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Trengove on NPA

“Geel Gevaar”

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Going down under page 16

UCT 2nd XI

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Malema: “Fear nobody”

KERRYN WARREN

“YOU must never be intimidated by the majority that are only here [at UCT],” Malema consoled ANC supporters last Wednesday. “Wherever you are, even in this university, never feel that you are alone.” Later he added: “We [the ANCYL] are a militant and radical voice of the ANC. We respect [our opposition], but we fear nobody.” The speech was given in Beattie lecture theatre last Wednesday. The president of the ANCYL, Julius Malema, was met by many supporters and critics. Beattie and, later, Jameson Hall were packed to capacity, so much so that security had to close the doors on many people despite the fact that posters had only gone up the day before. However supporters stuck outside were content in singing and praising the ANC. “We will campaign everywhere and will never be stopped by any security branch,” Malema commented in jest at the attempt of UCT’s Campus Protection Services (CPS) to keep students at bay. Malema spoke about the inevitability of an ANC majority, saying that some people should be prepared for Jacob Zuma becoming president, reminding listeners that people had also said the ANC president would not be elected in Polokwane. “President Zuma will get three thirds majority.” He

spoke of such a victory as a “present” to Nelson Mandela. “We will make Nelson Mandela proud.” Malema also made jibes at Helen Zille, “the Madame”, saying Zuma was “unstoppable” in response to the DA posters with “Stop Zuma” printed on them. The ANCYL leader also addressed management at UCT. He stated,“We must transform this university. We must change the council of this university. We must also change the lecturers in this university... This is our university. We must change the look of this university. It must be a true reflection of the population of this country.” He further promised that the ANC will put more money into education for Africans to the extent that it will be free even at university level. The Cape Times carried the sensational headline “Malema threatens UCT” the following day. The article focused on Malema’s comments regarding transformation at UCT. Malema also criticised opposition, saying that the ANC are the true Congress of the People and that COPE stands for “Confusion of the People” and insisting that “those in power in Cape Town will continue to divide the country along racial lines”. Throughout the meeting, Malema insisted that “Helen Zille [had] deployed people to disrupt the meeting.”

Photos by Kristen Duff

21 April 2009 · Volume 68, Number 5 · 021 650 3543 · varsitynewspaper@gmail.com

ELECTION FEVER- UCT students turned out in their hundreds to hear Julius Malema, ANCYL President, last week Wednesday. Tomorrow the country goes to the polls in one of the most hotly contested elections since 1994. Top, Malema addresses a crowded Beattie theatre, bottom left, a packed Jameson Hall awaits another Malema speech. Bottom right, UCT’s own ANCYL president Trevor McArthur embraces Malema with a smile.

Con artist caught on campus in SABC scam ZERENE HADDAD AND BRIAN MULLER A CON ARTIST attempting to scam gullible UCT students out of their money was apprehended three weeks ago. Thabo Bester, under the name of “Tom Kelly” approached the UCT SRC Entertainment representative, Anton Taylor, on 30 March claiming to be shooting an SABC show on campus in the next few weeks. Bester provided numerous official-looking documents and posters proving his programme’s legitimacy. VARSITY was granted access to these papers, which did carry the SABC 1 logo, in addition to a supposed American production

company logo. Bester claimed to be the son of the owner of the American multi-million dollar organisation, Black Entertainment Television. He said that he owned the local network “Bad School Boy” (BSB). Bester asked Taylor for help in scouting talent for the show, as well as for Taylor to be a presenter on the show, and promised large salaries to all those involved. Taylor agreed and spent the entire day showing him around campus, including residences, helping Bester search for potential presenters for the show. Initially Bester said he wanted “well-spoken, attractive black girls.” However as the day went on, it became apparent that Bester

was disorganised. Taylor states, “He changed his racial criteria for presenters and expected [me] to select potential candidates, rather than doing it himself.” Taylor had to lend money to Bester that evening for accommodation, as he claimed to have lost his debit card. Taylor became suspicious and decided to search the internet to see what information he could find on Bester. A news story carried by thetimes.co.za reported that someone named “Tom Kelly” [Bester] and an accomplice had been released on bail the previous week in Johannesburg on charges of swindling thousands of rands from aspiring models. They had conned people into believing

that eTV would host Africa’s Next Top Model. Bester allegedly also conned companies such as Cross Trainer and Twisted Lemon from whom he had received “sponsorship” for the supposed show. Taylor did not confront Bester on the matter, as he preferred to arrange a fake meeting whereby he could legitimately apprehend him. He approached CPS for assistance. Gary Dyssel of CPS, agreed to help Taylor by organising a van and officers to be undercover on Lower Campus. When Bester arrived to meet Taylor outside Leo Marquard Residence, the undercover CPS officers apprehended him. At the time Bester had a receipt on him for a large purchase

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

he had just made, as well as more fake documents pertaining to TV series’. Bester was handed over into police custody by CPS. Taylor contacted the SABC to inform them of the scam, but has received no response from them. Full of praise for CPS, Taylor told VARSITY, “CPS are really doing a good job… I’d like to stress how helpful, professional and generally keen to catch this guy they were. Considering that they have to police such a large area, with no weapons at all, they are doing superbly, and really don’t get the credit they deserve.” Varsity was unable to reach CPS for comment on the matter by the time it went to print.


2

NEWS

STAFF WRITER THE third Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersexual (LGBTI) lekgotla took place from 3-7 April. The event was hosted by Rainbow UCT in association with the Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation (Hivos). The final day included the launch of Kaleidoscope, a new national LGBTI youth-based network organisation which merges groups from universities across the country. This year the conference was supported by activists both participating in the lekgotla and attending Kaleidoscope’s official launch. These included Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Justice Edwin Cameron, Zackie Achmat as well as members from the Triangle Project, Gender Dynamix and the Out In Africa Film Festival. Dr Max Price, UCT’s Vice Chancellor, also spoke at the official launch of Kaleidoscope. “Ultimately, we’d like to work ourselves into redundancy,” says Lekgotla organiser Zayne Imam, a third-year accounting student at UCT. “We aim to fight against all forms of discrimination, not just

LGBTI concerns.” The previous two lekgotlas have been hosted by the University of the Witwatersrand and Rhodes University respectively. This year the conference focused on “mentorship provided by established organizations and reputable activists, capacity building, training and skills development” as outlined on Rainbow UCT’s official press release. Due to the rapid growth and success of the conference over the last two years the need for a national youth-based communication network organization was necessary as individual campuses had a limited voice. In an attempt to address this issue, Kaleidoscope was created in order to strengthen these voices by joining forces. It is “an important forum for the discussion of the social injustices and prejudices, based on sexual orientation, experienced by youth (particularly students) across the country”. The aim of the organisation is to rid tertiary institutions of all discrimination and hate crimes by upholding human rights attributed to LGBTI citizens.

Battling it out on stage BRIAN MULLER UCT RAG’s newest project, Launch Your Band, had its quarter final at Marshall Music last Friday where New Ultum, Heart Shaped Heresy and Reburn were chosen as the three finalists to perform along side Cassette and Taxi Violence at The Assembly on 1 May. In an interview with VARSITY, Project Manager Tara Dales commented that UCT RAG had decided to create the new project because “the response to Battle Of The Bands in previous years was overwhelming.” The competition is judged by a panel of three judges: Alain Ferrier from Rocking The Daisies, Mike Vaughn from Marshall Music and the bassist from Tree 63, and Robbie Greyling from the Waterfront restaurant, Quay 4. After their formation in April 2005 and being nominated at the Gospel Music Awards for Best Rock Group, New Ultum is an already established Christian band with a hard-rock, scremo and alternative music sound. They headlined and toured with Underoath and have already released two videos on MK. The female-fronted rock band,

Heart Shaped Heresy, played their first gig in March 2008. It was their unique sound, which they describe as a “mix of rock, dancepunk, blues and folk-acoustic” that led them to be managed by Mad Crew Productions. The five-piece indie/rock band Reburn was formed in 2008 and has won a number of competitions since then. These include the KuDe-Ta Live Competition, The Paul Bothners Music stores/R.O.A.D. Face Off Battle, and the Red Bull and Speakerbox Rocking The Daisies Challenge. They have headlined for many local bands like Taxi Violence, Evolver and The Ragdolls. All three bands will be performing live on Jammie Plaza this Thursday during meridian, after which there will be public voting for the winning band on Facebook. The winning band shall win a slot at Rocking the Daisies, a gig at The Assembly, R2 000 worth of vouchers from Marshall Music, a professional photo shoot and a contract to play at Quay 4. Tickets can be bought at the RAG office for R40 per person. Free transport from Lower Campus.

AND THEN THERE WAS ONE- (from top) Reburn and Heart Shaped Heresy are two of the three bands who will be competing on Jammie this Thursday.

Upcoming admissions policy debates STAFF WRITER THE UCT Council has constituted an Admissions Review Task Team (ARTT) to review and improve the admissions policy for 2011. According to the task team chair, Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Crain Soudien, ARTT will host a series of debates and campus-wide consultations in the coming weeks. The first event, “The Great Debate”, will take place on Tuesday 28 April at 17h15 in Jameson Hall. Professor Soudien says this event will draw together a diversity of intellectual positions on issues including “How the university can provide redress for disadvantaged South Africans”, and “Race as a proxy for disadvantage”. A number of participants from among UCT’s community and further afield will participate. At a date to be confirmed later, a “Campus Meeting” will be held which will provide an opportunity for student political formations represented on campus to present their positions on the issue of race as a proxy for disadvantage. Professor Soudien says notices on the university-wide consultative programme will be issued as

the schedule of meetings is finalized. The ARTT will also allocate time for individuals who may not be part of a formal constituency and so may not have an opportunity to participate in the consultative programme, to make verbal submissions. Position papers by UCT academics on the issues will also be available for downloading from the Vula “Admissions Policy” website shortly.

“...race as a proxy will become ‘increasingly inappropriate’...” The most recent Admissions Review in 2006, headed by Professor Martin Hall, concluded that race is the best proxy for disadvantage but that the use of race as a proxy will become “increasingly inappropriate” as South African society continues to normalize. Currently, the admissions policy acknowledges the

University’s obligation to address the legacy of racial discrimination. The policy recognizes race as a broad indicator of past disadvantage and all prospective students are asked to indicate their race. The current admissions policy will be used as it stands for admissions in 2010. Objections to the ARTT were first raised by SASCO and ANCYL, who questioned the intention and creation of such a body. VARSITY reported on the ongoing debate surrounding the admissions policy over one month ago. Yesterday the Vice-Chancellor sent out a statement to all UCT students sharing his view on the matter as well as providing background to the process of devising admissions policies. His statement concluded that “I believe that the public debates and consultations will themselves constitute a transformation activity by spreading a clearer insight into and respect for the views and values of different sides of the debate, and building a widely shared understanding of a policy that we can defend and be proud of as members of UCT.”

)ROORZXSRQ:RROVDFNÀUH TONBARA EKIYOR THE INVESTIGATION into the fire at Woolsack residence which occurred several weeks ago has resulted in increased safety measures by the management of the residence, to ensure that the incident does not occur again. An interim report compiled by the UCT Health and Safety Department into the cause of the fire found that “it originated from a number of electrical appliances connected to the same socket” says Warden, John Akokpari, quelling rumours that it started as a result of negligence on the part of one of the sub-wardens. In response to claims made by students in the residence that the fire safety appliances in the residence did not assist them in

extinguishing the fire because they were faulty, Akopkari says that the students were not aware of how to properly handle the extinguishers. He stated that “none of the extinguishers were empty, as claimed by students, they were only light because some on them contained foam not gas, which gave the impression that they were empty”. However, he concedes that fire detectors go off sporadically, and says that he has made recommendations that they be replaced. When asked why students have not yet been moved back into the residence, Akokpari replied that “renovations have been completed on the affected rooms” stating further that “students in rooms that were not damaged extensively have already returned to their rooms, and the other students will return

to their rooms in Woolsack by the 27th of this month”. Presently, the affected students are occupying rooms in self-catering residences, having been moved out of first tier residences, because of complaints about the food. Several students lost property in the fire, such as laptops and notebooks which have not yet been replaced. Akokpari says that “student housing is looking into the possibility of compensation, on humanitarian rather than legal grounds”. This is because students are meant to insure their items, therefore, “there is no guarantee that students will be compensated or that they will receive the exact amount they valued their lost or damaged items at.”

A call for “bright young minds” STAFF WRITER THE NINTH annual Brightest Young Minds summit will be held from 6 – 12 July 2009 in Stellenbosch. All university students and recent graduates are encouraged to apply. The Brightest Young Minds organisation aims to channel the hearts and minds of young people into initiatives that can affect societal improvement and the annual summit is their flagship activity. One hundred delegates, representing the brilliance and diversity of our country, will be selected on criteria of innovation, leadership and academic accomplishments. At the summit the 100 delegates will get the chance to interact with some of the top thinkers and most inspiring individuals in the country as well as have the opportunity to develop new ideas and innovative solutions to some of the challenges facing our society. The best of these ideas will be presented on the final day to a high-profile audience of business and public sector leaders. According to Dirk Visser, director of Brightest Young Minds, the theme for the 2009 summit is ‘Opportunity in Crisis’: “We are

Image courtesy of bym.co.za

Kaleidoscope lekgotla

VOLUME 68 NUMBER 5

at a unique juncture where the world is facing serious economic and environmental crises that have profound social impacts. It is up to our generation of young people to step up and provide leadership to shape a future that is desirable, resilient and equitable. At the BYM summit we will gather the country’s brightest young minds to engage in this quest.” The summit was first held in 2000 and since then has developed extensively. Potential opportunities for candidates include: one year access to a Harvard University online course in Business Management; participation in Learning to Lead work-

shops; three day workshops with the Cambridge Programme for Industry and a networking event hosted with First Tuesday. Past alumni of the summit have included numerous Rhodes and Fulbright Scholars, thriving entrepreneurs and the founders of successful social initiatives. Ideas developed at the summit have been published in a book, profiled in national media and led to award winning business ideas. Applications for the summit are available on the website (www. bym.co.za) and the closing date is 7 May. Successful applicants will be able to attend the summit free of charge.


Varsity

NEWS

OLIVIA WALTON ON 4 APRIL, the Social Justice Coalition (SJC) led a public rally triggered by the government’s refusal to grant the Dalai Lama a visa. A number of prominent social activists addressed the crowd, gathered in Thibault Square, including Zackie Achmat and Pregs Govender. The government’s refusal to allow the Dalai Lama entry to South Africa has sparked public outrage, and suggestions that South Africa capitulated to pressure from the Chinese government, a powerful economic partner. The rally was a response to this, and also reiterated the SJC’s call for open and accountable governance. The SJC stated that the decision to deny the Dalai Lama a visa “is an indictment of our government’s tendency to place economic gain above the realisation of human rights, both at home and abroad�. This was strongly supported by the speakers, including Father John Oliver, director of the Western Cape Religious Leaders’ Forum and Interfaith Initiative. Oliver stated that the “refusal to allow the Dalai Lama to a peace

conference makes a mockery of our constitution�. Other speakers including Ilan Strauss, and SJC coordinator speaking on behalf of the SA Progressive Jewish Community, Angy Peter, an SJC coordinator in Khayelitsha, Anele Wondo, Ross Engers of Habonim Dror South Africa, and Ian McFarlen, director of the South African Friends of Tibet. All expressed their shock at the government’s decision. Strauss noted in particular the “irony� of the government’s decision being announced the day after Human Rights’ Day.

“...All expressed their shock at the government’s decision...� Govender, an MP of the first post-1994 parliament and now a Human Rights Commissioner, drew attention to the upcoming elections, stating that we “will see all kinds of promises [and]

must ensure that we can hold [the government] to their promises�. On the issue of the Dalai Lama, she stated that “we can’t afford to put things into little boxes as that is not how our lives work�. She noted the danger of “saying that people must take the law into their own hands without acknowledging the fact that the government has the power to make change�, and expressed the need to demand change in issues of areas such as service delivery and health. Similar sentiments were expressed by representatives from the TAC and COSATU, all to the cheers of the crowd. The rally was also used to educate those who attended about the SJC and its aims, and a drama group from Sea Point performed a play explaining what role the SJC has to play in people’s lives. Most of those who attended were members of the SJC’s Khayelitsha and Kraaifontein branches and SJC coordinators expressed disappointment at the small number of UCT students present. Student apathy is a problem for the organisation, as despite a concerted advertising campaign on campus most UCT students who attended were already members of the SJC, or

Zuma walks, Trengove talks CALVIN SCHOLTZ

LAST Wednesday the Democratic Governance and Rights Unit (DGRU) hosted senior advocate Wim Trengove on Middle Campus. Trengove has been involved in the state’s proceedings against Jacob Zuma since early-2006, and the seminar was entitled: “Zuma Walks: Special Treatment for Special Cases?� Trengove began his talk by providing a timeline, from the initial decision to prosecute Schabir Shaik in 2003 to December 2008. He suggested that three important things happened in this time: the prosecution finalised their case against Zuma; Zuma was elected as the new president of the ANC at Polokwane; and National Director of Public Prosecutions Mokotedi Mpshe announced his decision to prosecute Jacob Zuma. A large part of Trengove’s address was dedicated to examining the merits of Mpshe’s recent statement regarding his reasons for withdrawing the charges

against Zuma. His sole justification, it seemed, was based on the tapes released by the National Intelligence Agency, which revealed that certain persons had discussed delaying Zuma’s prosecution until after Polokwane in order to prejudice his case. From the outset, Trengove stated that he thought the decision, based on these grounds, was “wrong and indefensible� for three basic reasons. Firstly, it is acknowledged by all that what was discussed on the tapes did amount to an abuse of process and is not to be in any way condoned. However, the improper conduct was related only to the timing of the prosecution and had no effect on the merits of the case. Regardless of this, the final decision as to when to institute a prosecution lies with the NDPP. The NDPP was apparently unaware of the discussion on the tapes, which makes it seem that this had no impact on the case and did not disadvantage Zuma at all. Secondly, the law requires the

abuse of process to be weighed against the public interest in the prosecution, and this was not done by Mpshe. Trengove emphasised that he is not accusing Mpshe of having any improper motives; however he said that the NDPP was under “tremendous political pressure� and that he seems to have used the tapes as a means of escape. Finally, Trengove said that when there is doubt as to the merits of a particular case, that is precisely when it should go to court, so that a judicial decision can be made in that regard. He said that instead of receiving some closure, we, the public have been left with a “whole host of unresolved questions.� He concluded that it is up to us, particularly students, to protest and to make ourselves heard on this issue, or we may look back on this one day and see that it was “the tipping-point onto a slippery slope which led to the erosion and ultimate destruction of the rule of law in South Africa.�

Photo by Olivia Walton

SJC rallies to the cause, once again

3

were from organisations with similar ethos, such as Habonim Dror and the Student Society for Law and Social Justice (SSLSJ). A first year UCT student who is an SJC member stated that “the issues are much bigger than most South Africans realise� and that the SJC is “unlike other NGOs� as it goes “straight to the issue�. A member of one of the SJC’s

Khayelitsha branches, when asked why she attended the rally, simply said “I love it�. For more information about the SJC contact Michael Mbikiwa on 082 791 1838 or go to www.socialjusticecoalition.org

Blasphemy debate STAFF WRITER ON Wednesday 29 April, student Tauriq Moosa and UCT lecturer, Jacques Rousseau, as well as Bishop Clinton L. Battieste will participate in an open religious debate being held at UCT’s Jameson Hall to discuss the topic: “Is Blasphemy Freedom of Speech?� Errol Naidoo may participate in the debate; it is yet to be confirmed. “This is not vengeance,� claimed Pastor Michael Nlandu from Campus For Christ, the organiser behind the debate. In a motivational letter seeking support for the debate he stated, “We are trying to eradicate the situation of animosity, unkindness and hostility towards religion and especially towards Christianity that was deliberately created by the Atheist group.� The debate was brought into creation as a response to an article by Tauriq Moosa in VARSITY newspaper and the SAX Appeal article, Top 10 Atheist Retorts to

Fundamental Christians. This article, the letter states, has been made worse by the lack of apology from the “Cartoon Blasphemer� and has angered “Christians across the globe� because “Atheists have so easily gone beyond social boundaries.� Pastor Michael adds that only the “Vice-Chancellor has apologised�, which is not acceptable. Pastor Michael’s motivational letter not only concludes that this debate will highlight issues of religion and freedom of speech but believes this is the “time that [the Atheists] may define their own identity and tell us clearly their agenda with a clear understanding and their vision about who they are truly, because we suspect them of bringing harmful ideas among the people who live already culturally in peace.� The debate will be open to all students and staff.

 



   

          

       


4

OPINIONS

VOLUME 68 NUMBER 5

Malema represents what is wrong in South Africa LIKE many other rational-minded people, I went to the Julius Malema “talk” to see whether the man was as bad as portrayed in the media. Unfortunately, the media is correct. His “talk” was typical political rhetoric with very little substance to back up his superficial claims. What is more concerning, however, is that there seemed to be vocal support for this kind of rhetoric. His supporters did not seem to notice that he was being hypocritical. For example, he claimed that the ANC is committed to the principles of non-racialism, yet he continually

insulted white people by saying they are either “imperialists” or “colonists” who “are against transformation at this university.” Furthermore, he insulted UCT’s Student Representative Council by claiming they are not doing anything; yet how would he know what they have done if he doesn’t attend UCT? His tirade against various political parties – describing the IFP as “a cultural group” and COPE as “Confused Organisation of People” - displayed a high level of political immaturity. He never once talked about his own party – the ANC – and their

achievements. Maybe he was too embarrassed to admit that the ANC hasn’t achieved much since taking power in 1994. His undying support for a man of dubious integrity – Jacob Zuma – shows how low the quality of political leadership is in this country. Until we, as a country, can show some political maturity and vote for a party that does not represent corruption and nepotism, this country will become another Zimbabwe in a short space of time. Chris Rooney

Julius Malema, GodZille and her kindergarten crèche JULIUS Malema’s visit to UCT has certainly stirred up some conversation regarding him and the topics he raised. What upsets me, though, is the outright subjectivity and bias shown by media and reports written about the event. Julius Malema made some important points, some of which were said bluntly – which I think was needed – and explained very clearly. This included the importance of transformation of all structures of the university. As we all know (or some choose not to acknowledge) this is very true. UCT is still far from reaching transformation targets and increasing access to more black students. As was mentioned, and highlighted not too long ago, in a joint statement issued by the ANC Youth League and SASCO (UCT branches), UCT has failed to publicise its targets and results, not merely informing us about how many black students were admitted (and not informing us how many of them were excluded after only ten months at UCT) but rather it remains “NIA” information available to a certain cabal of people. Nevertheless, let’s look at the visit by Malema. I was extremely furious at the behaviour shown by the DA kindergarten crèche,

the lowest form of campaigning. Their whole aim was to disrupt the event by showing pictures of GodZille. The ANCYL branch and other PYA branches never disrupt any of their events. I think this type of behaviour definitely runs in the (DA) family. A notion always motivated by racial lines and class differences, as they were schooled that only they are good, perfect and right. Can I expect anything different? Their leader (GodZille), while she was Head Of Department in the faculty of Humanities, apparently said, “This (UCT) University is not for blacks”. Oh, so now GodZille decides the admissions policies…does this ring a bell? Maybe now we can relate this to the recent attempts to change the admissions policies without it adequately being in need of review… then again, “before I retire, I need to give my last kick.” She again repeated these derogatory sentiments of hers on Cape Talk Radio in February 2009, during the City of Cape Town – Taxi saga, when she said “I spoke to them (mostly black Taxi drivers) in one syllables.”I mean, can one get worse then this? Or is she just reflecting what she teaches her kindergarten babies and what she was taught? It makes one wonder.

However, this continues – related to the last kick of a dying horse – as she introduces her “Stop Zuma Campaign”. I mean, it could not be clearer than daylight. The DA is again stooping to the “Swart Gevaar” styles of campaigning, and playing on the whites’ feelings of insecurity, using race to gain some political points and votes. Stick to politics and don’t use your “Swart Gevaar” tactics like in the old regime (which, let me remind you, will never return again) against the black disadvantaged people of this country. You must take us seriously! Transformation will never occur (let alone be experienced) until we change the mental, racial, class and ideological landscape of this country. Then again, who wants transformation to happen? Are we ready to face the harsh reality of black poverty and inferiority and whites’ access to resources and superiority, by no means a reality, but inherited by a race-based governance system and school of thought in place prior to 1994? Trevor McArthur Writing in his personal capacity, and as a concerned student and citizen of this country.

BANGING around the rolling hills and errant elephants of Mpumalanga, one wondered why Nelspruit had been blessed with twice the number of election posters Cape Town had. Enlightenment came in the form of a lion keeper, whose words led one to suspect that the men who are going to win the election do not really care about Cape Town’s vote. This perhaps, is why, at this crucial junction, they see fit to visit Julius Malema on us. Getting upset by Julius Malema is like getting upset by Anne Coulter. He says things aimed to enrage feminists and soppy liberals and university students. And now, a few days before election, he comes to UCT. It probably wasn’t to garner supporters because anyone who can listen to Malema talk for two minutes and still remain loyal to Zuma’s cause is already well and truly converted. Perhaps it was, instead, to make sure his supporters don’t have any last minute doubts. Because when we great intellectuals get enraged, we can say some pretty cutting things. Things that make us look very much like a camp of anti-

Zumaites. And so a dividing line is created, with a bunch of snotty kids who hate Zuma’s guts on the one side, and who are very vocal about this. And the people on the other side of the dividing line, who may or may not be at university, see that. They see their best bet - not a very good bet, but the best bet they have - being hounded and called names by a bunch of snotty, wealthy university kids, who even go so far as to make fun of his dancing! And even if they don’t approve of the things that Zuma does, they polarise over to his side. He becomes ‘our Zuma.’ He becomes ‘poor Zuma.’ He becomes a personification of the common man, victimised by society, with his dancing, and his silly jokes. Making fun of Jacob Zuma, while very entertaining (he’s earned it) and completely justified (boy, has he earned it) has not helped. If anything, it has worsened the situation. The amount of vitriol surrounding Zuma (he really, really earned it) has led some of us to view the situation as though through a lens. Rabid anti-Zumaites have, I think, a tendency to believe that those who intend to vote

Tomorrow is the day we go to the polls to decide what direction our country will take for the next half decade and beyond, or will we? Do we really have any say in where the country is going? To me it seems that it is a forgone conclusion. There can be no doubts that the African National Congress will walk away with a domineering victory, the only question is whether or not they will get the two-thirds majority. Personally I’m not terribly interested in whether they do or don’t. What bothers me is that tomorrow I am going to go to the polls and I still have no clue which party will get my vote, and somehow I get the feeling that I am not the only person struggling with this uncertainty. Recent surveys have come up with a range of results regarding how many people are undecided, some as low as twenty percent of the voting public and others as high as sixty. Why is it that such a large number of people are struggling to align themselves to a particular party and what are the consequences for South Africa’s democracy? I want to vote for the ANC because I believe they are in the best position to take the country forward, but I don’t want to vote for them because they have a compromised leadership, and no, I am not talking about Jacob Zuma. I am talking about those veiled figures that whisper in his ear and spread their vile self-interest in his name. I want to vote for the Democratic Alliance because I think it is good for a country to have a reasonably solid opposition and they have experience and success in governance structures as well as familiarity in opposition However, I don’t want to vote for them because all I ever hear is ludicrous statements about ‘stopping Zuma’ and twaddle about ‘783 counts of corruption’. Honestly, I don’t think either of those could be used to form policy. So what is it that the party actually stands for? I want to vote for the Congress of the People because I think that it is important that in the future South Africa has a strong black opposition. I don’t want to vote for them because they struggle to organise conferences, heaven only knows what they would do if charged with the responsibility of running a country. It may or may not have been their intention, but the party is also a refuge for Mbeki supporters and this is encouraging a personality cult, the very thing many of these self-styled saviours of democracy complained about when it applied to Jacob Zuma. I want to vote for the Independent Democrats…actually, no, I don’t. They have a single notable person whose reputation and political clout was all gained from blowing the whistle on the arms deal. Again, this is not a policy alternative to the ANC. They haven’t even showed how they would implement the unattainable policies stated in their fanciful manifesto. What about the IFP, UDM, FF+ and all the others that make up the ballot list? They just don’t seem to have anything to offer. Most of them are culturally based or represent minority interest groups. None appeal to me. Even if it is only twenty percent of the population, this is still a significant proportion struggling to find representation. Who is going to speak for these people? Has our democracy been compromised by the lack of viable choice? It would appear so. Seamus

Cometh the time, cometh the turniphead TARA LEVERTON

Editorial

for Zuma are sadly misguided individuals who need to be shown the right path - after all, how can anyone in their right mind vote for such a man, who says such dreadful things? But the vast majority of people who go to the polls tomorrow and vote for Jacob Zuma are not deluded, nor crazy. They’ve heard the dreadful things he says. They’ve watched Julius Malema and the trial and the corruption and all the rest. They know. And, my lion keeping associate informs me, he is are not going to vote for Zuma happily, but he will do it. And why? Because they have also heard him say that he will be inclusive. Not just of the few, or the rich, but of everyone. Because they have seen him visit each province and talk to people there. Because he has acknowledged their existence and offered them sympathy and promised to help. When was the last time Mbeki’s camp did that? Or anyone with a plausible chance of becoming president? “People up here are not vocal,” I am told in Mpumalanga by a lion keeper, outside of Nelspruit. “They do not like to complain about their problems. They would rather suffer in silence.”

newsgathering next newsgathering Thursday meridian, 23 April 2009 in LS2C

2009 collective editor Seamus Duggan deputy editor Zerene Haddad chief sub editor Maciek Dubla sub editors Cayleigh Bright, Jackie Zvoutete, Jonas Kane, Louise Ferreira dtp editor Wei Mao dtp assistant Tiisetso Mngomezulu operations manager Tina Swigelaar images Simone Millward photographers Marco Balducci, Zakareeya Pandey, Jade van Blerk, Ghia du Plessis news Brian Muller news team Olivia Walton, Tonbara Ekiyor, Sarah Jackson opinions Tatenda Goredema features Remy Ngamije & Tara Leverton sport Daniel Freund finance & advertising team Megan Lyons & Desmond Manyatshe marketing & brand manager John-Ross Hugo, Mathabatha Sexwale, Celeste Adonis IT manager Irfaan M Imamdin staff writers Kerryn Warren, Moss Matheolane, Tiffany Mugo, Calvin Scholtz, Alexandra Perry, Gugulethu Hlekwayo, Tariq Desai, Liam Kruger, Nyasha Kadandara external contributors Isaac Hunja Koimburi, Faith Chaza, Che Mauritz tel 021 650 3543 fax 021 650 2904 email varsitynewspaper@gmail.com location 5th Floor, Steve Biko Student Union Building, Upper Campus advertising email Megan Lyons on megan@meganlyons.co.za or fax her on 021 650 2904. Rates and other information available upon request.

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


NEWS

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OPINIONS

Middle Eastern situation different

ALEXEI DU BOIS

emigrated from Europe to Palestine, they came as a matter of survival - to escape persecution and pogroms in Europe when the rest of the world was limiting immigration of Jews. A further example from history is that the Palestinian national experience and identity flowered alongside Zionism and is as legitimate. As Pogrund noted, one also has to look at decisions made by those in the past - such as the Arab rejection of the UN Partition Plan of 1947 - to understand how the conflict evolved. There are hundreds of examples of these decisions and circumstances that we need to recover in order to truly understand the nuances of the conflict. If there is anything we can

“...It is a tragedy in the most ancient and precise sense of the word...” learn from Apartheid in relation to the Middle East, it is the notion of contact. In Apartheid, despite every law and threat put in their way, people from either side still met and built up trust. This is a vital step towards building the trust that is needed for the two-state solution. Another thing the Middle East can learn from South Africa is the principle of non-violence. The ANC knew that they could never persuade South Africans to adopt democracy if citizens had been killed in terrorist attacks. Pogrund says that the situation in Israel is ‘worse than Apartheid’ in this respect because Israelis have to endure suicide bombs exploding on their streets. In our struggle against Apartheid, good and bad were easy to define, but we cannot project our clear-cut views of right and wrong onto the blurred, grey situation of the Middle East. Their solution, of two states for two peoples, will be totally different from ours. If we really care about a resolution between the Israelis and the Palestinians, we must approach their present and past on their own terms. Imposing our South African perspective is an injustice to the people who are attempting to maneuver their way through the circumstances of this tragic, tangled conflict. Photo courtesy of atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com

BENJAMIN Pogrund is a man who has experienced both apartheid and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. At the Rand Daily Mail, he pioneered the reporting of black politics and black existence under apartheid, and was jailed for refusing to disclose the source of information of a report. When he moved to Israel in 1997, he founded the Yakar’s Center for Social Concern in Jerusalem, which is devoted to dialogue. He offers no easy blackand-white answers. Speaking to students at a talk entitled: “Israel and Apartheid: Fact vs Fiction,” Pogrund laid bare the complexities of a situation that South Africans tend to simplify. He explained the situation in two parts. First was Israel inside the Green Line (pre-1967 borders). Israeli Arabs make up a significant minority of 20%, and they have full citizenship. Although he acknowledges that there is discrimination - for example, fewer social benefits which is unacceptable, he asked if it was comparable with apartheid South Africa. Pogrund explained that apartheid laws determined a person’s life from birth till death. Israeli Arabs have a totally different experience living in a democracy. He told the audience that when he was ill recently, he saw how Israeli Arab and Israeli Jewish doctors worked side by side in Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. ‘It was like a mini United Nations. This would never have happened under apartheid.’ He then looked at the situation in the West Bank. Ultimately, he says that this is not Apartheid--it is Occupation. They are two totally different scenarios. I agree on this point in that you cannot box world events into neat categories and “match the situation.” To frame the conflict in this way is to distort its complex nature. The historical dispute over the Middle East is not a “Wild West” movie, with the good guys and the bad guys. As Israeli author and peace activist Amos Oz writes, “It is a tragedy in the most ancient and precise sense of the word: a clash between right and right, a clash between one very powerful, deep and convincing claim and another no less convincing, no less powerful, no less humane claim.” The conflict is an intractable knot of history, choices and circumstances. It is an injustice and betrayal of this history to look at the conflict through the South African prism. Rather, we must understand it through the history of the region and the peoples involved. For example, when Jews

Terrorism threatens unity in Northern Ireland

TERROR IS TERROR- Israeli supporters protest in support of Israel’s decision to brand Hamas a terrorist organisation

THE RECENT attacks in Northern Ireland are a shocking reminder of the depth of feeling surrounding the ongoing religious and territorial conflict. However, politicians have united across the religious divide to condemn the attacks as cowardly and counterproductive to the future of Northern Ireland. Gerry Adams, a former IRA member and the leader of the mainstream republican party, Sinn Féin, spoke out clearly against the attacks and in support of police efforts to apprehend those involved. This represents a concrete example of the evolution of the conflict in Northern Ireland from widespread animosity and political violence to that of isolated fringe-republican terrorism. On 7 March, two soldiers were shot dead outside an army base north of Belfast. Two days later, a policeman was murdered while on duty in Craigavon, a town south of Belfast. Responsibility for the first attack was claimed by one of two republican splinter groups, the Real IRA. The second was claimed by Continuity IRA in what seemed like a deadly attempt to “catch up” to RIRA’s attacks on the English military base. Both groups represent disaffected members of Sinn Féin and the Provisional IRA who split from the latter two parties when they decided to recognize the legitimacy of the Irish parliament and declared a ceasefire in 1994. CIRA, the older of the two groups, is funded mainly through robbery, extortion and smuggling. The Real IRA, by far the larger of the two groups, is responsible for the 1998 Omagh bombing, which killed 29 people, as well as instituting a bombing and mortar campaign. The groups together represent no more than 200 core activists. However, squalid living conditions on council estates have provided a growing membership base of alienated youths who have been attracted by the phenomena of “recreational rioting” and the

Photo courtesy of upload.wikimedia.org

TALI BARNETT

VOLUME 68 NUMBER 5

RIOT POLICE GEARED FOR ACTION - There was a time when riot police in Northern Ireland were part of the norm potential to be a part of Ireland’s changing history. Both unionist and republican leaders have deplored the attacks. In the words of the deputy first minister for Ireland, Martin McGuinness, a former IRA member himself, “I will stand for all… against their [the Real IRA] attempts to plunge us back into the conflict; to see soldiers on the streets…and to see people being dragged back to interrogation centres. Those days are over. They can never come back again.” His words were echoed by Gordon Brown, who condemned and dismissed the attacks as the product of a small, self-obsessed group of thugs with no political support in Northern Ireland. With such widespread

condemnation and nationwide vigils for peace held days after the attacks, it seems the prevalent social climate for the attacks is wholly negative. Nonetheless, a populist republican political group called “Republican Sinn Féin” praised the attacks and defined them as an act of war on forces of an occupying state. Furthermore, they condemned the words of Adams and McGuinness as the “severest form of treachery.” It seems the conflict in Northern Ireland will continue for the foreseeable future until the terrorist groups are truly isolated. This will not be possible unless a greater effort is made by both the republicans working for peace and the Irish government in securing an effective future for a generation.

The Geel Gevaar: China in Africa BERNDT HANWEG IN THE late 1900s, Africa was a political battlefield. As the Soviet Bloc began investing heavily in the continent and forming alliances with many of the states, America and its Capitalist allies rushed to do the same in order to prevent a second Communist regime. In the early 2000s, history seems to be repeating itself. Africa is brimming with natural resources of coal, metal ores and increasingly rare oil that more advanced nations have already begun to run out of. To the victor of the Africa race, the spoils. African states are at a distinct disadvantage to claim the resources themselves. They generally lack the skills, technology and (sometimes) the stable social climate necessary in order to claim those goods for themselves. As a result, African nations are exporting tons of raw and valuable material outside the continent and paying for the imported finished products - a situation which is quickly leading Africa towards a precarious financial position. The apparent leader in the race to claim Africa is China. China is a world superpower, not only in terms of its military capabilities, but in terms of its economic strength as well. A cheap labour force combined

with technological advances and an authoritarian political system ensures that Chinese goods dominate the global market.

“...China has, to date, invested over $200 million in various projects across Africa. In 2006, African trade with China was worth over $5.5 billion...”

China has, to date, invested over $200 million in various projects across Africa. In 2006, African trade with China was worth over $5.5 billion. China may be thousands of kilometres away, but it plays a massive part in African policies, both foreign and domestic. Are we to be worried? We can’t help but notice that there are certain strings attached, as the

recent Dalai Lama debacle shows. This isn’t a piece for or against the Dalai Lama, but the South African government’s handling of the issue was abysmal, to say the least. First off, we lied about why we said no (and badly), and only then did we have the guts to say that it might affect our relations with China. Capitalism wins, China wins and our wonderful SA Human Rights record bites the dust. The conditions seem to be that as long as we’re receiving money from the Chinese, we’re expected to play by their rules. Let us not assume that other foreign powers are much better. America, Britain, France and others are eyeing exactly what China is: our pristine and valuable resources. While we lack the ability or coordination to make use of them, to more developed nations Africa resembles a piñata, waiting to be broken open. Before we make our various deals with whosoever comes knocking, we should be aware that the deals China and everyone else seem to be making are very transient. Temporary employment, large but short-term investments in the local economy, and then the deal ends. Africa should be on the look-out for long-term scenarios which profit both herself and her citizens. In the end, only Africans have claim to Africa.


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OPINIONS

More than politics, if you please ZERENE HADDAD In the past few months I have become increasingly irate over the neverending stream of questionable leadership that the public of South Africa have had thrust upon them. Election fever has gripped everyone and has resulted in some highly questionable behaviour. The media, with which I have a love-hate relationship, has not helped the situation. Two events on campus last week caused a lot of my pent up angst to come to the fore: the visit of Julius Malema and Judge Albie Sachs. Never one to disappoint, Malema treated us to his overused tropes about Zuma the “unstoppable political tsunami”, Helen Zille “the Madame”, COPE “Confusion of the People” and a bit of UCT bashing. Now, don’t think that I disagree with everything that Malema says, he does have some valid points. For instance, UCT’s management structures are in need of transformation. However Malema and I may differ over just how that change should take place. I agree that free education needs to be implemented, but the ANC have had fifteen years to sort that one out. I reckon one should start from the bottom up, so look to primary education before tertiary. Even if universities were to be free or heavily sponsored by the ANC, as Malema proclaims they will be, it seems to me that that’s not a sustainable solution. On the same day that Malema came to campus, Constitutional Court Judge Albie Sachs gave a talk about Ubuntu in relation to the Bill of Rights. In comparison to the turnout to hear Malema, Sachs’ was pathetic and it made me ponder our relationship to leadership. The public have a tendency to accord a higher status to political leaders than other leaders. Malema’s visit to UCT was extremely well publicised, Albie Sachs’ posters were limited to Middle Campus. It angers me that there are social leaders who do more good for our society in one month’s worth of work than some politicians manage in an entire career, yet are never acknowledged to the same degree. Are you a better leader if you’ve managed to muscle your way onto the political scene? Does that mean you are of more value to our society? There are thousands of unsung everyday leaders who are

fighting for the transformation that Malema preaches about. So whilst he talks, someone else is doing. But the majority of the public is too fixated on the political sphere to notice. Both Malema and Sachs represent crucial aspects of our society. They hold the struggle close to their hearts and both urge the youth to take ownership of the future. They have both experienced the highs and lows of this country’s history. So what’s the difference? Why did I leave Malema’s talk deeply disconcerted and Sachs’ with a sense of hope? Malema’s rhetoric was divisive, it excluded people- and I’m not referring to DASO supporters. Phrases about militancy and radicalism were bandied about, what if you’re a pacifist? Where does that leave you? Racist rhetoric took the podium and I lost count of how many times Madiba’s name was invoked to rile up the crowd. There was shouting, fist throwing, insults and name-calling. Alternatively, Sachs’ spoke of

“...Are you a better leader if you’ve managed to muscle your way onto the political scene?...” Ubuntu, the interconnectedness of communities, our human dignity and responsibility to each other. His rhetoric was inclusive and unifying; he told us the Constitution was inspired by the ordinary men and women of this country, not by Mandela or De Klerk. There was no shouting, no wild gesticulations and definitely no name-calling. In short, Albie Sachs’ speech spoke to my emotional and my rationale, Malema - to be blunt - just pissed me off. Malema encouraged us to “stand firm in your beliefs”, so I’m standing firm on the issue of leadership that this country is crying out for - one that does not need politics to validate it. In the meantime I’m wishing on the impossible irony: a political party that inspires a variety of leaders to step up, and is not so damn political.

Reasonable Doubt

VOLUME 66 NUMBER 8

Are these people children or judges? You be the judge TATENDA GOREDEMA ALL THE recent attention given to the controversy surrounding the dropping of the NPA charges against Jacob Zuma and the focus on national elections has detracted from the controversial and important case involving Cape Judge President John Hlophe and the Constitutional Court judges who leveled a complaint against him. It is a complex and longwinded tale of apparent Constitutional Court conniving and collusion. Reading the statement in support of the complaint laid against Judge Hlophe by Chief Justice Pius Langa to the JSC was highly interesting and entertaining. The official complaint was lodged on 30 May last year by Constitutional Court judges. The main focus of the complaint is whether Judge Hlophe sought to influence pending cases involving Zuma and the arms deal. The original complaint was made without the inclusion of the judges involved in the alleged incidents, judges Jafta and Nkabinde, who initially refused to lodge complaints against Hlophe. Jafta was an acting judge on the Constitutional Court bench at the time that Hlophe apparently approached him, while Nkabinde is a sitting Constitutional Court judge. The matter concerning Judge Hlophe’s approaches to Jafta and Nkabinde were originally raised when Nkabinde informed fellow Constitutional Court Judge Mokgoro about Hlophe’s supposed inappropriate approaches to her and Jafta. Mokgoro then advised Nkabinde to report the approach to Langa or Deputy Chief Justice Moseneke.

This is when the story becomes rather like a novel; Judge Mokgoro became reflective and wondered whether this was how Judge Hlophe conducted himself in his own court. She then observed that the matter was “deeply worrying” and told Nkabinde that she was under obligation to report Hlophe’s approach, concluding that “this is not how we do justice in this country.” Mokgoro, without consulting Nkabinde again, then told Judge Catherine O’Regan about Hlophe’s approach and the two judges conspired to “encourage” Nkabinde to report the approach to Langa or Moseneke. O’Regan, for whatever reason, then felt compelled to tell Moseneke what Mokgoro had told her. Nkabinde then told Langa, who advised her to make a written statement, advice which she rejected, Moseneke then telephoned Jafta (who was really nowhere in the story after the initial approach) and Nkabinde and set up a meeting in Langa’s chambers. During the meeting, Jafta and Nkabinde recounted their stories and told their assembled colleagues that although Hlophe’s approaches had been improper and unwarranted, they had dealt with them by rebuffing him. This is where the story should have ended, but alas, Langa and Moseneke were keen to take the matter further and through a series of events, the case now sits before the JSC, where Hlophe is yet to make an appearance, claiming illness and firing counsels for whatever reason. The approaches by Hlophe, if they are to be believed, were indeed improper and should not

have been allowed to happen. But the situation brings to mind a type of conspiracy, considering the fact that the case continued even though Nkabinde and Jafta were happy to settle for their rebuffs of Hlophe as just responses. The actions of judges Mokgoro, O’Regan, Moseneke and most importantly Langa are questionable to say the least throughout this report. The question must be asked why the Concourt judges pushed ahead with filing an official complaint when one of the judges involved, admitted that his perception of wrongdoing by Hlophe was formed after the incident based on opinion. The question must also be asked why Langa and his other colleagues seemed so intent to run to the media even before laying an official complaint? O’Regan has recently stated that it was in order to retain the Court’s integrity, but that doesn’t hold water considering that these are judges who know legal procedure inside out. Hlophe may or may not have been in the wrong, but the Constitutional Court judges, in my opinion have erred. These judges sit on the bench of the highest court of the land, yet their behaviour resembles that of people with serious ulterior motives. The fact that Nkabinde had to be encouraged before she approached Langa and then had to be encouraged further before she even partook in the later complaint is a sign that all is not well in the Constitutional Court. In my view, a serious review of this institute is necessary. Judges in the highest court in the land should not act like children.

Socio-economic transformation: a plea for change WANDILE MAMBA

“MY NAME is Sipho Dlamini. I live in Don Don, in Mpumalanga. Don Don is a little village, 100km from the main town of Nelspruit and 50km from the Swaziland border. I live with my grandmother alongside 12 siblings. My grandmother’s only source of income is her pension fund. My father is dead from HIV Aids, my mother died before him and my grandmother has buried them both. My older sister is also HIV positive, and she is sick. My grandmother thinks it is a curse in the community, because the ‘amadlozi’ have turned their back on us. I walk every morning to a village school 20km from my home where we have classes under a tree. Unfortunately there is no higher grade maths or science offered because we lack qualified teachers. My dream is to become a doctor, so I can heal many people who are sick.” Sipho will never achieve his

dreams. UCT will never accept him because he doesn’t have maths on higher grade - through no choice of his own. If they do, they will shove him in some extended programme, where if he pushes really hard, and gets 3 hours of sleep, and works while the average student goes partying, he might survive 1st year. But he will get excluded in 2nd year. That is the truth. He will be excluded because ‘he just can’t cope at UCT’ (Chris Ryall, President of the SRC, in his opening address at student assembly), because maybe he doesn’t deserve a chance at UCT. Only the middle class or white students deserve to be here. They go out every night to Tiger Tiger and still pass. They go out on Monday and Tuesday nights, write ECOS on Wednesday morning and still pass. If, hypothetically, Sipho makes it to UCT on financial aid, he takes the textbook money and the financial aid money to his grandmother to help raise the

siblings. Sipho has no money of his own - he cannot live like his classmates who can afford the R50 damage at Bang Bang, and can drink Jack Daniels and Lime. He cannot afford to chill on Jamie steps to watch the entertainment that is “meant to unite all the students” (Anton Taylor, SRC entertainment Rep Student Assembly emergency seating) because he has no sense of belonging. He is constantly stressed, because he has to translate the notes to understand them, First, there’s the language barrier that he has to get above. He is still learning what continuity is, before he can actually find whether a function is continuous at a point or not. Sipho is in love with Katlego. Kat is a middle class girl at UCT who went to private schools her whole life. She typically has a weave, wears shades, surrounds herself with similarly artificial friends and rolls her tongue when she speaks. She wears a mini skirt to class and half a top. To Sipho,

she is a goddess, but to her Sipho is a k****r (the irony). Kat goes to Springboks, Tiger Tiger, Babbo and Cubana. She will not even entertain a conversation with Sipho. Sipho one day collected the guts to speak to her, but she told him she couldn’t hear what he was saying. She told him to speak up, and she pretended she couldn’t understand Zulu. Kat will never pay the consequences for this. She will go on to have a lovely job, or marry rich. She will go on to hate anything black, and she is typically Anti-ANC, because “Zuma is such a chauvinist, my God,” and she “just doesn’t understand why they keep talking about Apartheid, it happened ages ago, really, who cares what happened then, fact is blacks and whites have equal opportunities now.” She votes DA if she ever votes, but in most cases Kat is apathetic, not understanding what is wrong with the toyi-toyi blacks making a noise. She doesn’t understand why we have BEE, and typically thinks everything

should go to people who have the experience and the merit. She is anti-affirmative action, and thinks that blacks like Sipho must get over themselves and stop victimising themselves, “You can do whatever you put your mind to’.” She hates the admissions policy and does not declare her race on the admission form, because she doesn’t want to be classed. In res, Sipho has friends like him, because during O-week he tried to befriend Jabulani (JJ). Jabulani went to Michaelhouse and is the token black guy in his circle of friends. Jabulani also goes to Tiger Tiger, Springboks and Tin Roof. But Jabulani is not a guy who you would expect to care. Jabulani sits at a white table in the dining hall (and yes, there are white and black tables in dining halls, not explicitly stated but implied). ... continued to page 8


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OPINIONS

VOLUME 68 NUMBER 5

Socio-economic transformation: a plea for change ... Continued from page 7 THE LECTURER says that JJ is an example of how white people and black people can live together. JJ is integrated but Jabulani is not integrated, he is a compromise. JJ cannot string together a single isiXhosa or isiZulu sentence, he knows nothing black. He does not know anything cultural. JJ told Sipho during O-week that they couldn’t hang out because he was afraid of bringing Sipho to his white rugby friends. Sipho just didn’t fit in this circle. JJ will go on to be successful. He is heir to a BEE holdings company which his father founded from the ground through apartheid blood. He does not believe in BEE policy, but he does not realise that he is who he

is because of BEE. He will marry Kat, and employ Sipho. He will never try to better Sipho. He will never participate in community development. He will have lavish parties and raise more apathetic kids. He has no pride in who he is, and finds gratification in white ideals. He thinks that black cultures are barbaric; he thinks Sipho’s belief system is pathetic, and he believes that tribes are cults. Sipho has the following to say: “There exists a group of people in this country that are irresponsible; a group of people that don’t see that the war for economic emancipation for our people is far from over. These policies are not racist, as the black middle class would feel. These policies are using a race-

based strategy to receive a nonracial end. This is done in the understanding that the policy that got us here was a race-based one. Therefore, privileged blacks need to assist in the development of our people in the townships and rural areas. We have become so caught up in our artificial lifestyles that we have forgotten that we are advocates for change. We are deployed in institutions like UCT to learn all we need to learn and then promote a culture of change. Our challenge is far from over. Freedom was just the beginning. We still have so much to do. That was the dream of Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela, Steve Biko and others. We cannot be politically emancipated and think this is it. We have to go back and help our

We live in a country of two realities Photo courtesy of image24.webshots.com

Sentlenyana Machaba analyses the economic problems afflicting South Africa

ECONOMIC segregation has been the festering boil on South Africa’s bottom for years now. Any student who has been subjected to first -year economics can tell you that the gross economic inequality in this country has not presented South Africa in the best light globally. South Africa’s Gini coefficient – which is the accepted economic measurement of income inequality – was reported at 0.67 for 2008. The range for the coefficient is between 0 (which implies that all households have the same amount of wealth) and 1 (which implies gross inequality as only one household has everything). Comparing the 2008 figure with the 1994 figure (0.57) South Africa has the highest and most rapidly increasing Gini coefficient in comparison with other emerging markets. Even the most unequal Latin American countries e.g. Brazil and Chilli have coefficients that are in the high 0.5 range. The increase in South Africa’s coefficient has been boosted by rapid growth in high income brackets – especially amongst black people. The emergence of black diamonds – and diamantes – has further illuminated the disparity between the “haves”

and the “have-nots” and is at the heart of the deep and violent social divides in South Africa. It is interesting to note, however, that the poverty level in absolute terms has declined since 2000, but the level of inequality has increased. The issue of inequality is one that is common to all emerging markets as the rapid rise in economic growth is positively correlated with rising inequality. This is due to the fact that most emerging markets are plagued with insufficient infrastructure, inflexible labour markets and an overabundance of unskilled workers in the formal sector counteracting the filtering down of the benefits of that growth. A key ingredient of high, job creating growth is that resources – in particular, labour - must be mobile and flexible. In South Africa, the labour markets are not determined by a free market but are regulated by the Labour Relations Act as well as the Constitution. The high level of unionisation of workers in this country coupled with the employee biased labour laws appear to help the worker, but hurt the economy. A report on inequality in South Africa compiled by Stanford professor, Michael Spencer, revealed that in

an economy with surplus labour and only a fraction of well-paid, tightly regulated jobs available (such as in SA), those lucky enough to be in the formal sector have no interest in reforms that let a vast pool of others join in as competitors for jobs. They will find ways to resist any breach in the divide between formal and informal markets. Out of sight is really out of mind in this case: the only exposure that we want to the suffering of others is via our cleaners and jammie shuttle drivers. We don’t want to know how they are surviving on less than minimum wage; we don’t want to know how they struggle to feed their families or the living conditions to which they are subjected. We are content to drive past “that” dusty township without a care in the world on our way to Hout Bay for seafood and wine whilst they are constantly reminded of the better life they will never get a taste of over the mountain. As long as the toilets are clean, we arrive on campus in one piece and our petrol pumps never run dry, we really couldn’t be bothered about those poor sods protesting in the streets who really should be happy to just have a job!

people understand what we have had the privilege to understand. I am so enraged because I feel like I am part of an apathetic, dead generation. People died for us. People gave their lives; we cannot even give our time to the cause. I am not saying people should be racist, I am saying people should be race-conscious. I am saying there is more to be done. The battle is still challenging. The Kats and JJs of this world need to get over themselves, and understand the idea of an African renaissance. Blacks are dying, we need to bring back an era of pride in ourselves and who we as a people. We need to get our focus back, because we are privileged to be in tertiary institutions, but we are advocates of those who have not been so

fortunate” Sipho will not make it past this year at UCT. He is in the library right now, but he will get excluded and return to the village. He will never be a medical professional; he will never find the cure for Aids. He will go work at a mine (owned by JJ and his father) in Secunda, where he will sleep with an HIVpositive woman and contract the virus. He will die painfully in his sleep, with dry lips, sore bones, an empty stomach filled with ulcers, and sores all over his private parts, throat and mouth. On top of this, he will have a chest infection, piles, a sore back and failing kidneys. He will leave seven illegitimate orphans behind. And the cycle will continue indefinitely. We are failing our people.

Power should lie in the hands of the people SAMANTHA BALL THE ELECTORAL system of a country is said to define the nature of its democracy, as it serves to determine the terms of the relationship between the voters, the political parties and the elected representatives. As such, it determines how political parties and the members of legislature are expected to conduct themselves, fulfill their electoral mandate and act as instruments of democracy. At present the Constitution of South Africa provides for “a national common voters’ roll, regular elections and a multi-party system of democratic government.” In our efforts to ensure that a variety of political interests are expressed, a closed-party list Proportional Representation (PR) system is adhered to. However, the legislature has the autonomy to adopt any system that they believe will produce such an outcome. Now, more than ever, the public is focusing on the features of an electoral system which is argued to produce a genuine sense of accountability between the elected representatives and their voters. A recent survey showed that only 3% of South Africans could correctly name their MP, with a low expectation held of how often MPs should actually visit the community. Moreover, when asked how much time representatives to the National Assembly spent listening to what people have to say, the response was disappointing, with only 23% saying that MPs listened “often” or “always”, compared to 64% who said that they “never” or “only sometimes” listen to their constituents. There is general consensus over the fact that it is of benefit to us to strengthen the bond of accountability between the electorate and the elected representatives. While this must be done within a system which also meets the other necessary criteria of fairness, inclusiveness, and simplicity, we need to ensure that this does not create setbacks for democracy. A balance between the powers and privileges of political parties and the functions and responsibilities of elected political representatives needs to be maintained. When political accountability is concentrated only on political parties, it appears that political representatives have no incentive to achieve higher levels of competence, effectiveness and efficiency, as they tend to focus on

pleasing party leaders rather than the electorate. Hence the electoral system needs to ensure that those elected are held accountable for their own political, professional, and personal growth - or lack thereof. While critics have argued that the current PR system in South Africa distances elected representatives from the electorate and nurtures an environment in which representatives are less accessible, responsive and accountable, little has been done to address this. Additionally, while a panel prior to the 2004 elections recommended that South Africa’s electoral system be reformed into a mixed system that would include a constituency-based electoral system, the PR system remains. As the 2009 elections approach, it is imperative that we take seriously the fact that many South Africans experience a

“...it is essential that voters become proactive in the electoral process...” poor relationship of accountability with elected representatives. In order to promote the fundamental principles of a representative democracy, it is essential that voters become proactive in the electoral process and become empowered to participate in the electoral process with greater electoral awareness. It cannot be disputed that there is a need for an effective, responsive and accountable government when trying to consolidate a young democracy. Therefore, inasmuch as the current electoral system in South Africa may be establishing the space for multi-party representation, it is thought that changing the electoral system may serve the purpose of establishing a middle ground between those aspects of the current electoral system which are appreciated and those which are not.


9

OPINONS

He who casts the first stone... MOSS MATHEOLANE SO THE Dalai Lama had his visa denied to him by the government, shameful indeed. But the way I see it, the government should have just been blunt and honest from the word go instead of giving excuses without much credit or weight of reason. They would have received the same kind of reaction and outcry of course, but the truth would have been black and white for all to see. Where does hypocrisy fit in then? Well, considering that this was the accusation levelled at our government I think it is just as applicable to those who threw it around and the world at large for that matter. When the ANC came out of the wilderness of banishment imposed by what was then an Apartheid government reluctantly knocking on death’s door, it had ambitious ideas and ideals to improve the lives of the people in this country. Much of these ideals translated into economic policies that never got off the ground. In what was probably the party’s first post apartheid internal crisis, it was decided and propounded by some that a liberal capitalist system was the best to adopt as it would ensure our easing into the world of globalisation.

The poor, whose lives have not changed much, were placed on a back burner in order to appease the overpowering economic powers of the west. This decision by the ANC was seen as hypocritical in some

“...The poor, whose lives have not changed much, were placed on a back burner in order to appease the overpowering economic powers of the west...� quarters including the ANC itself, a disappointment of the ideals that it had so vehemently fought for. The reason was of course the undeniable fact that reality means making hard decisions - short term loss for long term gain. If

you do not believe this then you should try being a bureaucrat. This little example is what I think off when it comes to dearest Dalai Lama being denied a visa, bless his constitutional soul. Again our government, although in different context, said that hard and realistic decisions had to be made and in fact, Trevor Manuel said it at an election debate right here at UCT. As can be imagined, the liberal intelligentsia were not amused. There was truth in what he said however, as truthful as the reasons given by the ANC adopting globalisation over social reform. There seems to be a difference when China is the one giving orders. The rest of the world suddenly feels righteous and forgets its own skeletons. Those going on about how South Africa was helped by the rest of the world during the difficult times hardly make reference to the huge role that “unlikeable� countries like Cuba played. I personally doubt if a poor South African thinks of Dalai Lama in the same way as Desmond Tutu. He’d rather have food to eat or employment than to worry about a peace talk. Idealism is not his concern, reality is.

SRC COLUMN THE national election taking place tomorrow marks the beginning of a new chapter in South Africa’s brief democratic history. I have never voted in an election before, so tomorrow is a particularly exciting day for me. I cannot wait to finally be able to step into the voting booth, make my mark and contribute to the future of our country. As voting South Africans we are faced with an important decision, and it is not one that we should take lightly. Many South Africans fought long and hard for the democracy that we all enjoy today, and I firmly believe that the best way for us to honour these freedom fighters is to ensure that we all make 2009 an ignorance free vote. We have a responsibility to inform ourselves, to engage with the parties that seek to represent us and to vote for the party that we feel is best placed to lead South Africa for the next five years. Clearly, if you haven’t already done these things then it’s a little late, however it has been encouraging to see the amount of discussion, debate and engagement that has taken place at UCT over the course of the campaigning period. As UCT students we have refused to accept the perceived apathy of South African youth and in doing so have strengthened our young democracy.

During the midterm break I began reading Barack Obama’s book entitled The Audacity of Hope. The book offers many provocative thoughts on the American political system, however one that stands out is his comment that for too long there has been a gap between the “magnitude of our problems and the smallness of our politics�. My hope for South Africa after the results of tomorrow’s election are announced is that we will heed this warning, that we will focus more on the challenges facing our country and less on the differences that exist between us, that politicians across the spectrum will look to find ways of working together to achieve common goals wherever possible instead of simply trying to divide the electorate with empty rhetoric and negativity. My brief experience in student politics has taught me that we are not as different as our leaders may have us believe, that as South Africans we all hold certain values and ideals to be inherently true and worthy of protection. This is the type of politics that we as South Africans should be striving for positive politics. Now go out and VOTE! Chris

Photo courtesy of geb.neu.edu

Space for African Democracy? SEAMUS DUGGAN

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“WE FACE neither east nor west; we face forwards�, these wise words spoken by Kwame Nkrumah resonate with the heart of the African Renaissance and the idea of an Africa governed and directed by Africans. Ghana’s first president also once said “that it is far better to be free to govern or misgovern yourself than to be governed by anybody else.� Half a century later, have we as Africans managed to adhere to the ideals laid out by President Nkrumah? Have we forged an Africa that is governed by Africans, by African ideals and African concepts? Have we managed to create something that we can truly call our own or have we merely amalgamated the ideas of the east and the west and called them African? Even if we have just made our own mix, based on ideas that we as Africans believe to be the most suitable, are these appropriate for African development? In this

sense, development is defined beyond simple economics. It should be defined culturally, socially, economically, spiritually and in terms of the originality and applicability to the continent of Africa. When we talk about the African Renaissance there are many aspects of the continent that come to mind. None, however, are more noticeable than Africa’s

personalised version of democracy. In this unique version of our social decision-making procedure, we either elect representatives or individuals take power by other means and in many instances they tend to stay there for as long as they can. This can be interpreted in two ways. The first is that in many African cultures there is a system of chieftainship. Under these, a

single individual and a group of elders are granted power as a birthright or take it by deposing another chief. The parallels between this and a monarchy are manifold. Both monarchies and chieftainships have had a mixed bag of results in the past, but that is not to say that we cannot still have them. In Africa, leadership in government is often a transposition of chieftainship, where individuals come into power and keep it for life, treating it as a sort of birthright. The other interpretation of African “democracy� is that it is a system open to abuse by powerhungry, self-serving individuals, who see government as the perfect opportunity to increase their wealth. These men do not care about cultural values, but use them as a weapon against their opponents. If someone were to challenge the likes of Idi Amin, he would say that they were un-African. To this day we are constantly treated to Robert Mugabe’s conspiracy theories

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about the western imperialists forcing their ideals onto Africans. Unfortunately, there is logic behind these arguments, but only because the western ideals conflict with the first interpretation of African democracy. Does this mean that we should brush off the idea and adopt democracy in its purest western sense, where leaders are replaced every four to ten years? No, as Mr Nkrumah said, we should be free to misgovern ourselves and thereby learn from our mistakes than to be governed by others. At the same time, we cannot allow our sense of democracy to be threatened and compromised by those leaders who choose to mistreat it. Africa is caught in a catch 22, on one hand we are trying to forge a unique identity, on the other, those who should be safeguarding are abusing the creation of this identity. We may not be facing east or west, but while we are trying to face forwards, we are being blindfolded.


10

FEATURES

VOLUME 68 NUMBER 5

Feature focus: Africa’s benevolent and malevolent

ALTHOUGH it belongs to a leader who came to power through a coup in 1983, Sankara is a name that speaks of pride among the people of Burkina Faso. Under his rule a new national anthem was written and the colonial name of the country, Upper Volta, was changed to Burkina Faso meaning “the land of upright people”. He launched anti-corruption campaigns and made it mandatory for state officials to give up one month of their salaries to contribute to development projects; they also have to pay regular visits to the rural areas of the country to see first-hand how the people are living and listen to their concerns. Education and environmental awareness were also given attention along with the abolition of tribal chief powers and the practice of polygamy. Men were encouraged to go to the supermarket and cook meals at homes in order to understand the position of women, while women were encouraged to play a more active role in government and development. He was assassinated after four years of power by the very person who enabled him to come to power, Blaise Campore. His body was thrown into an unmarked grave. Due to public outcry and demonstrations, the new government was pressed into giving him a state burial. A gem in the history of Africa, Sankara boldly stated that “fundamental change comes from a certain madness which comes in the form of nonconformity and the turning of one’s back on old formulas and the courage to invent the future”. BY MOSS MATHEOLANE

ANDRY RAJOELINA

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President of Burkina Faso (1983 1987)

President of Madagascar (2009 - present) RAJOELINA came into power early this year through a coup that dethroned democratically elected and re-elected president Mark Ravalomanana. There is not much available information on Rajoelina at this point, except that he used to be a DJ and businessman. He was also the mayor of the capital of Madagascar, Antananarivo, which he used as a platform to declare himself joint leader of the country with the support of the army and the country’s vice-president. Interestingly, Madagascar’s constitution does not recognise Rajoelina presidency, not only because of the manner of his ascent to power but also because of his age. His motivation for taking power, as he puts it, is that Ravalomana was abusing his position to better himself and his business (which he was still running) and thus failed to deal with issues facing the people of the country. Although the UN and AU have made clear their disappointment and lack of support for Rajoelina, he is yet to put a foot wrong; perhaps his ambition, if well directed, will enable him to leave a positive legacy behind. BY MOSS MATHEOLANE

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THOMAS SANKARA

JULIUS NYERERE President of Tanzania (1964-1984) A COMMITTED pan-Africanist, Nyerere provided a home for a number of African liberation movements including the ANC and the Pan African Congress (PAC), Frelimo, who were seeking to overthrow Portuguese rule in Mozambique, as well as Zanla and Robert Mugabe in their struggle to unseat the white regime in Southern Rhodesia. He also opposed the brutal regime of Idi Amin in Uganda. Following a border invasion by Amin in 1978, a 20 000-strong Tanzanian army, along with rebel groups, invaded Uganda. It took the capital, Kampala, in 1979, restoring Uganda’s first President, Milton Obote, to power. He was criticised for overlooking domestic issues regarding human rights violations and taking a financial strain on Tanzania. Tanzania was a one-party state – and while there was a strong democratic element in organisation and a concern for consensus, this did not stop Nyerere using the Preventive Detention Act to imprison opponents. In part this may have been justified by the need to contain divisiveness, but there does appear to have been a disjuncture between his commitment to human rights on the world stage, and his actions at home. He stepped down from the presidency in 1985, but remained chair of the party Chama Cha Mapinduzi until 1990. He died in 1999, recognised as one of Africa’s most respected figures. Julius Nyerere (1922 – 1999) was a politician of principle and intelligence. BY NYASHA KADANDARA

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Image courtesy of www.wikimedia.org

Image courtesy of www.wikimedia.org

THE African continet is littered with heroes, patriots, terrorists and dictators. It has Nobel Prize winners and criminals wanted for crimes against humanity. The African continent has good leaders and not-so good leaders. In light of the imminent elections, a look back at the different leaders who have shaped the continent’s history would help to remind us all that we get the leaders that we vote for. But most importantly, we also get the leaders that we don’t bother to vote against.

ROBERT MUGABE President of Zimbabwe (1988 - present) ROBERT Mugabe has been in power since Zimbabwe achieved independence in 1980, in the capacity of the head of the ruling party, the country’s first Prime Minister, and then as President. In his early years, he belonged to the National Democratic Front, which would later become the Zimbabwean African People’s Union, before moving to the Zimbabwean African National Union. He became the head of ZANU in 1975, and quickly headed a new military faction. The decision to make him head of the party came while Mugabe was still serving an eleven year sentence for subversive speech - during which time he obtained a law degree from the University of London, and a bachelor of administration from the University of South Africa. While his party was integral to the struggle for liberation, his policies and leadership has since led Zimbabwe into hyperinflation, leading to mass starvation and a decline in social services and basic amenities. People have since fled Zimbabwe in their millions - in 2007, the Observer estimated that a quarter of Zimbabwe’s population has emigrated. He has been accused of brutalising and murdering political opponents. More recent events in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe have included a cholera epidemic and the adoption of Morgan Tsvangirai as Prime Minister. BY TARA LEVERTON

SAM NUJOMA HIS POLITICAL career started while he worked for the South African Railways where he became a labour union leader during the 1950s. In 1959 his political activities cost him his job and he decided to start the Ovamboland People’s Organization (OPO) in Windhoek. As the black population became infuriated by policies being implemented by the South African government, OPO’s following grew, attracting more non-Ovambo members. It is at this stage that Nujoma decided that OPO would be renamed SWAPO (South West African People’s Organisation) to embrace its multi-tribal character. Their vision was to end colonial rule, and the abolishment of the policies of separate development and education for blacks and whites. In 1960 Nujoma was sent into exile, at this stage he decided to set up the SWAPO headquarters in Dar-es-Salaam. He spent the next five years travelling throughout Africa and Europe in search of support for his organisation. He then went on to launch the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN). By the 1970s Nujoma started to see the results of his efforts as the UN passed a resolution declaring South Africa’s rule illegal, and in 1973, recognised SWAPO as Namibia’s only legitimate representative. Nujoma stepped up SWAPO operations as international support was scarce. SWAPO guerrilla groups crossing the border from Angola increased; recruitment of rural supporters intensified. Although the violence in which SWAPO was involved escalated, the group also worked to provide social services. On 14 September 1989 Sam Nujoma came home to Namibia after an absence of almost 30 years. He is viewed by many as a moderate leader, especially concerned with the plight of children and the advancement of women in a traditionally male-dominated society. BY NYASHA KADANDARA

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President of Namibia (1990 - 2005)

HENDRIK VERWOED Prime Minister of South Africa (1958 - 1966) HENDRIK Verwoed became Prime Minister of South Africa in 1958 until he was assassinated in 1966. He is viewed as the father of Grand Apartheid, instituting the many policies that divided South Africa along racial lines. Unfortunately, the horrors of Apartheid only continued and increased after his death. Under his rule, the African National Congress (ANC) and Pan-African Congress (PAC) were banned as political organisations and 69 people were killed in the Sharpville Massacre. Between 1962 and 1964 economic sanctions were enforced against South Africa and trade relations with many of the world’s countries were servered, sending the once rich and profitable Republic of South Africa into a downward economic spiral. BY ALEXANDRA PERRY


11

President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly known as Zaire) (1965 - 1997) BORN Joseph Desire Mobutu, he later changed his name to Mobutu Sese Seko which means “all-powerful warrior.” After seizing power in 1965, he routinely had political opponents assassinated and alienated from the country. Backed by the military, his dictatorship bled the then Zaire dry. He amassed a personal wealth of U$4 billion from resources he sold to political allies to consolidate his rule. Despite his cruel regime, Mobutu was supported by many Western countries who in the 1970s were supportive of any country not backed by communist countries. As the Cold War ground to an end, Mobutu’s support in the late 1980s and 1990s was recalled and human rights activists in conjuction with banned political parties started calling for political reform and for the ageing dictator to step down. Mobutu was later removed from power in 1997 in a military coup led by Laurent Desire Kabila, who took power when Mobutu was away from the country seeking treatment for cancer. Mobutu fled the country, but still owned vast amounts of real estate in Morocco, South Africa and various countries in Europe. Mobutu died in exile in Rabat, Morocco in September 1997.

President of Unganda (1971-1979) ONE of the most brutal dictators of the African continet, Idi Amin presents a grim portrait of African leadership gone bad. Receiving very little formal education, Amin was involved in the military from a very early age. He rose to prominence as the heavyweight boxing champion of Uganda while rising through the ranks of the Ugandan army. After overthrowing Milton Obote in a military coup, Amin was quick to elect qualified officials into his cabinet, but declined from following any advice rendered to him. His rule was characterised by the routine expulsion of Jewish advisers from his cabinet and alienating Indian and Pakistan citizens from the country. Their businesses were allocated to Ugandan nationals, but with little to no experience in running these newly-acquired firms, the national economy fell into mismanagement and corruption. After being expelled from power by the Tanzanian army that had been mobilised to repel his attacking forces from Tanzania, Amin fled to Libya, where he was offered asylam. He was in turn expelled from the country and fled to Saudi Arabia, settling in Jiddah where he died in 2003. BY REMY NGAMIJE NELSON MANDELA President of South Africa (1994 - 1999) AFTER serving 27 years in prison on Robben Island, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela won the 1994 democratic elections to become South Africa’s first black president. “A man of the people”, Mandela has become the continent’s most famous and most loved statesman, winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. As an active black lawyer in Apartheid South Africa, Mandela was an outspoken member of the African National Congress. He underwent several prison terms, and was sentenced at the Rivonia Trial to his 27-year prison term in the now-famous 46664 cell on Robben Island. A human activist by nature, Mandela was and still is a human activist, fighting for human rights. Stating that race will never again be a basis of discrimination in South Africa, Mandela steered and still heavily influences the Rainbow Nation. Mandela, through his charismatic personality, continues to raise funds for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and various other charity organisations dedicated to fighting HIV/Aids.

BY ALEXANDRA PERRY & REMY NGAMIJE

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ELLEN JOHNSON-SIRLEAF President of Liberia (2006 present )

BY REMY NGAMIJE LEOPOLD SENGHOR

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FEATURES

President of Senegal (1920 - 1981)

PAUL KAGAME President of Rwanda (2000 present) WITH a military career starting in Uganda’s National Resistance Army, Paul Kagame came to power after the 1994 Genocide. First serving as Pasteur Bizimungu’s Vice-President, he was later elected as the president on a seven-year term. Kagame’s regime has been subject to serious criticism by a U.N. report that claimed that his forces had illegally extracted hundreds of millions of dollars in valuable minerals from neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo during their involvement in ‘Africa’s First World War’ between 1998-2001. Members of Kagame’s presidential entourage were personally implicated in this theft, although Kagame himself denied involvement. In 2000, Kagame was sworn in as president, and was allegedly reinforced in flawed presidential elections on August 25, 2003. Allegations of politically motivated assassinations and corruption have been levied against Kagame, while a significant domestic and foreign-based opposition has been growing. Despite this, Kagame has battled against the odds and managed to lead a period of relative peace, stability and reconstruction in postgenocide Rwanda, although the recent incursion into Northern DRC could re-spark conflict in that region. BY NYASHA KANDADARA

THE world-renowned poet, writer, philospher and theoretician was elected as Senegal’s first president after leading its independence movement. As a student in France, Senghor developed and introduced the idea of negritude, one of the earliest theories of ubuntu. The wellspoken intellectual developed the theory while writing poetry, encouranging all African’s to embrace their culture, to express and develop this and subsequently pass it on. Senghor, once an active member of the Socialist party in France and in Senegal, later decided to abandon all Marxist theories, deciding to adopt a more “African approach to socialism.” One such Marxist ideal that he vehemently criticised was the introduction of atheism. A devout Roman-Catholic, Senghor encouraged spirituality and quoted it as one of his requirements for successful leadership. Senghor’s desire for a united Africa culminated at the Organization of African Unity, which he helped found in 1963. His rule was characterised by “workable compromises” that allowed everyone to win. Peace, stability and economic growth were some of the features that marked his highly democratic twenty-year rule. BY REMY NGAMIJE

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POLITICIAN and economist Johnson-Sirleaf became Africa’s first female president in democratic elections after the previous leader, Charles Taylor, was ousted from power following charges of crimes against humanity. As a political activist, she was exiled from the country in 1980 and fled to Kenya. She later returned to the country to run for Senate. After losing to Charles Taylor in 1997, she ran again in 2006 and won, beating George Weah, the then front-runner in the elections. Her rule has not yet been disturbed by politcal turmoil and the economy seems to be reviving under her developmental programmes. BY REMY NGAMIJE

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STUDENT VOICE What or who is the quintessential African leader?

To be continued...

In light of the politcal and economic turmoil that has always been rife on the continet, what is it that African leaders need to intergrate into their leadership? Email your answers or responses to

varsitynewspaper@gmail.com


12

FEATURES

VOLUME 68 NUMBER 5

BY REMY NGAMIJE

Louis Botha Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa 31 May 1910 – 27 Aug 1919

Johannes Gerhadus Strydom Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa 30 Nov 1954 – 24 Aug 1958

Frederik Willem de Klerk President of the Republic of South Africa 20 Sept 1989 – 10 May 1994

Jan Smuts Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa 3 Sept 1919 – 30 June 1924

JMB Hertzog Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa 30 June 1924 – 5 Sept 1939

Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa 2 Sept 1958 – 6 Sept 1966

Nelson Mandela President of the Republic of South Africa 10 May 1994 – 16 June 1999

Where to from here?

Jan Smuts Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa 3 Sept 1919 – 30 June 1924

Balthazar Johannes Vorster Prime Minister of the Republic of South Africa 13 Sept 1966 – 29 Sept 1978

Thabo Mbeki President of the Republic of South Africa 16 June 1999 – 24 Sept 2008

Faniel Francois Malan Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa 4 June 1948 – 30 Nov 1954

Pieter Willem Botha President of the Republic of South Africa 29 Sept 1978 – 14 Sept 1981

Kgalema Motlanthe President of the Republic of South Africa 25 Sept 2008 -

Where do you see South Africa’s political scene twenty years from now? Send your replies to varsitynewspaper@ gmail.com Images courtesy of www.wikipedia.com


14

FEATURES

REVIEWS BY CALVIN SCHOLTZ

REVIEWS BY REMY NGAMIJE & FAITH CHAZA

Listen to this

Read this

Nation by Terry Pratchett

Love Vs Money - The Dream THE second studio album from The Dream is one sex-fest after the other. From beginning to end, it is “I wanna do this to you” or “I want to put this there”. It is decent for an R&B album, but it is not something that you will listen to when you are in Tibet searching for yourself. The album is ripe for remixes which will undoubtedly be coming fast and furiously over the coming year.

ERMINTRUDE, or Daphne (as she prefers to be called), is the daughter of a man who is 16th in line to the throne of England. She is on a voyage visiting the colonies of the Empire when she is shipwrecked on an island that has been devastated by a tidal wave. There she meets a native boy, Mau, who seems to be the sole survivor of his tribe and the Nation.

VOLUME 68 NUMBER 5

Twilight Saga by Stephenie BELLA Swan has just moved to

Meyer

the small town of Forks outside Seattle where she meets the tall, pale and handsome Edward Cullen. The youngest in a family of extraordinarily good-looking people, Bella is to wonder why he seems to be so attracted to her. Turns out he’s a vampire, and to him, she smells irresistably good. But, Edward doesn’t want to kill her: he wants to love her like any normal human would, even if it goes against his instincts. This four-book series chronicles their fated romance, through various trials and tribulations involving groups of evil vampires as well as their ancient sworn enemies: the werewolves. Meyer’s excellent writing will keep you bitten.

What follows between them is a relationship that is simple, often frustrating, but deeply human, as they seek to communicate, understand one another and their place in the “New World” left behind in the wake of “the wave”. Definitely Terry Pratchett’s most serious story to date, but also one of his most poignant and profound. Highly recommended. Deeper Than Rap - Rick Ross

Little Boots – Little Boots EP

THE Boss’ latest offering has lost none of the lyrical weight that has earned Rick Ross a cult following amongst HipHop fans. The album is not something that you can listen to unless you know who and what Rick Ross is about. If you are a new listener, try his previous album Trilla, before you try to dive into this one. It is too deep for new listeners to swim through.

IF YOU’VE lost interest in electro music because it seems like everyone from Kelly Clarkson to Rihanna has jumped on the bandwagon, or because you reckon it all sounds the same, have a listen to this British songwriter. Little Boots was tipped to be “the sound of 2009” by a random BBC poll. It may not sound like much of an achievement, but this is the same list that Adele and The Ting Tings topped last year, so I’m expecting big things.

Moving Units – Hexes for Exes THE band may be disco pop, but their name just screams Jay-Z (when he’s going on about how much coke he’s sold). Just me? It’s exactly what you’d expect from a bunch of disco punk boys – but better. A little electro, a little rock ’n roll, a lot sexy. Stuck-in-my-head track: “Dark Walls”

Images courtesy of www.cduniverse.com

Play this

Review by Isaac Hunja Koimburi

Images courtesy of www.cduniverse.com

Call of Duty 5: World At War THE latest release in the Call of Duty series has you hanging on to the end of your gaming furniture, pulling at the upholstery with every camera twist and turn as the gameplay takes you through the gritty battles of the AmericanJapanese and Russian-German forces. The WWII based game, accused of having a less impressive storyline than its predecessor (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare) makes up through its impressive cinematic effects and breathtaking fast-paced action. The game follows the American forces’ bid to wrestle Peleliu from the Japanese resistance through the eyes of Private Miller and the Russian

Don’t watch this

X-Men Origins: Wolverine YOU ever wondered how the hell they got all that metal under his skin? Or how the hell he survived the operation? Or why the hell he is the most aggressive, sexually frustrated half-human, half-something else on earth? Then do not watch this film. It completely kills the entire X-Men franchise. Wolverine is reduced to a whining puppy, he falls in love, he cries and he makes jokes...WTF! This is a horrible film. Do a tut, wank a bit. But do not watch this movie. Images courtesy of www.cduniverse.com

march into Stalingrad through the eyes of Private Petrenko. The two missions, though individually different, are masterfully interwoven through actual WWII footage and alternately inspirational and sobering dialogue from your superior officers (one of which is done by Keifer Sutherland of 24). The game begins at a low point with your character facing near-certain death at the hands of the Japanese, and ends in the Russian story with a stylish and highly satisfying ending. Brilliant as a game, but as one critic stated, “World at War achieves greatness but falls short of excellence.” Put down that tutorial and play this.


Varsity

15

FEATURES

The colourful palette of art and politics I HAVE come to enjoy politics; in fact I think that it deserves recognition as an art form. I see it being a combination of the romantic, abstract and realist traditions of art even though these movements are not necessarily the best of bedfellows they make for an interesting threesome. That’s what politics is, after all, wouldn’t you say dear reader? A play at emotions, mostly vague, a complication of the simple and then when convenient a proponent of what is realistic. Do not get me wrong, for this is but an aesthetic take on the body politic, an attempt at giving it one face especially at times like these (elections) when it takes on many faces. I recently attended the opening of the Robben Island Travelling Exhibition in honour of struggle hero and PAC stalwart, Robert M Sobukwe. This is the man who had a whole Act dedicated to him just so that he could be kept quiet, and who spent six years on the island where he lived in what can only be compared to solitary confinement for the modern jailbird. So there I was, all excited at the prospect of seeing how this great legend would be represented in the visual form, what inspirations would be revealed and in what way. Suffice to say, my excitement was quickly deflated upon arrival at the island. By this I mean a good four-fifths of the time was spent listening to PAC members singing struggle

songs and their leaders making long speeches, not entirely about the man, but about the ANC and the state of the nation. It appears that if you are a member of any party but the ANC, the ANC is the ice breaker you need to get a conversation going. But I digress. What really got my attention was a statement by the PAC President, Letlapa Mphahlele when he said that the PAC would consolidate after the election… a little too late, don’t you think? At least, that’s what crossed my mind. No other party in South Africa has split like the PAC but hey, they still hold on to those lofty ideals such as calling South Africa Azania. Eventually the organisers realized that the sun goes down even on Robben Island and they proceeded to rush us from the venue of speeches and tired songs to the little matchbox house where Sobukwe lived. The house being as small as it is and the crowd being as big as it was, it came as no surprise when the sound of breaking glass pierced the revolutionary atmosphere… chaos. We spent at best, about fifteen minutes at the house, the actual venue of the exhibition which did not have much but two large glass laminated pictures and other smaller ones containing his letters on the wall. By this time we were already being ordered to head for the busses so that we could catch the ferries back to the mainland. I began thinking on my

way back, floating on what was remarkably a sea of tranquility as the sun set beautifully, what exactly did I just witness? Was it an exhibition, a political rally, or just a get-together for some old comrades so that they could reminisce? I was left void of the beautiful image I had in my mind of art interacting with politics. I

was left hungry too and they were taking too damn long with the food. Art is inevitably politics, as all things including politics itself are art. The expression, construction and conveyance of meaning are what it is all about. And there is always an audience. An attempt at reading through the different party

manifestos is like trying to discern between the cubist productions of Picasso and Braque. Most of us are the audience, but being an audience requires an awareness and perspicacity that will ensure that what you see and what you hear is worth your time.

Image courtesy of artsouthafrica.com

MOSS MATHEOLANE

GET MY BRUSH AND MY MACHINE GUN - Art and politics have always walked hand in brush with each other. A look back at history will show that communism, socialism, democracy, Black Consciousness and any other political movement used art as a medium to spread their various messages. The eyes see more than the ears hear.

RÉMY NGAMIJE

with huge boobs handing out free things tomorrow, then we have a different scenario altogether. When IN THE very front of my face, my eyes tell me that a club looks there are these things called eyes good, my ears hear something and at the side, there are ears. And completely different. I always these two are always involved in follow my ears. But the moral some squabble or other. I willingly of the story is not that there is an control my eyes, reserving them for SRC girl with huge boobs (there harassing all the pretty creatures clearly is not). It is rather that that grace Upper Campus or there is a battle of senses, between hastily scanning the shelves of the seeing and hearing, that my ears library for a book that will give have always won. That was until me that extra reference for an the stock markets started going essay. Occasionally, I use them for south for the winter and politics some intellectual purposes. These was served up for breakfast, lunch vary between watching soccer, and dinner. Now, more than ever, seeing the facts has become more important than “following the heard”.The battle between seeing and hearing is everywhere. It is in our banks, in our politics and in our environment. This is because human history is determined by words and pictures, by hearing and seeing, and it can be argued that words have been winning the sensual war. It is words that put commas and full stops in our history, our laws, our hellos and goodbyes. The ability to say “mamma” marks you as a healthy, viable child, while the subsequent change from the infantile slurping of words to the eloquent, confusing use of jargon records the development of an adult. Yes, you can see words, you can read them, but it is from hearing them that their true power comes. And it is this power that has come to the fore in these “interesting times” where we are being led blindly by our ears. The power of sound is what controls the business world. Confidence cannot be seen, felt or tasted. It is heard, over the shouting of stock brokers and the counting of I SEE SOMETHING OVER THERE : Leading and following requires money at a local bank. The word “recession” sent stock markets eyes and ears. www.keepingthekidsfirst.file.wordpress.com.jpeg

harassing pretty creatures (but this time without being caught) and closing them in the middle of a lecture. My ears, however, are tricky things to control. They are a little deaf from my clubbing days, but they can still do the most amazing things. They can pick out the words “girls”, “boobs” and “free stuff” from a mile away, but are deaf to “recycle” and “SRC elections are tomorrow” when they are uttered three inches from my face. However, if you say that there is an SRC candidate

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Stop seeing and follow the heard

FOLLOWING THE HERD - Why do you follow whatever it is that you choose to follow? down the rabbit hole, leaving ears prick up attentively, lulled death and doom to become the by the soul stirring delivery of de facto currencies of the world campaign speeches. Place a economy. The ominous whispers hairy 180-kilogram woman with that a bank would close, that an boils fighting for space on her investment had gone pear-shaped, face in front of a man and ask sent the financial world spiralling him to get an erection and you out of control and showed that will have a difficult task on your fists close whenever the ears hear hands. Turn off the lights and ask something bad. As soon as an ear her to whisper in his hear and picks up something undesirable, you have a winner. Locally and a mouth passes it on, and the internationally, the political game old hole in the mattress is once has always been won by whoever again put to good use storing your turns the light off first and moans earnings. Convince the ears and the loudest. Cover the eyes and the eyes will follow. fool the ears. Hearing and seeing, on a larger As South Africa tenses before scale, represent the battle between the national election, the battle packaging and content, between of the senses will once again what is really there, and what be played out as voters, both something looks like. Nowhere has informed and uninformed, head to this become more evident than on the voting booths. If nothing else, the political scene, internationally it is hoped that the country has and locally. Leaders present reached a stage where every South ideas, talk seductively about African can stand up and say that this goal and that ideal, and our “eye see, therefore I am”.


FEATURES 16 Killer waves and other adventures

VOLUME 68 NUMBER 5

THE journey of 6861 miles begins with roughly fifteen hours spent in various aeroplanes. Also, if you’re unlucky, some quality time in the airport lounge at Sydney, because your flight to Melbourne has been delayed by a couple of hours. This is how my sister Karen and I commenced our trip Down Under this past December. When my editors discovered that I would be going to Australia, they wanted an exciting story. An exposé on Sydney’s red light district, for example. (Given that Karen is seventeen, this was unlikely to happen. Apparently it’s near Kings Cross, though, if you want to do your own investigating.) Or perhaps a wildlife adventure story. “Seeing a crocodile at the zoo is not interesting,” they said. “Being attacked by a crocodile is.” Thankfully, despite the fact that Australia is positively crawling with creatures whose only purpose is to bring about your swift demise, I managed to avoid being bitten or stung by anything nasty. The closest I came to an unpleasant end was during a very slight misadventure at the famous Bondi Beach. Sydney’s beaches really are extraordinary. They are beautiful and clean, and unlike at Clifton,

the water, I had several bruises, a scraped knee, and sand in all sorts of interesting places. On another note, you might be wondering, are the Aussies as arrogant as they come across on the cricket field? Well, no. Australians are immensely friendly, relaxed people. “No worries” is practically the national motto. Although this is unlikely to diminish my intense loathing for Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting, Aussies are fun to be around. Sadly, they don’t always have the same opinion of Saffas, although we were always treated very courteously. I have it on good authority that store and restaurant proprietors in particular view South Africans with some degree of apprehension. By way of explanation: we complain a lot (you have to admit, this is true), GOING DOWN UNDER - Going down under is not as bad as many we give orders (in Australia’s highly egalitarian society, this people think. does not go down well) and we the water is pleasant and you succession. So there I was, being tend to keep to our own little don’t have to fight for every inch whirled around and dragged over circles rather than integrating into of space. However, the currents the ocean floor, hoping that this the local community (the whole flowing around Australia are quite was the closest I would ever come “Cape Town is cliquey” thing all vicious, and the waves are strong. to a crocodile’s death roll, and over again). Whenever one of these waves praying that I wouldn’t drown in Nevertheless, I do think hit me at about waist height, I sixty centimetres of water, because that after the recent cricket would go down like a particularly that would just be embarrassing. I series they will be viewing us inelegant sack of potatoes. On was three metres away from about with new-found respect. As one one of these occasions, I was ten lifeguards, so this was an commentator pointed out, Aussies struggling to get to my feet when unlikely outcome, but still. When admire fighters, and after Graeme two more waves hit in quick I eventually half-crawled out of Smith’s batting-with-a-brokenwww.joi.org.jpeg

LOUISE FERREIRA

hand heroics, nobody can accuse us of whining. To my intense disappointment, I did not get to watch any cricket while we were there (we left on the morning of the first Test), but I did experience nearly two weeks of build-up. There was a lot of flattery and talking about the clash of the two best cricketing nations in the world, all the while with the underlying Aussie assurance that they would crush us into a pulp. You can imagine that I am now feeling particularly smug. As an aside, we did manage to get a peek into the Australian health system. Karen’s slight cough turned into a very tenacious bout of bronchitis, necessitating doctor’s visits in both Melbourne and Sydney. As always, everyone was very helpful. However, things took an unexpected turn in Sydney, when the doctor (a man in his sixties) asked us what things were like in South Africa now that Apartheid had ended. Sigh. In the end, the trip was a very interesting experience and I am lucky to have had the opportunity. I can understand better why so many people would want to live there. It might not be the place for me, but I do believe that broadening your horizons is always a good idea.

The leaders of the new school

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FROM the first second of existence up to the last asthmatic tick of time, where there is life, there will be change. And where there is change, there will be the tried and tested, reliable Old School and the more adventurous, rebellious, creative New School. This statement rings true all the way back to the times of Hairy Caveman who discovered fire to keep himself warm, animal skins to hide his dangly bits, and a bigger club to beat the other Hairy Cavemen with and steal Hairy Cavewoman for himself. The discoveries that Hairy Caveman made increasingly separated him from the other Old School cavemen who had their dangly bits exposed to the cold, suffering from “shrink winky” and with

difference is that this time we have economic, political, social and ecological puzzles to solve in one go. It is on the current economic terrain that the battle of the Old School and the New School once again commences and although the setting of the game has changed, the rules are still the same – which not-soHairy-Caveman or Cavewoman will make it out alive?

no one to keep their dangly bits entertained at night. Moral of the story? The New School always wins. Whereas Hairy Caveman was presented with autonomous ecological factors out of his control, such as climate and food supply to divide the Old and New Schools, today’s world presents us with a different scenario: the self-inflicted, wide-ranging and all consuming global economic recession. There are few areas of human life that the current economic crisis has not reached, raising food prices, scaring investors, crashing stock markets and generally spreading panic. However, it can be argued that the current economic situation is no different from the ecological challenges that our hairy ancestors faced in the past: the only

TOUGH COOKIES - The leaders of the new school are tough, determined and very ambitious.

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REMY NGAMIJE

“...there are those that are left behind and those that continue moving forward, adapting to newer and more challenging situations...” Generational gaps occur naturally. Whether it is the everchanging shift in the music world from Rock to Pop to House, or the huge leap in the technological world from a cassette player to the iPod, there has always been an incident that cleaves society into two groups: those that stick to the old ways, unable to grasp new concepts and those that are constantly pushing forward the new ways. As a result, there are those that are left behind and those that continue moving forward, adapting to newer and more challenging situations, never closing themselves off to foreign experiences and using knowledge from the past to solve present and future problems. It is in this period of time that the world is currently situated, and the people most likely to be affected by the changes of the current period of time are those who are living in it, the students of the University of Cape Town – the New School. Whichever faculty one is

THE OLD SCHOOL IS DEAD AND GONE - The new school leads. It does not follow. studying in, come graduation this year, next year or in three years time, there is a high chance that the economic situation will not have changed. Although the timeline reflects the situation as having occurred overnight, the road to recovery is long and winding – it is not going to end anytime soon. From a student perspective, the most noticeable concern is finding employment after graduation – this can be a worrying factor, since it has been noted that unemployment rates have never been higher. However, contrary to popular belief, it does not mean that every Tom, Dick and Sipho fresh out of UCT is completely out of luck. It just means that Tom, Dick and Sipho will have to compete against Harry, Mary, Jane, Peter, Lebo, Thandie and Vusi – the other qualified students from universities around the world. The separating factor, researchers

argue, will be the “fluidity of graduates,” the ease with which they can shift between careers and the ability to adapt to regular economic shifts. It is no longer enough to just have a degree. What is more important is what one brings with that degree and what new innovative approaches to conducting business come from future graduates. To survive, you have to stay ahead of the game, think outside the box. As far as thinking outside the box is concerned, here is my suggestion: shed the interest rate and adopt the “boredom rate.” Think about it: there is more boredom lying around than there is interest in all of the world’s banks combined. If loans were given at 13% boredom, they would be paid immediately, since everyone wants to get rid of boredom. Things would then become...interesting. If you are New School, you’ll get it.


Varsity

17

FEATURES

When in the Balkans, get hooked I WOULD be lying if I said I was an alternative sort of guy. I tried Vortex once and after the second day I contemplated walking home – but I probably would have got lost. I’m a more commercial-KatyPerry-Lady-Gaga-shower-beforeI-go-to-bed kind of guy. So when I was offered the chance to attend this year’s Balkanology, I was somewhat hesitant. Balkan beats, gypsy clothing, farm animals and people doing those funny dances they do in Eastern Europe – I can say that, I’m Polish. It didn’t really sound like my night out, but I had promised myself I’d try new things and, well, this definitely fell into that category. So there I was, off into the deepest darkest areas of Cape Town, namely Durbanville and the Bloemendal Restaurant, the location of this year’s famed Balkanology party. I had no clue what to expect and it could only have been a good thing because what I got was more than I had anticipated. After taking a long walk up a very steep hill – I wasn’t aware there were shuttles – I was welcomed into another world, almost out of a movie. Think Maynardville Carnival, without the dusty pathways, add people dressed in true gypsy style, and then the most unadulterated Balkan music. Welcome to Balkanology: The Resurrection. Truth be told, it seems I had a bit of alternative in me after all. “The core [of Balkanology] is the music� says organiser and

Photo by Jonx Pillemer

Maciek Dubla takes a trip into the gypsy wonderland and comes out completely entranced.

BALKANOLOGY - This is not a course. This is not a science. This is the new party sensation and you do not come home until the cock crows. founder, Ma’or Harris, but he’s quick to add, “Not only that, but as well as playing the music, we give it so many new dimensions using the means of interactive theatre, extreme decor and set design, costumes and livestock, that the experience of the music and culture can be felt through all senses.� This is without a doubt the case, and Harris has succeeded

but, he says, “You just gotta put the people in the right environment to experience it. This environment is Balkanology.� But as Harris says, it isn’t just about the music and without the award-winner designer, Angela Nemov, Balkanology would not have been able to live up to its European heritage. Nemov says that Harris charmed her into being

perfectly, creating an atmosphere that you would be hard-pressed to find anywhere in the city. It is precisely for this reason that Balkanology has become the party sensation it has over the last three years because it is here you can dress-up and escape and forget that an entire city surrounds you. Harris was right in saying that this music exists in everyone’s veins,

the design mastermind behind Balkanology. It’s a good thing that he’s so charming, because Nemov took to her Greek heritage and created a gypsy wonderland. “Purple and gold and pink and black lace and hay (lots of hay) and chickens and flags (lots of flags) and light (lighting is everything). Eastern European kitsch and not taking things so seriously!� Nemov says that that is the secret behind capturing the spirit of the Balkans. Mix that with the eclectic party-goers, the occasion sheep’s bleat and the powerful Eastern European music and you have a party that will have you dancing until the early hours of the morning. “It’s the biggest opportunity to lose your inhibitions for a night,� says Harris. “It’s therapy.� But all good things must come to an end, or so the saying goes. As I made my way back down the hill, intoxicated with the constant beat of the Balkans – and maybe a little of something else – I couldn’t help but feel amused at my sudden liking for the alternative. Maybe it’s because I’m Polish – and that’s alternative in its own way - but whatever the case may be, I’m hooked and intend to be back next year, jumping around and dancing to the instrumental bliss of Balkan music. I would suggest you give it a try regardless of your heritage; I’m not going to give you a reason why – it’s up to you to experience it on your own. It’s just one of those things.

The times they are a-changin’

Perception is deception by Che Mauritz

WHENEVER April comes around, and democracy and 1994 are on everyone’s minds, the most frequently spoken name is ‘Nelson Mandela’: Mandela, the saviour of the nation; Mandela who gave up his life for the freedom of his people; Mandela the Great. But no one ever thinks of the average old man in the street who did not go to prison for the rights of the suffering, who saved only himself and his family - the ordinary man. Was his life any less painful and traumatic? Is his story any less important? Should his life not be commemorated too? This past Easter weekend, I spent some time with my grandparents. My grandfather, now 76 years old, is one such ordinary man. He was born in the Free State farmlands and grew up caring for his family’s cattle. He recalls, with no bitterness or sense of entitlement, the year

when his family was no longer legally allowed to own the land on which they lived or more than a few of the cattle they cared for. He remembers having to go to

Johannesburg to find work to send money back to his family so they could pay their new landowner what they owed. He laughs as he remembers sleeping on Uncle 2JQVQEQWTVGU[QHYYYUEKGPEGDNQIUEQO

TIISETSO MNGOMEZULU

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So-and-So’s four-roomed home’s floor, or wearing clothes so old that he had gaping holes in his shoes. No bitterness. Why didn’t he fight, you ask yourself. Why didn’t he, like the Mandelas and Mbekis, tell the Government to go to hell? Why did he, instead, choose to stay home with his family, travel several kilometres to work everyday, putting up with the abuse and the intimidation and the inequality? He did fight. He fought to be around to see his children grow up and to instill in them the same values he finds important: hard work, pride (not arrogance), resilience, perseverance, and dignity. He fought to be a man in a society that did not recognise him as one. And he fought the everyday injustices and humiliations he experienced. But after all this fighting, my grandfather, like Mandela and so many other ordinary South

Africans, preaches reconciliation above all else; he is doing his part, however small, to make this country work better. He has forgiven the injustices of the past. What about those who gave up everything, spent their prime in prisons, or lost their lives, but whose names aren’t written in the history books; what about their fight, their contribution? All those people who did not become millionaires in big business or were not offered seats in parliament but nonetheless fought in the struggle for equality have been forgotten and will not be remembered when the freedom for which they also fought is celebrated. These people, my grandfather and 23 million other South Africans, will be going to the polls on 22 April to cast their vote. I think that they, and all those with similar stories and similar hurts, deserve recognition, celebration, congratulations, and some gratitude too.

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Varsity

19

SPORTS

IPL ‘rides’ into South Africa ON TUESDAY evening, I found myself – grinning from ear-to-ear with butterflies in my stomach and clammy hands – sitting a mere metre from the superstar I have adored for years. Shah Rukh Khan, the ultimate Bollywood icon and owner of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), arrived in Cape Town on Tuesday, 14 April, for the upcoming Indian Premiere League (IPL) Twenty20 Tournament. I was lucky enough to attend the team’s media conference at the recently-opened One&Only hotel, an opportunity which I was willing to sell both my kidneys for.

“...Shah Rukh declares that the KKR’s are looking to appeal to a young fan base and encourage children to become more involved in sport...” Sporting his team’s shirt with a trendy Dolce & Gabbana jacket and ripped jeans, Shah Rukh (we are on first-name basis now) was very enthusiastic about the upcoming cricket spectacular. Joined by Lalit Modi, owner of the IPL, Shah Rukh was optimistic

about the KKR’s competitive streak with the availability of more international players and commented, “We’ll have Chris Gayle and Brendon McCullum, and then David Hussey will join us when Gayle has to leave. Brad Hodge is here, and so is Sourav Ganguly.” Last season, the franchise’s most expensive player, Ganguly, was bought for a cool $1,092,500. KKR finished sixth in the 2008 IPL and struggled to build momentum with various departures and the arrival of non-Indian players, whose participation was cut short by international commitments Shah Rukh maintained that the team will be living up to the its vision of “to do, to fight and to win! We are working on amazing plans, including the captaincy issue, which has been a controversy over the past month. I think overall we are very well prepared … Unfortunately, we do have injuries, but we’ll be there, one hundred percent trying to do much better than last year,” he remarked. Shah Rukh declares that the KKR’s are looking to appeal to a young fan base and encourage children to become more involved in sport. He admitted that image was their main attraction. “I don’t know about the cricket,” he confessed, “but we are the coolest-looking team.” After merging the two predominant “religions” of

Photo courtesy of Simone Millward

Nerisha Besesar looks forward to the Indian Premier League

INDIAN PREMIER LEAGUE - Kolkata Knight Rider stars are ready to light up local cricket grounds a billion Indians worldwide, Cricket and Bollywood, I had to ask King Khan what his plans are after the IPL. Shah Rukh shall be returning to San Francisco to complete the making of his muchawaited blockbuster, My Name is Khan, expected to be released

later this year. He assured me that a world-wide tour would soon be on the cards, once he recovers from shoulder surgery in a few months. Determined to take the IPL by storm, the KKR will play the Deccan Chargers in the opening

weekend of the IPL. Like true Knight Riders, they will continue “to do, to fight, and to win”; after all they are the King’s men. As for me, after this once in a life time experience, all I have left to say is “GO KNIGHTS GO!”

Chelsea hold off Reds as United and Arsenal breeze through DANIEL FREUND

side that struggled to take hold of the occasion. United’s passing was slick and they produced several fluent moves which could have resulted in more goals. Wayne Rooney continued his impressive form, in what is generally an outof-touch United team, showing typical hunger to win the ball and demonstrated a variety of creative thinking when he had done so. Both United and Arsenal struggled at the weekend, however, as both exited the FA Cup. In a dreary match, Everton and United played out a goalless draw which could only be settled by penalties. The Evertonians kept their nerve to keep them on course for their first silverware since 1995. In Saturday’s semi final between Photo courtesy of guardian.co.uk

CHELSEA, Arsenal, Manchester United and Barcelona have progressed into the final four of this season’s European Cup after a thrilling set of quarter finals. Arsenal comfortably overcame Villareal with a performance which suggests they might be finding their feet at the right time of the year. The Gunners have had an unsettled year, but are starting to gel as a team and are now only three games from doing what no Arsenal side has ever got their hands on: the European Cup. The return of Captain Cesc Fabregas has lent some much needed calm to their midfield, while the dynamism of Arshavin since his arrival is

certainly cause for celebration. Youngster Theo Walcott’s increased influence on matches has also not gone unnoticed and these are promising signs that the team Wenger has continued to assert is “developing” may be about to pay some dividends on the manager’s investment. Arsenal may be out of the title-race, but they will still have a crucial say in the outcome as they play all of the top 3 teams. Tonight they travel up to Anfield in what is sure to be a fierce encounter. Manchester United beat Porto 1-0 on Wednesday to set up their upcoming tie with Arsenal. Cristiano Ronaldo’s sixth minute wonder-strike was enough to ensure the victory. United never looked severely rattled by a Porto

SHANKLY GATES - Supporters from across Britain left mementos to show respect to the victims of the Hillsborough disaster

Arsenal and Chelsea, Didier Drogba maintained his recent fine form to score a late winner and ensure the continuation of Chelsea’s revival under Guus Hiddink. Liverpool’s visit to Chelsea was

“...continuation of Chelsea’s revival under Guus Hiddink...” always going to be of secondary significance to the club in light of the 20th Anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster which was to follow the next day. 3-1 down after the first tie, no-one realistically expected the Reds to be able to score 3 goals at Stamford Bridge. However, the Reds got off to a fabulous start when a shrewd bit of thinking from Fabio Aurelio spotted Petr Cech off his line and he fired his expected cross low into the bottom corner of the Chelsea goal. Soon afterwards, the tie was level on aggregate as Xabi Alonso was hauled down in the box and got up to thrash the ensuing spot kick into the net. Liverpool were summoning the ghosts of Istanbul and Chelsea were rattled. After half-time Chelsea showed impressive resilience to pull the tie back into their own hands with a string of three goals which all but buried the match. At 3-2 with 10 minutes to go Liverpool needed to score three to progress.

Lucas Leiva’s shot was deflected off Michael Essien and the match was level again. No sooner has the game restarted when Dirk Kuyt was nodding home Albert Riera’s cross to put Liverpool just one goal from qualification. Chelsea held on, however, and Frank Lampard scored in the final minutes to leave the match at 4 - 4 in what was one of the finest European Cup matches this writer has ever seen. The following days Memorial Service at Anfield was to commemorate the lives of 96 Liverpool fans that died due to crushing at the FA Cup semifinal at Hillsborough 20 years ago. 30 000 people turned up for the service, far exceeding the club’s expectation. There is still an intense feeling on Merseyside of injustice and anger, following the handling of the match by the police which directly led to the deaths that occurred. There is also anger at the way certain important documents were covered up and not made public so that the whole truth of the disaster at Hillsborough has not come to light yet. The service itself was sad, moving and raw. Andy Burnham, the Culture Secretary, was invited to speak, but he was bombarded with a deafening chant of “Justice for the 96” which highlighted the ill-feeling many Liverpool fans harbor towards the British government over the handling of the tragedy. Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United players all wore black armbands during their semi-finals to indicate their respects to the 96 fans who lost their lives.


KERRI Anderson, Ryle De Morny (both third-year Business Science students) and Lyle Maasdorp (a third-year Business Communications student) represented South Africa at the Four Nations Surf Lifesaving Championship held in Durban from 27 to 29 March 2009. Anderson and Maasdorp were selected for the South African Under-23 team, with Anderson serving as captain of the girls’ team. They are both craft/ sea specialists who competed in iron lady/man, surf ski, Malibu board and other team events during a gruelling three days at Durban’s Battery Beach, where the famous rips and sand banks added to the difficulty of the events. De Morny, a beach specialist, represented the Proteas and won many of his events on the first day. Unfortunately, on the second day of the competition he damaged his hamstring during beach sprints and had to withdraw from the competition. South Africa came second to

Australia, beating Great Britain and the USA. The Australian team are professional lifeguards who train for five to six hours a day, while most of the South African representatives are students that train in the early mornings or after lectures. Dr Corinne Landon, Principal Medical Officer at the Student Wellness Service and Anderson’s mother, said it was a proud day for her to watch all three UCT students compete at an international level. “They are a shining example to other students, highlighting that balance is achievable commitment to training, competing at an international level, doing voluntary duties on the weekends on our beaches and still managing to maintain a high academic record in the commerce faculty.” SAVING LIVES AND TAKING NAMES: From left, Kerri Anderson, Ryle De Morny and Lyle Maasdorp after a tough day at the Four Nations Surf Lifesaving Championship.

Olympic rowing star to rock the boat at UCT

against the top two teams of the log at the time - Cape Town CC and Western Province CC, who were previously undefeated. Terry Niselow, a member of the team, praises Cones as being “one of the best captains I have ever played for.” As with all students who are involved in sports, BOWLING FOR SUCCESS - UCT’s 2nd XI have balancing academics is tricky. Training a promising future takes place two ZERENE HADDAD to three times a week with designated days for the different UNLESS you’ve been under a teams so that practices do not rock for quite some time now, become overcrowded. Some you can’t have missed the cricket players take the initiative and fever that has gripped the country. organise additional practices VARSITY went in search of the before big matches. “We have a little-known UCT Cricket 2nd XI general coach, Hilton Ackerman, team to find out how the season but he is mainly concerned with what happens with the first team. went and what the future holds. Cuan Cones, the 2nd XI captain, So we just coach ourselves and told VARSITY “[The season] learn from each other,” says has been a great success! Three Niselow. Despite enjoying such hundreds were scored by different a good season, “the general batsmen this season, showing the support of cricket at UCT is very depth we have. The amount of disappointing. I know cricket is a wickets that each bowler took longer game than rugby - but we showed that everyone contributed made it to the finals and had no support. That is something we are to the team’s success.” This season the 2nd XI played going to have to work on with the in the Reserve B league. The new committee.” Looking forward, things team came second in their league, which entitles them to promotion seem promising for the second nd to the top 2 XI league. They team. The committee has been also won the limited overs restructured in the hopes that competition. The season started fundraising and events will in September 2008 and by the end actually take place. Niselow of the year the 2nd XI was ranked seems optimistic about next middle of the log. At the start of season: “In my whole UCT career 2009 the team had three games I have never experienced such a in hand. Two of the games were strong UCT cricket squad.”

STAFF WRITER

Courtsesy of Terry Niselow

UCT Cricket second team climbs to success

OLYMPIAN Rika Geyser has agreed to pass on her abundant skills to the up-and-coming UCT stars when she takes up a coaching job with the women’s rowing team. The undisputed South African champion - and a formidable competitor on the world stage - Geyser hopes to attract more students to the sport, and perhaps mould a few champions of the future. “I’m very excited to work here, and the girls have shown good commitment,” she said after her first week with the team. “I’m looking forward to the season.” So far she has just worked on basic technique and fitness with the students. She has a long-term plan, though - she hopes to turn

the UCT team into the best-run university rowing club in the country.

“...The undisputed South African champion hopes to attract more students...” Geyser, 30, has been rowing for 12 years, but last year was likely the most memorable of her career. She finished fourth in the World Cup in Poland, and third in the Koninklijk-Holland Beker Regatta in Netherlands. Then at the Beijing Olympics, she won the third heat

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

of the finals in the women’s single sculls event, finishing 13th overall at the Games. She moved from Pretoria to Cape Town late last year, and the Western Cape Rowing Foundation put her in touch with UCT. She emphasised that rowing - though highly technical and demanding strength, balance, coordination and control over long periods - is suitable for everybody, and she called on students to join. “You don’t necessary need to be talented to row, and firstyear students, in particular, should come and experience something different.” GO GIRLS - Rika Geyser trains her charges during her first days as coach of the UCT women’s rowing team. Photo courtesy of UCT Marketing & Communication Department

STAFF WRITER

Photo by Corinne Landon

Commerce Students represent South Africa at 4 Nations

Edition 5: 2009  

Varsity is the official student newspaper of the University of Cape Town.