50 Cent giveaway
Spit roast complaints
No Intervarsity 2008
30 April 2008 · Volume 67, Number 6 · 021 650 3543 · firstname.lastname@example.org
FIFTEEN hours of community service, an apology to the UCT student body, and the replacement of the SRC laptop was the punishment imposed upon SRC President, Thulani Madinginye at last week’s student assembly. This motion was passed by 24 votes to the 14 student assembly members who called for Madinginye’s suspension. Votes were cast by means of a secret ballot and were based on the recommendations of two separate investigations into the matter of the SRC laptop, which went missing in January while in Madinginye’s care. These were the SRC Disciplinary Committee (DC) and the Commission of Inquiry, established independently from the SRC as a check on the DC’s findings. The outcomes of these investigations were reviewed at last week’s sitting, which took place on 23 April. Madinginye was found guilty on counts of the abuse of SRC property and negligence by the SRC DC. The President failed to follow the correct protocol, or obtain the required permission in borrowing the laptop as stipulated by SRC resource policies. The Department of Student Affairs confirmed that taking the laptop home for the holidays did not constitute an SRC-related event, and should not have been in his possession at the time. Madinginye maintains that ‘there was no abuse of SRC property. I am a very responsible person and have always been, the student body need not worry about me being irresponsible in any way.’ The findings of the investigations confirmed that the President was negligent in placing the laptop in his check-in luggage and thereby letting it out of his sight. He also failed to secure his baggage with cable ties. Madinginye acknowledged negligence at the student assembly held on 12 March. The Commission of Inquiry
further suggested that the President had attempted to defeat the ends of justice by not reporting the incident to the SAPS. Madinginye realised that the laptop was missing after he departed the Cape Town airport. Thus, the incident fell under the jurisdiction of both the airline security personnel and the police. According to the Commission of Inquiry report, Madinginye stated on 12 March that he had reported the matter to the police. This statement was recorded in the minutes of the meeting. On 23 April, he denied making this claim. A further inconsistency exists regarding the date on which the President reported the incident to the airline security personnel. Madinginye claims that the airline confirmed he had reported the matter on 10 January. The airline security’s records show that it was the 29 January. The matter has since been handed over to the University Student Tribunal. The Commission of Inquiry recommended that Madinginye be suspended from his position as SRC president while the investigation is still pending. The SRC DC recommended that Madinginye resign within 24 hours, or that the SRC vote on a motion of no confidence. The SRC voted on the motion of no confidence, which did not pass. SRC Vice-President Internal, Garreth Bloor, commented on the harshness of the motion of no confidence as a punishment. Consequently, the SRC proposed the alternative; censure (community service, a public apology and the replacement of the laptop) without suspension. Madinginye is required to replace the laptop with his own funds by the end of his presidential tenure. The President declined in commenting on the outcome of last week’s student assembly as he did not believe that it would change anything.
photo by Taybah Jaffar
SRC President found guilty of negligence
Shawco sports week success - children from SHAWCO’s sports project enjoyed the Stormers game on Saturday to end off the week-long sports initiative.
Campus robbery ends in gunfire Rémy Ngamije ON Saturday, 19 April, a student fell victim to a gun-robbery on UCT’s Middle Campus in the early afternoon. The two men involved in the robbery were pursued by a nearby Campus Security Guard and opened fire on him. They managed to escape. The third-year UCT student, Lesley Conolly, arrived at Middle Campus for a debating function. Realising that she had been directed to the wrong venue, she then returned to her vehicle where she was accosted by two men wielding guns. They demanded that she hand over her handbag and laptop. Insisting that she had nothing worthy of stealing, the two men
grabbed her laptop, her handbag as well as her car keys and proceeded to walk away. Alerting a nearby Campus Security Guard, Conolly managed to have the two men pursued. The perpetrators, who had an escape vehicle ready, managed to evade arrest, firing shots at the security guard. The security guard and Conolly declared the incident to the police, had an investigation docket opened and her bank card cancelled. At 8 pm that same evening, a call came through to the police, alerting them to a bag that had been retrieved in Gugulethu, which turned out to belong to Conolly. It was returned to her, together with all of her possessions except for
Tragic loss of Prof Zerene Haddad PROFESSOR Kevin Rochford of UCT was murdered last Tuesday outside his home in Little Mowbray. It is believed he was the victim of an attempted hijacking. A UCT student who lived nearby rushed to the scene to help after she heard the gunshots. She administered CPR but was unable to save Professor Rochford. Well-loved and influential at UCT, his death has come as a shock to the community. He held the post of Associate Professor of Science Education in the Humanities Faculty. He was involved in education for more than 30 years, and at UCT his influence extended to
athletics. Prof Rochford graduated with a BSc from Melbourne University. He then gained a BEd and MEd with distinction, and a PhD, from UCT. Beyond his role in education his involvement stretched to various sporting activities especially the Two Oceans Marathon which he participated in since the 1970s. In 1990 he was instrumental in bringing about the Two Oceans race on Good Friday for people who choose not to run in the main Saturday event for religious reasons. Tragically, Prof Rochford is the second professor that UCT has lost to violence in the past six months. Aged 64, he has left behind his wife and child.
Varsity, the official student newspaper since 1942, is committed to the principles of equality and democracy
her laptop. In a statement, Conolly said that she had been very impressed by the manner in which CPS responded to the incident, despite the danger and the rapidity of the robbery: ‘He (the CPS Guard) chased after them without any hesitation at all. UCT has also been really good about it, they sent the Head of Communications to talk to me, offered counselling and have emailed the entire student body alerting them to the incident.’ The UCT student body has been urged to take more consideration when travelling around the campus at all times, especially after hours.
Volume 67 Number 6
VARSITY interviewed Wilf Mbanga, editor of The Zimbabwean newspaper, whilst he was in South Africa covering the Zimbabwean elections. We found out about the beginnings of the newspaper and how successful it has become, as well as a few of Wilf’s opinions on current affairs in Zimbabwe. Tell us a bit about how the newspaper started. We initially started it as a paper for the Zim diaspora in the UK, then we decided to distribute it in Zim – which was the best decision we ever made. First we flew in 5, 000 copies, which were immediately snatched up, and then 6,000. Eventually we had to buy a truck to take the papers in via Beitbridge. We first took out 10,000 and it kept increasing up to our current number of 190,000 copies on a Thursday and 50,000 copies on a Sunday. Do you have reporters inside Zim? Yes, we do. They are based in Bulawayo and Harare. They use false names except for one, who was targeted by police last year. He was arrested on a false charge and detained for five days during which he was severely abused and tortured. He was released only after a High Court order was issued and he had to be hospitalised immediately, he had to be physically carried into the hospital. These are the people who are totally committed; they feel that they are serving a useful purpose in Zimbabwe at this time. Are you in exile? Well we (my wife and I) left Zimbabwe after I’d been arrested in 2001 on a trumped-up charge. I was being followed, my phones were being tapped and I got tired of it. We left for Holland first for a year where I completed two books and wrote a weekly column for a
Photo courtesy of guardian.co.uk
Interview with Wilf Mbanga
Wilf Mbanga - the outspoken Zimbabwean journalist who now lives in the UK and is the editor of ‘The Zimbabwean’ newspaper. Dutch newspaper. From Holland, we moved to London after the Zimbabwean Embassy in Holland sent a letter to the newspaper I was writing for, in which they referred to me as ‘an enemy of the people’. I got the message then that it wouldn’t be wise for us to return to Zimbabwe. We left before we were officially exiled but now we are political exiles. Why was Mugabe so scarce after the elections, considering how he never cowers from media attention? Well, he was genuinely shellshocked because his intelligence had told him that he would win. A survey was conducted by a discredited UZ researcher and published in the Herald, a daily newspaper which is all propaganda, which made out that Mugabe would win. His intelligence failed him completely. There were an estimated 5.9 million registered voters but only 2.3 million people actually voted. Yet there are rumors of 10 million ballots being printed with duplicate serial numbers. Anything can happen to the ballots now, because all the ballot boxes are being kept in an unknown location. Who knows what can happen to the votes between now
and a re-count. There’s a lot of speculation about Tsvangirai’s ability to be president. Does the MDC have a plan if they takeover? Yes, there is a blueprint regarding their plans. Morgan Tsvangirai is being referred to as the ‘President in Waiting’, it’s just a matter of time. It’s necessary to remember that Mugabe has complete control over the civil service, parastatals, and the military. Anyone joining the civil service has to swear to a test of loyalty and the whole system is totally Zanu-PF. Basically there is a de facto military junta in power. It will be difficult to work with people who are loyal to Mugabe. The Generals of the army and other high-ranking officials of Zanu-PF will probably have to be allowed to keep their ill-gotten gains so as to prevent them from causing problems. However, the MDC will have to slowly and systematically restructure these institutions in Zim; they cannot just come in and completely get rid of people because they need the expertise. Visit www.thezimbabwean.com to view online editions of the paper.
Photo by Justin Andrews
Rallying for the democratic cause Zerene Haddad STUDENTS marked Zimbabwe’s 28th anniversary of independence on Friday, 18 April with a protest on Jammie Plaza. Organised by Sara Reith in conjunction with the Save Zimbabwe Campaign, Zimbabweans and other UCT students rallied on Jammie plaza wielding placards which called for the election results to be released and the well-known red MDC cards of ‘Mugabe must go now’. The march was supported by members of various youth leagues on campus such as SASCO, ANCYL, DASO as well as SRC members. Sara Reith spoke out against the current situation and encouraged supporters saying ‘We are the future of Zimbabwe! Zimbabwe’s future is bright!’ Members from the youth leagues who spoke to the crowd were keen to emphasise that they were there to show their support for Zimbabwe and its election crisis. They urged the crowd into chanting ‘Viva Zimbabwe!’ and ‘Amandla! Awethu! ’ At one point a cry went out of ‘Viva SASCO!’ causing a stir amongst those present. Despite the rally being hosted by and for Zimbabweans, the youth league members who attended on behalf of their respective committees usurped control of the rally, leaving many Zimbabwean students disgruntled with the proceedings. Salome Mutero told VARSITY, ‘It’s a shame that
The will of the people - UCT students held a rally on Zimbabwe’s 28th Independence Day to voice their desire for a real democracy and the end of Mugabe’s rule. Zimbabweans won’t take charge when it comes to a simple rally, let alone our country.’ Regrettably, the number of Zimbabwean students who supported the rally did not reflect the large percentage of
UCT students who are actually Zimbabwean. Students dispersed after the Zimbabwean national anthem was sung.
ICTS Follow up & Clarification Tatenda Goredema FOR the past few months, there has been confusion amongst students regarding responsbility within IT on campus and in residences. The common trend is to associate any IT faults and problems to ICTS because they are believed to represent all things technical at UCT. This is an incorrect assumption as ICTS does not provide service to residence students and is not responsible for printing on campus. As part of the restructuring process, a permanent post of ‘Residence IT Facilities Coordinator’ has been created, which involves administering ResNet and Res labs, amongst other responsibilities. Tsebo Litabe was appointed to this position and took up office on 1 March. Litabe joined the Department for Student Housing & Residence Life (SH&RL) from ICTS, where he worked in the Customer Services Division. Besides his experience in ICTS, he brings experience from his student days when he was a resident in Leo Marquard Hall. ICTS provides IT services to SH&RL, which in turn provides these services to students in residence. When ResNet was introduced, Noel Adams was seconded on a temporary basis to assist with the implementation of the project and act as the ResNet Administrator.
In late February and early March, huge volumes of ResNet applications resulted in backlogs being experienced, both in SH&RL and ICTS. All the forms that have reached the ResNet office have now been captured. These backlogs were created in SH&RL as a result of a huge increase in the number of applications submitted in mid-March. As soon as they were filled in, these were also submitted in large batches from residences instead of smaller batches. This had created a backlog at the ResNet office when capturing the data contained on the forms. Additional temporary staff members were employed to process the backlog. House Committee IT Reps were provided with feedback from the ResNet office and a poster was placed on residence notice boards to ensure that the correct information reached students. Glen Von Zeil, the Manager of SH&RL said, ‘It would be appreciated if House Committee IT Reps would check these details thoroughly before forwarding the forms to the ResNet office to avoid delays.’ The ResNet application process is a manual process. Many applications received by the ResNet office are incomplete and/or with incorrect information, especially MAC addresses and room numbers.
Pontiff confronts issue of paedophilic priests Alessandro Rossi
ON 15 April, Pope Benedict XVI visited the USA for the first time ever since his pontification. US President, George Bush, welcomed the pontiff’s influence, stating that America needed his spiritual and moral guidance. Among the many burning issues discussed, Pope Benedict spoke out against the recent surge of sex abuse scandals that have stained the image of the Catholic Church. Over 13,000 incidences of child molestation by thousands of priests, bishops and other Catholic clergy have been reported, for which $2 billion worth of settlements have already been paid out. Pope Benedict addressed hundreds of American bishops in Washington, calling for paedophilic priests to be punished for their ‘gravely immoral behavior’ and for American Bishops to show compassion and benevolence towards the victims of these perversities. His response to the abuses has surprised many critics who were not expecting him to be so forthright about the issue. The Pope, who has personally read many of the abuse victims’ histories, says that he is ‘deeply ashamed’ and that the abuse has caused ‘great suffering’ for both him and the Church. He has also prayed with some of the victims for several hours, asking for their forgiveness. Although advocates for the victims of sex abuse are pleased that the pontiff is finally speaking out publicly against the ‘filth’ in the priesthood, many believe that the words are not sufficient and that the Church must take action to remove abusive priests and bishops from its dioceses. There are still many countries today whose Catholic dioceses make no provision for the removal of priests and bishops or seek to cover up abuses instead of taking appropriate action against them. The Pope also expressed great
Photo courtesy of Associated Press
concerns about the prevalence of pornography and violence in today’s society, and called for parents to raise their children with sound moral foundations. In his speech, Pope Benedict made no mention of the war in Iraq, a controversial topic that he and George Bush disagree upon. However, he did express his condemnation of abortion, preaching that people no longer value the sacredness of life. Benedict XVI also voiced his concerns about the steady decline of marriage rates, the increase in divorce rates, the proliferation of couples that live together and the growth of same-sex marriages. The Catholic Church continues to lose many of its followers as a result of their traditionally rigid stances against the use of condoms, abortion and gay marriage. Pope Benedict XVI also visited Ground Zero in New York, where he prayed for the victims of 9/11 and their bereaved families. He also prayed for peace in ‘our violent world’, urging men and woman to expel harboured hatred in their hearts. On the last day of Pope Benedict’s visit to the USA, he held a papal Mass at the Yankee Stadium, where he delivered a sermon for the American youth, proclaiming that they should ‘hasten the coming of God’s Kingdom in this land!’
Stormers blown away by SHAWCO sports initiative Hallie Haller
players refereeing their matches. Luke Watson, took part in the event, commenting on ‘what an amazing experience’ it was. Taybah Jaffar, head of SHAWCO sports said, ‘The partnership with the Stormers has been particularly beneficial for students partaking in the rugby training. As a result of this partnership, provincial rugby players – among them Ricky Januarie, Ross Skeate (ex-Ikey player), Francois Louw, Eddie Andrews, JD Moller, Ismaeel Dollie, Paul Delport, Eddie Andrews and Gcobani Bobo – have been running weekly rugby clinics for SHAWCO students in alternating areas.’ Furthermore, the participants have been lucky enough to enjoy a Saturday at Newlands Rugby stadium, free of charge, watching their heroes in action. SHAWCO sports enjoyed a successful first Match Week and looks forward to the continuing development of their learners. photo by Taybah Jaffar
THIS week saw the first of SHAWCO sports’ four annual Match Weeks take place at UCT and Newlands stadium. From Monday to Thursday, learners from various SHAWCO sports training programmes were brought out from Manenberg, Nyanga, and Khayelitsha to represent their areas and display their own talents. With the assistance of SHAWCO volunteers, as well as the RAG rookies, eager to understand what RAG’s fundraising is in aid of, Match Week was a big success. The SHAWCO Sports Initiative project provides students with training in various sports, namely netball, hockey, soccer, cricket and rugby. What made Match Week most exciting, was the presence of a few local celebrities. Thanks to a partnership with the Stormers, learners in SHAWCO’s rugby training programme were lucky enough to have provincial rugby
UCT’s power plan
In the limelight- SHAWCO learners parading around Newlands stadium prior to the Stormers game as part of Match Week.
Laing Lourens WITH the current Eskom episode affecting South Africa, UCT’s Property and Services Department (P&S) has been working to minimise disruption on campus. With the exception of Hiddingh campus, which forms part of Cape Town CBD, UCT has not been spared the inconvenience of load shedding. After initially being allocated a daily time slot between 10 am and 12:30 pm rotation changed and left UCT with three main outages. These occur on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The Monday outage between 8 pm and 10 pm inconveniences students; residences lose power and the library closes at 7:45 pm, leaving them without somewhere to work with electricity. On Wednesdays, Medical campus is affected and on Friday from 12 pm to 2:30 pm, upper, middle and lower campus lose power. The Friday outage is the most disruptive, as there are still many lectures scheduled for that time slot. It is rumoured that the city intends on changing these slots for May. Logisitically, only 59% of all lecture venues are equipped with alternative power sources, which are limited to lights and one plug point. As a result, many of the larger lectures have had to be moved and lecturers have had to adapt their method of delivering lectures. A further 25% of mostly smaller venues possess natural ventilation, but the remaining 16% have neither light nor backup
power. UCT council has voted that R7.2 million be used for upgrading these venues. This amount is in addition to the R6 million voted by the council in 2005 in face of the Koeberg crisis. UCT’s mainframe is backed up by generators and UPS’s, so there is no risk of loss of data. However, computer labs are not included in the upgrades, as backup power would have to be provided for the air conditioners on top of the power required for running the PC’s. Research activities have continued, with the exception of a few which will receive backup power before July. Residences have been able to cope with the outages for the most part. Students have become accustomed to the power cuts. Meals are served before outages, and all students are issued with a fluorescent rechargeable light. Security has also been increased during outages, but this has still not deterred cable thieves. There have been six reported instances of cable theft, with five of these cases affecting the connection between the upper
and lower campus servers. P&S Director John Critien admits that UCT is better prepared than other universities to deal with the situation, after dealing with the Koeberg crisis. Critien explains, ‘At a macro level, we are discussing ‘demand side management’ with ESKOM (yes we are still on speaking terms) and the Central Energy fund. I am involved with a programme which includes Western Cape, CPUT and Stellenbosch.’ Critien also commends the Green Campus Initiative and other campaigns, which are aimed at reducing power demand. He advises all students to keep out of lifts during planned outages. Since the power cut affects the whole suburb, and with 113 elevators on campus, help is not always able to arrive quickly. ‘Despite the signs it has still occurred,’ said Critien. ‘It is true that our job has become much more challenging, but you can be assured that the team at P&S are doing our best to keep the enterprise going with the least disruption to students.’
the src represents you Our primary aim is to actively represent student views and concerns at UCT. From issues around equity and redress, admissions and fees to others at work to make your daily experience at UCT a fruitful and enjoyable one. We started the year off with a bang with a successful orientation and registration period. The plaza week was up there with the best where a stage for performers and societies to entertain. This was complemented by a successful Freshers’ Braai and a Freshers’ Guide which broke into new territory. But the SRC of 2008 was at work long before the academic year started. The year began with representing students who had been financially and academically excluded, a process that had so many students’ futures in the balance. We also secured an initial fee payment concession for Zimbabwean students. Our vision is to be an excellent, innovative and socially responsible SRC and we are working our hardest to live up to this mantra. Despite the sideshows we have been representing the students’ needs from university committees down to trying to sort out the printing and resnet crisis. New initiatives such as the Enterprise Forum to equip entrepreneurs with skills and resources, have been launched by the SRC with an important community outreach element.. The SRC advocates for transformation at the university and beyond at all levels. The realms of this important portfolio are extremely diverse and events like the Rapping up Race at the Baxter in March and the Rolling eyes forum engage in awareness and debate in this sphere. Look out for our thought provoking poster campaign on campus. We co-hosted the Environmental Imbizo with the Green Campus Initiative and support the Campus Sustainability Plan. We will keep you all informed on the developments in this area and how you can get involved. Safety on campuses is an issue that affects everyone and a recent spate of events are unfortunate but we will push for improvement in this area. We’ve launched initiatives such as the safe walk and we encourage the use of the blue route. The residence catering contract is up for renewal and we encourage you to use the Vula forum to communicate your suggestions and gripes in this regard. We’re also actively involved with making sure that challenges around student housing are addressed for next year. Academic awareness month is coming your way in May and we'll do everything short of writing your exams for you, equipping you with the information you need for academic success. The political climate beyond UCT has been of concern to us. The discrimination at the UFS encouraged the SRC to stage a protest and submit a regional statement regarding the debacle. The situation in Zimbabwe affects UCT students indirectly and directly, the SRC participated and led the rally against the increasingly alarming situation. You have approximately one day to still apply for the SRC Assistance Fund, it is for students who can’t meet their fee payments and don’t qualify for financial aid. The forms are on Vula and we encourage you to apply for this should you meet the requirements. We really do want to hear from you so please do come see us, email us or have a little rant on the Vula forums. Look out for our slot on UCT radio show fortnightly at 12 on Wednesdays. Satellite campus tours have been successful as it is important we represent all students and we’ll be doing more of these. Good luck for this challenging period in the academic year and we want to keep you informed of what we have have been doing, so watch this space!.
Come find us at; Level Seven at the Steve Biko Students Union or on Vula: SRC 08
thulani madinginye president email@example.com garreth bloor vice president internal firstname.lastname@example.org thami ledwaba vice president external email@example.com samantha ball chair: academics firstname.lastname@example.org thando vilakazi secretary general email@example.com gideon moyo deputy- secretary general firstname.lastname@example.org yusuf mowlana treasurer email@example.com faith chirinda health, safety and security co-ordinator firstname.lastname@example.org tarryn christians tranformation co-ordinator email@example.com mzo daphula sports co-ordinator firstname.lastname@example.org siliziwe ncanywa residences co-ordinator email@example.com james robertson societies and day houses co-ordinator firstname.lastname@example.org nic rosslee media and communications and day houses co-ordinator email@example.com nala tose entertainment and fundraising co-ordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
Open letter to the ANCYL I WRITE this letter with a sense of disappointment, having read the statement posted on behalf of your organisation around the university’s upper campus. I write this letter in my personal capacity as a student of the University of Cape Town and a citizen of the Republic of South Africa. The primary source of my disappointment is the poor quality of the writing with which you expressed your opinions, reflecting on the anniversary of Chris Hani’s death. The statement is riddled with basic errors of syntax. The odd typo is excusable, and an oddly-constructed sentence forgivable, but the statement is rendered largely incomprehensible as a result of these mistakes. For an organisation that has played such a pivotal role in South Africa’s history, I expected better. I doubt that the organisation lacks the capacity to write coherently, however the quality of this statement seemingly reflects upon the effort that the UCT ANCYL is willing to expand, in paying tribute to one of its most beloved and respected influences, Chris Hani. In terms of opinions expressed, I comment very carefully. As mentioned above, I found the statement largely incomprehensible, and I apologise if any official ANCYL position is misunderstood or misrepresented. The statement commented on student organisations that, and I paraphrase, ‘give our people fish, but don’t teach them to fish, such as SHAWCO’. I will also use SHAWCO as an example, although we could be discussing any student development organisations at UCT, such as Ubunye or Habitat for Humanity. Firstly, I would be very careful of belittling or disparaging the efforts of your fellow students, no matter how misguided or ill-intentioned you think them to be. Antagonising these organisations is certainly not going to inspire any sort of change within them. Secondly, you accuse these organisations of sim-
ply placating the communities served, by satisfying their material wants (‘giving our people fish’). I don’t think SHAWCO does this at all. The Health Sector works in conjunction with government and the communities concerned to provide a sorely needed service. Furthermore the experience gained by the medical student volunteers can only improve our public health capacity. The Education Sector directly empowers the young people of the poorest communities in Cape Town, by providing both academic and extra-curricular support. By making unfounded criticisms such as those in your statement, you invalidate the work of organisations such as SHAWCO, and ultimately harm the communities they seek to serve. Finally, I think that the work of developing human beings is immensely complicated and cannot be reduced to training in a certain skill set (‘fishing’ as it was analogised). I have some experience in the leadership structure of SHAWCO, and the manner and content of the organisation’s intervention in the community is the single issue that is constantly grappled with, not only within the student leadership, but in consultation with the communities themselves. I’m sure that the leadership of all the development organisations at UCT would appreciate any constructive dialogue around this crucial issue. I do sympathise with your anger towards the inequalities that exist in South African society. I recognise that anger for what it is, however, frustration with a situation that seems unsolvable. I beg to differ, as I think that the gaps in South African society can be bridged, but I also believe it will take a lot of hard work, and the cooperation of everyone. Gordon Inggs
Freedom of speech under threat I WOULD like to make clear the facts pertaining to the gross miscarriage of justice which occurred at the last sitting of Student Assembly, resulting in me being forcefully removed from the sitting by CPS officials on orders from the Student Assembly Chairperson, Tende Makofane. The facts are as follows: Said Chairperson failed to deal with an objection that was raised by Mr Katlego Matsimela, Chair of the SSC, in regard to the Assembly's acceptance of recommendations relating to the Commission of Inquiry into the conduct of the SRC President. This objection was seconded, but was subsequently ignored by the Chairperson, without any grounds for its dismissal. I subsequently raised a point of order with the Chairperson, informing him that there was still an outstanding objection to be dealt with. I followed this up with the following comment, which was meant only as a humorous aside, and was made in my personal capacity: ‘...with all due respect, we know that you are all for communism, but now is not the time for Stalinist tactics’ (The Student Assembly Chairperson is also the Chairperson of SASCO – an organisation which prides itself on its Marxist principles) Immediately following my comment, another member raised a point of order, requesting that I be removed from the sitting for making offensive remarks.
The Chairperson immediately agreed with this member and ordered me to leave the sitting without doing any of the following: Allowing me an opportunity to explain my comment and to retract it Following the correct Student Assembly procedures required for expelling a member from a sitting which, amongst other things, includes providing a justification for his actions Because of all the procedural irregularities and quite frankly, blatant disregard for any sense of rationality on the part of the Chairperson, I refused to leave the sitting. I was then escorted off the premises by CPS officials. It has been relayed to me that, during the rest of the proceedings, two motions of no-confidence were raised against Mr Makofane – both of which were dismissed without deliberation. To be honest, the actions which transpired, as described above, leave me in a serious state of worry as far as the integrity of the Student Assembly Chairperson is concerned, and it is definitely something which will be raised at the next sitting of Student Assembly. Pierre Jansen Chairperson, Democratic Organisation, UCT
Ignoring the issue of Islamophobia IN ‘Homosexuality – a national threat?’ (April 1), Maciek Dubla seeks to address persistent homophobia both in South Africa and abroad. He cites an American politician, Sally Kern, as evidence of this homophobia. Dubla quotes Kern as saying that homosexuality is ‘the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam’. What happens next is quite remarkable. Dubla is quick to condemn Kern’s rhetoric, but he fails to analyse it properly, which results in him being complicit in that rhetoric. The real thrust of Kern’s words is that they create an image in the mind of the reader that equates gay people to ‘Islamic terrorists’. Terrorism and Islam are not separate entities for Kern, they are one and the same. She separates the words ‘terrorism’ and ‘Islam’ with the preposition ‘or’. ‘Or’ here functions not to introduce something new, but rather to introduce a synonym. Kern’s words can be rewritten as ‘terrorism (also known as) Islam’. Why mention Islam at all? The invocation is understandable and needs no explanation. Kern is attempting to incite contempt of homosexuals by lumping them with so-called ‘Islamic terrorists’. It is this act of lumping together which Dubla
finds distasteful, not the fact that the Islamic religion is seen as representing terrorism. The latter goes completely unnoticed. By failing to critically analyse Kern’s view of Islam, Dubla ends up implicitly endorsing it. For Dubla, as for Kern, the notion of ‘Islamic terrorists’ is one which is taken for granted and not in need of any unpacking. One of Dubla’s preoccupations in the article is thus to point out the absurdity, the sheer horror, of comparing gay people with (Islamic) terrorists. How can homosexuals be compared to ‘the people who steered two Boeing airplanes into the Twin Towers’ (emphasis added). The very idea! By failing to question Kern’s view of Islam, Dubla ends buying into her paradigm of the religion. More importantly, he misses the chance to draw parallels between the stereotypical treatment of homosexuals and Muslims, both in American society and in our own. Justin Brown
Volume 67 Number 6
Editorial Somehow these past couple of weeks have seemed more eventful than usual. And this is not necessarily in the good way. A student was accosted on Middle Campus, and her assailants fired shots at CPS security guards. UCT has been declared a gun free zone, so no one is allowed to bring their kalashnikovs to campus. This moratorium on guns includes CPS. Inevitably, some have questioned whether CPS guards should remain unarmed. They raise some important points, including the increased vulnerability of both students and CPS themselves. The reasons behind promoting a gun-free campus may be noble, but in reality, it seems impractical having unarmed security guards, especially when criminals become aware that they are unarmed. In the context of Susan Shabangu’s recent remarks, the debate surrounding guns on campus is especially relevant. Society, at the moment, seems to encourage a trigger happy, gun-toting culture which shoots first and askes questions later. The problem on campus is not whether CPS can use lethal force, but whether they can carry guns in the first place. The murder of Kevin Rochford was another unhappy event. Rochford, a Professor of Education and Science, was pulling his car into his driveway in Little Mowbray when two men attempted to hijack him. From the tributes which have poured in, it is clear that Professor Rochford was well-respected and admired by his students. Since I have been at UCT, I can recall several Professors being murdered.The one which stands out the most was the murder of Professor Brian Hahn by David Tladi. Tladi stabbed Hahn with an umbrella in Hahn’s office. At the end of last year, Mike Larkin, a commercial law Professor was killed in a mugging in Rondebosch. UCT Professors are a precious commodity and it is a sad indictment of the state of affairs when their lives are needlessly frittered away. VARSITY has come under fire for publishing what some have deemed to be a sexist article. The complaints were directed at ‘Spit roast fever’ which was written by our humour editor, Anton Taylor. We have published some of the responses on page 7. At least we cannot be accused of failing to publish diverse views or stimulating debate. The point being that VARSITY should be thought of as a forum for various opinions; and not necessarily reflect the liberal values of UCT to the exclusion of all other perspectives. We are coming out in the brief interlude between public holidays. Congratulations if you receive this edition on Wednesday, it means that you are committed to attending lectures in a wasted week. Take care over the long weekend and enjoy the edition, Nabeelah
news gathering next newsgathering Monday 5 May, in LS 2C, 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 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 & Jade Cooke arts & entertainment Lara Potgieter, humour Anton Taylor, sports Rory Holmes & Lindi Brownell finance & advertising team Philip Voget & Kimberly Urbaniak, marketing & brand manager Lauren Haller, marketing team Danielle Gordon IT manager Timothy Nchabaleng, website editor Emma Nherera, media school director Joy Waddel staff writers Julie Atmore, Erin Bates, David Brits, Lydia DePillis, Mandy Freeman, Danielle Gordon, Laing Lourens, Megan Lyons, Bianca Meyjes, Rémy Ngamije, Kayshinee Rye Ramchurn, Allessandro Rossi external contributors Sian Adams, Berndt Hannweg, Nicholas Duminy, Sinenhlanhla Sitholo, T’seliso Monaheng, Jen van Heerden, Rebecca Dodd, Jamie Jefta, Sinenhlanhla Nzama, Sentlenyana Machaba, Will Clerke
erratum In the last edition, VARSITY incorrectly stated that Gideon Moyo had relinquished his position on the SRC. In fact, he has relinquished his position in DASO, but remains the Deputy Secretary General of the SRC. VARSITY apologises to Mr Moyo for the error 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.
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.
5 Mbeki’s loud silence opinions
Cannibal Salad Take the good with the bad Tara Leverton
AT THE recent Lennit Max meeting, I was granted the privilege of listening to a member of the audience present the suggestion that our government does not, in fact, need political competition. What it needs instead is cooperation; the people of South Africa working together to raise this country up, and no one should trouble our poor government by presenting a dissenting opinion. This, I must admit, was a novel concept; solving South Africa’s problems by transforming it into a one-party state. Have to put that in the suggestion box. Or would the suggestion box itself be oppositional and unhelpful? Not to say that cooperation is not a fine thing and should be encouraged. But must it come at the expense of instantly dismissing any criticism as counterproductive? Helen Zille recently pointed out that market statistics had shown that the vast majority of South Africans wished for the Scorpions to be retained – to which ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe replied, ‘I don’t think anyone appointed Helen Zille as the spokesperson for South Africa.’ One might, if one were feeling inclined, suggest that the secretary general’s lack of a logicbased argument felt uncomfortably like the political equivalent of a four year old crossing his arms, sticking out his tongue and saying he’s not going to listen to you. He hates you, in fact, you suck and he wants a lolly. Our democracy is not a four year old anymore. And yet, strangely, when it was, we received better and cleverer worded responses from our government officials than we do today. Mantashe then called the Democratic Alliance, ‘a bunch of recycled NP members.’ Keep it up, buddy. They’ll get it eventu-
ally. Although, given how grossly mismanaged our health, electricity, water, education, housing and police sectors have been, one would think the Secretary General would be counting his few remaining stars for all the intelligent input he can get. Possibly the DA is a bunch of old whites with nothing better to do than throw barbs at a government that is doing its best. But perhaps the government could, on occasion, entertain the possibility that, perhaps, one or two of its members are not? Perhaps it was simply a case of poor wording. Poor wording, sadly, that has also recently afflicted the ANCYL. In brief; SHAWCO is the fish-giving oppressor, and the ANCYL wants a lolly. Oh, and Chris Hani would have hated them too. Apparently, they intended it only to stimulate debate and ensure that the organisations in question were really living up to their mandate. Perhaps they could have done some research into the matter, before spewing up an inflammatory declaration and pinning it up around campus. At the aforementioned meeting, I was also granted the privilege of watching an older gentleman, a political exile as it transpired, politely but firmly reprimand two younger participants. This was for conduct unbecoming after they began a spontaneous debate before the ex-leader of the Western Cape Independent Democrats. He did not discard any of their points as unhelpful; he simply made very clear his objection to their conduct. It was extraordinary; it sounded almost like Mbeki’s fabled quiet diplomacy, only it had a backbone and it worked. Can we have that guy for president, next time? If the ANC and its Youth League are going to throw a tantrum at everybody who isn’t directly associated with them, he’ll probably come in handy.
Living in fear Berndt Hannweg
FINALLY, a government official has echoed the sentiments of a large part of the population concerning the War on Crime. Deputy Sheriff of Security Susan Shabangu recently urged the SAPS to ‘kill the bastards’. Immediately, opposition parties and columnists nationwide have announced their disdain, perhaps because they hadn’t thought of it first. Jacob Zuma joined in the fray by adding that he agreed. Look around at the countless barbed wire and electric fences, and tell me that these are signs of a peaceful nation. Admittedly, it is a trifle disturbing that our Deputy Sheriff encourages our police force to shoot criminals willy-nilly; even more so when she encourages them to do so ‘before they have a chance to hurt innocent people’, which seemingly calls for our men and women in blue to develop precognitive abilities, or, at the very least, the ability to read minds. The alternative is for our police force to wait until someone goes on a rampage. ‘Now the police are allowed to begin shooting,’ Shabangu’s detractors would say. But the rest of us may question why the Boys in Blue took no action to prevent the slaughter.
Well, they could have shot him as he whipped out his Kalashnikov, as Shabangu suggests, but this appears to annoy our anti-KillThe-Bastards Squad. Perhaps if the policeman asked the offender with a pretty please to come with him, it would have sufficed. Then again, the idea of our police force having executive backing to let loose on anyone they classify as ‘a criminal’, is not a comforting one. After all, if the police were to gun someone down and then say ‘he was a criminal’, I wouldn’t wait with bated breath for the ‘criminal’s’ side of the story, because he’s dead as a dodo, and being a ‘criminal’ could be catching. We’re trapped between four opposing fronts: One is a scenario in which police must obey the very letter of the law in every respect, which means reacting only once a crime occurs; two, a country filled with people scared of their own police force (as opposed to merely having not much faith in it); three, a nation led by groups of people who spend more time sniping at each other than suggesting real solutions; four, being one where police, whilst obeying the spirit of the law, are perfectly happy to do what is required in order to protect us, the citizens. Take your pick. I’m off to go jaywalking.
Photo courtesy of benettontalk.com
OVER the past few years and especially the past month, Thabo Mbeki’s stance on Zimbabwe has been a topic at many a tea party. His ‘no crisis’ comment, supposedly misconstrued by the media, was the delicious cherry to top it off. Tired out by Mbeki’s attitude and his total inertia, I am no longer surprised to hear such piffle spewing forth. What does interest me however, is the real cause behind his not-so-subtle support of Mugabe. There are some theories regarding the Mbeki-Mugabe duo, all of which revolve around family ties, old friendships, debts which need to be repaid and other such matters. Yet, somehow these reasons are a little too flimsy, especially since historically, their relationship was not amongst the sweetest. Au contraire, Mbeki was actually deported from Zimbabwe in the 1980s after an ANC member entered the country carrying a weapon. What Mbeki fails to see - The sentiments of our Zimbabwean Wilf Mbanga, a political exile and editor of The Zimbabwean, neighbours, remarkably similar to ours. says that he has searched for an explanation regarding Mbeki’s unexplained presence in the dia- heralded as Africa’s golden child, silence and has never found one. mond-rich DRC is in someway a great liberator of the people He traces their relations back to connected to Mbeki. This is one (as incredible as that may seem the 1970s when the OAU offi- that certainly has a conspiratorial now.) Try as he might, Mbeki is cially recognised four liberation air about it, adding some zing to only making it worse, there is no movements in Africa as being the soap opera this has become. If ‘Renaissance’. It is an ideal that ‘authentic’. ZANU failed to Mbeki was involved in the DRC is far-fetched and the irony is that make it into the grouping, but the then clearly Mugabe has a hold it is based on European standards ANC did. Could this have been a on him, and the chances of Mbeki and principles. In effect, it is the cause for bitterness? This tit-for- doing the right thing as opposed anti-Renaissance. I would laugh at tat behaviour continued when the to saving his own skin, are slim the futility of it all if only it did not PAC was granted diplomatic sta- indeed. But evidence is rare when entail such tragic consequences. tus in Harare, but was not awarded it comes to diamonds, and as of So, whilst the children go to to the ANC. yet, no one has shown a keen sleep hungry, the deadly militias Fast-forward almost two desire to probe too deeply into the patrol and Chinese ships loaded decades and we have today’s situ- chaotic DRC affair. with arms sail the seas, the rest of ation: The two of them mooching My parting shot is that Mbeki us will continue to ponder upon around, old men who feel that is obsessed with his notion of the complexities of politics and everyone still owes them a favour. the African Renaissance and the the ‘whodunnit?’ questions that What happened in the interim? bravado of the old boys’ club. It fill in the silent spaces and haunt There is of course the theory seems as if Mbeki is too afraid us by night. which suggests that Zimbabwe’s to stand up to Mugabe, as he was
Bachelor of prejudice Rémy Ngamije
UCT offers degrees in some of the most sought after disciplines in the world. The hope of obtaining satisfactory qualifications makes us pretend to religiously attend lectures, literally burn the midnight oil (thanks to Eskom) complete assignments and become intimately acquainted with the nooks and crannies of the library. Everyday is a struggle against deadlines, malfunctioning printers and the ever-alluring presence of Jammie stairs. With equations that could confound Einstein himself and the ever-present fear of negative marking, most wish that they were BA students, who suffer two lectures a week, a lack of tests, and have all day to sit and debate about the political valence of a full stop. The BA, or Bugger All Degree as it is sometimes called, is perceived as the least challenging of university degrees, an unfounded notion, a stereotype generated through ignorance by those claiming to be studying ‘real courses’. BA students, indigenous to Jammie stairs, are identified by their artistic hair (where hair is possessed), colourful shoes (if worn at all), the various silver-studded orifices on their inked bodies and their half miniskirts, with breasts bursting out of their turtleneck jerseys (again, only applicable where clothing is worn). The notion that all Humanities students are whimsical ideologists, is something that students subscribe to, long before they have picked up a UCT appli-
cation form. With determined patience, I listen to the quips about BA students from over-glorified cashiers called actuarial scientists or sly comments from handymen, pump mechanics and brick layers hiding behind their Bachelor of Engineering degrees. Commerce students, who try so hard to convince themselves that they enjoy what they are studying, let taunts fly through the air, propelled by the consensus of the ignorant majority. Engineering, commerce, science, medicine, law; respectable, important fields of study rendered true by the balancing of an account or the discovery of a lifechanging formula. Humanities, is seen as a hobby for those who did not garner acceptance into their first choice of study. Stereotyping what someone is studying is a popular form of entertainment. But, before letting a remark slip, one should question the connotation of one’s words. If a person is able to condescendingly judge another person’s degree, what else can one be judgemental about? Race? Sexual orientation? To make such remarks not only reveals ignorance about the subject matter, but also opens the door for other biased opinions to become a mainstream ideology. While hastily completing an undergraduate application form a year ago, I scratched out the Humanities faculty as being too abstract, too weak, and lacking in any substance or recognition. A hasty, delusional entrance into the
Faculty of Engineering was followed by a quicker disillusioned exit. My situation revealed a common trend amongst university students, often pressured by parents, social and economic circumstances or personal prejudices to pursue careers not of their choosing. Degrees are elected with the Aston Martin, trophy wife and collection of expensive houses in mind as opposed to consideration of one’s talents and pleasures. The fear of losing respectability is often the factor that drives many to conformity. Chemical engineering, medicine and actuarial science are three of the toughest courses in UCT, exemplified by their length and failure rates. God-like statuses are bequeathed to those studying them, regardless of merit or achievement, while others are shunned as being of a lower and unimportant disposition. Perhaps it is time to stop seeing the degree and start seeing the person. It is true that BA students will not be able to do engineering, but it is equally true that a first-year English reader will look like Russian to third and fourth-year engineers. Living in this society means we are all dependent on each others’ skills, whether they are the calculating of sums or the monotonous reading of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Is it more honourable to fail MAM2080W or ECO2003F than to pass a Film & Media course? This question plagued me as I sat on Jammie stairs, during the week- long break before my next lecture.
APPLICATIONS ARE HEREBY INVITED FOR THE S T U UCT EMERGING STUDENT LEADERS D PROGRAMME E MONDAY, 14 JULY TO FRIDAY, 18 JULY 2008 N T G O V E R N A N C E A N D L E A D E R S H I P
The Emerging Student Leaders Programme is an initiative seeking to enhance the leadership capacity of UCT students thus contributing to development of a vibrant UCT student governance system. It is envisaged that student participating in this programme will eventually take up formal student leadership positions at UCT, and as such make a contribution to the University and through the experience gained, make a meaningful contribution to society upon graduation.
LEADERSHIP AWAITS YOU:
Have you always wanted to make a difference? Have you always wanted to inspire others? Do you want to unleash your leadership potential? Do you want to gain leadership skills, knowledge and insight? Do you want to make a positive contribution to student leadership at UCT? Then join the EMERGING STUDENT LEADERS PROGRAMME today!! (Space Limited) Each participant will receive a Certificate at the end of this week long programme.
This programme is generously funded by the Career Development Programme Employer Partnership Programme For further information on this exciting new initiative and/or to submit your detailed CV and motivation letter, please contact: Mr. Jerome September Manager: Student Governance and Leadership Level 07, Steve Biko Students' Union, Upper Campus Tel. 021- 650 3925; email: Jerome.email@example.com
CLOSING DATE: 09 MAY 2008 This programme is a collaboration between the DEPARTMENT OF STUDENT AFFAIRS (Cluster: Student Development, Division: Student Governance and Leadership) and the CENTRE FOR HIGHER EDUCATION DEVELOPMENT (Career Development Programme)
C A R E E R D E V E L O P M E N T P R O G R A M M E
Spit-roasting: sexist or satirical?
In the last edition of VARSITY, we published the article ‘Spit roast fever’, which raised the ire of several students. Here are a few of their comments and our response. THE article ‘Spit roast fever’ highlights the harsh reality of gender and power issues (no matter how densely smothered under a layer of so-called ‘humour’) which are still present in South Africa today. This is proof that demeaning sexual acts and attitudes are still alive and well – and now, apparently, encouraged publicly. Not long ago, VARSITY published a very self-righteous article concerning the unfair and shocking instances of racism that publicly shamed the UFS – and now this kind of trash gets published? The same paper that states on its cover: VARSITY, the official student newspaper since 1942, is committed to the principles of equality and democracy. Freedom of speech should not descend to this level. The disclaimer is even more ridiculous. Yes, I am female and complaining about the ‘offensive nature of the smut published on this page.’ No, I am not a ‘hot slut with big boobs’, but am considered an attractive young woman with an IQ and level of self-respect higher than this article merits.
I am seriously concerned by the manner in which Anton Taylor, entertainment representative of Leo Marquard Hall, has decided to stereotype the male residents of Lower Campus into chauvinistic womanisers. It is deeply concerning that, above anything else, the cover of the paper declares that the VARSITY ‘is committed to the principle of equality and democracy.’ What is even more irresponsible of a newspaper that effectively promotes UCT, is that in the light of the racist events of the University of the Free State, something as short as a two-columned article such as this can effectively bring about dire consequences for the image of the university. Besides anything else, it is really a hypocritical remark from UCT to say that UFS is racist and make statements pertaining to how they can behave like that etc., when there is a serious problem on our campus surrounding gender inequality. It is also very irresponsible for the paper to publish an article that obviously shows that these guys are practising unprotected sexual acts with complete disregard to the consequences, especially when UCT conducts many HIV tests and appears very active on this topic. I am aware that such things represented in the article are happening within and around the residence, but it should not be published
Danelle Malan In response to the article written in VARSITY newspaper published on 15 April, titled ‘Spit Roast Fever’ I would like to speak to you as a second-year heterosexual, male staying in Leo Marquard.
under the ‘Humour’ section in an openly discriminating manner. My main question is, what self-respecting, educated student would think that such an article is funny? Ben Winfield The VARSITY Newspaper has many different people and cultures to represent; it is only fair that the newspaper shows many viewpoints on things. The ‘Spit roast fever’ article, however, I cannot just accept as a satirical point of view, and it should not have been endorsed. As a newspaper by the students, for the students at this university, one cannot help being sad with the proud way they exploit their demeaning pastimes and the fun they find in writing in such an obviously sexist manner. The fact that there has been positive response to this article and that it was even published is shocking. I do not think that this article could be considered humorous in any sense. Universities are supposed to be institutions that fight for equal rights for males and females. If this is the type of publication the educated part of our populace produces, it’s no wonder we have the crime rates we do. UCT and any paper affiliated with UCT should not be agreeing with or publishing sexism, regardless of what the students are thinking, doing, or writing about.
Crisis? What crisis?
Sinenhlanhla Sithole examines Bafana Bafana’s current plight so we lost him just before the 1998 Afcon and World Cup. Thereafter the squad has been changing mentors and has had to find replacements within months to major tournaments. Joel Santana – or whoever the lucky gold-digger replacing Parreira is – will be the 15th to take the hot seat in 16 years. We don’t really need an actuary to tell us that, on average, the new guy should be out by the end of May next year. That will be just before the Confederations Cup that we host in June. Who knows, Santana’s kitten back in Brazil might just break its front leg. And so, halfway through his contractual obligation, he will have to pack his bags (of money) and go
home. Then, as usual, we will have to look at Jomo Sono (who will be coaching in the Vodacom League by the way things look) to save our national pride. The going is getting tougher at SAFA House, and the whole world is watching. SAFA even had to borrow a word or two from our President when they claimed Parreira’s resignation is ‘no crisis’. How can it not be? He was most likely the only person in there who had a strategic plan stretching beyond 2010! So, good people, when you get on your knees today just remember Bafana Bafana needs your prayers, nearly as much as the Zimbabweans.
Photo Courtesy of es.eurosport.yahoo.com
SIXTEEN months and R28.8 million later, Carlos Alberto Parreira is going home and you can guess where Bafana Bafana is going. Going a few weeks back, the Minister of Sport and Recreation urged the Parliamentary Portfolio on Sports to consider nationalisation of Bafana, which saw Parreira commanding the critics to shut up and let him deal with the team. We all then witnessed the spectacular win against Paraguay less than a week later. Three weeks on, the Brazilian has dropped the bomb; He is dumping South Africa! I remember in 2006 when a daily newspaper ran the headlines ‘SAFA fire Parreira’ on the day after he had finally signed the contract. It was a joke indeed; they were just looking into the future. But last week they testified that their predictions were far from accurate. In fact, it’s the other way around: Parreira has ditched SAFA. Now seriously, what is wrong with our national squad? When things seem to be going smoothly, something always has to come up, as if to prove a point that we will never have a stable team. Most of the blame has been put on SAFA in the past; rightfully so you may say. If it was cricket or rugby, we would at least suspect their slow transformation. Something has to be done for our boys. Maybe there is a missing link with the ancestors, or some spiritual ritual may have to be performed. No one will know until we try. Just think back to 1996 and onwards. Right after they won the African Nations Cup, Clive Barker (the coach at the time) inevitably became human and greedy. And
Left in the lurch - Bafana’s erstwhile coach, Carlos Alberto Parreira
Although it cannot be ignored that incidents of this manner do occur, you are saying, by publishing it, that this article and the manner in which it is written, is tolerable. Freedom of speech does not extend to sexism or hate speech towards women. This goes against the UCT Statement of Values which, in the Actions subsection states that ‘We as the University undertake collectively and individually: To oppose and take steps to prevent racial, gender or other forms of unfair discrimination, harassment, violence or abuse.’ In your opinion, in publishing that article, were you taking steps to prevent gender discrimination? This article is projecting a certain male chauvinistic mindset where they believe that men are superior to women and by publishing it, you are encouraging people to see this view in a humorous light. Whichever way you approach the article, it’s just not right for a woman to be seen as a piece of meat. We are not living in the past, and these days, women have rights. Tam VARSITY responds: The purpose of the article was to highlight residence culture and the phenomenon of spit-roasting in a satirical manner. Maybe we should have explicitly said it was satire,
but then what would the point of satire be, right? When viewed in a satirical manner, it becomes obvious that the writer does not really regard women as pieces of meat. Indeed, the article is not focusing on women, but rather mocking male chauvinists and their mannerisms. The article has been likened to the violation of human rights at UFS. The two instances are not comparable. For one, the article does not actively trample human dignity in its execution, as is the case where students allegedly urinated on workers’ food during the making of the UFS video. To characterise ‘spit-roasting’ as demeaning is narrow-minded, especially if consented to by adults. Similarly, to say that we should not write about ‘spit-roasting’ because it is immoral is facetious. VARSITY is not the moral police; it is not up to us to prescribe to students how they should live their lives. Also, VARSITY does not exist to promote UCT, that is the job of The Monday Paper. If VARSITY was a UCT PR machine, we would not be able to publish articles criticising the administration. Whether the article is funny or not is debatable, and the answer depends entirely on who is reading the article. And yes, many self-respecting students found the article funny. But if you didn’t, that’s alright as well.
Was Bullard out to lunch? Bianca Meyjes THE sacking of controversial Sunday Times columnist, David Bullard, came as no shocker. The man had spent his entire career darting bullets from readers and editors alike, when his most recent article saw the final whistle blown. The article, titled ‘Uncolonised Africa wouldn’t know what it was missing’, describes what South Africa would have looked like had the ‘evil white man not come to disturb the rustic idyll of the early black settlers.’ Mondli Makhanya, Editor of the Sunday Times, has since pulled Bullard’s weekly ‘Out to lunch’ column and sent the writer packing. The column was allegedly not in accordance with the values to which our country and its constitution adhere. One might argue that the article was merely an imaginary piece that envisaged a ‘what if’ scenario. It might be added that Bullard himself thinks life too ridiculous to be taken seriously and that an intelligent reader would look past the article’s racial undertones. After all, Bullard once argued that a columnist can be as judgmental and prejudiced as he likes. Whatever happened to the days when free speech was all that it was made out to be? I would beg to differ. To anyone that has read the article, you cannot but agree that it stepped on a few racial toes. One has to remember that the current South African landscape is hypersensitive to anything racial or race-orientated. Our society is yet to reach the point where we can mock one another publicly about racial differences or our colonialist past. Race needs to be spoken about constructively before it can be joked about fleetingly. The article certainly stepped
to the beat of Bullard’s typical Sunday banter. It was no more than him being his usual controversial and offensive self. It comes as a surprise, however, that the article was significantly boring for a Bullard piece. It offered no zing, no laughter and no cynicism. As far as I am concerned, get fired
‘...a columnist can be as judgmental and prejudiced as he likes..’ for work that is controversial and exciting rather than work that is controversial and boring. Adding to which, racial mudslinging has become old hat. From politicians to high profile businessmen to universities, the ‘race card’ is often played unnecessarily. The gravity of the topic has, as a result, lost its impact. Why write an imaginary column on a trodden subject when South Africans are just beginning to stitch together the wounds of a nasty past? The ‘Out to lunch’ column was an ounce of gold to the Sunday Times and its readers. Described once as being ‘All Bran for the brain’, it was washed with bad taste and humorous insight. The scrapping of the column has left huge boots to fill. If anything, Bullard was always the columnist who took the wrap over the knuckles for the sake of good reading and entertainment value. But this time, he went about it the wrong way.
FOCUS 8 Students for Change Lydia DePillis
SO FAR, it is only a dream, a website, and several thousand flyers; but all movements start somewhere. At least, that’s what the leaders of a fledgling political party called Students for Change are hoping. Richard Wilkinson, a second-year Law student from Johannesburg, says he is fed up with the state of politics in South Africa and at UCT, and is launching a youth movement to shake up the system. The party aims to run candidates for all SRC, House Committee, and Faculty Council positions in the September 2009 elections. ‘They’re just going to come out of the woodwork,’ Wilkinson told a meeting of about six interested students. Speaking quickly and surely, he illustrated his point with a lollipop stick on the desk in front of him, representing the placement of parties on the political spectrum. ‘I’m tired of painting walls, I’m tired of picking up trash,’ he explained. ‘We need an entirely new form of politics altogether.’ Students for Change’s platform incorporates skeleton policies on crime, AIDS, climate change, and improving access to education – ‘classic third-way stuff’, in Wilkinson’s words. The plan is to flesh these out during a July ‘Conversation with the Nation’, in which supporters will fan out across the country to gather student opinion, and from that compile an inclusive document modeled on the Freedom Charter.
The party, boasting 254 members on its Facebook group at the time of going to print, appeals to students disillusioned with the entrenched and often raciallyaligned major parties, as well as those apathetic about politics in general. In the last couple of weeks, Wilkinson has recruited a core group of 10 to 20 supporters, many of whom sit on faculty councils and are former members of either the ANC Youth League or the DA Students Organisation. ‘Each of them didn’t have anything to do with anything I wanted to see done,’ said Siza Nkomonde, a second year, referring to the SRC’s two dominant parties. When she heard about Students for Change, she said, ‘The lightbulb goes on, and I thought, that’s it, that’s exactly it.’ Other supporters said their minds were tipped by what they called the excessive formality of student assembly meetings, partisan infighting, scandals plaguing the SRC, control from national party structures, and political grandstanding. A recent example being the ANCYL’s condemnation of SHAWCO two weeks ago - all of which get in the way of issues that matter to students. ‘It’s not really working, it’s thwarting things,’ said Masana Mulaudzi. ‘Why can’t an independent candidate be president of the SRC? We are students first, before we are politicians.’ As far as building a national student movement, the challenges are considerable. Without being able to invite speakers and request funds from a national party,
Students for Change faces an uphill battle against ANCYL and DASO, which enjoy the benefits of institutional support. Currently, the group’s only source of funding is Wilkinson’s academic scholarship, which he figures is enough to cover about 50, 000 fliers. Humanities Student Council chairperson, Shannon Bernhardt, has cautiously joined the new party, pointing out that third-way political movements, led by charismatic leaders like Tony Blair and Bill Clinton, have proven successful in other modern democracies. ‘I’m always slightly skeptical about people going on about change, but I do think the system needs to be reviewed,’ he said, offering his own council as an example of how depoliticised student governance can be. ‘We’ve proven that we don’t have to focus on politics to achieve something.’ Geordin Hill-Lewis of DASO agrees with Wilkinson that ‘we are actually in need of a national shakeup.’ However, he contends that low-quality government cannot be laid at the feet of the party system, but rather the low-quality people within it – a problem that can be remedied by re-invigorating existing parties. And Wilkinson’s idea of a new Freedom Charter? ‘What we’ve got is the constitution,’ Hill-Lewis said. ‘We don’t need anything else.’
Vox pops Does UCT student politics need fresh ideas and new parties? ‘I think that politics and academics should be divorced from each other. I don’t think the one should be linked to the other. And if you are gonna have that, it shouldn’t be like national party aligned. You should have completely student-run parties. Rob Slher , BCom PPE, 3rd Year
‘I think it needs fresh ideas. I feel the majority of students actually aren’t well-informed about the politics at UCT. I think, at the same time, that the politics evolving at UCT have much to do with our actual governmental politics and considering we’re a university, we shouldn’t be involved in that. Minja Milovanovic, BSocSci, 2nd Year
The ANC Youth League did not respond to VARSITY’s query before press time.
‘Most people here are very socially and consciously aware, it’s just the way we execute it that is the problem. So, perhaps new ideas and ways to execute their plans. I mean, things on Jammie Plaza don’t really work, but I think that pre-planning is needed because a lot of things we get told about on the day and nothing before the time.
YIDSO comes to UCT Incorporating social democracy and social responsibility NICOLE jonklass
ESTABLISHED in 2007, the UCT branch of the Young Independent Democrats Students Organisation (YIDSO UCT) is a relatively young political organisation that, like its national mother body the Independent Democrats (ID), is competing with more established political opponents. Compounding this challenge is the fact that YIDSO UCT is vying for support in a political playing field plagued by high levels of student apathy. In an interview with VARSITY, Simona Mchuchu, Chair of YIDSO UCT, described the problem of student apathy as ‘mostly to do with our generation’. She said that ‘we have that tendency of me, myself and I…and we don’t think for the greater benefit of society’. Mchuchu, a final-year LLBstudent who last year was elected as the first National Youth Leader of the Young Independent Democrats (YID), said that tackling the problem of student apathy is something YIDSO UCT is ‘working on’. She stated that students ‘have to rise above [themselves] [and]…get back to the notion of Ubuntu.’ According to Mchuchu, addressing student apathy does not necessarily mean that students should join a political party. ‘It’s about societies,’ she said, adding that ‘we have different societies at UCT that cater for social responsibility. And social responsibility is the only thing that I think can set people free.’ Mchuchu said that YIDSO UCT members and other students ‘interested in social development’ would begin giving career awareness talks in two Cape Town high schools this May. This initiative attempts to tackle the ongoing problem of students from underprivileged schools who enter uni-
versities, but are excluded before completing their degree. YIDSO UCT defines itself as a socially democratic organisation. According to the ID-website, social democracy is ‘to the left of liberalism and to the right of socialism’ and it corresponds with the concept of Ubuntu ‘that emphasises the importance of concern and caring for other human beings’. YIDSO UCT shares the ideology of social democracy with the ANC, but, according to Mchuchu, the ID’s social democracy differs from the ANC ‘in terms of where they have lost the poor.’ According to Mchuchu, who is also the chairperson of UCT’s Black Law Students’ Forum, not enough has been done at UCT to advance the process of transformation. She said that ‘it’s about transformation with excellence, not just about numbers and making sure that your quotas are met so that you can get government funding.’ Mchuchu said that institutions such as UCT should not ‘let the people just die down into the system’, but said that they should ‘stand up and actually say, ‘we are proud that we are an institution that recognises transformation in our education… and we are going to equip them with the skills so that those skills can trickle down back into society and not just end up here’’. The leader of the ID, Patricia de Lille, is known for her role in exposing the irregularities of the now infamous Arms Deal. According to Mchuchu, this watchdog role is one that YIDSO UCT would emulate within the SRC, should it win a seat in this year’s elections. Mchuchu said that the current SRC has ‘tried to be transparent [with] the imperative word being ‘tried’’, but that
it ‘needs to be more transparent’. She said that SRC members should not be afraid to expose each other’s wrongdoings ‘because the person you work with in office did not vote for you.’ ‘I mean it’s not a crime to tell the truth,’ said Mchuchu. ‘I think it’s more [of] a crime to lie, especially to people who put faith in you.’ Mchuchu, who was tasked with establishing the YIDSO UCT, said the organisation currently has approximately 45 members. Due to her role as leader of the YID, Mchuchu said that YIDSO UCT plans to elect a new chairperson in order to decentralise its leadership structure. According to Mchuchu, four candidates have been identified for this position who will contest in a by-election, held in mid May of this year.
La’eeqah Galaut, BSocSci, 1st Year
‘Yah, I think it does and I think the introduction of the [Young] Independent Democrats and Student’s for Change is a very good thing. It allows for a more diverse representation of ideas and policies. Oliver Melvill, BA, 2nd Year
Interviews by Bianca Meyjes
Pretty people, Come Again at the bad hair Michaelis Gallery Photos by Justin Andrews
Sheila Afari takes you behind the scenes at RAG Fashion Week
Who’s the fairest - The winners of the Hugo Boss Contracts, Alexa and Damian RAG FASHION Week 2008 began with a bang. The designer competition, where many creative designs were handed in, kick started the events, with Inge Wulff deservedly claiming the title of best designer. The dance-off competition, which followed, further spurred the hype of fashion. Tickets were sold out and the night saw many talented dancers perform, such as Annestasia Fortuin, who went on to win the title in the solo category. The much-awaited model search was the next highlight. Over a two day period, more than 200 models either auditioned or were scouted for the chance to model in the highly-anticipated fashion show, but only 30 were chosen. On Friday, 18 April the grand finale, the fashion show took place. The show featured the creations of the top five entries of the designer competition as well as some of the dancers from the dance-off.
In previous years, one model walked away with a Boss contract; this year saw two models, Damien Jacobs and Alexa Dedekind, land the coveted award. The phenomenal success of the fashion show can be attributed to eight months of preparations by a dedicated team of RAG agents led by Project Manager, Cameron Arendse, who has been planning fashion week since July 2007. When asked about his experiences during the organisation of Fashion Week, Arendse stated that ‘trying to create an event without a budget is very hard. You approach hundreds of sponsors, but end up only getting two or three. However, I had a very capable team working with me which made the whole experience very positive’. There was undoubtedly a positive response from students on campus as tickets to the fashion show were sold out. RAG raised over R50,000 from this memorable event.
David Brits THERE has been quite a stir in recent weeks at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, owing to the ‘spitbraai’ article in the last edition of this paper. Angry petitions have been circulated; outraged staff and students have written letters; entire tutorials have been devoted to discussing the article – all acts of fierce resistance not been seen at Hiddingh for many moons. Ironic then, given all of this, that the show Come Again opened at the Michaelis Gallery last week. Without fail, there are three reasons art goers come to exhibition openings: The free booze, free food and, last but not least, to see some art. As is customary at such an opening, hoards of starving students jostled for a prime spot around the snack table, which was brimming with bread and brie. The lucky few to have already had their fill, hit the bar – open of course – and tucked into the wine. I too followed suit, and after a round at the snack table, then two at the bar, I made my way inside. With teeth stained by wine and cemented with bread, a dash of skilled manoeuvring, I first had to
dodge a few inebriated first-years loitering at the gallery entrance. I was excited for this group of Masters’ latest orgasmic offering - their first was last year; hence I had come again. Stepping inside the first space, I was immediately tantalised by Stuart Bird’s light work, Dead Wrong (2007), a solitary neon sign with the words dead wrong flashing alternately. After staring at it for a while too long, I began to feel a touch epileptic. It did however remind me of one of those leggy ladies in neon, flickering outside a strip joint – perhaps this was an indication that there was more smut inside. The rest of the exhibition space did not disappoint – those walls just oozed with sex appeal. There was a lot of nice work on show too. Pity though about the food and wine running out so soon. Linda Stupart’s Wanted (20078) was one of the highlights of my disorderly evening. A clever play on the mug shot so often seen plucked to the walls of police stations, the work consisted of the identikits of ten Caucasian men, with some saucy text below. In making the work, Stupart had a bona fide police sketch artist ren-
der these faces as she described in detail all of the men with which she had previously ‘liaised’. The intimate texts below are transcriptions of their conversation. Very clever indeed. I also really liked Jake Aikman’s large oil painting Echo (2008). The entire canvass is suffocating ultramarine and cobalt waterscape. Offering me no horizon to which I could escape, I was unnerved by the atmosphere of this painting. Below the surface, beneath the rippled skin of the water, lurked some strange creature or vessel – perhaps a giant reptile mutated by some or other radiation spill, or worse, a Russian submarine! Come Again is an exhibition of work by Masters students at the Michaelis School of Fine Art. The exhibition shows a diverse range of themes and media by a group of dynamic emerging artists. Artists include Jake Aikman, Jennifer Altschuler, Stuart Bird, Justin Brett, Pieter Cilliers, Renee Holleman, Fabian Saptouw, David Scadden and Linda Stupart. Check it out at the Michaelis Gallery next to Campus Art and Hardware at Hiddingh Campus. The exhibition closes 9 May
Arts & Entertainment
Igniting the stage
What’s On Lara Potgieter 29 April – 9 May: ‘Come Again’ @ The Michaelis Gallery, Hiddingh Campus An exhibition of work by Masters students at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, Come Again displays a diverse range of themes and media by a group of dynamic emerging artists. 29 April – 25 May: Reality Check @ Iziko SANG (South African National Gallery) The works of 12 contemporary photographers and artists, which show the diverse practices through which the realities of our radically changing world are explored. 9 April – 24 May: Themba Shibase @ The Photographer’s Gallery The first solo exhibition of the Durban-based artist, Themba Shibase, in Cape Town. 29 April: The Wailing Jimis @ Royale Blues/rock/indie band, The Wailing Jimis, go acoustic. 30 April: Sovereign Academy: Final Field Trip @ The Assembly SA’s biggest dance punk party comes to CT for the last time, bringing with it hipsters KidofDoom, Johnny Neon, and many more!
Lindi Brownell catches up with the indie band, Fire Through the Window
1 May: Movie Night @ Evol Head down to this alternative venue for an evening of classic film. 2 May: Havoc Vultures @ Mercury Progressive rock band, Havoc Vultures, come to CT to launch their new music video. 3 May: 50 Cent and G-Unit @ Bellville Velodrome The big boys come to town! 3 May: Year Two @ Fiction Fiction celebrates its second birthday with live entertainment, cakes and party tricks! 3 May: ‘Loud and Rude’ launch @ The Assembly A night of reggae, rock and ska with the Little Kings, Hog Hoggidy Hog, The Rudimentals, 7th Son, Half-Price and Captain Stu. 8 May: Black Cherry Party @ Molunco Café TBC 9 May: Cabins in the Forest @ Theatre in the District (Chapel Street, District Six) Cabins in the Forest are launching an album that ‘twists and redesigns popular alt rock’. 9 May: Grease Lightning Early Friday @ Jo’burg Bar, Long Street. Join the Michaelis Fine Art students for their weekly afternoon romp! Drinks, dressing up, tequila raffle, arty debauchery! 10 May: The Little Kings @ Dizzy Café. Join Cape Town’s hottest reggae rock band The Little Kings and Checked Zebra for a party at this rocking venue in Camps Bay.
30 April: Black Cherry Party @ Blu Bar Black Cherry is hosting a black & white party sponsored by Hansa Marzen Gold.
17 May: The Little Kings @ The Old Biscuit Mill Playing with Checked Zebra, enjoy a rocking gig with Cape Town’s hottest reggae rock band.
50 Cent giveaway Lara Potgieter AMERICAN hip hop/rap artist 50 Cent is performing at the Bellville Velodrome on 3 May. The show is only one of two (the other is in Johannesburg) and will feature 50 Cent, G-Unit and supporting acts. 50 Cent has been acknowledged as the best-selling hip hop/ rap artist in the world, achieving multi-platinum success in several of his albums. G-Unit consists of 50 Cent, Young Buck, Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo. They will combine performances of their hits with tracks off their new album, Curtis, which was released last year. Virgin Mobile, in association with SABC1, are the sponsors of the event, and are excited to host an event of such magnitude. Here’s the good news… VARSITY is giving away two
Volume 67 Number 6
tickets to the event, as well as two CDs. Simply send an e-mail with your details and the answer to the simple question to firstname.lastname@example.org Question: What is 50 Cent’s real name? Competition closes at 5pm today.
FIRE Through the Window is certainly on the right path for a band that is only in its initial stages. Having been together for less than a year, this Durbanbased foursome has more to show for themselves than most South African acts. Now nearing the end of a successful countrywide tour with American electro band, the Redflecks, Fire Through the Window are gaining popularity in the nooks and crannies of the country’s music hotspots. For now, the fan isn’t working in Assembly’s back room and there are no windows or door handle. We laugh as to what would happen if we were to get stuck in this intensely stuffy room and judging from lead singer Sinead Dennis’s ugg boots, she wouldn’t last long. A combination of a wartime phrase and a close encounter with the wrath of fire left Sinead and fellow lead, Mark de la Querra with what they thought was a catchy name for a band. Fire Through the Window’s lyrics are about love and happiness, which inevitably leads to music that is about having a good time and living life to the full. Mark says, ‘The single ‘Just Like You Are’ sums this feeling up. Our band is about having fun. It’s a little quirky with nothing too deep. It’s about good times.’ ‘Just Like You Are’ has catapulted the band to instant recognition. It’s been featured on the Apple iPod Nano commercial as well as being playlisted on 5fm, leaving the band members taken aback. ‘Every time we hear it on the radio we get as excited as the first time we heard it!’ says Sinead. Mark adds, ‘It’s surreal. It just all hap-
pened so quickly.’ As with most South African bands, the challenges are never ending. ‘It’s been tough,’ says drummer, Sidney Rash, who believes that their biggest challenge so far has been a lack of sponsorship. Local bands are often forced to go independent and try to make it on their own. Mark agrees, ‘It’s been very difficult, but we do like the whole indie approach. That helps in the end I guess, because we don’t have any money!’ Sidney laughs, ‘That’s why we’re touring in my dad’s car…very rock ‘n roll!’ Fire Through The Window is looking to expand their fan base across the border and promote their debut self-titled album. Plans are imminent and a possible American tour with the Redflecks in February 2009 is on the cards. ‘We’re looking to go overseas as soon as possible. The market
here is so tiny and it’s such a struggle. There are no resources here and it’s not treated as a proper profession in most cases. We have to branch out,’ says Mark. Sinead agrees, ‘Unfortunately, it’s become a necessity to go overseas for sustainability.’ One thing was made very clear however, Fire Through the Window won’t be settling down overseas permanently. Bassist Matt Coombes jokes, ‘We’ll just have a house in America, a house in Australia, a house in Japan…that’s the five year plan!’ Fire Through the Window is a breath of fresh air in a time when struggles dominate the South African band scene. With a combination of catchy lyrics and quirky tunes, this band will certainly appeal to many, both young and old. Photo courtesy of Firethroughthewindow.co.za
340 million people go mental Ts’eliso Monaheng I HAVE formulated a theory which assists me in measuring the intensity of the show at every gig I attend and a simple hypothesis it is. However, I have found it to be quite effective, and this is how it goes: During a performance, take a glimpse at each of the faces that surround you. If each and every person’s eyes are heavily fixated on the stage, and an abnormally huge smile is present on their face, the show is intense. Of course the theory is open to personal additions, but that is the basis. My theory stood the test of time on the second weekend of April when I went off to see the dub/reggae/afro band 340ml. Replete with lyrics that I’d been practising for what seemed like an eternity, I was not going to let anything get in the way. The Cape Town-based ska band Captain Stu served as a supporting act with the show held at The Assembly, which is turning out to be quite the location in terms of premium live performances. Captain Stu took to the stage one hour before midnight. I did not know what to expect since I had not seen them live before, but as soon as frontman Nick stepped up to the microphone, my gut feeling permitted me to revel in the idea that this was going to be a performance and a half. And it was. They enjoy a long-standing history in the Cape Town live
music scene and the night served as testament to this. From the information available about them on the internet, I discovered that they formed around 2003, and have been gigging ever since. The band took its current form of Nick on vocals, James on guitar/vocals, Ryan on bass, Dylan on drums, Stigue on trumpet, Clement and Jon on saxophone and JP Arrow on trombone early last year. People loved their blend of ska and punk, along with bits of salsa. Catchy hooks added the ‘sing-along’ vibe to their set as they moved through an infinite amount of funky vibrations. Concluding their set were two new songs which the frontman announced were on their soon-tobe-released album (a follow-up of the 2005 album, The Untold Tales). A mosh pit ensued right at the end of the show and though not enormous, it did enable me to get caught up in the moment. Captain Stu held the place down with pins and needles. However, one element that was missing was the hammer that is 340ml to lock the whole place down. After what seemed like a lifetime of waiting, the midnight train got on the move. From the crowd’s response, even an outsider could tell that Cape Town has got enough love for these dub aficionados. Frontman Pedro acknowledged their absence from the Mother City for the past two years, and went straight into
the first song of a set that lasted close to an hour or more – I was too moved to keep track of time. They dipped into variations such as the trance-inducing, spacey ‘Kung fu smile’, to the title track of their last album, ‘Moving’, right into the well-known and very much loved ‘Midnight drive-in’. The quartet, featuring vocalist Pedro, guitarist Tiago, bassist Rui, and drummer Paulo made it a point to nail every track. What also impressed me were the extended song versions: The dub moments, Paulo’s intriguing showmanship on the drums, Tiago’s seamless guitar solos, and Rui’s exploits on the bass. I lost count of the number of times the stage person hopped on to go pick up Paulo’s cymbal as it kept falling from all that force he expends on hitting those drums. On a couple of occasions, he would stand up, drumsticks in hand, and encourage crowd participation, then go right back into the show’s routine as if nothing ever happened. Interspersed between the known tunes were a good number of songs from their new album. I loved it all, and was well convinced when the show ended that these guys should be ranked amongst the finest in live music. Every face around me still had a smile. I had a great time, and once again, my theory passed the test. A night well spent.
Meeting the voice of K’s Choice I’M AT Cape Town’s hottest new live music venue, and the sun is still shining. Hardcore. Filled with self- importance, I casually saunter past all the people at the door. I coolly recite the words I’ve been hoping to be able to use my whole life, ‘It’s cool, I’m with the band’. I am met with admiring eyes and, gloating in my own glory, I mount the stairs. Like a mosquito to a lamp, I am drawn to the intense, enigmatic sound radiating from within the confines of The Assembly. I reach the source of the enticing light at the top and stumble over my unsuspecting photographer. Then, like the poor mosquito, I am ensnared. Motionless, I surrender to the power before me. On the stage, is the goddess I have been worshipping since I thought glow-in-the-dark braces were cool. Sarah Bettens, the voice that got the world addicted to the epic and hauntingly seductive hit, ‘Not An Addict’, is performing what she regards as a simple sound check. To me, however, this is the best performance I have ever witnessed. Free from the contamination of screaming guitars and the incessant banging of the drummer who relentlessly forces the music forwards, her sultry, enigmatic voice roams freely and powerfully, violently taking hold of the lucky few present. I fall into a trance and am most annoyed when I am brought back to reality by my sidekick’s comment about the legs of the
blonde in the corner (who, we are later informed, Idols finalist Melanie Lowe from the show’s first season). I can’t believe that I am actually going to be able to talk to this superhuman – Sarah of course, not Melanie. I am so nervous I begin to panic that I have ‘broken’ my dictaphone after turning the volume off. My photographer’s full-length performance of the Casper de Vries Learning Channel doesn’t even help. When I am informed that I will have to wait a while because my interviewee needs to ‘quickly take a little nap’, I realise that, as in the words of the great Will Ferrell, she’s just a person like us, who has to put her pants on one leg at a time. Well, one gorgeous, long, skinny leg at a time, that is. On entering her backstage room, I am further put at ease by the warm, welcoming person chilling on a couch in a colourful beanie and tracksuit. On noticing the camera, the iconic voice that is worshipped worldwide shyly asks if she can finish her apple before any pictures are taken. Although I have been idolising this rock/pop goddess for years, I would never have imagined that the personality and manner of this international chart-topper would be as admirable as the icon she represents. During the times when I manage to snap out of staring at her in unbelieving rapture, I learn that my musical superhero was once also just a girl who loved the Beatles and sang into a hairbrush,
but never really thought of music as a viable career. She’s not just one of those ‘music is my life’ phonies, but a multi-dimensional person who speaks to me about the trials of growing up as a lesbian, the frustrations of not being able to figure yourself out and the joys of family life. I am enchanted by her openness and we get completely carried away, forgetting about the music and relating as two young women in a complicated world (I know, I know, violin music please). However, her performance later sky rockets her back up to iconic status. A photo of me looking like a spastic turtle, with my neck stretched as far forward as is humanly possible (when of course I was already in the centre of the front row) is proof of the captivating quality of her hauntingly beautiful, yet raw and honest alt rock/pop music. From stirring songs like ‘Believe’ to heart-wrenching songs like ‘Daddy’s Gun’ to a seductive blues rendition, Sarah combined classics from K’s Choice with never-before-heard songs off her brand-spanking new album, Shine. I was instructed to write about the supporting acts as well, but I don’t want to. There was a blonde chick with a whiney voice and a wannabe punk with a Hello Kitty guitar. Check out Sarah’s new album, Shine, in stores now.
Photo by Justin Andrews
Lara Potgieter manages to catch the lead singer of former USA band, K’s Choice, during her recent SA tour
Sarah Bettens - ‘Not just another lesbian with a guitar’
Volume 67 Number 6
The intellectual identity crises Ballroom dancing:
IN THE first flush of excitement as we embark on that rickety and rollicking ship called student life (the one bound to induce more nausea, injury and memory loss than most other voyages), it is difficult to imagine ourselves, three years later and one degree down, still at university. Writing essay upon essay is most unlikely to inspire a desire for postgraduate study. However, having felt the rush of receiving that most coveted blue tube, I found myself, like many others, contemplating the postgrad life. The reality is that when the giddy ‘I’ve got a degree’-ness has worn off, you are faced with one of three options. The first involves needing a lot of cash and some form of visa, and most commonly ends in leaving one’s friends and family behind for a year of working odd jobs in order to scrabble together enough rent and drinking money in a foreign country. Fun, if you have those resources, but unattainable for most. The second, and most terrifying, involves CVs, interviews, power suits and paying your own bills (I know, WTF?). It usually ends in a lifetime of servitude in a career for which your passion is rapidly dwindling. I like to call it ‘entering The Real World’. Three years of undergraduate study seems shockingly inadequate preparation for such an endeavour. This leaves the final option: Postgraduate study. Your experience of postgrad students, as an undergrad, will up until this point most likely have consisted of interaction with tutors, and possibly some of your lecturers. They’re odd people, aren’t they? They dress funny. They talk funny. Sometimes they even smell funny. They are certainly not people you’d want to be. Having exhausted your other options, however,
this may be the only route you have left to take. Postgrad study is a strange fish. Out of the 20,000 students at UCT, approximately 5,000 are at Honours, Masters or Doctorate level. Despite this sizeable number, most of my postgrad introductory session was spent listening to lecturers warn of the loneliness and melancholy that apparently besets all postgrad students at some stage in their degree. ‘You are not alone,’ they said. ‘Don’t become despondent. Talk to someone.’ After ascertaining that I hadn’t accidentally stumbled into a campus AA meeting, I took a look around at my fellow postgraduate students. Surprisingly, a good percentage of my Honours class is significantly older than your average fourth-year. Some even have actual jobs – they’re studying further out of choice. If you think this already sounds like the twilight zone, consider the further madness that is postgrad: Suddenly you’re Facebook friends with your lecturers and actual friends with your classmates. You have class social events, and the lecturers are invited. Surely this can’t still be university? In the interests of discerning whether my disquieting postgrad experience is the exception or the rule, I spoke to two other students of the postgrad variety. Having completed his Honours degree in Economics, Jesse Naidoo is currently lecturing and tutoring for the department while working on his PhD. His choice to study further was not, as I have suggested, prompted by a deep denial of the fact that one day he will have to get a ‘real job’, but rather because of a deep desire to become better versed in Economics in order to pursue a career in Economic Research. Another fellow postgrad student, Murray Hunter (currently doing his Honours degree in Media Theory), says his decision to stay
on after completing his undergrad degree was influenced by the fact that he still ‘had interests to pursue in the field’. Curious notion, that. What of the other concerns about postgrad life? Says Jesse, ‘Postgrad can be lonely, but no more so than undergrad.’ He says that the reality of masses of work is balanced by the fact that you don’t have to work so hard at new friendships as you do in your first few years. ‘That is, you already know your friends well, so you don’t have to spend time building trust, etc. Think of a long-term relationship replacing many episodes of casual sex. Which is more lonely?’ As far as he is concerned, the aspect of suddenly becoming chummy with lecturers is not an issue. ‘At best, my supervisor and I had a few entertaining conversations about politics instead of probability theory, but on the whole, things stayed pretty professional. I mean, we could exchange minor pleasantries, but no dinner at the Professor’s house.’ For Murray, the increased lecturer-student contact time is something that he felt was missing from his undergraduate degree. This isn’t the impression of postgrad study that is created by your tutors, and it certainly isn’t as terrifying as it has been portrayed to be. What, then, are the drawbacks to studying further at UCT? The whisper of the tacit rage and barely veiled cynicism of the ‘enroller’s remorse’ that Murray describes is best relayed in his own words: ‘There’s more attention from academics, more privileges at the library, and the extra self-importance of becoming slightly more ‘expert’ at some or other field. But now we’re realising that we got duped, that four years on this campus is too f***ing long and that none of these paltry perks can compensate us fully.’
learners, some of whom have been involved in other Ubunye projects. Mentors work with learners to develop post-school plans, including sourcing information on tertiary education institutions, scholarships, and internships. Although these learners are faced with the very real challenges of growing up in a township environment, Ubunye aims to equip them with the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to overcome them. Learners are encouraged to participate in more than one project so that they can develop skills in a range of fields, and leave school as well-rounded individuals. Their academic abilities progress with assistance from TeachOut, they acquire usable skills like writing and public speaking from Media School or the TDL, and Inkanyezi helps them develop an achievable plan for the future. Learner-volunteer relationships are crucial to Ubunye; volunteers are assigned one group of learners for the year and work consistently with them to achieve shared goals. Volunteers are thus able to tailor sessions to the needs of learners, chart their progress through the semester, and respond directly to their individual needs. Ubunye also places a great emphasis on instilling a sense of social responsibility, encouraging learners to share their skills with others. The number of Ubunye volunteers who were once learners in the same projects that they now
volunteer for illustrates this, as well as the confidence they have in the skills they acquired. The response received from learners in the first quarter of 2008 has been overwhelmingly positive. Learners from the Tour projects had this feedback to give: ‘I have attended amazing workshops with our trainer and I like the way of training. It is very effective. Never end what you are doing, more schools out there need these sessions. Thank you guys for doing this to our school. It has helped us a lot.’ Ubunye has seen increased growth in 2008, having recruited over 300 volunteers during OWeek. Their projects now extend into 22 township schools, which means greater access for their pupils. With revised curricula for 2008, learners are receiving a challenging and relevant workshop series. On an organisational level, Ubunye is also making progress, having applied for status as a UCT Development Agency, and is working with the SRC to achieve this goal. If Ubunye’s application is successful, they will join SHAWCO, RAG, UCT Radio and VARSITY as the fifth Development Agency on campus. If you would like to find out more about Ubunye, or are interested in volunteering for one of their projects, please email Jen at email@example.com.
Working together Jen Van Heerden
WHILE many students are familiar with some of UCT’s student-run community development projects, Ubunye is a lesser-known organisation, but one that makes a massive impact in Cape Town’s townships. Ubunye’s central vision is to offer educational advancement, opportunities for leadership, lifeskills development, mentorship and guidance to motivated learners in township high schools. Ubunye achieves this vision through its four projects: Inkanyezi, Media School, TeachOut and the Township Debating League (TDL). These projects have been around since 2003, and were developed in direct response to the specific needs of high school learners. TeachOut, Ubunye’s academic program, tutors small groups of Grade 10-12 learners in Maths, Science, Biology and English, aiming to provide learners with the support that they need to improve their academic performance. Ubunye operates two extramural programmes: Media School and the Township Debating League. Media School teaches learners basic journalism and photography, as well as assisting them with the creation and publishing of their own school newspaper. The Township Debating League trains learners in debating, argumentation and critical thinking, and instils in them a confidence in public speaking. Inkanyezi mentors Grade 12
Photo by Rémy Ngamije
A disillusioned Rebecca Dodd wonders if postgraduate study is all it’s cracked up to be
sway me now - Ballroom Society Chairperson, Lauren Altmann, takes time out from the Tango to smile for the camera Rémy Ngamije IT IS strange that we live in a world where rugby, a sport where 30 muscle-bound Neanderthals, dressed in tight shorts touch each other in awkward places, is considered more masculine than ballroom dancing, which contrary to popular belief, is not the hobby for men of questionable sexual orientation. It is a fast-paced, competitive, red-blooded, sensual sport that is a treat to the senses. Gorgeous women in alluring dresses move silkily across the dance floor. The gentlemen are not called Ricko, Domenico or Danté, but go by Michael or Luyolo. A recent foray to a Ballroom Society semi-formal shattered all preconceived notions I had of this misunderstood sport. A Nike-wearing, corn-rowed youth; I am the embodiment of hip hop culture, detesting anything formal. My dancing abilities are limited to the Crip Walk, snapping my fingers and leaning back. I ‘crank that’ to every song and when it is time to dance with a lady, grinding is as creative as I can be. To me, ballroom dancing was something prep-school boys or Prince Williams do, not something I could unleash in a club pulsating with Lil’ Wayne or DJ Fresh. Thus, it was a culture shock when, at the ballroom party, I found couples gliding across the dance floor, their feet weaving complicated patterns as they twirled in tune to mainstream music. My ignorance made me stand out like a tourist, mesmerised by the dancers. Ballroom dancing dates back to the 11th century, where it was considered the dance of nobility. Practised at balls in formal regalia, it was a means of social networking and a potent courting method, just like today where a good dancer captures amorous attention. Through the ages, music changed while the dances underwent some refinements that made them more technically-challenging, thus requiring more skill. It soon became a symbol of a good education, a merit to a lord or lady that practised it. Transported to the rest of the world, it began to take on various aspects of the cultures it was introduced to; rhythm was
injected from South America, beat from Africa and social etiquette and costume design from Asia. Many styles of dancing blended to form what is now known as ballroom dancing. Ballroom dancing, like any other form of dance, requires a certain measure of finesse and style, which can be quickly learned. The most important ingredient needed to practise ballroom dancing, sadly lacking amongst the male population but common amongst women, is courage — real balls. It takes guts to overcome taunts from friends on the basketball court, the surprised eyebrows and derisive sneers from one’s peers (women included). It is on the dance floor that our fathers bedazzled our mothers, and where, ultimately, the boys were separated from the men, and the dancers from the wallpaper. The rise of hip hop culture and other contemporary dance forms, has stereotyped ballroom dancing as a sport for the upper class, who like crumpets with their tea and two sugars, rather than what it really is; another form of self-expression. Hollywood films such as Take the Lead or television shows such as Strictly Come Dancing challenge this narrowminded view and attempt to market the dying art form to the urban youth. Ballroom dancing is now offered socially at academic institutions such as UCT, which has a very active and creative society dedicated to it. Through the use of the media; the waltz, tango, chacha and rumba are becoming more commonplace in clubs, inspiring music videos and dance choreographers. Standing at the side of the dance floor, I gazed at the dancers, envious of their synchronised movements, and the freedom they exuded, until a pretty creature sidled up to me and asked me to dance the Salsa. A hastily-mumbled excuse escaped my lips. I thought Salsa was a spicy Mexican dish. I asked for a display and she obliged. My eyes popped. Shakira had nothing on this girl: Her hips did not lie. And what they told me was that I was definitely coming to the next Ballroom Society function.
Interest rate woes set to continue Sentlenyana Machaba THE ripple effects of the current state of affairs in the global economy on developing nations would appear to have hit their mark in the first quarter of 2008. On the back of the crippling sub-prime debacle and the collapse of the dollar, the fears of an imminent recession in the US have been amplified and actualised in global markets. Global pressure on the demand for energy resources from power houses such as China and India has escalated the oil price to record highs (the spot price of Brent Crude oil soared to over $113 per barrel). In addition, food prices have sky rocketed with official figures showing that the price of wheat has more than doubled in the past year. The food price crisis has sparked global outrage, especially amongst developing countries, with riots having reportedly erupted in Haiti, Egypt, Indonesia and Peru. With COSATU threatening protest action if nothing is done to curtail the soaring food prices, partly attributable to the subsidies provided by the US and Europe to biofuel farmers, South Africa’s CPIX is now at a five-year peak of 9.4%. In response to inflation lying outside of the 3-6% target, Reserve Bank Governor, Tito Mboweni, recently increased the repo rate by 50 basis points – bringing it to 11.5%; which subsequently pushed the prime rate upwards by 50 basis points to its current rate
of 15%. Domestic markets were affected with the more interest rate-sensitive retail and financial stocks were hit the hardest, yet the money market boasted higher yields for investors, making it more attractive. The interest rate hike, coupled with the general slowdown of the domestic economy in response to US recessionary fears and the Eskom fiasco dragging investor confidence levels southward, has some economists worried about the implications of inflation targeting on South Africa’s growth rate; which is expected to decrease from 5.4% to 4% this year. Because the bulk of current inflationary pressure comes from external factors outside of South Africa’s control, such as food and oil prices, there have been calls by some economists to extend the range of the inflation target beyond 6% as well as including GDP targets in the Reserve Bank’s mandate. This is because inflation targeting through interest rates is seen to be stifling growth. However, according to macroeconomics lecturer Nicola Viegi of the University of Cape Town, inflation targeting is effective for developing countries because of its flexibility: The short-term costs will translate into higher interest rates, but the medium term benefits would be a smoother, and more likely than not, lower inflation and interest rate-contingent on exchange rate stabilisation. Expanding the range would dampen consumer confidence in
Entrepreneurship after UCT
the ability of the Reserve Bank to control inflation and undermine their credibility – and credibility in monetary policy is everything, as expectations also drive inflation. He does concede though, that the Reserve Bank should have been more aggressive retrospectively in their inflation targeting strategy as domestic consumption levels need to be reined in. Those suffering the brunt of high inflation rates the most are the poor, whose disposable income is predominantly spent on food and transport. Although they may not be heavily affected by interest rates, they are feeling the pinch of the increase in the cost of living. The hardest hit by the interest hike are the small and owner managed businesses which characteristically operate heavily on debt, construction companies due to higher uncertainty as well as the increased risk of repayments, home owners and banks – who expect the number of credit defaults and insolvencies to rise over the next 12 months. Standard Bank has already seen the number of credit card defaults rise from 4.8% to 6.9% in the past 18 months – its highest rate since June 2004. As far as predictions for future interest rate adjustments are concerned, most economists are tightlipped, but the consensus is that things are definitely going to get worse before they get any better. All we can do, is brace ourselves.
Warren Buffet’s heart of gold WARREN Buffett was announced Forbes’ richest man this year, beating his old friend Bill Gates. Buffett, a highly successful investor started his financial career at a young age. By 13, he had filed his first tax return and claimed US$ 35 deduction for a bicycle. And by 15, he had bought his first shares in a small local business in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. Having always had a knack for business and an astonishing head for figures, Buffett flourished under his mentor, Benjamin Graham, at the University of Columbia. Buffett made his fortune buying stocks in a variety of businesses across the US. Known for his unconventioal business methods; even today he holds only one meeting a year with his board members, sets the goals of the year and leaves them to their own devices. It is Buffet’s generosity that makes him a man to talk about. After making his billions, Buffett declared to the world that he would give away his fortune to charity after his death. In 2007, Buffett shocked the world by donating an estimated US$ 31 billion to the Gates Foundation. This gift is thought to be the largest donation in history to date. The Gates Foundation was the beneficiary that Buffett had been waiting for. This is because Gates and his wife, Melinda ensure the money being donated is used in the best way, focusing on fighting disease and improving education worldwide. Although Buffett’s net worth is around US$ 44 billion, he is a man of simple pleasures. Affectionately referred to as a ‘cola and ham-
Photo courtesy of journeyhomeburke.wordpress.com
Karl Thomson interviews UCT graduate Rudashan Chetty about his business prospects Karl Thomson: What did you study and when did you graduate from UCT? Rudy Chetty: BSc Computer Science and I graduated in 2003. Computer Science was my major, but I did Archeology 2 and Biology 1 as well...yes I was bored and decided that branching out was the key. KT: Did you seek conventional employment or did you go straight into entrepreneurship? RD: I went the conventional route and used my degree to get a job. It took a few months, but eventually I found something which helped me get a foot in the door. I have always wanted to have my own business though, and decided that I would start it after working for a few years. KT: How did you end up creating the RudRa clothing line? RD: My mother, aunt and I were discussing all the funky tshirts I possessed. This was nearly two years ago. We were going through all the designs and thinking that I should start a label here – RudRa was born. It became the parent label for many sub labels to follow: Gamer Gear – gaming label, a student label, mainstream label and such. I also decided that I wanted to push a new method of t-shirt delivery onto the public – the Web. This led me to create the RudRa.co.za web portal where potential buyers could purchase all of our merchandise off the site with minimal lead time. We actually just launched Gamer Gear in April 2008 and we are planning to follow suit with the student and mainstream labels. KT: What is your main form of employment, and how did your time at UCT contribute to that, if at all? RD: I’m employed as a Java Developer (a programmer if you will). I build software solutions for clients, ranging from SMS gateways to portal-based websites. UCT trained me in Java, at least
it was our primary programming language. This allowed me to start off as a junior developer and I quickly worked my way up to senior level. KT: Has your Indian background had any significant effect on your employment, given South Africa’s current socio-political climate? RD: Yes and no. Yes, in that people are very ignorant to this day. No, in the fact that I am extremely good at what I do, thus I am offered roles in other companies irrespective of race. Funny story: I went to see a recruiter in the Foreshore and was discussing the initial admin details with her. She actually said to me, ‘Your English is very good’ to which I replied ‘I should hope so, it’s my first language’. She then continued to botch up the interview by saying things about ‘my kind’ and ‘your religious beliefs’. Yes, I ended up never using that agency again. On a side note, my CV is probably with all the recruiting agencies in Cape Town. KT: Where can people buy your stuff? RD: www.rudra.co.za is the portal to all the labels, everything can be bought from there and you have a few delivery options. Payment is via credit card or bank/ internet transfer. KT: What is the quality of the shirts like? RD: All of our shirts and hoodies are 100% cotton and soft to touch, even after several washes. We silk screen all of our designs internally and guarantee a highquality print that will last longer than other methods. KT: Do you have any retail stores? RD: Not yet, but we hope to expand into retail as the demand grows, which is happening right now.
The column in the corner Karl ‘Lord Thomson
Warren buffet - The billionaire philanthropist has donated US $31 million to the Bill Gates Foundation burger man’, Buffet still lives in the first house he ever bought in 1957 located in his hometown of Omaha. This was purchased before he made his billions. He still drives his first car and married his longtime girlfriend, Astrid Menks, when he turned 76. ‘The Oracle of Omaha’ is a level-headed business man that worked hard to get to where he is today. Money has not changed him and he has made plans to ensure money does not change his three children. In his will, he has stated that some shares would go to his
children and current wife, but the bulk of his wealth will go to charity after his death. A substantial amount of money will go to a foundation named after his late wife, Susan Thompson Buffet. In an interview with Fortune Magazine, Buffet said, ‘A very rich man would leave his kids enough to do anything, but not enough to do nothing.’ A man of integrity and humility, Warren Buffett succeeded in his life’s ambitions and is now taking time to ensure others achieve their own.
IN THE last edition, a letter was printed that was actually addressed to me, indicating people actually read the often illegible garbage I put here. This cheered me up immensely. However, I feel a need to defend myself. Lekometsa Mokhesi – you make valid points. But, and this is something you should have thought about: Joe Public won’t have the faintest clue on HOW to get Mac OS X on a ‘normal’ laptop and visa versa. To most people, a laptop is something Windows runs on. A MacBook is what Mac OS X runs on. The reality is that not many people know about this, and even fewer know how to do it. I don’t know how to get Mac OS X on my PC, but I have heard it is, apparently, a pain in the ass. So I will just stick with my annoying Windows machine and buy a Mac when I want the beauty that is Apple’s design philosophy.
Now that that’s out the way, onto more pressing issues. You, valid reader, may have noticed that there is a lack of colour present in this page today. I’m rather sorry about that. I’m sorry for not rousing your senses with silly pictures and rather relying on good writing and interesting articles. Silly me. Last night, I discovered that Musica is running an amazing special – 101 Movies to own before you die. Besides being a cheap ploy to make your pocket significantly lighter, it is an incredible sight to see: 101 EXCELLENT movies on the same wall. I went with my heart instead of my head and bought The Godfather Boxset and Scarface, instead of a new pair of shoes that I was supposed to get. Oh well. Also, skip the humour section, its not funny.
Im not joking.
Volume 67 Number 6
Modern art made easy
The beauty of
IT OPENS your mind, enlightening you to an array of new possibilities. It lets you see your world in a different light. It shows you all of the pain and happiness of humanity in one go, touching your soul like nothing before it. It gives you confidence in this universe and everything within it. It makes you believe, perhaps if only momentarily, that despite the pain and suffering, despite the hate and war, despite the evil within man’s heart, everything will work out just fine. Fuck I love cane. But, no matter how many mind-altering substances I ingest, I can never get my mind around modern art. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a well-drawn nude or nicely coloured vase of flowers just as much as the next guy, but I still Modernistic introspection - My social reality, by Anton Taylor struggle to appreciate it as much as I feel I should. Biennial of the Central American fucking sense, be mindful that As it stands, the world’s high- decided that the groundbreak- the piece is in fact a ‘pioneering est-paid living artist is Damien ing display was worthy of subterfuge against our conditioned Hirst, an artistic genius whose being selected to repeat his and unimaginative psyches’. art works are often dead animals piece for the biennial of 2008. Offensive crap should rather preserved in formaldehyde, which A simple ‘jock’ like myself, be referred to as ‘revolutionary’ are subsequently given deep and who uncreatively has a love of and ‘avant-garde’. meaningful names. Recently, New team sport, and like a sheep, preBasic pictures which your twoYork public health officials banned scribes to popular culture, fails year-old illegitimate son could Hirst’s masterpiece Two Fucking to see the artistic merit in Hirst’s have drawn, should be praised for and Two Watching, featuring a and Vargas’s works. I am still at their ‘profound simplicity’. rotting cow and bull, because of the immature stage where I see When like everybody else, you fears that it may induce ‘vomiting the beauty of life in a perfectly- realise that there is absolutely no among the visitors’. executed Daniel Carter spin pass, merit in the ‘art’ piece you have Another amazing contribution the golden hue of an ice cold just seen, arrogantly pretend to from the world of modern art was Castle draught, and a cleanly- have fully understood its greatin 2007, when artist Guillermo shaven punani. Nevertheless, after ness, quietly nodding in knowing Habacuc Vargas took a dog from researching the subject, I have agreement. Proudly and sadly look the street and tied him to a rope managed to enlighten myself a bit down at those who can’t fathom in an art gallery, starving him to on the subject of modern art. Here its inherent beauty. Don’t worry death over several days as visitors are some guidelines to appreciat- about being caught – everybody’s watched this tour de force, based ing it: in on the lie. on the dog’s terrible agony. When staring at a chundered-up The prestigious Visual Arts artistic abortion which makes no
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. This is a good opportunity to apologise, retract and beg forgiveness for anything offensive that may be said on this page this year. Everybody knows that religion, gender and violence toward the elderly are sensitive issues, so it’s a pity they happen to be so goddamn funny. I think it was a great Orientation leader who once said, ‘the true humourist is the one who can laugh at himself’. Hahah. There, I’ve done it. Now the rest of you f*!kers are fair game.
THE definition of beauty has been questioned by many through the annals of history. Many somewhat misguided individuals discredit attraction on physical terms, and they propose looking beyond aesthetics to find true beauty on the ‘inside’. This ideology has been spread at an uncontainable rate, much like Chlamydia amongst students in the UK. I believe that this proposed manner of identifying beauty is an insurmountable load of shit. Nobody is going to go through life, carefully examining everybody on hopelessly intangible issues such as their personality, interests and intellect. The looks of individuals will always come first and foremost, whether you like it or not. For crying out loud, it’s been proven that even babies react more positively to a more appealing face. I took a leisurely Monday stroll around UCT, asking male students what fascinating nicknames they have created, not for the true beauties in their vicinity, but for the ones that truly force you to not look twice. They put forward some mostly mundane standard names for below-average-looking people, but it was the women who actually left me with a flabbergasted, ‘deer in the headlights’ type stare. We all know of nicknames such as belters, siffies, and grunters. But my personal favourite finding was ‘The Prawn’. The Prawn is an individual with a wonderful body, but an unsightly face. Much like the cooked crustacean, you keep the body and throw away the head. This really and truly proves the old saying that you don’t look at the mantelpiece when you stoke the fire. This definition of this nickname is similar to another, ‘The Balaclava Model’. What I found most amusing came from a friendly young lady. Before I delve into this little system, I must say that this woman was no heathen, cock-mongering little pirate hooker. She was a beautiful, soft-voiced woman exuding warmth, with cute little blue slippers and little hearts on her handbag. She believes that when you win, you don’t care by how much. You’re a winner. But there is a magnitude when you lose: You could lose some esteem amongst your peers, or you could have gone as low as having just scored the aesthetic equivalent of a mountain goats’ dingle berryinfested rectum. And this applies
to both sexes in this situation. It terms of appraisals, she states that she places potential male conquests into one of five categories. There is the no-bagger, the 1, 2 and 3 baggers, and the hyena. You classify your potential male sexual conquest as a no-bagger if he is at least average-looking or better, in which case he is ‘good to go’. The 1-bagger is when you would like to put a bag over your sexual counterpart’s head, because the thought of looking at his face is not even remotely arousing. The 2-bagger is when you not only bag his face, but you put a bag over your face as well, just in case his falls off. The 3-bagger is where you get yet another bag for your dog’s face, because you’re too embarrassed to let Tinkerbell see. With the final category, the hyena, as soon as you have done the dirty; you should bolt for the nearest window, door or fire duct, because you would rather chew off your arm than wake up next to him in the morning. All I can say in response to that one is that if any male has been pointed out as a hyena whilst strolling around a lowly establishment such as Tin Roof, you must truly be, to the fairer sex, as appealing as Elton John suffering from a severe case of mumps. I am rather confused by the furore about last week’s VARSITY article concerning a certain method of roasting meat outdoors. Not to say that I entirely approve of the article, but it is not necessary to take such a light-hearted affair seriously. To discredit spit roasting would be to discredit every sexual activity that may have been considered taboo at some stage of its life, such as fellatio, cunnilingus, abasiophilia and erotic lactation. There is no reason to point fingers like people playing whodunnit when somebody farts in the middle of the Fiction dance floor. People are not inherently good or bad. We are more like Thousand Island dressing, a wonderful mixture of ketchup and mayonnaise. I would like to conclude that I believe there is indeed a horny, tiger-skin, underwear-adorning animal hiding in all of us, contrary to what anybody may tell you. Whether you’re drop-dead gorgeous, average as a loaf of bread or belong in a cage, we’re all entitled to our share of fun in the sun. The Temptations tell us that beauty is only skin-deep. Well, in response I say, thank goodness I have a thick skin.
IT IS official. The whole country now knows and has accepted the resignation of Carlos Alberto Parreira, the Bafana Bafana coach. The World Cup winning coach is heading back home, as his wife is suffering from cancer. His original four-year deal was meant to run until after the 2010 World Cup. Despite his departure, the Brazilian said he believed a smooth transition was possible, especially as his entire technical staff would be retained. ‘We are going to help to make sure our vision and philosophy will be continued,’ Parreira said. ‘The most difficult work has been done. If we keep the same way, the same philosophy, I believe the team has the capacity to do well in the World Cup.’ Although he will no longer be coaching Bafana, he has promised to remain as a technical adviser to the team, currently ranked 69 in the world and 13 in Africa. In the 15 months that Parreira has been with the national team, he managed to win nine matches, drew six and lost six. The most notable win was the last game against the in-form Paraguay. The African Cup of Nations first round exit left many wondering whether there is a team worth building for 2010. The coach’s resignation could not have come at a more crucial moment: Bafana faces Nigeria away, followed by Equatorial Guinea and Sierra Leone, in order to qualify for Afcon 2010. In next year’s Confederations Cup, South Africa will be tested both on and off the field to see if they are ready for 2010.
Photo courtesy of oglobo.globo.com
Joel Santana - Into the spotlight The question of who will be replacing Parreira, which has been the subject of domestic and foreign speculation in the media, has been answered at last. The main contender, Joel Santana, who was with Brazil’s Flamengo club has been appointed by SAFA to step into Parreira’s shoes and become the next recipient of the R1.8 million-a-month job. He will be the 15th coach to take charge of the ailing Bafana since South Africa was re-admitted into world of football. The other possible successors included the Brazilian, Felipe Luis Scolari, currently coaching the Portuguese national side, and exEngland and current Manchester City manager, Sven-Goran Eriksson. Eriksson, whose son is at Thanda Royal Zulu, was here a few weeks ago, before Parreira announced his resignation. SAFA could be seen as not being too keen to repeat past mistakes, as the last English-based coach, Stuart Baxter, to have taken charge of Bafana just showed how different South African and English soccer are.
Flintstone football Lindi Brownell thinks its time for technology to hit the pitch IT DOESN’T matter whether you’re an Arsenal fan or a diehard Manchester United supporter, when the referee makes a blatant mistake that costs your team the game, we all stand together. There is nothing more exasperating than losing to an error of judgment. Rugby and cricket make use of third-match officials and tennis makes use of the Hawk Eye. Essentially, football is just living in the dark ages – the implementation of technology into the game is simply long overdue. It seems as though the International Football Association Board (IFAB) does not agree. As of last month, the Board put a stop to all potential goal-line technological developments. Developments included a ball fitted with a microchip, as well as the tried-andtested Hawk Eye technology. FIFA President, Sepp Blatter, is entirely against the idea of goal-line technology, stating, ‘Referees make decisions, not machines. I have defended goal-line technology but it has become clear that such systems are too complicated and very costly. Nor would they necessarily add anything positive to the game and could harm the authority of the referee.’ In order to illustrate the futility of Blatter’s statement, an example seems to be most fitting. Imagine that it’s Manchester United versus Manchester City on derby day; they are in the last minute of extra time and the score is 1-1. United
scores, but a look at the replay shows that Rooney was actually offside. This no longer matters because the game is over and United have won. Every season, supporters watch on in horror as decent goals are disallowed. In the words of a fan, ‘We’re getting to the stage where incompetent officials don’t just decide matches, they decide the Premiership itself.’ In the eyes of supporters, human error is far more costly than unimplemented technology. It is arguably far worse when a game is lost due to some ninny diving in the box, clutching his knee after an opposing player tapped him on the shoulder. The number of times that referees have made erroneous penalty decisions is infinite. It may be a long way to go before fans can see a machine making the final decisions on offside goals, but at least the diving Ronaldos and Torreses (the list is endless) of the world will have to face the consequences of their actions. Officials at Euro 2008, to be held in Switzerland and Austria in June, have decided to make use of video replays against players who fake injury during a game. Sadly, these offences are only punishable once the game has actually finished, but at least it is an incentive for players to stop rolling around on the ground as if they have just been stabbed with a machete.
Race for Premier League heats up Will Clerke
THE championship race in the English Premier League took yet another twist this weekend, when Chelsea managed to reduce the gap to just three points from league leaders Manchester United. In what potentially looked to be a very tough fixture away to European hopefuls, Everton, Chelsea were their efficient and extremely dull selves, managing to grind out yet another insipid 1-0 victory. The crucial result was overshadowed somewhat by the bizarre post-match interview with Chelsea manager, Avram Grant, who expectedly would have been delighted with the three points. However, the word ‘unresponsive’ would be a gross understatement to describe the demeanour and responses of the Israeli manager. This was the night Avram Grant said too little and, in the process, did much damage to his chances of maintaining the job few believe he deserves. With a remarkable sequence of non-committal, unhelpful and at times inaudible answers, at one stage he responded to a question about his side’s title chances with a non-committal ‘I don’t know’. Meanwhile, Manchester United manager, Alex Ferguson, was in a much chirpier frame of mind, despite his team being held to a 1-1 draw at Blackburn, describing their performance as ‘worthy of champions’ after Carlos Tevez’s late equaliser. Paraguayan forward, Roque Santa Cruz, had given Blackburn a deserved halftime lead, but United re-emerged a changed side and it took a remarkable performance by Blackburn keeper, Brad Friedel, to keep his team in the contest. This past week was most definitely the biggest of United and Chelsea’s season. Both teams had Champions League semi-final fixtures midweek, and then played each other in arguably the titledecider at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. This was obviously a must-win game for the London side, and after their controversial 2-1 victory it seems that the race will go all the way down to the wire. Looking at the two teams’ remaining fixtures in the season, United host a West Ham team in poor form before travelling to Wigan for the last game of the season, who will perhaps be unmotivated; their job of stay-
Photo courtesy of thesun.co.uk
Bafana’s coaching comedy
Volume 67 Number 6
Avram Grant - Making a last ditch attempt at the title ing up this season accomplished. Chelsea, on the other hand, must travel to a rejuvenated Newcastle side before hosting relegationthreatened Bolton on the last day, who will be going all out to save Grant-style postmatch responses What in particular pleased you [about the performance]? After an eight second delay: ‘I don’t know.’ They [the fans] must believe you are still in the title race; do you have a message for them? ‘No message.’ Does this result mean you are back in it now? ‘I don’t know.’ How many steps have you climbed to undertake this press conference? ‘I don’t know.’
themselves. The Chelsea victory against United has resulted in the two being level on points. United have a far superior goal difference which, ultimately, could prove to be a massive factor at the end of the day. Despite the loss, it is much more difficult to see United slipping up in their remaining fixtures than Chelsea. So overall, I confidently predict that Manchester United will retain their status as champions of England. When comparing the two teams, one has to say that they do indeed deserve it. They’ve scored more and conceded less than anyone else in the country. They play with freedom and style, they have class players in every position, and they are all allowed to express themselves on the field. All this contrasts sharply with Chelsea’s much-maligned and yet grudgingly-respected defence-first approach, which wins them more points than it does admirers. The fact is, that this year, United have indeed been the better team.
SA’s most precious exports Nic Duminy
SOUTH African players have always been a sought-after commodity in the international rugby arena. Players are often lured out of the country with promises of higher salaries and a better standard of living. The demand for South African players increased after the Springboks’ success in Paris last year. International clubs were queuing up to get their hands on rugby’s hottest properties. South African clubs stood by helplessly while their most prized players were fought over by a string of wealthy clubs. Several World Cup heroes including John Smit, Victor Matfield and Butch James opted to leave the country. Since their departure, several players have communicated their
intention to return to the country, while other players seem to be happy at their new clubs. John Smit, who is currently contracted to French club Clermont, has publicly expressed his desire to return to the country, in hopes of retaining his Springbok captaincy. Clermont’s administrators are said to be furious with Smit’s intentions to leave the club. However, they may be willing to accept an offer. French agent, Bruno Xamma, believes that South African rugby will have to pay ‘big money’ to buy Smit out of his current contract. Smit’s contract is scheduled to last until June next year, so it seems unlikely that Clermont will release the South Africa’s most successful skipper without a fight. In contrast, it seems that Victor Matfield, who is currently
playing for Toulon, will continue to play rugby overseas unless the Bulls are able to match the French Club’s offer. It has been speculated that the World Cup winner could receive up to R6 million per year if he decides to sign another contract with the French club. It seems unlikely that Matfield will return to the Bulls, as the club will not be able to meet such a substantial offer. Although many of South Africa’s greatest players are making a huge impact overseas, their presence is sorely missed in their home country. However, it seems that this trend will continue in the future and more local clubs will lose their top players to international sides.
4/29/2008 2:50:32 PM
ing, scholarships and focus on his tennis. I take nothing away from his decision to leave SA, where he could be helping the current and next generation of tennis stars develop. If I had to make a choice I would do the same. What is disturbing is the lack of money and coaches in sport that has forced him and others to leave. We’ve long watched fine South African swimmers depart our shores for the more rigorously coached and managed American sporting scene and it now seems we have to watch more go. This brings me back to Koorts, the implication that SA tennis players were not worth spending the money on, cuts deep both for the players and fans alike. How can we be expected to hold onto our Kevin Andersons, and any other sportsmen for that matter, when we are not injecting enough money and correct policy-making into sports? We’ve seen the same thing happen with the rugby exodus, the Kevin Pietersens departure from cricket. Soon we’ll get to a point where we won’t be able to manage to keep anyone at all, and SAA will offer special rates to departing sportsmen. Something needs to be done soon, and I find it preposterous that the ‘we have no money’ excuse is so often used, especially when the SA government can manage to pay R1.8 million a month to a soccer coach who doesn’t even stay the course. Unfortunately, there is no short-term solution to this crisis in all sports across South Africa. This is the problem; as our politicians and administrators always look for the quickest solution where long term planning and consistency is key. Whether or not they can actually step up and do that is another question.
THE South African Tennis Union recently publicly expressed doubts that South Africa’s Davis Cup tie would be played at home in June and furthermore that they were considering dropping all home fixtures in the prestigious international tournament. The reasons for this, it seems, are many, though they have highlighted the cashstrapped position of the union as the main reason. It costs R600,000 to host a Davis Cup match at home, plus flights and accommodation for the opposing team. It is understandable that this would worry the union. What is disturbing, is the Chairperson of the SA Tennis Union, Johan Koorts, saying afterwards, almost as an aside, that South Africa had last won a home tie way back in 2001, therefore implying that it wasn’t really a problem. Subsequently, the decision has been made to go ahead and host the upcoming tie at home, though a long-term decision is yet to be made. Unfortunately, this fiasco has left little room in my mind for debate on the state of South African tennis and sports. Most recently, Kevin Anderson has been making headlines as the South African who beat Novak Djokovic, an exciting star to watch for in the future on the international scene. Reading this, one could imagine that everything is perky in SA, but dig a little deeper and you’ll uncover the truth. Anderson is one of a breed of lost sportsmen to SA. He was educated at St Stithians, showed an early promise for tennis and was touted as someone who could go far in the sport. Unfortunately, immediately after school he went to play in the USA where he could get proper coach-
WORLD Champion, Kimi Raikkonen, once again showed no emotion as he mounted the podium in Spain – the victor in the weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix. The victory extends his lead in the championship to 9 points over nearest rival Lewis Hamilton who placed third in the race after a disappointing showing in Bahrain last week. Raikkonen is now the eighth consecutive driver to win the race after starting from pole position, a status that still adds fuel to doubters of the sports excitement value. Whilst Raikkonen may have had an uneventful drive, as he was leading from the beginning, that was not the case for many of his colleagues who were unable to finish the race at all. Only 13 drivers finished the race after doubleWorld Champion Fernando Alonso pulled out with a blown engine and Mclarens Heikki Kovalainen crashed in what looked to be a serious incident. It emerged after the race that he had been taken to hospital as a precaution and the extent of his injuries were merely a bad concussion. First year sensation Hamilton has not had the start to the season that he was hoping for this year after last years final race loss of the
Photo courtesy of turkiyef1.com
Cold as ice
Fast and Furious - Raikkonen on his way to victory championship to Raikkonen. He was average last week in Bahrain and only now seems to have found his rhythm on the track after passing two drivers to finish third in Barcelona. The disappointing start to the season may yet come back to haunt him further down the line as Raikkonnen has a reputation for not giving away an inch without a fight, justifiably earning him the nick name, ‘Iceman’. If Formula One manages to recreate the rivalry and competition that was displayed last year, we may just be in for a one of the most exciting seasons yet.
No Intervarsity for 2008 RORY HOLMES
PLAYERS and fans of UCT and Stellenbosch will be disappointed to hear that the annual Intervarsity match between Stellenbosch and UCT will not take place this year. The match, traditionally involving heavy outside marketing and the busing of rival fans to the game resulting in capacity crowds, is a firm favourite amongst students and players alike. The match will particularly be missed after the closing-seconds loss to Maties in the final of the Varsity Cup earlier this term. Another game of that caliber in front of a capacity crowd was a mouth-watering prospect that both campuses were looking forward to. The unfortunate turn of events came about when Stellenbosch, traditional hosts of the Intervarsity match due to their superior facilities, refused to host an official Intervarsity this year. They claimed to not have the resources available to do so and called upon UCT to host the match. UCT decided that they would host the match but only if the UCT Rugby Club paid for the cost of hiring increased security, field barriers and extra seating. It was held that the UCT home ground, Groote Schuur, was not sufficient to accommodate the amount of students who would arrive to watch the game if it was marketed and held as the official Intervarsity clash. There are rumours that the demands placed upon the Rugby Club are a result of the Clubs financial windfall in the Varsity Cup where the team earned R350, 000 for placing second and topping the log in the group stages. VARSITY has it from reliable sources that this amount was sufficient only to pull the Rugby Club out of the red and it is therefore impossible to use the money for funding such costs. The Rugby club had an internal meeting yesterday to discuss the dilemma, unfortunately, at the time of going to print the results were unavailable. Whilst there will still be a game played against Stellenbosch at home on 9 May, it remains to be seen whether it will attract the crowds from both varsities after its loss of an Intervarsity status. Traditionally, matches against Maties have been better attended than other games, though never attract the atmosphere or spirit of the official Intervarsity matches, in which the
Photo Courtesy of Justin Andrews
The South African problem
Classic clash - Ikey’s won’t get a chance to avenge their Varsity Cup defeat losing captain presents the victorious one with a trophy and the winning fans earn bragging rights until the next year. What it comes down to is the lack of facilities at UCT, resulting in its inability to host a match of this size and importance on a home field. If we merely take a look at Varsities around the country, we can see just how far behind we are in terms of rugby facilities. Stellenbosch has the Danie Craven stadium which we are told can seat 17,000 people. The University of the Witswatersrand has the Bidvest-Wits stadium of similar capacity as does Tukkies. In actual fact, of the teams competing in the Varsity cup this year, UCT was the only one to not have a large, concrete-based stadium on their home ground. Disappointing for the side that topped the log. It therefore seems apparent that
UCT needs to loosen the purse strings a little and attempt to get some funding for a new rugby stadium. Whilst the Fitness Club has moved to a shiny new facilty, a heated swimming pool is being built and the Soccer Club has a Fifa approved field on the way, the Rugby Club will still be playing their games in front of a small crowd under inadequate lights. Disappointing for the guys that brought so much media attention to the Varsity. Whilst I acknowledge that obtaining funds will not be easy, I believe that it needs to be done, or UCT risks leaving themselves further behind other institutions in the country. This would be a waste of the publicity achieved by the Rugby Club in the Varsity Cup and a slap in the face for the team that brought so much glory to us.