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Film & fashion
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5 May 2009 · Volume 68, Number 6 · 021 650 3543 · email@example.com · www.varsitynewspaper.co.za
Photo by Jade van Blerk
Long march to workers’ rights
Protesting - Students and workers unite to march against outsourcing at UCT. The march ended with a petition handed over to a University official at Bremner. Brian Muller STUDENTS and workers marched side by side last Thursday from Jammie Plaza to Bremner to officially hand over the Workers Letter and the Student Petition to UCT management. Matthew Grant, a member of UCT’s Student Worker Alliance (UCTSWA), told VARSITY, “This march is significant because students and workers at UCT will again unite to make UCT a better place for workers... We marched in the spirit of May Day which embodies a hope for all working people and a vision of a better world.” In a statement issued on 2 April, UCTSWA informed VARSITY that workers at UCT “are intimidated by company management, are not allowed to speak out about their working conditions, are not afforded benefits like medical aid and subsidised tuition fees for their children, and work under pressurised and difficult conditions.” Contrastingly, UCT’s mission statement claims to “strive to transcend the legacy of apartheid in South Africa” and “to promote equal opportunity and the full development of human potential”. The Vice Chancellor, Dr Max Price, emailed the student body stating that, “We [UCT] welcome the recent establishment of
UCTSWA and look forward to working with them as well as with other relevant bodies on matters that affect UCT, these being the contractors (service providers) and the people employed by the contractors (employees)”. Outsourcing began at UCT in 1999 causing such a drastic decline in working conditions that in 2004 the Code of Conduct was instated for companies to adhere to in relation to working conditions. This Code did improve working conditions, including an increase of workers’ salaries. UCTSWA claims that this Code was drawn up between UCT management and the companies without consulting any workers, hence workers are still not happy with their conditions. However, the VC stated in his email that the Code “has drawn praise nationally among both employers and employees”. He also stated that “the Code sets out a range of requirements, including matters such as the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining, working conditions, minimum wages, overtime pay, etc. Each company is required to submit a report every six months, indicating their compliance with the code and the employers are given the opportunity to respond.”
UCTSWA’s petition states: We [those who sign the petition] are ashamed to belong to a university that tolerates the exploitation of others. We, along with the outsourced workers, therefore demand that UCT management: •Re-employ all outsourced workers on their terms •Provide a minimum wage of R4500.00 per month •Guarantee that all workers currently working at UCT will stay here and that their working conditions will be protected regardless of changes in employment structures • Provide workers with benefits that all staff currently employed by UCT receive e.g. tuition reductions
•End the harassment and intimidation of workers at UCT •Establish a process whereby workers may safely, confidentially and directly communicate problems and issues to UCT management
Debating race issues Zerene Haddad
LAST Tuesday the Great Debate took place in Jameson Hall. It was the first in a series of initiatives to bring the debate over UCT’s Admissions Policy to staff and students on campus. The panel comprised of UCT Academics, a representative from the Department of Education, and four students from different political parties. The student representatives were Xanthea Limberg from YID, Tende Makofane from SASCO, Ryno Geldenhuys from DASO and Siyaduma Biniza from COPE. Professor Crain Soudien, acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor, chaired the debate. Each speak-
er had ten minutes to give their argument, with questions taken from the audience at intervals. The debate was focused on whether race should still be considered the best proxy for disadvantage with regards to UCT’s 2011 Admissions policy. Tende Makofane of SASCO opened the debate. He argued that race should still be used as the principal proxy for disadvantage, citing that UCT had not introduced enough in the way of transformation. He provided statistics to add weight to his argument, stating that, “Although some progress has been made at undergraduate level, with 25,5% of the 2009 student population being African, much is
Varsity, the official student newspaper since 1942, is committed to the principles of equality and democracy
still to be desired at post-graduate level, as reflected by the meagre 12.5% African student constituency; and also with the staff profile, as 88.5% of the University’s professors are still white male.” These figures are from the UCT Institutional Planning Department (2009). Professor Benatar, one of the speakers, focused on the issues of redress and diversity, specifically the need to address exactly what “diversity” means in the context of the University. Continued on page 3...
Photos by Zakareeeya Pandey
Brian Muller THE RAG Fashion Show took place on 25 April after months of the uncertainty and hardship of being understaffed, losing their headline sponsor and the difficulty in finding a new venue and sponsors. Despite these setbacks, Ftv Café was packed to capacity with a crowd of 1 000 people who withstood the cold weather. Project Manager Jonathan Munge told VARSITY, “actually being there on Saturday was amazing”. The fashion show exhibited the country’s best street couture brands including Bonafide, Undacova, Pulsate, Non-European and Ragnarok being modelled by some of UCT’s students. These students were narrowed down, from thousands of hopefuls during Fashion Week’s Boss Model Search auditions, to the final 28 men and woman who modelled at the show. That night, Juvaan Jackson was declared the winner and received a R40 000 contract with Boss Models. One of last years Model Search finalists, Mayra Hartmann, was part of this years production team and commented to VARSITY that
ON 23 April, the Centre for Film and Media Studies hosted former leader of the Democratic Alliance and Member of Parliament, Tony Leon, in the first talk of the newlycommissioned Media and Society Lecture Series. According to Professor Guy Willoughby, convenor of the series, and a former speech writer for Leon, the aim of the series is “to interrogate the multiple ways in which media and society in SA interact, and to scrutinise the points of tension where new social practices are coming into being, often in circumstances of strain and controversy.” Leon began by making observations concerning the state of media in South Africa. He said the apartheid era of repression, banning, and detention of both newspapers and journalists can be considered to be the most terrible age for newspapers in South Africa. But in many ways, according to Leon, despite those terrible degradations and difficulties, it was “the golden age of the privately-owned press in South Africa. Media were the only organs who could speak
Religious debate a non-event Sarah Jackson and Zerene Haddad
this year “the environment was a lot less competitive and the models enjoyed it more.” Budding fashion designers were also given the opportunity to show off their best designs, the top 10 of which were modelled at the show. In doing so, each designer stood a chance of winning a fashion spread in One Small Seed magazine, an Elna sewing machine and the chance to shadow and receive qualified guidance from Stiaan Louw, one of South Africa’s up and coming designers. This prize was awarded to Danni Liang. Liang will also have the opportunity to enter the Nokia and Foschini Annual Fashion Design Awards. The newest addition to Fashion Week, The Photo Competition, was “one of my goals” says Munge “and the response has been amazing.” For the competition, aspiring photographers had to represent the theme: Fashion Victims Love Song, Video or Dance. The wining photographer, Jade van Blerk, won a Nokia 7390 cell phone, a Scar Hair Salon Gift Voucher and a photography course at the Cape Town School of Photography worth over R3 800.
frivolous fun- UCT Fashionistas came well-heeled and partied all night with Roger Goode
Leon: from sunshine journalism to criticism
Volume 68 Number 6
truth to power.” Journalists found these circumstances personally very difficult, but professionally exhilarating. Leon referred to his 2008 book On the Contrary: Leading the Opposition in a Democratic South Africa, and highlighted a number of attributions he had made as to why the media did not “bark” as loudly as it might have post-1994, in the presence of a new constitution. He proposed that one of the causes of the media’s relative silence was the difficulty of repositioning. “For the first time,” said Leon, “South Africa had a popularly elected government with moral legitimacy. How then does the press deal with a government that has a huge popular mandate and carries the morality of the struggle — how does [the press] hold them to critical accountability?” Media outlets during that time were pressured to concentrate on the positives. Regardless of problems with service delivery or corruption, the general attitude taken was that the state of the country was much better during that time than it had previously been. In Leon’s view, when discussing politics and parliamentary
positions, there was an assumption in the media that the government, had altruistic intentions. This made it “very difficult to go from being a comrade to a critic. It was very difficult for both politicians and the media to transition from being alongside in the trenches with the new ruling party to opposing and criticising them.” Leon believes that “it is appropriate that the media has a detached view of politicians. Media should detach itself from politics and be critical, and scepticism and cynicism should exist between newspaper editors and political leaders.” Leon indicated that “we are in a better place now because the environment has opened up for criticism.” He congratulated the SABC for producing reports during this election that were “more balanced, and better than ever.” Leon noted that, in both media and in politics, the increase in choice and the resulting competition improves quality. The Media and Society Lecture Series will be held approximately every six weeks. Future speakers include former Cape Times Editor Tyrone August and former Sunday Times Editor Ken Owen.
DESPITE a last minute change in venue from Jameson Hall to the Richard Luyt room, a fifty-strong crowd gathered for the religious debate last Thursday. However, it became an informal debate as the Atheist and Agnostic Society (AAS) had pulled out of the debate the day before due to “lack of organisation and communication on Pastor Michael Nlandu’s part.” According to the organiser, Pastor Nlandu from Campus for Christ, the AAS representative dropped out because they had not been given adequate time to prepare the second topic of discussion, “If I am wrong, what will this mean for me?” Gareth de Vaux, the Head of AAS, told VARSITY in a statement that “five days before the event Michael attempted to alter the topic. We refused, but were ignored. On the same day we learned that the venue wasn’t secured as stated. Two extra venues were now being considered up until the day before the debate… We were asked the day before the debate to approach our previously suggested [and rejected] chair at which point we withdrew.” The speaker, Reverend Doctor Peter Hammond, made it clear that “blasphemy is an abuse of freedom of speech”. He went on to be highly critical of SAX Appeal as a whole, and referred to the students who sell the magazine as “drunken layabouts and transvestite-dressed representatives of UCT” and that the saga was “a disgrace on UCT that makes people look down on the students who come here.” He dismissed the notion that blasphemy was an academic right to freedom of speech, claiming that laws against blasphemy would in fact enhance freedom of speech much like traffic laws can be seen to enhance freedom of movement. De Vaux’s statement says that it had become “abundantly clear
that Michael was never interested in a ‘fair and friendly’ debate as he claims, but rather meant [for it] to be a public trial for the ‘blasphemy’ [Nlandu] continuously accuses us of. We are at a loss as to what situation we ‘deliberately created’ – we have repeatedly...distanced ourselves from the SAX Appeal cartoons. We were not involved in any way. If Michael is simply referring to our existence as heathens then so be it.” The concerns were taken to the floor for comment where much of the atheists’ side were argued by two audience members who, despite distancing themselves from the “childish antics” of SAX Appeal, said that religion was a “set of ideas” and that you cannot ask everyone who offends you to apologise. Civil engineering student Aba Aidoo said she was very disappointed that the atheists pulled out as she had come to see what they had to say. However, being a Christian she felt that the debate “opened my eyes to what the atheists believe. Near the end they made valid points.” Another student, Jackie Zvoutete, said that she hadn’t been offended by the article in SAX Appeal and felt the debate was “very intense. “I had really hoped that the atheists would shed some light. It’s a pity they chickened out.” Pastor Nlandu closed the meeting by apologising again for AAS pulling out and said it was their way of saying that they had “lost”. The AAS has stated that “we made it clear that we would be interested in participating in future if it could be organised properly. We understand that Michael may have put a lot of effort into the event, but that does not oblige us to attend a shambles.” The AAS has made all emails between Pastor Nlandu and theAAS available on their site http://aas. uct.ac.za/files/blasphemy_debate. txt in the interest of transparency and to avoid misinformation being spread.
Adieu, and onto other Halls of fame Tonbara Ekiyor FORMER Deputy ViceChancellor, Martin Hall, is the latest UCT academic to leave the University. Professor Hall, who was DVC since 2002, is returning to England to take up the post of Vice-Chancellor at the University of Salford. In an article published in Business Day on17 April, Professor Loyiso Nongxa, ViceChancellor of Wits, said that the outflow of South African academics can be attributed to the fact that there are limited resources for experts to use in research, which forces them to have to share resources, “sparking clashes over method” and limiting research. Professor Adam Habib, University of Johannesburg ViceChancellor concurs with Professor Nongxa. However, Professor Hall disagrees with this view. In an email to VARSITY, Hall writes that “[I do] not believe that South African academics are disadvantaged in contrast with academics in the UK”. He goes on to say that “South African academics enjoy more freedom
to choose what they do than their counterparts overseas”. Yet the departure of Frank Horwitz, former director of the UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB), and former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Pretoria, Calie Pistorius, have raised concerns amongst the South African academia as to the country’s ability to compete adequately with its international counterparts, according to the Business Day article. Professor Hall says that he “does not see anything threatening in this for UCT, or South Africa as a whole, universities are world organisations, and so it’s quite natural for people to move to other institutions and countries from time to time.” Since the departure of Hall and Horwitz, the University has employed top academic minds from Europe to fill the vacant posts. Professor Walter Baets, formerly of the French business school Euromed Management, Marseille, is the new director of the GSB, while Professor Jo Beall, formerly of the London School of Economics (LSE) has taken up Hall’s vacant post.
News Varsity Residence recyclution running smoothly AS PART of the Recyclution initiative, weekly meetings are being held by representatives from Student Housing and Residence Life (SH&RL), Green Campus Initiative (GCI), Wasteman, Metro Cleaning and the Residence Facilities Officers from the various self-catering residences where the new wet/dry recycling system has been introduced. At the last meeting Terence Goldberg, of the GCI residence committee, reported that “so far the system is running smoothly in almost all residences, with good student response and co-operation”. Only a few glitches need to be sorted out, entailing the distribution of bins to Staff Housing, GCI and Wasteman posters to All Africa House and the luminous green stickers explaining what can and can’t be recycled to all residences involved.
Several students from both Liesbeeck Gardens and Forest Hill confirmed to VARSITY that they had been fully informed of the system, but complained that the bins provided were situated outside the apartments in the corridors of the residences, thus making it a tedious process. In some instances the bins are situated on the other side of the corridor, meaning that students have to separate the waste outside their apartments. Mrs Nomakhaya Kamwendo, UCT Senior Coordinator for Social Development Programmes from SH&RL, has received similar complaints, especially from residents living in Liesbeeck Gardens. She suggests providing two differentcoloured bags placed inside the apartments where students could sort their waste in, and when full, take out to the bins provided in the corridors. A Forest Hills resident told VARSITY that her apartment had decided to “take the recy-
cling project seriously”, by simply using two normal plastic shopping bags inside the apartment to separate their waste. In reaction to both these statements, Goldberg said that due to the scarcity of sponsorships, “the shopping bag idea is the best solution”. Mrs Kamwendo also suggested that in the future, to get students into the habit of recycling, representatives from GCI could use forums like house meetings to create awareness in those residences where recycling systems have been introduced. Goldberg agrees with the idea of increasing awareness, although he is concerned with the practical implications of the number of residences as well as the attendance of educational events. He stated that GCI is opting for a possible portfolio in the different house committees that are concerned particularly with the environment and recycling.
UCT scores green for 2010 Liam Kruger “WE ARE going to make 2010 the greenest world cup yet,” says Blessing Manale, Chief Director for Planning Co-Ordination and Information of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT). Under guidelines prepared by UCT’s Environmental Evaluations Unit (EEU), 2010 looks to be one of the most environmentally aware large-scale sporting events to date, with several measures being implemented that will offset the large carbon footprint expected from the thousands of incoming soccer fans, and should leave a “greening” legacy in South Africa after the world cup. The focus, according to UCT’s Associate Professor Sowman, Director of the EEU, is not limited to “green” issues, but expands to “broader sustainability issues such
as climate change and energy conservation, waste management and sustainable procurement.” The EEU’s guidelines have specifically targeted the nine host cities for 2010, with reference to environmentally-minded planning and organizing of large sporting events, not necessarily limited to the 2010 FIFA™ World Cup. One direct result of these city-specific guidelines has been a massive greening initiative around the southern Johannesburg area; the city has committed itself to plant 200,000 trees by 2010, around 40,000 of which have been planted to date. Concerns have been raised about the lack of dedicated budgets to ensure sustainability; despite this, Sowman has emphasised that much can still be achieved, despite budgetary concerns, if sustainability principles were incorporated into central legislative functions in the bodies responsible for plan-
ning the world cup. The DEAT’s measures have been met with approval from Norway, ostensibly the first country to put environmental concerns at the forefront of their planning with the 1994 Olympic Games. Since then, environmental concern has become increasingly important, officially acknowledged in Germany’s 2006 FIFA™ World Cup, and cemented in the UN’s 2007 World Conference on Sport and the Environment. Under the EEU’s advisement, South Africa hopes to continue this trend, under the slogan of “Come Play GREEN With Us.” This could prove difficult given the economic conditions faced locally and globally. That said, so confident is Blessing Manale of the DEAT and the EEU’s initiative that he has said, “the games will not begin if they are not green.”
Did you vote in the recent elections? If so, how did you feel about it? If not, was there a specific reason? By Stephanie Venter Photo’s by Marco Balducci
Gerda von Benecke
Daniel van Rooyen Mechanical Engineering 2nd year “I wasn’t registered so I couldn’t vote; if I was registered I would have voted. I don’t know if voting would have made such a difference though. The outcome was inevitable I suppose but I’m happy for people who did vote.” Kathleen Hinton Business Science Finance 1st year “Yes. It felt really good, it was amazing but surprisingly short; I liked it. There were a lot of parties that I’d never seen in my life. I was quite surprised that there were provincial elections as well – I don’t think that was very well advertised.”
Tsebo Mashile Social Science 2nd year
...(continued from page 1) He emphasised that one cannot use a proxy to find or create diversity. Referring to injustice, Professor Benatar added, “Not all injustices can be rectified, of all those that can be, a relatively small proportion can be rectified through the admissions policy of the University.” On the issue of race, he firmly stated that there are certain “absurdities and dangers” in racial justification, especially with regards to racial classification and how that is carried out. Siyaduma Biniza from COPE stressed the need for UCT to develop its Academic Development programmes in a bid to assist disadvantaged students, without disregarding race as the best proxy. Ryno Geldenhuys from DASO emphasised the need to move away from race, as there are other ways of measuring disadvantage. This sentiment echoes the result of the 2006 Review of the Admissions Policy which stated that race would become “increasingly inappropriate” as a proxy. The schedule for other initiatives has not yet been finalised. Students and staff will be notified of further opportunities to participate in the process.
“I did vote. I’m not into politics that much and I don’t want to make a bad decision; I don’t really care about that stuff. So what I did was when I went to vote, I drew a circle. I don’t remember who I voted for.”
“I didn’t vote because of a specific choice. In the end I chose not to vote because everybody’s campaign was about defamating [sic] the other party, not saying what you can do for me.” Sibo “Doc” Khumalo Business Science 3rd year “Yeah, I voted. It was quite fun actually. I didn’t get a chance to vote in the last election, so I felt more democratic. Finally I can argue about government because I voted, I tried to make my difference.” Patrick Whelan Post-graduate LLB Prelim year
Constitutional Court judges don’t conspire TATENDA Goredema’s article “Are these people children or judges? You be the judge” (Vol.68; No. 5) was defamatory, idiotic and an embarrassment to your newspaper. His accusation that the Constitutional Court judges are actively conspiring against Judge Hlophe is spurious and irresponsible.
To suggest that the matter should not have been pursued because the judges who were directly approached “were happy to settle for their rebuffs of Hlophe as just responses” shows a wholly inadequate grasp of the seriousness of the allegations against Hlophe. It would have been highly improper had this matter not been brought to the JSE’s
attention. Mokgoro et al were obliged to protect the integrity of the court and acted accordingly; and to suggest, as Goredema does, that “their behaviour resembles that of people with serious ulterior motives” is so wrong-headed it beggars belief. Justin Mackie UCT final-year law student
Kagame is an African great I WAS surprised to see that you rank him [Paul Kagame] among bad leaders. The thing is that Kagame is not only a good leader, but a superhero for Rwandans and for Africa in general. The awards he keeps receiving speak volumes. For instance, President Kagame was awarded the 2003 Global Leadership Award by the Young Presidents Organisation (YPO) in recognition of his role in uniting and reconciling Rwandans. In promoting peaceful solutions to the conflicts in the region, President Kagame was
presented the ICT Africa Award in 2006 and in 2007 - an award which recognises organisations and individuals that have demonstrated excellence in promoting the use of ICTs for the overall development of the African continent. The list is too long. Kagame managed to boost the Rwandan economy, and he made Rwanda one of the safest countries in Africa. Kagame and his government established the successful Gacaca court system that aimed to promote community healing by making the punishment
of perpetrators faster and less expensive to the state. Above all, he is the one who stopped the 1994 Tutsi genocide when the United Nations and International Community failed and passively watched the killing of over one million innocent people. So, I think it’s unfair to rank Kagame among the bad leaders. He is a good leader who cares about his people and Africa in general. Kizito Safari
The irony of human nature THAT was deep. I must say I, and probably a lot of others, were touched by the article “Socioeconomic transformation: a plea for change”. It’s all probably true, well at least the gist of it is. There is one funny thing about it though. Maybe it’s not funny in the traditional sense, but concerning human nature. True, Sipho will probably not graduate from UCT, if he makes it there at all. But say for argument’s sake he “just” skims through all that DP criteria (and there are a lot, I must say)
for five years (under one of the extended programs). What then? Well, now he has a higher chance of becoming that middle class he loathes. Say, now he has kids. Everything changes. Instead of dying slowly and painfully of Aids in Don Don, Mpumalanga, Sipho will send his kids to Michaelhouse or wherever they will do higher grade additional math. They will eventually go to UCT and become the token black guy for some circle of friends. Ultimately, somewhere down
Sipho’s lineage, he will have a son, JJ, who will deny a “Sipho” friendship because he won’t fit in with his white rugby friends. This “Sipho” will go on to be excluded from UCT, work on JJ’s mine and eventually die painfully of Aids in Don Don, Mpumalanga. It’s sad, but that is just how human nature has worked since its inception. I know that it doesn’t make it right, but until that changes, Sipho will always exist. Vincent Mwasi
Crayons, crèche and complaints TREVOR McArthur is a fool. “Concerned student and citizen” my foot - he just used the VARSITY paper as a forum for his very sad and misguided feelings. That’s all that really needs to be said, but I feel compelled to rip pieces out of the lovely letter he wrote to the VARSITY paper and form some sort of comment. Firstly, everyone is preaching on the “corrupt UCT transformation”, any bamboozle with half a brain rallying up supporters would come out with something like that – especially now that we have a “white” VC. What I struggle to understand though is how “African” (and no, we are not all African according to Malema) lecturers will solve that particular problem. If the DA is a “crèche” as dear McArthur so creatively put
it, then the ANC are the crayons; colourful, thick and a bit overpriced at selected art stores. The DA’s aim, I believe, was not to “disrupt” the delightful event; it showed that some of them were willing to listen to whatever rubbish spewed forth from Malema. I think that what McArthur really meant to say in his next bit after the crèche piece is that if you did not vote for the ANC you are racist. If you are not black then you are racist. If you don’t fall down and worship Jacob Zuma, then you are most certainly racist. And I am happy to report that according to McArthur; I am definitely racist. Helen Zille was never the Head of Department in the faculty of Humanities; she was in fact the Head of Public Relations at UCT. As for what she might have said,
well… I cannot declare it to be a lie because I have no evidence to disclaim it, but I cannot quite accept it as the truth either. “Are we ready to face the harsh reality of black poverty…?” Will this be solved with a machine gun? I’m positive that it’s something in the water; a smart individual cannot really be serious to believe all the nonsense sprouting from who-knows-where, out to do whoknows-what. I’m nearly convinced that it’s all a great conspiracy. The elections are dead and gone, all the respective political parties are now allowed to rant about how everyone else is doing a bad job and…the country is at rest (somewhat) for another five years. We are all going to die. George Giss
An apology to the ‘Madam’ I have been called to order for my article regarding the Madam (Helen Zille), she apparently did not say “this university is not for blacks” – as a staff member said in a public debate. I have since been advised to retract that statement, hence this article. LET me start off by congratulating comrade Wandile Mamba for writing such a heartfelt article. Unfortunately, for many students this is a reality, even though some would dare to differ and declare Comrade Mamba a racist, as a
defense (or rather a mechanism to avoid facing the real issues). But what we mean when we speak of transformation, or rather, important components of transformation, are: Decommodification of knowledge and knowledge production, decolonisation of knowledge and knowledge production, and increased access for the previously (and currently) disadvantaged to develop, redirect, and acquire knowledge and means of knowledge production.
Knowledge and access to it has for too long been linked to the amount of money you have. Hence, we find UCT being classified as an “elitist” University due to its high fees and apparent standards (as a defense in this regard). It seems to me that we are moving in the opposite direction, as we remain one of the most expensive universities in South Africa. (Continued on page 5)
Volume 68 Number 6
Editorial VARSITY now has its Internet site up and running, you can find it at: www.varsitynewspaper.co.za. At the moment it looks a bit like a blog – this is the effect of the global recession. Innocent newspapers such as ourselves are being wounded and are struggling to find funding to expand our influence into the digital realm. Go check the site out, you can comment on the articles, but try not to be malicious in your intent. Some of the more eloquent posts on the website will be considered for publication in the letters section of the newspaper. In other news, it seems a number of students have come together to conspire against our humour section, with a convenient amount of emails being directed at our email address (varsitynewspaper@gmail. com) labelling the humour articles as lame and unfunny. Allow me to provide a bit of clarity on the situation; we don’t actually have a humour section per se, the section collapsed into the features section and we publish “funny” articles when they come in. If you think you can do better than the current standard, please feel free to bestow this wit upon us. It is important that students laugh, what with tests, essays and exams creating a tense climate on campus. This offer is directed at all sections actually. Societies in particular should contact us when they have events going on or one of their members have achieved something significant. Even if you think your sports team has done something to deserve space in the paper, get hold of us, we want to hear about it and the students want to read about it. There was a debate on campus last week entitled “The Great Debate” (front page). The discussion was meant to evaluate the use of race as a proxy for admission. Those debating included individuals with an academic background and representatives from the political youth structures, namely DASO, SASCO, YID and COPE. Are we supposed to assume from this representation that these are the only views that matter? Party ideology? None of these parties represent my point of view and they fail to represent many other constituencies on campus, so why were they the only ones invited to this so-called great debate? I hope future consultation will go beyond the superficial presence of youth politicians. Apparently we have a new president. Yay. Hopefully now we can all get over ourselves and move on with the real problems facing the country… like poverty, disease and crime. Although, turning to political infighting for a second (as we love to do), apparently the ruling party has decided to nominate a premier candidate for Gauteng because she is a woman. Now, last time I checked we weren’t living in the dark ages, so I’m pretty sure we can achieve gender equality without having to actually use gender as a proxy for leadership positions. I’m sure there are enough intelligent women in South Africa to fill vacancies in government, women who have qualities above and beyond being a female. For once, the ANCYL and myself are in agreement. Enjoy the edition, Seamus
newsgathering next newsgathering Thursday meridian, 07 May 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, Bianca Kramer 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 website manager Yue Mao staff writers Kerryn Warren, Moss Matheolane, Tiffany Mugo, Calvin Scholtz, Gugulethu Hlekwayo, Tariq Desai, Liam Kruger, Nyasha Kadandara, Nkosiyati Khumalo, Gerda von Benecke, Sentlenyana Machaba external contributors Isaac Hunja Koimburi, Dominic Verwey, Taru Madangombe, Jateen Kooverjee, Nishlen Govender, Adam Rang, Gugulethu Hlekwayo tel 021 650 3543 fax 021 650 2904 email firstname.lastname@example.org website www.varsitynewspaper.co.za location 5th Floor, Steve Biko Student Union Building, Upper Campus advertising email Megan Lyons on email@example.com 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.
Let us debate dispassionately
Racial profiling offers nothing WHILE reading Wandile Mamba’s article (“Socio-economic transformation: a plea for change”, 21 April), I could not help but think that his legitimate concerns were smothered by his attacks on the white people of this country as well as some misinterpretation of certain policies at UCT. UCT required Higher Grade Maths and Science in the Engineering and Commerce faculties because that is what the course demands of the student. In the case of Engineering, the Engineering Council of South Africa is bound by international standards since an engineering degree from UCT is recognised internationally. Is there any real benefit in allowing Standard Grade Maths and Science pupils into UCT, knowing that the large majority will not be able to cope and drop out? Secondly, all students – whether black or white – take an English proficiency test, so if they are accepted into UCT, it is a reasonable assumption that UCT thinks students who do not speak English as a home language will be able to get by. His insinuation that all white people just party and do not work is plainly false. There are many hard-working white students at UCT who do not party a great deal. Black people are not the only people who work hard. Where on earth did the author get that observation from? His
caricature of what ANC supporters called “coconuts” – black people who do not follow the sheep and vote ANC – is hurtful. What “Kat” and “Jabulani” speak about is the truth. Apartheid did happen 15 years ago, affirmativeaction is a racist social-engineering policy and BEE was developed to create government “kickbacks”. You would have to be a dyed-in-the-wool supporter not to see that BEE has created a small, wealthy, politically well-connected elite. What else could there be for the Gini coefficient (a measure of inequality) to have risen from 0.57 in 1996 to 0.65 in 2005? His last paragraph where he states that “he [Sipho] will sleep with an HIVAIDS positive woman” does not fit in with the rest of the article. Regardless of socio-economic circumstance, Sipho would have plenty of HIV/ AIDS education at UCT, as well as with the mining company where he worked. There is only so much that education can do – the burden of the responsibility is placed on the individual to avoid getting HIV/ AIDS. South Africa can only move forward if we look past the race issue and see ourselves as South Africans rather seeing things in terms of “white” and “black”. Chris Rooney
What do we mean when we say “transformation”? (continued from page 4) When we say knowledge must be decommodified, we are saying that in its current state it is directly related to how wealthy you are. This University, for some, will always be a dream. Those who come here get so bigheaded that they forget that they were once told that this place is not for them, that “you are too poor, that place is for whites”. Or at least that’s what I was told by teachers and prophets of doom upon applying to UCT. Access should be increased to the (previously and currently) disadvantaged, and they should be given these bursaries that we are told of (as reasons for why our fees are sky-rocketing). This university must invite progressives who would want to see this university transform, to engage in programmes and initiatives in order to transform this university. When we refer to the decolonisation of knowledge and knowledge production, we are saying exactly that. I have heard the term “White Knowledge”, basically meaning Western Knowledge. What really surprises me is that we have top management dedicated to making this university Afro-politan and UCT boldly says in its mission and vision statements that it aims to be a leading African university. We must first be an “African” university, and then be a “leading” university. I think we are currently not an African university; we are a European university situated in Africa. I guess the quote “recognise our location in Africa” (from its mission statement), “location” being the key word, then confirms my suspicion that UCT is an Oxford-Harvard satellite campus. In other words, we are like Hiddingh campus, for those studying at Harvard and Oxford. UCT should actively invite (and fund) preferably black scholars to
research African Knowledge (this being theories and intellectual data developed by African Scholars), and by doing this, maybe we will find we were not as uncivilised as we were made to believe by these colonial powers, that still exist. When we say increase access to this university, we are not saying drop the standard, or as some stated in public forums that “some people are not university material, they should rather go to technical colleges”, others even are bold enough to say (in public) “we will not compromise quality for equity”. The list goes on. This notion of black and more blacks will mean a drop in standards. Why is it that when people are referring to increased access, they then automatically speak about the standards of the university, as if blacks have some mental incapability, and only some deserve to be here, as they are inherently superior and smarter than these backward people. The reason why some don’t even bother to apply to UCT is because of this superiority and the perception that this university is for whites only is changing. This vacation while you will be on holiday in UK (at Granny’s place, don’t be too excited, it’s difficult times there) I will be going all over this country to give out UCT Application Forms, and we will assist them with the application fee, because many students can’t even afford the R100 application fee. Those progressives who are keen to help me with this initiative should feel free to contact me, and if others have a bed and breakfast somewhere on the N1 or N2 (as I will also need sleep and rest), would you mind helping me transform this university? Trevor McArthur Writing as member Progressive Youth Alliance
IN AN academically rich environment such as UCT where discussion and debate are encouraged, one would expect student leaders to engage in this dialogue in a mature manner. Trevor McArthur’s frivolous attack on the Democratic Alliance (VARSITY 21 April) was childish, superficial and simply an attempt to score political brownie points. It is disappointing to see that he has stooped to such a low level of student politics. In his letter, McArthur says that he was “extremely furious at the behaviour shown by the DA Kindergarten crèche.” He goes on to say that “their whole aim was to disrupt the Malema event by showing pictures of GodZille.” Not only is this false, but it is insulting to our leader. DASO believes that intellectual independence and debate are vital to the preservation of a healthy democracy. Our aim was in no way to disrupt the meeting but to engage in political dialogue and debate the issues affecting UCT students and the youth of South Africa as a whole. Unfortunately, Mr Malema did not open himself up for questions, BUT this is hardly surprising given the
context of his address. If McArthur or the ANCYL/PYA did not want us to attend they should have had a closed-door policy and shouldn’t have publicly advertised the event. The “President Malema” posters displayed across campus invited all UCT students, staff and members of the public to the event, not only those wearing ANC t-shirts. McArthur continues to say that the ANCYL/PYA branch never “disrupt” our events. This is wrong. We are aware of members affiliated to these organisations who have attended our events including the recent Helen Zille address. In addition, members of the ANCYL were present at the address by Allan Boesak that was hosted by COPE UCT where they were heard making derogatory remarks directly at the speaker. This clearly indicates the kind of double standards with which the ANCYL has become synonymous. McArthur also accuses our leader Helen Zille, while she was Head of Department in the Faculty of Humanities, of saying “that this (UCT) university is not for blacks”. This is the second time these
allegations have been made against our leader from members affiliated to the ANCYL/PYA - the first being at the Forest Hill pre-election debate. We take these allegations very seriously. Not only are they false, but extremely defamatory. Our leader has never said anything of the sort, in fact she stood and fought for the very opposite. Furthermore, Helen Zille has never been Head of Department in the Faculty of Humanities: the only position she held at management level while at UCT was Director of Communications. DASO remains committed to the transformation of this university. We acknowledge the values rooted in our constitutional democracy and we commit ourselves to upholding the principles of transparency, accountability and social responsiveness in building a nonsexist and non-racial society. This is our dream, and this is our vision of an open-opportunity society for all. Richard McLaverty DASO Media and Communications
Israel and apartheid: the real fact vs fiction IN HER article “Middle Eastern situation different”, Tali Barnett claims that Benjamin Pogrund – who recently delivered a talk at UCT – has experienced the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Unless he is a Palestinian who has experienced Israeli military occupation, this assertion would greatly undermine the suffering of the Palestinian people. Barnett asserts that Israeli Arab and Israeli Jewish doctors work together in the Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem. She fails to point out that this is an exception rather than the rule. Arabs granted Israeli citizenship are a minority. Moreover, Palestinians are discriminated against in every way in Israel. It explains why they are required to walk around with identification to present to Israeli authorities at any point – without which, they could face imprisonment. Palestinians live with this harassment and discrimination daily. Barnett’s claim that “Palestinian national experience and identity flowered alongside Zionism” could not be further from the truth. She is, however, correct in stating that we must understand the conflict through
the history and people of the region Zionism calls for ethnic exclusion, and its ideology manifested into a practical nightmare for the Palestinians. Almost 1,000,000 Palestinians experienced forced removals from their homes and were sent into exile in 1948, when they were cut off from their national experience and identity along with their families and homes. Moreover, she asserts that the UN Partition Plan of 1947 was rejected by the Arabs. In recognising it, the Palestinians would have literally signed away a staggering 47% of the land that they had lived on uninterrupted for 1200 years. Interestingly, Israel has, over its existence of 60 years, ignored 67 UN Resolutions passed, including the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from occupied territories. Another inaccuracy is Barnett’s contention that, during apartheid, people “met up and built trust”. Negotiations did not take place until the 1990s. Neither did these meetings occur to ‘build trust’. They were a result of the inability of the apartheid government to sustain itself. It did not suddenly have a desire to give the black majority a voice.
She states that the Middle East can learn the principle of non-violence from the ANC during apartheid. Perhaps she is unaware of the ANC’s military wing, which undertook guerilla attacks when their calls for equal treatment and freedom fell on deaf ears. Unsurprisingly, they were branded a “terrorist organisation”. Her omission of Israel’s daily use of violence on Palestinians is questionable. It was merely three months ago when the Israeli government perpetrated an onslaught on the land-locked Gazan people – resorting to shooting and air-strikes, including bombs and illegal white phosphorus. It not only killed and maimed thousands of Palestinians; it destroyed hospitals, homes and schools. Peace will prevail in the Middle East only when Israel treats Palestinians with equality, dignity and freedom. These are the elements of democracy, and are the elements upon which the democratic South Africa that we know today, are founded. Sherbanu Hayat
More than one way to skin socioeconomic transformation TALK about looking at the pure extremes of the South African socioeconomy. Sipho Dlamini, from a tiny little rural village all the way out in who-knows-where, contrasted against Kat and JJ (whose parents were/are probably senior members of the ANC who have branched off into business and used their political clout to unfairly secure business deals a la Schabir Schaik). I cannot believe how naïvely two-faced the ANC supporters are at UCT. I mean, you go on and on about how you are a party for all, and yet at every chance you get you call people ungrateful imperialists who have forgotten who they are and where they come from. It’s disgusting. When we point out that the ANC has not done enough (note: “enough” not “anything”) - you say they have achieved a whole lot, then you turn and recite the party rhetoric that a lot still needs to be done. You claim that white people fear black leaders, then to prove how “loved” your party is you quote a white Afrikaner saying how much she loves Jacob Zuma. When we have panel debates you are so quick to point out that the oppositions’ candidate is dodging questions, yet when Malema makes unfounded statements and refuses to answer questions on them you tell us
that he is still young and learning. Back to Mr Mamba’s article: you speak of the “white tables” and the “black tables” in residence dining halls. Have you ever gone and sat at the “white table”? You know, I’ve actually heard stories where the white people have made the (for lack of a better word) error of sitting at a “black table” and being sworn at in vernacular and chased away. Then you go and claim that the whites (and the whites in black skin) hate “real” black people. You claim that the “overly tanned white people” don’t care about their heritage and have no pride in their culture. You claim they do nothing for the development of the community and that they never contribute towards the empowering of others. Have you ever even sat down and spoken to any of these so-called coconuts? Have you ever taken the time to really hear what they have to say about such issues or what they have done in that regard? You are all so quick to judge people, and who and what they are, based on absolutely nothing but assumptions - smells of a pre-’94 South Africa to me. It makes me ask how we fell so far from the grace of Mandela’s Rainbow Nation back to such a prejudicial state. One where you get labeled all sorts of things from a traitor to a garden
boy just for being black and deciding that you are not going to support a man who had 783 charges of fraud, corruption, racketeering, etc. against him. Just because he is free it does not mean he is innocent. Furthermore, it is not the opposition that has been tasked with ensuring Sipho has a fair shot at success, it is the ANC. For 15 years it has been in charge, and failed dismally (looking at the educational sector of the country – seeing as that is what has crippled Sipho). Put a bunch of corrupt and fraudulent criminals in charge, with absolute power - nice one guys, I must take my hat off to you. Bravo, bravo! In all fairness I must concede that the ANC does have a strategy in place to ensure that everyone starts off on equal footing. They have failed to improve formerly disadvantaged schools while simultaneously making sure that the standards at former white schools have fallen. In short, by disadvantaging everyone in the system we make sure that no-one is advantaged and thus achieving equality for all. I guess it is true - there is more than one way to skin socio-economic transformation. Katekani Baloyi
Volume 68 Number 6
Election analysis THE fourth democratic elections, held on 22 April, signalled a dramatic change in the South African political landscape. While both the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) maintained their positions in the National Assembly as governing party and official opposition respectively, the changes happening around them have had an immeasurable impact on the politics of the Republic. Looking at the ANC, the issue of whether or not they would get the much spoken about twothirds majority was a non-event, something used by opposition parties as a scare tactic to get votes. In reality, if the ANC wanted to change the constitution they would not need to have two-thirds of the seats to do so. They can do it quite easily through coalitions with other parties. As it stands, they didn’t get the two-thirds, but all they need is three more votes in the National Assembly and they will have it. The ANC has, however, lost a noteworthy percentage of their support. The drop of 4% - from the roughly 70% they got in 2004 to the 66% they attained in this year’s elections - is not an adequate reflection of this decline. To understand the magnitude of the loss of support we need to look at a number of factors, including the large voter turnout, the obliteration of the smaller parties, the decreasing popularity of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) in Kwazulu Natal and the emergence of the Congress of the People (COPE). Arguably the most prominent outcome of these elections was the no-show of the likes of the Minority Front (MF), Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), the Independent Democrats (ID) and the Freedom Front Plus (FF+). Taking this decline into account, we need to try and understand where these votes went. Judging by the ANC’s overall drop, it does not
IN THE past, the SRC has organised an Academic Awareness Month in April to raise awareness about academic issues that face UCT students on a daily basis. This year, the SRC has decided to go for quality not quantity, and has co-ordinated an Academic Awareness Fortnight which comprises various informative and relevant academic-related events that are aimed at improving your academic experience at UCT. The AAF kicked off last week and will run until Friday. Please check out the SRC announcement posters for a detailed programme of events. Last week the SRC held its first round of Mass Meetings for the year. These meetings give students the opportunity to engage directly with the SRC, to question our positions and to provide us with direction. Mass Meetings were held on Middle Campus, Hiddingh Campus, Upper Campus and at the College of Music. We will be holding a second round of meetings in the second semester and I would encourage all of you to attend. Although a fair number of students attended the first round, I had expected a higher turnout. For years, UCT students have criticised the SRC for being aloof and invisible. I know this because I was one of those critics. I never saw the SRC and certainly never got the chance to directly impact their agenda. This year’s SRC is trying to be different and is trying to correct the mistakes that were made in the past. I understand that trust is not built overnight, but I do hope that more of you will begin to trust this SRC and believe that we really are here to make a positive impact on your UCT experience. The Admissions Policy Review Task Team held its first consultation last week. Although the ‘Great Debate’ was a success and managed to shed light on some of the more controversial issues surrounding the policy review, it was by no means a sufficient representation of student opinions. The SRC will
Photo by Tiisetso Mngomezulu
the independent electoral commission- the body charged with running elections seem as if they went to them. This position is further strengthened by the ANC gaining a large number of votes from the IFP in KwaZuluNatal. This gain is not reflected in the national outcome; again, this is because it has been outweighed by the ANC’s inability to gain from the demise of the minority parties. It is probable that it was COPE who gained these votes. Similar to the ANC, but in reverse, at first glance it seems as if the DA has gained support, with their national tally rising by around 4%. It is unlikely that this increase is as a result of the party making inroads into the rural population. What is more likely is that there was a greater turnout of DA voters at the polls by DA supporters who were apathetic or felt marginalised in previous elections and did not vote. The decline of the popularity of the smaller parties can also be
attributed to the rise of civil rights movements like the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), whose agenda is similar to those of the smaller parties, to hold government to account and to provide a service to the population. With civil rights movements and the media filling the space left by the smaller parties, voters now feel more comfortable voting for the bigger parties, in this case the ANC, DA and COPE. This should not be interpreted as a bad thing. As our democracy matures towards a two- or threeparty system, we as a nation are moving closer to consolidating this young democracy. The parties dominating the top three positions are starting to reflect the classes of South Africa. The ANC represents the poor and the working class, the DA the white middle class and COPE the middle class and, to a lesser extent, the working class.
be holding further consultations with students next term, however in the meantime I would encourage all of you to add the “Admissions Policy” Vula tab and join the debate. All of the position papers have been uploaded under the “resources” section and the forum function can be used to voice your views on the process and the policy itself. All of the information posted by students on Vula will be considered by the Task Team. Going forward, our idea is to hold “workshop style” sessions with students, as opposed to debates where only a few students get to voice their concerns and opinions. Details of such consultations will be advertised across campus. The march organised by UCTSWA last Thursday proved that UCT students are becoming more and more willing to speak out against social injustice. I commend the fantastic work that has been done by UCTSWA thus far in the fight to ensure that all members of the UCT community are treated with the respect that they deserve. As an SRC, we are taking the issue of outsourcing very seriously, and Shannon has prepared a comprehensive report on the benefits and costs of changing the current system. Unfortunately, we are unable to take a definitive position on this matter at the moment as we have discovered that the financial impact of insourcing will be huge, not only for the university, but for students as well. We are looking forward to working with UCTSWA to come to a position of common ground so that we can work towards the shared goal of a fairer, more equal UCT community. Thanks to Nev, the SRC website has finally been updated. Follow the link from the SRC Vula tab to find out about the various initiatives and activities. This will become a vital form of ongoing communication between students and the SRC, so please make full use of it. Chris
Adam Rang COMRADES, As the founding President of the Nando’s Youth League, I’m issuing a call to arms for all South Africans to defend our organisation against a certain “Julius,” who has threatened to close down all of our branches. As a militant organisation, we can’t sit back and let these counter-revolutionaries undo our struggle for delicious peri-peri chicken. For those who don’t know what the fuss is all about, it began with a now infamous advert, which featured a hard-hitting interview with a slightly overweight puppet who “needed no introduction,” but wore a name tag with “Julius” on it. Behind him, supposedly controlling the puppet, was a large man whose face was obscured. After Julius carefully explains how we can get change by purchasing Nando’s meals, the camera cuts back to the studio, but not before the puppet gives a wry smile and looks up at his puppet master. This followed a radio advert in which the same Julius orders a meal for someone named Jacob and explains that they’ve “agreed to
drop the charges.” The advert was all part of a master plan to drum up publicity for the fast-food outlet by creating a media storm in which everyone from radio station callers to people writing op-eds for student papers would start talking about the advert. All the marketers had to do was put out the ads and sit around drumming their fingers until the ANC Youth League issued vague threats and nonsensical arguments to keep the attention on Nando’s. As it happens, the ANC Youth League, not known for being the most media-suave of political operators, took the bait and blasted the ads for being racist. There is no doubt that we live in a society with epidemically high levels of racism, but if we brand everything we dislike as racist then we are going to undermine the struggle against racism, not to mention deliver an unbelievably insensitive insult to actual victims of racism. I’m sorry if this makes Julius feel slightly less special, but political satire takes place in every country in the world, and representing politicians as puppets is certainly nothing new. Nando’s
Photo courtesy of http://www.execalibre.co.uk/Charity/SANDS/nandos.jpg
Peri-peri Youth League
Nando’s- Chicken too hot to handle has demonstrated that we are maturing as a young democracy with timely satire, even if not everyone can take a joke. When Malema came to UCT before the elections, he told his supporters that they must never criticise their leadership, so it’s not surprising that he wouldn’t tolerate humour that featured him. The fact that Malema, who was a complete failure in his own education, turned up at our
university and started telling us how to run the place certainly seemed to demonstrate that he had no sense of irony. After meeting with the ANC Youth League, Nando’s promised to pull the advert. The Youth League claimed victory, as their demands were met. The next night, however, Nando’s screened the same ad but with the puppet’s name tag removed and his face blurred. In case you didn’t realise,
they’re still taking the piss. As for the original advert, it will surely live on forever in the world of YouTube, as well as in the minds of millions of South Africans, who will find themselves suddenly drawn to their local Nando’s. It’s true, the ad was part of a carefully crafted conspiracy, but I suspect it had more to do with selling chicken than trying to bring down Malema. Either that or the imperialist dogs are seriously running thin on ideas. As our tolerance for political satire evolves, I’m sure our politicians will figure out that it is in their own interest to at least pretend that they find the joke funny and let the whole thing blow over. I’m fed up with people who run for public office and get surprised when they become the centre of attention. Many in the ruling party were outraged, for example, when the media focused upon Motlante’s alleged affairs. My advice is that if you don’t want the skeletons in your closet examined, don’t run for President of the Republic. I believe the library has some openings. If you can’t stand the periperi, get out of Nando’s.
Let us strive to conserve Sarah Jackson
Photo by Bianca Kramer
PERSONALLY, I have never been one of those Greenpeace, obsessedwith-the-environment-twitchwhenever-anyone-switches-on-alight people. However, my recent living situation has changed my mind on this matter. I live in a residence that will not be named in a corridor whose number I shall not reveal. In this corridor you have to push the handle on the toilet twice in order to stop it from running, an exercise that takes all of about ten seconds of your time. But walk down this corridor on any given day at any given time and the toilet will be running and the lights will be on in this bathroom despite the fact that the windows provide enough light during the day. It is mind-boggling how little people will change their actions despite the emphasis that has been placed on the environment in the last few years. We have all heard the scientists ranting about how we are heading along an inevitable path of global selfdestruction. Some sources say we will run out of coal in two hundred years, others say ten years, but we seem completely unperturbed. Maybe it’s because these concerns do not yet affect our day-to-day life. Maybe this bleak prospect seems too unlikely. Maybe we have no genuine concern for future generations. I’m not sure of the reason, but people do not seem at all impacted by any of the messages that saturate our newspapers and TV.
With massive corporations consuming more coal in an hour than the average person would in a lifetime, and with factories clogging up our air and water at an unimaginable rate, is the obsessive tendency to switch off lights really going to make a global impact? No. But this is no longer a viable excuse. Gone are the days when we could look at our lives in one large, existential picture because, excluding the potential Nelson Mandelas and Mother Theresas among us, nothing we ever do is going to make an impact on the world anyway. Between 1991 and 1999, Argentina sold off a portion of their water supplies to first world countries in order to cover their debt. While yesterday’s wars might have been fought over land and religion, tomorrow’s wars will be fought over water. Enviroliteracy.org claims that coal production will reach its peak in 2025, which will be followed by a decline into future fuel shortages and price hikes. This isn’t some hypothetical future; this could very well happen in our lifetime. I’m not suggesting that we should all be living in mud huts and showering once a year to conserve all of the earth’s natural resources. I’m suggesting that it’s about time we start taking some responsibility and switch off lights when we leave a room, or wait a few seconds to make sure that the toilet isn’t running. If every one of the six billion people worldwide did this, there would be no environmental crisis after all.
Volume 66 Number 8
A hundred days of Obama Tatenda Goredema PRESIDENT Barack Obama celebrated a hundred days in office last Wednesday. This is an arbitrary number used by American political pundits to judge the actions of the new president: the hundred days is used as a marker of how the rest of the administration’s tenure in the White House will go. President Obama has had an eventful hundred days, not surprising considering the state of the US when he took office in January. He has overseen and executed the passing of the $789 billion stimulus package, the announced intention to close down Guantanamo Bay, the restructuring and aiding of the Big Three in the motor industry, the change of rhetoric towards hostile foreign nations and a major policy shift in terms of US-Israeli relations, with more emphasis now rightly being placed on a twostate solution. The President has failed on at least two of the promises he made during the campaign: to curb the partisan climate that existed in Washington and to lessen the influence of lobby groups and pork-barrel spending in legislation passed by Congress. The partisan nature that has been part of Washington culture for years is still evident, as voting in Congress reflects. The Republican minority has been stubborn and unwilling to yield to the Democrats’ legislative plan, even after friendly gestures from President Obama. This will probably be a persistent problem throughout the Obama administration, with
midterm elections coming up in 2010. American electorate history tells us that not since 1934 has a party in control of the White House increased domination in the House and Senate over an extended period of time. And not since Lyndon Johnson has an American President been efficient in passing legislation through congress frequently. The vow to cut pork-barrel spending, made during the campaign, has been put aside, as evidenced by the President’s signature on the $410 billion dollar omnibus spending bill, which was laden with earmarks, passed in March. Obama has essentially followed the path of past Democratic presidents in pursuing legislation that is associated with liberal Democrats in the US: he has lifted restrictions on stem cell research and announced a date for the full withdrawal of troops from Iraq (something demanded by Democratic supporters during the 2008 campaign). He has encouraged Iran to come to the negotiating table and take more of a moderate approach to the US. Recently, he reached out to Turkey on his first European vaunt. President Roosevelt spoke of the New Deal in his time, President Truman spoke of the Fair Deal, President Kennedy spoke of the New Frontier and it seems that President Obama, although not specifying a particular rhetorical tag, has followed in their steps in advocating for diplomacy over military resolution and in advocating greater regulation of the financial sector (even forcing out Rick Wagoner,
former General Motors CEO). A lot of whatever success Obama has achieved can in large part be attributed to having a strong White House team and a good cabinet. In choosing a man of Rahm Emmanuel’s Washington pedigree, Obama did well. It is widely reported that Emmanuel is a tough negotiator and unwilling to accept deviations from the President’s legislative agenda, and working in unison with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, he has pushed through important bills. The wordsmith of the White House, Jon Favreau, has crafted messages that reflect a measured and more wistful approach as opposed to that of the Bush administration. Robert Gibbs has carried the portfolio of Press Secretary with aplomb and David Axelrod, Obama’s faithful campaign strategist, has maintained a visible role as one of the President’s senior advisers. The recent news that Senator Arlen Specter has defected to the Democratic Party will also be great news for the White House, as one more Democrat in the Senate will give them the 60-seat majority needed to avoid filibusters. In my view, a hundred days is not enough time to judge a presidency or form an accurate assessment of how the rest of his term will go, but if we had to judge these hundred days solely then we must say that President Obama has done well. He certainly has succeeded in restoring America’s damaged image after eight years of Republican governance.
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Feature focus: Fashion
If one follows a completely different tangent and believes Mr Charles Darwin, then the first form of fashion must have been the fur that our primitive ancestors are believed to have been covered in. However, at some point in time, primitive man must have decided that walking around in the heat of day and the cold of night stark naked was not the proper way to go about things. It was simply ape behaviour to walk around with nought but your hairy pelt. Or it could be that like Adam and Eve, our early ancestors just decided that it was indecent for one hairy caveman to see another hairy caveman, or worse, hairy cavewoman, nude, and skinned the first animal that passed by. Thus we have two divergent origins of fashion: Adam and Hairy Caveman. With the passage of time came change, and change filtered down to Adam’s leaf and Hairy Caveman’s animal skin. Suddenly, our hairy caveman wanted a deer skin because it was easy to cut and plentiful, while Adam wanted a more comfortable leaf than say, poison ivy. As the days grew colder, Hairy Caveman wanted more protection from the elements and Eve, after so easily tempting Adam, decided that three leaves were not sufficient to cover her not-so-dangly bits and decided that it was time she had a full length covering of leaves, woven together to make a leaf dress. As time ticked by, Hairy Caveman decided that he did not want to wear the same animal skins that he used to build his house. He decided to don wolf skins because wearing the skin of a fierce animal gave the wearer supernatural powers. Mrs Hairy Caveman decided that her rabbit pelts were “so last season” – which they probably were, depending on the time of the rabbit’s death - and wanted something a little sleeker, like fox furs. Adam, meanwhile, had fathered two sons. Eve’s leaf dress was not doing such a good job, Adam had been tempted. Twice. With a little more time and innovation, Adam and Eve managed to design their first
collection: woven clothes that covered all the distracting dangly and not-so-dangly bits and also provided shelter from the harsh environment. Whichever way one looks at it, these two divergent fashion timelines converge at one point: the time when Hairy Caveman, Mrs Hairy Caveman, Adam and Eve felt the desire to “wear clothes.” Whether it is the caveman’s animal skins or Adam and Eve’s leaves, clothes changed and fashion was born. Simple furs became luxurious furs worn by wealthy and successful hunters, leather was reserved for clothing worn regularly, simple linen was preferred to wearing heavy furs all the time and colours became more and more important to what one was wearing. To denote rank, an assortment of crowns and jewellery was dreamt up. Colours took on a more symbolic meaning, white was pure, black was the devil, blue became royal and red became passionate. Creativity with needle and string created the colourful and extravagant costumes of Europe, priceless silk became a currency in the East, and the Silk Route became a vital trading route. It became unseemly for women to be seen in the same costume more than once, and, unhappy that anybody without a crown was a commoner, tall hats for learned gentlemen and poor-boy caps for poor boys were introduced into society. With Marilyn Monroe’s seductively flared dress, the psychedelic afros of the Seventies, the heavy gold and silver chains of hip-hop superstars and what Britney Spears is wearing – and not wearing - in her latest music video, one thing has been noticed: people are obsessed with what covers the human skin. To understand this claim, one simply has to look to everyday life for simple examples. You may be wearing a shirt or a skirt- straightforward, seemingly innocent shirts and skirts. But what other people see is quite different to what you perceived when you put them on in the morning. Your shirt may make you a successful lawyer, an impoverished artist, a soccer fan, a billionaire playboy, a homosexual or a metrosexual. Your skirt could make you a powerful businesswoman, a prostitute, a modest housewife, a teenager rebelling against her parents. A combination of skirt and shirt may make you someone’s Catholic schoolgirl fantasy, or a transvestite seeking identity. Shirt or skirt, what you wear influences what other people think of you. To them, you may be rich, poor, attractive, desirable, poor, ugly, fashionable or unfashionable. As has been displayed, the psychology of skirts and shirts goes further than the simple closing of a button or zipper. It is this psychology that fashion taps into. But what is fashion? Who is fashion for?
...walk into the world of fashion...
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Remy Ngamije Mankind’s history can be witnessed to have occurred in two ways: dressed and undressed. The first fashion victims - if one is to follow Christian religion would be Adam and Eve. Wearing nothing more than their birthday suits, they innocently pranced around nude in the Garden of Eden until the Apple of Knowledge revealed that Adam had dangly bits and Eve had not-so-dangly bits – at least, not where Adam had them. And from those two bites of the Forbidden Fruit came the first form of fashion that the world had ever seen: the leaf that conveniently hovered over their dangly and not-so-dangly regions.
Volume 68 Number 6
...is all that glitters...
...is banned by religion...
...is old school... ...is what makes you insecure...
...is political... ...is freedom...
...is what you walk in...
Image courtesy thecitybloggers.com
HAVE you ever thought about who decides what’s cool? Who has the power to influence the way people think about themselves, what they wear and who they are? Is it overpriced Italian designers, celebrities- or is it you? High fashion descended from the style worn at royal courts in the 19th century. Tailors began to emulate the one-of-a-kind pieces worn by royals and sold them to the man on the street. Today, we have a different type of royalty: celebrities. They are often the first to be seen wearing the season’s
Photo by Zakareeeya Pandey
INFLUENCES FaShION? Image courtesywww.leetsoftware.com.jpeg
Image courtesy of mtv.com
Image courtesy of www.thefashionbirdcage.com
Image courtesy hiphopfashion.com
Image courtesy of stylespy.instyle.com
Image courtesy of thetuxedo.com
Image courtesy of www.apparelsearch.com
new look, whether it’s Lindsay Lohan carrying the latest thousand dollar bag, Kate Moss rocking her skinny jeans or Kanye West in his crazy sunglasses. Consumers emulate what the celebrities wear,
“...designers pick up on the mood of the people...” and thus make millions of dollars for the big fashion houses. But, where do these styles and trends start? Who decided that skinny jeans were in or that men
wearing eyeliner was cool (that person deserves to be shot)? The truth is, we do. Fashion designers pick up on the mood of the people - what we’re doing, how we’re feeling - and reflect that on the catwalk. Take the current economic downturn, for example: when the crisis started to bare its trillion dollar truths and left everyone in despair, catwalks the world over took the optimistic route and showed collections filled with smiley faces, bright colours and lots of happy music. When the crisis became a recession, designers took their cue from the people on the street and began to focus on timeless pieces that could be worn more than once and in different ways (recycling for the fashion conscious). “What about pop culture?” you ask. We’ve all seen some sexy musician or crazy artist pull off wild outfits and we try (and often fail) to imitate them. Music plays a huge role in fashion. In the 1980s and 1990s, when everything
smelled like teen spirit and music was filled with angst, grunge was the order of the day. That spirit of rebellion was translated into heroin chic by Calvin Klein and everyone’s teenage brother and sister was wearing Doc Martens, torn jeans and anything secondhand and cheap. And, currently, the indie scene has exploded: if you aren’t in skinny jeans, vintage t-shirts and Converse All Stars, you are not fashionable. With the music comes an entire subculture, including fashion and clothes. In the times of Black Consciousness and the American civil rights movement, “Black is Beautiful” was the catch phrase and fashion reflected this. Everyone had an afro, t-shirts with pro-equality and pro-black sayings were commonplace and dressing in African prints was cool. The people in the street were using the clothes they wore to say something about the way they lived and what they felt. Black Consciousness is still evident in South African
fashion today: afro chic is very in, and captures another side of Africa beyond the generic leopard print, safari style and garish colours. South African designers, such as Craig Native, Nkhensani Nkosi of Stoned Cherrie and Gavin Rajah, are representing who we are as young South Africans and how we oscillate between our heritage and how our country has evolved. Fashion changes along with social and economic circumstances; as history changes it seems that fashion changes with it to adapt to the era, the happenings and the people. Looking back at the fashions of years gone by is like looking into a photo album of human existence: it shows us what we once were and what we are today. Designers just take what is going on in the world and make money off of it and celebrities just wear what designers give them. We decide what fashion is by the way we live. Fashion is like existentialism. It defines itself.
Hair today... ....gone tomorrow Images courtesy of www.flickr.com
Reeling them in FILM and television have always been distinct mediums of entertainment: they are made in different ways, for different audiences and for different purposes. Generally speaking, when a film is made, everyone from the scriptwriter to the film editor is concerned with keeping it as compact as possible. A film has to tell the story it wants to tell within an average running time of around two hours, while keeping the audience interested throughout. While the producers of a television series may only have to entertain an audience for between 20 and 40 minutes, they have to do it week after week for about 24 episodes. On the upside, as long as each episode has a defined miniplot, the makers are free to draw out the overall storyline for as long as they like. And, come the end of a series, there’s no obligation to resolve any of the subplots: on the contrary, “cliffhangers” are encouraged. However, in the current global economic climate, there has been
some debate as to whether both films and television series can survive, or if one will be forced to give way to the other. It’s clear that if this does happen, it will not be by the choice of the audiences: viewership of the two is pretty evenly spread, and in the minds of the public, going to the movies is not the same as, and not done for the same reasons as, watching a TV series. The crucial difference between the two mediums lies in the budget required to make them. Most television series are relatively inexpensive to make when compared to the average Hollywood blockbuster, and this could be the deciding factor when one looks at present and future economic concerns. Some of the big Hollywood studios are already thinking twice before funding special effects-laden projects with massive budgets. In the wake of the success of The Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter films, every major studio bought the rights to popular fantasy books, only to discover that some phenomena cannot easily be repeated. A string of such films were released, among
them Eragon and The Golden Compass, only to have the plug pulled on their respective sequels. Disney has even backed out of the third Narnia film, although the project’s going ahead anyway. Generally the films coming out of Hollywood of late have been seriously lacking in substance and aimed more at mindless diversion. Do we really need another Fast and Furious movie, or a sequel to Night at the Museum, of all things? Instead, it’s on the small box that one can find some really entertaining and surprisingly thought-provoking shows, such as Eli Stone, Lost, The Mentalist and Life. In more ways than one, TV series are a lot more practically viable than films: they are cheaper to make, they only require a viewer to sit and concentrate for 30 minutes to an hour and they are more accessible to the average person on the street. With the most popular series coming out with new seasons and more new shows being made all the time, what we may be witnessing here is the decline of film and the rise of television.
Some definitive watching
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Che-Lee Mauritz LURKING in the shadows, beyond the wake of the recession, resides a group of fresh young minds plotting to take 2009 by force. Armed only with sound and light equipment and cameras, these combatants take to their battlefield… Shotties. Every year UCT’s Film Society organises this film festival. Students from every faculty on campus are given the opportunity to embed their creative genius on film reel. This year’s theme, “Black and White,” was announced on Friday, 13 March. The supposedly ominous day brought nothing but excitement to those involved. Students were required to team up in quartets and produce a script by the 23rd. Once this information was relayed, as is the case every year, a comical lull occurred. These hopefuls then panned the crowd for others with whom they could do battle. Within the next week groups were able to find their feet and began fabricating their innovative thoughts. Next came the crafting of their scripts and, though most had never written one before, the submissions were competent to say the least.
“...though most had never written one before, the submissions were competent...”
Pan’s Labyrinth (El labirento del Fauno)
The Dark Knight
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The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
The Shawshank Redemption
Image courtesy of filmcamera.com
A final selection of the ten most promising scripts was made on the 27th. When the selected groups were notified, the race began. Those chosen few were instructed to submit their films
on the morning of Freedom Day. The films’ durations were limited to two minutes. Later, this proved to be more difficult than anticipated. With administration out of the way, groups devised their game plans. Regardless of their approach, the groups had to execute their scripts, period. That meant finding locations, filming with actors, recording sound and eventually editing all these elements into their masterpieces. Although those shabby cell phone videos recorded in high school might have benefited some, those not familiar with such pastimes had a tutor at their disposal. The real challenge then was to learn, while implementing what they already knew, about the filmmaking process. Access was given to the participants to use the Mac machines in the Mendi lab. It was here, below Beattie LT, that the new editors learned to use Final Cut Pro. This program allowed the groups to experiment with their footage. The four weekprocedure rapidly turned into last minute-madness as groups rattled keyboards on the eve of the deadline: slipping in clips of recently found audio, rehashing the final scenes of their films and eventually “toasting” their product to disk. These soldiers were wartorn, bloody and bruised, but somehow managed to make it out of the trenches and complete their missions. These filmmakers can be seen on campus proudly wearing their Film Soc shirts. It was about time to see if their films made the cut. The films were screened at Obz Café on Thursday, 30 April. Everyone that was able to view them on the silver screen will agree that Shotties 09 was a success. Shot Mate! - Many legendary film directors began their careers with little more than basic cameras. Steven Spielberg (Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List), George Lucas (Star Wars) and Martin Scorsese (Gangs of New York, The Departed) started playing with film lenses early in their lives. Who knows which “shottie” director will be gracing the silver screens of the world in a few years.
Volume 68 Number 6
Images courtsey of www.apple.com
A bite of the Apple
Gugulethu Hlekwayo iPod, iTunes, iPhone. Add an “i” and an Apple logo and you just may have the hottest services and devices on the planet. Apple Inc., led by Steve Jobs (CEO), a man with a cult following, is the darling of tech. It is difficult to believe that only 12 years ago, Apple was close to bankruptcy and the ignominy of becoming a Dell subsidiary before the return of Jobs. This luxury brand has forced an industry-wide paradigm shift in the prioritisation of design and aesthetics. After all, there were MP3 players before the iPod, but one would be hard pressed to name them. Apple’s pedantic approach to design and its knack for an intuitive user interface have made the iPod the best selling music player in the world (over 100 million sold) despite
the fact that there are betterfeatured and certainly cheaper devices on the market. The click wheel has been copied by every other major producer and has become the QWERTY keyboard of MP3 players. With the iPhone Apple did much the same thing. In the space of two years, the iPhone has become a dominant player in the smartphone market (17.4 million sold and counting) using technology that was already available. Both these devices exemplify the key to Apple’s success in the portable device market. Apple makes both the hardware and the software associated with their devices. iPhones (hardware) run iPhone OS (software), whereas other smartphones are manufactured by the likes of Nokia or Samsung and use operating
systems from Microsoft, Symbian, Google or Linux. In addition to having the software specifically made for it, the iPod has an online music store to complement it, something no competitor has successfully achieved. It speaks poorly of the music industry that a computer manufacturer owns the most successful online music store. iPhones have an App Store that serves a similar function for iPhone applications. Complete product control and tie-in services make Apple products more complete than their peers. Apple is not without its faults, though. It tends to restrict user freedom with its devices and values style over substance in some cases. iPods do not have built-in radios and do not play Microsoft audio and video formats (.wma and .wmv). iPhones only run Apple-approved software and
lack features standard on other smartphones. There is also the constant threat that Apple will release a new product to replace your product a week after your purchase. New iPods that do exactly the same thing as old iPods are released every year, and every year new buyers are hooked and old buyers made envious. Early adopters are particularly at risk. The second generation iPhones cost less than the first generation iPhones and have more features. Apple Inc. is also prone to levels of secrecy more associated with cults than companies. This achieves wonders in building up anticipation for new products, but it is dangerous when it comes to system security. Apple security patches come with almost no information as opposed to Microsoft, which tries to be
open about security concerns. As Apple’s market share increases, so will security threats. Secrecy will only compound the problem. Recently, a Mac-specific trojan (a disguised malicious program) was found in pirated versions of iWork ‘09 and PhotoShop CS4 by independent researchers. Apple has released no new patches and no announcements have been forthcoming about this security threat. The age of innocence for Apple is definitely coming to an end, and users can no longer satisfy themselves with the lie that Macs are invulnerable to viruses and the like. Despite this, Apple products are seemingly recession-proof – unlike their competitors – proving that Apple Inc truly puts the ‘i’ in innovation.
Theatre review: Elections and Erections Gerda von Benecke WE GATHER in crowds to hear old Julius slipping up on his English grammar. The image of Zuma’s Zulu skins still ignites a snicker. Our favorite t-shirt is the one ripping off Eskom. Nando’s has never tasted this good. How we all just love a good joke - especially when the joke’s on someone else. Elections and Erections, a production by Pieter-Dirk Uys, explores the absence and presence of both democracy and sex in South Africa – during apartheid and after. It is exactly what you would expect from political satire – clever, careless and controversial, not leaving a single politician, political party or public pompousness unsquashed. The show kicks off with Uys in simple black as he craftily jumps and jolts from one rather expected impersonation or skit to another, from the antics of Hillary Clinton to a Zuma puppet with a shower head attached. Uys, just as anticipated, mocks the country’s
leaders, past to present, from “Groot Krokodil” P.W. Botha to interim Kgalema Motlanthe. Home affairs, sexual affairs and foreign affairs are all treated with hilarious ridicule – what else could be expected? How we all love a good joke – especially when the joke is on Zuma’s five wives. In the second half of the performance, briefly showcasing an interview with the (in)famous Zapiro, Uys is dressed in his alterego’s drag. The fabulous Evita Bezuidenhout graces the stage with her Tutu, her stories, her speeches and her spot-on, stand-up, streetwise improvisation, tearing the political globe, glitches and our sides apart as she turns on the audience to expose those “aliens” amongst us. After all, she’s what the audience paid for. How we all love a good joke – especially when the joke is on Mbeki’s 5,000,000 voyager miles. But how delightfully unexpected when Uys’s savage satire drags us “normal innocent folk” into the ring, as we recognise our older immigrant sister, our
patronising patriotically reborn aunt, our first-time voting selves – as I recognised my own Afrikaner self when Mrs Bezuidenhout refers to my party’s and my response as “o, dit is seker die Stellenbossers wat hande klap daar”...oh, so painfully true. How we all love a good joke – but what if the joke is on you? Probably most startling, but most revealing of Uys’s honest voice, comes near end of the first half of the show, when he freezes the audience into a less comical moment, telling of his flirtation with someone else’s imminent disaster, referring to a relationship he kindled with a young coloured man in his days as a drama student at our very own UCT. No jokes here. Uys’s careful sense of people and politics shows in the ways in which he slams down on Zuma’s antics, but steers perfectly clear of dooming Zuma’s incumbent term of office, almost as if allowing him the benefit of the doubt. Therefore, in a manner rather unexpected from political satire in general but
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Somewhere between an expected laugh and an unexpected truth
Uys strikes again - for the second time this year, Uys delivers another politically charged play that makes you think. definitely expected from PieterDirk Uys, is the way in which he does much more than simply offer a chuckle at the cost of South African politics and politicians – he offers a hopeful future, demanding in exchange a critical outlook on your vote in your democracy, your choices in your personal life. We the people…the biggest joke of all. Elections and Erections ended on 2 May at the Baxter Theatre. If you missed the show, you can catch the DVD, available at all
leading retail outlets. Also check out Pieter-Dirk Uys’s website at www.pdu.co.za, where you can find play texts, upcoming events, reviews etc. Lastly – in the event of having a day off, take a road trip up the West Coast on the R27 and go visit Evita se Perron at Darling Station, Uys’s very own theatre/ restaurant, serving all kinds of South African delicacies such as biltong and boerewors, situated an hour away from Cape Town in charming little Darling. More info is available at www.evita.co.za.
By Calvin Scholtz & Remy Ngamije
features Confessor by Terry Goodkind
On Chesil Beach - Ian McEwan
Richard Rahl has to save the world from a war that could bring about a thousand years of darkness and possibly the end of mankind. With his magic powers stripped from him, an army of millions laying siege to his kingdom and the woman that he loves being held captive, the story could not get any better...or could it?
A novel set in England in the post-war years, about a young married couple, Edward and Florence, who have lived quite sheltered lives and now face their wedding night as relative innocents. They are clearly in love with each other and want each other to be happy, but they are approaching the bridal bed with different motives and expectations.
Goodkind releases the last book in the Sword of Truth series with the weight of the previous books raising expectations. Though Goodkind has managed to keep readers paying high prices for his previous masterpieces, this one looks...rushed. It is much like the seventh Harry Potter book: too much, too fast and way too few pages.
Watch this By Remy Ngamije
The Fast & The Furious 4: New Model, Orinal Parts
In McEwan’s inimitable style, he gets inside the heads of the characters and takes us through their thought processes: with dramatic irony, we share in Edward’s anticipation and Florence’s apprehension. Ultimately, it is a story that shows us how the course of one’s life can change for the worse all because of a simple failure to communicate.
Play This By Isaac Hunja Koimburi
Far Cry 2 Developer: Ubisoft
Okay! Fine, the story is crap. But what the hell were you thinking? This isn’t The Shawshank Redemption! This is an all-out testosterone fest that sends the previous Fast & Furious films running with their exhaust pipes between their tails. Vin Diesel and Paul Walker reunite for a chromed, turbo-charged, metalcrunching action movie with so much rev that the spare wheel starts spinning. Yes, I do not like brainless films or predictable plots. But damn! This film makes you want to go and get a licence! It is insanely watchable, and the action sequences are ingenius, the soundtrack is just like the film...it’s shallow...but you can nod your head to this!
Julius! This is ‘Show and Tell’
By Che-Lee Mauritz
Julius Caesar Malema
Images courtesy of Www.cduniverse.com
THE FIRST experience you’ll have of Far Cry 2 is extremely positive. Ubisoft have outdone themselves in setting an aesthetically appealing, graphically pleasing depiction of their latest first-person shooter based in a fictitious African country torn by civil strife. Little touches like the convincing South African accents and languages of the locals make the setting and the game more impressive. However, I’m afraid, that’s about all the game has going for it. In trying to justify the generally poor score I give to this game, my fingers have traversed the net to find some critic who agrees with me - I was left sorely disappointed. The game received rave reviews all round, but I obstinately stick to my guns on this one. The game tries to create an open-ended, self determining mission, where you can pick and choose missions depending on the people you meet. The problem with this is that the variety (as opposed to the number) of missions is painfully limited and monotony eventually slithers in. You start wondering, umpteen missions later, if the game actually has an end. It’s like movie directors who decide to put in alternative endings. Far Cry 2, despite its astounding graphics, breathtaking sunsets and zebra-chasing joy, is much like a good quality version of a strikingly average movie. And it’s only a matter of time before you realise that you need the hard drive space for other things. Rating: 3 out of 5 (I would have given it a 2.5, but I give it the benefit of the doubt because everyone seems to love it.)
“iVeni, iVidi, iVici”
Opposing views: United and Arsenal face-off Jateen Kooverjee FOR THE third year running, Manchester United will be playing a second leg of a semi–final with a small advantage. However, this is probably the best situation they have taken into a second leg for some time. The equation is simple: score at the Emirates and the Gunners need at least three goals, which looks a long shot without talisman Andrei Ashavin, who is cup-tied.
“...The experience the Red Devils have in Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes will be invaluable at this stage of the competition...” The loss of Van Persie to injury also leaves them for the worse, as he is one of the few Arsenal men who knows how to step up for the big games. On the other side, Manchester United’s closet of attacking options gives most teams’ sleepless nights. With the “Fab Four” of Ronaldo, Rooney, Tevez and Berbatov, they certainly can go to North London and score much more than one goal. The experience the Red
Devils have in Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes will be invaluable at this stage of the competition. The experience factor will cost Arsenal dearly as they do not have a Patrick Viera type figure to lead them into battle. This “young” Gunners team is bursting with talent, but talent alone doesn’t win European Cups. At the back, Arsenal are also lacking stability with their makeshift back four. Fielding Mikael Silvestre, who was Manchester United third choice centre back, really wouldn’t make Gunners fans feel confident. Manchester United does, however, have injury concerns at the back with Rio Ferdinand looking as if he will miss the trip to London. With both teams having more than a few defensive frailties, expect a goal feast at the Emirates. Sir Alex will keep everyone guessing with side selection. Don’t be surprised to see Wayne Rooney on the bench as he is just one yellow card away from missing a very possible trip to Rome. As a neutral you would have to fancy United, considering they have proved time and time again that they are the best at playing winning football.
Arsenal: Nishlen Govender “THE difference between Arsenal and Manchester United on Wednesday was simply sharpness around the penalty area,” was Arsène Wenger’s most noticeable comment after the Champions League semi-final first leg last week at Old Trafford. Arsenal supporters, including myself, will be rueing the missed chance of taking an away-goal back to the Emirates stadium. However, the tie is still wide open in my opinion. At one-nil down to the much-favoured European champions, Arsenal will have to pull up their socks and create more goal scoring opportunities
that were lacking last Wednesday as the usual threats, Emmanuel Adebayor, Cesc Fabregas and the like hardly had a sniff at the goal. This can be attributed to Manchester United’s dogged defence and constant pressing of the Arsenal midfielders, which rendered their base of attack ineffective. Manchester United’s attack on the other hand was free flowing and Arsenal supporters have only Manuel Almunia to thank for the score staying at nil-nil. However, at the 18 minute mark, Arsenal’s defence was broken by sloppy defending that saw John O’Shea volley home a smart cross by Michael Carrick; this was the only score of the game, though Arsenal was fortunate to concede just the one. The tie now moves to London tonight where Arsenal is unbeaten Photo courtesy of images.teamtalk.com
Jon O’Shea got the only goal in the first leg: the second leg is tonight at the Emirates
in the Champions League this season. However, this will come as little comfort against a Manchester United team that is unbeaten in its last 24 Champions League outings. Arsenal will be without top goal scorer Robin van Persie and cup tied Andrey Ashravin, as well as left back Gael Clichy and William Gallas; however, they will have Emmanuel Adebayor back upfront
“...the Champions League semifinal moves to the Emirate’s Stadium tonight where Arsenal will have to chase the game...” and Abou Diaby back from injury to bolster the midfield. Arsenal will look to take advantage of home ground advantage to play that free flowing style of football that was sorely lacking in the first leg. And with that said, the Champions League semi-final moves to the Emirate’s Stadium tonight, where Arsenal will have to chase the game in hopes of overturning their onenil away loss to gain a spot in the prestigious Champions League final.
Interview with a UCT Sportsman: Bonga Mriga Daniel Freund gets an update on internal football at UCT VARSITY: What is your involvement with football at UCT?
please describe (in detail) how the league works?
Bonga Mriga: Before I go on and answer the questions I would like to clarify that I am not part of the administrative body of football at UCT and thus my views, as objective as they were attempted to be, are only those of a participant within the league. I am a team representative for Kopano Residence. I handle issues involving the registration of the teams, and I liaise between the residence and UCT Internal Soccer League structures (UCTISL). I do this in association with the sports representative of the residence.
BM: The name of the league, as mentioned above, is UCTISL, and it comprises of three leagues and this one down from the previous year. There previously were four leagues and they composed of teams that were not from UCT, these leagues each had twelve teams within them. This changed after there were other UCT teams that wanted to join the league this year and the teams that were not from UCT were amicably asked to leave the league, as reported. The three leagues still comprise twelve teams, with a few teams from the surrounding tertiary institutions. There is the Super League, Premier League and First Division
V: You have a particular interest in the internal league;
I play for Kopano A which participates in the Super League. We, as the residence, have two teams and the other one, Kopano B, campaigns in the Premier League. V: Is the administrative side of the league handled efficiently? BM: The administrative side of the league is handled fairly efficiently. I am purposefully putting it in this way to mark that there are issues that can be improved upon, but since this is a social league we would not moan too much about them. We play matches on weekends and we normally receive the fixtures on Wednesday, latest Thursday. This is handled by Mr Buckton, who is
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in charge of the league. Since we work with technology there are a few hick-ups at times, but they do not occur often. V: Are the standards of the facilities appropriate? How good is the quality of the pitches? BM: We make use of three pitches: two at Rhodes Recreational Grounds and the other at Kopano Fields. The facilities are well looked after, the latter has recently been constructed and is still having the final touches put to it but it is still playable. The Kopano field was built, partly, because the fields at Rhodes usually are unable to handle the pressure they are under. This is so because they usually handle about five matches on a full day and when it is raining they are easily ruined. The nets, however, at the Rhodes Grounds are not something one could smile about. V: How do you rate the standard of football in the internal league? BM: The standard of football in the league is satisfactory, I’d say. As in any league, there are always teams that are more organised relative to the others,
this is usually linked with access to financial resources but we, relatively speaking, have sufficient access to finances. I guess it comes down to talent, or lack thereof. What we have is a social league and thus it does not put much of a responsibility on teams with regards to administration, but on the field of play there is always something to laugh at, from every member of a team wanting a “shibobo” to everyone being a defender or a converted one. V: How has the league gone so far for your team? BM: Two rounds of games have been played thus far and Kopano B is third on four points after a draw and a win. Kopano A is sixth in the Super League with one match played and one win. Football is not the most popular sport around UCT and thus the response from the general public is not as great. This league could do with a whole lot of publicity and I am grateful for this opportunity presented in this regard by VARSITY.
All African basketball comes to UCT THE 5th All African Basketball Tournament was held at the UCT Sports Centre last Friday. Ten teams from all over the continent matched up, five of which were from the East African Society (Easoc) and the others included Team USA, Zimbabwe, Angola, the West African Team and the African Team. The tournament was sponsored by Champion sporting equipment and Vitamin H2O, and was themed “The Chosen One” in an attempt to search for the best African player at the tournament – this search was performed through an entertaining half-time Slam Dunk competition, as well as a 3-pointer Shootout. Some enthralling matches took place over the three groups that the teams were divided in to, and the opinions of a few players were captured before the first group stage games were underway. When asked which team was the most likely threat in the competition, a player from Easoc E, Edwin, told VARSITY, “The team from Angola has the reputation of being the best at this tournament, and so every team will most likely be keeping an eye on them.” Another player from the Easoc C team, Daniel, was also asked what message the tournament sends to the basketball fans and community, and he stated, “It helps everyone come together,
Photo by Dominic Verwey
Shooting hoops - Players at the tournament battled it out to try and decide who was Africa’s next big thing. forget their troubles in life, and enjoy themselves”. Evidently, the unity of the tournament was very much a follow on from last year’s tournament, which was themed “The Fight against Xenophobia”. One match of the group stages
stood out from the rest, where the African Team took on Team USA in quite a rough and competitive affair. Both teams played great basketball and, at times, somewhat over-enthusiastically, with plenty of fouls going against both
Cycling for knowledge Zerene Haddad
Silverman said that they intend to document their trip by “journaling, videotaping, blogging on our website, and Twittering. Feel free to check out our Twitter feed and blog as well as the Facebook page.” There is also a website they’ve set up: www.cycleforunderstanding. blogspot.com. Bodansky hopes to compile the footage into a documentary upon their return. “There has been a great deal of excitement among people back home about our adventure as well… We will also be bringing a satellite phone, so when important events occur we can call in to other members of our organisation and have them link the stories to our website.” You can follow the 2x2 at: www.twitter.com/2x2Bikeride Photo by Simone Millward
TWO UCT American exchange students are taking to their bikes in June in an attempt to disprove the perceived stereotypical image Americans have of Africa. Eric Silverman and Aaron Bodansky are currently part of the IAPO semester abroad programme and will finish off their stay by cycling from Cape Town to Nairobi. They have dubbed it the “2x2: Cycle for Understanding.” Bodansky explains how the idea was conceived: “My goal was initially to get to Kenya after I finished studying at UCT in June in order to meet up with a Masai man I have been in contact with. I took Swahili classes back at my home university and wanted to live in an interesting, Swahili speaking
environment. My first plan was to take a motorbike from here to Kenya, but everyone I told the plan to from home always told me I was crazy, and would get killed in Africa. This frustrated me, and caused me to realize the extent of the prejudice that the Western world has surrounding Africa. They think it is all a lawless, violent place where you will get killed quickly if you are white. After discussing the situation with my friend, Eric, we decided we both wanted to prove these prejudices wrong.” The intrepid adventurers will leave Cape Town after the June exams, and travel through Botswana, Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania. They hope to arrive in Kenya by 15 August after completing the 4200 km journey.
takING ON AFRICa - Eric Silverman (left) and Aaron Bodansky (right) are heading off to Kenya by bike
teams and the game being halted by the referee’s whistle on many occasion. Team USA ran out eventual winners by 32 points to the African Team’s 28 points. A player from the African Team, Kizer, told VARSITY that with all the calls
being blown during the game, “it was frustrating. We didn’t want to come to the competition and have an aggressive match. We want to have fun, but it turned out to be a bit more competitive than we expected.” He went on to say that “[We are] a team with players from all over Africa. Having a team that is so diverse sends a message that this tournament is not a South African tournament, but an inclusive event with players from all over the entire continent – showing that this event emphasises unity.” From the group stages, four teams advanced, and the semifinals had Team USA pair up against Zimbabwe, and Easoc D playing against West Africa. Team USA easily overcame the challenge from Zimbabwe with a 3426 win, and Easoc D did the same with a 38-22 win against West Africa. The final was played in good spirit and it was evenly matched for the first half of the game, but Team USA displayed their dominance for the second half and won the match with 30 points to Easoc D with 22 points. The tournament was well supported and plenty of African talent was on show. On that note, everyone is encouraged to look out for upcoming games being played by the UCT 1st Basketball Team.
Stormer blues Taru Madangombe THE STORMERS seem to be having some serious issues in their camp. The team looked good on paper at the start of the season, but is showing only a shadow of this potential on the grass. They have really looked outof-sorts in recent games and one wonders if they are sticking to their game plan. This reminds one of a statement by Geoff Cook in 1995, after England was beaten by New Zealand in the semi-finals of the World Cup. Cook said, “I don’t know about us not having a Plan B when things went wrong, we looked like we didn’t even have a Plan A.” Who should take the blame? Are the players not performing? Is the coach not guiding his charges? Is it the Western Province management and leadership? Or, is the Luke Watson “effect” contributing to all this mess? One wonders why the game’s antiques, the likes of AJ Venter, Wylie Human and Willem de Waal, are still being considered for selection ahead of the exciting young players in the Cape. I think we should learn to admit when players have reached their sellby-date and let the fresh legs take over. Even the legendary Pieter De Villiers knew when it was right to call it quits, saying before his retirement, “When you’re down on the ground and you start thinking about your wife and children it means it’s time to stop.” Even closer to home, the UCT Ikeys have started their
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Western Province Super A League season on a high with their 29 - 8 away victory over Durbell. So far, the Ikeys have played three games, winning two and losing one to the Victorians. After their disappointing semi-final exit in the 2009 FNB Varsity Cup, they have been bolstered by the return of seasoned stalwarts like Vakai “Fish” Hove, Herbie Mayosi, Bodo “The Door” Sieber, Tim Whitehead, Dave Clayton and Craig Klue.
“... Tiger Bax and the hard-driving lock Martin Muller, were included in the Stormers’ squad...” It is good to see the fruits of Dobbo’s hard work blossoming, as two exciting Ikeys, the superlative back Tiger Bax and the harddriving lock Martin Muller, were included in the Stormers’ squad for the game against the Chiefs on 2 May at Newlands Stadium. The boys managed to get some game time. Hopefully this is just the beginning of a couple of exciting careers in Super Rugby. Congrats!