the SRC’s principle ‘to ensure that an education at public higher education institutions is accessible to all South Africans’. Mowlana adds that financial exclusions in most cases ‘have

the effect of denying education to those who could benefit from it the most’ and ‘hampers the transformation objectives’ of UCT. Students wishing to avoid financial exclusion do have some possible solutions available to them. UCT offers financial aid to South African students upon successful application through the Financial Aid Department. According to Ms Tasneem Salasa of the Financial Aid department, UCT makes ‘over R100 million available in funding, providing financial aid bursaries and loans and university scholarships.’ Figures for 2008 were not available yet, but last year 2,008 students received financial aid, 1,323 students received scholarships and 543 students received other designated funding. Students already receiving financial aid, but nonetheless having outstanding fees from the previous academic year, are allowed by UCT to appeal for their debt to be cleared. This is ‘within certain limits’ provided that they are ‘in good academic standing’, explains Mowlana. He adds that the 2006/2007 SRC also established a ‘Bailout Fund’ to assist students ‘on the verge of financial exclusions who have no other recourse such as getting a sponsor or obtaining a bank loan.’ Although the Fund cannot yet support all students in need, he says that it ‘would at least make a difference to those it would be able to assist.’

‘I was expecting people here to be friendlier. Unfortunately, they’re not. Walking around here, looking for venues, looking lost [in first year]– no one cares. You actually have to go to someone and ask ‘where’s what?’ Thapelo Sello, BSc Chemical, 3rd Year

(Eng)

‘I guess, besides finding all the classes that are weirdly located, yeah, it’s everything I expected it to be.’ Remy Krumpale, SSA Sociology, 3rd Year

‘My undergrad was at a different university – Pretoria – so, I find it [UCT] much more relaxing and I find the lecturers much more approachable and this campus is much nicer than Pretoria.’ Corli Coetsee, PhD (Botany), Post-grad

Photos by Martin Wilson


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Features

Up The Creek music fest

Volume 67 Number 1

I WAS sprawled out on the croc – the inflatable boat kind, not the slit-eyed, scaly kind with long, tapering teeth. The Breede River bobbed up and down around me as people danced in its raw umbercoloured water. On the jetty, an acoustic band played to the crowd – some standing in the water, others on paddle skies, lilos, inflatable couches, pink tubes and one even in a traditional wooden canoe that looked like it belonged in the Pocahontas movie.   

‘God! I don’t think she’s breathing. Tami! Tami!’ We were at the Up The Creek music festival, which after a twoyear hiatus, due to lack of sponsorship, was finally up ‘n rocking again. Situated at the Felix Unite, Up The Creek river camp, and overlooking the Breede River, it was a welcome change to the usual smoky, enclosed clubs where rockers normally play.   Having only reached the Breede after 8:30 pm on Friday, we forewent putting up a tent, with plans to do so in the morning. But when the hangover arrived on Saturday, such plans gave way to a day spent asleep in the Felix river guides’ croc on the river. The resultant sunburn was only modestly better than the agony of assembling a tent at night.   Having filled up our whisky flasks, we headed down to the dance floor, where over 1000 people were gathered. On the first night we caught Flat Stanley, Wonderboom, The Parlotones and Foto na Dans, followed by DJ Gary, who I was to learn is in fact my great cousin, or cousin once removed… or some relation that involves the same blood. By the time the DJ started spinning – a ‘Black Betty’ here and a ‘Nellie the Elephant’ (*cringe*) there – the dance floor was slightly quieter. Of course this didn’t stop

us from stomping our bare feet on the muddy ground until the early hours of the morning. After spending 9 am to 5 pm in closed shoes at work, there’s nothing like running your bare feet over the gravel beneath them. Running them over freshly cut grass is even more gratifying, but there was none to speak of, only dry veld.  Hangover Morning started with my friend – how I love ‘em – throwing water onto my face and shouting at me to wake up. After they had dragged me down to the river, where most of the other festival-goers were relaxing under trees and in the water, I managed to feign perkiness. I jumped onto my longboard and paddled down the river to a quiet place.   ‘Tami! Tami! God! I don’t think she’s breathing. Tami! Tami!’ Next thing I knew, my peaceful lizard-like slumber in the hot country sun was being disrupted by paranoid family and friends who thought I’d been washed up onto the bank, lifeless. When I came around they pulled me back on my board to the other side of the river, with all the crazies and their kids, and my water-throwing friends. Hangovers are the worst accessory at weekend rock festivals, but once I’d shaken it off, everything started looking a lot rosier. The venue was remarkable, even with the hordes of people. They all seemed to be like-minded folk, there to enjoy the countryside, whether naked, with water wings, in last night’s clothes or a tight Speedo (which was in dire need of the river guide’s lifesaving services).   One wishes water and electricity weren’t such an explosive combination because once you’re in the water, it’s difficult to pry yourself out. So we missed out on a few bands again. I pulled my longboard and oar back onto the riverbank after taking it (and a blonde boy of about ten that had attached himself to me) out. By the time I had done so, I was already dry and hot and wanting to jump back into the water. Alas, the band Perez was a-calling, as we heard their alternative, rock

Photos courtesy of www.upthecreek.co.za/vibe.htm

Tamlin Wightman parties upstream

PLENTY OF SMILES - Live bands entertaining the partying masses and blues tunes bouncing off the mountain on the opposite side of the river.   With Red Bull wings, I was soon bouncing along to the next

‘With Red Bull wings, I was soon bouncing along’ set of bands, long into the morning. Nights at rock festivals seem to always be dense, intertwining Picasso collages, combining reality and abstraction in obscure ways. In a good way, though. The fun is always in trying to unwrap it the next day and fit everything

into place.  One aspect of the collage would include the milkiest Milky Way you ever looked up at. Another would be splotches of neon pinks, blues and purples amidst a dusty haze of smoke. And one more would be grey silhouettes backstroking in blackness.   After a midnight swim in the Breede, we moved around the boma where the bar was situated, delving into deep, philosophical, ‘everything-is-just-energy’ conversations with band members, and sang bad renditions of Bob Marley songs with Swellendam locals.  When Taxi Violence came on stage, we were front row, centre, amid fireworks of neon-orange sparks omitted from an angle grinder. The owner of the power tool stood, cat stance, in a mix

between a rodeo outfit and drag. The band lived up to the fireworks, and even left my friend with a neck injury from excessive head-banging.  In between the bands that played – 18 of the country’s best – were three shows from Corne and Twakkie and their ‘Most Amazing Show’. Not normally a fan of their abusive running down of audience members or their lewd sexual jokes, I actually cracked a few laughs as I lay back on the dusty ground beneath me. Perhaps it was the serenity of the setting, the lightheartedness of being on a mini-holiday in the country, where my time was my time. Or maybe it was from polishing off the rest of the whisky.

‘Thabo Mbeki: The Dream Deferred’ Seamus Duggan    OVER the past few years, Thabo Mbeki has towered over South African and African politics. He has dominated the media in many regards, whether for something he said (HIV/Aids), or an occasion on which his actions have been perceived as inadequate (Zimbabwe). Perhaps these ‘shortcomings’ of his presidential reign would not have been so severe, had he taken the time to explain himself to the people when such controversies arose. The enigmatic figure has rarely done this, leaving the door ajar for somebody else to step in.   Mark Gevisser, author of the biography, ‘Thabo Mbeki: The Dream Deferred’, took on the burden of trying to understand Mbeki’s thought processes and has made a brilliant attempt at communicating this to the world. The biography is an objective and historical account of South Africa’s second democraticallyelected president. It goes back in

time and traces Mbeki’s footsteps right from when he was a child growing up in Mbewuleni. The book proceeds through his formative years at Lovedale College, into his days in exile in England, the former Soviet Union and Lusaka, and eventually moves into his presidency.

‘what happens to the dream deferred?...does it explode?’ The book takes its title from a poem by Langston Hughes, with good reason. The question of the deferred dream covered in the poem is one that has also formed the premise on which much of Mbeki’s decision-making is based, and recurs very much as an idée fixe. Gevisser writes that in Mbeki’s

case, the deferred dream is a peaceful, racially harmonious and developed South Africa, and his greatest fear is captured in the final line of Hughes’ poem, when he asks ‘does it explode?’ This final sentiment sheds light on why Mbeki has fought so hard to hold on to power in the recent years of political uncertainty.  Using hundreds of hours of interviews with people ranging from Mbeki’s old school friends to Mbeki himself, Mark Gevisser highlights this precise point and many others in his book. Some of the other more alluring subjects that arise are the reasons behind the relationship of distrust between Mbeki and Umkhonto we Sizwe, the transformation of Mbeki from a charming young man to a closed figure dogged by paranoia, the excruciating tragedies Mbeki has suffered - losing both his son and brother, yet still choosing to put the ANC first - and finally, the sense of ‘disconnection’ from his culture, which led to his push for

mbeki power - the president controls all he surveys an African renaissance. The biography is not presented in a manner that is either proMbeki or anti-Mbeki. Instead, it can be viewed as a collection of

facts and opinions from people that have been involved in the life of Mbeki in one way or another. For any South African politics student, this book is a must read. 


Varsity

9

FEATURES

Of sweat and cloves: a Zanzibar afternoon IT WAS my family’s last day on Zanzibar’s main island of Unguja. Galleons of grey cloud hung heavy in the East African sky. Stone Town smelled sweet. Its pungent nose of sweat and cloves was a reminiscent bouquet of the Zanzibar’s thousand-year trade of slaves and spice. The afternoon was hot. We picked our way through the waterfront stalls of the unkempt Forodhani Gardens, catching from the air rhythms from a nearby pan-African music concert. Our bellies were full and our throats dry – the sudden thirst brought on by the sight of the many sugar cane vendors crushing juice. The sweet sap ran into cool buckets of ice and lime. With all of its refined restaurants, the best place for eating in Stone Town, or in the whole of Zanzibar for that matter, is the open-air street food market on the waterfront. The garden marketplace was busy that balmy afternoon. Bottle caps clinked in the palms of the cashew-selling youths while the curio-Masai shouted over their endless mats of beads and carvings. Pots of spiced tea and Turkish coffee boiled on open fires. Dhows criss-crossed in the warm ocean below. I gathered a few shillings, and in an attempt to quench my thirst, ambled through the stalls in search of local treats. Whilst observing the seemingly ceaseless grind of cane juice machines, I noticed a few feathery spits of rain descend from the bulging clouds overhead.

Without warning, the clouds erupted – bursting like Jackfruit. The mass of nimbo-cumulus was an exploding cache of watery weaponry. The descending bullets of precipitation sent the townsfolk in a hysterical scramble for shelter. Like bees to a hive, the people of the market swarmed to seek shelter under its largest tree. Merchants sped to rescue their batiks and wooden trinkets. The Giant Fig provided my family with refuge from the rain. We huddled anxiously under its thick bare branches. Its rough bark embossed our backs. As men covered their cooking coals and bundled their bangles into plastic bags, they came. More and more people followed. Proud Masai mingled with us tourists; the pickpockets from Shangani Street, fisherman and tea-sellers. In the torrential downpour we huddled, pressed excitedly to the protecting circumference of the tree. The wind swirled amongst the trees and smoky fires. Just as I thought it couldn’t rain any harder, the sky exploded, flooding the sticky city. An overpriced red blanket – our newly-purchased, traditional Shika – was promptly whipped from its curio-boutique carrier bag and its wrapping torn away. It quickly unravelled itself from its precise folds and was perched atop our heads. Shivering strangers watched enviously as my family sheltered from the monsoon. It was not long, however, before the soaking strangers began to find their way under our blanketed tent.

Photo courtesy www.galenfrysinger.com

David Britts tells his tales of Zanzibar

ISLAND BLISS - A dhow glides across the Zanzibarian horizon Basic Travel Information: How to get there: South African Airways flies direct from Johannesburg to Stone Town on Tuesdays and Sundays. Air Tanzania flies from Johannesburg to Dar es Salaam with a connecting flight from Dar to Stone Town on a daily basis. Daily ferries run between Dar and Stone Town. The rain had created an eerie mist above the harbour. Ships were lost in the haze as the splashing sea engulfed their rusty hulls. Their open decks caught the rainwater,

Plaza bazaar O-Week was a vibey affair, says Erin Bates NOT every day do you see a boat, a splash pool and a climbing wall on Jammie Plaza. Then again, OWeek isn’t an everyday event. This year O-Week ran from Monday 11 – Wednesday 13 February, with stalls pitched around Jammie Hall and along University Avenue. During this time, UCT clubs and societies recruited as many members as possible. Some societies, like RAG, have no membership fee, while others charge up to R600. In some cases, this includes a society

‘not every day do you see a boat, a splash pool and a climbing wall on Jammie Plaza ‘ t-shirt or bag. ABSA, FNB, Nedbank and Standard Banks competed with UCT societies for student attention. The corporate stalls were glitzier and their trinkets more alluring, than most student society offerings. Nedbank’s stall featured Xboxes, chairs and a drinks dispenser. Students who agreed to open Dezign accounts received a ‘free’ bag and USB wristband. They stand in line to win a trip to Bali. Many societies played music to attract students. Members of

the Angosoc received a free CD upon joining the society. UCT has a number of national societies, among them ROCSA (Republic of China Students Association), Angosoc and Namsoc. Other societies used computers to their advantage. Elvis Onya, a member Nigeriasoc, addressed fourth-year Law student, Neema Rwebanira, through a PowerPoint presentation on the society’s events. ‘We are planning to host at least two seminars this year. We will also be celebrating Independence Day and hosting a fashion show,’ said Onya. According to Akhona Bashe, from Nedbank, music and computers aren’t deciding factors when it comes to a stall’s success. Success heavily depends on location. ‘We found the response better [last year]. We were down on University Avenue where the masses with no direction are,’ she said. Bashe also commented on the weather, ‘Monday was an awful day but Wednesday was the other extreme.’ The Zion Christian Union Fellowship closed their stall early on account of Monday’s drizzle. The response on proceeding days was nevertheless positive. ‘We’re still establishing ourselves, but we’re feeling happy [with the response] considering that we’re small,’ remarked Sello Phetla. The Fellowship’s biggest event is their upcoming Easter Gathering. This is surprising considering all the church societies were tucked into a secluded corner on the outskirts

of Jammie. RAG is UCT’s only student development society. Events like SAX Appeal and RAG’s Big Bash make this their busiest time of year. Kemeshen Moodley has been involved in RAG for the past two years. He was one of the RAG members manning the stall on Wednesday morning. ‘Sign-up has been crazy’, he said. ‘We’ve had huge numbers with SAX Appeal.’ Along University Avenue stood stalls representing every-

‘O-Week offers clubs a chance to promote themselves and recruit new students ‘ thing from History and Current Affairs to the Underwater Club. UCT’s range of student societies is exhaustive. It includes political organisations, academic bodies, religious and cultural groups. OWeek offers clubs a chance to promote themselves and recruit new students. The remaining academic year will hopefully see UCT’s societies hosting interesting and exciting events for (paying) members.

Single budget travellers can scrape by on $20 a day. Midrange travellers can expect to pay $30-$60 per day, depending on location and accommodation. Travellers’ cheques and cash are accepted at hotels and Bureau de Changes. US Dollars and Euros are the preferred travelling currency. Information courtesy of www. getaway.co.za dhows acted as fresh water reservoirs amid a salty ocean. Youths of shimmering skin – a clear cocktail of sweat and rainwater – dived playfully from the harbour’s con-

crete jetties. Swan dives, bomb drops and other highfalutin acrobatics impressed friends hiding under tables and bits of roof. The sopping bodies wriggled under our red tent; more and more smiling street people. Some crouched whilst the taller ones acted as tent poles. Others carefully guided the steady streams of water through our blanket’s delicate fabric gutters. Further still, the throng of sneaking smiles squeezed until our family-of-four tent was at its friendliest capacity. The large lobes of the Masai traders hung like ripe fruit. As suddenly as it came, it left us. The same trade-winds that once sailed Zanzibar’s Sultans to Oman swiftly brushed the thunderous sky aside, exiled to the Indian Ocean. Doused fires steamed as their attendees crept from beneath their tables. Puddles became pools in the muddy streets. Fish-sellers were stranded on the pavement. Smiling gestures of gratitude ‘Asanteni!’ ‘Karibuni!’ ‘Thank you!’ ‘You’re welcome!’ echoed through our soggy red tent. As each one said their goodbyes, the poles were dismantled and the pegs pulled out. The wet canvas was carefully folded and returned to its upmarket packaging. Our new friends departed. Thinking back, it is nearly impossible to number all of those sodden strangers. Pondering such things, I am left puzzled. But that is perhaps the rhetoric of this strange land. Statistically speaking, I quite prefer the term, ‘smiles to strangers’.

Beware the Bulge MANDY FREEMAN I HAVE only a few words of warning - first-year spread. There’s no doubt that you will see it and experience it first hand. I assure you that the extra kilos students pack on in their first year, spill over into second and third year. It is through my experience as a First Year that I can now write home about the factors that can obliterate first-year spread and make it the myth it should be.   In an article on Health24, Dr I V van Heerden, reveals an interesting study that was conducted in 2006 among male students at UCT. The results reveal that about one fifth of male students are overweight. This highlights the fact that first-year spread no longer affects female students only. Van Heerden says that South African students who already have a tendency to put on weight, are more likely to do so in their first year of tertiary education.   Every first-year student experiences the thrill of freedom when arriving at university. You are ready to begin an exciting new chapter of your life that offers you freedom and independence. Thanks to that newfound freedom, I am still trying to rid myself of the bulge that has accumulated throughout my undergrad career.  Suddenly there is no one looking over your shoulder and monitoring what and how much food you consume. For me, that person is Mom. She wasn’t there to remind me to eat my veggies every night or frown as I reached for a piece of toast with marmalade after supper. Yes, it’s a delicious substitute for pudding, but the keyword here is moderation. As a res student, you

get a daily quota of bread, but you really don’t need to ensure that you eat every last slice.   My enemy of res life was the damn vending machine that would tempt me at any hour of the day or night – great for midnight munchies, terrible for the waistline. It was the devil of my conscience and made me feel guilty when I neglected to make a trip down for a packet of chips.  Sadly, this heightened sense of freedom is the catalyst that begins the first-year spread. Following freedom, is ‘free flowing’ alcohol. The first few weeks of varsity mean plenty of exposure to alcohol. Even after the parties of O-Week have become a drunken blur, you will still find yourself arriving at lectures hung-over. Why? Simply because you can.   Exercise, or rather the lack thereof, is the fundamental reason for weight gain. Suddenly your social life is consumed by one big party after another, leaving you exhausted, hung-over and definitely lacking any energy to go for that daily jog. The work load will eventually take its toll on you, and will become yet another excuse for not exercising. There is a solution - walk. Avoid that late night binge on the vending machine, walk to upper campus (or at least home at the end of the day), limit your drunken weekends and don’t attempt to eat all eight slices of toast at every meal. If you don’t, then you will probably become a disgruntled Third Year like me, who appeals to every First Year to beware of the bulge and avoid the first, second and third-year spread.


arts

Top international bands headed for SA Lindi Brownell MyCokeFest is the one event in Cape Town that rivals international music festivals. After the undeniable success of last year’s festivals in Cape Town and Johannesburg, rock fans throughout the country are eagerly awaiting a repeat performance. This year’s festival promises to be even bigger and better than ever, with an impressive range of bands from hard and heavy Korn to mesmerizing Muse to the ever-popular 30 Seconds to Mars. Seeing as Golden Circle tickets are hot property, here is a little something about the performing bands to inspire VARSITY readers to hurry to Computicket… Punk rockers Good Charlotte have an endless array of chart-topping hits under their belt, including popular tracks such as ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous,’ ‘The Anthem,’ and ‘Predictable’. The band has sold over nine million copies of their 2007 album, Good Morning Revival, making them an exciting addition to the line up. Better known for fronting the bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, Chris Cornell is coming to our shores as a solo artist. Although we are sure to hear tracks off his latest album, Carry On, we will hold thumbs for a rendition of ‘Black Hole Sun’. Formed in 2003 and named after our very own soccer club, Kaiser Chiefs have shot to fame worldwide. Their latest album, Yours Truly, Angry Mob was named one of the top five albums of 2007 by Rolling Stone Magazine. These talented lads from Leeds are sure to lighten up the stage in March with the hits, ‘Ruby’ and ‘Everything is Average Nowadays’. Since their first album debuted

in 1994, legendary hard rockers, Korn, have reached platinum status 16 times. Korn is widely known by many for tracks such as ‘Freak on a Leash’ and ‘Here to Stay’. According to Big Concerts polls, Korn is one of the most anticipated bands to perform at this year’s MyCokeFest. Muse is well known for their flawlessly energetic live performances, making their inclusion in this year’s MyCokeFest even more exciting. This British electronic rock outfit has clinched nine Best Live Act awards and has gone platinum nine times worldwide. Muse is guaranteed to impress once again when they hit the stage in Cape Town on 24 March. This year’s much-anticipated addition to the line up is 30 Seconds To Mars. Started by Jared Leto and his brother Shannon, it has taken this talented LA-based band nearly ten years to hit the big time. With an output of regular epic hits including, ‘A Beautiful Lie,’ ‘From Yesterday’ and ‘The Kill,’ 30 Seconds To Mars are on a roll. Our very own rock sensation, Prime Circle, will be joining the ranks at the festivals. After earning the title of South Africa’s biggest selling rock act for three years in a row, Prime Circle definitely won’t be out of place among the international artists. Look forward to performances of ‘As Long As I Am Here’ and ‘Hello Hello’. With musicians like these and many more hitting the stage, MyCokeFest 2008 is bound to bring with it some ear-splitting, head-banging, downright rocking performances that cater for every kind of fan…so make sure you’re at the Kenilworth Race Course on 24 March!

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entertainment

Volume 67 Number 1

HEATH LEGEND Julie Atmore pays tribute to the actor who melted many women’s (and men’s) hearts. ON 22 January the world was shocked by the news of Heath Ledger’s death. He was only 28. Ledger’s body was found face down on his bed in his Manhattan apartment. Near the bed lay at least six different types of prescription drugs, mostly for anxiety and depression. Four weeks later, the media hype has started to fade. Heath has been laid to rest in Australia. Michelle Williams, his former fiancé and mother of his daughter, Matilda, has returned to the United States. The real tragedy is that this dynamic young actor left the screen too soon. He had only begun showing Hollywood his remarkable acting talent – talent that stretched beyond teen flicks and soap operas. Movie magic: 1. Most of us first remember Heath as the rough and sexy high school outcast, who sang a goofy rendition of ‘I love you, baby’, in the 1999 film, 10 Things I Hate About You. This was his big Hollywood break, but definitely not his first acting attempt. He had a brief part in the Australian soap opera, Home and Away, before starring in low-budget films such as, Blackrock (1997) and Sweat (1996) – it’s okay if you’ve never heard of them. 2. Ledger received plenty of attention in 2004 when he starred in Brokeback Mountain, or more commonly known as, ‘That Gay Cowboy Movie’. In the film he had to kiss his real-life best friend, Jake Gyllenhaal.

photo courtesy respectance.com

10

Troubled? - Sadness destroyed the young actor’s life Death controversies: 1. It was originally thought that Ledger had committed suicide by overdosing on prescription pills. An autopsy ruled out suicide, stating his death resulted from an accidental overdose and a mixing of prescription drugs. 2. Some critics believe that Ledger’s use of method acting (where an actor literally transforms into the character to make his acting realistic) may have been so intense that it lead him to a nervous breakdown. Ledger had just finished filming the sequel to ‘Batman Begins’, titled, ‘The Dark Knight’, in which Ledger played the infamous Joker. Michael Caine, who plays the Wayne family butler, Alfred, says Ledger’s interpretation is ‘one of the scariest performances I’ve ever seen’.

Random facts: 1. He was born Heath Andrew Ledger on 4 April, 1979, at the Subiaco Hospital in Perth, Western Australia. 2. He never intended to be an actor. In high school he had to choose between drama and cooking. Thinking he was terrible in the kitchen, he chose acting and discovered he was quite good at it. 3. He dated both Heather Graham and Naomi Watts before dating Williams. 4. He was chosen by Empire Magazine in 2007 as one of the 100 Sexiest Movie Stars in the world (#79).

Beatles rock to galactic heights  Megan Lyons

Highly anticipated - 30 Seconds to Mars and Muse are on the line up for this year’s upcoming Coke fest

THE SKY is definitely not the limit for the former band, the Beatles, as their hit song, ‘Across the Universe’, was broadcasted across the galaxy, 2.5 quadrillion miles away. This took place on 4 February, and was the first-ever beaming of a radio song by NASA all the way to Polaris, the North Star. NASA loaded an MP3 of the song, just under four minutes in length, and transmitted it via a massive antenna in Madrid, Spain. The event was definitely a cause for celebration as it commemorated the 40th anniversary of the day The Beatles recorded the song, as well as the 50th anniversary of NASA and the launch of the first US satellite. ‘Across The Universe Day’ has been declared by Beatles’ fans to be on 4 February. As part of the celebration, the global public was invited to participate in the event by simultaneously playing the song as NASA transmitted it into space. Despite the song travelling at the speed of light, (approximately 186,000 miles per second), it will take 431 light years to reach its final starry destination. The inspiration for such a task initially came from Martin Lewis, a Los Angeles-based Beatles historian. Once he had acquired the permission of Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, the two remaining Beatles members as well as two other companies that own the rights to The Beatles’ music, Lewis proceeded to make

the galactic transmission of their song, a reality. This is not the first time, however, that NASA has used The Beatles’ music. In November 2005, McCartney performed the song, ‘Good Day Sunshine’, during a concert that was transmitted to the International Space Station. ‘Here Comes the Sun’, ‘Ticket to

Ride,’ and ‘A Hard Day’s Night’, are among other Beatles’ songs that have been played to astronaut crews dancing in orbit. As a final word before the song’s lift off, Paul McCartney told to NASA, ‘Send my love to the aliens.’


Varsity

arts

&entertainment

11

UCT band hits Ramfest 2008 Isidingo star dies Yossarian is the unusual and enigmatic name of one of UCT’s up and coming bands. On hearing that they have been selected to perform at Ramfest 2008, VARSITY decided to send Matthew Sharp to find out more about the new talent… THERE’S nothing quite like dirty, bluesy rock ‘n roll to clear the troubled head. Like tossing a halfjack of Red Heart rum on a struggling forest fire. And there’s none better to turn to than Yossarian. It’s not my first gig. When I arrive, parched and haggard, there are certain tell-tale signs that I’ve made it. In one corner Nick, immediately recognisable in a snug pair of indecent leather pants, straddles his bass guitar. Opposite him is Guitarist, Ryan, beard pointing skywards, in the feverish clutches of some Jimmy Page fantasy. There is a collective gasp from the audience as singer-cum-giant, Yusif, takes to the arena, fetching the microphone from down at his ankles. And then he will launch into one of his politically-charged sermons to a driving beat arising from somewhere in the smoky haze behind him. There are two valid reasons for keeping Yossarian’s drummer, Jaekan, at bay, preferably behind the curtain. Firstly, he’s more God than man, and his straight waist-

What’s on

19 Feb: SACM Staff Concert @ Baxter Concert Hall SACM’s first concert of the year is presented by Peter Klatzow and features SACM staff.

Dirty, Bluesy Rock ‘n Roll - Ryan Sweke and Nic Davies of Yossarian length hair causes the girls to behave badly. Secondly, for the safety of the rest of the band. Jaekan is reputed to have entered into mortal combat with a horse that threw him off. In his defense, ‘the horse was being a c*nt’. But fear of your fellow man is somewhat of a theme of the band; their name coming from the paranoid main character in the famous novel, Catch 22. Fear and lust and weirdness are minced together with their rock/epic-funk sound, which has already well-slavered the local alternative music scene. But every great beast was once

22 Feb: The Dirty Skirts & Johnny Neon @ The Assembly

26 Feb: Albert Frost & Myburgh @ Armchair Theatre Albert Frost, who was voted SA’s best blues guitarist, plays with acclaimed SA acoustic artist Myburgh Grobelaar of ‘Dorp’.

19 – 23 Feb: Swazi @ The Intimate Theatre A quirky tale of life in the kingdom of Swaziland directed by Rob van Vuuren.

26 Feb: Joe Cocker @ Kirstenbosch Grammy Award-winning rock legend Joe Cocker in SA.

19 Feb – 2 March: Swan Lake on Ice @ Artscape A dazzling and elegant production from the world’s leading theatrical ice- skating company, The Imperial Ice Stars.

23 & 24 Feb: Celine Dion @ Vergelegen Wine Estate The world class diva will be visiting SA as part of her world tour.

19 – 27 Feb: Far Away Places @ Baxter Theatre A photographic exhibition featuring scenes from around the world by SA photo journalists Clifford and Maryke Roberts.

Catch indie rock sensation The Dirty Skirts and live electro act Johnny Neon at this awesome new venue.

21 Feb: The Restless Natives @ Armchair Theatre A hot, young mother city jazz quintet. 22 Feb: Stereozen, Southpaw and Blaq Pearl @ Mercury A collaboration of three great SA bands.

22 Feb: “Mixed Brew” - a twist of Marley @ Fogeys Mixed Brew will be playing a tribute to Bob Marley. 23 Feb: Ivan, Bruno, AK47 (Killer Robot) & Seake @ The Assembly Experience the future of dance in the from of minimal Tech. 23 Feb: 7th Son & LP Show @ Armchair Theatre CT reggae/ ska band 7th Son will be performing with the dynamic experimental punk band, LP Show. 24 Feb: Arno Carstens @ Kirstenbosch The biggest selling singer/ songwriter in the South African English rock genre will be delight-

‘deeply shocked’ by the tragedy. The cast were very fond of Callie and many of them expressed sincere regret at her passing. Jack Devnerain, the actor who plays Rajesh Kumar, said the tragedy ‘is such a hard thing to have to bear’. The 32-year old Joburg-born actress, who is best known for her role in Isidingo, won an award for Best Actress in a Soapie in 2006. SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago says that her onscreen presence will be sorely missed. Callie will also be remembered as an astute businesswoman who was a partner in a restaurant called the La Vista Social Club in Melville. As condolences pour in, viewers will still be able to watch Callie’s onscreen character, as soapie storylines are shot four weeks in advance. Her absence will leave a gaping hole in the storyline, as her character formed an integral part of the soap.

Cassette captivates Cape Town

ing fans at his performance as part of the Kirstenbosch Summer Concert series. 24 Feb – 10 March: ‘New York is now Music Visual’ Exhibition @ Michaelis Gallery An exhibition that explores the challenges facing art in today’s culture.

19 Feb: Nibs van der Spuy and Piers Faccini @ Armchair Theatre Nibs van der Spuy, a diverse giutarist who can combine African, rock, baroque, classical, Celtic, folk, groove and western swing music, will be performing with French indie/folk/psychedelic singer/songwriter Piers Faccini.

19 Feb – 1 March: Nunsensations @ Theatre on the Bay One of the shows of the sidesplitting ‘nunsense’ musical series, which has been presented in more than 8000 productions worldwide and translated into more that 20 languages. The world’s favourite nuns are now launching their new show after convincing the Reverend Mother that what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

a small calf suckling on pert, pink teats. Yossarian had its beginnings within the padded walls of one of Cape Town’s illustrious mental institutions. And it was there, amidst folded straight-jackets and restraining rope, tenderly nudged by the likes of Danzig and Queens of the Stone Age, that Yossarian took its first steps. Now, watch the band mark their territory on the mainstage at Ramfest 2008. Or flip through their cute photo album and follow news on the Yossarian facebook group.

FANS nationwide have been shocked by the death of one of their favourite Isidingo stars, Ashleigh Callie. Callie, who plays Lee Haines in the popular soap opera, died in a Johannesburg hospital last Friday. The tragic event occurred as a result of head injuries which she sustained in a headon collision the preceding week. Alone in a Smart Car, Callie had seemingly little chance of survival after her crash with a Renault. She was, however, reported to be in a stable condition after undergoing brain surgery last week and the news of her death came as somewhat of a shock to many. Steven Raymond, coordinating producer of the soap opera, stated that they were confident that she would pull through. The Isidingo cast, who are being assisted by trauma counsellors, are struggling severely with the loss. According to Executive Producer Pumla Hopa, they are all

27 Feb: Howard Roark and Guests @ Assembly Catch the launch of SA band Howard Roark’s music video. 29 Feb: Ramfest @ Nekkies Resort, Worcester One of the Cape’s ultimate rock festivals. 1 – 22 March: Kanna Hy Kom Huistoe @ The Little Theatre Adam Small’s Kanna Hy Ko Huistoe, directed by Sandra Temmingh, is the UCT drama department’s first production of the year. 1 March: Joe Barber 4 the People @ Baxter Theatre Characters Boeta Joe and Boeta Gramat, CT’s most famous barbers, are up to their tricks again with vintage jokes and amusing anecdotes. 1 March: Fuzigish & Allstar Funk Four @ Armchair Theatre ‘Skanking machine’ Fuzigish and punk/funk/rock/hip-hop band Allstar funk four join for a night of diverse fun.

Joburg rock sensation Cassette thrilled audiences at local Cape Town venues last week. Megan Lyons was lucky enough to catch up with the touring boys I WAS waiting in the foyer of the Roadside Lodge when the barefoot and scruffy-haired Andrew Wessels, drummer for the band sensation, Cassette, entered. A smiling Nathan Waywell, the bass guitarist, arrived shortly after, and I was greeted by both with a firm hug. I was pleasantly surprised by their warm welcome, and all the more grateful that I could catch them there and then. Even after stints including the opening for Pink and Rocking the Daises, Cassette is already preparing for their next international tour in Holland, with the multiplatinum, German band, BlØf in November. VARSITY: The name Cassette is a cool title for the band, how did it come about? Andrew and Nathan: Well, besides the other option of Stone Cold Jane Austin, [giggles] it’s the only one that sounded relatively cool! It does however have the strong connotations of music in the world of both old and new. This is because the audiocassette was a major development in the early stages of sound recording, which does have a certain influence on music style. V: Cassette performs extraordinarily well as a live band with exceptional clarity. What, may I ask, is the key secret to getting focused, yet amped for a performance, and do you get nervous? A & N: I think it comes down to the age-old saying of practice makes perfect because we are well rehearsed and somewhat perfectionistic (if that’s a word)

about our songs down to the last note. Original and genuine song creation is viewed as a mission and goal of Cassette and places certain challenges upon the members, allowing our creative space to grow. As for the nerves – they are still there, alive and kicking. As musicians who have been playing for many years, the initial nerves will never go away, but are now used as motivation. V: What are your favourite songs and where would you place your most memorable performance? A & N: Hmmm, we enjoy playing a song called ‘Argentina Smile’. The song is played to a technical tee, and assumes the role of a powerful and refreshing piece of music, which always seems to land everyone on a good and cheerful note. (No pun intended, cough cough). The most memorable performance however, would have to be the Trin Festival concert in Sylvania in a huge sports stadium. Seeing the sheer magnitude of people to whom one can perform left a pleasant mark in our memories. (Nathan adds, ‘It’s the kind of thing one can describe as having that warm, fuzzy feeling inside’) V: Your fan base and success seems to be increasing rapidly. Where do you see yourselves in the future? A & N: To be honest, one can never guarantee where one will end up because the music world, unfortunately, is a very fickle industry. We do, however, hold our hopes high to keep on going as long as possible, creating new and different music along the way. As long as we have your support in South Africa, I’m sure we can easily work our way up the musical chain.


Varsity

business

13

&technology

SA growth prospects

HD-DVD is dead

THE South African economy is entering a tenuous phase: Flailing investor confidence, relatively high inflation and soaring interest rates all have an impact on future growth prospects. Investor confidence has been affected by both political and infrastructural pressures. International investors are twittering due to JZ’s election as ANC president. Zuma has ridden on the back of COSATU, SACP and ANCYL in his campaign to become the next president. These organisations have all professed the desire for greater fiscal spending, as opposed to the restraint exercised by Trevor Manuel. In addition, these organisations have called for interest rates to be lowered. Eskom has failed to allay the fears of jittery investors. Currently, inflation is at a high of 8.6%, well over the Reserve Bank’s 6% target. This is due to the inflationary pressures of food prices and oil. Oil prices have reached staggering levels, and petrol prices have been duly affected. The demand for bio-fuels has increased the price of food. The Reserve Bank’s customary way of dealing with inflation is to hike the interest rate. Many small to medium businesses have been hit hard by soaring interest rates, and find that they cannot repay loans. The problem is that while the interest rate may dampen con-

IN A format war, akin to that of VHS and Betamax in the eighties, it appears that blu-ray has triumphed over the technologicallybackward and somewhat pointless HD-DVD. Where this format war differs, is that the superior format actually won this time. From the beginning of both formats, it was always predicted that HD-DVD would be on the back foot: It wasn’t built into the Xbox 360 and it did not have the storage capacity of its rival. Bluray was built into the Playstation 3 and people bought it because it was more versatile and sometimes cheaper than the standalone bluray players. Blu-ray gained an install base by default, whereas HD-DVD had no such option. Subsequently, it had no install base to operate from, other than the standalone players that were sold. Furthermore, the only way HD-DVD could be exposed to the mass market, was to get studios to sign contracts stating they would exclusively support HD-DVD or both formats. Games sold by Sony are all on blu-ray discs, and they could sell their movies on blu-ray too, as people had the player built into the PS3. Microsoft sold games on normal DVDs and released the HD-DVD player as a separate player which consumers would have to buy in order to make use of their console as a movie-view-

Nabeelah Martin looks at the future of our economy sumer demand, it has absolutely no relevance in influencing oil prices, and inflation could rise. This makes for quite a counterintuitive scenario. However, the oil price has hit its peak, and will hopefully decline as the year progresses. There are also predictions that inflation will eventually be reigned in.

Currently, inflation is at a high of 8.6%, well over the Reserve Bank’s 6% target. The interest rate has also impacted on consumer demand, and South African consumers are beginning to cut back. Thus the retail sector has been hit by the double whammy of decreased consumer demand and Eskom’s rolling blackouts. This has serious implications for economic growth, as consumer demand makes up about 60% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Eskom’s failures have also led to decreased production, particularly in the mining sector. While decreased mining production increases the scarcity and thereby the price of minerals, it also deters investment. Investors have production targets, which cannot be met during power cuts. Rio Tinto has delayed a R21 billion investment in the Coega steel plant until Eskom gets its act together. Rio will wait until new power plants have been constructed before they invest, and who knows how long that will take. The economy is also being affected by a global downturn. In particular, the US sub-prime crisis is predicted to have a spillover effect, as US demand for global goods decreases. However, the booming demand of China and India is expected to compensate for this decline. Many analysts have predicted a global recession. Hopefully the effects of this on the SA economy will be kept to a minimum. All in all, we are in for a tumultuous year. I hate to be a naysayer, since predictions in the economic world tend to be selffulfilling prophecies. Hopefully, South Africa can ride the storm despite political uncertainty, power outages and global recession.

Karl Thomson crowns Blu-ray king

ing device. Everyone thought HD-DVD stood a chance of becoming the industry format, until Warner Brothers Studios decided to drop the use of HD-DVD and exclusively support Blu-ray. Before that announcement, HD-DVD had 48% of the hardware-market share. Since then, it now only has 7%. Only one major studio still releases movies exclusively on HD-DVD, which is Paramount. However, they are more than likely to crumble to market forces and go blu-ray. Ultimately, this has been a ridiculous format war in an age where money and energy should be devoted to releasing movies for digital download and remove the necessity for physical formats all together. Digital distribution also helps the environment and makes Greenpeace happy.


14 Personals ATTRACTIVE male seeks twins for the good things in life. Must be able to distinguish sleeping pills from Tic Tacs. Contact Heath 086-7-218. BABY BIRD. Fed up with watersports? Constrained by traditional dominant - submissive roles? Try a more nurturing role: feed me like a baby pelican! Both sexes welcome. I supply the raw herring, you bring the big strap-on beak. No weirdos. Call 0845222234. DISINHERITED heiress seeks rich man for occasional companionship. Knowledge of filming and web publishing preferable. Has own night-vision lens. Call Paris 001-902-1045. CHRISTIAN white male seeks devout woman to attend church, help at local soup kitchen, and participate in some light bondage and S&M. Call Dwayne 0764916661. WHITE trash/pop diva seeks patient, forgiving partner to adopt two screaming kids, serial rehabbing mom and bad hair. Call Britney 001-555-6742. MINIMALIST seeks woman. UP-AND-COMING, attractive, middle-aged black man seeks white biatches to take 10’’ of presidential directive. Call Barrack 0800-WHOS-YOUR-DADDY.

Classifieds Lost: Credibility. Somewhere in Ghana, around the middle of Feb. If found call Carlos Alberto on 084 833 7443. To swap: Offering a 1983 Datsun Maxima (rusty blue), DVD box set of Celine Dion (LIVE) in Missouri and a set of Golf Clubs (9 iron missing) for a 6GW power plant. Coal, nuclear, or hamster. Email: jacob.maroga@eskom. co.za.

HUMOUR

Volume 67 Number 1

An engineer’s guide to SEX X.P. Wintergreen I’LL be the first to admit that an engineer may not be the right person to present a HOWTO guide on getting the totem pole greased. Let’s be honest. You can always spot the engineer in the audience of The 40-year old Virgin because he’s the only guy yelling ‘Go, Playa!’. Nevertheless, as you know (or will shortly), engineers are really smart. Therefore, as a member of this profession, I shoulder the burden of having to impart my wisdom to those less intellectually gifted; even if the closest I’ve ever been to pussy was stroking Mrs. Gumble’s tabby. And she won’t even let me do that again -- turns out the cat’s allergic. My confidence in writing this column stems from the belief that great coaches need not be great players, like Jake White. The brightest amongst you may point out that Carlos Alberto Pariah is proving that crappy players can make equally crappy coaches, but for the moment, let’s stick with the Jake White theory. Let me assume that what you want is not a guide to sex, but one of sexual conquest. If straight-up, plain, get-yourpanties-off sex is all you’re after, then the answer is simple. Take 300 bucks, go to 145 Seashell Close, 189 Main Rd Seapoint, and ask for Maria. Give the money to the large fellow with one eye, and Maria will take it from there. Welcome to the world of men. Albeit, sleazy, pathetic, probably disease-ridden men. Unfortunately, getting a woman

- in transit -

For sale: Cabinet. 10yrs old, but hardly ever used. Generally useless to owner. Any reasonable offers entertained. Contact ThaboMbeki556422@yahoo.com. For sale: Set of textbooks entitled: The Pen is Mightier. Previous owner thought it was a masculinity aid. Call Paul 0827729571. AUTO Repair Service. Free pickup and delivery. Try us once, you’ll never go anywhere again. Bennie 0216869911.

The VARSITY Humour page is a vehicle for expression. The views expressed in the Humour section are not necessarily those of the advertisers or staff of VARSITY newspaper, or the University of Cape Town. Electricity is on everyone’s lips at the moment. Unfortunately for you, that burning sensation is Herpes, you slutty skank. Eskom promised quick action as part of a ‘high-level contingency plan’ to alleviate the, well, you know. Apparently, advertising for help was one of Eskom’s ‘quick fixes’ (see the Classifieds). As far as we know, the golf clubs are still up for grabs.

to sleep with you outside of short term financial considerations is tough. Most men assume that this is because women aren’t as horny as we are. But we know from watching Sex and the City that this just isn’t true, and TV never lies. The truth is that while men are fairly indiscriminate when it comes to the horizontal mambo, women only want to have sex with the best possible male. If this sounds hideously un-PC, blame evolution. For 99.99% of humanity’s existence, sex for a woman meant getting pregnant. This is a huge gamble. Annoyingly, the Rondebosch Woolworth’s didn’t open until well after the Stone Ages, so eating for two was a bit of a doozy. Even assuming a preggie could scrounge up enough grass and bugs to reach the third trimester, there was a significant chance that either the little tyke or the mom wouldn’t make it through the birthing process. To go through all this shit, women needed to make damn sure the genetic material they were getting was worth all the trouble. They needed to find ways of interviewing men ahead of coital consummation. So they invented dating. And marriage. Damn you, evolution! Fortunately, prehistoric males weren’t going to take this standing up, so they evolved counter-strategies for all these unnecessary delays to getting laid (I’ll refer to them as foreplay). This boiled down to demonstrating their strength and genetic worthiness by slaughtering the biggest mammoth and making a lot of noise. This behaviour remains today through

Would you have this man’s babies? - This is the reason girls aren’t so much into the casual sex. machoistic displays of beer-downing and making a lot of noise. The lesson to be learnt here is that women make far better evolutionary strategists than men do. Now modern contraception may have made all this foreplay unnecessary, but reversing two million years of programmed behaviour is like trying to slow down a runaway oil-tanker by blowing on it. This goes some way to explain how someone like

Schalk Burger has no problem showing women the mirror on his his bedroom ceiling. For the rest of us, we have a choice: Either wait out the next 150,000 years until biological equilibrium returns, or play the foreplay games until you convince someone you’re worth risking being split in two for three minutes of mildly pleasurable fumbling. For many engineers, this is po-TA-toh, po-TAH-toh.

BY cAYLE SHARROCK


Bye-bye Polly Hero 1995 - 2008 mANDY FREEMAN CRICKET fans across the country were left with bittersweet emotion at Shaun Pollock’s recent retirement from international cricket. Pollock did us proud after he hit the winning run for South Africa in the final ODI against the West Indies on 3 February, clinching a five-game victory over the visiting team. He walked off the field to applause, cheers and tears. During the course of the fivegame ODIs, Pollock fans crowded the fields carrying colourful slogans in support of their cricketing hero. Pollock’s fans will fondly remember him as the Ginger Ninja and the Polly-nator. Some fanatical fans went as far as requesting ‘Pollock for President’. Throughout his 12-year career, Pollock played an overwhelming 108 test matches and 303 ODIs. Pollock’s match statistics have been phenomenal and he never fails to please his supporters, either as batsman or bowler. His career began in November 1995 when he took his first test-match wicket, Graham Thorpe. In the 108 test matches that Pollock played, he took a total of

420 wickets and scored 3,476 runs, including two centuries. Pollock has always been a valued ODI player and took 92 wickets including one century in 303 ODIs. Over the 12 years, Pollock has played in four World Cups. His greatest cricketing achievement must be his number one ranking as a bowler, in both ODIs and test matches. He also captained the team to victory in the 1998 Commonwealth Games. Although Pollock’s career has been somewhat turbulent with selection and captaincy controversy, he has inspired many budding young cricketers and provided entertainment on the field as part of the Proteas. Some might argue that his retirement came prematurely, but South African supporters will remember this sporting hero while he can enjoy qualitytime with his family, which he so rightly deserves. Pollock’s ginger hair, fair skin and big smile will be missed on the field, but his legacy, skill and camaraderie will live on in our hearts. eND OF AN ERA - Polly calls it a day

‘AFCON gone’ Lindi Brownell THIS year’s Africa Cup of Nations had soccer fans waiting in anticipation for a glimpse of Bafana Bafana at their best. After the hype surrounding the appointment of Carlos Alberto Parreira, together with the promises of a considerable improvement in the squad, the 1-1 draw against Senegal left a bitter taste in the mouths of many South Africans. Bafana Bafana’s recent history has been a disappointment to say the very least. Since winning the Africa Cup of Nations in 1996, our country’s national soccer team has done little more than make it past the first round of the competition or not qualify at all, as in the case of the most recent World Cup. Carlos Alberto Parreira came to South Africa at the beginning of last year and was confronted with the challenge of a lacklustre team. A year later, another competition has been lost and South Africans are wondering what to expect from The Boys in 2010. Supporters have heard a lot of talk about squad building since Parreira’s arrival. He takes pride in developing young talent and with

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an average age of only 24, Bafana Bafana is indeed a young side. The obvious lack of experience that comes with youth puts Bafana Bafana in a different league to that of teams such as Ivory Coast and Egypt. Parreira remains positive and stated, ‘I think we are making gradual progress. To have man-

Bafana Bafana’s recent history has been a disappointment to say the very least. aged to qualify and go and play alongside giants at the Africa Cup of Nations was on its own, a major achievement. It hasn’t been easy, but we’ve given a lot of players experience they never had and they came back better players.’ What came as the biggest surprise to all was the exclusion of South Africa’s top goal scorer, 30year-old Benni McCarthy. A sure bet to be a part of the team after

fLYING HIGH - Bafana Bafana fail to reach the same heights

Parreira once described him as the ‘messiah,’ fans were concerned when the inexperienced players began to reign supreme. Although McCarthy is known to be quite a conceited and pigheaded player, he is arguably the best striker to have graced Bafana Bafana’s pitch in many years. He was however, left out of this year’s Africa Cup of Nations squad in favour of 32year-old, Sibusiso Zuma. Parreira has yet to fully explain the reason as to why he chose Zuma as opposed to the sensationalised McCarthy, but one can certainly speculate. Despite his fame and fortune, McCarthy did not commit himself to the team to the degree that Zuma did. A loss against Tunisia and a draw against Angola and Senegal does not say much about what South Africans can expect from Bafana Bafana in 2010. What must be kept in mind is that in two years time, this team will have gained a considerable amount of experience. It is time for the country to leave the challenge of building a young team into trophy winners to Parreira. If he believes in the potential of this team, why shouldn’t we?

Losing the plot RORY HOLMES THE see-saw of South African sport is once again in full motion. The Proteas, who left for their tour of Bangladesh on Wednesday, were once again sidelined in the media as yet another transformation and race row grabbed the headlines. The dispute between National Coach, Mickey Arthur, and Cricket South Africa (CSA) President, Norman Arendse, has been particularly vicious. The spat first surfaced when Arendse vetoed Mickey Arthur’s squad to tour Bangledesh on racial grounds, before spiraling into a mud-slinging match, as accusations of power playing and racial discrimination flew back and forth. Arthur and Arendse have now filed separate charges against one another with the CSA General Council, alleging abusive behavior following Arthur’s dismissal, and then re-instatement to the selector’s panel. CSA states that six players of colour should be included in any squad, though the one vetoed by Arendse included only four. This prompted him to call for an out-ofform Hershelle Gibbs and Charl Langeveldt to play in place of Neil Mckenzie and Andre Nel, in order to increase that mark to the target level. This is yet another saga in an on-going interference in sport, though in this case Arendse may have had a point, albeit for the wrong reasons. Gibbs has been in dismal form as of late and playing against one of the weakest testplaying nations will allow him

to regain some confidence and form. Nel and Dale Steyn, on the other hand, have been carrying niggling injuries from the West Indies home tour and a case could have been made for either, if not both, of them to be rested.

‘The fact that this debate has centered on the colour of the players involved... is sad indeed. ‘ A better choice than Langeveldt, however, would have been Monde Zondeki, a player who has been in great form in the domestic SuperSport series and who possibly should have been included in the original squad. This would have allowed a player, who has been plagued by injuries since his first appearances for South Africa, to make an impact on the coach and selectors, whilst also allowing stalwarts of the team to rest in preparation for the tough upcoming series against Australia. The fact that this debate has centered on the colour of the players involved rather than the cricketing merits of the propositions, is sad indeed. It has highlighted the fact that the same interference cited in rugby is rampant in cricket too. Let’s hope our cricketers can do what the Boks did and push past it.

The African effect Africa’s stars return to the English topflight Nicholas Duminy MANAGERS rejoiced last week as the African contingent returned from Ghana to resume their excellent form in the English Premier League. Manchester United, Manchester City and Aston Villa were amongst the only teams in the League that did not lose players to the Africa Cup of Nations. Much to the dismay of many managers, 37 African players were shipped off to the Africa Cup of Nations midway through the English season. As a result, many managers dipped into their savings during the January transfer period in order to compensate for their losses. A record £150 million was spent on players during the transfer period, which added up to more than the Italian, Spanish, German and French leagues combined. Chelsea topped the biggest spenders list, spending over £27 million on Nicolas Anelka (formally from Bolton), Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic and Argentine under-20 forward, Franco di Santo. This came as no surprise, as the Blues lost four key players to the Africa Cup of Nations, including Michael Essien, Salomon Kalou, John Obi Mikel and last year’s top goal-scorer, Didier Drogba. Over the past couple of years, African players have successfully integrated themselves into what is arguably, the top league in the world. More and more teams are becoming dependent on these players. There are a total of 11 African players in the first team squads of the top four sides in England. Strangely enough however, Manchester United has yet to field an African player this season.

Photo courtesy of www.wldcup.com

Varsity

Arsenal’s success this season can be largely attributed to their Togolese front man, Emmanuel Adebayor, who has managed to hit the back of the net a total of 19 times in the league this season. Arsenal’s manager, Arsène Wenger, believes that Adebayor will play an integral role in the remainder of their season. The Premier League has turned into a three-horse race, as Liverpool has had another disappointing showing so far this season. Arsenal is currently in first place with 63 points, followed closely by Manchester United on 58 points and Chelsea on 55 points. Although Chelsea has gone relatively unnoticed for the majority of the season, a late surge from the Blues may secure top honours for the third time in four years. It seems more likely that the team that drops the least amount of points during the top three clashes will be crowned the 2007/2008 English Premier League champions.


DEFENDING THE (SUPER 14) CROWN JEWELS GRANT SHUB IN SPORT it’s a well-known phenomenon that defending a trophy is a great deal harder than winning it first time out. The Bulls - the first-ever South African Super 14 champions - created history along with the vanquished Sharks with another first - an all-South African final. After years of smashing defeats, tours from hell and inferiority complexes, the South African sides finally bucked the trend – albeit with 22 All Black players rested for more than half of the competition. And when South African fans thought the 2007 rugby season couldn’t get any better - it did. The Boks won the William Webb Ellis for the second time, leaving Australian and Kiwi noses seriously out of joint and on the warpath for revenge. But with a new year, comes new challenges. Bakkies Botha sums it up succinctly, ‘2007 is history now. No-one here is resting on past achievements, especially not me,’ he recently revealed to SA Sports Illustrated.

After the jubilance of 2007; 2008 looms large as the year for South African teams to prove it wasn’t a one-season wonder. And that task has been made that much more challenging with the mass exodus of Bok players north. The likes of Bok skipper John Smit, Percy Montgomery and

After the jubilance of 2007; 2008 looms large as the year for South African teams to prove it wasn’t a one-season wonder. Victor Matfield are just a selectfew familiar faces missing. But in their absence new stars are set to emerge. Stormers coach Rassie Erasmus noted: ‘It’s something we have to live with. The positive is that youngsters will come through and get opportunities and experience at the highest level.’

In the coaching department the Bulls have a new mentor in ex Cats coach Frans Ludeke, whilst the innovative former Cheetahs boss Rassie Erasmus now calls the Cape his home. His former deputy, Naka Drotske is now at the helm of the Cheetahs. Having ended first and second on the log, the Sharks and Bulls are again favoured to carry the torch for South African sides. They enjoy the most player-depth in the country, with the bulk having made up the Bok World Cup winning side. The Stormers by contrast, who featured only two players in the Bok side, should improve on their dismal tenth-place finish last season. The arrival of quality prop Brian Mujati and the return of prodigal son, Gcobani Bobo should strengthen their resolve. Unfortunately the Cheetahs and Lions, once known as the Cats collectively, look set to struggle with injuries, inexperience and player exodus already threatening to derail their campaigns. It makes one wonder if a fifth SA franchise was necessitated. While the 2008 Super 14 is sure to serve up many challenges for the South African sides;

Photo courtesy of www.amatomu.com

2008 SET TO BE A WHOLE NEW BALL GAME

victor matfield - One of the few familiar faces missing in action for the first time ever we go in with a defending champion, and a renewed optimism. Who knows maybe new Bok coach Peter de

Villiers is spot on when predicting three SA sides in the play-offs. Here’s hoping.

Rory holmes VARSITY Rugby is about to change forever, thanks to a new initiative implemented by ’95 World Cup-winning Captain, Francois Pienaar. It is in the form of a new competition aimed primarily at Varsities around the country, setting them against each other every week in a new Varsity Cup. The format is based on the extremely popular College Monday Night Football in the US and aims to bridge the gap between amateur and professional leagues in South African rugby. The competition consists of 8 university teams includ-

ing Stellenbosch and UCT, now coached by former Bok, Robbie Fleck, and former UCT student John Dobson. It has been endorsed by both SARU and SASSU. Games

Students had best get used to setting Monday nights aside will be played every Monday night, some of which will be televised nationally allowing for a greater promotion of the tournament and of players participating

in the games. The tournament, backed by long-time UCT sponsors FNB, Canterbury, and Steinhoff, will allow for players straight from school and not ready for the professional arena, to hone their skills in a professionally-run competition. This will offer exposure to players from all around the country and help to instill a professional attitude towards rugby in both future players and universities. UCT will play two home games. The first of the competition saw UCT face up against NWUPukke, last year’s top varsity, last night in front of an enthusiastic crowd. At time of going to press

Photo courtesy of www.uct.ac.za

Monday night lights COMPETITION HEATS UP - Varsity Cup set to showcase new talent results were unavailable. UCT will play TUKS next Monday on 25 February on the Green Mile in what should be an exciting match as it pits two of the biggest universities in the country against one another. TUKS will be favoured to win, though our own IKEY

Tigers will be keen to upset the odds and should come out firing. Students had best get used to setting Monday nights aside, as this competition promises to be one of the most exciting things to grace rugby since the original version of the Super 14.


Edition 1: 2008