Kiss-a-thon in Stellies page 2
What xenophobia means for UCT
29 July 2008 · Volume 67, Number 8 · 021 650 3543 · firstname.lastname@example.org
Alleged paedo- Deputy Registrar phile Prof skips condemns court country
Paul Ngobeni has defended Judge John Hlophe in a complaint against the Constitutional Court
Alessandro Rossi and Zerene Haddad
left South Africa, the matter has now passed onto the police and the issue of pressing charges lies A FORTNIGHT ago, SABC 3’s with them. Special Assignment aired ‘Finale Hall added that, ‘When this for a Paedophile’ in which they became a public issue, we immeexposed former UCT College diately spent time with staff and of Music Associate Professor, students in the College of Music to Graham Fitch. The episode leveled listen to their concerns and to proallegations against him of sexual vide them with as much informaabuse and preying on young street tion as we were able to do. I think children in Cape Town as well as that most people understand that being a drug addict. The inves- we do not tolerate sexual abuse tigation into the matter had been and do everything that we can to ongoing for over a year, but was prevent it.’ only made public recently. At UCT, the Discrimination In the wake of this controversy, and Harassment Office deals with Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Martin such allegations; it leads education Hall, spoke to VARSITY about the campaigns aimed at prevention fact that Graham Fitch remained and provides full counselling and an employee of UCT for such support for anyone who feels that a lengthy time period consider- they are a victim of sexual abuse. ing the gravity of the allegations: UCT has recently drawn up new ‘We were asked by the police to policies for sexual harassment keep the matter completely con- and sexual offences which were fidential, so that they could pur- agreed upon last year and passed sue their inquiries. We did not by Council in March. imagine that this condition would Earlier in June, the first epihold for more than a year and, if sode did not name Fitch as the the police had told us at the time offender, as charges had not been that they needed a year, we would pressed. However, his sudden not have agreed to this condition. departure from South Africa the Given the time that the police took week before the first episode was with this inquiry, I think that the aired, led to the follow up which University would in future ask for explicitly ousted him. Martin a clear and binding time limit to Hall, and SRC President, Thulani a confidentiality agreement with Madinginye, gave comments to the police.’ Special Assignment reporters. Fitch resigned from UCT Madinginye could not be reached before the University could hear for comment at the time of going charges against him. In light of to print. this, and the fact that Fitch has
Nabeelah Martin DEPUTY Registrar of UCT, Paul Ngobeni, has questioned the impartiality and legitimacy of the Constitutional Court. In a complaint laid with the Judicial Services Commission, Ngobeni accuses the Court of going against protocol when they issued a press release alleging that Judge John Hlophe had attempted to influence members of the bench. In the complaint, Ngobeni says: ‘In order for any ‘court’ to make pronouncement on or adjudicate the interests of the parties, all interested persons must be afforded constitutionally adequate due process. That opportunity was never afforded to Judge President Hlophe.’ Ngobeni also accuses the Court of prejudicing and pre-empting the result of JSC proceedings which are still pending. He says the press statement was, ‘clearly intended to provoke public condemnation of Judge Hlophe…’ According to Professor Pierre de Vos, the constitutional law lecturer at the University of the Western Cape, only the JSC is under an obligation to keep the examination of a judge confidential at least during the initial stage. Those who lay the complaint (the Constitutional Court) are not obliged to keep their complaints confidential. Ngobeni has also been involved in talks with Judge Willem Heath and Professor Sipho Seepe, in an
Paul Ngobeni - champion of Jacob Zuma and Judge John Hlophe apparent effort to get Jacob Zuma’s case struck off the role. Earlier this year, Ngobeni wrote an open letter to Arthur Chaskalson and George Bizos, in which he wrote: ‘Zuma is entitled to argue for a dismissal of his case under the doctrine of abuse of process.’ In the letter, Ngobeni castigates the National Prosecuting Authority, accusing them of, ‘gross abuse of our judicial system in a manner that has irreparably destroyed Zuma’s chance of getting a fair trial.’ He also denounces Lawrence Mushwana’s statement that the NPA had a prima facie case against Zuma, but they wouldn’t prosecute since the case was not winnable. He said this statement was ‘presumptively prejudicial,’ and that the NPA had unjustifiably delayed the case.
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Ngobeni’s statements have been the inspiration for Gwede Mantashe (Secretary General of the ANC). Mantashe has used Ngobeni’s line of thinking to declare that the Constitutional Court is using the Hlophe case as a, ‘psychological preparation of society,’ of a guilty verdict for Jacob Zuma. Ngobeni banned from practising in the US Ngobeni has been found guilty of misconduct in the US, and has been barred from practising in three States. He is facing charges of fraud, forgery and illegal practice in Connecticut. Ngobeni is not qualified to practice in South Africa.
Volume 67 Number 8
Photo by Andrew Noll
Photo by Justin Andrews
Shawco holiday project bigger and better
Holiday Project - American exchange students entertain the children during the winter holiday in Khayelitsha
Student Housing loses director Tatenda Goredema THE Director of Student Housing and Residence Life (SH&RL), Khotso Raphoto, is leaving his post to become director of Human Resources. The amicable Raphoto has been Director of SH&RL for fourteen months, and in that time has overseen the implementation of the residence restructuring programme, which was decided in 2005. In an interview with VARSITY, Raphoto stated that he was joining Human Resources because he was a Human Resources person by profession, but he said his leaving SH & RL would not negatively impact the Department. He also stated his belief that in his short tenure as director, the right managers had been placed in the right positions within the Department. The most important thing within SH&RL, was the management development plan that the Department had put together to better improve efficiency within the Department. Raphoto commented that ‘the mood within the Department was lighter and more jovial, and the
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Stellies SRC have organized a ‘Soen in n laan’- loosely translated to a ‘Kissathon’which will take place this Friday. They are hoping to have 4 000 people participate in the event. The aim of the Kissathon is to promote peace and love. In addition to this the SRC are also hoping to break the world record of having so many people kissing at the same time. They challenged other SRC’s to host similar events. It will take place at 1 o’clock, so get your groove on and head out to Stellies for some loving!
Department had improved its relations with students.’ Raphoto also touched on his visits to various residences and stated that he interacted with students as well as student leaders, and engaged their concerns. He went on to talk about the residence allocation system that was in place at UCT, which was the cause of many problems at the start of the year due to over allocation, and said that it was unlikely that that system would change. However, some Sub-Wardens within the residence system disagree with this and have voiced their concerns saying, ‘It’s always difficult when speaking to Student Housing. They don’t reply to emails, are very ‘passing the buck’ in their responses and always tell you to speak to someone else. They also don’t give answers that are substantial. i.e ‘for the meanwhile, that will not happen’ – which doesn’t answer anything.’ The restructuring programme proposed the idea that the positions of full-time warden become more developmental and decentralised in terms of positioning. This was
in order to further apply UCT policy to student life within residences and improve the running of residences at the University. Yet certain residences have felt neglected by SH&RL due to the fact that they have been without a warden for months. Although there is a Residence Facilities Officer (RFO) on hand during the day, on the weekends and at night the entire residence is manned by the Sub-Wardens alone. The Secretary General of the SRC, Thando Vilakazi thought that in his spell at SH&RL, Raphoto had ‘administratively done a good job’ despite the issues of the allocation and resnet problems. Vilakazi carried on to say that the systems of resnet and allocation in residences had to be addressed and prevented from happening again. The good news for residents who are unhappy about the catering service and plan to remain on next year is that Royal Sechaba’s contract expires at the end of the year and that tenders have been made for the service next year.
SRC member found guilty Zerene Haddad A MEMBER of the SRC has been found guilty by a UCT Student Tribunal of being in possession of a stolen laptop. VARSITY is unable to release their name as they are protected by the UCT Senate’s Consitution. The person in question told VARSITY, ‘I haven’t lost any position on the SRC. I was found guilty of possession only.’ They stated that they are only required to do community service. However, the right to appeal the decision made by the Tribunal is still an option available to the SRC member. Thando Vilakazi, the Secretary General of the SRC commented to VARSITY that, ‘We are not in a position at this early stage to make a full submission to students on the matter. The information of the outcome, as you know has just surfaced, and the full extent of its
implications has yet to become clear, even to us. The matter will be taken to a meeting of the full SRC as soon as possible acknowledging, all the while the seriousness of this issue and the need to inform our students on the ‘next step’ without further delay.’ At the time of going to print, the SRC had not had the opportunity to meet as a body to decide anything upon hearing this news on Friday. The hearing was held as part of an investigation after the member was arrested for being in possession of a stolen laptop last semester. They said that they had bought the laptop unaware it was stolen. On 1 April 2008, VARSITY quoted Moonira Khan, the head of the Department of Student Affairs, as saying that the ‘internal institutional investigation is underway and the matter has been reported to the UCT tribunal.’
Zerene Haddad THIS winter vacation saw SHAWCO’s 3rd annual Holiday Project taking place at UCT. It has been hailed as their largest and longest-running holiday project to date. Over 50 students from three American universities participated in the programme along with other South African SHAWCO volunteers. The programme is part of a ‘service learning’ initiative between the American universities and SHAWCO which allows the American students to receive academic credit, as it is recognised as part of their degree. This year, two new colleges participated in the project – William and Mary and Vanderbilt – in addition to Arcadia who returned for a second year. The structure of the programme combines a lecture series with actual tutoring in the townships and tourist activities on the weekends. This year’s focus was on IT training for adults and the normal educational programmes for the younger children that SHAWCO runs normally during the year. The students were accommodated in UCT’s Vacation Accommodation residences. Gershwin Scheepers, who was in charge of finance for the Holiday Project, told VARSITY, ‘it was my first time being involved in such a project. It was beautifully time consuming, but you also feel like you’ve done something. I’ve gained a lot of insight into how Americans perceive our culture and also how americanised South Africa is. It reinforced how much we are like them.’ This year SHAWCO expanded the project to include their tutoring projects in Kensington and Manenberg as opposed to only Khayelitsha, which had been the Photo courtesy of Communications Department
The Buzz is back - Jammie Plaza was packed once again last Thursday during meridian as students enjoyed their first tutorial-free week.
case in previous years. The course lasted for four weeks, with extra time included for trips to Kruger National Park and sight-seeing in Cape Town. Jon Hodgson, SHAWCO Chairperson, described the project as a way of, ‘internationalising SHAWCO’S activities and looking overseas for funding, to spread SHAWCO’s name and offer opportunities to foreigners to come and do what we do here on a daily basis.’ Continuing with this extension of the holiday project, there are plans to have Australian medical students come and work in the SHAWCO clinics at the end of the year on a similar venture. This is also in an attempt to have the SHAWCO clinics operational for 12 months of the year, rather than eight months. Justin Reid, a participant from William and Mary College, told VARSITY, ‘I work with 6th and 7th graders with similar backgrounds in the U.S. and things never go smoothly or as expected. With that in mind, I felt SHAWCO did an incredible job. No kids got hurt. When you can say that, I think the programme is a success. Our university definitely intends to continue our partnership with SHAWCO and UCT. I’ve travelled abroad several times, but I’ve never had an experience as meaningful as this one.’ Not without its share of mishaps, there was a small-scale fire in Fuller Hall where the American students were staying. Due to Fuller Hall being a national monument, incidents of this nature result in concerns arising between Student Housing and SHAWCO. However, no one was hurt and the fire was contained to one room after being put out by the UCT students who worked for the Vacation Office during the holiday period.
Waiting to ExhaleOur new Vice-Chancellor, Dr Max Price, will formally take up his post in August. In his letter in the Monday Paper last week he mentioned his plans for UCT, in particular his thoughts on transformation. VARSITY has yet to speak to Dr Price on student-related issues, until then, watch this space for further info.
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Volume 67 Number 8
THE prospect of students being able to afford text books at more reasonable prices than Atlas Books’, was more promising when entrepreneurial establishments such as Euro Books and Pimp my Book started selling secondhand books on campus. But then the UCT Deputy Registrar’s office had to remind us that, by the way, they had decided to sign an exclusive contract with Atlas, which means that Atlas is to have no competition regarding book sales on campus. For the ordinary student, this means that we have to keep buying books at very expensive prices because of this ‘exclusive contract’, which we took no part in signing; and as such, the owner of Atlas Books continues to enjoy the hegemony of making money out of us whilst being protected from competition. On the other hand, according to this ‘exclusive contract’, Atlas was meant to sell secondhand books to us at reasonable prices and have not done so, and this also constitutes a breach of the ‘exclusive contract’ on their part. We urge Atlas and the Registrar to stop interfering with other businesses that seek to make books
Welcome back fellow sufferers. Its always a problem when UCT goes on holiday. I find that most news takes place during the holidays. So just as we put away our pens, the xenophobic attacks took place. As such, the focus page is dedicated to UCT’s response to the attacks. It may be retrospective, but I feel that as time goes by, people inevitably lose the fire of protest against reprehensible actions. We become complacent and forgetful. Hopefully this edition will serve as a reminder that many refugees still face a gruelling existence. There is still a need for action and contribution by civil society.
more affordable to students, or should terminate the contract of Atlas for failing to provide affordable books for students. Under no circumstances should the select few make exclusive deals amongst themselves at the expense of students’ ability to afford good value-for-money for essential services such as book sales! This is for the sake of being upfront and crude about our student-centredness as progressive student leaders. We do not owe our self-proclaimed adversaries (DASO) who keep using dirty tricks to carry out rubbishing campaigns against us. Since they admire SASCO (and its UCT leadership) so much that they keep paying attention to us, we are charmed; but our role is to fight for better student services. Through our transformational advancements, we aim to see to it that every student (irrespective of socio-economic status, gender and race) could experience university life to their fullest potential. Tende Makofane SASCO-UCT Chairperson
Who are the real progressives? THERE is a rising militancy in UCT student governance that needs to be addressed, particularly with the SRC elections just around the corner. Whilst I am not specifically referring to incidents elsewhere, such as recent statements made by the ANC Youth League President that have essentially committed his organisation to a path of violence should Jacob Zuma be convicted of the charges he currently faces, or the arrests of three SASCO members, including their chairperson, at the University of Limpopo for the alleged murder of a student who refused to sing SASCO ‘struggle’ songs, it is nevertheless indicative of a disturbing trend in our political discourse. SASCO and the ANCYL, both affiliated with the ruling ANC, refuse to acknowledge a person’s basic freedom of political association and instead resort to tactics of intimidation and malice whenever threatened. An effective, functioning SRC is in the best interests of all UCT students; however, our opponents’ intolerance of political dissent and their obsession with pursuing personal vendettas have very often limited the ability of the SRC to deliver on its mandate. The SASCO chairperson, Tende Makofane, illustrated my point recently when he stated on Vula that the SRC President, Thulani Madinginye, and independent members of the SRC, are DASO sympathisers, and that according to SASCO, ‘they should be regarded as an offspring of the enemy…
our wrath should haunt them tirelessly.’ To me, this is not the language of a progressive political organisation that has a meaningful role to play in the new South Africa. Why is Mr Makofane so intent on labelling SASCO’s opponents as ‘the enemy’? We are not the enemy; we are simply offering the students a real alternative. We believe in an SRC that puts the students first, that focuses on real issues that affect UCT students every day. Student Governance should be about more than just the empty racial rhetoric that occupies much of our opponents’ time. As student leaders, we should instead be focused on ensuring that we remain relevant representatives of the students of UCT. This is the approach that DASO will take as the real 21st century progressives. The SRC election this semester is perhaps the most important event on the UCT calendar, for it will direct the course of student governance for the next year. My hope is that our opponents will see the counter-productive nature of their ways, and will steer far away from the militant, anti-progressive tactics that they have previously employed. Let’s make this an election about the people that really matter – the students. Chris Ryall Branch Leader; Democratic Alliance Students’ Organisation, UCT
Profit above all else DURING the Apartheid years, the UCT community was highly politically active, fostering the likes of Biko amidst a vocal student movement. Given the challenges facing Africa today, what new ideas for reform have the staff and students of UCT – the academic pinnacle of Africa – managed to formulate in the last 14 years of democracy? In 2007, we observed the flurry of indignant rebuttals (from respected university staff members) to Professor Benataar’s criticisms of BEE, which he expounded during a debate in that year. Contained in these rebuttals were allegations that the Professor was a racist, and that he may have used logic at some stage: no doubt an outrageous violation. More recently, in June 2008, it was decided by the High Court that Chinese South Africans are now ‘black’ in the technical sense. We are to understand that ‘black’ is to mean ‘previously disadvantaged’, and BEE reduces this to the uncontroversial policy of ‘previously-disadvantaged economic empowerment’. As a student, these ridiculous Orwellian mind games in the highest ranks of authority seem to be worthy of discussion: Let us see if Varsity, the voice of the UCT student body, can provide us with some insight, or perhaps a forum to better organise. Unfortunately, we are disappointed. Edition after edition we have a selection of iPod accessory reviews, fashion tips and the occasional spit-roast tutorial, squeezed between adverts. University newspapers, in particular UCT’s VARSITY newspaper, have historically been a platform for energetic and radical debate. Alas, Varsity is today more accurately described as a platform for profit. Indeed, the entire UCT institution is transforming into a platform for profit. Literally so: Observe the Thursday lunch marketing frenzy on
Jammie plaza; directly in front of the Mathematics building of all blasphemies! The point is that at UCT, particularly in the student body, despite a plethora of pressing issues on this bleeding continent, there is minimal debate or discussion. Of course not all students are apathetic, but the UCT student body as a whole is limp and disinterested. This is a group that consists of thousands of supposedly well-educated Africans. We should not be surprised though; the rising price of food, electricity and petrol has no real consequences for the average Business Science graduate – she has been stamped by UCT Commerce. She has the branding that says ‘This cog fits <here> (and is a good consumer)’. The rand value of subsistence is beyond her realm of interest because the human cost of poverty is beyond her realm of comprehension. And despite a multitude of self-proclaimed Marxists in our midst, the words ‘From each according to his abilities, to each according to his need’ has left the student psyche at UCT, to be replaced by ‘Profit above all else’. Where else will the minds en -route to power and wealth be engaged in meaningful discussion, if not at university? Jason Bertram VARSITY Responds: VARSITY does not run on a profit. All proceeds from advertising go towards printing costs. None of the members of the collective receive monetary compensation. VARSITY is distributed free of charge to students on campus.
Following the xenophobic attacks, it was Julius Malema’s turn to exhort people to kill for JZ. Zwelinzima Vavi quickly took up the chant, and the Human Rights Council’s response was pathetically tepid. At first they demanded an apology, but when Malema steadfastly refused to provide one, they backed down. They were satisfied when Malema subsequently said that all he meant was that he’d make the ‘ultimate sacrifice’ for Comrade JZ. Another worrying turn of events was when the Constitutional Court laid a complaint against Judge Hlophe, accusing him of trying to lobby two Judges on the bench. Hlophe allegedly told the judges that their political futures would benefit if they found JZ not guilty. Justices Bess Nkabinde and Chris Jaftha reluctantly added their voices to the Constitutional Court complaint against Hlophe. The clamour rose to a pulsing throb when Kgalema Mothlanthe and Gwede Mantashe, the incumbents of Jacob Zuma’s new order, accused the Court of not being impartial, and preparing the country for a guilty verdict. The Constitutional Court erred in releasing the details to the Media before they had laid a formal complaint. Yet Mantashe’s charge that the Court has already prejudged Zuma, and are laying the groundwork for a guilty verdict is disturbing. It directly questions the Court’s legitimacy, and institutional integrity. Mantashe’s statements are also guilty of the same charge he lays against the Court, in reverse. By questioning the Court’s ability to provide Zuma with a fair trial, he is preparing the country to reject a guilty verdict. Closer to home, SRC nominations close this Friday. If you’re tired of being represented and would like to participate in student governance, get your friends to nominate you. Then get them to vote as well. The SRC can hardly be said to be legitimately elected if only a small percentage of students vote. So when they get into office, they start on the backfoot. One thing that most students are guilty of is randomly making crosses on the ballot papers. At least read the manifestos before you vote. Maybe even attend interrogations (I know this is hopelessly optimistic of me to suggest). I don’t think anyone who has voted randomly deserves the right to criticise the SRC when they subsequently get elected. You have the power to put competent and willing people in office, so use your discretion. Enjoy the edition, Nabeelah
news gathering next newsgathering 31 July, during Meridian in LS2C
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 Jade Taylor Cooke arts & entertainment Lara Potgieter, humour Anton Taylor, sports Rory Holmes & Lindi Brownell finance & advertising team Philip Voget & Kimberly Urbaniak, marketing & brand manager Lauren Haller, 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, Laing Lourens, Megan Lyons, Bianca Meyjes, Rémy Ngamije, Alessandro Rossi external contributors Ben Steenhuisen, Alisa Davidson, Nicholas Duminy, Jonny Wilkinson, Thabiso Mhlanga tel 021 650 3543 fax 021 650 2904 email email@example.com location 5th Floor, Steve Biko Student Union Building, Upper Campus advertising email Phil Voget on firstname.lastname@example.org or fax him on 021 650 2904. Rates and other information available upon request.
disclaimer The Varsity Opinions section is a vehicle for expression on any topic by members of the University or other interested parties. The opinions within this section are not necessarily those of the Varsity Collective. The Opinions Editor reserves the right to edit or shorten letters. Letters should include the name and telephone number of the writer, and must be received by 5 pm on the Wednesday before publication. They should not exceed 350 words, and will not be published under a pseudonym, or anonymously.
WITH student elections around the corner, the Secretary General of the SRC, Thando Vilakazi, spoke to VARSITY, highlighting the importance of the SRC and its function within UCT. VARSITY: In your view, what is the SRC’s role in the university? Thando Vilakazi: The SRC is essentially the lead student governing body, ahead of societies and faculty and residence councils/committees. All of this feeds into the SRC, and its role at the University is of great importance in terms of representing the student body and looking out for student concerns. V: What were the highlights of the year for the SRC? TV: The most notable achievements that the SRC accomplished were the successes with handling the academic exclusions and readmission processes, the stand that the students took against racism and the signed petition earlier in the year amongst others. V: How did you manage to deal with the controversies surrounding certain SRC members, including the President? TV: I think that the SRC has done well in continuing its work after the incidents involving Karabo Mkhabela, the President, Thulani Madiginye, and another SRC member who has now subsequently lost his position on the council.
V: What challenges does the SRC face in its remaining months in office? TV: We will be dealing with the upcoming transformation month and new ways of tackling the broader transformative agenda. We’ll also be looking to rigorously reopen the academic timetable debate, which has been an issue of great concern over the past few semesters. The University fee-setting period is under way for next year and the SRC has stated its intent to uphold the student position in the process. The Entrepreneurship Forum is still being built up and work on that is ongoing. The Council is also currently involved, along with representatives from the Residence SubCouncil, in the tender process for the Residence Catering Contract for 2009-2011, improving the services, resources and space available to societies for their effective functioning and looking into the case of non-performing societies.
One of a kind eMarketing text book Zerene Haddad BUSINESS students will be pleased to know that a new free online marketing text book is now available to South Africans. Quirk eMarketing, the largest online marketing agency in Africa launched the book last week. The book has been compiled by the various department heads of Quirk and covers the twelve core tactics of online services. Rob Stokes, the CEO of Quirk is the driving force behind the book and has been lecturing at South African universities for the past nine years. It is the first marketing text book in South Africa of its kind: it subscribes to the Open Education Declaration and is licensed under Creative Commons, meaning that students
can legally distribute and alter the work in any way or form, provided attribution to Quirk is retained. A former UCT student, Tim Shier who is now the Marketing Manager at Quirk and a contributor to the book told VARSITY, ‘The book is a comprehensive summary of Quirk’s experiences within the South African online over a decade. UCT has been particularly good at assisting us and making sure that the book is relevant to their courses.’ It has been prescribed at UCT’s Graduate School of Business as well as the Marketing Departments eMarketing course. The book is available for download at www.quirk.biz/emarketingtextbook or at bookstores from 6 August 2008. Photo courtesy of wyd2008.org
Student governance in perspective Tatenda Goredema
SRC elections will be held in August and anyone wishing to run for election should forward their name for nomination by 1 August 2008. This year’s theme is ‘Building Democracy’. Dates to diarise: SRC Election Launch: 31 July Q&A Week: 11-15 August Election Week: 18-22 August
GIVEAWAY: One lucky student will receive a free hardcopy of the book which includes a R120 Google AdWords voucher. All you have to do is email your answer to the question below to email@example.com: ‘Which online eMarketing agency published the book?’
World Youth Day RevelrySpanish youth at the final Mass of WYD in Sydney, Australia celebrate upon hearing that the next WYD in 2011 will be held in Madrid, Spain. An estimated 500,000 people descended upon Sydney for the week-long event from 15 July-20 July. Over 700 Cardinals and Bishops attended as well as 125,000 international visitors. The Pope used this opportunity to once again apologise for the sexual abuse scandals that have plagued the Church recently.
We as the Student Representative Council of 2008 speak and act on behalf of the student body in order to create a holistic tertiary educational experience. Transformation is an essential element of what we strive to achieve. At the end of our term we will be judged on how effectively we have represented your changing needs, and how we have facilitated the evolution of our university. August is Transformation Month. We, in accordance with UCT's outlook on transformation, believe that it "should permeate the university, involve all members of the university community and underpin all activities." This extends beyond just a change in statistics, but more importantly a change in mindset.
What are we doing to transform UCT? In the academic sphere, we are pursuing a more effective solution to the troublesome academic timetable .The newly formed Enterprise Forum has partnered with SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise), and has thus established a UCT chapter with the largest entrepreneurial organization in the world. A sign up drive follows in the weeks ahead. We implore you to play an active role in your student career by communicating with your SRC through the Vula Forum or on Level 7 of the Steve Biko Building. Get involved with the planned events during Transformation Week, details to follow. Be the change you want to see in our university. Consider your role in student leadership, perhaps you should be running for SRC and student leadership 2009.
we aim to be a excellent, innovative and socially responsive student representative council
From the belly of the beast Tara Leverton IN THE space of two days, I had stepped on four discarded condoms on campus. Would it kill you people to find some other method of disposal? I confess myself at a loss as to how they even got there. I wasn’t walking in someone’s bedroom. I wasn’t even walking inside a building. Are these things being thrown from windows? Is it common practice now to walk until you find a spot on the pavement where a person would be most likely to put their foot, and drop it? Are that many people really having sex on the stairs? In this weather? But I’ll get you back. One more and I am going to trawl middle and upper campus, systematically collecting each semen-soaked one and taking it away with me. What will I do with yours when I find it? You will never know, but I hope the thought haunts your nightmares. Around this time of year, people begin to smell. This is partly
because it is too cold to shower, partly because it is too cold to wash clothing, and partly because even when you are freezing to death everywhere else, it is still possible for your armpits to sweat under a coat. This is exacerbated by the fact that everyone is using less water now to save money. A wise and venerable source recently informed me that white people smell like wet dog in the rain, and I have subsequently been bathing in bactine for three weeks. I have since been told that this was a cruel and callous lie, but the paranoia has remained. Around this time of year, the SRC election sticks out its nose, groundhog-like, to sniff the air. Its members are already attempting to shake the general apathy and ignorance off the student body, and I do not envy them the task. They were good enough to welcome us all back in posters with little hearts on them. And I note that Vavi recently apologised for saying that he was
prepared to kill another human being for the sake of a politician. It took him some time. Likewise, Julius Malema has promised never to say ‘kill’ again, although his recent ‘lead from prison’ speech suggest that Malema continues to slaver at the alter of the Church of Jacob with a fervour that begins to make flesh crawl. One can imagine him hiding outside Zuma’s bathroom window at night with binoculars, and stealing his underclothing from the line. Tutu blames the parents; the older generation of the ANC has been setting a bad example, and Malema, in his youthful enthusiasm is ‘trying to make himself look big and strong’. Am I the only one who would wear a dropped-condom necklace for the opportunity to watch the Archbishop take the ANCYL president over his knee and give him a good seeing to? Welcome back, boys and girls. Lots of work to be done.
Ticket of hope and change? SENATOR Barack Obama, the presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party’s Presidential Nomination, has been campaigning on a campaign ticket of hope and change; something that has been missing in US politics for the years that George Bush has occupied the Oval office. Senator Obama has promised that if he wins the election to the most powerful post in the free world, he will change things domestically within the US and abroad.
‘...in reality, withdrawing was a lot harder to do than preach’ These are bold and admirable statements, and in making them, Senator Obama follows in a long line of Democratic nominees for the Presidency who have preached about change, such as Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Jimmy Carter. The question that I have asked myself and that everyone should ask themselves, is whether or not any of Obama’s pronouncements are achievable or not. For example, it’s all good and well to want to withdraw from Iraq, , but is this an achievable and realistic goal considering the fragile balance of the Middle East, Iran and its continued threats against Israel? Would a with-
drawal be feasible considering the threat of increased insurgency in the region? There are a few parallels to be drawn between the current Iraq situation and the situation in Vietnam during Lyndon Johnson’s presidency. Then, too, people lost faith in the president, and many protests took place against the policies employed in Vietnam. Richard Nixon ran on a platform of change and proposed withdrawal, but in reality, withdrawing was a lot harder to do than to preach. Today, Senator Obama speaks of withdrawing as a man who is without the burden of responsibility and accountability that comes with being the leader of the free world; but will it all be possible if he takes office? Everyone has become so fed up with George Bush’s presidency and his poor decisions, that they are willing to look beyond reality and the system of bureaucracy that limits what a sitting US President can and can’t do in his/her term of office. A US President is beholden to Congress and sometimes his/ her desire to want to do something is limited by Congress and the always present threat of veto or filibuster. Another thing to remember when watching the build-up to these elections is that these days, politics in the US are dictated by polls, politicians react to what polls say, and formulate speeches and rhetoric around what their supporters want to hear. Professional pollsters are often employed as part of campaign teams, and some-
Photo courtesy of coxandforkum.com
Tatenda Goredema wonders if Obama will make good on his promise to withdraw from Iraq
IT CANNOT be denied that South African politics are going through an uncertain period. Dubious personalities seem to be on the rise, and the current theme amongst some of the more important actors is to blurt out whatever comes into their heads first. Julius Malema, the esteemed president of the African National Congress Youth League, set the tone when he remarked that he and his comrades were willing to kill for Jacob Zuma. As if that wasn’t enough, Malema then said that if Zuma was arrested, he would lead the country from his prison cell. In between these two ludicrous statements, he also managed to put across his desire for the ‘elimination’ of the Democratic Alliance. More recently, a columnist for the Sunday Sun, Jon Qwelane, wrote an intensely homophobic article in which he stated that he agreed with Robert Mugabe’s stance on gays and lesbians, and it takes very little imagination to work out what that policy is. Qwelane further demonstrated his stunted intellect when he said that if things carried on as they were, soon people would be able to marry goats. The lack of any sort of thought process is not the only characteristic that Qwelane and Malema have in common. More critically, they are both showing a blatant disregard for South Africa’s constitution. Has so much changed since Thabo Mbeki’s ‘I am an African’ speech at the inauguration of the constitution, that leading figures in the public domain now feel the need to attack one of the greatest sources of our nation’s pride? Are the days when we relaxed in the comfort of the protection and benefits granted to us by our constitution over? Many South Africans see the constitution as a refuge in these testing times. Not only because it ensures that the credibility of the nation is preserved, but also
Photos courtesy of photos.mg.co.za
Say something stupid
Blithering idiot - Even he can’t believe himself because it acts as a foundation for unity and equality in our diverse and divided country. The presence of homosexuals, and even the DA, in our society should be celebrated as a great achievement given where we have come from. With regards to Zuma, until he is proven guilty in a court of law, he must be presumed innocent. If he is shown to have broken the law, then the likes of Julius Malema should embrace the finding as a judicial victory that can only strengthen the republic. If Malema and friends insist on attacking the independent judiciary and our sovereign constitution, then even the greatest optimist will have trouble seeing hope. The attack of these institutions is the most obvious signal for the path that many other African states have chosen – the pursuit of personal gain in place of the broader good. If South Africa is to live up to its billing as a miracle nation and a leader in the African renaissance, then this is the toughest obstacle that our fledgling democracy will face.
Happiness is... Tara Leverton
light on the horizon - Will Barack Obama’s words translate into deeds? times a candidate will use rhetoric just to please a certain crowd. So take everything that’s said with a pinch of salt. The only question you would have while reading this, is why does this matter and why should I care? The answer is: What happens in the US has a knock-on effect on what happens in the rest of the world, as demonstrated by the current credit crunch and economic slowdown being experienced across the globe. The next White House administration could play a major role through its foreign policy to what happens right here in Africa.
THE world does not want you happy. The world wants to kick your teeth in. The world wants to shove you down a dark hole and make you stay there, pouring dead fish onto you hourly. The world hates your weasling little guts. But you can still screw a few drops of actual joy out of the world’s clenched, spike-lined rectal muscles. All you require is the need and the means. You have to be able to want something; you have to be able to get it. The lack of need is responsible for those aimless souls among us, who flutter like chip packets on the wind from course to course, never quite sure of what they’re looking for. The people who go into medicine because their dad wanted them to, and they couldn’t be bothered to argue with him. The people who find no satisfaction in doing anything, but feel uncomfortable doing nothing. The people who have always had everything they could need. Worse is the lack of means. This is everyone who wanted to attend varsity but couldn’t. Everyone who wanted to change the world, but didn’t know how, or failed, or found that the way they
wanted the world changed wasn’t the way everyone else wanted it. Contentment becomes impossible when either of these states of being continue for very long. To have a chance at being happy, one needs to move from a state of needing something, to having that need fulfilled, and right on to needing something else. Having at least the majority of these needs fulfilled promotes confidence; always needing something else keeps you innovated. Possibly this is why our SRC have encouraged us to establish ‘feasible goals’ for the semester ahead. This all dawns on me after not eating anything for twelve hours. I am so hungry I can smell bark. But I have, not ten feet away, a sandwich. It is a glorious sandwich. There is cheese on it. There is lettuce, and there are bits of peppered cracker nestled within. There is also a sauce that I have been unable to identify. I do not care if it is Extract of Botulism; I have my sandwich. And I am hungry. And, currently, I am very happy indeed. The world doesn’t want you to be happy. If you get the chance, seize it, dig your teeth into its leathery hide and don’t let it get away.
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RES REFUGEES UCT’S residences have had an unsettling start to the year due to the over-allocation of students for the number of available rooms. Students without accommodation are termed ‘transit students’ whilst they await vacancies. The Student Accommodation Office, commonly known as Student Housing, is responsible for the allocation of students into residences. Overallocation will be resolved when senior students opt to withdraw or are not eligible to remain in residence, thereby allowing new students to occupy these rooms. Many senior students returning to residence found that their rooms had been reallocated. Upon enquiring at Student Housing, they were told that they could not be accommodated in any of the first-tier residences and would have to make alternative living arrangements. Both senior students and freshers who are in this predicament have commented that Student Housing administrative staff has been rude and unhelpful on this sensitive issue. Secondyear student, Robyn Jacka, complained that despite having applied before the 2007 deadline and paying this year’s fees in full, Student Housing did not provide a reason as to why her name did not appear on the list. There are students from SADC countries who have received letters of acceptance into residences, but upon arrival had nowhere to stay. Residences have established temporary dormitories in the common rooms and study areas to deal with the overflow of transit students. This situation is not ideal for a prolonged period of time, as
transit students have very little privacy, no bathrooms or study areas. The transit students do not have direct contact with Student Housing. Instead, they have to rely on Sub-Wardens to relay any information. Graça Machel Residence reportedly has an estimated 30 students who they are unable to accommodate, as they have already reached their maximum capacity of 382 students. Liebe Calitz, the Sub-Warden in charge of Room Allocations at Graça Machel, said, ‘the situation is stressful, with students having their name on the list one day and off the next.’ In addition, half of the Graça House Committee (HC) do not have rooms allocated to them. They are on a waiting list, having organised and hosted their entire O-Week schedule, whilst squatting in their friends’ rooms. The Graça HC will have to disband and re-elect new members if there are no further withdrawals from the residence. The principal reason for this confusion is that the deadline for Summer Term fees is in dispute. According to UCT policy, in order to guarantee a place in residence, a student has to apply by the 2007 deadline, pay any outstanding amount on fees and be academically eligible to continue studying. Student Housing expects the fees to have been paid by 31 January 2008, whereas the Fees Office expects payment by the specified registration date for 2008 full year. If fees have not been paid by the end of January, Student Housing will have removed the student from their list. The Fees Office blames Student Housing and vice versa, whilst the Admissions
THE RAG Olympics took a dreadful turn on Thursday afternoon after a Smuts Hall student was seriously injured during the Stair Races event. The contestant, whose name is being withheld, was taken to Vincent Pallotti Hospital within an hour of the incident. Je was in a stable condition at time of going to print. After plunging down Jammie
SAXXY SEllERS - UCT students making hearts skip in morning traffic Coordinator Portfolio, told VARSITY that he was trying to find off-campus accommodation for the transit students. Thando Vilakazi is the SRC Representative in charge of liaising with Student Housing. When asked to comment on the situation, he replied, ‘I would have to clear any statement with a lot of people.’ When asked about his personal dealings with Student Housing, he said he found them to be ‘fantastic’. Mr Raphoto, the Director of Student Housing told VARSITY
3 March 2008 · Volume 67, Number 2 · 021 650 3543 · firstname.lastname@example.org
Office takes no responsibility. Many students embroiled in this situation do not know where they stand with UCT. Third-year student, Tina Swigelaar, said, ‘I thought Summer Term was part of the 2008 year and therefore fees were only due in February. But when I wasn’t on the list for res, I went to enquire at Student Housing and they said I had to pay my outstanding amount, which I did immediately and then they gave me back my room in Fuller.’ Siliziwe Mbulelo Ncanywa of the SRC, who holds the Resident
UCT beats Tuks in Varsity Cup
stair races scare
19 February 2008 · Volume 67, Number 1 · 021 650 3543 · email@example.com
UFS race controversy
Med Campus and Hiddingh
that they had allowed for 160 transit places and at the moment only 12 students remain in transit. He added that Student Housing will assist students in finding off campus accommodation. The Wardens of UCT residences have no control over the number of students sent to them. They simply try and make the transit students as comfortable as possible. In the meantime transit students have to continue waiting in the hope that accommodation will become available.
Housing head resigns Zerene Haddad UCT’s Head of Student Housing, Hilda Andrews, handed in her resignation last week without an explanation. When VARSITY requested an interview, she responded by saying ‘you should be careful not to exceptionalise my resignation.’ Andrews said she would consider granting an interview, but has since failed to contact VARSITY. This resignation comes at a highly pressurised time for Student Housing. Student housing has received substantial media attention regarding the over-allocation of students to residences. VARSITY tried to establish whether the media controversy led to Andrews’ resignation. A member within the UCT residence structure said: ‘Nobody realises the pressure she’s working under. Although she is a manager, Hilda has to answer to other people. She gets told to over-allocate, it’s not her decision.’ The Director of Student Housing and Residence Life, Khotso Raphoto, confirmed Andrews’ resignation. He said, ‘It
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is her own private matter. It is important to note that the university has a 10% annual staff turnover and therefore this resignation, together with other resignations in Student Housing and Residence Life should be seen in this context.’ A Residence Facilities Officer told VARSITY that Ms Andrews ‘always treated me with respect. She was helpful with placing my students and I’ve never had words with her.’ However, a Residence Sub-Warden who preferred to remain anonymous said, ‘she was always rude to me.’ Yet another Sub-Warden, reported to have had an argument with Andrews deferred comment saying: ‘It’s not professional, as I am a UCT employee. Nothing constructive can be gained from my comment as Ms Andrews has already resigned.’ Despite several attempts, Student Housing failed to respond to VARSITY’s requests for an interview. The situation regarding the plight of transit students has been defused. Most have been assigned to self-catering residences.
steps in the four-person relay, the student rolled over onto the plaza and lay still. Organisers took several seconds to realise that he was hurt, and a small crowd of his teammates and RAG committee members quickly gathered. A paramedic on standby immediately put him on an IV drip and oxygen. Reliable sources told VARSITY that the team had been drinking prior to the races.
THE future of Clarinus Village is currently being negotiated between UCT and the Province. Formerly a nursing-home, Clarinus became a UCT residence nearly 20 years ago as part of a lease agreement with Groote Schuur Hospital/Province. The lease is due to expire before next year potentially leaving more than 600 students who live there homeless. As of yet, there is no definite say on whether the lease is able to be renewed or not. Linus Naik, a Clarendon House Senior Sub-Warden, admits that Student Housing has been vague regarding the details on this matter. No further information has been given, apart from informing them last year that the lease was due to expire in October 2008. With no apparent effort having been made to provide alternative accommodation, he is only left hoping that the lease had somehow been sorted out. Khotso Raphoto, the Director of Student Housing and Residence
Life, told VARSITY that our queries were being forwarded on to Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Nhlapo ‘for a comprehensive executive response, as the lease agreements are an executive delegation.’
‘the VC is leading the search for a solution personally’ The Deputy Vice-Chancellor commented that, ‘Over the last weeks it has become clear that the Student Housing perspective on this matter is considerably less important than the legal history between the Province and UCT.’ He said the situation is being viewed so seriously that ‘the VC is leading the search for a solution personally’. Nhlapo confirmed that meetings were being set up at the highest levels with
Varsity, the official student newspaper since 1942, is committed to the principles of equality and democracy
VARSITY newspaper is the offical student newspaper at UCT. Due to our monopoly on the written word at UCT, we have captured the entire literate market, and hold them in thrall. So if you’d like to get your message across to the student populace, VARSITY is the perfect platform. If you are looking for expe-
Stripper’s cinematic masterpiece
Ikeys fly high page 12
3 March 2008 · Volume 67, Number 2 · 021 650 3543 · firstname.lastname@example.org
RAG does not supply alcohol and each participant signs an indemnity form before the races. When asked if anything like this had happened before, Sarah Enticott, a member of the RAG Olympic committee, said, ‘...broken fingers, but nothing major. Nothing like this.’ Continued on Page 2...
the Province to secure a long term continuance of the leases. A resident Medicine student Martin Verheij, expressed his concerns to VARSITY, ‘With a current shortage in residence space already and with all the students in transit, it would be irresponsible on the part of UCT as a whole and a severe lack of foresight not to ensure accommodation for their students in advance.’ The name Clarinus Village comes from the two residences next to each other, Clarendon and Carinus, for males and females respectively. The majority of the students in Clarinus are medical students. It is situated close to Medical Campus and Groote Schuur hospital, and provides convenient accommodation for Health Science students. The loss of this residence would create a huge gap in the housing system, which is already under strain due to the high demand for placement in residence.
THE 83rd UCT RAG Float Parade took place on Saturday. This year the theme was Homegrown Heroes/Proudly South African. Smuts and Fuller took first place using the investigative crimefighting unit, the Scorpions, as inspiration for their float’s theme. Varietas came second place with their braai-themed float, followed by College House whose creation was influenced by the cartoon strip, Madam and Eve. The parade is a vibrant event, and always leaves the Cape Town Central Business District full of life. The event is highly anticipated and attracts families for a day out. This is RAG’s longestrunning event, and has become a Cape Town tradition. However, there is a fair amount of organising involved. Friday was float-building night, where Goodhope FM broadcasted live from the UCT Tennis Club. Twelve floats were built comprising of ten residences, the RAG and the Engineering Faculty float. The floats parade is headlined by Pick ‘n Pay, as it has been for many years. Goodhope FM was at the parade along with the SACS Marching Band, lending their support. Floats Project Manager, Jonathan Cotton, commented during the preparation week that, ‘it’s going to be fantastic!’ Floats are made using reams of coloured plastic, which are fed through wire mesh, resulting in
ODWA STEMELA AnD JULIE ATMORE LAST Monday Grade 12 learners at Sinethemba Secondary School in Phillipi protested over the absence of competent Economics teachers. According to the learners, there had not been an adequate teacher since the beginning of the year. They made several attempts to discuss the matter with their principal, Mr Poopedi, but they felt that they ‘were not taken seriously.’ Whilst protesting, the Grade 12s emptied garbage bins on the school grounds, smashed classroom windows and wrote encouraging slogans such as, ‘Go ahead, strive for what you believe is right, comrades!’ All learners were sent home early after classes were disrupted. Although other grades were affected by the strike, the learners believed that the disruption of classes was the only way to be heard. Sinethemba Secondary School is affiliated with UCT through the Media School and Township
More parking for students on the way aleSSaNdro roSSi
Photos courtesy of Justin Andrews
‘Taxi-shuttles’ replace Jammies nIcOLE JOnkLASS ON 31 March, the Amalgamated Transport Services (ATS) is scheduled to start operating a shuttle service for UCT students and staff between the Claremont and Mowbray taxi interchanges and the Jammie shuttle terminus on Lower Campus. This free service will make use of 15-seater minibus taxis. The terms and conditions under which the service will be operated are outlined in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in November 2007 by UCT and the various taxi associations forming part of the ATS. The MOU was agreed upon after a period of negotiation, facilitated by the Claremont Improvement District Company between UCT and the ATS. This was prompted by a dispute, which questioned whether Jammie Shuttle was allowed to operate along the ClaremontTugwell-Mowbray route in accordance with the terms stipulated by its operating licence. The ATS are contracted to
operate the shuttle service weekdays from 6 am to 9 am for a twoyear trial period during term times only. The service is designed as a ‘peak lopping’ service aimed at satisfying the increased demand
‘aimed at satisfying the increased demand for oncampus transport’ for on-campus transport. During the operating times, Jammie shuttles currently operating on the Claremont-Tugwell-Mowbray route will be deployed to other routes on campus. These Jammie Shuttles will resume operations along their Claremont route outside of the 6am to 9am timeslot. In an article written by Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Martin Hall, which appeared in the Cape Argus, he states that ‘because use
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rience in a professional media environment, which is fun and ‘quirky’, send an application to email@example.com Attach a letter of motivation, a brief CV, with a brief portfolio piece of writting you have done before (not compulsory). Along with anything else that might help us get to know you.
South African sports colour bar
FLOATIng AWAy - (top left) Charles Bradshaw proudly waves the South African flag; (top right) Kopano’s rocket was a tribute to Mark Shuttleworth; (bottom right), the EBE Faculty float of the Protea; (bottom left), third-place winners College House, with their Madam and Eve float
Debating League. When the tutors went out to Sinethemba on Monday and Tuesday, there were no students on the property. VARSITY contacted Mr Poopedi, who said, ‘The teachers were hired on contract. Since they are government contracts, they weren’t renewed.’ He assured VARSITY that the situation had been resolved as of Wednesday afternoon. ‘Permission had been given to us to hire new teachers. They are currently in class teaching,’ stated Mr Poopedi. Grade 12 learner, Thobekani Lose, commented that, ‘the school system was not being fair to us, as there are not even bursaries for the Economics students.’ Bursaries are offered to learners studying Science, but no financial aid is granted to learners studying Business as of yet. Incidents of this nature do not receive sufficient media coverage. Instead, this is dismissed and learners at schools, such as Sinethemba, are left disadvantaged with no concern being shown in the final years of their education.
Coke Fest brings rock’s best
of the existing Jammie Shuttle is expanding rapidly… the present fleet of buses operated by Sibanye is inadequate.’ He adds that instead of the University acquiring more busses, UCT management has opted to enter into a partnership with the ATS. It is also hoped that the service will ease traffic congestion in Claremont and surrounding areas. In an interview with VARSITY, John Critien, Director of Properties and Services at UCT, said that in the negotiations leading up to the MOU ‘stress was placed on safety of commuters and quality of service’. The ATS are subject to the same penalties for noncompliance with the service level agreement that apply to Sibanye. ‘Every vehicle that is to be used for the service by ATS is subject to inspection and if it does not meet with our standards, it will not be used,’ says Critien. He adds that ‘the vehicles must conform to the new taxi recap specifications and be in good order’. Continued on page 2...
IT HAS been confirmed that the New Science Lecture Theatre (NSLT) will finally be demolished to make way for a three-story parking bay, say university officials. ‘Demolishment has been in the pipeline since 2005,’ says Neville Brown, Senior Manager of UCT’s Traffic and Congestion Department. ‘With the increase in the number of students at UCT, the current parking bays just aren’t sufficing,’ he says. ‘We have considered other options, but we eventually decided that the demolition of the NSLT would be the most feasible.’ His reasons are three-fold, he explained: The NSLT is one of the most under-utilised lecture venues on Upper Campus, and it is close enough to University Avenue to allow vehicles to enter and exit the parking bay with minimised disturbance to surrounding lecture venues. Most importantly, the problem of a lack of parking for undergraduates will be solved. The parkade is to be exclusively for undergraduates, freeing up other parking areas on campus for visitors, postgrads, lecturers etc. The parking bay, which has aptly been coined the NTLP (New Third Level Parking) will boast 1,500 parking bays and should be completed by 2010, says the Senior Manager of Traffic and Congestion. ‘Students will feel the punch,’ he says, ‘Construction will start in April this year and will only cease during exam times, which have already been, on our request, majorly condensed in order to maximise our construction time.’ Preliminary building has commenced on the Physics Building. The facade is going to be re-done in a mosaic, depicting the solar system. This is in order to show UCT’s commitment to diversity and the quest for knowledge. It also contributes to the ‘Brightening Up Campus Initiative’ which was launched last week in a private ceremony. Once the mosaic is unveiled at the end of the year, there will be an inauagural service involving students. Neville Brown warns that many lectures may be temporarily forced into Meridian, in order to ease the shortage of venues. He further counsels that food vendors near the construction site, including McHarry’s, Souper Sandwich and Rainbow Chicken, may have to be shifted to other campuses until about 2012.
A MEMBER of the SRC was arrested for being in possession of a stolen laptop. He cannot be named as he has not yet pleaded. The laptop was stolen from a room in Liesbeeck Gardens Residence. The SRC member was arrested on Saturday evening, and detained until Tuesday morning. He was then transferred to Wynberg Magistrate’s Court, where he was released on a warning. He is scheduled to appear in court on 5 May. VARSITY spoke to the arresting officer, who said that, pending investigation, the charges could be upgraded to theft. The police took fingerprints from the room once the case had been reported. The SRC member maintains that he had bought the laptop unaware that it was stolen. When VARSITY requested an interview, he refused, saying that, ‘the matter is still under investigation.’ The
question remains: who sold the laptop to the SRC member. Moonira Khan, the head of the Department of Student Affairs, says that the SRC Constitution makes provision for disciplinary procedures if a member has been found guilty of a criminal offence. Membership of the SRC can be terminated if the member brings the SRC into disrepute by being found guilty of a serious offence. Khan says: ‘An internal institutional investigation is underway and the matter has been reported to the UCT Student Tribunal. As is the case with any formal investigation, the due process must be allowed to take place unhindered, and the rights of the individual must be respected in terms of legal provisions of ‘innocent until proven guilty.’’ ‘In the interim, (the member) has the right to continue to fulfill his academic and SRC obligations until such time that the investigation is concluded and the out-
come known. Consequently, decisions regarding (the member’s) tenure as SRC member will then be reviewed and appropriatelyinformed decisions will be taken as necessary.’ The SRC released a statement which said: ‘The SAPS and Campus Protection Services are currently conducting independent investigations on the matter. The SRC is of the belief that it will also be important for all concerned to await the decisions of the judiciary process that is unfolding, with the understanding that it is the outcome of this that will determine (the member’s) status within the SRC and the University. ‘The work of the SRC will however not be interrupted by this incident and measures will be put in place to ensure that we continue to do justice to our mandate which is to effectively represent the students of UCT.’
from the residences they were based at, to the main offices of the Department for Student Housing and Residence Life. This is in order to develop student life within residences and to become more focused on all student housing facilities. The selection process has already begun, with candidates for the posts of Warden being shortlisted as of last week for those residences which need to choose new wardens. The candidates will go through a series of interviews with members of Student Housing as well as an ‘interrogation’ session, in which the students of the residence question the candidate. In the past, the students have used these sessions to determine whether the candidate is suited to
the residence and have then made their choice of Warden based on the outcome. The decision of who will be Warden is a joint decision which should take into account the preferences of both students and Student Housing. However, sources told VARSITY that some residences were not present at the shortlisting consultation which has left students wary of how the rest of the selection will proceed. Mr Raphoto also stated that the residence wardens, who are leaving their residences, as is the case at Fuller Hall and Leo Marquard, are leaving for personal reasons and not as a result of restructuring, as was rumoured. The positions of part-time wardens will remain the same.
Residence wardens restructured tateNda GoredeMa
bye-bye NSlt - UCT’s much loved NSLT building will no longer be a feature on campus once the triple storey parkade is complete ‘Medical Campus has made it clear that they want the ‘Chinese Shop’ and we intend on giving it to them,’ he says. Neville anticipates some negative response from staff and students alike, but says negotiations with University Management are complete; the decision is final, and no further correspondence will be entered into.
RESIDENCE life at UCT is undergoing changes, with the restructuring of the full-time Warden position at UCT. The Director of Student Housing, Mr Khotso Raphoto, spoke to VARSITY explaining that, ‘the original idea of restructuring the full time Warden’s position was proposed in 2005, and was initiated in order to better the implementation of developing student life and to ensure that the residences at UCT were being effectively and efficiently managed in line with the policy of the Department for Student Housing and Residence Life.’ The restructuring entails moving the four full-time wardens
out of thiS world - This is the final design which will be set into the side of the R.W James physics building.
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Future of Zim economy
15 April 2008 · Volume 67, Number 5 · 021 650 3543 · firstname.lastname@example.org
50 Cent giveaway
Ready to Rumble- the Ikeys and Maties line up with Francois Pienaar and officials to sing the National Anthem before the Varsity Cup Final last Monday.
ANCYL slams SRC saga continues SHAWCO Hallie HalleR
ZeRene Haddad LAST WEEK, a controversial statement was issued under the ANC Youth League’s emblem and posted up all around campus including residences. It claimed to be in commemoration of Chris Hani on the 15th anniversary of his death. The statement openly attacks SHAWCO and UCT as having a ‘liberal character’ and using ‘the same funds that make it to its coffers to bankroll the liberal reactionary’s’ (sic). In addition, it states, ‘We are aware of organisations like SHAWCO, whom give our people fish and do not teach then how to fish...’ (sic) It concludes with a claim that, ‘we will convince, mobilise and act against the reactionary forces of this time. Which also include immobilised, reactionary and liberal black Africans… and many whites.’ When asked for comment, Jon Hodgson, Chairperson of SHAWCO told VARSITY, ‘We are not going to respond to this until we know exactly who wrote it.’ The statement is ‘signed off’ by Mosa Setlaba, a member of the Executive Committee of the UCT ANCYL. However, she denies being involved in the issuing of the statement. The statement was written by Nqabayethu Malghas (Head of Political Education), Luyolo Ngcuka (Head Internal Affairs) and Thami Hlatswayo (Deputy Chairperson). Malghas told VARSITY that ‘we needed to put somebody’s contact details on the statement,
so we just used hers (Setlaba).’ He later said: ‘She deals with the administration and people who want to get hold of us. Its constitutionally enshrined, it’s not a deployment by the executive.’ Setlaba is a member of SHAWCO, which exacerbates the fact that her name was wrongfully used in the statement. Malghas indicated that the ANCYL wanted to bring the debate into the public forum. He invited SHAWCO to respond to the ANCYL statement. Campus Protection Services were instructed to take down the posters. Many students are outraged by the statement. Trish Moeketsi of RAG said, ‘As a development agency, RAG like SHAWCO, seeks to develop the future leaders of the country. We were shocked and disappointed with the ANCYL’s disparaging remarks about other commendable organisations.’ Nicholus Tende Makofane, the Chairperson of SASCO at UCT, said (in his personal capacity): ‘With regard to community outreach, what we should be doing is to unite our efforts, instead of making comments which serve to condescend to others. SHAWCO aims to make a positive impact on society.’ Elvis Sekhaolelo, Deputy Chairperson of the Black Management Forum said, ‘We had no idea about this. We’re alerting the provincial and national authorities of BMF as they should know about it, since our name was used without consent.’ Garreth Bloor, Media Communications person for DASO commented, ‘It’s clear that this wasn’t thought out properly.’
TWO SRC members are currently under investigation on two separate incidents regarding laptops: The first involves the SRC President, Thulani Mandinginye, who reported an SRC laptop missing whilst it was in his care earlier in the year. The second involves a member, that cannot be named, who was arrested two weeks ago, after being found in possession of a stolen laptop.
Mandinginye is currently being investigated on charges of negligence and abuse of UCT property. In an official statement, the SRC President claims to have travelled to Johannesburg with an SRCowned laptop for use pertaining to SRC-related duties during the November-February vacation
period. Mandinginye said that he reported the missing laptop to Jerome September from the Department of Student Affairs immediately. However, Mandinginye did not alert Gideon Moyo, the SRC member responsible for the council’s property, which is required by the SRC constitution. In the Student Assembly, Moyo said, ‘I did not know the laptop had been taken.’ Mandinginye obtained authorisation to take the laptop from Jerome September. He says that it was stolen after being placed in his luggage which went into the hold of the airplane. The second SRC member awaits trial after being arrested. The member was found in possession of a laptop, allegedly stolen from Liesbeek Gardens residence.
SAPS, Campus Protection Services and UCT Student Tribunal investigations are thus far inconclusive. Nevertheless, the SAPS arresting officer did clarify that charges against the SRC member could be upgraded to theft, pending the investigation. The SRC member has not yet confirmed how he will plead, and awaits trial on 5 May. SRC Secretary General, Thando Vilikazi, did not comment on the measures that the SRC would take, should either of these SRC members be found guilty. The SRC Constitution allows for disciplinary measures and/or dismissal, should an SRC member be found to have committed a criminal offence. At this point of the academic year, however, the constitution does not allow for the SRC to appoint new members.
Spit roast complaints
No Intervarsity 2008
30 April 2008 · Volume 67, Number 6 · 021 650 3543 · email@example.com
SRC President found guilty of negligence PhiliPPa leveNbeRg
You need to be available on the relative dates for an interview. The posts are not monetarily compensated, as we are a development agency.
Design and Layout editor
Political Parties profiled
NSLT to be SrC member arrested demolished
hours of work having to be put in. For some residences this is compulsory, whereas in others it is merely encouraged. Kopano head student, Dulan Simons, emphasises that the floats are always a big event on their calendar and never expects his residence to miss out on participating. Simons praises the event and believes that ‘seeing children’s faces light up at the sight of a colourful float with hoards of mad people around it, will make anyone who doubts the credibility and purpose of this event, think twice about uttering another negative comment.’ All proceeds raised from the street collection, which took place on the day, will go towards RAG’s goal of raising R1.5m for their beneficiary, SHAWCO.
Phillipi Grade 12 learners strike
Sexuality: A fashion statement?
1 April 2008 · Volume 67, Number 4 · 021 650 3543 · firstname.lastname@example.org
RAg Float frenzy
Lease loss looming Laing Lourens
A failure to communicate
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
An Engineer’s Guide to SEX
Photos courtesy of Justin Andrews
Up the Creek Music Festival
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
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.
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.
[Applications close 20 August, interviews to be held on 22 August]
The Ops Manager is required to maintain the VARSITY office and help keep it running smoothly. He/she is also responsible for liaising with the VARSITY printers.
Ad Managers are needed to source advertising, which provides the majority of the funding needed to keep VARSITY running.
The Marketing Manager is responsible for running and managing the VARSITY brand on campus and letting the general population of UCT know what VARSITY is about.
The IT Manager is responsible for making sure the computers, software and file servers are kept in a running state in the VARSITY office.
[Applications close 28 August, interviews to be held 30 August]
We are looking for permanent writing staff who would be available to write a minimum of one piece per edition. Writing experience is a plus; enthusiasm is essential. Any one from first years to triple PhDs can apply. If you feel you want to write for a certain section please indicate that, as senior writers positions are available.
Subbing staff are responsible for fact-checking the paper. They ensure that there are no grammatical errors and that stylistic integrity is mantained. Past experience is not required. However, an interest in the English language and attention to detail are musts. We will be prepared to train you in this discipline.
Volume 66 Number 8
FOREIGN INTOLERANCE AT UCT
Snubbing Xenophobia Taxi terror Seamus Duggan JEAN Sabwa is a citizen of the Democratic Republic of Congo and until recently had been living in Philippi-East with his wife and three children. While his name may not have any relevance to much of UCT’s community, many will recognise his face if they saw it. Jean is a master’s student in the Department of Statistical Science and often invigilates undergraduate stats tests. He is currently living in Fuller Hall on Upper Campus, with his family, after they were chased from their home in Philippi. From Monday to Thursday, Jean had been working on campus and had seen very little of his family. On Thursday afternoon, amid a cloud of rumours that the xenophobic attacks that had been plaguing South Africa were about to hit Cape Town, Jean went back to be with them. During the night, he received warning calls from friends, cautioning that the attacks had started in Dunoon and advising him to find somewhere safe until the danger had passed. However, with a limited cash flow and a young family to take care of, there were
not many options available, so Jean decided to stay at his house until the morning. When morning came, so did the police, who informed the Sabwa family that they had to leave, as the area was no longer safe for them. They were all taken to a police station along with another 800 other foreigners. Jean was instructed to go back to his house with police officers to fetch clothes for himself, his wife and his children. On his return to the station, he realised that the conditions were dangerous for his children, most notably his 3-month-old baby who, at such a young age was the most susceptible to disease amid the poor conditions. Nevertheless, Jean was once more constricted of any alternative options and had to stay, regardless of the environment. During the first night at the station, Jean received a call from his neighbour informing him that his house and been broken into. Due to the level of antagonism in the area, neither he nor the police were able to return to the house in order to assess the damage. Shortly after this low point, the Sabwa’s were finally given a ledge to stand on when Jean recognised one of the volunteers
as the son of his thesis supervisor. The man was stunned to see a familiar face in the crowd and immediately organised for Jean to go home with him, the rest of the family followed along the next day. Despite Jean humbly asserting that his host need not worry anybody about what was happening, the shocked man informed his father, Jean’s supervisor, of the situation. Professor Stewart spread the word at the university and Jean and his family were moved into Fuller Hall. The attacks have left Jean angry, but with a remarkable calmness he asserts that he will not make any decisions about his future while he is in this state. Instead, Jean plans to finish his masters and then decide whether he will stay in South Africa or go back to the DRC to apply the skills he has learned where they are most needed. It is an attitude that puts the perpetrators to shame. Even in the face of the ignorance and hatred that embarrassed the nation, Jean remains buoyant. ‘Every time I meet a new person it is like my arm is growing longer,’ he states cheerfully ‘our strength is in our diversity.’
Nicole Jonklass talks to Martin Hall about UCT’s actions following the xenophobic attacks Nicole Jonklass BEFORE and during the time of UCT’s June examinations last semester, various UCT staff and students assisted refugees and immigrants who had been displaced by the wave of xenophobic violence that affected the country, forming part of the University’s ‘first response’ to the crisis. UCT’s response Xenophobic violence first erupted in Cape Town on Thursday, 22 May, in Dunoon, Milnerton. The next day, former Vice-Chancellor Professor Njabulo S. Ndebele established a Crisis Response Task Team and appointed Deputy ViceChancellors Professors Martin Hall and Thandabantu Nhlapo as its convenors. The Task Team held an open meeting the following Monday attended by approximately 200 people from the UCT Community. A report signed by the two DVCs titled ‘UCT’s ‘First Response’ to the current crisis’ states that the University was involved in three areas of support. According to the First Response report, these were ‘providing supplies, assisting with support for refugees at holding sites [including legal support], and providing health support’. The report states that the Task Team worked with SHAWCO ‘as the main UCT agency for coordinating direct support’. As one of its key interventions, SHAWCO set up collection points at its offic-
es and at residences, calling on UCT students and staff to donate non-perishable foodstuffs, baby supplies and clothing, which were distributed amongst displaced refugees. The UCT Law Clinic provided legal assistance to hundreds of refugees and cooperated with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and its Senior Protection Officer, Mr Arvin Gupta, who visited Cape Town. It also intervened in some cases where refugees’ rights were not being upheld at shelters. According to the First Response report, SHAWCO Health provided medical assistance to refugees. Students from the Medical Science Faculty were invited to volunteer in SHAWCO Health clinics. The report also states that Social Work and Psychology staff and students assisted with counselling and trauma management for refugees, which was coordinated through SHAWCO Health and Health Sciences. One of the University’s very first responses to the crisis was to make Jammie Shuttle busses available in the weekend following the first Cape Town attacks to transport refugees to places of safety. In an interview with VARSITY, DVC Prof Hall said, over 2,000 refugees were transported from places such as the Rondebosch Police Station and the Rondebosch United Church that weekend. He added that the University ‘provided more than 200 mattresses out of the residence system, mostly ... to places
of safety in the Rondebosch area’. In June, the Crisis Response Task Team asked members of the UCT community, including all those attending the graduation ceremony on 13 June, to wear a white ribbon around their wrists as a form of ‘visible solidarity’ with the victims of xenophobia and violence. Hall said that he was happy with how the Crisis Response Task Team responded to the crisis. ‘There was often quite a lot of disagreement about appropriate strategies,’ said Hall, ‘but that was really all in the spirit of trying to find the best way of intervention.’ He said that although the Crisis Response Task Team was no longer active, ‘certainly SHAWCO and Health students and definitely the [Law] Clinic have continued to be active’. How was the UCT community affected? According to Hall, the University ‘tried to find out, and ... would continue to try to find out, if any of our staff or students were directly affected’ by the xenophobic violence. He stated that as far as he knew, the University assisted every staff and student member who needed help. He said that the June exams were not at all disrupted and that ‘if any, very few’ students asked for their exams to be deferred because of the xenophobic violence. Hall said that students and
UCT student Melissa van der Ross tells VARSITY how she encountered xenophobia during a Sunday morning taxi ride. Nicole Jonklass WHILE travelling on a Mowbrayto-Claremont taxi on a Sunday morning in April last semester, a female, Namibian, UCT student (who asked not to be named) was harassed by a South African man to pay his taxi fare. On the same taxi trip, South African Melissa van der Ross, a third-year B.Com. Financial Accounting student at UCT, challenged this man as well as another South African male on the seemingly xenophobic statements they had made in the taxi. Van der Ross told Varsity that she and her Zimbabwean boyfriend, Vincent Chambati, were travelling to Newlands and boarded the taxi in Mowbray. She said that ‘[o]ne of the first things that was bothering [her] that day were the stares [she and Chambati] were getting from other Coloured people and mostly black South Africans. I figured that was because I was obviously a Coloured girl dating a black male, who did not look South African,’ says van der Ross. The Namibian student, a friend of Van der Ross, was already in the taxi. She started speaking with van der Ross in Afrikaans. ‘Now this struck me as a bit odd,’ says van der Ross, ‘for even though I know that she [the Namibian student] understands the language staff ‘didn’t really’ make use of the 24-hour emergency line that the University made available. A database of students and staff who could host other students and staff in need was established, but, according to Hall, ‘very few’ people were placed with these hosts. He said that ‘certainly less than ten’ displaced people had been placed in UCT residences. Hall stated that the University ‘did a check to see if any of the vendors [on campus] were affected’. According to him, the University found out quite early that one of these vendors had lost his house through xenophobic attacks, and ‘found other housing for him’. A long-term response… The First Response report stated that the University intended to follow its ‘first response’ with a focus on ‘helping with understanding causes and pushing for effective public policy and more state responses to human rights issues.’ When asked about the progress the University had made with its long-term solutions, he said that it was first trying to document what happened at the time of the attacks, including UCT’s response, since much information had been communicated in temporary formats such as e-mails. Hall said that the University was still ‘thinking’ about how to integrate its long-term response with its existing Respect cam-
Fitting Sentiment - Protestors express their anger and speaks it very well, our language of communication has always been English.’ The Namibian student and van der Ross continued talking to each other in Afrikaans, but after a few minutes, van der Ross took notice of the black South African man sitting next to her Namibian friend. Continued on page 11... paign, as former VC Ndebele last semester stated it would do. He said UCT’s new VC, Dr Max Price, would be ‘very concerned to lead’ the University’s long-term response. What can you do to help? Asked how he thought UCT students and staff could assist those adversely affected by xenophobic violence, Hall said that they should ‘first of all approach SHAWCO,’ adding that he ‘would always direct anybody there, otherwise you get too many uncoordinated initiatives’. He said that ‘one of the crucial things that students could do is to open up debate around these issues of respecting difference and how people make contributions coming from different countries’ and also focus on understanding ‘the underlying causes that cause people to be refugees or displaced’. Xenophobia at UCT? Hall noted that UCT has ‘students from over a hundred countries’ and ‘from every country in Africa’. He said that part of UCT’s mission is ‘to be a place where people can work and study from all over Africa and we would hold onto that [mission] very strongly’. ‘I think that an atmosphere of respect for difference and for foreign nationals would be important,’ said Hall, adding that his sense ‘is that that atmosphere of respect tends to be quite strong at UCT.’
Student challenges prejudice ... from page 10 ‘He kept talking to her [the Namibian student], although I didn’t make out at first what he was trying to say to her. She looked a bit scared but I couldn’t understand why,’ said van der Ross. According to Chambati, the South African man and another black South African man sitting next to van Der Ross, tried to engage the passengers in the taxi, including the Namibian student in a vernacular of Xhosa, Zulu and Sotho. As the student could not understand them, says Chambati, she resorted to speaking Afrikaans. Van der Ross said that ‘these men were trying to harass anyone who got in the taxi and could not speak to them in Afrikaans or Xhosa.’ According to van der Ross, when the taxi left Mowbray, the South African man sitting next to the Namibian student told her that he did not have enough money to pay for his fare to Wynberg and insisted that the student give him the R5 he needed. ‘[The student] seemed to just want to get rid of him and then paid his fair’, said van der Ross. ‘I thought he was being extremely rude and wanted to comment, but we had reached Baxter [Theatre] and [the Namibian student] got out of the taxi.’ Van der Ross said that the taxi driver did not intervene during this incident. The South African man sitting next to van der Ross’ Namibian friend, began speaking in Xhosa
to another black South African male. Van der Ross heard him say, ‘They will all see! They must go back to their countries! They will see, otherwise they will all die!’ According to van der Ross, the man sitting next to her replied in agreement. Van der Ross said that she then ‘started to fume’ and asked the man sitting next to her, ‘Who is this ‘they’ that you are referring to? Who must leave the country?’ According to her, the man ‘didn’t seem to have an answer for [her]’. ‘I think he thought I was a foreigner too, because I do not have a [stereotypical] Capetownian accent at all,’ she said. According to van der Ross, the man who had sat next to her Namibian friend ‘then started shouting at me saying, ‘All the foreigners must die! They do not belong in our country! They are stealing our wives and our jobs!’ Van der Ross said she was ‘shocked’ by ‘this kind of aggression’, adding that the man sitting next to her ‘also jumped in on the screaming match.’ She said that the two men then asked her who she was and she replied in Afrikaans. According to van der Ross, the translated version of what she said was ‘I am a Cape Townian just like you, but right now I am disgusted to be associated with the likes of people like you! The jobs in our country are not being stolen from you! And neither are your wives! It is a free country and
you seem to have forgotten that it was foreigners who helped us during the struggle! That you can sit there and say such ignorant things, comes to show that you are the ones who need to f*ck out of the country!’ By the end of this response van der Ross and Chambati had reached their destination and disembarked the taxi. According to her, one South African man continued to shout at her. ‘I was shaking as I was walking home,’ said van der Ross, adding that, ‘I was not afraid of these men, I was only angry and frustrated.’ Van der Ross blamed ignorance for the two men’s attitudes, adding that they don’t ‘have a real reason for their arguments’. The best they could come up with was ‘they are stealing our wives’,’ she said. She added that she was disturbed by how the other passengers in the taxi and its driver did not intervene. ‘I feel that it was not the incident itself that shocked me, but the lack of sensitivity from everyone else that shocked me even more. It just showed me that there is a lack of ubuntu amongst our people.’ VARSITY does not encourage readers to challenge xenophobic attitudes or behaviour if doing this would pose a threat to your safety.
Closer to home
WE SAW it in the papers, watched the scenes on the news and heard about some of the incidents on the radio. However, for many UCT students and others not directly affected, the reality of the wave of xenophobic-fuelled violence swept through South Africa, as we were worrying about our exams. To be fair why should it have? For those of us who were not the targets of the hatred, it was just another gory story fed to us by the media. Some people took the time to give the matter consideration, others tried to contribute by donating clothes and food or even going to Ground Zero to see what they could do. On this count, organisations such as SHAWCO and others who have offered their assistance, should be commended for their efforts. However, the truth of the matter is that many chose to ‘do their part’ merely so that they could ease their own moral conscience. After having dropped off the food and blankets and feeling secure that they had made their contribution, the middle and upper class saviours returned to their suburban dwellings, called their friends to tell them about their amazing day saving the foreigners and had a good night’s sleep. Should we do more? What more is there that we can do? Surely we cannot be expected to give up our own lives to help others for a prolonged period of time? That won’t solve the problems. At the end of the day, the survivors had a warm meal and perhaps a semi-comfortable sleep
in a jam-packed hall and at least for a few moments they may have felt wanted or even respected by South Africans. Nevertheless, the real problem is narrow-minded and hatred-driven violence against people different to ourselvesremains. For those students who believe themselves to be innocent of wrongdoing, think again. Countless times you will hear a student complaining about ‘that Nigerian/ Ghanaian/ Namibian/ Zimbabwean lecturer’ and how they refuse to attend lectures because they cannot speak English. You’ll also hear some reference to a person’s nationality that is loosely linked to their perceived inability to do something. The point is not that they are foreign, the point is that far too often we choose a person’s most obvious characteristic (their nationality) to blame them for our own problems. When these feelings were magnified and injected with a particular dosage of passion and anger, the result was the murder, assault, eviction and terrorising of foreign nationals. So, if those of us who are educated and privileged enough to be able to make a difference want to help, we should not stop short at delivering food and blankets. If we really want to make a difference that extends beyond our moral guilt and tackle xenophobia head on, we should start by accepting responsibility for our own actions and shortcomings rather than shifting the blame to the easiest target.
What’s On Photo courtesy of capetownlive.co.za
Lara Potgieter 29 July: SACM Benefit Concert @ Baxter Concert Hall The UCT music students perform for a cause.
29 July: Acoustic Sessions @ Zula Join the big chill. 29 July – 17 Aug: The Full Monty @ Artscape You can keep your hat on. 30 July: aKing & Ashtray Electric @ Klein Libertas Theatre Catch Fokofpolisiekar’s popular offspring gigging with yet another Cape Town indie rock band. 30 July: Woodstock – The Ultimate Battle of the Bands @ Mercury Grrrrrrr…aaaaaarghhhh…and the battle begins. 30 July: Verses @ Zula Be moved by the magical lyricism.
@ Evolution Catch some of the hottest local djs in action 31 July: Inge Beckmann & Band @ Klein Libertas The songstress of the former band Lark will be performing with her new band. 31 July: DJ Kent CD Launch @ Bang Bang One third of Kentphonic in action. 31 July: The Beams @ Mystic Boer Cape Town indie/rock/electronica band is still alive and kicking. 31 July: It came from the Jungle presents Niskerone @ Fiction Rooooaaaaar! It came from the Jungle! 1 Aug: Kidofdoom, Magnum HI-FI & Unit.r @ Mercury Do you wanna see the cutest Photo courtesy of sandtoncental.co.za
Photo courtesy of baxter.co.za
29 July – 31 Aug: Marc Lottering @ On Broadway He’s funny.
30 July: Rock the Cape @ Stones (Tableview)
Photo courtesy of johannesburglive.co.za
30 July: Narcotic Productions
keyboardist around? Be there. 1 Aug: Karen Zoid @ Zula Come watch the SA rock queen…she might just drop her pants again.
1 Aug: Arcade Party @ Mercury Journey into a Mystic Wonderland and experience happiness, sponsored by Arcade. 1 Aug: African Hip Hop Indaba @ Good Hope Centre Don’t miss the first local performance of the event that is attempting to ‘heal the hood’. 2 Aug: Peroxide @ Fiction It was acceptable in the 80s. 2 Aug: Homegrown @ Mercury Can. You. Handle. It. 2 Aug: Mid Year Madness @ Lipz Cocktail Bar If you’re into DJs and nurses, this is the party for you. 3 Aug: Piaf – a passionate life @ Artscape The life and times of the Little Sparrow. 5 Aug: SACM UCT/US piano exchange @ Baxter Concert Hall UCT’s very own piano virtuosos in action. 7 Aug: Cape Philharmonic Orchestra @ City Hall The start of the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra’s winter symphony season. Come on kids, let’s be cultured. 8 – 10 Aug: Robertson Food & Wine Festival ‘Slowly made…slowly enjoyed’. 9 Aug: SACM SAMRO Big Band Jazz Concert @ Baxter Concert Hall Another showcasing of UCT’s musical talent.
Volume 67 Number 8
Doing it for daddy David Brits gets to grips with being a ‘friendly subversive’ IT WAS one of those nondescript autumnal months. The day was still and the sky a yellow grey. It felt as though something bad was going to happen. The atmosphere was a bit too tranquil for my liking – perhaps this was the calm before the onslaught of another moody cold front. Russet leaves floated down from the trees as the cold air bit at the nape of my neck. It seemed the earth, like some deciduous organ, was slowly shutting down. I was in a bit of a spin. It was one of those days where there was much to do and I found myself neither here, nor there. Our meeting for coffee was very last minute, so there’d be no time for a milky Nescafé. I walked across the lawn and there she was, sitting outside the art shop, scratching in the cavity of her handbag for a lighter. The flint cracked, sparks burst and the lighter erupted in flame. The cherry of her cigarette glowed in nicotine ecstasy. As I trudged, flustered, towards the table, she shot me a smile, a snake of burning tobacco coiling through the air. Her name was Linda, Linda Stupart, of the all-girl art collective Doing It For Daddy. We hadn’t much time, so as the smoke dangled above our heads, we slipped quickly into the interview. But first I have to get something out of the way. Art, as with any good culturally-highfalutin phenomenon, is packed with many fancy terms. Doing It For Daddy just happens to fall under one such bit of jargon: something known as a collective. Simply put, an artist collective is a group of artists working together towards shared aims. These days, most art collectives come flying a fuckthe-art-system Jolly Roger, sporting some slick fuck-the-art-system name. Although not quite as cool as something like the Vodacom Cheetahs, names like Guerrilla Girls and AvantCarGuard stand out as some of the most smooth and dissident. A few minutes into the conversation and Linda was at full tilt. It turns out we were sitting at the very spot at which the subversive
collective was born. Smoking single cigarettes and drinking cheap coffee outside Michaelis Art and Hardware, a group of three young curators, theorists and art practitioners sit in disgust. They are Linda, Renee Hollerman, and Bettina Malcomness. All have just read the latest issue of Art South Africa, featuring Sharlene Kahn’s diatribe against white women in the artworld. Accused of apparently perpetuating the very same hegemony that oppressed them, this trio of fairer-sexed caucasians is ready to take up arty arms. After contemplating angry combative responses, the three decide it might be better to produce work that questioned the very kinds of framings and assumptions the article perpetuated. So with their brand new fuckthe-art-system modus operandi and a spiffy name snatched from the title of Ms Khan’s article, off went the collective set, garnering a good deal of acclaim, criticism and prize money as they went about their merry arty way. In a recent wave of success, the trio won an award for their Wrong Side of the River Tour at the Spier Contemporary 2007 – South Africa’s new premiere, biennial, contemporary exhibition and competition. For those of you who missed out, Doing It For Daddy’s winning work took the exhibition outside of the gallery space on an historical tour of the Spier Estate. Somewhere between performance and installation, their rather bizarre walkabout was complete with faux tour guide, maps and beacons that invoked the real and fictional histories of the wine estate and its characters. But enough with boring descriptions. Hell-bent on challenging existing perceptions and attitudes in the visual arts, this collective of partisan art practitioners is certainly going places. Whether doing it for daddy, for money, or to impress their art collective competition, it shouldn’t be long before they’ll have the title of a cellular network before their slick fuck-the-art-system name.
13 &Entertainment Dark Knight: believe Honey won’t the hollywood hype you wail me them blues? Arts
WALKING into The Dark Knight, I felt skeptical as to whether the movie would live up to the hype. Talk of a posthumous Oscar for Heath Ledger’s role as the Joker had been escalating for weeks. I remember thinking callously; is it because his performance really was excellent, or is it because he died before the film could be unveiled? Yet as the movie unraveled, I realised that all the pre-publicity for the film was accurate. Ledger’s performance is chillingly rendered. The Joker is a maniacal, anarchic and sociopathic villain. His rein of tyranny is unleashed when the mobsters of Gotham hire him to kill Batman (Christian Bale). Batman’s vigilantism has all but eliminated organised crime. Fighting the good fight along with Batman is Gotham’s District Attorney, Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart). Dent is ensconced firmly within the constraints of the law, while Batman uses questionable methods to pursue the criminals of Gotham City. When the mob resorts to hiring the Joker to get rid of Batman, things rapidly spiral out of control. Unlike the mob, the Joker’s actions are not motivated by greed, but by an overwhelming desire to cause destruction. His aim is to reduce Gotham to the state of nature, where life is nasty, brutish and short. This is perfectly illustrated by the final showdown, where the Joker rigs two boats with explosives and gives the detonators of the respective boats to the occupants of the other boat. He gives them until midnight to blow each other up, and if one of the boats doesn’t blow the other up, he will blow both of them up. I leave it
Photo courtesy of upload.wikimedia.org
Joker v Batman - An unstoppable force meets an immovable object to you to see whether the citizens of Gotham live up to the Joker’s dystopian vision. The Joker’s efforts to ensnare Batman involve killing people until Batman reveals his true identity. It is here that we get to see Bruce Wayne agonising over whether to reveal himself. Christian Bale does a credible job of portraying Wayne’s inner angst. Wayne’s hesitance to reveal himself lends itself to cowardice. Yet his turn at playing the billionaire playboy is fraught with awkward self-consciousness. Bale is at his best when he is wrapped up in his suit. In terms of romantic entangle-
Wed 6th Aug. (1-2pm) Leslie Social Science 2B
ments, Wayne is still hankering after Rachel, his childhood love played by Maggie Gyllenhall. Rachel has moved on though, to Harvey Dent. Gyllenhall’s performance is sound, and Rachel is brought to life as strong, intelligent, and femininely fierce. The movie also sees the emergence of another famous villain, Twoface. Harvey Dent is the character who falls from grace. Dent’s transition into Twoface is superficial. His 180 degree turnaround from Gotham’s white knight, to a murderer who flippantly tosses a coin in order to determine the fates of his victims, is not sufficiently dealt with. Granted, his psychosis is triggered by a tragic event; but the transition remains slightly implausible. The film is bolstered by questions of morality. We ask ourselves whether the ends justify the means, and we question the morality of the protagonists. This is one of the film’s strengths, in that there is no clear line between right and wrong. The heroes (Batman and the Gotham police force) are flawed and easily identifiable as human. They don’t preach from the high ground, and they are aware of their own shortcomings. Where the film falls is the convoluted storyline. Scenarios flit rapidly from one to the next, leaving viewers with a nagging doubt that they have missed something. Yet, the scenes in themselves are magnificently wrought, with immaculate attention to detail. The performances vary in strength, but they are all sound. Ledger’s performance trumps them all though, and if it does earn a posthumous Oscar, it will be thoroughly deserving. It drives home the talented actor’s ignominious demise as a pitiful waste.
Lara Potgieter, a self-proclaimed groupie, laments the monotony of the indie-rock scene
Photo courtesy of photobucket.inc
Pretty Blue Guns - ‘Casanova sucking on Juliette’s neck’ PERHAPS you have grown tired of the current Cape Town indie rock scene, and all the articles I publish about it. Don’t worry, I have too. In fact, the local music scene has begun to dissolve into a single blur of cacophonic sound and over-processed ideas. And the fact that these sentiments are being expressed by a devout groupie should cause any self-respecting live music fan to shudder. Fear not, however, my foot-tapping friends. There lies amongst this sad heap of monotony and conformity, a little jewel of hope. Hope that the legacy of the Stones and Tom Waits can live on in this hyperactive, synthesised era. Hope that Cape Town might just produce the next Kings of Leon. Hope made easy by the revival of the power of classic rock ‘n roll mixed with the irresistibly lovely dirtiness of the blues.
The revivalists are pretty. They wail a blues that would make Sonny Boy shake in his grave. They recreate the romanticism of a cowboy, a gun and a one horse town. They are the Pretty Blue Guns. The rough sexiness of frontman Andre Leo as he brawls about ‘Casanova sucking on Juliette’s neck’ makes my insides melt, and all I want to be is his ‘Mary living with flowers in her hair...who never grows up cos this world’s not good enough for [her]’. Doesn’t that image just ooze the simple romanticism of an era passed and so dearly missed by those of us who dream of the musician who will save the world whilst sweeping us into the sexy world of rock ‘n roll love and lust? But, of course, it’s not my job to share my groupie fantasies with you. I’m here to educate you punks about good music. So, away with the starry-eyed ambitions of the band-aids and in with the Lester Bangs critique. These boys know how to make music. Their recently released EP has found a much sought-after home between my CCR and Johnny Cash albums, and it is the only music I can really count on when I begin to despair about the dwindling prospects of the local music scene. And when I feel like putting on them blue jeans, closing my eyes and pretending I don’t live in this godforsaken era, of course. What makes these boys even more remarkable is that they are fresh out of high school. Yep, forget the mournful grawl of the bearded has-been, and say hello to some energetic and fresh-faced, yet surprisingly mature talent. Don’t worry, it’s impossible to imagine that they rose out of a high school battle of the bands a mere two years ago. These boys, with a confidence and understanding of rock ‘n roll far beyond their years, have come to own the Cape Town/Somerset West alt rock scene. They have cracked performances with established bands such as Howard Roark (R.I.P) and the Vontaines and have conquered the long and winding road to Splashy Fen and back. If I could take one local band back in time with me to the seductive chaos of the original Woodstock, and watch them with a sense of great pride in my patriotic little groupie heart, it would be these guys. Look out for them, kiddos.
6/13/08 2:01:57 PM
WE arrive in Istanbul, Turkey on a warm evening in July. Daylight veils the ivory skyline until after 9 pm, illuminating the mosques’ domes in a soft golden glow. An arresting incantation, delivered in the name of holy reverence, hangs in the summer air, while taxis and cars race to the beats of the latest Turkish chart-toppers and American hip-hop songs: ‘Apple-bottom jeans, boots with the fur…’ Women in gold and diamante-studded burkhas lower their made-up eyes as we pass, as others flaunt their tans and vivacious dark hair, dressed in the newest European trends. Istanbul was formerly Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire (330-1453AD) and was renamed when the Ottomans captured it in 1453. They would refer to it later as Istambol, a Turkish word roughly translated as ‘The City of Islam’ – striking and unmistakably unique; stirring harmoniously within the tumult of the 21st century, amidst three thousand years of history. A paradox, caught somewhere between the ancient and the modern, the religious and the secular. ‘One of the greatest things you can do as a Muslim is to visit Mecca at least once before you die,’ says Ahmet, our Contiki tour guide who has lived in Turkey for the duration of his life. ‘Personally, I would rather go to Las Vegas.’ Turkey became a constitutionally secular country in 1923 when it was established as a republic under President Atatürk (meaning father of the Turks), a name bestowed upon him for his role in the country’s emancipation during the Turkish War of Independence. The founding of the Republic of Turkey saw the end of 600 years of Ottoman rule and subsequently, the termination of Islam as the state religion. In addition to the secularisation of the country, Atatürk introduced reforms that prompted the modernisation and Westernisation of Turkey. Today, the country has the 15th largest economy in the world and is currently engaged in full membership negotiations with the European Union (EU).
between modernity and antiquity - Hawkers sell their wares in Istanbul, the city of paradox In an attempt to secure its acceptance, the country is increasingly becoming even more secular. In 2005, the same year that the negotiations with the EU began, it became illegal to wear religious head cover in government buildings and schools. Despite such reforms, the Turkish population is 99% Muslim. The ruling political party, the AKP, although elected through a popular vote, has received criticism for being anti-secular and having an Islamist agenda. This is a belief held particularly by the Turkish military, discovered to be plotting a coup to oust the AKP from power just one week prior to our arrival in Istanbul. Religion is not the only conspicuous contradiction along Turkey’s socio-political landscape. While embracing modernity, the country lies at the heart of the ancient world: The remains of the cities of Troy, Ephesus, Pergamum and Hierapolis, all constructed before the Common Era, lie in the Asian
part of Turkey, which formed part of Ancient Anatolia. In the city of Istanbul, suburbs such as Karaköy and Üsküdar were inhabited as early as 7th century BCE. The streets of the old city are laden with smooth cobblestones. Merchants in pressed suits chat leisurely with each other, sipping Elma cayi (apple tea) from goldpainted glasses. They linger in the doorways of their shops, filled with pashminas made of cashmere and silk and Turkish carpets that change colour when they move. We amble along, enticed by chocolate-covered chestnuts, simit (freshly-baked round breads with sesame seeds), apricots and figs, baklava drizzled with honey and pistachio nuts, and Rahat lokum (Turkish delight), an Ottoman delicacy flavoured with rose water and coated with icing sugar created by the confectioner to the imperial court. The road curves and we pass the Sirkeci train station – the destination of the Orient Express,
Have car, will travel
THERE is nothing more profoundly student-like than overloading a car and then driving it half way across Africa. And after this holiday, I can tell you from personal experience that, so long as you have a stomach for copious amounts of baked beans when cash gets low, you should look into the idea. In the spirit of digs bonding, six of us set out from Cape Town, piled into an old ’94 model Toyota Land Cruiser, to see Africa. Our goal was simply to make it to Lake Malawi and back. The route that we took through Mozambique is one favoured by foreign students who make the trip using public transport and was thus quite festive. You often meet up with people from all over the world in the most random of places with crazy backgrounds. A word of warning however: If you do not like to drink, I would eschew the backpackers idea; when you’re camped in close proximity to the bar, there is no chance of you getting to bed before the last people leave the bar, so you may as well join in. We spent the majority of our
days wandering perfect beaches, which we had largely to ourselves as it was not yet school holidays and JHB had yet to migrate up the coast. From climbing coconut trees to fishing off the shore, there is always something to do. One of the highlights was found in Vilanculous, in the far north of the country. There, we managed to get a Dhow to take us island-hopping and fishing. Dhows are small sailing boats of Arabic origin which were used for trading when much of the coast of Africa was used to support the slave trade. The design, however, has not been lost; the locals use them for fishing and then sell their catch at exorbitant prices to tourists who don’t know better and can afford it. We got to the lake in three weeks after driving through Maputo, Tofo, Pomene, Vilanculous, Chicamba Dam, Lilongwe and finally into Senga Bay on the lake. One of the best things about driving through Mozambique is the vast amount of seafood at hand. In Maputo you eat Frango’s (chicken) at sidewalk café’s but further north is where you get the best fish. Tofo is the prawn and crayfish place, we sampled estuary crab in Pomene
and Kingfish in Vilanculous. Lake Malawi is a vast expanse of water, incomprehensible unless you have actually seen it. It covers one fifth of the entire country and it is impossible to see shore to shore. The locals use hollowedout logs as canoes with which they fish for Butterfish on the lake and then sell it at market. Malawi still retains some very distinct colonial ideals; the locals who work for you in any capacity always call you Bwana and the housekeeping is almost always done by men, as it was in the days when the British controlled the country. All in all, this trip is definitely worth doing if you have the time and inclination. Generally accommodation is very affordable, as is food, so long as you have the patience to haggle for a while until they realise that, no, you’re not American and do not get paid in dollars. In fact, our greatest worry was the petrol price, which reached the equivalent of R16.50 a litre (which was when having six people in the car paid off!). Bringing a lot of spares is a good idea too; we spent six hours sitting on the side of the road, broken down with a fairly integral part of
opened in the late 19th century. The sun begins to set. We make our way, together with as many as one million young people (65% of the population of Turkey is under the age of 30), to Taksim Square, the hub of modern Istanbul in the area of Beyoğlu, to smoke a hookah on plush colourful cushions, enjoy a raki (clear aniseedflavoured spirit), parade down Istiklal Caddesi (street), and sip chocolate martinis at cosmopolitan lounges and bars. Later, we hop into a taxi enroute to Ortaköy, which bustles with restaurants and nightclubs underneath the Bosphorus Bridge. This structure, now ordained with twinkling neon lights, historically linked European and Asian Turkey. Istanbul is the only city in the world that straddles two continents. One can visit the other side by taking a vapur (ferry) across the Bosphorus River, which glitters in the moonlight. The taxi driver speaks very little English, but he is surpris-
ingly able to string together a few words, directed specifically at the guys in the car with us. ‘Hashish, lady, cocaine, hotel room…no problem…200 lyre.’ We laugh. He thinks we are interested. ‘Lady, cocaine… no lady, hashish…no problem.’ We arrive at Club Reina, the most beautiful and pretentious nightclub we had ever seen. A Turkish celebrity couple was being interviewed outside as we joined the queue of emaciated, bleached-blonde Turkish girls in tiny black dresses. ‘It’s Tiger Tiger’ I thought, only this was the real thing. Heading back to the hotel around 4 am, I have already fallen in love with the place. To an extent, Istanbul’s identity appears confused, in-flux and mismatched, but it is its eclecticism that makes it so beautiful. This city is a postmodernist text – a reappropriation of history – embracing the future in the company of a proud and intricate past.
Photo courtesy of Rory Holmes
Photo courtesy of Zack Bernbaum
Istanbul – a relic reborn
Volume 67 Number 8
Lake malawi - Dhows float in the middle distance the engine in pieces. It was only with some fairly clever super-gluing that we managed to get under way, as the concept of keeping spares seems to have not yet made it to Mozambique. There is simply not enough space here to really do this trip justice. A couple of tips for the next intrepid explorers though: Make sure that you
only travel with people with large bladders; remember that the price you’re quoted is always more than they expect to get; and the police are to be feared – nothing kills the mood like having to pay a bribe when you haven’t done anything wrong!
A storm is coming...
Buy an Xbox360 now Alisa Davidson preaches to the unwashed masses.
Image courtesy of : www.blizzard.com
Ben Steenhuisen discusses the announcement that turned the geek world onto its head. THE internet is buzzing with magic, following recent rumours regarding Blizzard spread all over the internet. Most of our readers out there are probably wondering what a ‘Blizzard’ is. They would be amongst the people that have never heard of a ‘Zerg rush’, never been called ‘Fresh meat’ by a bloodied cleaver-bearing-overlord, nor ever ‘spelar lite DotA’ (excuse the Swedish). They would also be amongst those deserving to be shot, since although Blizzard may be one of the cornerstones of modern geek culture, I’d have to say any childhood without Starcraft, Diablo or Warcraft would be a troubled one indeed. And now, with the affirmation that Diablo 3 is destined to come, there is still light at the end of the gaming tunnel. Blizzard has been rather active in the news recently with the gameplay and theatrical trailers of Starcraft 2, and has received a huge amount of publicity for the new expansion pack for World of Warcraft (Wrath of the Lich King) coming out, all to the delight of fans. Although no date for Starcraft 2 has been released, I’d like to guess somewhere around mid-tolate 2009. Historical data would indicate that Diablo 3 would come out around mid-to-end 2011 (for example, World of Warcraft was announced on 2 September, 2001 and released on 23 November 2004). Diablo 3’s plot will follow on 20 years after the events that unfolded in Diablo 2, with (excuse the spoiler but you scriptkiddies are about eight years late) Diablo, Mephisto and Baal being defeated. Diablo 3 will include part of the Havok physics engine, used in such games as The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and BioShock, as well as part of Blizzard’s custom graphics engine. As a result of such a hybrid, tables, bookshelves and even walls will be destructible, allowing a player to collapse
ceilings and traps onto enemy units. What could also be interesting is the portability of the Havok engine onto consoles, opening the door for Diablo 3 becoming a console game (although the first release will be for Mac and PC at the same time, with no mention of consoles). At the moment, Blizzard dominates 3 of the top 20 most-played games on Xfire (a PC gamers’ chatting and gaming-statistics programme), a feat which only two other developers are achieving at the moment, namely the ‘Call of Duty’ series by ‘Infinity Ward’ and the ‘Counter Strike’ combo of Source and 1.6 together with ‘Team Fortress 2’ game by ‘Valve’. In fact, the most played game, World of Warcraft, is beating (in raw total time played per month) the sum of #2 and #3 on the list, Call of Duty 4 and 2. What I find the most interesting is how Blizzard market their products. They don’t go around rallying people to come look at their latest offering. They don’t offer huge money to popular websites. They don’t even try an Apple stunt and keep a project undercover and then all of a sudden go ‘The newest Apple product (insert i-Something) – Available: NOW!’ on every billboard in the USA (since the rest of the world
clearly doesn’t count to Apple). No, Blizzard plays a much slower game. They use a combination of suspense and word of mouth to create such a hype around anything Blizzard-like, that no matter what they announce, it will be greeted by millions of users. For Diablo 3, they put a single, ambiguous picture on the front page of their main website. Fans argued over which game it was from or could be from. Topics on forums grew in length to thousands of replies in a few hours. The next day, the picture changed slightly, showing a bit more of the underlying image. By the time the second-to-last picture was released, there was such a furor about which game it was, that 3 of Digg.com’s front page articles were about Diablo 3. With the verification that it was Diablo 3 at the 2008 Blizzard Entertainment Worldwide Invitational in Paris, millions around the world rejoiced (a lot of ‘I told you so’s’). I think that truly one member of a Diablo 3 forum captured the heart and soul of what the release will mean to the gaming world: ‘Now we need to figure out a way to extend the hours in a day, so that we can still get some time in for WoW.’
One browser to rule them all OVER the odd 17 years that web browsers have been around, things have come a long way in many respects. I doubt that Tim BernersLee, upon creating the world’s first browser ‘WorldWideWeb’ would ever think that within his lifetime, the internet would grow to encompass over a billion people, one in every six men, women and children, moving more information than a city of libraries. Now with online banking, social networking, pictures, streaming videos and music, the internet assists us not only with our academic pursuits, but also with our social, financial and entertainment needs. The most common program one would associate with the internet is known as the ‘browser’. It uses a common set of rules to communicate with other machines all around the world. Now, because there is this common standard protocol, one can choose what ‘browser’ to use with the internet, depending on their needs and technical limitations. This is great as it allows us the freedom of what browser to use and on what platform, but at the same time it has an interesting history associated with it. At the beginning of the ‘dotcom bubble’ (around 1995), there
Image courtesy of : pliniotorres.files.wordpress.com
AWESOMENESS - Taking the Browser wars one PC at a time. was an assortment of browsers available such as Mosiac, MacWeb, IBrowse, Web Explorer and the only one most of us know today: Netscape Navigator. Following this, the Internet Explorer 1 and then a few months later, 2, were released, bringing with it the first ‘browser war’ with the ever popular Netscape Navigator. When Microsoft released Internet Explorer 4 in late 1997, they thought they had begun to catch up in browser race and placed a huge ‘e’ logo outside Netscape offices. Netscape rather smugly replied with a large dinosaur outside their own offices with a sign saying ‘Netscape 72, Microsoft 18’, representing their market shares. Microsoft then
continued to use some of their Dick-Dastardly tactics, such as the release of Internet Explorer with all Windows products, coupled with the targeting of Netscape’s poor financial condition to edge them out of the market, something they achieved by 2000. The second browser war began in 2004, when Mozilla Firefox 1 was released into an incredibly tight market. The ‘Opera’ browser was sitting pretty at half a percent, Internet Explorer at 95%, and Apple had released ‘Safari’ at pretty much the same time. Firefox was open source, and with its fast development times and rapid fixes (something not generally associated with Internet Explorer), it began its climb in the market share wars. By the mid 2006, it had reached 10% market share – something extraordinary. Firefox lost no momentum and continued to grow, reaching just over 16% [to IE’s 78%] as of July this year. Its Firefox 3 release, on July 17th caused international news as it attempted to set a new record of ‘Most Software Downloads in a day’. It achieved 8,249,092 downloads, a truly amazing feat by any standards. My opinion: Firefox, because a picture of a fox on fire ripping a chunk out of a floating ‘E’ sign is the coolest thing ever.
I HAVE never been a console-orientated gamer, but upon acquisition of the Xbox 360 (for free, might I add), I was converted. Some may say that the 360 is merely a computer trapped in the body of a console, but it still had better graphics and audio than any other competing products at the time – and a sexier case too. To maximise the potential of the console, hooking it up to a HD screen is a definite must, or else you are just missing out on mind-blowing Master Chief action. The Xbox Live service was upgraded for the release of the 360, making it easier to download game demos, talk to friends and brag about your various gaming achievements (insert one of my non-existent achievements here). It does have an annoying pricetag attached to it if you want to play games online, but from what I have been told it is worth every cent. The Xbox dashboard is easy to navigate, even for the technologically illiterate (like Ben’s mom), and the interface is aesthetically pleasing. You don’t even need to move off the couch to switch on the console! Do it all using your comfy plug-and-play controller (available in white, blue, black and fabulous pink). A Microsoft representative has promised that there will be over 1,000 games available for 360 before 2009. We can only hope that all the titles will match previous titles such as: Mass Effect¸ Gears of War and Halo 3, but realistically, for every good game, there is one Looney Tunes: Acme Arsenal. However, despite the crap polluting our gaming environment, Xbox owners have been holding their heads up high from all the ex-Playstation 3 developers creating games for the Xbox 360 – Grand Theft Auto 4 being the best and most money-making
example. Unfortunately, for some, the Xbox 360 comes equipped with a standard DVD drive (unlike the Blu-ray format of the PlayStation 3). While this is a backwards step technologically, it has kept the cost of manufacture down by using it. The PlayStation 3 is one and a half times the prices of an Xbox360 by using ‘new’ technology. The console also has a noisy exhaust drive, but that is easily combated by turning up your favourite Village People CD, or by being deaf. ‘Red Ring of Death’. A phrase potent enough to reduce all console gamers to buying N-Gages. Three flashing red quadrants around the power button and you are out. Luckily, Microsoft finally realised their mistake; after a couple of million complaints, and covered this ‘General Hardware Failure’ in their three-year warranty. The Xbox is easy to use, relatively cheap, more manly than a Wii and ultimately, just plain awesome. Any product endorsed by Frodo on MTV automatically gets my vote. Let the PS3 die from being unloved and let the children play on the Wii, buy an Xbox and give Bill Gates more of your money.
The column in the corner Karl ‘The Thomson
WELCOME back to UCT and, more specifically, to the first edition of VARSITY for the semester. While most of you valued readers don’t think the first edition is of any importance in any given timeframe, it should be important to you and consideration should be given. Why, I hear you ask over the sound of Chinese food being chewed. Simply, while you were laying on the beach, hoping the sun would come out to unbleach your body for just a moment, we (most of the Collective) were busting our asses trying to produce something readable and useful. I assume this has been achieved. If it hasn’t, please send us an email detailing your complaint, and we will refund you for the full purchase price and offer you a a discount on our next edition. We are kind and understanding people. Anyway, onto business, eagled-eyed readers will notice a heavy gaming presence on this page. The reason for this occuring is next week is the UCT Gaming Tournament held at Kopano. For those who have forgotten from drinking all those trendy drinks, there will be Counter-Strike 1.6, DotA, FIFA 08 and Quake
3. Prizes will be given out to the top teams and there will be refreshments on sale for nominal fees. For any info, email email@example.com. If you have no interest in gaming whatsoever, email him anyway. Other news from the frontlines is that we will be looking for replacements soon. And by ‘looking for’ I mean ‘we have no choice and must’ and by ‘replacements’ I mean ‘inferior clones’. There will probably be an advertisement somewhere in this edition detailing who to contact etc etc. If you get confused in a prepubescent rage, just email bensteenhuisen@ gmail.com. I’m certain he won’t mind. As a brief aside, am I the only person to express so much displeasure towards a computer that I threatened to kill it and it’s family? Please email us and tell us if you have done something similar. Until that glorious day in September when a new Business and Technology Editor is elected, you will deal with the crap that I write here. If you do like it, thats excellent. If you don’t, go read page 18. I’m certain that will be more up your alley. Until next time, adieu.
DURING the annual mid-year break there are always numerous aspects of university life that I find myself beginning to miss. There is the pleasure of seeing your friends and peers regularly, while simultaneously forming new relationships with interesting and exciting people. There are the magnificent settings we find ourselves surrounded by: sandwiched between a mountain so lush and verdant that it seems from an age before man, and a picturesque view of our gorgeous city, progressing towards winelands and golden hills which seem to reach up and kiss gentle white clouds, peacefully decorating the light blue sky. And, of course, there is the sweet, fragrant scent of ripe first-year flange wafting down Jammie steps on a balmy afternoon. However, there is one thing above all others; above Tiger Tiger, above partially-retarded blondes, and above the shitty dance-offs we have most Thursdays, which I find myself craving. That thing is Rugby. There is nothing more pure, chaste and heavenly as this glorious game (if you can even call it a game, for in all honesty it is closer to a religion). Few things will nourish and warm a person’s soul more than a visit to our very own UCT rugby fields on a Rugby Afternoon, where sitting along-
side Cecil John you will watch, but more importantly listen to, the rapturous sound of mankind in all its majesty. The dull thuds of manmeat colliding, the pleasurable snapping and severing of tendons and bones, the piercing calls ordering a solid rush defense, the jubilant screams of enthralled bystanders, the exultant shouts of triumphant winners and the sobs of distraught fucking losers; a magical mélange of ‘boets’ and ‘chanas’ and ‘fucks’ and ‘buggers’ and ‘brus’ and ‘boois’ which all come together to create a symphony more wondrous and spellbinding than anything ever created by Mozart, Beethoven and possibly even Kurt Darren. For it is the sound of man in positive action. It is the sound of glory. As the book of John Smit (2:15) tells us: ‘And William Webb Ellis said ‘Let there be Rugby boet’ and, like fuck, there was ruggaz. And he saw that it was like, lank good. To our brutha Billy Webb (glory be unto his fucking name) who gave us the immaculate pick up and drive, we say ‘Shot, Bugga’.’ Rugby provides spiritual strength to all who love it: most men rate putting in a big hit more joyous than the birth of a child, whilst others claim to have learned the meaning of life after having chowed gap and crossed over for try time. Rugby also comes with an
Zuka and the Kingdom of Dibo
Photo by Nicolette Du Plessis
‘Let there be Rugby’
Volume 66 Number 8
Rugby Players - What your girlfriend was really doing on Saturday night accompaniment of amazing benefits, including increased strength, greater social status, richer and more potent levels of arrogance, and the augmented growth of one’s mancock (this last betterment might explain many women’s reluctance to play rugby). However, there are some who fight against rugby. Who fight against the True and the Beautiful. Epitomising all that is septic and decaying within our society, we find in the vile cracks of our culture wretched children of darkness, who feel it acceptable to blaspheme against this resplendent religion. Just as evil, morbidly obese women, whilst eating deep fried babies and downing pints of melt-
ed butter (or whatever the fuck it is evil, morbidly obese women do) criticise beautiful skinny ladies for being ‘superficial’ and ‘overly concerned with appearance’ (like that’s possible!?) so too do little soft-cock perversions of society, devoid of courage, character and the ability to fend off and step, insult rugby players, making them out to be simple cretins, concerned only with ruggaz, getting wasted, gym, and chicks. Now, I’m not yet sure how this is an insult, but it nevertheless enrages me that there are those who dare denigrate a game which brings so much happiness to so many and has on numerous occasions united our young country. However, at the end of the
day, when the full-time whistle blows, these loathsome cowards will never say anything to a rugby player’s face, and are in the vast minority, not because they are ‘free-thinking non-conformists’ but because they are bitter, insignificunt losers. So long as good exists, there will always be Rugby. It will continue bringing together different races, religions and genders, and giving joy to millions of people. And no matter how bleak and barren times become, through it all there will always be the light, illuminating the old Pigskin spiraling towards the Promised Land, showing us the way.
Thabiso Mhlanga 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. But, if you still choose to ingnore this comprehensive DISCLAIMER, as well as the fact that this is the HUMOUR section, and would still like to complain about this page, the UCT 1st XV will be fielding any and all complaints at their Thursday rugby practice. PS: Ruggaz 4 life.
A nation’s hope
Photo courtesy of HARRINGTONggpht_com
Back-to-back success for Harrington
Photo courtesy of 1595_1_1000 Soccer City SA 1worldarchitecturenews
Rory holmes REFERRED to simply as The Open Championship, the world’s biggest golf tournament was won last Sunday by Ireland’s Padraig Harrington, who was masterful in securing victory for his second year running. Playing one of the finest rounds of his career, the Irishman secured a commanding 4-shot lead over Britain’s Ian Poulter at Royal Birkdale in Southport, England. Speculation during the tournament was that veteran Greg Norman would take the cup, as he was the overnight leader going into the final day. Harrington came into the tournament nursing a minor injury to his right wrist, and was not expected to mount a determined defence of his title. Harrington and Norman were indeed neck and neck on the front nine of the final round until Harrington managed to break free with two birdies on the 13 and 15 hole over his main contender and playing partner. Harrington parred the 18 for a one-under 69 round and a three-over tally of 283 overall for his second major victory. He is the first European to
win back-to-back Championships since James Braid in 1906. Norman will rightfully feel gutted with his final day’s play. He went into the day as leader, but imploded on the back nine to allow Harrington to blow right past him. After Harrington pulled away, there seemed to be nothing that Norman could do to respond to the Irishman, as he could not summon the type of shots that brought him the lead earlier in the week. Harrington showed his calibre on the 17th hole, opting to strike a lengthy 5-wood green shot rather than lay-up and allow Norman back into the reckoning. ‘As soon as I hit it, my caddie said to me ‘good shot’, and that’s totally out of character for him,’ the champion said afterwards. ‘I didn’t want to lay-up and make par when I knew Greg Norman could make an eagle there, because a one-shot lead is nothing.’ Harrington was proved right in his shot selection as he survived the hole with his 4shot lead intact to get par on the 18 and take the famous Open trophy, the Claret Jug.
Dramatic F1 finale imminent Jonny Wilkinson
NOT since the early 90s has Formula One been this exciting. The years that marked the reign of Michael Schumacher have now crashed into something joyfully unpredictable and dramatic since his departure in 2006. Gone are the days where one driver dominates and championships become boring and predictable. There are now four incredibly talented drivers with the likes of Nick Heidfeld and Nico Rosberg a few rungs down the ladder, snapping at their heels. There is the young and somewhat contrived Lewis Hamilton, who, after a brilliant and nearmiss rookie year in 2007, spent the beginning of this year’s season driving with a noticeable lack of character. Yet, as this half of the season continues, he has found new reserves after winning for a second time in a row last weekend at Hockenheim. The first came in
typically drenched conditions in the UK four weeks ago, crossing the line with a lead of 68.5 seconds, a lifetime on Formula One standards. It showed just what he is capable of if he gets his head in gear. Current World Champion Kimi Räikkönen, relentlessly pushes his Ferrari ever-onward in a blaze of red, fuelled by an emotionless determination you would think only exists amongst the artificially intelligent. Yet, in spite of this, the Fin has won only twice this year, the last being seven races ago. The buoyant Felipe Massa, who brings a Brazilian flamboyance to Formula One, has won more races and pole positions this year than his team mate, and has thus raised questions as to who should be the number one Ferrari driver. The collected Pole, Robert Kubica, has kept on the tail of the former three throughout the season, and marked the anniversary of that horrifying 75G crash in
Canada last year with a win – giving him a week in the sun at the top of the table. Further down the grid lies the frustrated two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso; the Spanish matador abruptly thrown off his high horse and who is now looking more like an impatient dog on a lead. Desperate to break free, he is behind the wheel of a car that keeps pulling him back and wretchedly forbidding him to run with the rest of the pack. This weekend we look ahead to the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest where Hamilton will start, sitting on 58 points, Massa on 54, Räikkönen on 51 and Kubica on 48. Each will want to upset the championship in their favour, pushing to get ahead around that crowded first corner. If neither looks to dominate from here on out, then signs for the final race in Sao Paulo eight races away suggest a tantalising finish to the season.
natural disaster will result in the SWC being ‘taken away’ from the host country. Although Blatter has assured the media that he is confident that South Africa will be ready to host the Cup, it is essential that the planning committee does not become complacent. If anything, progress on the stadiums needs to speed up. Currently, the stadiums are being built at a speed that is similar to that of an obese snail that has been paralysed from the neck down from a tragic salt bombing accident. Essentially, the planning committee, and to a large extent the government, needs to assure the world that all the stadiums will be ready on time, and
more importantly, that there will not be any security risks for travelling fans. In addition, both parties need to deliver on their promises and implement control measures that will ensure the successful staging of the world’s premier football event. Most importantly, any foreseeable issues need to be dealt with in the present and not left on the shelf until government is forced to act. Although South Africa tends to take the necessary actions, it usually seems to take longer than it should. One can only hope that government and the planning committee deliver on their promises and stage a world-class tournament, with an African flair. 201120071356211Capetown_gov
taste of victory - Harrington shows the Claret Jug some love after winning The Open Championship
AMIDST rising interest rates and an economic slowdown, the 2010 Soccer World Cup (SWC) has become a beacon of hope for all South Africans. In 1994, the South African public bore witness to nothing less than a miracle: the unification of a nation in distress, brought upon by the successful organisation of a sporting event. Fourteen years ago, the Springboks recorded a historic victory against the All Blacks, and in doing so, brought the country together. Although it is unlikely that Bafana Bafana will be able to shock the football world by seriously contesting the cup in 2010, the successful hosting of the World Cup alone has the potential to change South Africa in a way that has never been seen before. If South Africa successfully manages to host the SWC, billions of dollars in foreign investment will be pumped into the economy, and thousands of permanent jobs will be created. However, if the SWC proves to be unsuccessful, South Africa may be perceived negatively, or at least less favourably than before. Although the hosting of the World Cup has the capability to change our great nation, the South African planning committee needs to keep their eyes on the ball in order to ensure the World Cup makes its way to our shores. Over the past couple of weeks, there have been reports that FIFA, football’s world governing body, have been in talks with Brazil about hosting the 2010 World Cup. FIFA’s Chairman, Sepp Blatter, recently reported that he had already organised a ‘plan B’ for the World Cup. However, he is adamant that nothing short of a
Soccer City - The venue for the 2010 World Cup final to be held in Johannesburg
Greenpoint - Construction is well under way for Cape Town’s premier stadium
Photo courtesy of hamilton_682x400_468278a_article+bleacherreport
Face off - Hamilton and Räikkönen look set to be locked into another neck and neck finish
EARLIER in the year, in what many rugby fans denounced as a terrible move by the South African Rugby Union (SARU), Peter de Villiers was appointed as Springbok Head Coach. Whilst the move angered some and pleased others, in the new coach’s baptism of fire, there has been a lot to be happy about. After six games in charge, de Villiers has proved to the South African public that he deserves the top job, but that a lot of work still needs to be done. Coming into a team newly crowned World Champions is not easy: de Villiers has faced the task of building up a new team that suits his style of coaching and will be held accountable should his experiments not work. After the initial shock of dropping players such as Victor Matfield and Percy Montgomery, for Andries Bekker and Conrad Jantjes respectively, the South African public was naturally hesitant. However, it has resulted in some fine players getting a chance at the green and gold. The problem is that while both sets of players have performed well, they have been dropped and included erratically with seemingly no plan. In my mind, de Villiers’ only drawback is that sometimes there seems to be no continuity in selection, one of the virtues most evident in Jake White. Whilst it is true that de Villiers is certainly not lacking for choice with the quality players we have available at the moment, his ‘horses for courses’ attitude has been detrimental to the teams continuity. Montgomery in particular does not seem to have found favour with the coach. He is often on the bench or not in the team at all. Although there is no doubt that Jantjies is a fine player, there has to be more space for a 98-test veteran and World Cup winner. The message he has been sending out
Cirque de cycle Barloworld withdraws sponsorship amidst doping scandal Lindi Brownell
Peter de Villiers -
South Africans don’t know whether to
laugh or cry
is not a good one, as other talented players such as Frans Steyn and Ruan Pienaar have faced the same treatment. He could very well be in danger of alienating certain players of prodigious talent should his chop-and-change attitude remain. When players don’t know what to expect from a coach, morale and form drop. However, the two Welsh tests and the Italian test were never going to be the games on which he would be judged. The all impor-
Although there is no doubt that Jantjes is a fine player, there has to be more space for a 98-test veteran and World Cup winner, like Montgomery
tant Tri Nations was where de Villiers had to earn the faith of the fans and administrators alike. The three games played away could easily have been three wins from three, as the Boks showed flashes of talent that proved that on their day they could beat anyone. The Boks need to concentrate on their finishing for the home leg, as that too let them down overseas. On returning home they will not be unhappy after coming away with one win and a bonus point. De Villiers’ record has been impressive thus far. Of the six tests of which he has been in charge, the Boks have won four and lost two with one of the wins coming away from home. It is inevitable that de Villiers will be compared to Jake White who won the Tri Nations in his first year in charge, and at the moment he is measuring up. By beating New Zealand on their soil for the first time in ten years and the first time ever at Dunedin, ‘The House of Pain,’ de Villiers has sent a message that, though he may be inexperienced, he will be a force to be reckoned with.
ANOTHER year brings with it another doping scandal. The 2008 Tour de France has been marred, yet again, by ill-disciplined athletes. The prestigious race, which began in Brittany on 5 July, sees cyclists battle 21 gruelling stages over a distance of 3,500 kilometres. What should be a celebration of a century-old race has turned into an event infamous for disgrace and drug-taking. This year’s latest doping fiend is Team Barloworld’s Moisés Dueñas Nevado, a talented Spanish rider who has accomplished quite a lot in his short fouryear career. Overall second place at both the Tour de l’Avenir and the Regio Tour caught the attention of cycling fans, but regrettably, he has now thrown his competitive career away. Only two weeks ago, Nevado tested positive for the blood booster erythropoietin (EPO), an incident that could mark the end of his cycling career. A Barloworld spokesperson said, ‘We are disappointed and concerned about one of our cyclists testing positive. Team Barloworld has a zero-tolerance policy towards doping and, as such, Nevado has been suspended from all team activities with immediate effect.’ Not only is Nevado’s career possibly over, but his brush with doping has led Barloworld to officially cancel their Tour de France sponsorship. Not wanting to be associated with drug scandals, Barloworld chose not to renew their contract with the Tour next year. The company said, ‘This incident has a negative impact on Barloworld and our brand principles, which our board has a duty
Photo courtesy of Moises-Duenas-Nevado_1034662
Photo courtesy of pieter_de_villiers_rugbyheaven
The Peter de Villiers’ see-saw
to protect.’ Nevado is not the only cyclist that has been disgraced during the course of this year’s race. Liquigas’s Manuel Beltrán and Saunier Duval-Scott’s Riccardo Riccò, both tested positive for EPO. International Cycling President, Pat McQuaid, was disappointed by yet another bout of doping déjà vu. ‘It is a damaging blow. Once again, it proves that individuals are ready to take stupid risks.’ One thing is for sure: Between the organisers of the Tour de France and the cyclists themselves, something needs to be done to keep what’s left of the Tour’s reputation intact. Soon, companies will stop sponsoring the athletes altogether, and this historic race will cease to hold the prestigious title it was once famous for.