VC intervenes in SRC Elections page 3
VARSITY collective report card page 14
SA Paralympics victory page 16
23 September 2008 · Volume 67, Number 11 · 021 650 3543 · firstname.lastname@example.org
UCT mourns the loss of students Staff Writer THE UCT community has been plagued by tragedy in the past month. Three students have died since 1 September 2008 in a spate of accidents. Terrence Davis, an American exchange student was washed off the rocks at Harkerville, between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay on 1 September. He was visiting the area with other American exchange students during the midterm vacation. 20-year-old Davis was a semester-abroad student at UCT from the University of Georgetown in Washington D.C. The University issued a statement informing students of the accident and that UCT had ‘arranged trauma counseling for the four students as well as for the other students and staff who knew him and are traumatised by this incident.’ A few days later, on 5 September 2008, Tebogo ‘Cobra’ Ngakane committed suicide. He was a Business Science student at UCT. Tende Makofane, Chairperson of SASCO UCT, told VARSITY that Ngakane ‘was a child of the soil, born and raised in Soweto.’ Despite having a difficult upbringing, Ngakane ‘went on to achieve what seems impossible to most youths.’ Ngakane was a member of SASCO UCT and his death was felt keenly by his fellow SASCO members. ‘He remains an exemplary figure who gave up on life just too prematurely, not realising his full potential and true goals,’ said Makofane in a speech follow-
ing the death of Ngakane. On 14 September, Montague Taljaard, a rising UCT rugby player and BSC Property Studies student was tragically killed in a car crash in Claremont. At UCT, Taljaard was a stalwart for the Ikey Tigers in this year’s Varsity Cup side where he won two Man of the Match awards playing for the first team. A close friend told VARSITY, ‘He was doing very well and was happy at the time of his death. He had a huge personality and was loved by all those who knew him.’ His family have asked for support for the other driver who was involved in the accident. UCT students and members of the Rugby Club felt the loss acutely. Over 300 people attended a memorial service organised by the club and his fellow students and players last Monday. John Dobson, UCT First XV Coach, expressed the sentiments of many when he said, ‘He loved UCT and we loved him.’ A separate memorial service was held on 17 September at Bishops in the memorial hall where the turnout was similarly large. Claremont police have confirmed that the driver of the Polo was arrested and faces charges of culpable homicide, reckless and negligent driving as well as drunken driving. The driver appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Monday, 15 September and was released on R2,000 bail; she is now scheduled to appear again in court on 5 December 2008. She is also a first-year student at UCT.
So long, Mr President Zerene Haddad THABO Mbeki’s resignation on Sunday night has left South Africa facing a power vacuum. He was recalled by the ANC, after the National Executive Committee (NEC) met on Friday to decide on the matter. His State of the Nation Address on Sunday evening marked his official departure from the Presidency. The dissent from within the ANC and the comment made by Judge Nicholson regarding the ‘titanic power struggle’ within the party, resulted in the events of this past weekend. At a time when the stability of the country’s main political party is in flux, VARSITY spoke to the leaders of UCT’s political organisations on campus to hear their views on the matter. Simona Mchuchu of the Young Independent Democrats commented that, ‘This is the time for student political parties and the general youth out there to show their moral integrity and vigilance in protecting our democracy.’ She was speaking in reference to the fact that students need to take a more active role in politics at this crucial time in South Africa. Following Helen Zille’s lead, Chris Ryall of DASO said that, ‘I don’t think South Africa is losing a fantastic president at all. But it is shocking what they (the ANC) did. The factionalism in the party caused this. It is not in the nation’s best interests.’ The Chairperson of SASCO Western Cape Province, Aphiwe Bewana, sutdying towards his Masters at UCT, told VARSITY in an official SASCO statement that: ‘As SASCO, we accepted the decision of the court and we fur-
Farewell mr president - After 52 years of service, Mbeki was unceremoniously ousted by the ANC NEC. ther requested the NPA to accept the decision and stop abusing public resources in appealing the decision of the Court... Thus, based on the ANC decision taken by a collective consensus, and indeed supported by the alliance partners (including SASCO), we agree that the President has generally violated the separation of powers and
WANTED E-mail a brief letter of motivation & CV to
Varsity, the official student newspaper since 1942, is committed to the principles of equality and democracy
has performed poorly in the quest for a better life for all.’ The ANCYL UCT President could not be reached for comment. This week will see whether the Deputy President resigns or not. If she does, the ANC has to select an acting President.
Volume 67 Number 11
Agents of change UCT Law students go national Tatenda Goredema
Photos by Kerry Mauchline
ON 11 September, the Steve Biko Foundation hosted the ninth Annual Steve Biko Memorial Lecture in Jameson Hall. The event is held annually to commemorate the death of the founder of the Black Consciousness movement, Steve Biko. The event marked 31 years since Biko’s death. The invited guest speaker was the Minister of Finance, Trevor Manuel. Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Thandabantu Nhlapo, was the master of ceremonies and introduced Nkosinathi Biko, the CEO and founder of the Steve Biko Foundation. Nkosinathi Biko acknowledged the appointment of the new Vice-Chancellor and noted that the Foundation ‘looked forward to working with Dr Price.’ He also noted that the Foundation celebrated its tenth year running on 17 September 2008. Biko stated the lecture served as a platform for critical debate, a bridge between academia and society and as a means to initiate inter-generational discussion on key issues facing society. Dr Price echoed Biko’s sentiments as he noted that the lecture was used to ‘reflect on the challenges faced by the youth of the nation, along with addressing socio-economic and political issues in order to strengthen democracy.’ Dr Price commented that the youth of the nation should not become complacent today because the challenges that existed in the past were over. Instead, he said that UCT strove to produce the type of student who was able to deal with economic challenges in any environment, but also ‘thought profoundly about the challenges facing his generation.’ Dr Price believes that UCT should continue to embody the values of Steve Biko, encouraging debate and creating awareness. In his introduction of Minister Manuel, the Vice-Chancellor
spoke of Manuel’s distinguished record in the struggle and as a Finance Minister. Manuel is one of the longest-serving ministers in the world. In his address, Manuel spoke of Biko’s vision in establishing the Black Consciousness movement; noting that Biko ‘understood then as we must now, that the consciousness of the poor and their active participation as agents of change in their own lives is the key to democratic transformation.’ Manuel commented on the failure of transformation to reach out to all who were disenfranchised: ‘Almost fifteen years into democracy, the everyday lives of many of our people remain as uninspired and as filled with despair as it was in 1968.’ Although noting the successes of the South African government over the past 14 years, Manuel believed that it was not enough: ‘We have made good progress in extending schooling, in broadening access to health care, in extending social security, in providing people with housing, water, sanitation and electricity. But our quest is for a democracy that must have a palpable presence in the lives of all of our people.’ He spoke of a country quite far from the ‘colourless and non-exploitative egalitarian society’ that Biko wrote of and he said ‘freedom must be about conscientisation.’ Manuel commented on the need for elites to ‘plough back, not plunder’, meaning that they should give back to the communities in which they have prospered. He also emphasised the need for more student activism in contemporary society. Manuel said that the young should be militant, but that their militancy should be ‘channeled and informed’. They are imbued with the task of trying to ‘define what society called on us to do today.’
VARSITY KIDS- VARSITY Newspaper was seen out and about at the Teen Advisory Group (TAG) workshop in Scarborough this past weekend. Each of the children at the workshop cares for an adult in their family who suffers from a chronic illness. The weekend was run by the ‘Kids who Care’ researchers – the project is a combined effort by Oxford University, Brown University, Child Welfare and the government Department of Social Development. It runs over three years to determine how best to tackle the problems facing young care-givers in South Africa. The researchers send special thanks to VARSITY for the material to build towers and design outfits for the fashion show!
Staff Writer THE Student Seminar for Law and Social Justice (SSLSJ) had its second seminar camp from 4-7 September 2008, during which, the first SSLSJ National Executive Committee was elected. Three of the committee members are UCT students: National Secretary General, Moss Matheolane; National Treasurer, Maretha Herfurth; and Seminar Chairman, Emma Webber. The remaining two members are from the University of the Western Cape: Chairman, Dmitri Hess, and ex officio member, Yana Jeftha. This organisation, founded by UCT students in 2007, aims to promote awareness of the rule of law and its principles, to instill the values that are expressed in and by the South African Constitution and to engage with society on their constitutional rights. The SSLSJ is a legally-oriented body with the intention of developing the country through socio-economi-
cally empowering citizens. The seminar was attended by professionals from within the Justice system. Speakers included Constitutional Court Judge, Albie Sachs; former Chief Justice, Arthur Chaskalson; and the Treatment Action Campaign’s Zackie Achmat. They gave talks on the importance of an indepen-
dent Judiciary and the mobilisation of civil society in the development and protection of a constitutional democracy. Students from all faculties were able to attend SSLSJ. The camp gave students the opportunity to interact with some of the dignitaries from the legal profession as well as providing non-law students with a perspective on legal issues. Following the seminar, each university was tasked with establishing its own committee. UCT held an election process in the Kramer Law building on 16 September. The chairperson at UCT is Calli Ferreira. With the assistance of her committee, they will be doing much of the SSLSJ work at UCT. For any student or society interested in finding out more about the SSLSJ, please visit the organisation’s website, which is currently being updated at: email@example.com.
Second armed robbery on campus Zerene Haddad
LAST Tuesday there was an armed robbery on Middle Campus in the afternoon. Deputy ViceChancellor, Thandabantu Nhlapo, and Professor Barthazar Rwezaura from Tanzania were held up outside Bremner Building. Professor Rwezaura was robbed of his wallet and jacket. It is believed that they were followed from the bank in Rondebosch. Nhlapo told VARSITY that ‘it is difficult to see how any security arrangements can anticipate the ever-changing tactics of the criminal. What may need to be driven through more consistently, is the message to the
campus community to be vigilant at all times. I am pretty certain that we were followed from the bank. I am upset with myself that I was not alive to this on the whole drive from Rondebosch to the car park.’ This attack is the second armed robbery this year, which also occurred on Middle Campus and in a similar manner. The suspect approached Nhlapo’s car wielding his weapon and then fled to a nearby waiting vehicle. SAPS was called and are investigating the incident. Lesley Connolly, a victim of an attack earlier this year, told VARSITY, ‘After what hap-
pened to me in April, campus security was supposed to increase. Evidently, this was not the case, seeing as pretty much the same thing happened, at the same place, in the same way. UCT should take this seriously as it is obviously not a coincidence. I hope that this will push the University to actively do something about the crime on campus and in the Main Road/ Rondebosch area.’ An email was sent to all staff and students informing them of the robbery and urging vigilance. Nhlapo went on to say that he did not think that the robbery could have been avoided in any way.
Contract workers disgruntled TARIQ DESAI
LAST month, a group of outsourced workers at UCT, submitted a letter of complaint to John Critien, head of Properties and Services. Workers from Supercare, Metro, Royal Sechaba and Ubunye, allege that the UCT Code of Conduct for Outsourced Companies is not being adhered to. This, as the letter states, constitutes the ‘abuse’ of the workers by both the individual companies, and UCT management. At the time of the formulation of the letter, Supercare employees were working 45 hours a week, while contractually only obliged to work 42 hours. The appeal calls for UCT to ‘take responsibility’ for those within its community. Shortly after this submission, a student letter was drawn up and signatures collected expressing support for the workers and their demands by UCT Student Worker Alliance (UCTSWA). This letter was endorsed by more than 250 students and handed to Critien. UCTSWA is comprised of undergraduate and postgraduate students and workers with the aim of promoting awareness of the conditions of contract workers at UCT. The organisation also focuses on possible intersections between student and worker interests. As of yet, UCTSWA is not an official UCT society. Until the late 1990s, UCT directly employed staff working in cleaning and grounds, catering, and security. After a broad
programme of outsourcing, workers at UCT lost employment benefits, such as reduced fees for their children. They also received a significant reduction in wages. Since then, numerous disputes regarding hours worked, wages, and general working conditions have arisen from within the companies. Patrick Vava, an employee of Supercare currently working in the Botany Building, describes the conditions so far as ‘traumatising’. UCT, he says, ‘is a place of changing ideas and where the leaders of tomorrow come to learn, so it is disgraceful that the people working behind the scenes are ignored’. He is hopeful that the letter will bring about some change. Currently the demands are: - Workers should be clearly informed regarding how their working hours are decided upon and what is expected of them as stipulated in their contracts. - A minimum wage of R4, 500 per month. - That no 'arbitrary' decisions be made regarding the workers, without their consultation. The UCT Code of Conduct for Outsourced Companies, which workers claim is currently being abused, was adopted by Council in 2004 after a sustained petition-campaign by student groups. Although not legally binding, it was created in order to ensure that UCT holds service providers to account for any contravention of labour legislation or constitutional provisions. Also, it is expected of service providers to hold their
standards of employment to that of the UCT Mission Statement. Explicitly stated, service providers have agreed to support the commitment to ‘strive to transcend the legacy of apartheid in South Africa and to overcome all forms of oppressive discrimination.’ It is on the basis of this clause not being upheld that the students have drawn up a letter of support for the workers’ submission. Initiated by the newly-formed UCTSWA, the two letters backing worker demands were delivered to Critien at the beginning of August. Although a promise of reply was sent, none has been received in the month since, nor is any expected while Critien is out of office till 18 October. Members of UCTSWA have subsequently raised their concerns with the new VC at student assembly. Tara Weinberg, a member of UCTSWA told VARSITY, ‘We hope that the letter submitted will mark our anger...at the treatment of outsourced workers.’ Since the letters were disseminated, Supercare employees’ hours have been decreased to an eighthour working day. At the end of this year, UCT’s contract with Supercare terminates. It is hoped by workers and students alike that in the contractual renegotiations for 2009, UCT ensures that service providers are obligated to provide a decent working standard for their employees.
Photos courtesy of UCT Drama Deparment
Clanwilliam Arts project- The UCT Clanwilliam Arts Project took place over the vac from 28 August-8 September. Members from UCT Drama Department, Michaelis School of Fine Art and Jazzart visited the town where they hold the week-long project incorporating various forms of dance, theatre, art and music. Martina Theunissen, a Drama student said that ‘It was a great experience, and it was touching to see what a big impact one week can have in the life of these kids.’
VC intervenes in SRC election results Kerryn Warren and Zerene Haddad THE Vice-Chancellor has intervened with the SRC 2008/9 elections process. This took place over the weekend, after several candidates appealed the process by which objections are dealt with. This four-week delay in the issuing of the final results has been caused by a candidate’s withdrawal and objections lodged by SASCO within the 24-hour window period following the release of the provisional results. Charl Linde, one of the three independent candidates who made the provisional list, has withdrawn his candidacy. Despite claims made by Linde on the SRC Vula chat site that he withdrew because of political fighting between student organisations, he told VARSITY that ‘Academics was my reason – interpret it any way you want.’ This means that the 16th candidate, SASCO Branch Secretary, Ayanda Dhladhla, is now the final candidate on the provisional SRC list. Three SASCO members have raised objections regarding the counting of votes: The first was that the dates of birth which appeared on the ballot cards were not cross-referenced with student numbers, allowing for potential vote-rigging. According to Tende Makofane, Chairperson of SASCO, this system of rigging
may even have been used in previous elections. Makofane was one of the SASCO candidates running for SRC 2008/9 who did not make the provisional list. The second complaint dealt with a technical issue: On the Saturday night of vote tallying, the computer system crashed and ICTS informed all relevant parties that it would not be repaired until Monday. However, Jerome September, Head of the SRC Election Committee, released the provisional results on the Sunday morning. Thus, the final stages of vote-counting were not witnessed by the observers sent by each candidate. The third objection regards the invalidated ballot cards. It was originally thought that the majority of the 1,000 plus ballot cards were invalidated because there were 11 rather than 10 crosses. However, only 60 ballot cards were invalidated on these grounds. This raises queries over why the remaining ballot cards were invalidated. Chris Ryall of DASO, and a candidate on the provisional list, told VARSITY that these votes, ‘have always counted as valid. There is nothing about it in the constitution, and as an IEC standard rule they have always counted. It’s just because SASCO has not had a majority win in the elections this year.’ However, Makofane emphasised the need to investigate whether or not the elections were
free and fair, ‘I do not believe any candidate would rig the system, but if the opportunity was there, we need to expose it.’ Last Thursday a meeting was held whereby the SRC Elections Committee told the SRC 2008/9 candidates that the reason for the recount was based on the invalidated ballots. This led to Ryall appealing the recount on the grounds that: - These votes had always been included in previous years. - Past precedent does not support the SRC ruling. - The SRCEC ruled that there was no evidence of fraud. - The SRC 2007/8 was blatantly disregarding the IEC’s decision to include these votes. An Independent candidate also appealed the recount. Jerome September of the SRCEC told VARSITY, that the process of recounting had been halted last Friday. ‘The VC ordered that the re-count and all other processes be stopped, pending the outcome of his decision on the appeals.’ Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nhlapo, has been appointed by the VC to oversee the appeals. Ryall said that an email was sent to the candidates by Prof. Nhlapo, saying they should know by the end of this week whether the recount will go ahead or whether the final results should be released immediately.
Volume 67 Number 11
Media vendetta? THE media in South Africa has assumed the role of an opposition party to the state in recent times. This has been reflected in the media’s opposition of the ANC-led government, largely the ANC itself and its alliance partners. Whilst hiding behind the banner of freedom of expression, the stance adopted by the media on various political issues, is jarring the nation instead of displaying objective and factual reports. Due to the necessity of freedom of expression in a democratic society, the ANC encourages and supports such actions. However, it must not be defamatory, malicious in intent or infringe on the constitution of our Rainbow Nation. The publishing of a cartoon in the Sunday Times (7 September 2008), by Jonathan Shapiro, more commonly referred to as Zapiro, clearly undermines the rights of the President of the ANC, comrade Jacob Zuma, supporters of the ANC as well as the ANC. It depicts the justice system as a woman, being held down by Jacob Zuma’s supporters, while he unzips his pants. Our Secretary General, Gwede Mantashe, is shown in the cartoon saying, ‘Go for it boss’. Thus, the media has already passed its judgement regardless of the ruling of the court that Jacob Zuma is not a rapist. They have also passed judgement on ANC supporters and the ANC in portraying rape as being encouraged by the party. In the constitution of South Africa, it is enshrined
that every citizen has the right to be innocent until proven guilty and once proven innocent, they should remain so until proven otherwise. In this light, the disregard of the media of our progressive constitution should not go unpunished. Their continuous disregard for human rights cannot be tolerated and their slander should be ended. As the largest political formation of young people in the Republic, charged with the political consciousness of the leaders of tomorrow and the championing of youth development, we condemn the conduct of the South African media. We believe that all organisations dedicated to our freedom and adhere to our constitution should speak out against this injustice in our society. We also believe that South African society ought to ask itself, what of our media and its role in our social fabric? When a societal crisis such as the security of women is allowed to be ridiculed by a crucial element of our young democracy, the free media, it is an abuse of us, the people, who fought and died for existence in the first instance. What are we, the progressives, to do? African National Congress Youth League Branch Executive Committee=
Access to all? UCT is one of the most prestigious universities in Africa, producing some of the most accomplished scholars this continent has ever seen. But the failure to make this university accessible to all students is a testament to the fact that ‘it is not all that glitters that is gold’. As an able-bodied student, I was recently very moved by the harrowing account of Michelle Botha, a partially-blind student and chairperson of the Disabled Students Movement, who shared with us her daily ordeals of getting to grips with campus life. Finding her way around campus occasionally means colliding into all sorts of obstacles, but that is a risk she prefers to that of making use of a cane that results in awkward attention all the time. We wouldn’t think that this would be necessary in what is supposed to be a world-class university, but it is often an immensely stressful experience to make lecturers and tutors take an interest in alleviating her plight to some extent. Whilst some more approachable lecturers have showed some sympathy with her distress, they are mostly ill equipped and unaware of how to help, clearly showing up the university’s lack of a strategic planning and communication at helping the disadvantaged, of whom Michelle Botha is just one of many. The university must, however, be commended
for making progress in some areas. The introduction of a special Jammie shuttle for the disabled, the disability service computer lab, the Abigail Mlotchwa day house for the disabled, the installation of lifts in most buildings (with Bremner building being one of the latest) and full access to the library is just some of the improvements that have been made. But with all this, there is still a long way to go. It is a saddening reality that a student could still be refused admission because of the university’s inaccessibility. When a student with a disability is admitted to this university, proper provisions should be made prior to the student taking up courses, to ensure that they have full access to their lectures and that these lectures are well equipped to assist them in learning. These are the kind of student issues that DASO believes the SRC should be effecting change on, but too often political power games, infighting and scandals have caused those in student governance to ignore and forget the students who are at UCT to broaden their horizons, but have to face lonely, everyday struggles in a vast and complex institution. Ronald Phefo Social Responsibility Officer, DASO UCT
A rainbow nation THE concept of a rainbow nation was conceived by a priest who saw the transition from apartheid to a democratic South Africa as a rainbow emerging from a strong storm. The rainbow represented the idea that SA was longer flooded by the storms and hardships of apartheid. Over a decade into democracy, the rainbow nation has taken on new meaning. One would assume that ‘rainbow nation’ is actually about the unification of the different races in SA: whites, coloureds, blacks and Indians, who do not forget their brothers in Africa and the world. The new democracy attempted to remedy the wrongs of the past and to assist the previously disadvantaged. These included white women, women and ‘blacks’ comprised of coloureds, blacks and Indians and the Chinese. Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) and Affirmative Action (AA) are perceived as providing such remedies. Following the court’s ruling that Chinese qualify as previously disadvantaged, the headlines of prominent newspapers read, ‘Chinese the new Black’. Is the bone of contention that BEE contains the
word ‘black’ and Chinese are two to three shades lighter than your Thabo, Mandla and Andiswa? Or are they like the blacks in the context of BEE and therefore eligible as previously disadvantaged South Africans? A simple syllogistic reasoning would imply this to any rational person. Maybe it should not be Black Economic Empowerment but simply Economic Empowerment. Admittedly, Chinese people are too fair to be ‘black’, but in the new SA should we still have black and white? For a country that is supposedly unified and prides itself in its diversity, skin pigmentation in fact matters more. Maybe the Pastor spoke too soon. The flooding never stopped. Are we no longer celebrating Indians, coloureds, blacks, whites and now Chinese? Are the youth, the future, also falling on the same line? Do we view simple economic strategies in terms of skin colour, rather than through sense and reason? Let us hope that this will not be the case in years to come. Tamsanqa Mlila
Editorial ‘Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold,’ wrote William Butler Yeates in ‘The Second Coming’. At this critical juncture in South African history, I cannot think of a more fitting poem. Thabo Mbeki has just been ignominiously removed from office. He sought to centralise power and stifle dissent. Yet the people he marginalised formed a coalition of the aggrieved and in turn ousted him. Mbeki was a victim of his own machinations, and engineered his own demise. Yet at the same time, while watching him give his swansong speech on Sunday night, one could not help feeling a twinge of sympathy for the man. Though his voice remained even, I swear I could detect a tear in his eye. Speaking of Yeate’s poem, I was reminded of a certain infantile cadre when I read the following words: ‘The best lack all conviction, while the worst/ Are filled with passionate intensity.’ This line is an apt description of ANCYL President, Julius Malema. Malema’s vitriol has remained unchecked by the seemingly inevitable incumbents. Though he does seem to have learnt somewhat, and is quick to say that he doesn’t mean literal elimination anymore. At least he isn’t threatening the judiciary any more, now that the good (and sober) Judge Nicholson has made a pronouncement to his liking. I appeal to the best to become more vocal and voice your convictions. VARSITY is a perfect platform to express your thoughts. Many labour under the delusion that VARSITY is a closed platform, and is only open to liberals, or more recently ‘counter-revolutionaries.’ Yet, this is patently untrue. News gatherings are open to everyone, and our slogan is ‘Write what you want to read about.’ Applications for 2009 posts were advertised in several editions, so there is no question as to the transparency of our selection process. Whether you choose to use this platform to your advantage is up to you. If you feel something is important, or you feel we have neglected a particular issue, DO something about it. This is my last editorial, so I feel I can relate somewhat to our beleaguered ex-President. Granted, I haven’t been ousted by my colleagues, but I’m feeling sentimental all the same, so indulge me for this next bit. It’s been a year of steep learning curves, late nights, and whooshing deadlines. Luckily, the VARSITY collective has been up to the challenge. Many of us came into our positions without knowing fully what they would entail. We were green, bright-eyed, and bushy-tailed. Now we’re a lot wiser, and a bit more wizened. And while the sparkle in our eyes has not diminished, it’s been tempered with pragmatism. To those who will be at the helm of the collective next year, I wish you the very best. The senior editorial team will know that UCT is as transparent as a concrete slab. Good luck making further cracks and stirring up a commotion guys. Try to be above reproach, failing which, acknowledge your own your mistakes. And be fearless! Remember, if you need legal advice, I’m down on middle campus, so just give me a tinkle. Adios kids Nabeelah
news gathering next newsgathering 25 September in LS2C during merdian
2008 collective editor Nabeelah Martin, deputy editor Kieran Duggan, chief sub editor Philippa Levenberg sub editors Jade Cooke, Maciek Dubla, Louise Ferreira, Dianne Shelton operations manager Melissa Rassie images Justin Andrews news Zerene Haddad & Tatenda Goredema, focus Seamus Duggan & Nicole Jonklass business & technology Karl Thomson, opinions Tara Leverton, features Jade Taylor Cooke arts & entertainment Lara Potgieter, humour Anton Taylor, sports Rory Holmes & Lindi Brownell finance & advertising team Philip Voget & Kimberly Urbaniak, marketing & brand manager Lauren Haller, IT manager Timothy Nchabaleng, website editor Emma Nherera, media school director Joy Waddel staff writers Tauriq Desai, Moss Matheolane, Kerryn Warren, Matthew Milne, Sentlenyana Machaba, David Brits, Remy Ngamije, Megan Lyons external contributors M Irfaan Imamdin, Mengfei Chen tel 021 650 3543 fax 021 650 2904 email firstname.lastname@example.org location 5th Floor, Steve Biko Student Union Building, Upper Campus advertising email Phil Voget on email@example.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 5 pm on the Wednesday before publication. They should not exceed 350 words, and will not be published under a pseudonym, or anonymously.
THE first I heard of the Large Hadron was that is was planning to recreate the Big Bang and that the world was going to end in a few weeks. Although my friends are calm, rational individuals, I assumed that physicists were not potentially suicidal and decided to investigate the LHC myself. In an attempt to use a more reliable source (no, not Wikipedia!), I asked a physics major. This, dear readers, was a mistake. Physics majors do not tolerate ignorance, especially when you keep throwing ‘black hole’ into the conversation. The Large Hadron Collider is a particle accelerator. A very large one. It intends to move particles at the speed of light, creating collisions in the process. Found on the border of Switzerland and France deep underground, and hosted by the research institute, CERN, the Large Hadron Collider is one of the world’s most expensive toys (US$9 billion). Two beams of really small par-
ticles pass each other inside the LHC, gaining energy and getting faster much quicker. Although the Collider commenced its preparation on 10 September, the big collisions (the Big-Bang-inducing ones) will only take place a couple of months later. The purpose – yes, there’s a purpose – is to recreate the Big Bang, and the first few millionths of a millionth of a second thereafter in order to test theories regarding the particles that created the Big Bang itself and how mass came into being. You know; the stuff that keeps one awake at night. Unfortunately, while some are eagerly anticipating the scientific revelation, others are holding allnight vigils in their local place of worship expecting Armageddon. But don’t be afraid, although the chances of creating a black hole are small, any black hole that is created would likely be too small and disappear (at least according to Professor Sir Chris Llewellyn Smith of CERN). Phew, that’s a relief.
W O R K / T R A V E L
EARN BIG $$$
ADVENTURE FROM SLOPES TO BEACHES
SUMMER VAC. JOBS
WORK HARD! PLAY HARDER!!
Contact Chilli to stand a chance to win a trip to Tiffindell Cape Town: 021 425 7100 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Apply: www.chilliadventures.com
Media SMASH! JACOB ZUMA’S supporters had the chance to get a bit of righteous indignation almost two weeks ago. Over a cartoon. Let us leave aside all possible comments regarding Zuma’s character. There remains the point: do people actually want the media only to offer criticism of the government within the bounds the government deems to be acceptable? Perhaps if Jacob hadn’t made a song and dance every time Jonathan Shapiro published another cartoon that cast aspersions on his character – threatening him with lawsuits multiple times – it would be easier to sympathise with him now. ‘Shock and horror! The cartoon was in bad taste!’ Bluntly, who the fuck cares? To draw a picture of a woman being raped is in bad taste? Yes, we should react to rape by not mentioning it in a public forum ever. All pictures in which a person gets raped should be shielded from the public gaze. That way, we can go back to ignoring the problem completely. We are so good at that. Sarcasm aside, rape isn’t something we can afford to be teensy about anymore. It is an epidemic. Zapiro has portrayed HIV positive men and women countless times before without the backlash.
‘Shock and horror! He shouldn’t have drawn Zuma raping someone because Zuma wasn’t ever convicted of rape!’ Who the fuck cares? It’s a metaphor. He’s used the same metaphor on Mbeki, who was never charged with rape. He’s drawn people who have never been convicted of genocide sitting on top of a throne of skulls. The shower cap does not imply an actual shower cap. ‘Shock and horror! It’s demeaning to women!’ Again; metaphor. A striking, uncomfortable metaphor. But just a metaphor. Who the fuck cares? Zuma’s supporters among the youth have been crying out that the drawing uses women’s suffering inappropriately. Let’s cast our minds back for a moment, shall we, to that golden day outside a courthouse in which Zuma was accused of raping a woman. His supporters frolicked and danced outside, and chanted such slogans as ‘Burn the bitch.’ Let’s stop thinking about that quickly, lest our brains explode from rage. ‘Shock! And horror! Zapiro’s just furthering his own political agenda!’ Yes? He’s a cartoonist? Conveying his opinion of a particular politician is his job. You sad moron. Should we gag
Malema for his fear-mongering claptrap? Alas, we should not. There is the argument that people who have been raped will be offended. However; Zapiro is portraying a horrific incident as a horrific incident. He is not making fun of rape; he is, if anything, emphasising its innate horror to convey his feelings about Zuma. Was it graphic beyond all moderation? Quite possibly. Should it have been censored on these grounds? No, no, no. We do not want to live in that kind of country. Except, apparently, some of us do. ‘Let’s give our governing body the powers of an all-knowing, all-seeing god. Let’s hand over all responsibility to him. Let’s have him take care of us, and think for us, because we’re too frightened and wilfully ignorant to do it on our own.’ ‘Shock and horror! Our incumbent president is a homophobic, misogynist liar who wants to pervert the justice system and has repeatedly tried to gag his critics in the media!’ Yup. If only more people fucking cared. ‘I can only hope that, when my enemy reads the list of my allies, he trembles as I do.’ Wellington said something like that.
The end of an era Tatenda Goredema THERE is an old Chinese curse that says, ‘may you live in interesting times’, and today we live in interesting times. The ANC National Executive Council’s (NEC) decision to ‘recall’ President Thabo Mbeki this past weekend and his subsequent resignation was surprising, but inevitable. The ANC, to which Mbeki dedicated his life and gave his best years, has callously tossed him aside. The way in which he was ‘recalled’ was shocking in itself, but the antics and rhetoric of people like Malema leading up to the NEC meeting held over the weekend was appalling. The indignity with which the President was treated was disrespectful and provided an insight into what kind of party the ANC has now become. The ruling made by Judge Chris Nicholson in the matter of the NPA versus Zuma, in which he inferred that, the office of the President may have been involved in influencing the investigation and subsequent attempts to prosecute Mr Zuma, provided the pretext for what happened over the weekend. Clearly what has happened to Mbeki is revenge for the perceived meddling which he has been accused of for years. Thus, Judge Nicholson’s ruling was a wonderful cover for doing what they ultimately would have done anyway. Mbeki has lost favour in his party and the people who are now in charge of running it are opposed to him and what he stands for. Since Polokwane, the party has been divided into camps of pro-Zuma and pro-Mbeki supporters; it just so happens that the proZuma supporters are now in decision-making posts. The NEC now
Photo courtesy of kuwaittimes.net
Photo courtesy of gridpp.ac.uk
Things go boom in Swiss lab
Full Circle- Zuma, the vanquished, became the victor over Mbeki mostly consists of ardent Zuma supporters who see no problem in carrying out what is clearly revenge, not only for Zuma’s firing from the Deputy Presidency, but also for his alleged cronyism and aloof intellectual nature which distanced him from the electorate and the grassroots members of the party. The man who proudly proclaimed in 1998 that he ‘was an African’ has much to be proud of in terms of achievements in office. Under the steady hand of his leadership, the country has enjoyed economic success and international recognition as a model for other developing countries to follow in terms of democratic governance. Although the successes have been many, he was the first to admit that South Africa is indeed a country that is divided along socio-economic lines and told the tale in his speech in 1998 as Deputy President of the ‘two South Africa’s’: one rich and white, whilst the other
poor and black. He spoke forthrightly and candidly about the need to turn South Africa into a developmental state that did not create a system of dependency for its poorer people. He led peace negotiations in Burundi, Zimbabwe the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan. He epitomised the term, ‘African leader’, as he refused to accept the ‘every country for itself’ mentality that prevails on the continent. He fathered the concept of an African Renaissance and refused to define himself along tribal or ethnic grounds, acknowledging in his ‘I am an African’ speech that he was a part of all aspects of the country. So now we bid farewell to one of the greatest leaders Africa has ever produced. He was not without his faults, but I acknowledge the positive aspects of his Presidency. As Mbeki said, certain people should not become triumphalist because the sun shines today.
Volume 67 Number 11
Think again, Role of the educated citizen McCain tatenda Goredema
THE US Presidential race has been thrown wide open by the GOP candidate, John McCain, choosing to field a little-known governor from one of the smaller states in the US, Alaska. Governor Sarah Palin was a relatively unknown political figure in the US and certainly in the world up until her surprise nomination to the second spot on the GOP ticket. In selecting Governor Palin as his VP, Senator McCain has made both a brave and possibly dangerous move. The choice of Governor Sarah Palin is believed to have been sparked by the fact that Democratic Party’s candidate, Senator Barack Obama, chose Senator Joe Bidden from Delaware for his VP over Senator Hillary Clinton, with whom he competed fiercely for the Democratic nomination. In choosing Palin, McCain seeks to accomplish two things: Get the support of ultra conservatives who believed he was too moderate and to get some of the women votes that potentially would have gone for an Obama/Clinton ticket. It appears from the polls that McCain has achieved his first goal, as the Republican Party seems to be wholly united behind the McCain/ Palin ticket. The second goal, the Presidency, may be a tough sell due to Palin’s conservative beliefs and practices. Hillary Clinton she certainly is not, Palin is an anti-abortion, bible-bashing conservative who is firmly behind liberal gun laws and a small government with minimal influence on the economy. She is particularly appealing to evangelical Christians and conservative independents, who see the selection of Palin as a sign of positive intent by McCain and the GOP. She is, however, not likely to draw Clinton supporters because Palin’s views on the economy, foreign policy issues and healthcare are scant to say the least. Palin seems to have been briefed by McCain to regurgitate things he has said on the campaign trail since the early part of the year with a little personalisation to fool the masses. During the Republican National Convention, when Governor Palin was unveiled as the GOP’s number two, she used her first major national speech to attack Senator Obama and to talk of her trials and tribulations as a ‘hockey mom’, and small-town girl who ran for mayor in Wasilla and went on to secure the Governor’s position. She spoke of her impressive, but short record as Governor, and made that crazy comment about
lipstick being the only difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull. For some reason, people thought that was good. She hardly delved into any of the key issues facing the US, and spoke in generalities about what the country would need and how her record would help achieve that. She is definitely a better speaker than John McCain, and got applause regularly throughout her speech. All this, however, cannot detract from the fact that Palin has very little to stand on in terms of experience. Compared to Senator Joe Biden, she is in the minor league. Biden, who is the current Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (one of the most important Committees in the Senate) has a wealth of experience and has sponsored and co-sponsored many laws in the Senate in his long stay in the upper tier of the bicameral Congress. More importantly, Biden is well known and well liked by Republicans and Democrats alike. Compared to Obama, Palin once again comes up short, for the experience of a Governor in a state with a population of a mere six hundred thousand cannot compare to those of a Senator who has sponsored national legislation and has assisted in the overseeing of foreign policy as a member of the Foreign Relations Committee. Palin’s selection is purely political strategy, and so far it has worked: More attention was given to the Republican National Convention than the Democratic National Convention. The polls now reflect a closer race between Obama and McCain. However, a lot of political commentators have attributed McCain’s gain to a ‘bump’ gained through the buzz around his unusual choice, which is expected to be temporary. In a climate where the US economy is suffering, major corporations are declaring bankruptcy or seeking federal assistance, and foreign relations have deteriorated extensively to the point where America’s image is poor in the eyes of the rest of the world. It would be a misjudgment to elect someone with so thin a portfolio, clearly picked to ride on the coattails of the ‘change’ theme that has been the key for the Democrats’ bid for the White House. Should McCain, who is 72 and has suffered health problems in recent years, be elected in November, Palin will be a ‘heartbeat’ away from the Presidency. In my opinion, that thought alone, is worse than another four years of George W. Bush.
WITH the recent 31st anniversary of the death of the founder of the Black Consciousness movement, Steve Biko, it is important to assert the importance of ‘consciousness’ and the level at which it has been exhibited at this institution. Robert Kennedy once noted that one of the dangers that assuaged the world and posed a great challenge to people speaking out was timidity. In a speech made at UCT, he said ‘few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, and the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence.’ This appears to be as relevant today as it was in 1966 when Kennedy delivered it. It appears that a vast majority of the students at the university have opinions that are valid and carefully considered, yet are afraid to voice those opinions for fear of reprisal or derision. I have heard certain people voice their concerns about the quality of VARSITY Newspaper for instance, yet few of them are willing to provide the welcome and necessary construc-
you, consider then that her beauty was purchased by men of valour who knew their duty’. In short, an educated citizen has a responsibility and duty, by virtue of his/her greater knowledge, to uphold the values and principles that were fought for by people such as Steve Biko. This is to further develop his/her immediate environment and ultimately honour the memory of people like Comrade Biko who died in the cause of that noble effort. The Vice-Chancellor in his remarks at the Steve Biko Annual Lecture noted that the youth had a greater role to play in society and should not become complacent simply because the task of obtaining freedom had been accomplished. In the final analysis part of an educated citizen’s duty is to participate actively in the society he inhabits thus the responsibility falls to you the student to join societies and organizations that contribute to eclectic good of society. Jack Kerouac once said ‘if moderation is a fault, then indifference is a crime.’ Consider the crime you are committing on a daily basis.
Don’t blame it on the music Louise Ferreira ON A Monday morning, a quiet, well-behaved Matric student walks into his school and kills a fellow pupil with a sword. He goes on a rampage, injuring three other people. In the search for the reasons behind this horrific incident, it is decided that part of the cause must be…his favourite music. Morné Harmse, 18, is being charged with the murder of 16year-old Jacques Pretorius and three counts of attempted murder. The media and others immediately latched onto the fact that Harmse was wearing a homemade mask similar to those worn by heavymetal group Slipknot. In addition, the boy afterwards claimed that Satan told him to kill the children, prompting community leader, Pierre Eksteen, to deduce that the attack was caused by ‘satanic music’. This has led to widespread panic about the supposed connection between Satanism and heavy metal. All of this seems a little unfair. After all, Slipknot is not in fact a satanic band, and most of their fans would be outraged at being called devil-worshippers. It is also difficult to believe that any music, no matter how ‘dark’, would incite an otherwise stable teenager to murder. Shortly after the attack, a radio DJ quoted comedian, Chris Rock, asking why, after school killings, cultural influences like music are so often blamed for the perpetrators’ behaviour? ‘Why can’t they just be crazy?’ He has a point. Music is often named, not necessarily by experts, as a contributing factor when kids go berserk – and heavy metal groups like Slipknot are particularly targeted. But it is also true that of the genre’s millions of fans,
Photo courtesy of i.a.cnn.net
tive criticism required to maintain the objectivity and relevancy of the paper. President John Kennedy once proclaimed that ‘a university has a special obligation to holdfast to the best of the past and move fast with the best of the future.’ Looking back on past editions of this paper, the values and principles apparent in the views of the students then have helped shape the thinking at this university today. These values and principles were not established by words on paper, but by the people who took it upon themselves to comment and act on the things they felt strongly about. Part of a scripture taken from an Egyptian pyramid reads ‘…and no one was angry enough to speak out.’ This may be the most honest assessment of this generation of young people, who feel more obligated to sit and comment from the sidelines, becoming part of a growing peanut gallery of those satisfied by mediocrity and silence, rather than participate in necessary debate to improve our future. A great Greek general by the name of Pericles once proclaimed that ‘if Athens shall appear great to
Hideous faces - Slipknot in their usual ghastly garb only a handful ever go this far. Why are they suddenly considered the rule when they are so clearly an anomaly? It is certainly likely that they were particularly drawn to metal because of pre-existing emotional problems (although this of course does not apply to all listeners of the genre) that caused them to identify with aspects such as the loud volume and dark lyrics. In this case, the music would have been a symptom rather than a cause of their troubles. We should also ask why people are concentrating on the mask and not looking at other symbols. Why did Harmse choose a samuraisword, for example? It was apparently his favourite sword and he spent a lot of time sharpening the blade. Does this mean there should be a backlash against Japanese warrior culture? One of his friends said that on the morning of the attack, Harmse had spoken in a strange voice, ‘like the Joker in Batman’. No-one has blamed the popularity of The Dark Knight. The ridiculousness of the charge against heavy metal is further illustrated by substituting another disguise for the mask: If Harmse had gone to school dressed as a pirate and saying that Captain Jack Sparrow had told him to kill
everyone, would there be an outcry against Pirates of the Caribbean? Surely not. The boy would simply be called delusional. It has since come to light that Harmse’s teachers had been worried about him for some time. He appeared to have no vision for his future and it was decided that the issue should be followed up, but obviously this did not happen in time. Were the teachers at fault then? Should his parents have known something was wrong? Even if they did, can parents really be blamed if their child commits a murder? After the Columbine shooting in Littleton, Colorado, in 1999, there was a huge backlash against video games, heavy metal and goth culture. The music of metal singer, Marilyn Manson, was blamed for the actions of the shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, and he cancelled one of his concerts as a result. When he was asked in an interview what he would say to the killers, Manson replied, ‘Nothing. I would have listened, because no one else did.’ School violence in South Africa is widespread. Perhaps we should start asking young people what is going wrong, rather than playing a dangerous game of pass-the-buck.
The Green Week. Muhammad Daniels, BSc (Eng) Electrical, 3rd year
Anton Taylor’s campaign.
What was the highlight of your year at UCT ?
The highlight the year was basically seeing a whole lot of friends that I hadn’t seen in years. I never thought I’d see them again. Running in to them randomly on Campus was just awesome.
The Steve Biko Memorial Lecture was quite good. Mpodumo Doubada, B.Com. (Accounting), 4th year
Michelle van Niekerk, B.Sc. (Marine Biology), 1st year
The best part of my year was meeting all my great, great friends and becoming a part of the UCT Underwater Club. We go diving nearly every weekend. It’s so great! Danielle Conry, B.Sc. (Marine Biology), 1st year
398OND004_ondernemings_ADVERTS.FH11 Tue Sep 09 08:19:32 2008
The SRC elections. I think we’ve come to a point where we’ve proved something. Student politics should be about student governance more than the political parties or political affiliations. And students have shown that. SASCO managed to completely alienate the majority of students that are supposed to support them. It sends a message to them to say ‘Guys, it’s not about the umbrella or the banner that you’re running under. It’s about, can you represent the interest of the students?’
It’s been the [RAG] Fashion Show. The Fashion Show was really, really awesome. But the afterparty obviously rocked. Had a great time...got the chance to meet lots of cool people. So yah, RAG throws awesome parties. Page 3
Kavita Koverjee, B.A., 4th year
Sizi Myeni, MB ChB, 1st year C
Seithati Mofokeng, B.Bus.Sci. Finance (CA Option)
Arts &Entertainment 8 Art in struggle Moss Matheolane UCT recently played host to an interesting exhibition entitled Imaging the Struggles: An Exhibition of Southern African Struggle Posters, presented and displayed in the African Studies Library. What makes this particular exhibition noteworthy is its subject matter, content and context. As the title implies, the exhibition presents ‘a visual representation of struggle involving countries in the southern region of the continent’. These include Mozambique, South Africa, Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe, all of which share not just a history of struggle for freedom, but relationships forged during those dark days of the struggle. If one considers the old adage that a picture speaks a thousand words, then this exhibition definitely had plenty to tell. The history of the use of posters in conjunction with political and economic struggle is one that can be traced to almost every country in the world. Over the years, posters have been used as platforms for public education announcements, instruments of propaganda, and pure works of art, as well as vehicles for commercial advertising. Their use of dramatic and colourful imagery is conducive to the successful conveyance of messages of syndicalism, an effective means for the call to arms and civil mobilisation. Even developed countries have made good use of posters during testing times; think USA’s Uncle Sam ‘I want you’ or the Spanish Civil War where they used posters for building up morale amongst the working class in their fight against an organised military. The exhibition was a snapshot of the past captured on large sheets through techniques of bold symbolism, stylised compositions of paintings and photomontage and headlines. In Namibia, the working class was rallied into activism, while the liberation movement of
23 Sep: Schock Foundation Prize for Chamber Music A chamber music spectacular presented by the South African College of Music. 23 – 27 Sep: Salaam @ Baxter Theatre A one-man show by Ashraf Johaardien that incorporates comedy, pathos and politics in ingenious storytelling. 23 – 30 Sep: Tim Rolston Photographic Exhibition @ Olympia Café (Kalk Bay) Tim Rolston’s photography showcases a variety of people, places and nature from around the Cape Peninsula. Mozambique, Frelimo, called ordinary people to arms for the effective struggle against Portuguese colonialism. South Africa’s apartheid policies and their effects were laid bare for all to see. What is perhaps significant about the content of some of these posters is the manner in which they portray women. Contrary to the popular belief that women stayed at home while men waged war, the women in these images were equally as active and militant as their male counterparts. A striking portrayal of this is a poster that has a woman holding an AK-47 on one hand and a child sitting on her hip in the other. Such imagery speaks directly to the heart and hides nothing from the observer, which is what you would have found at this exhibition. Apart from being a visual representation of the past, the exhibition gave a glimpse of the power of the people, and the effective way in which this power can be shaped, directed and used to not only challenge existing establishments, but dare to invent new ones.
23 Sep – 11 Oct: Where The Boys Are @ On Broadway Award-winning performers Alistair Izobell, Loukmaan Adams and Mono Dullisearof present a lively new show of music and comedy that proves that women certainly are from Venus. 24 Sep: Katie Melua @ Grandwest One of the UK’s current favourite songstresses will be delighting SA audiences in the month of her 24th birthday. 24 Sep: Cultural Delight @ Café Sofia
Volume 67 Number 11
Celebrate Heritage Day with a variety of performers such as French singers, Arabic poets, Rwandan dancers and many others. 24 – 27 Sep: UCT Idols The Cape Dance Company presents a brand new performance featuring Michael Thomas of the ex Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. 24 – 27 Sep: Of Madams and Maids Part of the Heritage Day celebrations, this show gives audiences a view of life through the eyes of a servant, Miss Nothing. 24 Sep – 4 Oct: Venom @ Intimate Theatre A multi-faceted play by Juliet Jenkins that explores politics, horror and love. 24 Sep – 18 Oct: Frogs @ Kalk Bay Theatre The highly-acclaimed play by Taryn Bennett and Ashley Waterman. 26 Sep: The Plastics & The Beams @ Roots The Plastics want you to ‘dance like you feel it…ease in the sleaze…and try not to touch yourself’. Sold?
Assembly Cape Town’s gift to Pascha returns after their European tour. 26 – 27 Sep: Crazy Diamond – A Tribute to Pink Floyd @ Theatre @ the Pavilion A tribute to one of the greatest rock bands of all time. 27 Sep: Fokofpolisiekar Album Launch @ Klein Libertas Fok…hulle is terug! En met ‘n splinternuwe album! 1 – 4 Oct: Ballet Mosaic @ Baxter Theatre Cape Town City Ballet presents an exotic two-act programme that unfolds in a sultan’s palace. 2 Oct: Miss UCT Come see if you have what it takes. Entry forms are available at the Societies Help Desk from Trevor on the 5th floor, Steve Biko Building. 3 – 5 Oct: Rocking the Daisies @ Kloof Wine Estate Run hippies, run! The daisies are calling…can you hear them?! 5 October: Louise Carver @ Kirstenbosch Cape Town’s ‘soul diva’ will be performing at Kirstenbosch’s Silvertree restaurant
26 Sep: Goldfish & Guests @
‘UCT Music Stars’ show Staff Writer
IN keeping with UCT’s strong background of producing proudly South African musicians and artists, the Arts and Culture Society are hosting ‘UCT Music Stars’ on Wednesday, 24 September in Jammie Hall. The focus in the selection criteria was not only on students who are studying music, but also students from various faculties on campus. Students were able to sign up during meridian last week, whilst others sent their applications via email. The show promises performances from some of UCT’s finest musicians. So, if you are looking for a way to celebrate Heritage Day, make sure you get your ticket from the Societies Cashier, Level 5, Steve Biko Building for R30. VIP tickets are R50 and include champagne and snacks. For more info contact Geraldine on 0792970733.
- STUDY OVERSEAS 4 Hotel Schools in SWITZERLAND and 15 Universities in AUSTRALIA Average cost of tuition and accommodation R180000. Working potential after studies. Contact Diana Shires 011 7841533 0722570885 email@example.com
Giant metal Early Friday madness squid invasion Refilwe Modisi
AFTER narrowly escaping the ravenous vultures circling overhead, we made our way into the questionable safety of the Arts Block. The search for an empty venue uncovered room after room of studiously working Humanities students (on a sunny day during meridian – a definite conspiracy). Deeply puzzled, we later stumbled upon an empty lecture theatre and it was here that I settled down with three members of The New Black, finally safe from those damn vultures. I asked the guys whether there was any meaning behind The New Black as a band name. They pointed out that it bears no hidden political message; the guys simply aim to deliver a fresh sound and easy entry into the SA metal scene. With broad grins, they described their sound as ‘post-apartheid, pregiant squid invasion metal’. Their sound is innovative and energetic, combining elements of punk and metal. They have been influenced by the likes of Thrice, Trivium and Alexisonfire. This is evident in lead guitarist Tyrone’s scorching solos and harmonies. When not tearing up the night,
the guys enjoy poker, messing around on dating sites and admiring Tyrone’s mastery of Guitar Hero. Singer Geoff mentioned that it’s a shame that The New Black wasn’t invited to the Olympics, as the guys promised to bring home gold in underwater basket-weaving: They claim to be able to complete the daunting triple weave in less than 30 seconds.
‘...they describe their sound as post-apartheid, pre-giant squid invasion metal...’ What better way to add some scuff to your All Stars than a nice little mosh? Drummer Kyle has promised a free viewing of his buttocks for anyone who performs a handstand at their gigs. If past performances are anything to go by, bassist Brett would be keen to follow suit.
really make a person look stupid. One states that they are comfortable, while the others say that people who wear Crocs look stupid; then the conversation jumps to men who wear pink shirts. Others meeting for the first time are brought together by common ground which they have just come to realise they share. No one holds back. At Early Friday it’s a noholds-barred, open floor where anything goes. The combination of Early
Friday and The Waiting Room produces the ultimate relaxed early Friday night out. It is open to everyone to come and enjoy. It serves as a starter pack of sorts: A starter pack to your Friday and to your whole weekend. It’s an opportunity to become acquainted with many people and perhaps making friends for life. If you want a chilled evening with a close group of friends, Early Friday is the place to have it.
Worth the hype? Calvin Scholtz
‘I WILL not watch the Hansie movie,’ says former Protea fastbowler, Fanie de Villiers. ‘It opens up too many old wounds.’ Tomorrow sees the release of possibly the next big South African movie, from the same group of filmmakers who produced Faith Like Potatoes. That film had a strong religious theme, and despite Hansie being about a star cricketer who cheated at the game he loved so much, it’s clear that the plot focuses more on his ‘journey to redemption’ than his fall from grace. The events surrounding Hansie Cronjé’s premature exit from international cricket, as well as his very public humiliation are well known to most South Africans. What we do not know is what happened afterwards, inside the Cronjé family, and who better to tell us the story than Hansie’s brother, Frans, who is an executive producer. Actor Frank Rautenbach, who played the farmer Angus Buchan in Faith Like Potatoes, takes up the mammoth task of portraying one of South Africa’s favourite sons who became, almost overnight, a national disgrace. While the facial resemblance is not all that great, Rautenbach appears to have made up for it in his mannerisms and the charisma that made Hansie charming enough to convince at least a small number of his teammates to trade patriotism for greed. However, whether people will
Photo courtesy of tvscoop.tv
Matthew Milne witnesses The New Black brave vultures and swordfights
EARLY Friday is the name synonymous with UCT students and the way in which they spend their Friday evenings. As the name suggests, it all goes down on Friday evenings between 5 pm and 9 pm. The occasion that is Early Friday serves a two-fold purpose. It acts as a fundraiser for fourth-year Fine Art students from UCT’s Michaelis School of Fine Arts. Between 10 and 15% of the evening’s bar revenue is used to publish a catalogue of artworks which accompanies the fourthyear graduate exhibition held in December of every year. It also serves as a forum for people from all sectors of the art community to come together and interact. The venue is hosted by The Waiting Room, a secret gardenesque place of sorts, which can be found right next to Royale Eatery, smack in the middle of the excitement and buzz that is Long Street. The comparison to the secret garden is not as far-fetched as one might think: The Waiting Room has an unmarked door which blends in with the wall of the building in which it is situated. Upon discovering the entrance, a visitor is greeted by a long narrow passage with a staircase leading up to the venue. And it is here that one can get a feel for the place based on the blaring music coming from upstairs. Take notice of the retro, loungy décor of the place. It is littered with chairs and cushions for comfort. From the balcony one can witness the transition from day to night over Table Mountain, Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head. One patron was overheard declaring, ‘I want to live here.’ The atmosphere is a relaxed one, with conversation flowing freely. One group is arguing about Crocs and whether or not they
Hansie - ‘The Devil made me do it’ want to sit through what even the blurbs describe as a ‘cathartic’ experience, remains to be seen. Or perhaps, as old ‘Vinnige Fanie’ has implied, we’re still much too close to this issue to view it with any objectivity. Hansie opens on Wednesday 24 September. On the international front, there is once again a rumble coming from a galaxy far, far away. Legions of Jedi knights wielding light sabers are once again set to burst into theatres everywhere, but in a way that you’ve never seen before. Star Wars - The Clone Wars is the first fully-animated film in the franchise, and is actually a spin-off of a TV series set to air on Cartoon Network at some stage. While it will possibly appeal to kids more than Star Wars purists, the animation doesn’t look
half-bad, and the plot does cover a largely unexplored period of the saga’s history. The film will pick up where Episode II - Attack of the Clones ended, and follows the heroes in their various battles with the evil Separatists, led by Count Dooku and General Grievous. However, be warned that only a couple of the original actors return to lend their voices to this film, among them Samuel L Jackson (Mace Windu). No doubt the film will find an audience, but the question will be whether fans leave the cinema feeling like they’ve revisited a universe which has enchanted so many people over time, or like they’ve been duped by good old commercialism. Star Wars - The Clone Wars opens on Friday 26 September.
Volume 67 Number 11
Baxter tempts you to touch Rémy Ngamije
THERE are only two instances in my life when I have had sweaty palms. The first time was my first kiss. It was a tense and nervous affair. I can admit that I had no technical experience whatsoever, other than what I had seen in films, and that was sadly not as educational as I hoped it would be. Which is why, between practising on my teddy bear and my imaginary girlfriend, one can understand why my palms were bleeding sweat. The other time was just before I had to attend this year’s Baxter Hall formal. I had to put on a suit. I had to be presentable. I had to do something that would make me appear to be human. Most of all, what had my palms perspiring, was the thought of being in the presence of 100 beautiful ladies dressed to the nines. The odds were enough to cripple a man. But suit up I did, presentable I tried to be and human I barely managed to look as I strolled towards Baxter Hall, waiting to see why the formal season is such an important time in the life of UCT’s residence students. On arrival at the pre-drinks function, my heart skipped enough beats to make any qualified doctor pronounce me clinically dead. The ladies were not dressed to kill but dressed to thrill. And thrill they did. Amid a bedazzling mixture of colours and dress designs, I was astounded at the time and preparation that was dedicated to this one evening. Whether long and flowing, or short and sexy, each dress seemed to impress me more than the next, the only thing more captivating than the attire itself being the welcoming smiles on the women of Baxter Hall. After building up some courage and picking my jaw up off the floor, I managed to discover why formals are events anticipated from the
beginning of the year and meticulously prepared for. ‘It is a time for all of us to be together and celebrate each other’s company,’ said Naledi, a member of the outgoing House Committee. ‘We can all relax, dress like there is no tomorrow, and have a good time.’ With the uttering of that statement, the stage was set for the rest of the evening, a night that I would not easily forget. After a short drive to the Kenilworth Race Course, where the main event would be held, I was seated in a sumptuous suite, with a commanding view of the race track and the nightlights of the Southern Suburbs, basking in the warmth and excitement that only such an event could generate. It is perhaps at this time that I realised that the best events for any member of The Press are those in which one does not feel like a journalist. From seating to eating, drinking and dancing, I was wholly welcomed into the camaraderie that never ebbed. The elegantly-decorated room was a plausible reason for calling the evening, ‘The Golden Affair’, completing what was a night worthy of such a title. The social significance of the evening was perhaps one of the most noticeable aspects, providing each student with the opportunity to engage on a public stage where the skills of social conversation and entertainment could be learned. The managing of the evening – from arranging the catering, the renting of the venue, as well as the smooth execution of the event – were all facets of the evening which can be attributed to the competence House Comm. With the organising of an event of such a grand scale, the Baxter formal highlighted the managerial, communication and public relation skills that were required to make the evening a success.
Photos by Remy Ngamije
Sizzling - The ladies of Baxter Hall, bedazzling at their formal at the Kenilworth Race Course. Glitz and glam was in the air as they celebrated their 50th Anniversary Formal. ‘It is a time to celebrate living, not existence,’ was the theme of the toast which was eagerly taken up by the invitees of the evening. The hard work and creativity of the outgoing House Comm. culminated in the hosting of an event worthy of praise. As the evening wound to a close, it was time to pop bottles and drop models, the music pulled all its attendants to the dance floor, memories of other formal events were forgotten as I was shown why, for 50 years, Baxter hall has been ‘setting the standard’.
Uncharted territory – UFS
Marthinus-theunis steyn - Steeped in colonial history, both UCT and UFS have relics of the past looking at their future (Left). The captivating waterworks leading up to the Administrative Building (Right). commands a panoramic view of Cape Town, so does UFS distract the eye with the manicured lawns tucked in between buildings and the groves of evergreens that line every walkway. Strolling around the campus, one quickly notices how easy it is for students of UFS to leisurely lounge on the lawns, providing intimate nooks and crannies where soccer and freesbie present popular pastimes. Complimenting the modern architecture, the abundance of flora at UFS is perhaps its most defining feature, rendering the university a relaxed learning environment. After admiring the aesthetic qualities of UFS, one slowly becomes aware of the differences in the student bodies of the two campuses. Steeped in his-
tory and prestige, UCT attracts students from around the world, creating a kaleidoscope of colour and culture, lending credibility to its reputation as an international university. Even with 104 years of history, UFS cannot claim the same degree of diversity, or to a lesser extent, sophistication as UCT. With UCT’s cultural diversity, comes a certain cosmopolitan trait that can be easily seen around the campus, including high fashion, and a continuous parade of cellular technology. In contrast, a tangible conservative attitude is expressed on the UFS campus by both staff and students. It is the conservative tendency of UFS that perhaps leads to the racial persona attributed to it. Although UFS may not be as
Balancing school and work DO YOUR friends have more free time than you because they don’t have a steady job? Are your friends poor because you slave away earning the greens while they go out drinking their allowance away? Many students are familiar with the joys and woes of part-time jobs. Hence, the newly-devised definition of ‘the working class’ involves hard-working individuals who juggle both university classes and a form of income to keep the ‘boat afloat’. After poking around and receiving insightful information on this widely debated topic, I have found a remarkable array of opinions regarding the need to seek employment versus those who are happy to sponge off their parents. One student I approached happened to run a computer company with two other friends, and thought that working was beneficial because it exposes one to the real world. He said it would be particularly useful for someone wanting to get into business, as a student job can dramatically improve one’s understanding of the work place. Another student, who has been working since the age of 14, felt that work experience was necessary, despite the fact that
Photo courtesy of Masterfile
Megan Lyons explores the working-class world of students
it cuts into some free time. She said that a job improves time management. It also means ‘…having the ability to do the things I want to do, without relying on anybody else, to have complete independence and to prioritise.’ However, this idealistic view of ‘the working student’ has an equal number of exceptions. In fact, on the contrary to the positive aspects of earning some cash, some were in favour of simply sitting on their asses and letting
their parents finance their social well-being. I can imagine how this would appeal to certain students because having more time to socialise and party – as well as for some, ahem, university work – would tend to make the university experience carefree with minimal stress levels. After all, why would one want to voluntarily add another commitment to the list? One of the possible reasons lies within the fact that some students cannot afford to kick back and relax while their parents pay. Other students work because of their pride, to foster a sense of independence; it leaves them in control of their own destiny and with the luxury of being able to buy that extra beer. Why people choose to have a job ultimately depends on the kind of person they are and the conditions in which they find themselves. For some, working gives them that warm, fuzzy and independent feeling inside. Others, however, have no worries about parental sponging, and/or do not mind being broke or simply, just can’t afford to NOT work. So it is therefore up to you and you alone whether or not to commit to a parttime job.
‘Although UFS may not be as diverse as UCT, it is harsh to say that it is a black and white campus’ diverse as UCT, it is harsh to say that it is a black and white campus. ‘It is not as racial as many people think it is,’ said Amy Van Buuren, a second-year student. ‘It is just that everyone seems to think that everyone hates everyone else, but if you take the time to speak to someone, they will open up.’ The
tendency to stick to conservative ideals is perhaps what sets UFS apart from UCT, a more liberal and socially-embracive campus. After losing my direction no less than three times, I was disappointed that I would not have any tales of my heroic exploits against Ku Klux Klan members, or how I had single-handedly given the racist students of UFS a ‘taste of their own medicine’, with a little Remy sprinkled on top. UFS proved to be the largest testament to the tagline that perception is deception. With my visit concluded, I set off back to Cape Town, knowing that students of Rhodes, Stellenbosch, Wits and UFS, all share one common similarity: They all applied for UCT.
So over it? Sheila Afari
AT THE beginning of the year, everyone is rather happy to be back on campus. After three months at home, most people find it refreshing to see new faces and relay their holiday escapades to their friends. The sun is scorching, which only translates to a mini-skirt festival and random trips to the beach. With ‘fresh meat’ everywhere and no lectures or assignments, O-Week truly is heaven sent. Unfortunately, it is that time of year again. O-Week is a distant memory and exam timetables are up. You are swamped with tests and assignments, you have been eating Sechaba meals for seven months now, and it’s still raining. You get to the point where you are simply just over it! What is the antidote? I took a walk around campus to find out exactly that. Nigerian Society President, Elvis Obi, said he sees all the work as a pathway to greater things – so he just perseveres. RAG Summer Concert PM, April Mendelsohn, also believes in just working harder, but she mixes it with a bit of jogging and drinking. Seamus Duggan, the incoming VARSITY Editor, gets ‘over it’ by relaxing and partying. Three anonymous
Photo courtesy of Masterfile
IT WAS with apprehension that I walked through the gates of the University of the Free State (UFS) on a recent visit to Bloemfontein, nervously peering around every corner, expecting to be accosted by men in white sheets carrying burning crosses. With the negative attention that had been focused on UFS due to the recent race videotape scandal, I was certain, due to my irresistible, chocolate-brown disposition, that one of two things would happen to me: I would be lynched or offered a meal cooked in some unsavoury marinade and then lynched (see chocolatebrown disposition above). Thus, with little more than a wish to live to write another day, I decided to explore the University of the Free State: Uncharted territory for many of UCT’s students. On passing through the main gate, any visitor could be overwhelmed by the sheer size of the campus. This is the first way in which UCT and UFS differ; imbuing the two respective campuses with distinctly contrasting atmospheres. Nestled on the hills of the Groote Schuur Estate, UCT is situated in an isolated part of Cape Town – intimate – with many students interacting on the same landscape evident during busy meridian periods. The flat, featureless milieu of UFS, crisscrossed by numerous roads renders it an open, vast interface in which student life is dissolved and scattered into small groups. ‘It is not easy to travel around campus,’ said UFS student, Mpho Mtau. This statement proved too true by my constant disorientation. I estimated that if you were already ten minutes away from your lecture, you would probably get there 30 minutes later. That is how large UFS is. After the initial shock of the size of UFS has worn off, the greenery of the gardens and the miniature forests that sprawl the campus are the next spectacles to captivate the visitor. Just as UCT
Photos by Remy Ngamije
Commerce students also take the partying route. They say it’s Tin Roof on Mondays to beat the Monday blues, and Tiger Tiger on Thursdays to drink the ‘horror of ecos’ away. Bentolina Nnada, a Varietas House Committee member, dances her stress away; and Laurie, a second-year Humanities student, eats AfriQuezeen, gets the ‘itis’ and goes and sleeps before studying. Although people engage in different activities to get over the stressors of varsity, it is clearly apparent that there is a need to do something other than study during one’s ‘free’ time. I guess it is a good thing that we have a threemonth vacation coming up!
THAT EARNS YOU UP TO
100%INTEREST If youâ€™ve recently graduated, or are just about to complete your Bachelorâ€™s degree, you may find that prospective employers are not showing enough interest in your considerable potential. What you need are some solid business and entrepreneurial skills to get the kind of attention you deserve. The Faculty of Commerce at the University of Cape Town offers four postgraduate diploma courses in Management: Enterprise Management, Marketing Management, Sport Management and Tourism Management. These intensive one-year courses prepare students for the world of business and have a reputation for dramatically enhancing career opportunities. A strong theoretical and practical grounding in the key management disciplines and area of specialisation ensures that graduates can make an immediate and valuable contribution in their chosen careers. To apply for admission, you need only an undergraduate degree in ANY area, a year of your time and the passion to succeed. Applications close end November each year. For more information contact Janine Osman: Email Janine.Osman@uct.ac.za Tel 021 650-4393, or visit the School of Management Studies website:
VARSITY UCT AD 2008.indd 1
8/31/08 9:02:53 PM
Size does not matter
Rémy Ngamije looks at Apple’s thinnest iPod ever the iTunes library at the touch of a button. This function enables the iPod to sample similar sings from the user’s music library as well as any other songs that would be available from the online iTunes Music Store. Perhaps the most striking function of the newest iPod Nano is the ‘Shake to Shuffle’ mode; a feature which would send the player to shuffle mode allowing the user to move backwards and forwards through a playlist by the simple flick of a wrist. The ‘Shake to Shuffle’ feature, the Nano’s main marketing asset, was hailed as a symbol of iPod’s continued creativity in the world of electronic design. Not only does it push the boundaries of science and technology, but also the financial viability of portable music players, increasingly discovering original methods in which to integrate an object once considered an ostentatious luxury into the daily life of its users. The release of the newest Nano also sparked criticism from some of iPod’s competitors, Microsoft and JNC, which are two companies
that have long been trailing in the large, economic shadow cast by the world’s smallest music player. Stating that Apple has slowly been drowning the music player market with multiple versions of the same product, with newer models having only one new trivial feature, Microsoft has stated that the latest Nano was ‘nothing more than a small package claiming to carry dynamite.’ Microsoft’s sentiments are echoed by many of iPod’s most loyal supporters, with some stating that a new colour for cover does not warrant the out-moding of previous models. With the iTouch, iPhone, iPoc Classic, iPod Video, iPod Shuffle as well as previous models of the iPod Nano still in market circulation, critics point out that all of iPod’s products are basically mirror reflections of each other with one or two functions drawing a thin line between the different models. ‘Milking the idea’ of the iPod is a trait that has been slammed on Apple recently as its products have increasingly become homogenous. Even Steve Jobs was quick to
The Land Bank, whodunnit? Sentlenyana Machaba BUBBLE bubble, toil and trouble. It would appear that the scandals that have plagued the Land Bank over the past 18 months continue to leave a foul stench in the air. Forensic audit reports, corruption and fraud allegations may all appear to be the perfect ingredients for a badly-scripted soap opera, yet they also moonlight as the troubles faced by yet another one of South Africa’s parastatals. The mandate of the Land Bank, subsequent to 1994, has been to de-racialise the South African agricultural sector through targeted financing of emerging farmers and helping historically disadvantaged South Africans enter the food-production sector. In conjunction with this, service to commercial farmers is to be maintained; but most importantly, the implicit guarantee of food security in the South African economy is also to be provided. With such great responsibility weighed on the shoulders of this institution, one would expect impeccable internal corporate governance and the employment of stringent fund management to their top priorities. Instead, the pillaging of the bank’s resources is what was witnessed. The wheels fell off in 2007 when a damning forensic audit report, overseen by auditing firm Deloitte, exposed the misappropriation of funds and discrepancies in the loans granted to some companies and individuals. The report revealed that former Chief Executive, Alan Mukoki, and his executives deviated from their mandate and funded companies that had nothing to do with agriculture, namely golf estates and other property developments. In addition, loans were granted to companies in which some of the bank’s top management were shareholders. The final straw came when it was revealed that Kwa-Zulu Natal businessman, Patrick Sokhela, had received a loan from the bank to buy Premier Soccer League status for his soccer team, Amazulu, as well as purchase prime property along the KZN coastline. In light
of these findings, the auditors called for criminal charges to be brought up against Mukoki and his implicated executives. In order to curtail a complete financial disaster within the bank, golden boy Themba Langa was appointed as the new chairman in March this year. His strategy to turn around an institution that had been exposed as being rotten to the core included placing a moratorium on loan disbursements until all checks were in place, as well as re-routing resources to the recovery of bad debts already in issue due to the magnitude of the loans already granted. In addition, in October 2007, the government provided the bank with a cash injection of R700m and a R1, 5-bn guarantee. Before farmers could rejoice at the prospect of stability and government could come out behind its cloud of shame, Langa threatened to resign due to the alleged unwarranted and illegal interference by the Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs, Lulu Xingwana, in decision-making processes. Langa accused the minister of overruling board decisions – for which she had no authority – as well as imposing imprudent loan agreements on the board. In particular, the loan of R640m that was granted to Patrick Sokhela for use in his company, Ushukela, for the purchase of sugar mills in KZN. No repayments had been received since its issue in 2004. With interest of over R20m per year in arrears, it was the decision of the board to foreclose on the business and attach their assets. However, in a surprising counteraction, the minister signed a contract forbidding such action, without providing an explanation. The minister’s office denied any interference on their part. However, before Langa could celebrate his six-month anniversary at the bank, he was summarily dismissed by the minister due to his alleged ‘incompetence’. The minister was then assigned as the political head of the bank. However, when its ailing state was not improved, coupled with the
discovery that promissory notes valued at R28m had been stolen out of the bank’s vault in 2007, the Presidency replaced Minister Lulu Xingwana last month with the treasury as the head of the bank. This, in effect, will put the bank under the leadership of the Minister of Finance, Trevor Manuel. The Presidency denies that this move is an admission of Xingwana’s lack of capacity to oversee the bank or that the move is a precursor to her being sacked as a cabinet minister. Under Xingwana’s department’s management the board’s audit committee head, Joe Mthimunye, and the head of risk services, Modise Motloba, jumped ship in mid2008. In addition, the bank Chief Financial Officer, Xolile Ncame, was fired for supplying external auditors, Ernst & Young, with a dossier that revealed that a special account had been set up within the bank from which payments were being made to companies that did not exist. More than anything, the scandals that have rocked this parastatal, highlight the disappointing trend of disregarding corporate governance guidelines by South African companies and individuals. The opportunistic and greedy gorge themselves with the fruits of the economy, due to the lax ‘rules’ that are in place. With the most serious of white-collar crimes in South Africa resulting in a slap on the wrist, who wouldn’t throw business ethics, due process and fiduciary obligations out the window for a quick buck? Over the past five years, the Land Bank has incurred estimated losses of over R2bn. Even with the ‘help’ of politicians in trying to save this sinking ship, the end result is still the same: the farmers who were supposed to benefit from the bank’s loan policy and play an instrumental role in the South African economy, are left standing out in the cold as government staggeringly struggles to find a solution to resurrect this embattled institution.
Minimalist - Apple continues to push technological barriers acknowledge the lacklustre release of the new iPod Nano, stating that it was a sample of the larger range of products that would be available at Apple and Mac expos later in the year. With the 8GB version of the new iPod Nano retailing at U$190 (R869) and the 16GB ver-
sion expected to set consumers at U$150 (R1185), Steve Jobs was enthusiastic about the prospects of Apple and its latest venture, who’s stock ironically dropped from U$159.64 to U$152.12 a share, during the release of the world’s thinnest iPod.
JSE malfunction causes loss of trade of R325,000 a second M Irfaan Imamdin OFFER someone a computer system that will crash only once in six years and will be up and running 99.6% of the time, and most businesses will gladly take it. Tell them that the one, nine-hour long crash it will suffer in that time will cost them R7 billion, and they would not be so certain. Last July, the Johannesburg Securities Exchange – the trading powerhouse on the continent – was closed for most of a day as a hardware problem with a network switch prevented public data from being spread by the JSE network to its customers. The sixhour downtime (equivalent to a loss of trade of nearly R325,000 per second), left traders unable to see each other or the bourse for most of the working day. The JSE extended trading hours until 7 pm to recoup some of the losses. The failure came a few weeks before the system was due for an upgrade, fast-tracking the installation and failover testing of the new software.
Image courtesy of Masterfile
APPLE, the manufacturer of the world’s most famous electronic music player, iPod, released the smallest version of its iPod Nano range yet. Measuring no more than a centimetre in width, the fourth generation Nano was launched on 9 September at a US press conference by Apple CEO, Steve Jobs. Hailed as one of the inventions that changed the modern world by music enthusiasts, techno-critics and stock market analysts, the iPod has been a perennial moneyspinner in stock markets the world over, with the latest Nano hoped to be the new benchmark for electronic music players. Boasting a wide variety of colours, an environmentally-friendly, mercuryfree and PVC body as well as an arsenic-free glass, Steve Jobs, quickly pointed out the Nano’s ‘high recyclability’ as one of the newest features to set it apart from its predecessors. Apart from the environmental credentials, the Nano has had some new features integrated into its super-slim body. Chief among them, being the user’s ability to create an automatic playlist from
The crash highlights some of the shortcomings of e-commerce, which while having the benefits of instant trade and information, is still hinged on the technology it operates on. In effect, this creates another level of complexity of the risk of trade exchange. Put this in the context of a global capitalist economy which is both highly volatile and highly competitive, and the need for stronger and more secure infrastructure and technology housing and supporting electronic trade becomes apparent.
Thomson on redundant music ABOUT two weeks ago, I was waiting in line at Steers for one of the weekly late food runs (res kids will know all about this), and the new Slipknot song came on the TV. This got me thinking; is Slipknot still relevant? Every music genre or act/group has its place in society– Blink 182 and Offspring for preteens, Korn and other nu-metal groups for the angry teenager phase, and crap like Usher and his ilk for those who have no taste. Some bands, like Korn, still have a place in the heart of any metalhead for being a visionary in their genre, so they are still relevant. Blink, on the other hand, is now just immature, simple and utterly vomit-inducing garbage. So where does this leave Slipknot? I was an avid fan when I was in my spotty face, angry
teenager days, but now they are no longer on my radar. So this leads to my next question: Do all music acts fall into a particular time frame? I’m a big Nine Inch Nails fan, as very few people would have noticed, and I can appreciate how various aspects of their music can apply to different people in singular stages of their life. Blink, as I harbour a particular disdain for them, seem to do the same thing over and over, therefore only applying to one ‘market’. Does that make them redundant? To me – yes. This probably applies to my peers too. But to the prepubscent bloke, they could be quite awesome. Anyway, this may or not be my final column. If it is, thanks to all that read it. If it isn’t, I’ll see you next week.
Anton ‘He’s so far back in the closet, he’s in Narnia’ Taylor
Nabeelah Martin Editor Despite having a SASCO boyfriend, the hammer and sickle tattooed onto her back, and a weekly subscription to Enemies of Capitalism, Nabeelah never ever allowed her own personal beliefs to influence the newspaper. However, she sold her body for stories, and for that, we are truly grateful. G Chihuahuas o team! Grade: U for ‘Unbiased’
Humour Editor Anton came late to the VARSITY family and desperate not to be the 17th wheel, he made a point of going overboard… all the time. But we discovered that he actually owns the Oprah Winfrey Greatest Episodes collection, which is right next to Knitting and Stress Relief, and let’s not forget Dr Phil’s How to Treat Women Right guide. We wish him all the best on his quest for power – good luck 7th Floor – you can have him. We’re done with that ‘I’m-a-Mediterranean-look-
at-my-hairy-chest’ thing he has going on. Oh, and just a warning, whenever he’s thinking (which he engages in more than one might believe) he often puts his hands inside his pants. He also takes off his shirt every time he’s in the office (without having showered beforehand). We will miss the pet names he bestows upon male and female collective members alike, such as ‘ange’, ‘babes’, ‘precious’ and ‘princess.’
Grade: S for ‘Schnookums’
And so it was that Kieran enjoyed being laid out by all of us, every weekend, and sometimes even on Mondays. At least he always wore underwear. And just to clear it up – a family of Chihuahuas did not make their home on his head, that’s 100% organic hair. He really likes bananas too. Grade: M for ‘Monkey’
‘You’re only a true Indie groupie once you’ve slept with the guitarist.’ So what does that make you if you’ve only slept with the drummer, the sound guy, the driver, the bouncer, the cleaner, the security guard, the sandwich boy, the sports editor, the drug dealer and the guitar??? Grade: I for ‘Indie’
Volume 67 Number 11
Arts and Entertainment Editor
Philippa Levenberg / Zerene Haddad Chief Sub-editor / News Editor ‘Nancy and Drew’
Tara Leverton Opinions Editor FIRE!! FIRE!! I’M ON FIRE! PUT OUT THE FIRE!!! IT’S ON MY HEAD! AAAAHHHHHH!!! (Stop. Drop. And roll. Ed) Grade: G for ‘Ginga’
Philippa and Zerene began their relationship by teaming up and writing an article together. They thought they were really cool and started calling themselves ‘Nancy and Drew’. Cooool! In no time, their relationship was on Facebook, and the VARSITY office soon became littered with cucumbers, carrots and tubs of KY jelly. Word on the street is that Zerene is the Bitch. We wish them all the best and happy scissoring. Grade: A+ for ‘Action Packed’ and A for ‘Ambiguous Sexuality’
Jade Taylor Cookie Cooke Features Editor
Jade makes us dribble with her sumptuous sweet delights… no not those delights, the other kind – the cookie kind. We find it funny that she cooks us goodies and her surname’s Cooke. HAHAHAHAHAHA. (Small minds. Ed) Grade: D for ‘Delicious’
A Focus Editor
How hectic is this? Seamus had/has been scoring Zerene for most of the year. There’re some ‘internal’ (get it?!) issues, but the two seem to have awkwardly moved on. But next year, he is going to be editor, whilst Zerene is going to be Deputy (once again, the Bitch). Just think how awkward it’s going to be. Apparently, Zerene is contractually obligated to pleasure him. If his raging alcoholism doesn’t run this newspaper into the ground he could do a good job… On Zerene. Ha ha. Grade: RR+ for ‘Red Red Wine’
‘The section went well, the boys gave 110%. We had our backs to the wall, obviously there were some mistakes, but yeah… we had our backs to the wall, so we’re just gonna go back to the drawing board. But I’m proud of the boys; they gave 110%, especially when they had their backs to the wall, they made us proud, not when they dropped the ball, but otherwise they gave 110%. So yeah…’
Karl ‘Superjock’ Thompson Business and Technology Editor No, really, there is a section, haven’t you seen it in the corner? What do we say… ummmmm… this is awkward. See you Opinions Editor next week? Grade: W- for ‘Who?’
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. It is with a heavy heart that I bid the readers of the VARSITY Humour section farewell. After this edition, the Humour section will be swallowed into Features, and I will happily spend the rest
of my days trawling Tiger Tiger, stealing SRC charity funds, and referring to myself in the third person. I would like to thank you all for reading my articles, and particularly for those who encouraged my writing, and also bought me drinks when I was out. I’ve had an amazing time heading up the Humour section, but let’s be honest, it’s pretty hard to top an article you wrote about yourself with a picture of you in a crown. Rather quit while you’re on top. Thank you. Goodbye. I love you. xXx
Farewell Monty Rory Holmes MONTAGUE Taljaard, affectionately known as Monty, came from Grey, PE in 2006 and captained the A1’s as a first year. In 2007, he led the A1’s once again in a season that saw them go unbeaten in winning the Western Province Under20 A league. He made his First XV debut in the same year. He played for the Ikey Tigers in this year’s Varsity Cup, winning two Man of the Match awards and was set to have an even greater impact next year. He was a popular figure around the rugby club where he was a member of the players committee and served on EXCO. Monty was respected not only for his skill on the field, but also for his qualities as a human being. He was a student master at Bishops Preparatory School where he also coached the U14 side. Leanord Caplan, head of rugby at the school, said the boys were simply devastated by the tragedy. In an e-mail to all members
of the Rugby Club, John Dobson, UCT 1st XV coach, expressed his grief on the matter, ‘It gives me, as tears hit the keyboard, great comfort and should give all of us comfort that he told Pete Haw on the evening of the accident that he was very happy and that his life was going in the perfect direction. Please take solace that ‘Monts’ was someone who lit up all our lives and will never be forgotten. He was our captain. On behalf of UCT RFC please accept our sincere, heartfelt and absolutely agonising condolences.’ It greatly saddens me personally, both as a student and a rugby player, that one as talented as Monty was lost to us all. My heart goes out to his friends and family. John Dobson summed it up perfectly with his words, ‘He loved UCT and we loved him’. With the upcoming fixture against Maties on 27 September, there will be no single player for UCT who will not play their heart out for a great individual lost in the prime of his life.
Photo courtesy of telegraph.co.uk
IT WAS a familiar sight, one that even months ago would have caused little comment. Roger Federer, tennis megastar, rolled across the hard blue court of Arthur Ashe stadium, a grimace of triumph on his face. In the stands, Federer’s most ardent fan, American Vogue Editor, Anna Wintour, forgot herself long enough to hop up and down in a most un-Wintour-like expression of enthusiasm. Federer’s emphatic straight sets victory (6-2, 7-5, 6-2) over Scot Andy Murray in this month’s US Open finals, brought the Swiss player one title closer to Pete Sampras’ record of 14. But perhaps even more importantly, Federer’s victory silenced the chorus of detractors who had gleefully recorded his fall from the top. It ended a year of early-round losses to insignificant opponents on the ATP tour. It ended a year that saw Federer lose the French Open, Wimbledon, the Olympics and his number one title to 21-year-old Spaniard Rafael Nadal. Now the question becomes, is Federer back to stay? True, he seems to have recovered from his bout of mononucleosis, which many, including Federer himself, have cited as the reason for his lackluster season. From the Open’s earliest stages, Federer’s trademark brilliance and sparkle were once again apparent. His forehand, his serve and his incomparable footwork were all back. But at 27, Federer has been at the top for years now. His body is surely feeling the wear and tear
of pounding the courts. Also, his competition is catching up. The past year has seen the rise of a new guard of young players (including Nadal and Serbian Novak Djokovic) eager to challenge the man many consider to be the greatest tennis player of our time. Given these facts, Federer’s comeback, so to speak, was never certain. In interviews given after his victory, Federer himself seemed keenly aware of this fact. Federer told the New York Times, ‘It’s all about wins, and that’s why this is huge. This is massive, really, and I’m very, very happy about this Grand Slam.’ On sports blogs, Federer fans expressed similar sentiments. His relief and their relief and the importance of this win to them could not be more obvious. In tennis, as in any other sport, predictions are foolhardy and almost never right. There are simply too many unknowns. There is injury and illness, the level of the competition and limitless other factors. But I think that it is safe to say that Roger Federer’s balletic presence will be around for a while, at least long enough for him to capture that 14th title that would bring him on par with the legendary Sampras. Federer may even take back his number one spot. But that aura of inevitability that used to accompany every Federer match is gone. The king has been proven fallible and vulnerable. Men’s tennis is once again competitive and all the more exciting for it.
Jubilation - Roger Federer celebrates his comeback
In Memory of Monty- Monty captured in this photo doing what he loved best. He will be missed by many UCT students.
Armstrong returns to beleaguered Tour Photo courtesy of bicycle.net
Daniel Freund LANCE Armstrong’s decision to stage a comeback in next year’s Tour de France is welcome news for a sport that has undergone a chaotic upheaval in the past few years. Continued doping offences and the subsequent withdrawal of various sponsorships have severely tarnished the reputation of the event. The mystical grandeur once associated with the Tour is diminishing quickly and certainly something was needed to revitalise the image of this iconic event if it was to avoid slipping back into relative obscurity. Armstrong’s announcement that he would return to compete in the Tour in 2009 has helped to provide some coverage of the event without the cynicism and pessimism which has been prevalent recently. Whether this is what is best for Lance Armstrong as individual and as a cyclist is uncertain, however, I would argue that it is. The worst possible outcome for Armstrong is that he rides in a race which is again marred by scandal and that he does not win. So what? This is hardly going to change how history remembers him as a cyclist. He will still have seven titles to his name, the most by any man, and his own, quite remarkable personal story will still continue to engender awe and wonder. It is also clear that his participation would immeasurably benefit the perception of the Tour. Firstly, and probably most pertinently, it would take the media spotlight off all the negative aspects currently afflicting the tour. Armstrong remains the most powerful and enduring symbol of the race. The
Lance Armstrong - lending credibility to the Tour de France qualities he possesses – bravery, determination and physical ability – are the sort of attributes which elevated the Tour’s prestige and attracted a knowledgeable and fanatical following around the world. And, doping or no-doping, this grueling challenge still imposes incredible demands on the participants and Armstrong’s return can only serve to heighten awareness of this fact. Armstrong has again declared that he hopes his involvement in the tour will continue to raise awareness for the sufferers of cancer. As Armstrong is a wellknown survivor of the disease, his personal experiences coupled with what is sure to be a high-profile return to the race, can only help
the cause. Purely from a cycling perspective, his involvement will add a new dynamic to the peloton. A cyclist of formidable skill and experience, Armstrong will be desperate to win, and this should stir the peloton into a response. Hopefully this will give rise to a Tour of genuine excitement and intrigue. All things considered, it seems likely that Lance Armstrong’s re-emergence onto the cycling scene will have only a positive effect on a sport that desperately needs to tear its focus away from off-the-road issues and highlight the ins and outs of the sport once again.
Rory Holmes ON WEDNESDAY last week, the semi-finals of the Steinhoff Internal League were played in waterlogged conditions on the ‘Green Mile’. Last week’s games saw the Nadoes, hoping for their fifth title in a row, take on the Barbarians – 2006’s runners-up. It was always going to be a close affair and the match lived up to its billing. For the first ten minutes of the game, the Baa Baas put the Nadoes under some intense pressure, and looked to score early on as a perfectly-weighted cross kick from the Baa Baa’s flyhalf, Mauro Chiochetti, bounced up for the winger who knocked the wet ball on. From there, the Nadoes came back up the field and scored a good try after getting the ball moving between the hands quickly to cross over in the corner. With Nadoes leading 5-0 at half-time, the match was poised on a knife’s edge as Baa Baa’s came back strongly time and again and were unfortunate not to score as Nadoes weathered the onslaught. Nadoes scored their second try after defending inside their own 22 from a spilled interception attempt. Nadoes were quick onto the ball and broke away only to be stopped on the Baa Baa’s five metre line, who then knocked on. The subsequent scrum afforded the Nadoes the opportunity to pick from the base and drive over under the poles. Final score 12-0 to the Nadoes. The other semi-final pitted the Purple Cobras against the Spanners in what many expected to be a one-sided affair. It started off as such with the Cobra’s winger Ian ‘Army’ Armstrong collecting a misplaced kick and stepping round his opposite number to break through and offload to fullback Warren ‘Oupa’ Kelly for a classic Cobra’s try under
the poles. The Spanners weren’t done yet, however, and fought back, superbly putting the Cobras defence to the test time and time again. Eventually, the purple machine could not be stopped and Cobras scored their second try to take the match 12-0 in a similarly hard-fought encounter. The Steinhoff Internal League has truly been set alight this year through the introduction of the new sponsors and all the teams’ competitive spirit. There has not been such a closely-contested league for a long time. The finals are to be held on Wednesday this week, which coincides with Heritage Day and National Braai Day. The Nadoes and the Cobras will contest the final for the Cup, with the Baa Baas and Spanners contesting the Shield, and Marquad and Turtles contesting the Bowl final. The Cobras are the only side this year to have beaten the Nadoes, so the stage has been set for a thrilling encounter between the two sides in the final. The final day of the Steinoff Internal League will commence at 3:30 pm and will build up to the curtain raiser for the Shield between Baa Baa’s and Spanners before the 4:30 pm kick-off for the final. Prize-giving will be conducted at 5:30 pm with various prizes being awarded to the winners of the Cup, Shield and Bowl respectively. In addition, this year, all the stops have been pulled out as the league organisers have managed to bring down a DJ who will play all day, the Chicken burger guy from campus and Boston beer who will be provide beer on tap and beer tasting. There will also be braai facilities available for ‘bring and braais’, and the stage has been set for what should be an exceptional day.
WHILE South Africa may have failed dismally at this year’s Olympic games, our paralympians succeeded beyond measure. 21 gold medals leaves South Africa ranking sixth on the achievement table; beating Germany, France and Russia. However, not even the Paralympics could escape the all-too-common drug scandals that plague competitive sport. A bittersweet mix of glory and disgrace marked the start of the 2008 Paralympic games in Beijing. For South Africa, the spotlight was shining on two competitors in particular, namely Oscar Pistorius and Natalie du Toit. A controversial athlete to say the very least, Oscar Pistorius is now in the limelight for a better reason. While he may not have won the battle to compete at the Olympics, he certainly proved his might as a true competitor during the Paralympics. The Blade Runner arrived on home soil with three gold medals to flash. He won the Men’s 100m, 200m and 400m races. Acclaimed swimmer, Natalie du Toit not only won five gold medals, but set four new world records for the 100m butterfly, 100m freestyle, 200m individual medley and the 400m freestyle. As if this achievement wasn’t enough, she was honoured with the prestigious Whang Youn Dai Achievement Award, a tribute to paraplegic athletes who take life into their own hands despite their disability. Other athletic greats not to be forgotten include visually-impaired athlete, Hilton Langenhoven, who walked away with three gold medals, as well as Discus competitor, Fanie Lombard, who too stole the top spot on the podium. When speaking of Hilton Langenhoven, Lombard was full of praise. ‘He’s the story of the Paralympics.’ It was such a pity that yet another drug scandal had to ruin the world of competitive sport. The Paralympics, which has not been marred by such a scandal before, was forced to disquali-
Blade runner - Oscar Pistorius won three gold medals fy Pakistani powerlifter, Naveed Ahmed Butt, for using steroids. It seems strange that athletes continue to use steroids, being the most commonly tested for drugs in the sporting arena. However, the most important thing to take out of the 2008 Paralympic games is not one fool’s
use of prohibited drugs, but rather the glory that the rest of the athletes took back to their countries. This country’s paralympians have brought a little bit of pride back to South African sport. Thanks to these men and women, we can bask in some much-needed greenand-gold glory.
Photo courtesy of theage.com.au
Finals fast Paralympics glory approaching