A failure to communicate
Stripper’s cinematic masterpiece
Ikeys fly high page 12
3 March 2008 · Volume 67, Number 2 · 021 650 3543 · firstname.lastname@example.org
RAG Float frenzy Laing Lourens
THE 83rd UCT RAG Float Parade took place on Saturday. This year the theme was Homegrown Heroes/Proudly South African. Smuts and Fuller took first place using the investigative crimefighting unit, the Scorpions, as inspiration for their float’s theme. Varietas came second place with their braai-themed float, followed by College House whose creation was influenced by the cartoon strip, Madam and Eve. The parade is a vibrant event, and always leaves the Cape Town Central Business District full of life. The event is highly anticipated and attracts families for a day out. This is RAG’s longestrunning event, and has become a Cape Town tradition. However, there is a fair amount of organising involved. Friday was float-building night, where Goodhope FM broadcasted live from the UCT Tennis Club. Twelve floats were built comprising of ten residences, the RAG and the Engineering Faculty float. The floats parade is headlined by Pick ‘n Pay, as it has been for many years. Goodhope FM was at the parade along with the SACS Marching Band, lending their support. Floats Project Manager, Jonathan Cotton, commented during the preparation week that, ‘it’s going to be fantastic!’ Floats are made using reams of coloured plastic, which are fed through wire mesh, resulting in
hours of work having to be put in. For some residences this is compulsory, whereas in others it is merely encouraged. Kopano head student, Dulan Simons, emphasises that the floats are always a big event on their calendar and never expects his residence to miss out on participating. Simons praises the event and believes that ‘seeing children’s faces light up at the sight of a colourful float with hoards of mad people around it, will make anyone who doubts the credibility and purpose of this event, think twice about uttering another negative comment.’ All proceeds raised from the street collection, which took place on the day, will go towards RAG’s goal of raising R1.5m for their beneficiary, SHAWCO.
Photos courtesy of Justin Andrews
Floating away - (top left) Charles Bradshaw proudly waves the South African flag; (top right) Kopano’s rocket was a tribute to Mark Shuttleworth; (bottom right), the EBE Faculty float of the Protea; (bottom left), third-place winners College House, with their Madam and Eve float
Phillipi Grade 12 learners strike ODWA STEMELA and JULIE ATMORE LAST Monday Grade 12 learners at Sinethemba Secondary School in Phillipi protested over the absence of competent Economics teachers. According to the learners, there had not been an adequate teacher since the beginning of the year. They made several attempts to discuss the matter with their principal, Mr Poopedi, but they felt that they ‘were not taken seriously.’ Whilst protesting, the Grade 12s emptied garbage bins on the school grounds, smashed classroom windows and wrote encouraging slogans such as, ‘Go ahead, strive for what you believe is right, comrades!’ All learners were sent home early after classes were disrupted. Although other grades were affected by the strike, the learners believed that the disruption of classes was the only way to be heard. Sinethemba Secondary School is affiliated with UCT through the Media School and Township
Debating League. When the tutors went out to Sinethemba on Monday and Tuesday, there were no students on the property. VARSITY contacted Mr Poopedi, who said, ‘The teachers were hired on contract. Since they are government contracts, they weren’t renewed.’ He assured VARSITY that the situation had been resolved as of Wednesday afternoon. ‘Permission had been given to us to hire new teachers. They are currently in class teaching,’ stated Mr Poopedi. Grade 12 learner, Thobekani Lose, commented that, ‘the school system was not being fair to us, as there are not even bursaries for the Economics students.’ Bursaries are offered to learners studying Science, but no financial aid is granted to learners studying Business as of yet. Incidents of this nature do not receive sufficient media coverage. Instead, this is dismissed and learners at schools, such as Sinethemba, are left disadvantaged with no concern being shown in the final years of their education.
‘Taxi-shuttles’ replace Jammies Nicole Jonklass ON 31 March, the Amalgamated Transport Services (ATS) is scheduled to start operating a shuttle service for UCT students and staff between the Claremont and Mowbray taxi interchanges and the Jammie shuttle terminus on Lower Campus. This free service will make use of 15-seater minibus taxis. The terms and conditions under which the service will be operated are outlined in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in November 2007 by UCT and the various taxi associations forming part of the ATS. The MOU was agreed upon after a period of negotiation, facilitated by the Claremont Improvement District Company between UCT and the ATS. This was prompted by a dispute, which questioned whether Jammie Shuttle was allowed to operate along the ClaremontTugwell-Mowbray route in accordance with the terms stipulated by its operating licence. The ATS are contracted to
operate the shuttle service weekdays from 6 am to 9 am for a twoyear trial period during term times only. The service is designed as a ‘peak lopping’ service aimed at satisfying the increased demand
‘aimed at satisfying the increased demand for oncampus transport’ for on-campus transport. During the operating times, Jammie shuttles currently operating on the Claremont-Tugwell-Mowbray route will be deployed to other routes on campus. These Jammie Shuttles will resume operations along their Claremont route outside of the 6am to 9am timeslot. In an article written by Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Martin Hall, which appeared in the Cape Argus, he states that ‘because use
Varsity, the official student newspaper since 1942, is committed to the principles of equality and democracy
of the existing Jammie Shuttle is expanding rapidly… the present fleet of buses operated by Sibanye is inadequate.’ He adds that instead of the University acquiring more busses, UCT management has opted to enter into a partnership with the ATS. It is also hoped that the service will ease traffic congestion in Claremont and surrounding areas. In an interview with VARSITY, John Critien, Director of Properties and Services at UCT, said that in the negotiations leading up to the MOU ‘stress was placed on safety of commuters and quality of service’. The ATS are subject to the same penalties for noncompliance with the service level agreement that apply to Sibanye. ‘Every vehicle that is to be used for the service by ATS is subject to inspection and if it does not meet with our standards, it will not be used,’ says Critien. He adds that ‘the vehicles must conform to the new taxi recap specifications and be in good order’. Continued on page 2...
Volume 67 Number 3
SRC race protest on Jammie SRC Pres accused Photos courtesy of Justin Andrews
Tatenda Goredema ON 6 March, the Student Representative Council (SRC) staged a protest on Jammie stairs against the University of the Free State’s (UFS) racism video. The protest was initially meant to be a march to Bremner Building during meridian, but the sweltering heat prevented the gathered crowd on Jammie from proceeding to middle campus. There was a good turnout on Jammie Plaza, as people who had come for the Russian Bear Vodka promotion beforehand
‘Down with racism, down!’ waited to hear what the SRC had to say. Patriotism was the key tone of the gathering with Mzo Daphula shouting ‘Down with racism, down!’ as students who took part enthusiastically shouted back ‘Down!’ One of the Deputy ViceChancellors, Professor Martin Hall, denounced racism and asserted that it would not be tolerated in any shape or form at the University. The event was undertaken in good spirit and a sense of unity was evident as students rose to sing the national anthem and later
Patriotism - Mzo Daphula, Thulani Madinginye and Siliziwe Ncanywa of the SRC sing the national anthem signed a prepared petition against racism. They were treated to songs of unity by members of the SRC and students. At the Student Assembly held on 12 March, Thulani Madinginye, the SRC President, addressed the racist incident saying, ‘It represents symptoms of a much worse
disease within our society.’ He also reiterated the SRC’s commitment to fighting racism on campus. Madinginye praised the red ribbon campaign which was undertaken to represent a stand against racism on the day of the protest.
of negligence Nabeelah Martin
FORMER SRC Vice-President Internal, Simangaliso ‘Vee’Zikhali, leveled allegations of negligence and using SRC property for personal use against SRC President, Thulani Madinginye. The allegations surfaced last Wednesday, during Student Assembly. Madinginye took the SRC laptop with him to Johannesburg for the holidays. The laptop was stolen from his luggage at the airport on 10 January. Madinginginye said, ‘A case was reported on the 11th. Mr Jerome September (head of DSA), Thani Ledwaba (VicePresident External) and Thando Vilakazi (Secretary General) were informed immediately.’ Zikhali alleged that Madinginye was seen on 8 January, two days before Madinginye says he returned to Cape Town. Zikhali refused to name the person who allegedly saw Madinginye. Zikhali said Madinginye’s use of SRC property was, ‘in line with Karabo Mkahbela’s abuse of SRC resources.’ Mkhabela is the disgraced former Day Houses Representative who was found guilty of fraud and the use of SRC funds for personal use. Madinginye countered this accusation, saying: ‘I had SRC work to do over the holidays. I
don’t have a PC, and that’s why the laptop went with me.’ A statement by SASCO says: ‘A reasonable person of his stature, level of education and position ought to have known to take due care by not checking the computer into baggage.’ Madinginye conceded that he had not used cable ties to secure the laptop in his luggage. A commission of inquiry was set up to investigate the matter. The commission is constituted by three members of Student Assembly. A SRC investigation has also been set up, the outcome of which is still pending. ANCYL-SASCO tension? The allegations leveled against Madinginye (an ANC YL member) were raised by SASCO members. This can be seen as indicative of tension within the Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA), the umbrella organisation which incorporates the ANCYL and SASCO. SASCO issued a condemnation of Madinginye’s alleged negligence. The PYA has taken strain ever since last year’s constituting meeting, when ANC YL members, Madinginye and Thando Vilakazi allegedly voted with DASO members to secure their positions in the SRC Executive.
Student Assembly Taxi - Jammie takeover
Photos courtesy of Justin Andrews
THE first Student Assembly of the year was held last Wednesday and was well attended by both members and observers. 48 of the 70 members were present, which was a sufficient number to fulfill the two-thirds majority requirement for motions to be passed. The Student Assembly is a formal body comprised of members from the Sub-Councils, Residence Council, Day Houses Council, Development Agencies and Societies. It is a forum through which the SRC is held accountable for their actions and where the members raise pressing issues on behalf of the greater student body. A point of contention was the SRC’s decision to split the Day House’s Co-ordinator Portfolio, formerly held by Karabo Mkhabela, between two current SRC members. However, the majority of the Assembly supported the SRC, since Nick Roslee and James Robertson are capable of holding the portfolio. A member of iKhaya Day House commented that liaisons with the SRC had vastly improved this year. Other issues which were
brought to the fore were the exam timetable, the water contamination problem and the library hours. The SRC ensured the Assembly that they would speak to UCT regarding the water contamination and a possible temporary solution for those residences affected. Unfortunately, the UCT exam timetable has been preset until 2009 and the SRC claims nothing can be done about it. The SRC said that UCT had statistics of higher pass rates with the condensed exam period than in previous years. But, the members said that the number of students suffering from breakdowns and deferring their exams is cause for concern. The library hours are still being debated, but the library is unable to stay open 24 hours a day. As an alternative, UCT is looking into having a separate building open all night in which students can sit and study with adequate security. Scheduled to run from 5 pm to 7 pm, any valid points dealt with by the Assembly were overshadowed by petty agendas causing the prolonged duration of the meeting for a further two hours.
IN THE HOT SEAT - members of the SRC at the first Student Assembly of this year. From left: Nick Roslee, Yusuf Mowlana, Thulani Madinginye and Garreth Bloor
...Continued from page 1
Critien said that an inspector would be present at each terminus to ensure that all passengers using the ATS shuttles are members of the UCT community by referring to their valid student and staff cards for verification. He added that these inspectors will also ‘check on the condition of vehicles and drivers, control queues and passengers and … provide a daily report.’ In his description of the other safety measures that will be taken, Critien said that ‘passengers will
not be picked up or dropped off along Main Road. Vehicles will be fitted with tracking devices’ and ‘there will be no incentive for drivers to speed as the contract makes provision for payment on a schedule.’ As a result of this type of payment, Behardien also said that ‘there will be no need for a gaardtjie to tout for business’ and that ‘no cash will be carried onboard’ the minibuses. In the 2007 media statement, Behardien said that ‘this is the first case I know of where the taxi industry has entered into a service agreement with an outside party’
and that it ‘shows that an integrated and negotiated approach can benefit the city’s public transport system.’ In his Cape Argus article, Hall said that the University would be ‘working hard with the taxi associations to make our partnership work both for the benefit of the UCT community and as a model for new transport solutions for the city.’ Critien told VARSITY that the University is ‘quietly confident and enthusiastic that [the partnership] will work, but are not prepared to compromise on standards.’
UCT’s own Apprentice BIANCA MEYJES
UCT students have come up with an entrepreneurial experiment to compete with the contestants of The Apprentice IV. The waft of boerie rolls and temptations of fine delicacies certainly did not go unnoticed on campus. The ‘Genesis Project’ is a cleverly designed challenge set out for the postgraduate students completing their degrees in Enterprise Management. The students had to divide themselves into groups of no more than seven members and had only one week to make the most of R20. Affectionately named the ‘cake sales week’, it gave students the chance to test their skills in marketing, sales and entrepreneurship. Food was on sale from 8 am to 3:30 pm and regardless of the experiment, students still had to attend their daily lectures and tutorials. One of the teams was dressed for the occasion by wearing all green. Their team included a trained Silwood chef, a UCT Architecture graduate and a Rhodes University Sociology graduate. The initial R20 was used to make and sell
popcorn and the profit generated went towards 25kg of boerewors to keep hungry tummies satisfied. Many other teams played the game with similar drive and initiative. Some set up waffle and pancake stalls whilst others sold cookies and lollipops. Those businesses which were the most lucrative were better set
for the challenges to come. At the end of the project, the accumulated profits will be used to put together a full business strategy of a product aimed specifically at students. Those teams that do well will pass and those that fail will be fired and sent weeping from the boardroom. Photos courtesy of Justin Andrews
Green theme - students making the most of R20
Kibaki was being effective and leading the country away from the corrupt and unilateral form of governance that had become the norm under Moi. However, Kibaki soon began to lose favour amongst the Kenyan populace, and the elections of 2007 were seen as the best time to change the regime in Kenya. Thus, the anger and frustration of the people of Kenya was understandable, even though the actions they took to express their displeasure were violent and
Career Development Programme
FOR THE past few months, Kenya has dominated the headlines in the international media. The disputed election results of the December national polls are an all too familiar story in Africa. Not only did the incumbent President, Mwai Kibaki, supposedly win the elections, but he was the only government official to maintain his constituency after his ministers lost resoundingly. Early polls had suggested Kibaki was losing, but he eventually pulled off what analysts called a dubious victory. The Orange Democractic Movement (ODM), the opposition movement, naturally disputed the election results and called for mass national protests throughout January and early February. These protests descended into violence that was divided along tribal lines involving the dominant Kikuyu tribe (of which Kibaki is a member) and the Luo tribe (of which Odinga is a member). The ODM felt that they had been cheated by the Kenya African National Union (KANU) and showed their anger by killing members of the Kikuyu tribe. Former Kenyan President, Daniel Arap Moi, was also notorious for electoral fraud and corruption. Moi’s tenure as President started off well, but ended with general discontent. When Kibaki took over the KANU party and the Presidency, people expected some change. For a time it appeared that
‘Kibaki is a sad member of the won’t-leave-whendefeated club..’ disconcerting. The refusal of the Kenyan people to accept what was clearly a stolen election is pleasing for Africa, because it shows that people are willing to stand up for their rights and not accept electoral fraud and potential dictatorship. The resolution of the crisis through a power sharing agreement brokered by Kofi Anan is comforting and serves to unify the country. However, it is not what supporters of the ODM would have wanted and is not encouraging for any further elections that Kenya may have. The election was clearly sto-
Photo Courtesy of akdn.org
Turmoil in Kenya
Mwai kibaki - desperately clinging to power len, yet the cheat who stole the election still gets a 50% share of the power. Where is the justice in declaring elections if you are not going to accept the outcome and are not going to allow them to be free and fair? Kibaki is a sad member of the won’t-leave-whendefeated club within Africa, which also includes Robert Mugabe, Frederik Chiluba, Joseph Kabila, Gerry Rawlins, Charles Taylor and several others. Kibaki will be remembered not as a great leader, but as a man whose selfish desires robbed a nation of its democratic potential.
3 Rogue media? Seamus Duggan SINCE democracy was achieved in 1994, the South African media have taken it upon themselves to hold government, and other institutions of the state, accountable for their actions. This is indeed a very noble mission. If it were being carried out in the correct manner, it would be thoroughly deserving of lavish praise from all sections of society. However, our esteemed media have thus far failed dismally in their role as the ‘unofficial opposition.’ Instead of producing coverage that is informative and relevant, the newspapers, television shows and radio stations have chosen to pursue those avenues which lead to the maximum level of consumption by the public. In other words, they print what they feel people want to read, regardless of whether or not the information they are providing is credible. Case in point: The recent handling of Jacob Zuma’s role in the Black Journalist’s Forum. Some sectors of the media had the audacity to declare that the President of the African National Congress had expelled journalists from a gathering because they were white. Such irresponsible behaviour on the part of the media shows a blatant disregard for any sort of journalistic integrity. Zuma is not the only example. The media in general has sought to sensationalise many a story surrounding President Thabo Mbeki, as well as issues with regards to
Jackie Selebi and the National Prosecuting Authority. Whilst some of the allegations may be true, the unsubstantiated demonisation of any individual or body simply draws attention away from other acts that these individuals, or others, may have committed. It may damage the image of the nation if the media cannot show any sense of responsibility when it comes to sensitive matters. The only other option then, is the creation of a body that serves to censor unsupported claims and deliberate lies. Before anybody cries foul, this body is not intended to stifle varying opinions or squash dissent. It should simply be used as a tool to increase the credibility of the information that we, the general public, consume on a daily basis. Not only would this serve to promote a more positive atmosphere in society, but it might even improve our image among other nations who perceive South Africa as just another malfunctioning country on the Dark Continent. Naturally, any censorship body would be vulnerable to bias and outside influence, but is that any different from the current state of the media? We may as well give the benefit of the doubt to an initiative that would go a long way in keeping the general populace informed. This is so we can make conscious decisions, rather than just jumping onto every bandwagon that comes our way.
Sign up for a mock interview - a unique low risk opportunity Mock Interview Programme 16 to 25 April The Mock Interview Programme (MIP) is designed to provide students with an opportunity to practise interview skills. Individual
professionals representing several
employers that typically
recruit UCT graduates. This programme is open to all, but especially targets students in their penultimate or final year of study, to help prepare for the real job selection process. The application process: Collect an application form from CDP reception without delay. Students who return their 2-page CV, Cover Letter and MIP Application Form will be signed up on a first come first served basis between 3 and 20 March (from 11h00 to14h00) at CDP reception. Help is available in the form of CV and Interview talks (sign up at CDP reception) and a range of resources housed in the Career
Forthcoming attraction... Career Awareness Talks 8 to 17 April This talks series aims to increase students’ awareness of a range of
UCT CAREER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME
career opportunities which do not necessarily feature in the
Ground floor, Hoerikwaggo, Upper Campus
mainstream campus based graduate recruitment programmes and
tel: 021 650 2497
represent a diverse range of employment options. The talks will
showcase a number of professionals, from a variety of sectors, with
Click on www.careers.uct.ac.za
unique career journeys to share.
To and fro: UFS racism IT IS quite natural for one’s first response to Jon Hodgson’s submission to be a response of anger and disbelief: anger that the perpetrators of this terrible act are being defended, and disbelief that our constitutional freedoms could be cited in such a defence. But the case merits a balanced and rational approach. Freedom of expression is fiercely protected in our Constitution, and there will be many times when the practising of this freedom will offend, perhaps gravely, the sensibilities of others; this is simply the nature of a democracy that values the civil liberties and rights of its citizens. Furthermore, the due process of the relevant investigations must be respected. However, freedom of expression is neither the only, nor the primary right enshrined in our Constitution – the right to dignity is both foundational and non-derogable: ‘Everyone has inherent dignity and the right to have that dignity respected and protected.’ Where, then, is the dignity of the humiliated workers? In the allegedly urine-soaked meal? In the alcohol consumed to the catcalls of ‘whore’ and ‘bitch’? Hodgson himself admits the contravention of the workers’ rights (‘[The video] denies the human dignity of the workers and of all black people’) and yet still concludes that the violating students should receive no censure. To whatever extent the video can be defended as a legitimate means of expression, the fact that its production required such degradation of the workers nullifies the argument that the video itself is about nothing more than expression: It is defined by the abuse of the workers’ dignity. If we are to be vigilant about our constitutional entitlements, we must guard against such convoluted sophistry and perversion of liberal ideals as much as we guard against
direct threats to our civil liberties, if not more. Moreover, as pointed out by our Vice-Chancellor ,Professor Ndebele, we must remember our ‘specific historic inheritance’: how can we allow such blatant racism to go unchecked and unpunished in a society still driven by the legacy of Apartheid and frustrated by an incomplete reconciliation process? I, for one, was shocked to discover that South Africa still has a tertiary education institution that permits raciallysegregated residences, and has not proscribed the reactionary and overtly racist actions of some of its students. This indicates that more than just the offending students are blameworthy. The nail in the coffin was when I realised that this public defence of gross racism was put forward by the President of SHAWCO. No more than Thabo Mbeki could hold a press conference in his ‘private capacity’ and pronounce that he finds coloured people disgusting, and subsequently address Parliament on his government’s fine record of nation building and non-racialism, should it be possible for the President of SHAWCO to publicise an opinion that supports the UFS video and then go on to shape the policy and impact of UCT’s pre-eminent social outreach society. As a long-serving former volunteer of this great organisation, I find Hodgson’s defence contradictory to the very essence of SHAWCO: helping those who have been betrayed, brutalised and ignored by our society. It is quite frankly sickening that freedom of expression continues to be used in defence of those who violate the dignity of their peers, who refuse the responsibilities they bear towards their fellow citizens and who simply have no respect for the common humanity they share with others. Ashley Pillay
SASCO condemnation IN OUR last statement regarding the alleged misconduct by former SRC Member Karabo Mkhabela, we made it clear that we will not tolerate any use of SRC resources for personal gain. Consistent with that view, we wish to express our greatest disappointment in the office of the SRC President to be embroiled in a scandal over the loss of an SRC laptop. At this stage the matter is subject to an inquiry and we cannot speculate as to why the President opted to take the laptop home with him during the holidays. We accept that due process must take its course, but we also accept that there must be accountability. Thus, it is our view that while the President’s action are subject to investigation, his actions show at the very least, that he has acted in a grossly negligent manner in his stewardship of SRC equipment. He took the SRC asset by himself and he did not inform the person responsible for the SRC asset. We
view this as bad behaviour and we condemn it. A reasonable person of his statue, level of education and position ought to have known to take due care by not checking the computer into baggage. Being no stranger to flying he should have also complied with new civil aviation rules that laptops must be removed from baggage to be scanned separately. As much as we do not condone Mr Mkhabela’s actions, we also cannot condone the President’s actions and support a full investigation into the matter. Those who are elected as custodians of student resources must always act in a manor that takes due care to protect the needs and interest of students all the time. Mashao Moshabela Deputy-Chairperson of SASCO-UCT
McCain: the US inspiration? Sinenhlanhla Sithomo THE race between Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Barack Obama is getting increasingly bitterer by the day, with the scuffling likely to carry on at least until June. Conversely, more and more Republicans are getting to know and like John McCain, who snatched his party’s nomination following the Texas primary. It has been frequently reported that black, female and young Democratic Party supporters are divided on who should represent them in national elections. If such sniping continues to the Democratic national convention at the end of August, some political analysts believe that there will not be much time for the party to heal. The democrats are facing one of the most difficult choices they could have ever anticipated, notwithstanding the pits still to come in November against McCain’s campaign. Arizonian Senator, McCain, is now strides ahead, already seeking an appropriate running partner who will be able to complement him, especially when it comes to his weakest points – the economy and the conservatives. Gov. Mitt Romney has suggested that it is unlikely that the 71-year-old will be able to stall the foreseeable recession without a recovery plan. The social conservatives remain unconvinced by McCain, deeming him too much of a centralist to faithfully represent their constituency. But, this has not yet not stopped him from attaining the 1, 191
delegates needed to secure the nomination. What is most notable about McCain is how he tries to keep himself in the public eye, and cut through all the noise about ‘the first black or female American president’. The very first week after being crowned the Republican presumptive nominee, he jetted out of the US to Europe and the Middle-East in an effort to show his readiness on foreign affairs. In a few months time, the Americans and the rest of the world are promised to witness one hell of campaign. It will place emphasis on McCain as an inspirational figure, capitalising on his VietnamWar heroism. This only complements the fact that most Americans still remember his defeat by George Bush Jnr for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000. His current campaign has had severe financial constraints, with some photographs of him carrying his own bags from the airport all over the media. His victory over former rivals Romney, Huckabee and Rudy Giuliani (former Mayor of New York), would indeed be an inspiration to the Americans. He has, arguably, the most archetypically American story to tell at the national polls in November. This is the man who, on the verge of despair, was able to put his campaign back together by asking friends for help, cutting costs, adjusting his position on immigration, making the troop surge his cause and relying on a band of dedicated volunteers.
Volume 67 Number 3
Editorial Last Thursday, the Student Society for Law and Social Justice organised a panel discussion which dealt with housing and evictions. The panel addressed the hotly contested relocation of Joe Slovo residents to Delft. Some have likened this relocation to the forced removals of the apartheid era. Residents have opposed this relocation, due to the fact that Joe Slovo is closer to the CBD, and many residents cannot afford the extra transport costs from Delft. Richard Dyanti, the local MEC for Housing, was meant to attend, but instead opted to foist the hotseat onto his sidekick, Mr Changana. Mr Changana was heckled throughout the discussion, mostly with regards to the government’s failure to consult with the residents of Joe Slovo. These criticisms were thrown into sharp relief, considering that Dyantyi had dodged the event, failing again to engage with his detractors. Another no-show was Prince Sigcau, the N2 Gateway Project Manager. The discussion raised some diverse perspectives. Arguments sprung up over the procedure of housing allocation. Many felt that the process should be more transparent, so that the government would not be able to use patronage politics in granting houses. Others felt that any eviction is wrong, and that the need of illegal occupiers justified their continued stay in houses earmarked for different families. The discussion was held at the University of the Western Cape. As we drove to the venue, we passed the N2 Gateway Housing Project. I did a mental evaluation on the contrast between the M3 and the N2. The M3 is the scenic highway which flows past UCT. The N2 is most (in)famous for car stonings, a product of the fact that it slices through informal settlements along the Cape Flats. Here on the mountain, we have a glorious vista surrounding us. Yet many people complain about the gradient of the slope when they have to walk from Middle to Upper Campus. When I attended Student Assembly last week, students were bemoaning the fact that the Jammie no longer stops at Middle Campus. These are the sorts of petty complaints that students feel are necessary to raise. Suck it up people. Compare the plight of the poor student who needs to leg it to Upper Campus, with the plight of backyard dwellers on the housing waiting list. Compare the 10 minute walk up the mountain with the hours it takes to commute from Delft to the CBD. Puts things in perspective right? Granted, some worthier issues emerge at Student Assembly, such as the plight of the disabled on campus. All students are able to use Student Assembly to raise pertinent issues. However, when Student Assembly degenerates into mindless griping, it becomes hard to take the forum seriously. If you have a valid complaint against the administration or the SRC, Student Assembly is a great platform to raise such issues. So use it well. Enjoy the edition, Nabeelah
NEWS GATHERING next newsgathering 20 March, in Leslie Social Science 2A, during Meridian
2008 collective editor Nabeelah Martin, deputy editor Kieran Duggan, chief sub editor Philippa Levenberg sub editors Jade Cooke, Maciek Dubla, Dianne Shelton, operations manager Melissa Rassie, dtp editor Natasha Mayet, images Justin Andrews & Martin Wilson news Zerene Haddad & Tatenda Goredema, focus Seamus Duggan & Nicole Jonklass business & technology Karl Thomson, opinions Tara Leverton, features Kate Collins arts & entertainment Lara Potgieter, humour Cayle Sharrock, sports Rory Holmes & Lindi Brownell finance & advertising team Philip Voget & Kimberly Urbaniak, marketing & brand manager Lauren Haller, marketing team Danielle Gordon IT manager Timothy Nchabaleng, website editor Emma Nherera, media school director Joy Waddel staff writers Julie Atmore, Erin Bates, Gillian Benjamin, David Brits, Lydia DePillis, Mandy Freeman, Danielle Gordon, Laing Lourens, Megan Lyons, Bianca Meyjes, Rémy Ngamije, Kayshinee Rye Ramchurn external contributors Jaclyn Bernstein, Stephen Miller, Alessandro Rossi, Berndt Hannweg, Lara Milne, Leanne Jansen, Gabrielle Kelly, Sheila Afari, Shelly Bell, Max Rabkhin, Derek Armstrong tel 021 650 3543 fax 021 650 2904 email email@example.com location 5th Floor, Steve Biko Student Union Building, Upper Campus advertising email Phil Voget on firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
In the latter quarter of last year, UCT students were faced with the awkward realisation that not only were the names of most of the potential candidates in upcoming the SRC elections unrecognisable, the majority of the student body could not name a single incumbent. Cognisant of the fact that this state of disconnection could not be allowed to continue, they complained in voices strong and strident. Some of them even wrote harsh letters. Apart from DASO gaining four seats of the ANCYL dominated council, nothing much changed. Capetonians have a reputation for a laissez-faire approach to life, after all. In stark contrast, when students at Mangosuthu Technikon were faced with the dismissal of three of their duly elected SRC members, they organised a five hundredstrong protest. SADESMO campus campaigners of the Inkatha Freedom Party Youth Brigade, won nine of twelve seats on the SRC council. It then proceeded promptly to accuse the Technikon Senate of failing to provide the
necessary quota of lecturers and buses, and of interfering in student politics, dubbing the situation a ‘national disgrace.’ One would think that the situation would call for earnest reflection, an overhaul of faculty-student relations, and a policy of quiet diplomacy to rival that of our Zimbabwean foreign policy. Oh, for a simple world. It turned out that the Technikon was not prepared to negotiate with terrorists. Sorry, students. Rubber bullets (here we go again) were fired. Rocks were thrown back. The Mangosuthu Buthelezi highway was closed down. Sjamboks were involved at one point. Undeterred, two hundred protesters appeared the following morning, and sang loudly on campus grounds, at which point all 9145 registered students were removed from the register, and the Technicon was officially closed. It is true that part of this difference in attitude may be attributed to the fact that, at UCT, we had absentmindedly accepted the ANCYL as our benevolent overlords, whilst at the Umlazi Technicon, students opt to take a more active role. It is difficult
Bridging the gap Lara Milne
A failure to communicate Tara Leverton
to ascertain which approach is more unhealthy in the long runapathy bordering on suspended animation, or enthusiasm bordering on fanaticism. But is it simply political indifference, or symptomatic of a wider problem amidst Capetonian students? Back home, students are not infrequently made to feel that they belong at the bottom of the food chain at UCT. Notwithstanding the substantial fees that they fork out, the impression gained by many is that they have committed some great wrong against this hallowed establishment. On many an occasion, one cannot but suspect that, were propriety and Student’s Rights groups not to enter the equation, the Faculty would spit upon you, as it would a dog. It is comforting to learn that this is not a treatment reserved solely for us zombie-eyed, head-in-the-cloud types, but sweeps across our Great Institutions of Learning. Would the student body at Umlazi put up with this? Why do we ? Who the hell is the SRC president, anyway?
AFTER many years of preparation, South African schools have finally phased out the ‘old matric’ in favour of the new National Senior Certificate (NSC). Last year’s matriculants were the last to choose between Higher and Standard grade – all the country’s learners now study the same material in each subject, and write the same national exams. Standards are, according to the Department of Education’s Subject Assessment Guidelines, being raised. Schools must create assessment plans. Learners are expected to produce a certain number of pieces for assessment per term, which determine promotion in Grades 10 and 11 and form 25% of the final mark in Grade 12. This emphasis on a standardised testing system should help disadvantaged schools provide education on a par with those more privileged. To be sure, the elimination of Standard grade does prevent learners from being limited by a school which does not offer sufficient Higher Grade subjects to allow access to tertiary education. However, whether the gap between theory and implementation can be bridged remains to be seen: Without sufficient support, constructing and keeping to these plans may prove problematic for under-resourced schools. Aiding learners in tackling the work on their planners are new textbooks, whose design moves away from the strictly information-based, offering more open-
ended questions for discussion and sections to fill in. It is, of course, important for learners to think about the subjects they are studying rather than simply recalling facts and figures, but this format has the disadvantage of providing relatively little concrete information. Teachers therefore, must be responsible for imparting as well as explaining a large amount of the work. And in light of the teachers’ strikes last year and the death of qualified teachers in South Africa, taking the means for independent learning out of the learners’ hands seems questionable. Then again, the learners might have their hands full as it is. The continued stream of assessment tasks often require large amounts of research. Because sourcing information requires specific skills which need to be taught even to learners who have ready access to libraries and the internet, this too poses a potential difficulty for all learners. Resource-poor communities, once again, seem set to fare worst. With the promise of improved standards, comes the question of their effect on the pass rate, negatively affected last year by the disruptions in teaching. While the old Senior Certificate passed students based on their aggregates, the NSC requires that learners pass all of their subjects in order to graduate. There is thus a strong onus on the results of this year’s final exam as the first real indicator of the new system: Is the NSC a step forward in South African education? This year will put it to the test.
Eskom vs the people Eye for an eye? Stephen Miller
BY THE time you read this article, Eskom’s latest bright idea – if I may call it that – will be old news. Unless, of course, you don’t regularly read a newspaper, in which case here is the shocking news: The powers that be at Eskom have declared a moratorium on providing electricity connections for all development projects larger than a house. Shock! Horror! Watch in terror as construction around South Africa collapses! Being an ‘Eskom Issue’, this was quickly disseminated by newspapers; the mildly well-informed public hastily got their facts mixed up and then, even more hurriedly, got angry. COSATU threatened action (because, once again, someone somewhere is bound to lose a job), building-industry CEOs started bemoaning the loss of billions and Joe Citizen proclaimed that ‘Eskom has stuffed up. Again.’ But here is the real deal. Eskom has decided to delay providing quotes for developing projects regarding their electricity connections by four to six months. ‘Developing projects’ in this case, is anything which requires more than 100kV per annum (which equates to a four bedroom house with underfloor heating and two geysers). So, instead of contacting Eskom, and getting a quote for your electricity fix expediently, you now have to wait for four to six months to get hooked-up. Capiche? The reasons for this are clear. Eskom, and to some not-too-small degree, our Government, have messed up, badly. They don’t have enough electricity for all the current buildings, let alone further developments. This is merely a quick fix to allow some breath-
Photo Courtesy of garycohen.net
Bunglers - Eskom’s latest bright idea ing space while they try and build nuclear power plants in seaside paradises and the like. Is it a smart move? I think so. No point in building something we can’t sustain. It’s no panacea, but it has certainly given us time to get our ducks in a row. But how is it going to affect us? Point one: If you wait until the week your building is ready to get wired and only then submit your quote request, you’re going to have a problem. But most construction companies submit requests well before they need to. So, this just means that the waiting period is slightly longer for them. In this system, the hardcore procrastinators are going to lose out, and so they should. Point two: Putting a speed bump in the way of construction will slow down economic growth; this is undeniable. However, the economy isn’t going to collapse because we now have to wait 20 instead of 18 months for our new apartment block. It is nothing, in fact, compared to the situation in Zimbabwe. Point three: If this plan hadn’t been implemented, Eskom would have effectively been handing out
pieces of paper saying, ‘We will gladly connect you to a network which may or may not be able to support you. Go ahead. Build as much as you want and we’ll see what happens.’ Then the economy would have collapsed, because Eskom’s suffering system would have fallen further and further behind demand. People, being the greedy humans we all know we are, would have continued to build, build, build, even as blackouts became more frequent, and right up until your ‘underfloor heating’ was really your wiring on fire. Eskom may well be the most bungle-ridden supplier of electricity this country has. It may be the last refuge of inept bureaucrats who couldn’t point out the differences between a diffusion nuclear reactor and a toaster. Finally, it may be the greatest thing to happen to Lion matches since the invention of the skottel-braai. It’s all of these things and more, my friends, but please realise that the new electricity quote delay is, perhaps, the smartest thing Eskom has ever done. Now that’s shocking.
THERE are 21, 000 murders per year in South Africa alone, but South Africans are immune to these horrifying statistics. We absorb such statements every day with blasé reactions. I asked people for their views on whether, in light of such statistics, capital punishment should be implemented, and their responses were varied. Some said ‘yes’ with stern certainty, some shouted ‘NO!’ seemingly attempting to deafen me in the process of expressing their views. A few even thought I was talking about sending convicts to live in Pretoria with ministers, public servants and Blue Bulls as a form of punishment.
‘Many societies invoke religious laws which recommend death.’ I am sure you will agree with me in saying that the law doesn’t necessarily represent the views of society. In Western countries which still rid their societies of murderous delinquents, the consequence for murder with malicious intent is a capital punishment. But this differs between cultures. Many societies invoke religious laws which recommend death (often by stoning) for crimes such as adultery, stealing, and more extreme cases, sexual deviancy. This creates a massive void between so-called ‘Western’ and ‘Eastern’ cultures, because stoning somebody for such ‘petty’ crimes is obviously unjust and uncivilised. However, many believe that nothing can be achieved by killing another person and that the
death penalty is always unjust, since no one may take the life of another. ‘Only God may punish us’ is a common argument against the death penalty. But in the current South Africa, capital punishment seems to be the only feasible option. Alas, South African prosecutors don’t have the luxury of recommending the death penalty. This raises one of the biggest questions amongst our society and in our pubs – should our country, with one of the highest murder rates in the world, reinstate the death penalty? I believe the answer is simply ‘yes.’ Many advocates of capital punishment (me included) justify our views by referring to the old adage of ‘an eye for an eye’ and support this claim with statistics and research, which show that it decreases the murder rate. Of course people cry foul due to misguided executions. The country with the most active death-row system, the United States, has documented such cases: Since 1976, there have been 876 executions, and only about 39 executions can be considered wrongful due to reasonable doubt. It looks harsh, but insignificant in the grander scheme of things. Some have recommended considering the death penalty for only those who have committed their crime more than once, so as to eradicate wrongful executions by decreasing reasonable doubt. Whatever the suggestion, no one can justify the death penalty, but I believe it is necessary to let prospective criminals know that they will pay with their lives if caught. I think that a country, where murder is rampant, the death penalty shouldn’t be given a second thought. Perhaps just that little bit of doubt in the potential criminal’s mind could one day save a life...
Scuba Steve and I – a Kenyan adventure I WOKE up dazed, angry and swearing. I was sprawled uncomfortably on my backpack with its various zips and other hard bits lodged into my upper epidermis. After confirming that I was definitely bruised, bleeding a fair bit, but otherwise unharmed, I continued to lie on the floor. I was somewhat ashamed at having fallen out of the top bunk. We were not moving, no lights were working in the train and I could not find my shoes. I stumbled fearlessly into the bathroom, feeling puddles I could not see, ignoring stenches which definitely existed, then climbed back into a bed which had lost its linen during the fall. There is a point on every train trip where you stop fighting to hold onto your normal standards of punctuality, hygiene, food safety and personal space. By the end of a much extended 24-hour journey from Nairobi to Mombasa, I had developed a very uncharacteristic, monk-like patience. This was partially brought about by a large amount of local Tusker beer, but also by my general amazement at the rural villages’ talented children challenging us to full-on endurance races as we trundled past. Mombasa at night is bustling and noisy – street vendors, small bars and restaurants line the streets. Upon disembarking the train, the air felt thick and
beautifully unfamiliar. I was plain yoghurt amidst these spicy people. I realised how truly far from an African I am and how much I miss out on in our pariah at the tip of the same continent. I was filled with a weird sense of exhilaration at the potential of this country. Haloed political avatars looked genially down on us, promising change from massive billboards and shouting their rhetoric out of loud speakers atop cars. It was very clear that elections were rapidly approaching, but this was an established democracy and surely Hakuna Matata would be the order of the day? The purpose of this Kenyan holiday was to scuba dive. I cannot say that I was wildly enthused as my training in the rain at the Kopano swimming pool had left me with a slightly negative view of the activity as a whole. However, the beaches and reefs at Watamu are exquisite and the sea is warm, calm and clear. By the end of the holiday, I was braving new depths, had found my fish alter-ego and glowed proudly and giggly when my instructor told me what fantastically low oxygen consumption I had. His name was Steve – a tall, former-Rhodesian type, well over the age of 50 with an unsavoury amount of body hair and pants worn far higher than can possibly have been comfortable. My attrac-
tion to him was inexplicable and publically ridiculed, but I ignored everyone else. I sat in awe as he told tales of daring and near-death experiences, as he sliced us pieces of mango between dives. The proximity of Watamu to the equator somewhat limits daytime activities to drinking gin and tonic, reading and sleeping. The beach is too hot, the tide is too low and the white sand is so blinding that the beaches only fill up in the late afternoon. Renting bicycles in Watamu is very cheap and there are mangrove swamps, ancient ruins and forests that can all be explored by bike. Having a bicycle also allows you to spy on the Italians in their mafia villas, with their very loud games evenings. On my small missions, I saw men and women in skimpy fluorescent, metallic or leopardprint garb whose dedication to the sun was verging on spiritual. My cultural mockery is, however, only a thinly-veiled attempt to disguise my pitiful Italian skills. After feeling that I was being laughed at by the trilingual locals, I limited my practising to the reading of signposts in order to avoid further derision – real or imagined. Kenyans are actually ridiculously charming and friendly. Nearly every person I walked past greeted me and wanted to chat (and perhaps sell me something). Our
It’s either me or Jammie SAMSON and Delilah. Romeo and Juliet. Thelma and Louise. University of Cape Town students and Jameson stairs. Perfect examples of seemingly perfect partnerships gone horrendously wrong – there was delight, there was devotion, and then there was death. Okay, so maybe categorising this relationship with some of the most tragic twosomes in history is a tiny bit melodramatic, but take heed. Your untimely demise may only be of an academic nature, but know that the transcript which survives the allure of Jammie stairs is few and far between. Since I have admirably committed myself to being boring (i.e. diligent and responsible) this year, my perspective on this vicinity is like that of the forbidden fruit
Photos courtesy of Justin Andrews
– oh so tempting, but oh so forbidden! It’s rather difficult to explain to someone who isn’t a UCT student (parents in particular) why the Jameson stairs and Plaza are more of a cultural institution than a stone and concrete structure.
Perhaps it’s the seamless blend of glorious sunshine, beautiful people and an unparalleled view that extends itself all the way to the northern suburbs (which is the most that the Constantia crowd is going to see of that side of the world); which work towards creating what is essentially the Jammie experience. It’s the site of breakups, make-ups, hook-ups and shake-downs. Time here is spent sprawled out trying to get seconddegree burns while passing time between classes never attended. It’s a good place to start flexing pseudo-philosophical muscles at friends who have fallen asleep behind their sunglasses. A very good friend of mine laid eyes on the man of her – and a few other girls’ – dreams as he coincidently strolled by. The purpose of waxing lyrical about this somewhat hallowed ground is to illustrate how much of a distraction it is. It is absolutely not conducive to learning. Nothing that is unadulterated fun ever is though is it? Nevertheless, the season of Jammie is drawing to a close. Students’ little fledglings fly south for the winter to the library leaving them cold, wet, deserted and forlorn. There are no more antics, no more laughter, no more lounging around – just the promise of an old partner in crime who will soon return.
Photos courtesy of picture-newsletter.com
Gabrielle Kelly reflects on her odyssey from Nairobi to Mombasa
watamu reefs - Warm, calm and clear Kenyan waters outside wall seemed to be the local gathering spot for idlers and we couldn’t walk onto the beach without being accosted by various teenage casanovas. As I sat in the back seat, all I could see of the driver, Abdul, were his wild orange and brown teeth in the rear-view mirror. He volunteered large amounts of information to his captive audience. His shouting made attempts at sleep and other conversations pointless as he drove us between Kilifi, Tiwi and Mombasa. He had traversed most of Africa as a truck driver and although brevity was not his strength, he provided a lot of insight into Kenyan society. Whilst waiting for a ferry, he
organised us Orange Democratic Movement campaign hats and stickers as unusual cultural keepsakes. It seemed participatory, even touristy at the time, but in hindsight, has made me a bit uncomfortable. The rest of the journey became an attempt to acquire as many internal mementos of this country as possible. My first and only view of Kilimanjaro from the plane from Mombasa back to Nairobi, reminded me that I am not qualified to summarise this immensely varied and colourful country. And I will always miss Steve.
Mission impossible Rémy Ngamije THIS message will self terminate in 3...2...1...(insert Mission Impossible theme song here). Breakfast is a hasty affair with even hastier greetings from friends that I can vaguely recognise in my state of half-sleep. I have more to worry about than what that eggshaped object (which tastes nothing like it should) is on my plate. I have to be at my 8 am lecture in exactly two minutes...(Mission Impossible theme). There is only one small, insignificant, miniscule and completely irrelevant problem: UCT is at least ten minutes away from where I stand on Lower Campus, silently contemplating my dilemma. To some, my predicament would be a perfect excuse to bunk lectures and have a relaxing day in bed, or perhaps arrive later, just in time for Jammie 1001F in third period. However, I decide to stay committed to my current streak of attending lectures, three out of ten, a more than impressive feat if I do say so myself. With those everreliable Jammie Shuttles arriving every ‘ten minutes’, I decide that there is no avoiding it, I will have to Nike it. One step, two step. 15 minutes later and in desperate need of some Mitchum, I arrive at Leslie Social and manage to catch the second half of my lecture. The streak continues. The early morning migration to UCT is a common sight around Cape Town as students in various states of dress (and undress) scramble to reach campus in time for lectures. Being a top academic institution, UCT manages to attract student commuters from all over the Cape Peninsula, with many coming from Khayelitsha, Fish Hoek and the Northern Suburbs , to name a few. For students that live far from campus, transport to and from UCT is a logistical
nightmare. Having to wake up as early as 5 am, students from Bellville can spend as much as one hour riding in a road hazard, otherwise referred to as a minibus taxi. Public transport is a popular way of commuting for students living in the outlying suburbs of Cape Town – a week’s travel pass on the train from Muizenberg to Rosebank Station costs only R25. Safety is always an issue in our ever-dangerous environment where public transport offers some degree of security. The best way of preventing crime during peak times is safety in numbers. For students living in unsafe areas, traveling to campus is not a fairy tale adventure, with many acting out Little Red Riding in the Hood. Many students elect to drive to campus. With early morning traffic jams, students often have the advantage of driving against the flow of traffic, speeding up their journey. However, parking space is often harder to find than a Humanities student in lectures, and exorbitant fines are often found placed lovingly under windscreen wipers, with some cars sporting the latest fashion in automobile accessories: the clamp. As many students can testify, ‘it is not the petrol prices that kill, it is the parking.’ For those who reside closer to campus or are in Res, Jammie Shuttles are a more favourable method of transport; provided that one is blessed with the patience that has invariably been borne from years of observing bureaucratic procedures (IAPO, Student Housing and the Hemisphere queues). With some living closer to campus than others, a walk up the hill is a source of early morning exercise. For others it is viewed as a means to become intimately acquainted with the many steps at UCT.
What UCT services do and do not offer
UCT fails disabled students Operating Principles stall after seven years of attempted implementation Erin Bates THERE are two kinds of students at UCT; those with disabilities and those without. The first kind struggle to ascend Jammie steps, while the second move about campus with ease. When it comes to disability, UCT has simply not done enough.
‘UCT has simply not done enough’ Disability affects every student on campus and while most do not need a guide dog or wheelchair, there are some students who do. They are part of the student body and their needs must be recognised.
The Student Disability Service provides some help, yet ironically, it is on the fourth floor of the Steve Biko building. There is wheelchair access but nevertheless, it is difficult to reach and resources are limited. Fortyseven students registered with the Disability Service this year. Their disabilities range from learning difficulties to mobility, visual and hearing impairments. Michelle Botha is a secondyear BA student who is visually impaired; a disability that is best provided for by the University. The amount of reading in her degree is a ‘problem’ and ‘a strain’. She regularly uses the Disability Service’s computer lab where she reads computer-enlarged texts and listens to articles read by a synthesiser. There are four voices available; ‘Grandpa is my favourite,’ she quips, ‘even though he sounds
like a woman.’ ‘As far as I’m concerned, most of my needs are being met. There is a good body of staff and volunteers,’ says Botha. ‘But,’ she adds, ‘as soon as I step out the door, I’m running the gauntlet, trying not to step on people.’ As if this is not worrying enough, Michelle has to cope with being stepped on by others. ‘I get pushed around; people stare at me,’ Botha reports. Sam Richmond, a visually-impaired post-grad, agrees: ‘I have been pushed and shoved.’ This is alarming and shocking as both students use canes and are noticeably disabled. After having completed her undergraduate at UCT without using the Disability Service, Richmond is doing her Masters in Political Studies. Asked what it is like finally using the service facili-
What would you like to address to UCT?
ties, Richmond, who has only 5% vision, replies, ‘It is nice not to feel abnormal all the time. It has
‘It is easy and politically correct to promote sensitivity and awareness of disability issues on paper’ been a great help.’ Both Botha and Richmond praise the Student Disability Service, but agree that UCT is not doing enough for the disabled. Both have a ‘big problem’ with Jammie Steps which are not marked. This is because they are a National Monument that must not be damaged. ‘It just means a little more effort on the part of the University and they just don’t want to do it,’ remarks Richmond. While neglecting disability issues, UCT is combating race and gender
inequalities. Reinette Popplestone is the manager of the Disability Service. She agrees that not enough is being done to address disability at UCT. ‘In principle, of course, the University supports [the Disability Service]. It’s easy to say that,’ she says. It is easy and politically correct to promote sensitivity and awareness of disability issues on paper. UCT came up with a list of operating principles with regards to disabilities in November 2000 (www.uct.ac.za/services/disabilities). Seven years on, these principles have still not been fully implemented. The Student Disability Service is working on a more detailed policy, covering how to better address disability at UCT. Once the policy is complete, it must be passed, and finally put into practice. While UCT wades through bureaucracy, Botha, Richmond and others continue to walk the gauntlet that is the UCT campus. VARSITY is now available in enlarged format from the Disability Service’s Computer Lab.
What Still Needs To Be Done • Improve wheelchair access in buildings Name: Michelle Botha Year of study: 2 Degree: BA Disability: Visually Impaired
Name: Gadija Edwards Year of study: 1 Degree: BA Disability: Visually Impaired
Name: Samantha Richmond Year of study: Masters (1st year) Degree: Political Studies Disability: Visually Impaired
‘There is a definite lack of compassion and respect for the disabled on campus. I often feel like an amusing sideshow. We worked hard to get here and we deserve to be respected!’
‘I would like to thank the Disability Unit and its volunteers for giving their time and having the compassion to assist me and help me realise my potential to get my degree.’
‘One should be sensitive to people with disabilities and their differential needs. Disabilities shouldn’t be thought of as dichotomous! There are different spectrums of disabilities and all need to be catered for, not just the ones that belong to the extreme.’
Overcome your writing woes Kayshinee Rye Ramchurn
THE onset of the academic year often coincides with an incessant flurry of reports, essays, literature reviews and the like. This year is no different and if you are feeling overwhelmed by the very prospect of writing, fear not. Written tasks should no longer be a cause for concern for this generation of bright and talented young minds. All students can improve their writing, whether they are experienced academic writers or complete novices. The Writing Centre is committed to assisting undergraduate and postgraduate students from all faculties in building good writing practices. It was established in 1994 to address concerns about the quality of student writing. It houses a drop-in consultancy service that is free-of-charge and allows students to interact with part-time postgraduate consultants on a one-on-one basis. The consultation itself is a learning experience and normally
lasts up to an hour, depending on the nature of the task and number of issues that need attention. The assortment of areas that can be covered during a session include; analysing the topic question, using prescribed or other readings for relevant information, sorting and arranging ideas into a logical flow, spelling, grammar and referencing, and draft revision. Students are encouraged to prepare themselves before a consultation by familiarising themselves with the assignment at hand – in terms of identifying its main objectives and devising a basic form of structural organisation. This hands-on approach ensures that students have the option of tailoring the sessions in accordance with their needs. However, students should bear in mind that The Writing Centre aims to assist in improving writing skills and does not constitute an editing service. Postgraduate students can also benefit from receiving invaluable feedback on their written work. These range from research propos-
als, to creative pieces via weekly Postgraduate Writers’ Circles organised by and held at The Writing Centre. Most of these are discipline-related but the crossdisciplinary circle has proved to be quite popular over the years. Writers’ circles are a sounding board for postgraduate students who would like to share their writing for feedback before completing the writing process. The Writing Centre is housed on the fourth level of the Hlanganani Building on Upper Campus. Interested students are strongly advised to book appointments with consultants at least three days in advance. For draft revisions, students must drop off their typed drafts (not more than 15 pages long, 1.5 spacing, and font size 12) at 9 am on the day of the consultation. Further information can be obtained from The Writing Centre website: (www. ched.uct.ac.za/adp/writing/) or by calling 021 650 5021/ 3319.
• Install, repair and enlarge lifts
• Increase student awareness about disabilities There are a number of other improvements that need to be made for the benefit of disabled students and staff.
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• Mark steps around campus
18 March – 13 April: Chicago @ Artscape Don’t miss this explosive musical tail of murder, greed, corruption, violence, exploitation, adultery and treachery. 18 March – 15 April: Zeitgeist Screenings @ Labia Theatre A film created to inspire people to look at the world with a more critical perspective and understand that things are not always what the general population perceives them to be. 18 March – 1 April: Asha Zero @ 34Long A hyper-contemporary take on urban culture by a young South African artist. 18 March: SACM Students’ Quarterly Concert @ Baxter Concert Hall Catch the SACM students in action. 18 – 20 March: Ikhwezi Theatre Festival @ Baxter Theatre The highly popular award-winning festival celebrates ten years of development theatre this year with a record number of 20 exciting new plays by South African directors.
Volume 67 Number 3
Sharing the magic of photography
What’s On 18 – 20 March: The Old Mutual Encounters Comedy Festival @ Theatre at the Pavilion A celebration of stand-up talent.
A musical tribute to the Beatles.
19 March: Cokey Falkow Live and Uncensored @ Assembly Controversial stand-up comic who appeals particularly to young adults.
THE 2008 exhibition for the Month of People’s Photography (MOPP) aims to bring the art of street photography to the masses – and unusually, asks the masses to contribute as well. The genre is exactly as it sounds: the street photographer attempts to capture ordinary people and objects in public settings. Often, the photos are taken without the subject’s knowledge, and the ‘messages’ they convey are at times banal, sobering, hilarious, and heartbreaking. In the hands of skilled street photographers, strangers are suddenly familiar, and ordinary objects become tiny miracles. MOPP kicked off on 22 February with a grand opening party and weeklong exhibit in the annexes of the National Art Gallery. The event showcased the work of independent photographers to the accompaniment of local bands and musicians. An ‘open wall’ brought the spectators into the fold; they had been encouraged to bring and post personal photographs that related to the theme. Francois Raubenheimer, one of the driving forces behind the MOPP collective, was pleased with the turnout: he reported that about 25 of this year’s participants attended the event, and 40 others came to contribute to the open wall. Continuing with the tradition
20 March: Balkanology @ The Oriental Plaza Join the fun of gypsy mahem. 21 March: Ashtray Electric, The Wailing Jimis and Guests @ Assembly Indie rock band Ashtray Electric play with rock/blues band The Wailing Jimis and Guests. 24 – 29 March: Lyrics, Legs and Laughter @ Artscape Theatre A fun-filled musical featuring SA Idols Winner Jody Williams, and covering songs from the Bee Gees, Tina Turner, Frank Sinatra, Celine Dion, Luther Vandross, Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake and more. 28 March: Jack Gorton and Guests @ Assembly DJs present a journey through deep house. 28 March: Howard Roark and The Beams @ Mercury Don’t miss this feast of Cape Town indie rock. 29 March: Redflecks (USA), Fire Through the Window (DBN) & Guests @ Assembly Indie rock/electro band Redflecks play with indie/pop band Fire Through the Window and Guests.
that MOPP has set in its previous three exhibitions, the art made its way to the streets. The ‘Café Circuit’ extends to venues throughout the city, including a variety of cafés on Long Street. Raubenheimer stated that the aim of MOPP is to reach as many people as possible – to ‘share the magic of photography with people on the streets, and to blow away the barrier between the artist and the onlooker.’ A full listing of venues and photographers is available on the collective’s website, which is also home to an online exhibition (http://www.mopp.org.za). Raubenheimer emphasised the inclusive nature of the exhibition. For one, the MOPP doesn’t reject any submissions – while some of the participants are published photographers, many others have never before had a public forum for their work. ‘It allows them to participate,’ Raubenheimer said of these newcomers. ‘For a lot of photographers, this is a big step already.’ This year’s participants, let loose of what MOPP calls ‘the binding realms of established and often exclusive outlets for photographers’, have responded to the theme with a striking array of interpretations. The posters on display at Zula Sound Bar provide some useful background on the creators and friends of MOPP. Here, Isgak Stemmer, a participant with no
formal training in photography, states his simple philosophy: ‘I like trying to find the extraordinary in the ordinary.’ Further down Long Street, Portabello displays the works of Barry White on its cosy upper level. White contributes a series of sobering images: soaring blue skies that serve as a backdrop to abandoned buildings; portraits of people for whom the street is ‘home’ by necessity; clothing strung on barbed-wire lines and a symmetrical series of houses in various states of disrepair. Appropriately enough, the photographs find suitable homes in their distinctive venues. At Royale, Daya Heller’s whimsical photographs – striking pen drawings layered over old black-andwhite pinhole images – complement the airy décor. The eclectic vibe of Lola’s Café mixes well with the photographers represented – colour, black-and-white and sepia-toned images cover its walls. At Clay Oven, large-scale nightscapes face the glowing brick ovens. These are only a few stops along the circuit, but they all deserve to be seen by the masses. So next time you take to the streets, take a peek in one of the featured cafés. You might just find the extraordinary in the ordinary.
Villain, be sure thou prove my love a whore Stripper’s cinematic Othello converts Sheila Afari from a theatrical virgin to a 18 – 29 March: John, Paul, George and Ringo @ Roxy Revue Bar, Grandwest
Lara Potgieter experiences the joys of the ‘Junoverse’ ‘PHUKET, Thailand! This sea monkey is one doodle that can’t be undid, home skillet!’ Doesn’t this dialogue just scream poignancy and truth? ‘For real, dude.’ It is in fact this charming, youthful quirkiness that allows Juno, the groundbreaking new film about a 16-year-old girl who falls pregnant, to transcend narrative and filmic genres in its combination of the laugh-a-minute thrills of ingenious comedy with the stirring significance of memorable drama. The Academy Award-winning film has delighted fans and critics alike, creating an entire ‘Junoverse’, in which people of all ages and tastes find themselves spellbound by its original dialogue, convincing, lovable characters and refreshingly realistic treatment of the delicate themes of teenage pregnancy, abortion, maturity, family and love. The film is full of surprises. The rapid rhythm of witty one-liners reminiscent of the 30s screwball comedy eventually gives way to a skillfully subtle, yet highly evocative portrayal of genuine human emotion. The plotline itself provides an original twist on the otherwise exhausted themes, saving the film from clichéd conformity in its deliverance of topical and consequential subject matter. The simple and fun, yet surprisingly moving soundtrack complements this understated originality. What is perhaps most surprising, however, is the fact that the creator of this inimitable masterpiece is a stripper/call girl who became known through a blog
entitled ‘Pussy Ranch’. Indeed, first-time screenwriter Diablo Cody entered the realm of artistic authority with such accomplishment and flair that all narrowminded pretensions were soon flattened by her triumph. Director Jason Reitman (Thank You for Smoking) also managed to impress the filmic world with direction so subtle and genius that the acting comes across as completely natural. As far as the cast go, the role of Juno, the film’s heroine, could not be performed by anyone other than 20-year-old Ellen Page (Hard Candy, X-Men: The Last Stand). Her performance is undisputedly genius in its almost understated, yet genuine portrayal of the vulnerability of a young woman. She does this through the sharp tongue and quirkiness of a confused young girl who refuses to conform to the expectations of her adolescent world. 19-year-old Michael Cera (Superbad), who plays Paulie Bleeker, Juno’s best friend, also skillfully captivates the audience through his hilarious subtle expression and unassuming yet startlingly mature persona. I wish I could go on about the expertise of the rest of the cast and the countless joys of the film, but instead, I urge you to go and experience ‘Junoverse’ for yourself. I can assure you that you’ll leave laughing, crying and singing about your ‘part-time lover’ who’s a ‘full-time friend.’
whore to the scene BEING a virgin to the theatre scene, I feared that I was going to see Othello with unrealistically high expectations. Nevertheless, I was determined to get my ‘first time’ over and done with. Othello is being staged by the UCT Drama Department at the Baxter Theatre until 22 March. It involves ‘sexual suspicion, betrayal, revenge and murder’, all of which are no strangers to most of Shakespeare’s works. To my surprise, the experience of watching Othello and the quality of the production far exceeded any
expectations I ever had. The acting was of a high standard. Vaneshran Arumugam, who plays Othello, took his character to such heights that it was hard not to be mesmerised by him. Arumugam and Ariella Caira, who plays his wife Desdemona, managed to portray a convincing chemistry that heightened the emotion of the play. Charlie Keegan, who plays Iago, the villain, captivated the audience with his brilliant acting and unforgettable facial expressions. Special mention must also go to Christo
Lombard, who played Brabantio, Desdemona’s father. His portrayal of an old man was excellent and left a lasting impression. After speaking to the lead actors, it was clear that they were having fun. After roughly two and a half months of rehearsing, Othello is a must-see, regardless of whether or not you are a fan of Shakespeare’s works. You will laugh, cry and be in sheer awe of the standard of acting. My first time was definitely one to remember.
The Singletrack on the right track Lara Potgieter FROM bouncy girls in rainbow t-shirts singing about ‘feeling so fine’ and handing out lollipops, to hard rock wannabes complaining about having to ‘acoustify’ their music for the event, the Rag Launch Your Band Competition provided a diverse display of upand-coming local talent. The competition, which took place during the Thursday meridian slot on Jammie Plaza last week, was an initiative to promote aspiring musical ensembles. The winning band was awarded the opportunity to perform alongside the UCT Symphony Orchestra, Bala Brothers and Plush at the UCT Rag and Old Mutual Summer Concert on 5 April. Of the 40 bands who auditioned, three were chosen by the Rag Committee to compete on the day. The first band, JacSharp, created a vibrant atmosphere with their quirky combination of acous-
tic rock and afro beats complemented by a hint of bubblegum pop appeal. The second band, Feedback, immediately tried to assert a ‘hardcore’ image by calling themselves a ‘pure hard rock’ band. Looking at the guitarist in the peach button-up shirt, I found this assertion hard to believe. Performing songs with names like ‘Fallen’ and ‘Innocence’ and delivering vocals that mimic those of Lifehouse and Seether, the band presented nothing really innovative or exciting. In fact, the pizza being handed out stimulated more audience response than the music. After the lull in enthusiasm caused by the second band, the final and victorious band, The Singletrack began with a bang and managed to revive the energy of the event. To me, they sounded like just another formulaic South African pop rock band, but the crowd was clearly enchanted by the Fallout Boy/Dave Matthews Band appeal, as well as the Rory-
Eliot-esque charm of frontman Jayde Brammer. The other members of the band are Luke Bresler on guitar, Robert Venter on bass and backing vocals, and Craig Cooksey on drums. According to Venter, the band has always wanted to play at Kirstenbosch and is very excited. They are slightly worried about appealing to the older crowd, but not too worried because Brammer’s boyish charm seems to captivate old ladies. For those of you who enjoyed the taste of The Singletrack at Launch Your Band, make sure you get to Kirstenbosch on 5 April. For those of us who didn’t, at least there was pizza. Varsity is giving away five Launch Your Band CDs and ten tickets to the UCT Rag and Old Mutual Summer Concert at Kirstenbosch. Simply send the name of the winning band to varsitynewspaper@gmail. com
&technology 9 Microsoft devours Yahoo! China expanding Varsity
Rémy Ngamije examines the biggest online merger ever THE impending takeover of the world’s leading email service provider, Yahoo!, by top software manufacturer, Microsoft, has had many people talking and more fingers anxiously typing and clicking away as they try to anticipate the outcomes of their merging. A $44.6 billion bid in the form of cash and stocks was offered to Yahoo! shareholders as a premium on 31 January. The offer comes at the back end of yet another disappointing year for Yahoo! which has been performing poorly on the stock market over the past two years. As more internet users flock to the ever-growing and more popular Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! have been left floundering in the search engine market owning only a combined 23% of the market. It came as no surprise to many that Yahoo!, quickly slipping down the stock market, would try to save face and merge with Microsoft. This was an attempt to offer what some people might see as the ‘complete package’. Many analysts have noted the positive response that the market has shown towards Yahoo! stocks, which have risen to their highest level in months. Microsoft seems to have come just in the nick of time to save Yahoo!’s blushes. With Google owning 77% of internet usage as well as an advertising firm, which is the largest source of revenue for internet companies, the merger is seen as a way of countering almost complete domination. Internet users can expect to have the combined synergies of the two pioneering companies, in the hopes that a better product would be offered. The optimism is not entertained by other ana-
Digital Domination? - Will the Microsoft-Yahoo! merger pose a threat to Internet giant, Google lysts who are quick to point out that Yahoo! and Microsoft have conflicting corporate cultures and possess overlapping business interests. This is a problem that could potentially drive even more users towards Google. Yahoo! Mail and MSN Windows Live, the two biggest email service providers, could potentially freeze the much younger Google Gmail. Google as expected has counter-attacked the merger stating that it was an attempt by Microsoft to limit competition in a growing market. The claim has garnered no support from either Yahoo! or Microsoft which view Google as the new powerhouse Internet company. Consumer concern has been growing as questions about the
identity of email accounts, webpages or other services offered by the two companies would be affected. Microsoft management has emailed leading shareholders, allaying fears of possible disconnection, and claiming that the merger would offer consumers, publishers and advertisers better solutions in the online service market. With the imminent takeover, Microsoft’s deep pockets are seen as the backbone that will hold and support the merger. The Microsoft-Yahoo! deal would be the largest in the Internet market since Time Warner bought out AOL for $182 billion. The latter was seen as one of the worst corporate alliances in history as many of the promised packages never saw the light of day.
A LEG to stand on MAX RABKHIN ON Wednesday, UCT’s Linux Enthusiasts Group will be holding its first public meeting. What is Linux and why are people so enthusiastic about it? Linux is an operating system (like Windows or Mac OS X) but with a difference. Linux is built, maintained and put together by a worldwide group of collaborators, predominantly volunteers who do it for the joy of producing a great product. This type of collaborative development is called Open Source. Linux is available as a complete
system, with a huge range of free open-source software; from the Mozilla Firefox web browser and the OpenOffice.org office suite to the Inkscape vector-drawing program and the FretsOnFire guitar game. The system is not vulnerable to the viruses and spyware which plague many Windows systems. The UCT Linux Enthusiasts Group (LEG) was originally founded in 1996, making it the oldest Linux organisation in Africa. LEG runs a server from which anyone can download a huge variety of free software. They also offer support for Linux users at UCT. Until now, LEG has not been
an official UCT society. That’s set to change at their first public event on Wednesday 19 March, where they will be giving talks on ‘What are Linux and LEG?’, ‘Linux at UCT’, as well as giving a sneak peek at the new version of the shiny KDE package. After the talks, they will be showing ‘Elephant’s Dream’, a short animated film created using Blender, an open-source 3D modelling program.
CHINA’s leading bank, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), has purchased 20% of Standard Bank, the largest in South Africa with R1 trillion in assets and a market value of R145 billion. At R36.7 billion, the purchase is the largest direct foreign investment in our country thus far. According to Standard Bank CEO, Jacko Maree, this ‘exciting step forward is evidence of Standard Bank’s vision of being a leading emerging markets bank’. As Standard Bank leaps to a leading and powerful position; is the complimentary alliance with the ICBC, a cause for celebration or dubious skepticism? Standard bank is Africa’s largest lender operating in 18 African countries and 20 overseas. The bank is fast evolving into a dominant financial institution, not only in Africa, but globally. Last year Standard Bank bought a 65% share in the Turkish company Dundas Unlu Secretaries, reestablishing it as Standard Unlu. Standard Bank also finalised purchases of the CFC Bank in Kenya, Argentina’s Bank Boston and the IBTC Chartered Bank in Nigeria. ZAO Standard Bank in Russia was established in 2002. The bank’s appetite is insatiable. Maree reveals, ‘There are still markets … where we’d like to be bigger, such as Russia and Brazil, and I can certainly see a few more acquisitions on the African continent.’ Standard Bank’s recent transaction with China is not only fattening its capital base, but granting it access to the fastest-growing economy in the world. Although a strong, profitable bank is beneficial to a developing country, if a bank or coalition of banks becomes too dominant, they
can work together to avert market forces. The Chinese Bank’s purchase of 20% of Standard Bank reflects China’s desire for expansion opportunities abroad. China’s economic growth and its trade with Africa is accelerating simultaneously: Trade between 2001 and 2006 grew at an annual rate of 40%. The speculation that China’s recent investment in South Africa is not directly related to their desire for resources or is politically motivated is nullified by Bloomberg columnist William Pesek. This stance is rather naïve, considering China’s growing interest in African oil and resources. China’s transformation into an economic powerhouse has heightened its need for scarce raw materials, increasing its interest in Africa. Bearing in mind that the ICBC is state-controlled, one cannot simply differentiate between politics and business. It is frequently suggested that China’s growing involvement in Africa demonstrates imperialist tendencies. With the acquisition of 20% of Standard Bank, China has gained significant influence over a bank that administers a vast pan-African network. Is the recent coalition with Standard Bank aimed at accessing distinctive local market knowledge and expertise or gaining powerful footholds in Africa? By assisting Chinese business in taking advantage of opportunities in Africa, is Standard Bank perhaps facilitating a neo-colonial pervasion of our continent? Although the investment progressively highlights South Africa as an attraction for investment with growth prospects, sophisticated financial services and expanding markets; its implication for the populations of this continent are more ominous than celebratory.
The talk will be held in LS 1E during meridian. Dubious - What are China’s intentions?
Volume 67 Number 3
UFS rice video Metahumour: Webcomics receives muted response BLOEMFONTEIN - Four students filmed a native rice strain growing in urea for four weeks. ‘We thought we’d take advantage of the recent publicity the campus has been receiving. Botany projects seldom achieve the recognition they deserve,’ said Maarten van Zyl, a post-graduate Botany student and director of the video.
International news agencies, CNN and SKY News, refused to pick the story up, calling it ‘stupendously dull’. ‘In fact, even the adjective stupendous connotes too much emotion,’ a SKY representative said. Rice advocacy groups were poised to protest, but backed down after watching the film.
Countrywide vowel shortage reported DA leader Helen Zille calls potential rationing a ‘crck of sht’
‘I’m not racist’- Zuma
I COULDN’T think of anything to write about this week, so I decided to do what any American CEO does when the pressure is on and stakeholders are baying for value: outsource. You’re guaranteed to get a few laughs from the sick twisted minds that are the subject of today’s column. Webcomics. TalkAboutComics. com, a webcomic blog, claims that over 18, 000 strips exist on the internet. Luckily for Dilbert and Calvin, most of them are crap. There’s even one that features UCT, and makes jokes about Eskom using poorly drawn stick figures. Don’t worry. The person responsible is going away for a very long time. Some of them, however, are good. Very, very good. Webcomic artists are typically independent and self-funded. This means Freedom of expression with a capital F. Everything is game in cyberspace; religion, sex, politics, the elderly, and animals. Every sacred cow gets shot, hung, carved, and vacuum-packed into steak-sized nuggets of evil laughter. Here are some of my favourites. Some get updated daily, some as little as twice a month. Hook your RSS feeder to the ones you like, and let the joy come to you.
PhD comics. (www.phdcomics.com) What Dilbert is to cubicle dwellers, PhD comics is to post-grad students. A must-read for anyone doing an MSc, PhD, or considering doing one. Plus EV (www.plusev.net). If you like Texas hold’em poker, you’ll enjoy this one. xkcd (www.xkcd.com). It turns out that a lot of science and engineering students are frustrated artists (ahem). Xkcd is unashamedly geeky. If you don’t find jokes about bifurcations and poles on complex planes hilarious, then avoid this one. A confession: initially, many of the comics made absolutely no sense. Then I discovered that the punchline only appears when you hover the
‘Goddam uptight honkeys just gotta get over themselves’
SAPS rinses image
Picture Courtesy of smbc-comics.com
THE South African Police Services (SAPS) has hired advertising agency Such’nSuch to help ‘buff up the force’s tarnished reputation’, Chief Jackie Selebi said from his cell yesterday. Such’nSuch has won numerous awards for their advertising campaigns, including one for a leading anti-dandruff shampoo. ‘We want to highlight the good things the SAPS is doing, without being dishonest. We think we’ve hit the right note with our campaign,’ Such’n Such CEO Miranda Moore told VARSITY.
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. We actually just have to say stuff like that to cover our ass, in the event that some one gets all vocal and decides to use their freedom of speech... Isn’t freedom of speech fanfucking-tastical? You can just waffle on, and no one can ever stop you... this isn’t funny, but I am exercising my freedom of speech to be just that in short -fuck you very much
by Simon PAge
mouse over the strip. I’m such a noob. Actually, fuck xkcd, it’s not that funny. For more nerdy comics try Ctrl+Alt+Del (www.cad-comic.com), Penny Arcade (www.penny-arcade. com) and Bunny (www.bunnycomic.com).
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (www.smbc-comics. com). SMBC is a sick, perverted collection of off-colour oneliners related to sex and death, often both at the same time. In a word: brilliant. You’ll go to hell for laughing at the jokes, but it’ll be worth it. Cyanide and Happiness (www.explosm.net/comics). Makes SMBC look like Sunday School. I’ve posted one here. I’m not saying a word.
image Courtesy of explosm.net
Mbanjwa magic UCT gets fit CONSTRUCTION on parts of the UCT fitness precinct is nearly complete, with plans for the fitness centre to open at the end of March. The precinct is situated above the Graça Machel Hall on lower campus. The UCT Fitness Centre is to be operated as a service to students, rather than a club. The focus will be on lifestyle fitness with floor instructors offering equipment and programme advice. Studios and trained instructors will host morning and evening classes in spinning and aerobics. Facilities have also been improved for female users, who previously had to tolerate cumbersome equipment and an unsafe location in the dungeon of Sports Centre. Furthermore, the original UCT Weights Club has been dissolved and is instead the UCT Bodybuilding and Powerbuilding Club. These users will have access to specific weights training and equipment within the Fitness Centre.
Membership is open to all students and staff members registered at UCT. The Fitness Centre will be open 6 am – 9 pm, every day of the week. Off-peak membership (8:30 am – 5 pm) is R100 for the year, and peak-time membership (6 am – 9 am) is R400 for the year. Students need to sign up at the reception area in Sports Centre. Sign-up costs can be put onto their student fee accounts until the end of March. Students can join at any time during the year. Furthermore, construction on the beach volleyball courts, 25m-long, heated swimming pool, FIFA-accredited football field and five-a-side pitch began on Monday 10 March. This is to take 109 days to complete. The UCT Underwater, Waterpolo and Aquatics clubs are all to move into the precinct. Together with the Fitness Centre, these facilities will make up the completed UCT fitness precinct. Contact (021) 650 3564 for further details. Photo courtesy of Rory Holmes
MICHAEL Mbanjwa is not only a leading South African sportsman, but also the first ever black canoeist to win the notorious Stihl NonStop Dusi Canoe Marathon a.k.a. the ‘Dusi in a Day’ marathon. The race, which took place earlier this year, features a gruelling 120km battle along the Msunduzi River in Pietermaritzburg. Mbanjwa, 24, suffered from a pinched nerve in his back, but nevertheless went on to win the competition, along with his partner and seven-time Dusi winner, Martin Dreyer. They completed the race in top time, crossing the finish line after an impressive seven hours and 47 minutes. He has consequently made sporting world history as being the first black contestant to win a gold medal at this prestigious event. After winning the race, Mbanjwa celebrated by making sure that he wore his medal at all times. He said, ‘This is the biggest achievement of my life, which is why I travel with my medal. I always want to see it in front of me, as it will motivate me to do even better.’ Mbanjwa is not new to the canoeing world, having finished ten Dusi Marathons before this most recent record-breaking win. He began canoeing at a young age, led by celebrated black canoeist, Robert Lambethe. Mbanjwa made the South African team while still in high school, and after matric went on to secure a canoe sponsorship from Vodacom. He has represented the country in races around the world, including marathons in Spain and France. He is hoping to compete and continue to make
TRIUMPHANT - Michael Mbanjwa proves that race is not a factor as he paddles his way to victory South Africa proud in the Beijing Olympics in August. Mbanjwa prides himself on assisting in the development of canoeing in South Africa, by training, and simultaneously inspiring, young, black paddlers to get involved. He works as a coach at the Ekhuruleni Kayak Club, training 40 African children from the area. Prior to him winning this year’s race, Mbanjwa was quoted as saying, ‘As a winner
of last year’s Stihl and this year’s Dusi as a development paddler, I believe I have earned the right to be known as a competent competitor.’ Now that he has added yet another win to his ever-increasing list, there should be no doubt in even the biggest sceptic’s mind. For Mbanjwa, there is no black and white on the water, so why should there be for anyone else?
Progressing - UCT’s gym expansion includes a new pool
Giving it stick UCT students represent Nicholas Duminy
INDOOR, or ‘super hockey’, has transformed the game into a fast, action-packed, spectator sport, with more thrills and excitement than a Pirates-Chiefs derby on acid, or a street fight between Jacob Zuma and Helen Zille. The four main differences between indoor hockey and traditional hockey are the number of players on the ‘field’, the lengths of the half, the fact that it is indoor and, of course, the thrill factor. This year’s Internal Hockey League was made up of UCT’s first team, Western Province Cricket Club’s first and second sides, Pinelands’ first and second sides, and Constantiaberg’s first team. The league takes place during summer and runs over a period of about two months. UCT managed to up their intensity in each game, which resulted in some excellent results this season. The team’s Vice-Captain, Carl Thomen, had the following to say about the team’s performances: ‘We have improved in each game and are now playing great hockey. This is largely due to an awesome team spirit and a superb work ethic shown by the guys this season.’ When asked about future prospects for this year, Carl commented, ‘Training has started for this year’s outdoor season and we are feeling positive. After such a successful indoor season we will be hoping for a title challenge this
year.’ The Ikeys’ skills and determination have not gone unnoticed; six players, including Carl Thomen, Zeno Rossouw, Craig Haley and Mathew McConkey, were all selected for the Western Province indoor side. The Ikeys came up against some stiff competition on the road to the finals. The side met an in-form Pinelands in the second semifinal, and expected an extremely competitive game. The first half was closely challenged by both sides, however, UCT upped their game in the second half and netted five, raising their tally to six for the game. UCT’s Alex Moody had an excellent game and managed to keep a clean sheet, a feat few have achieved in this format of the game. Western Province and Constantiaberg went head-to-head in the first semifinals. After a closely-contested game, Western Province Cricket Club managed to push ahead in the final minutes to win the game. UCT and WPCC met in the final on Sunday evening at Wynberg Military Base. The game was electric and both teams played some excellent hockey. However, it was UCT who managed to outperform their arch rivals and beat WPCC in an extremely competitive game. The win sealed off an exceptional season for the Ikeys and one can only hope they are able to replicate this success for the rest of the year.
THE past few weeks have seen a great number of UCT students selected for Western Province representation in their respective disciplines. On the Hockey front, the club has had one of their most successful starts to the year with a total of 16 students selected to travel to Pietermaritzburg and Johannesburg for the men’s and women’s provincial tournaments from 7 to 12 April. The men’s representatives include UCT Vice-Captain Carl Thomen, Zeno Rossouw, Craig Haley and Mathew McConkey. Representing for the ladies is, Cathy Drummond, Mandy Skinner, Jene Samuels, Kerryn Robertson, Robyn Tully And Micaela Paterson. In addition, four UCT students have been selected for the Western Province Surf Lifesaving team. They are Kerri Anderson, Jade Antunes, Ryle De Morney, and Lyle Maasdorp. The four competed in the Western Province Champs held on 23 and 24 February where each competitor had to compete in 14 sea and beach events (team and individual). The four competitors won numerous gold and silver medals, with Anderson also winning the Iron Lady and Victrix Laudorum in the open age group and Maasdorp winning the Iron Man in the open age group. They will all compete at the Interprovincials on 12 March, followed by the SA Champs from 13 - 15 March, which will be held at Blouberg Strand.
Photo courtesy of Corinne Landon
Photo courtesy of www.dusi.org.za
A true competitor with a touch of compassion
lifesavers - Kerry Anderson, Lyle Maasdorp and Jade Antunes
Intervarsity upset Dereck Armstrong ON 4 March our very own UCT Waterpolo Club took the short trip across to Stellenbosch, only to receive a sound hiding by our nearby rivals. Each of our teams went down to an in-shape Stellenbosch onslaught. The girls’ first team lost narrowly, 5-3, and the boys’ game ran away from them towards the end with a 13-7 loss. ‘We’ve lost a lot of our senior players, and we’re far behind Stellenbosch in our training. They’ve upped their game this season,’ says Simon Weare, a firstteam player. This year’s results were a sur-
prise, with UCT usually having the luxury of an easy win throughout the board. But this year, Stellenbosch seems to be taking their polo more seriously than before, and this result will make the upcoming winter Intervarsity rematch extremely tense. Out of the pool however, things were back to normal. The two buses booked by UCT were filled to capacity, and so was the poolside by the start of the first-team game. The clubhouse provided the infamously cheap beverages, and entertained players and spectators long into the night, regardless of the disappointing score line.
Photo courtesy of Justin Andrews
UCT Athletics: A running success UCT Athletics proves its worth at the Two Oceans Marathon and UCT Women’s Memorial Race
UCT tackle - Ikeys manage to block a potential try. UCT beat NWU Pukke 32-31, in an extraordinary last ditch effort..
Lindi Brownell BOTH English and European football has taken supporters’ excitement to new heights this season. The FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League have been characterised by highly-contested matches, from appalling shows of refereeing to dubious red cards and disallowed goals.The 2007/2008 season is just like any other – except with a twist. The UEFA Champions League has reached the quarterfinals. More importantly, four English teams have reached the quarterfinals. Arsenal got rid of last year’s champions, AC Milan, in the first knockout round, as did Roma with rivals Real Madrid. Sevilla departed after Fenerbahçe beat them in a penalty shootout and Barcelona triumphed against Celtic 4-2. Liverpool said goodbye to Milan’s Internazionale and Manchester United sent Lyon back to France. Finally, it was all over for Porto after a severe thrashing in yet another penalty shootout against the reasonably small German side, Schalke, and Chelsea finalised England’s success in Europe with a 3-0 win over Olympiacos. With the ‘big four’, Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool, all in the running for this year’s trophy, tonight is bound to be thrilling in every sense of the word. The first leg kicks off in Gelsinkirchen, Germany with home-side Schalke taking on mighty Barcelona, while Rome plays host to the Red Devils. Tomorrow night sees Chelsea visiting Fenerbahçe in Istanbul and the much-anticipated English clash featuring Arsenal versus Liverpool. The second leg will
Photo courtesy of asia.news
Two cups: Two champions
UCT’S Athletic teams went from strength-to-strength, when both the men’s and women’s half-marathon teams finished third and fourth respectively in the Two Oceans Marathon. The men’s half-marathon team consisted of four runners: Ben Brimble, Nelson Bass, Edward Motlapema and Ian Rogers. With the exception of Nelson Bass, all of the runners managed to record personal best times in the 21.1km race. Ben Brimble ran an excellent race and managed to record a time of 01:12:05, just ten minutes behind the overall winner in the halfmarathon category. Sharing in the glory were Amy Aronson, Nicky Collins, Megan Beckett, Sarah-Jane Jackson and Debbie Noel of the women’s team. Amy Aronson ran an outstanding race, managing to finish in under 01:30:00 and pick up a silver medal, while Collins, Beckett and Jackson all ran personal best times. In total, 93 UCT club members took part in the Two Oceans Marathon this year, with 78 runners completing the half-marathon and 15 conquering the gruelling 56km ultra-marathon. The highlight of the day arrived in the form of UCT’s William Robinson, who finished the ultra in the top ten of
Western Province finishers, with a time of 03:52:57, just 41 minutes off the time of the overall winner. Apart from UCT’s successful representation in the Old Mutual Marathon, the club has managed to host and perform successfully in various other events. The Capestorm UCT Women’s Memorial 10km race was held on 16 March. The race was a great success with 755 finishers, which is easily the best field of runners in the last ten years. The SA Track and Field Championship was held over the same weekend. Although the weather conditions did not help the competitors, UCT’s Jeanre Rossouw still managed to make both 100m and 200m semifinals. Other UCT competitors who represented Western Province at the competition included Ben Brimble, Odette Olivier, Amy Aronson and Nicky Collins. After successfully representing Western Province in the Track and Field Championship, Amy Aronson became the first UCT member to represent WP in track, cross country and road, in a 12 month period. UCT athletics have had an extremely successful start to the year and one can only hope that the teams manage to maintain such a high standard for the remainder of the athletics season.
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fabregas - Five games from becoming champions be played on 9 April and the fight to get to the semifinals will have begun. The question is, who to keep an eye on? United’s Cristiano Ronaldo, having scored six goals so far this season, is up against Roma’s forward, Mirko Vučinić. Liverpool has the likes of Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres to rely on, while Arsenal only has to hope that Emmanuel Adebayor pulls through and puts the ball into the back of the net. Chelsea has Didier Drogba contending with Fenerbahçe’s Deivid, while top goal scorer, Lionel Messi, will be up front for Barcelona against the underdogs. This is all rather exciting, but what about the FA Cup? Who would have thought that not one of the ‘big four’ would be present in the semifinals on 5 April? Probably the most notable matches
so far include the moments when relatively unknown Barnsley beat Liverpool in the fifth round and went on to kick Chelsea out in the quarterfinals. Arsenal said goodbye to potential Treble hopes when Manchester United moved on to the sixth round, only to be disposed of against Portsmouth at Old Trafford. Wembley will therefore be welcoming not the typical log leaders, but the teams Portsmouth, Barnsley, Cardiff City and West Bromwich Albion. The trophies are waiting to be lifted. One thing is for sure; the Champions League Final in Moscow, to be held on 21 May, will be exhilarating no matter who reaches the top. And whoever the FA Cup winners happen to be, they will only prove that the underdogs should not be underestimated.
ADVENTURE FROM SLOPES TO BEACHES
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