#ShackvilleTRC still continues
E · THE O FF INC IC RS I PE
ENT NE W TUD SP LS A IA C
E 1942 · THE O NC FF SI I
SHUTDOWN EDITION VOLUME 75 | EDITION 12
NT NEWS UDE PA ST PE
18 October 2016
IN THIS ISSUE
UCT to reopen?
Donate Blood !
to continue work or enter the building during its occupation by students. Kruger continued to say that the building was secured with new locks and private security was Inclusivity in Sport placed at entrances to ensure that the students did not reoccupy it. She noted that the evicted students tried to reoccupy the building despite the presence of the private security.
Image: Thapelo Masebe
niversity of Cape Town – On Wednesday, 5 October 2016, a mass meeting was held at Leslie Social Science Building where a UCT politics lecturer, Dr Lwazi Lushaba, and student leader,
Athabile Nonxuba, addressed the students on the issues related to protests that are currently happening at UCT such as racism in the institution, free decolonial education, reopening of the University and many other issues. The mass meeting followed an incident which happened on the night of Tuesday, 4 October, where
protesting students were evicted from occupying the Steve Biko building. Executive Director: Communication and Marketing Department, Gerda Kruger, said that the students were evicted from the building because they were unlawfully occupying it and the UCT staff, that provide a number of services to students from that building, were unable
VARSITY, the official student newspaper since 1942, is committed to the principles of equality and democracy.
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UCT Students on a Fundraising Campaign for Cafeteria Workers Patience Mpofu
n 28 September 2016, Workers Solidarity Fund (WSF) announced on their Facebook page that the Workers Solidarity Fund for university workers affected by student protests was to be revived. WSF is a fundraising initiative which is aimed at helping University workers such as canteen and cafeteria workers whose jobs have been negatively impacted by the ongoing protests over free decolonized tertiary education amongst other issues. The fundraising drive was set up in September 2015 to support the Big Chef workers who were punished for speaking out against their boss and had their pay docked while the
boycott of their food vendors was underway. WSF were inspired to start this project and help outsourced workers by trying to replace their wages. Jon Rayner, who is part of the WSF, said that the initiative managed to raise approximately R100 000 last year. The money was used to pay most of the outsourced workers from different universities such as CUT, North-West University, Stellenbosch University, Tshwane University of Technology, Wits and UCT to name a few. They were also able to help Shoprite workers who were on strike in Thembisa as well as to repair the worker’s car which got petrol bombed. After the protests last year, WSF became a national network called Workers and Community Solidarity Fund (WCSF), which not only helped workers but community
groups and students as well. WCSF has been running since September last year and distributed significant funds to support community groups and workers at public institutions. Jon said that they have started a campaign specifically aimed to help UCT cafeteria workers (UCTCafeteria) who are affected by the ongoing protests. “Cafeteria workers at the University of Cape Town are now in their fourth week with no pay or drastically reduced pay while campuses are closed and in the case of one company, the boss has laid 40 workers off to cut costs. Cafeteria workers at UCT earn between R3000 and R5000 per month for full-time work, meaning the current loss of wages is a crisis,” said Jon. He continued to say that 100% of money for the fund for
Resolution on student protests Patience Mpofu
rom Monday, 30 September to 2 October 2016 a meeting was held between the Representatives of the Progressive SRC Candidates (referred to as the #ShackvilleTRC) and UCT represented by the Vice-Chancellor (VC) and members of the Special Executive Task Team. The meeting was held at Tshisimani Centre for Activists Education (TCAE) in Mowbray, Cape Town where they discussed ideas on how to solve the ongoing protests. Both parties managed to reach a consensus on 2 October where they drafted a resolution on student protests. The drafted resolution included that; “the university will establish an independent and impartial Institutional Reconciliation and Transformation commission (IRTC) consisting of eminent persons in an effort to find solutions to the grievances of all legitimate interests groups and student formations, and maintain the institutional integrity of the university. The VC will immediately request the University Council Executive Committee
to suspend temporarily the implementation of the expulsions and rustications affecting 12 students who have been involved in the student protests during 2016. In order to allow them to participate fully in the IRTC so that meaningful engagement can take place. From Monday, 3 October, the University will resume classes and ensure that it completes the academic project for 2016 and all normal university operations must be allowed to proceed,” full terms and conditions of the resolution can be accessed on the university’s website. The university was open and functional in the morning of 3 October and the VC vowed to keep the university open despite the protests. Some lectures were later on the day disrupted by a group of protesters leading to the suspension of all remaining lectures and other university activities. The VC sent out a communication to staff and students explaining why the engagement with protesters failed. “The protesters are claiming publicly that the UCT executive is responsible for the collapse of these engagements, or that we have not honored agreements we made with
the protesters. This is not correct. UCT rejects this version as false. The truth is that the students identifying as the SRC Candidates group fundamentally rejected the opening of campus.” said UCT executive director: communication and Marketing Department, Gerda Kruger. She continued to say that UCT was willing to suspend the university’s disciplinary outcomes in order to open for classes peacefully but the protest group demanded two more weeks of shutdown and stated openly that they would not guarantee that UCT’s academic project would reopen even after that period. However, protesting students said that reopening the university on Monday ignored their immediate demands and any issues they expected to be resolved before the resumption of the academic program. SRC candidate, Mlingane Matiwane said that management decided to open the university on October 3 without an agreement being reached on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission “TRC”. Protesting students also wanted management to agree in principle to free education at the university. UCT SRC said that they did not endorse the
UCTCafeteria goes to the workers as the fund is entirely administered by volunteer student activists with no administrative cost. He said that they make banking details available on request in the interest of transparency. He also noted that their target is to raise about R55 000 per week but they have only managed to raise R20 000 in three weeks which is less that what they raised last year. UCTCafeteria has managed to give each worker R450 in the last four weeks, much below a standard living wage in South Africa. Jon said that last year they were helping between 20 and 30 workers and this year they are helping about 54 workers. “We are desperately appealing for donations to support these workers and their families,” said Jon.
For more information and if you are interested in assisting the UCTCafeteria fund, you can contact them via email: email@example.com or on Facebook at Workers and Community Solidarity Fund. For donations, you can EFT to: Workers and Community Solidarity Fund Account number: 073576093 Bank: Standard Bank Branch: Rondebosch Branch code: 025009 Cheque account Reference: UCTCafeteria Or you can donate internationally via Paypal: workerssolidarityfund@ gmail.com Reference: UCTCafeteria
Image: Thapelo Masebe above resolution because the safety of students and stuff will be at risk as it remains unclear if the University management has made head way with the protesting students regarding the interdict and tribunal processes. On Wednesday, 5 October, large groups of protesters disrupted lectures and fire extinguishers were released in some lecture venues. All classes were suspended due to the escalation of disruptions. The Executive made a decision to extend the suspension of all classes and other university activities from Wednesday, 5 October until Friday, 14 October 2016 so as to continue their engagement with SRC candidates on planning around options and scenarios that will enable students to conclude the 2016 academic year successfully. However, the engagement proceedings has been halted by the arrest of UCT activist student, Masixole Mlandu on Wednesday, 12 October. Mlandu was sent to Pollsmoor prison after he was refused bail when he appeared in court on 14 October and his hearing is scheduled for next week Friday. #ShackvilleTRC stated that they will continue to protest the arrest of Mlandu despite the vow by UCT management to reopen campus on Monday, 17 October. UCT laid a charge with the
South African Police Service (SAPS) after a group of about 70 protesters allegedly broke through the door into the offices of the Campus Protection Services (CPS) on 12 October. They are alleged to have intimidated staff members forcing them to vacate their workspaces. On Friday, 14 October 2016, Gerda announced that VC had to be escorted away by the SAPS when a group of protesters stopped him from leaving after having a meeting with them outside the Bremner building. “Unfortunately, some of the protesters encircled him and started pushing and pulling him. Dr Price attempted to walk away when he received two punches to the body. SAPS stepped into the group to escort Dr Price away. Unfortunately, the scuffles and pushing escalated and police officers used stun grenades to disperse the group. The group left and later disrupted a soccer match taking place on a field nearby,” said Gerda. No agreement has been made between the #ShackvilleTRC and the UCT management during the university closure. However, the UCT management is adamant that campus will reopen on 17 October even though the protesting students do not yet accept to continue the academic programme without disruption.
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UCT attempts to reopen Ashley Jane Seymour
n Friday, UCT management announced that classes were to resume on Monday, 17 October. This comes after the collapse of an intense negotiation process between protesting students, identified as #ShackvilleTRC, and management following the re-arrest of SRC candidate Masixole Mlandu. While some faculties have begun to prepare for off-campus learning measures, many have expressed their concerns with opening UCT campuses. The reopening comes after a four week hiatus from academic activities during which protesting students disrupted lectures and underwent demonstrations throughout UCT campuses. Elijah Moholola, the head media liaison for UCT stated that; “the library will be open and Jammie shuttle services would be operational”. This is despite the multiple attempts to reopen campus since protests began on 16 September. In a statement emailed to students, Vice Chancellor Dr Max Price announced that while campus would reopen, “all undergraduate face-to-face classes are suspended.” Many faculties have already made provisions to avoid campus activities as much as possible. In a statement sent out to the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment (EBE), staff and students were advised to
Continued from page 1 tried to protect the building by forming a human chain but it was breached and two students broke through and entered the building. Several petrol bombs were thrown, starting fires in the P9 parking area outside the Steve Biko Students’ Union building. Protesters then ran amok on upper campus setting several fires. One security officer was injured,” said Kruger.
Keep the doors of learning open However, protesting students reject this statement. Six peaceful observers who were there during the Tuesday incident said that the heavy presence of private security at UCT campuses escalated conflict because they verbally threatened and provoked students into retaliating. Peace Observer spokesperson, Johan de Meyer, said that protesters caused minor property damage, they started a fire on the plaza and threw stones during an altercation with private security guards. “One particular individual randomly fired plastic pellets into crowds of students on a number of occasions, at times when it was deemed unnecessary,” said Meyer. Some UCT students accused the private security of racial profiling after they had been barred from entering the Kramer Law building. They claim that white students were allowed to attend a lecture inside while black students were locked outside. “The private security at Kramer building has been refusing black students to enter because they are potential protesters,” said
prepare for a ‘mini-semester’ at the beginning of 2017 to catch up missed work. Science faculty students were advised that “November exams will be based on the work covered prior to and including 16 September, except in those courses with an additional study week”, advising students that missed content would be caught up in senior years. In the Commerce faculty, all Duly Performed requirements for second semester courses have been waived while new deadlines and assignments are yet to be confirmed. However, students have expressed their dismay at returning to the academic programme given the climate at UCT. “I feel out of rhythm in terms of my academics...I don’t feel ready to be back in a classroom and I am really scared that there’s going to be private security,” says Precious Bikitsha, a third year politics student. Others also expressed their anxiety at the use of private security in the coming week, with Lifikile Hugo, a third year business science student, stated, “I feel very not cared for, like I’m just part of a system and I don’t matter.” Steph Rutherford, a 3rd year BA student questioned the legitimacy of returning to campus, saying “I am doubtful of a peaceful restart to our academics, whether it comes from
the protests or from management” Academic staff at UCT has also expressed their concerns regarding the current campus situation. “I am completely disheartened to hear that there will be no face-to-face teaching for undergraduate courses” says Martha Evans, a senior lecturer in the Film and Media Department. In an open letter written to UCT management on 3 October, Political Science students also voiced their dismay, stating that “we are not comfortable asking individuals to return to a campus that is operating under heavy private security and SAPS presence,” halting tutorials until police and private security
vacated campus. Management’s decision to resume classes has also brought derision from protesting students, who believe that Dr Price and other senior executive members have acted in bad faith after the rearrest of SRC candidate, Masixole Mlandu, outside of UCT property last week. Following Mlandu being denied bail, students and Dr Price engaged in a heated altercation outside of Bremner Building on Friday. In a statement released on the #ShackvilleTRC Facebook page, the group denounced the move by management “we do not entertain or engage in conversations
Nonxuba. “We all want to go back to school. It’s not 80% or 90% as the Vice Chancellor (V.C), Max Price, said. It’s 100%,”. He went on to say that they need to finish the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) first so as to go back to University with their expelled comrades. Vice Chancellor Dr Max Price said that 80% or 90% of students want to go back to school after UCT staff and students gathered for a silent protest on the Jammie plaza at noon on Friday 30 September 2016 under the banner ‘Keep the doors of learning open’. Many held placards written ‘I want to teach’ and ‘I am here to fight for my education. I don’t believe someone has the right to shut UCT down.’ However, the silent protest was countered by #ShackvilleTRC protesters who were handing over a memorandum to V.C at Bremner building. The #ShackvilleTRC protesters had a clear message that they would not allow the University to open until their demands have been met with. The Black Academics Caucus (BAC) wrote an open letter to UCT Council in which they clearly expressed that they were against the reopening of the university with the heavy presence of private security. “It is clear that commencing lectures on Monday 3 October 2016 in the presence of heavy security is bound to escalate violent confrontation and will place UCT students and staff at risk. We also question whether it is in the interests of private security contractors at universities across the country to resolve situations that stand to be profitable to them. It is black students and staff, who will be targeted by the heavy presence of private security,” said BAC. On Monday, 3 October, the university confirmed that six students were arrested for disrupting a lecture in the PD Hahn
building. “The six were warned that their actions were unlawful and that they should leave the premises. They refused and were arrested. If they are found to be UCT students, disciplinary action, including possible suspension, will follow,” said Kruger. Attorney, Lufuno Musetsho said that six students were released without being charged on Tuesday, 4 October. UCT student activists, Masixole Mlandu, Zukisa Sokhaya and Sibusiso Mpendulo, were arrested on Tuesday morning and were granted bail totaling R2 500 by the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, 6 October for charges relating to ongoing protests over fees and decolonised education. Zukisa Sokhaya was charged for allegedly pushing and threatening a student on campus with a stick and a rock, after he was pepper-sprayed by a white student during a protest march and he was released on R1 000 bail. Masixole Mlandu was charged with breaching an interdict banning him from campus, also got bail of R1 000. Sibusiso Mpendulo, accused of allegedly shouting at campus security, saying that he was going to burn the university down, was granted bail of R500. Magistrate Vanessa Miki refused an application by prosecutor Deshnie Naidoo to make a ban from campus part of the accused's bail conditions. “They had the right to be treated as innocent and the right to an education so they should not be prevented from attending classes,” said Miki. Mlandu was again arrested and charged of contempt of law, intimidation and trespassing on Wednesday, 12 October 2016. Appearing again in court on the 14th, Mlandu was refused bail and sent to Pollsmoor prison until his hearing, scheduled for next week Friday.
#ShackvilleTRC has expressed outrage at Mlandu's detention and the reopening of campus on Monday, 17 October, stating “it is shocking that we can be expected to allow the campus to continue as per normal when this reopening will be deemed as the fruits of comrade Masixole Mlandu’s arrest.” This follows an altracation between Dr Max Price and protesting students outside of Bremner Building on Friday, 14 October. Halting the negotiation process bteween SRC candidates and Management, #ShackvilleTRC stated on its Facebook page that they would continue to protest the arrest of Mlandu, despite campus' reopening on Monday the 15th.
Image: Cara Spall
expected to allow campus to continue as per normal Different groups with various demands have been protesting at UCT since the student protests started in September this year. On Wednesday, 12 October, #ShackvilleTRC went to protest outside VC’s house. UCT Faculty of Health Science (#occupyFHS) students are also protesting and some of their demands are different from those of #ShackvilleTRC. Their demands fall under the following themes: Institutional/ Faculty Climate, Funding support of Health Sciences students, Fees and related financial and nonfinancial arrangements, Education and Training challenges, Transport, and Worker related issues. The #occupyFHS protesters occupied the Deans of Faculty of Health Science’s Suite Offices. The students released a statement indicating that the reason for their occupation of the Deans
about opening UCT outside of our collective demands being met and the end of criminalization of protests and protesters. It is thus tiring and exhausting that we again find ourselves in a position where we must make it clear that the University of Cape Town will not open.” While tensions are set to escalate on Monday, the future of the 2016 academic year is still to be confirmed. While police and protesting students continue confrontations, students have been provided with the option to defer exams until January, and official graduation ceremonies have been postponed until 2017. Suite is because they feel that the Deans have failed to respond to their list of demands. Umhlangano, a group of art and drama students, held a peaceful protest at UCT’s Hiddingh Campus when they were allegedly being issued with a police interdict that prevents them from making artworks about the #FeesMustFall protests. “On Monday, the institution sent former soldiers, dressed in private security uniforms, in full body armor against us. For making art, for intervening peacefully, for doing the work that they just want us to study, but we guess, not actually practice,” said Umhlangano. However, UCT media liaison Pat Lucas denied that an interdict was served. “The students had erected a roadblock where traffic accesses the Hiddingh Campus. They were reminded by a campus security officer that an interdict was in place, which was issued on February 17,” said Lucas. Umhlangano said that artists are expected to intervene in society in order to make meaningful contribution and to shift the status quo. They continued to say that they are trying to make safe space to explore what a free decolonial education looks like. “We welcome students, workers, and cultural workers as collaborators to join us in our activities for a radical shift of the institutional culture of this creative campus” they said. Such demonstrations are likely to continue. Despite management's call for a reopening, protesting students at UCT claim that their demands have not been met and counter-calls for a “#17October” have been made on twitter, reigniting concerns that protests will continue on UCT upper campus into the week, while management attempts to move learning away from direct campus contact.
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2017 Collective EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Ashley Jane Seymour firstname.lastname@example.org DEPUTY EDITOR Zanele Kabane email@example.com MANAGING EDITOR Thando Ndita managingeditor@varsitynewspaper. co.za COPY EDITOR Daniela Savoia firstname.lastname@example.org ONLINE EDITOR Zoe Postman email@example.com CREATIVE DIRECTOR Nicole Arends firstname.lastname@example.org CONTRIBUTORS & SUB-EDITORS Nicola Norton NEWS Patience Mpofu email@example.com
Ashley Jane Seymour
’m sick of that phrase. The past four weeks have been a turbulent and stressful time and yet, our institutions continue to push the pretense that everything is fine. That, despite apartheidera structural inequalities which continue to corrode the future of South African students, we must push through an uninterrogated curriculum and ignore the mounting anxiety as our peers are arrested and private security plagues campus. To say the Shutdown has been a holiday would be naive of those who wish for us to return to campus. The disruptions have forced us to question the nature of the socioeconomic structures which continue to oppress, and lead us to a position in which fellow scholars turn to protest. Both the #FeesMustFall and
education system and has also finally proved that the ‘apathetic youth’ are anything but. Apart from just the overall knowledge and unpacking of issues such as decolonization, perhaps the most poignant lesson I’ve learnt during this time, is the influence that the media has with regards to the coverage of the protest narrative.
SPORTS Catherine Fulton firstname.lastname@example.org IMAGES Thapelo Masebe and Cara Spall email@example.com SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGERS Ciara Blignaut and Mpho Mojela firstname.lastname@example.org
ONLINE CONTENT EDITOR Anthea van den Bergh email@example.com ONLINE CHIEF SUBBER Katherine Harris ONLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT Robyn Ausmeier firstname.lastname@example.org
This edition of VARSITY hopes to pave the way for this engagement. From providing you with up-to-date information on the events on campus from these past few weeks to a range
FEATURES Kudzi Manase and Megon Venter email@example.com
WEB EDITOR Gerald Balekaki firstname.lastname@example.org
the past four weeks have been a turbulent time
OPINIONS Jarita Kassen and Jemima Lewin email@example.com
DESIGN Mari Mombers firstname.lastname@example.org
#ShackvilleTRC movements are complex in their argumentation and can not be dismissed without inspection. It is in these times that we truly need to consider the implications of South Africa’s history, and how it continues to disadvantage and oppress the people of this country.
students have the power to control the narrative
Wait, so is there school tomorrow?” This question has been on the lips of every UCT student for the past four weeks. The level of everyday uncertainty has quickly become the norm as we find ourselves in the epicentre of perhaps the biggest student movement that post-apartheid South Africa has seen. #FeesMustFall2016 has truly highlighted the deeprooted issues which exist in our
so is there school tomorrow?
ONLINE OPINIONS CORRESPONDENT Adam Klienschmit onlineopinions@varsitynewspaper. co.za
For the first time, I finally understood the importance of having a student newspaper such as VARSITY newspaper, especially during a student protest. It dawned on me that a newspaper which is for the students, by the students, has the power to control the narrative, and this is incredibly important. Whether it is our live-tweets or articles, students as well as popular mainstream media outlets were looking to us to keep them in the loop about everything that is happening. As a matter of fact, social media, particularly
Business as Usual of argumentation for different solutions to the question of accessibility at UCT, my team hopes to address the shutdown in its entirety. We also understand the anxieties surrounding such a time, and have multiple articles on addressing the uncertainty and stress that accompanies the #FeesMustFall crisis. I encourage you to challenge your opinion and use these articles to consider the pre-existing structures which continue to foster the argument for free decolonized education. As the collective for 2017, we will continue to bring you relevant, community-centric journalism which seeks to represent the news of the student body. As the Editorin-Chief, I am thrilled to use this platform to inform and develop students at such a pivotal time in
history. In taking precedent from 2016, the year ahead is sure to be an intense and challenging time for us all. As for us here at VARSITY, things will definitely not be business as usual.
A Certain Uncertainty Twitter, has so far been the most important platform we have used to get information out to the rest of the world and the response has been astounding. With that said, it has become evident that although VARSITY is a newspaper, we cannot be left behind by the digital age and our vision for VARSITY next year is one that is more dynamic and relevant. Moreover, although we have tried our best to give as much information on social media, we feel as though many students are in desperate need of a contextual breakdown of everything that has led up to this point of the #UCTShutdown. This is why it became imperative to make a #UCTShutdown edition. Every article tackles various protest issues and as a collective felt that it would be in bad taste to cover any other topic.
been unbelievably difficult to manage things with no campus access as well as the ongoing uncertainties. However, in the same breath, I have never been more excited to be part of this newspaper because it is quite clear that the current climate will make it into the history books for years to come, and it is an honour to be able to be part of this narrative. There is no telling how things will be next year but rest assured, our collective will be there to cover everything in a refreshing and dynamic way.
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into the history books for years to come
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OPINIONS Allyship One-O-What? SALTED CARAMEL 18 October 2016 | V75 E 12 | Page 5
Image: Derrick Shadrack
(Directed from and to white folks) Disrupting Whiteness
hy does it seem we’re only interested in questioning our role in struggles that have beeeen going on when there is a moment of ultimate crisis? Well to be fair, its times like these that drive many of us to question things that we never have before. Which is great; we have to question what we think we know! This will not answer everything, but we’ll try a few. If we’re waiting for all our answers before we do anything, we’re doing it wrong. To start with the basics, what is White Allyship? Generally allyship is acting from a position of privilege to assist struggles against oppression. Here it means white students and staff supporting current protests. Allyship is grounded in action and it’s not a label we claim for ourselves. Allyship begins with realizing that you are White. You might be aware of this. The complexity of this identity will make little sense without some interrogation. You need to question the structural privilege that this identity gives you. On that, keep learning. Anyone’s allyship is effectively pointless if it isn’t grounded in a commitment to and practice of continual learning, this can happen through reading or learning from the people in the space. Learning about concepts
such as black-only spaces and Black Consciousness is crucial. Embrace Discomfort. Learning about identity and oppression isn’t comfortable. Change isn’t comfortable. Getting involved shouldn’t be comfortable. Whites have a knack of getting far too comfortable in protest spaces; taking up space, performing the ‘good white’, trying to guide discussions, etc. Don’t. Comfort usually means lack of awareness. If you feel uncomfortable that can be a good sign of being on the right track.
Allyship is grounded in action Careful with Overthinking. We may begin, unconsciously, to refuse to act due to overthinking. We’re going to mess up and we will need to be accountable. Don’t just rush in to pretend you can save the day, but don’t let the day pass you by either. Act. Don’t forget to Reflect. Respect that you too will need space to decompress. Stress, emotions and questions queue up very fast in these times. And it’s not your black friends’ responsibility or even ability to hold space for you. Decompress please. If you’re not looking to self-care then you’re not going to be able to help anyone, including yourself.
And now? Allyship in protests means being there, it means helping with simple things like water and food, it means being physically there when needed, it means speaking up and speaking out against racism and ignorance, it means educating yourself. Be sure to reach out to others, do not try to fight the battle on your own.
Comfort usually means lack of awareness Right now we are entering a time of essential discussions and interrogations. There will be many whites who un/intentionally try derail and hijack the serious processes required of this university, its departments and this space. We have responsibilities to challenge this, educate others, educate ourselves, seek out and amplify untold narratives of what is happening, and not speak over marginalised voices that need to be heard. If you’re wondering where to engage more, and find out what you can do, give us a shout.
Facebook groups to check-out:: “Anti-racist Education & Allyship”, “This Dialogue Thing”, “Rainbow Racist Rehab”.
DISCLAIMER The VARSITY Opinions section is a vehicle for expression on any topic by members of the university community or other interested parties. The opinions within this section are not necessarily those of the VARSITY Collective or its advertisers. Letters to the Editor need to be kept to a maximum of 300 words and can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
he one question, amongst others, on my mind throughout the protests on campus over the past few weeks has been that of justified radicalism. One of our core demands in these protests is #BringBackOurCadres; this is an appeal to UCT management to reinstate students who were interdicted, suspended and expelled from UCT for the events of ‘Shackville’, which took place in February this year. This re-instatement should be done through a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, put forward as a ‘ShackvilleTRC’. This is where the question of justified radicalism comes in, as many know or remember that the events of ‘Shackville’ involved political violence. I would like to note that I was not part of ‘Shackville’ and therefore do not have primary recollections of the event. At first I thought that, should these cadres be re-instated a dangerous precedent would be set, this being management actively condoning these acts of political violence involved setting fires to paintings and defacing busts of colonial powers. These acts of violence took place after the shack was forcibly removed. Through more research and interrogation I realized that my initial worries were not good enough to justify destroying the futures of these students who were just fighting the good fight. I say this for two reasons, firstly the intention was not for the protest to be violent, it was to highlight the incredibly real, harsh issue of financial exclusion. As well as the dire housing crisis which seemed to affect pre-dominantly, black students, contributing to the antiblack nature of UCT. ‘Shackville’ was not the first call for UCT management to address these issues, they were approached and conversations were had but the issues were not resolved and no future plan was put into place. This lack of commitment from management
around transformation, in any respect, seems to be a trend at universities nation-wide. I think that it is also important to acknowledge the amount of anger and frustration that these students must have felt at the time. As a middle-class Indian woman I cannot say that I have felt this anger but after engaging with several students part of the protests and listening to the emotionally violent experiences black students are subjected to at UCT. I can say that this anger is valid. Black pain is real. The second reason is the problem with the criminalization of the students. The students were merely trying to help other students. Students who UCT has failed. The irony with transformation at UCT, is that the institution is frequently praised for its commitment to transformation, for example, renaming buildings but, will management ever admit that without the students’ protests, UCT would not be transformed at all. And now the university is criminalizing those very students? Not only are these students being made to be criminals in society but they are being robbed of their education. An interdict against these students is an example of a disproportionate use of overpowering law. It is an inhumane response to the cries of students whom UCT has failed for too long. Black bodies who the state has failed for too long. It should be acknowledged that the students are not wanting to come back as if everything is ‘business as usual’, the purpose of the ‘ShackvilleTRC’ is to allow for restorative justice. This TRC will allow for an overdue dialogue between students who have been marginalized at UCT and UCT management. It is an invaluable opportunity to begin the healing process at UCT.
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Braai Day? Jemima Lewin
am a proud Coloured woman. While the term ‘Coloured’ is a race classification, it has its own distinct culture. There are so many things I love about my culture, from the amazing food to the mixed language that rolls so easily off our tongues. It is cultures like these and many others that were celebrated this past Heritage Day on 24 September. However, this day, for many, reminds us how our cultures are only accepted on one day out of the entire year. Why should I celebrate Heritage Day when the rest of the year I have to conform or fight
No Thank You
Image: SA People News
relentlessly for my culture to be acknowledged and accepted? The origins of Heritage day can be traced back to the great Zulu king, Shaka. September 24th was previously known as Shaka Day and to this day people still gather at his grave. However, the day was not recognized as an official public holiday and the IFP strongly objected the exclusion. After negotiations with parliament, it was renamed and recognized as one. With such a strong Zulu influence, it becomes difficult to comprehend how many South Africans have started to refer to the public holiday as ‘braai day’. The unofficial renaming of the day by a man named Jan Scannell,
who sought to ‘rebrand’ the holiday, points to the painfully obvious cultural hierarchy present in South Africa. White culture is so freely accepted in our country that it has become this homogenous blanket that I am quite frankly suffocating under. We are all expected to speak English and have hair that does not make anyone ‘uncomfortable’. School children at San Souci were punished and fined for speaking their home languages and girls from Pretoria Girls’ High School were not allowed to wear their natural hair. Afros and dreadlocks have become synonymous with ‘bad hair days’, with many claiming that they look untidy. Yet they’re
supposed to celebrate these very traits on Heritage Day. While everyone in South Africa may have a culture and heritage, not everyone has the privilege of celebrating it on a daily basis. The various cultures in South Africa have become pushed aside and diluted so that one could thrive. The renaming of Heritage Day made people forget the history and true reason for its creation. While eating braaied meat with friends and family sounds lovely, I have to admit, the images that advertise this campaign is not something I and so many others can relate to. My father did not braai with a beer in his hand, while
talking about rugby. But of course, only the white South African is acknowledged in a campaign that was supposedly created to ‘unify’ South Africans. Essentially, Heritage Day is not about celebrating South Africa’s diverse culture, it is a day of remembrance. The one day in the year where we can all unapologetically embrace our rich cultural identities. Afro? Rock it! Traditional clothing? Wear the hell out of them! Try your best to celebrate your culture and heritage every day; do not allow it to fade away and become a story you tell your children about one day around a braai.
on a practical, tangible level. The current university shake-up across South Africa may lead to the muchneeded realisation that we cannot carry on as before. But at what cost? If the universities remain closed, thousands of students may not realise their aspirations for a prosperous future. It is tempting to live in a bubble. If you limit the inputs and outputs
of your life to a small, immediate scope then it is possible to ignore the broader processes going on around you, and whether or not they benefit some more than others. But it is these processes that shape our environment and are ultimately responsible for where you come from and where you are going. The realisation of these systemic factors can be an uncomfortable
experience, but often a very necessary one, particularly in a complex society such as ours. The year 2016 is a year that many of us will mark as the year we were confronted with the realisation that there are bigger factors at play, in a much bigger picture. How we respond to these will define us as individuals, and perhaps even as a nation.
The Year of
Realisations Wesley Gush
colleague of mine recently drew my attention to a video of Kylie Jenner saying that so far 2016 has been full of people “realising stuff ”. Beyond the fact that I was forced to solidify my previously vague awareness of Kylie Jenner as an actual person, I didn’t realise she was so deep. Or that Pokémon would be forever restricted to my childhood. On a serious note, we are realising (not for the first time) that students have the power to command the nation’s attention. We are realising that the shadow of Apartheid has not been entirely banished by the rainbow of a democratic nation. The demons of the past continue to haunt us: 40 years on from the Soweto Riots, the status quo still benefits some groups in society more than others. We are realising that there are no easy solutions, and the time for critical thinking and engagement is now. But we have realised, too, that there is power in democracy. The results of the recent municipal elections reflect a shifting mentality
in the votership. For the ANC’s part, 2016 has been a year to realise that its leadership is not beyond contestation, as several economic hubs in SA have been “taken over” by their opposition. We have realised the fragility of the First World. Tragic terrorist attacks on Paris, a shocking British exit from the European Union, and farcical US elections. Many “developed” nations are teetering on the brink of serious turmoil. Amidst all of this, the refugee crisis has swelled to unprecedented levels. We are realising the dire need for strong, rational leadership on a global scale (and realising, in hindsight, the true merit of a statesman like Barack Obama). Ours is the generation that will face some of the greatest upheavals since the World Wars. Consider, also, the alternate meaning of “realisation”: the achievement of something desired or anticipated. Put simply, the making of a dream or hope into reality. While we are realising things conceptually, as in the examples above, so too will realisations be achieved or denied
Can Fees Fall?
et me make one issue clear. The virtuous pursuit of free tertiary education is the beginning of many, necessary pedagogical transformations needed in order to address the historical and structural discriminations experienced by millions of people globally. Let me make another thing clear, practically and economically
within a South African context, we will not see free education in our generation. Before you spit out that bittersweet pill of reality, it is worth understanding why this is the case and what can be done in order to remedy this. Medical analogies are all the more appropriate because we are dealing with the symptoms of long-term diseases. The many consequences of colonialism,
Apartheid and socio-culturally ingrained racism cannot be fixed with singular solutions being pushed by the latest wave of protests centred around free tertiary education and decolonisation of curriculum. While these agendas will provide shortterm relief, they will ignore the larger and more festering ailments, namely the fact that less than 5% of matriculants can actually qualify for university acceptance.
18 October 2016 | V75 E 12 | Page 7
I miss you Logan Croeser
inding motivation is like finding the Lochness monster, or proof that Kim Kardashian’s butt is actually fake. It is something that we endure every day. There comes a time when visualising your future millions and the big mansion you will build on Table Mountain just doesn’t work anymore. Procrastination is a student’s disease. You cannot run or hide, it will find you, hunt you down and slowly kill you. There are many ways to catch this disease but it travels through the thing you love most, your cell phone. We have all been there, vowed to work for a number of unrealistic hours and after writing one sentence, we think we deserve a break, plus your phone probably feels lonely. What harm would one look do? Five hours later you wake up in a daze like a junky after a high, completely confused but you now know all about your future boyfriend’s third cousin. That is more important right? Then there is the problem that grates me the most; everything seems to be falling apart. The economy is in a terrible state and seems as though it will never recover, the chance of getting a job or even an internship in your field seems nearly impossible, everything is expensive and your family have become moaning Myrtle’s about everything from the state of your hair to the number of naps you take. It seems that all we hear lately is negativity. Our shoulders are so tense with the load of stress and pressure that we are forced to carry. If there were ways to ignore it all, we would. That is where social media comes in. I would much rather spend hours laughing at memes than write an essay about a book I hated reading. We are constantly ridiculed by
those older than us. Jokes thrown around about how we don’t know what a tree is or who Winston Churchill was: when is this going to get boring? We are seen as the lazy generation, when in actual fact we have it harder than the don’t-knowwhat-an-app is generation. We live in an age where the white picket fence is out of reach and getting a decent job without a matric certificate is myth. Which makes me question how valuable our education is. The whole rags to riches story doesn’t exist anymore unless you have a successful Youtube channel or become a reality TV star and we don’t all have the personality or time for that. Sometimes it seems that doing nothing is better than doing anything, as hope seems lost. Why try when you are constantly reminded of how hard it is to get a job as a graduate? There seems to be no point. We are not working hard for a possible job but to beat the thousands of other graduates that have exactly what you have to offer. Our education is only helpful in getting us the interview. We are just trying to stand out and be special, with no success, because that seems to be more important than what we are learning. The formula has changed; a tertiary education is not enough. You become a juggling clown having to manage university, fitness, friends, status, chores, jobs and keeping everyone happy. There always seems to be flaws with your performance, so why bother? Plus, a good Harambe meme is so much more interesting. The lack of motivation that infects all of us at some point or another is hard to control and reaching out for our cell phone allows us to escape. Maybe if all these prophecies of future doom vanished, education would seem worth it.
Image: Derrick Shadrack Putting aside metaphorical and historical semantics, free tertiary education as a concept lacks the detail and practicality needed for its successful application. Firstly, nothing in our lives is free. Everyone and any entity in some direct or indirect manner is responsible for purchasing, producing and distributing the things we need and want. So, if we did have ‘free education’, someone would still be paying for it. That someone becomes the government by virtue of popular understanding. The government would subsidise education through taxes. Who pays taxes? If not some of us part-time working students, then our parents and national citizens. It’s useful to remember that those idealised Nordic countries that have free tertiary education achieve that through a 50% flatrate income tax in contrast to our proportional income tax.
This, however, is not even the central issue, the accessibility of free tertiary education would still benefit the middle to upper income classes. Free tertiary education does not mean more institutions being able to take in more students. Quite the opposite, as wealthier families have a higher chance to access tertiary education, places in university would overwhelmingly favour students from more privileged backgrounds as they would stand a higher chance to qualify for acceptance. The issue becomes less about being able to afford university and rather who can gain entrance to one. We are treating a long-term disease. It has spread to many parts of the national body and that is why the broader issue is education as a whole rather than just tertiary accessibility. That being said, this is not a terminal case. We need to change the
standards and practises of teaching and learning as a whole. When we as a nation accept a 30% pass-rate for matric students, then we need to face the harsh reality in which many students will not be able to access the tertiary education which provides increased access to jobs and skills development. When we decide that all educational infrastructure needs to be overhauled and invested in with the same energy and enthusiasm that we saw for the 2010 World Cup, then we will be closer to achieving the goal of a more equal society. This year’s protest action has built on the momentum of last year’s while highlighting the challenges that still need to be addressed. However, the ounces of prevention given to us by Mr. Nzimande and all the vicechancellors around the nation are not enough when we need a viable cure.
Image: Mokeira - Gradstate Maisha
October 2016 19:
University of Cape Town and Rhodes University
Negotiations between SRC candidates and management
break down. Max price declares private security to be on campus
Looking at key events in UCT’s Protest situation
was shutdown by students. On the same day management
at the University of Cape Town (which had announced a 10.3% fee increase the week before) applied for and received a court interdict to prevent protests at the university.
Campus remains closed. Mass meeting held with talk by Dr Lushaba
masses then held a plenary in the middle of
Case against 6 arrested is dismissed at Wynburg magistrate’s.
Shutdown continues despite management’s calls for continuing the academic program. Students evicted from steve biko. Stun grenades set off by Private
arrested another group of students at the barricade. -The
19: Minister Blade Ndzimande announces funding scheme
to provide free tertiary education to underprivileged families.
It is important to note that for many students this was
Campus shuts workers released
down as protesters continues. from position to join protest
Security. Protesters dispursed. Faculty of Health Sciences occupation ends
Main Rd, where this information was disseminated.
-Students from the University of Cape Town ,Cape Peninsula
left the Parliamentary buildings from a side entrance.
The Election Commission cannot fulfil its mandate to conduct free and fair
-Stun grenades, tasers, coloured gas, riot shields and
elections on university property as it cannot currently: • provide all candidates
with equal campaigning opportunities; • provide voters with free and equal access to all candidates; and • move campaign activities off campus as it does
University of Cape Town and Rhodes University
at the University of Cape Town (which had announced a
10.3% fee increase the week before) applied for and received
a court interdict to prevent protests at the university.
7: Negotiations resume Key issues: -Establishing an Institutional Reconciliation and Transformation Commission (IRTC) -Free quality decolonized education. -Examine jointly the rationale of certain NSFAS rules
not have the capacity to ensure the safety of students present at these events
was shutdown by students. On the same day management
repeatedly booed by the crowd whilst President Zuma
University of Technology, the University of the Western Cape
Masixole Mlandu denied bail after rearrest. Alleged physical
It is important to note that for many students this
August 2016 .11:
15: Granted by high court. Alex Hotz, Masixole Mlandu, Chumani
25: Following statement released where interdict is officiated
March to Union buildings. 0% increase on fees announced
6: 15: road,
“In addition, the students are interdicted from erecting any unauthorised in unlawful conduct on any of the university’s premises. Another student and
ex-student have been named in an application brought by the university Shack occupied
on a contempt of court charge and this matter is currently before the High
Court. In addition, two internal student disciplinary tribunals are under way
and will be concluded following due process. A total of 12 students are respondents in these tribunals. The internal tribunals are considering charges
of violation of the student code of conduct, including damage to property” Jammie razed,
In the early evening the group entered Smuts Hall, Fuller Hall and Jameson Hall, removing artwork from the walls and burning it.
method models’ with exams scheduled to start on 7 November 2016.
Maxwele, Zola Shokane and Slovo Magida interdicted officially by Judge R Allie.
structures on the university’s premises, damaging property and participating
Class announced to resume on 17 october using ‘mixed-
May 2016 18: UCT lays an interdict and criminal charges against students involved in #Shackville protest. Also took the step to suspend 8 students..
PROTESTING 101 9 tips on surviving a protest: -Know your rights -Always bring a scarf or bandana -Bring water -Wear comfortable shoes -Do not give personal details to the police -Use your smartphone to document events, but respect other protesters’ anonymity -Bring a portable charger especially if you plan on live-tweeting -Go with a group -Drink milk or pour it on your eyes and face if you have been tear gassed
18 October 2016 | V75 E 12 | Page 10
Spectrum is The New Pink Megon Venter
hat may seem like a new age trend is actually just an expression of something that has been there all along. For the millennial generation it all began with androgynous models such as Agyness Deyn and continued through the celebration of trans models like Isis King who have blurred the carefully constructed gender lines through their bold style. Now through a resurgence of feminist values there is a levelling of gender identity emerging. Trans and queer bodies are finally being given more of a space for expression, abandoning the past policing of gender as a binary construction, both socially and ideologically.
resurgence of feminist values It is interesting to look at identity in terms of how it relates to gender roles constructed over time. For instance, a transgender person born of one sex may want
to embody the identity of another sex through the performance of that gender construct. This often comes with assimilating into that social lifestyle through fashion as well. However, what if gender is yet more complex than this? Last year, the term ‘Gender fluid’ was added to the Oxford English Dictionary. Many voices have emerged in outrage at this addition but supporters of this movement, such as Orange is the New Black star, Ruby Rose, feel it is an important step in opening up the conversation about identity. Many other celebrities are also openly gender fluid and post their expression through fashion on their social media accounts. For example, two young people who are taking the fashion world by storm with their approach are Jayden and Willow Smith. Both have highly-followed Instagram accounts which hold portraits of them wearing a range of differently gendered clothing not aligned with their assigned gender identities. This term ‘gender fluid’, is arguably also more realistic to social interaction in modern life as different situations call for
differently gendered responses from the same individual. This is seen echoed through interchanging clothing for various activities. For example, historically the rising of the traditional female hemline in the 20’s was due to the furthered involvement of womxn in manual labour (traditionally labelled masculine) where long skirts got in the way. Another example is the case of the single mother who has to parent through performing multiple social roles. If gender is a spectrum then it comes down to how someone chooses to identify. However, the word ‘choice’ sparks many emotions as those who perform genders outside of their socially assigned one, tend to be ridiculed for doing so out of ‘choice’. It is argued by activists in the field that although gender identification is more of an inherent ‘knowing’ and then expressing instead of choosing, it should not be a matter of judgement, regardless. Paris Fashion Week has just ended and top designers have put forward their stance on gender fluidity through their respective shows. Big names like Paco Rabanne and Valentino have
embraced the wave of awareness around gender issues that has been highlighted in recent years in popular media. Their approach has been not to switch traditionally binary fashion roles (as can be seen in the 80’s and 90’s) but rather to invert form and style completely. According
to these designers, there is no indicator of gender when it comes to the aesthetics of these fashions. The personas created by designers and celebrities alike are not dissimilar to those created by everyone in the world when expressing their own performances of gender. Whether you play out traditional expressions of gender or create your own, identity is pieced together in this way. This enactment happens not just through fashion but through behaviour and interaction with others on this vast spectrum.
2nd Take, your local one-stop international brands shop, saving you time and money! From the margins of Menstruation and Reproductive Rights Thokozane Minah
here has been a resurgence of the #PadDrive movement to get the South African government to provide free menstrual hygiene care to people who need it. At the root of it is a growing awareness that the socio-economic standing of large portions of our country’s population make it impossible for people who menstruate to access the necessary sanitation for their monthly flow. Hence it is deplorable for pads, tampons, menstrual cups and other sanitation to be priced – and expensively priced at that. It has been established in these movements as well as in the current socio-political exchange that capitalism, as it intersects with patriarchy, has made healthcare inaccessible for people who menstruate every month. The resurgence of this movement seemed to peak in what is known and “celebrated” here as ‘Women’s Month’ (August), a campaign that closely accompanies the ‘Pad Drive’. The largely uncontested idea behind the marriage of these two agendas is that people with uteri who bleed from their uteri roughly every month are all exclusively women or girls.
However, this is not the case.The fact is that multiple demographics are missing in movements surrounding reproductive rights for people with the capacity to menstruate and give birth. This shortcoming is driven by the kind of science which stipulates that there are only two genders and which also prescribes the kinds of bodies and genitalia that quantify said genders. This ‘science’ erases the existence and validity of the multiple genders that have existed in past and present societies around the world. Eurocentric biology and eugenics have systemically erased the diversity of gender narratives in indigenous societies through colonialism and religious imperialism. The fact is, people with uteri who have bled monthly from their uteri since time immemorial have not solely been and are not solely women. Some of those people have been and are men, some agender and others being gender-variant (includes a plethora of gender identities that exist beyond the binary of man and woman). There are intersections between impoverishment and variant gender identity which leave several
demographics at the margins of menstruation and reproductive rights discourses which then deny them access to their needs. Including these folks and their experiences in the effort to make menstruation and reproductive healthcare accessible to all takes nothing away from the legitimacy of the movement itself. It simply broadens its scope which ensures that as moves are made to provide free healthcare to those who need it; *all* those who need it will be included and catered for. An important way to begin to show the necessary solidarity with people who need to be included in this movement would be reexamining the language used to drive it. Positing menstruation and reproduction rights as a “woman’s issue” is exclusionary and false. Rather, inclusive language such as “people who menstruate” or “people who have periods” could be used. Language is wonderful in that it is flexible and we can keep re-imagining more inclusive ways of articulating experiences that happen to our bodies that may be common to those of us with similar anatomies albeit with varied identities.
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Protest Action leads to
Shortage Preshanthan Shunmugam
hile we all are deeply concerned about how the protest action will affect our respective academic years, protests have contributed to another crisis: a blood shortage. Given that, at a minimum, 40% of donated blood comes from blood drives at universities and schools, the closure of the majority of universities around South Africa is contributing to a large blood shortage. Many of us have made the long walk to Sports Centre One to donate blood during one of the many drives. However, the protest action has made it dangerous for mobile blood clinics to set up at South African universitities. The inability to open these clinics has lead to about 150 units of blood lost per day, since the strike action started.
According to the South African National Blood Services (SANBS), at any given time there should always be enough blood to last for the next five days. As it stands the SANBS does not have enough to last for the next two days. Given this major shortage, hospitals and patients are not able to provide and receive treatment respectively.
Just one unit of blood can save three lives
The donated blood is not only used to treat those who have been in car accidents and other emergencies but also those suffering with blood diseases as well as women who hemorrhage during child birth.
With the need for blood being at its highest during the December period, the SANBS would normally be stockpiling its blood reserves for the fast-approaching festive period. However, with so much uncertainty around how and if the protests will continue, it seems unlikely any will be able to pop up on campus any time soon. The SANBS needs 3000 units a day in order to keep blood levels stable, and is encouraging anyone eligible to donate. To be eligible to donate, according to the SANBS, you must weigh at least 50kgs, be between the ages of 16 and 65 and lead a sexually safe lifestyle. Should anyone wish to donate blood, your closest donor centre can be found at www.sanbs.org.za or at the (toll-free) number 0800 11 9031. We encourage any and all willing donors to donate, as just one unit of blood can save three lives.
18 October 2016 | V75 E 12 | Page 11
Misconceptions about the Fees Must Fall Movement Aisha Hamdulay
midst these uncertain times, you may find that there are some people who completely misunderstand or misinterpret certain aspects of the #FeesMustFall movement. Let’s take some time to list some of these things: 1: Students are violent and arsonists are destroying what they are fighting for! We have all seen the pictures and videos of property and buildings being burnt around the country, causing the general public to develop the perception that those leading the movement are barbaric and violent. If you find yourself or someone wondering whether protesters condone this, it’s a good thing to keep in mind that leaders of the movement have stated that they condemn violence and arson. Many SRCs have released statements distancing themselves from the violence and arson, as well as condemning it. Often times the leaders have no control or knowledge of the students or individuals who carry out the arson attacks, and it is incidents like these which could cause the broader movement to be discredited unfairly.
The movement has moved onto a broader mandate of fighting structural inequality
Image: Katie LaGrone - WPTV
2: What is Fees Must Fall actually fighting for? The movement has moved onto a broader mandate of fighting structural inequality, beginning with universities. From last year, the mandate has shifted from a call toward free education to a call for breaking down unjust structures, prejudices, values and processes, seen through the call for transformation - essentially free, decolonized, quality education 3: Why are students not going to government? We should be fighting with them, not the university. To put it simply, there are two broad reasons for this. The first is that students are using university management to place indirect
pressure on the government. They want the management of their universities to join their cause and commit to the call for free education. Vice-Chancellors have a direct link to the government and students want them to use this. The second reason is that of transformation and wanting committed plans from management to realising various forms of transformation within the university. 4: You can’t get free education overnight, so what are students fighting for? Students have said that they want a commitment from government. They do not expect free, decolonised education tomorrow. Rather, they want government to commit to a plan towards achieving this in the long term, or to implement models which students
I’m sure we’ve all heard the “These students are just lazy!” comments. and academics have proposed. 5: Why a shutdown? And why at this time of the year? Students are lazy to write exams! I’m sure we’ve all heard the “These students are just lazy!” comments. Actually, they are quite intelligent and well educated and are not protesting because they are “lazy to write exams”. A few of the reasons for things erupting at this time of year are: - It follows Blade’s announcement about allowing an 8% fee increase for students whose family income is above R600 000. - It is the most pressured time of the year and so there is a lot at stake: If exams don’t proceed or the academic year is not continued, there will be huge knock on effects. Sometimes all we have to do is listen more and read more than what our mainstream media has to offer in order to gain some deeper insight into this complex movement.
Experiences of a protestor Quincy Julio Cele
lmost a year later, I can still hear the stun grenades exploding metres away from me. I still quiver when I see the blue and red lights of the police cars whenever they drive by. Almost a year later and I still don’t understand how fighting for a cause I believe to be completely legitimate can get you locked up in a jail cell for almost 24 hours. It was an environment of learning and unlearning. When I signed up to be a protester, I had to be aware of what I was protesting against...and
protesting for. It was more than just Fees Must Fall; I was also protesting for the queer, Trans black womxn with disabilities who can’t gain access to tertiary education. I was protesting for accessibility for all. I was protesting against my own male privilege, against white supremacy and hegemony. I was protesting against classism and against my very own class privilege. Such were the themes of the demonstration; the things I believed to be good and right. Despite this I found myself utterly exhausted, hopeless, and without faith. This environment of learning
and unlearning continued into the following year. However, the toll of the previous year kept me at least two feet away from this year’s protests. During the Shackville saga, I made the difficult decision to stay away and I watched as my cadres got indicted, suspended and expelled. Now, over and above dealing with the trauma of police brutality and the looming threat of being arrested again, I also had to deal with the guilt of not doing anything which lingered well throughout the year. Healing is never linear, but I had hoped that the path to it would clear by the second semester. It did not. I knew I was not okay. It felt
like a veil had been lifted from my eyes. Watching everybody act like nothing had happened angered me almost as much as the very reasons we had been protesting to begin with. It was almost too much to deal with. I was tired, depressed, anxious, traumatised and now I had to add guilt and anger to the list. By the time the tension between Shackville TRC and the university became palpable I had already chosen my side. But I was and still am not okay. I am conflicted. I remember occupying Bremner for days, away from the comfort of my bed, I remember occupying Azania Two, where my dear friend was
raped. I remember the psychological warfare played out by the police as they laid charges against me for crimes I did not commit. I remember running for my life. But, I also remember years of micro aggressions and years of hearing my fellow black friends not having enough money to further their studies. I carry years of these micro aggressions and as a black man I have seen poverty with my own eyes. It is something I never want to actively perpetuate and I know turning back now will do exactly that. These are the reasons I personally stand with the movement.
Varsity Collective 2016
Copy Editor " Triwizard tournament
Michaela Fineis winner and well-known cupcake
Marizanne Schade :HR Manager
Order of Me Classrlin, First Thando Ndita: Deputy HR
a G with a heart of gold Lauren Van Haght: Finance Manager
if the newspaper was her kids, News would be the fat one!
Aisha Abdool Karim: Editor-inChief
jack of all trades, master of all Yogi Shoba: Deputy Editor-in-Chief
Julius Stopforth: Online Editor
Tsepo Ngwenyama: Managing Editor
Woman of the match
Catherine Fulton: Sports Editor
Nicole Arends: Deputy Feautes Editor
Anthea Van den Bergh: Online Features Correspondent
future Pulitzer-prize winner
18 October 2016 | V75 E 12 | Page 13
Punctuation Princess Michaela Findeis: Copy Editor
the man, the myth, the heartbreaker
Nikhil Gilbert: Online Editor
a fine (arts) lady
Mari Mombers: Design Editor
Jian-Yi Song: Images Editor
honey, sugar, and all things sweet
Saajidah Gafoor: Deputy Web Editor
photography connoisseur and full-time Afriqueezin enthusiast
Varsity Collective 2016
18 October 2016 | V75 E 12 | Page 14
Queen Zee, the vibrant flame that could
fitness goals Jessie Moore: Deputy Sports Editor
part glitter, part sunshine. known softgum enthusiast Ashley Jane Seymour: Centrespread Editor
Ms unpredictably sassy
Zanele Kabane: Online Content Correspondent
Inspector Cluso -the future of investigative journalism
The mom Ali Findlay: Features Editor
flourishing at the kweening game
Socrates ain’t got nothing on her! Tanya Magaisa: Deputy Opinions Editor
Adam Klienschmit: Opinions Editor
Social Meida superstar
a voice for the voiceless and a regular Madame Pince Robyn Ausmeier: Online News Correspondent
Zoe Postman: News Editor
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Claire Millward: Social Media Manager
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just a great Guy Guy Rudolph: Advertising Manager
THE INCLUSIVITY OF
SPORT GREETINGS GREETINGS
SPORT AT UCT
any of us come to UCT hoping to join a sports team and compete against other universities around the country. But this thought can be an unrealistic goal for some due to financial difficulties, needless to mention the Fees Must Fall movement. Let us not forget that our campus has made certain steps towards accommodating students who are disabled, but how are these students being drafted into sports societies? The question that one needs to ask is: how do we make sport at UCT more inclusive (with regards to affordability and accessibility)? It must be said up front that UCT places a lot of effort and thought into trying to make the sports scene on campus as inclusive as possible, however many are unaware of this. Although you may not agree with this statement, Muya Koloko, who is the Transformation Officer of the Students Sports Union (SSU) at UCT, clearly described how it is so. If one of us wants to join a sports society, we have to pay a hefty cost, which could range between R250 and well into the thousands. This is a cost that could be the sole reason for not participating in sport. This does not even take into consideration the price for the equipment needed to play the sport. A student has the option of either playing competitively (where it is often more expensive) or for the social aspect of the sport (which tends to be more affordable). That being said, there are in fact [limited] funds set in place to cater for students who cannot pay. The problem, however, comes in two forms. Firstly, students who are unable to pay are not always forthcoming (which is understandable). Furthermore, the respective clubs and societies have often failed to make students aware of these existing funds. Therefore, according to Muya, spreading this information regarding monetary aid is essential in the seasons to come. When we talk about making sport inclusive, this includes the disabled sports code. I have been fortunate
enough to have been exposed to wheelchair rugby and blind soccer (which took place on campus). This faculty of sport does not get nearly enough attention. It tends to be subordinated – even on television Muya acknowledged that this is a difficult area – evident by surveys he has handed out over the years. These surveys ask students which sports they are physically not able to play and what sports are not offered at UCT. The reason why para-sport is a tricky area is because each year there are new disabilities that arise and often the demand is not high enough to fill a team, but at the end of the day it is a demand nonetheless. Showcases continue to happen throughout the sporting season and efforts are being made to make the sporting landscape at UCT as diverse and inclusive as possible. The logical solution to para-sports would be to persist with the releasing of surveys to students to allow the awareness or lack thereof to continuously flow. A realistic solution to a monetary dilemma could be dishing out significant discounts to students who sign up during Orientation Week – when all the societies are on Plaza. What is stopping sportsmen and women from fundraising? We go to a top quality university, where we should be giving back to our community. Surely individual UCT sports societies could initiate programmes whereby they help out at local sports events at underprivileged sporting academies, and in turn, raise money that can be used to fund barred UCT students. “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers.” – Nelson Mandela
Failed to make students aware
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from the bench Catherine Fulton
ne thing sport has taught me this year is that happiness and success doesn’t just come from your effort alone. Unity and teamwork is what makes success so.. well, successful; and the best part about it is that it can be shared. In my case, I learnt very quickly that it’s easy to work extremely hard for something you care so much about; my teammates became my friends, and I wanted to win for them. Unity makes you selfless. This principle doesn’t apply to sport alone. When the going gets tough, when stress takes over and you’re feeling alone, remember that old saying; love conquers all.
SPORT BITES Female champion chess player has hit back at calls to boycott next year’s women’s world championship over rules about the wearing of the hijab.
A number of chess players have called for a boycott of the February 2017 games due to the concern with the Islamic republic’s compulsory headscarf law. However, a woman grandmaster (WGM) Mitra Hejazipour disagreed with the boycott, and told the Guardian that a boycott would be wrong and could undermine hard-fought efforts to promote female sport in Iran. “This is going to be the biggest sporting event women in Iran have ever seen; we haven’t been able to host any world championship in other sporting fields for women in the past,” Hejazipour said. The Guardian
Female rowers remain unbeaten as double Olympic champions of Rio 2016
Gym closed: How to maintain fitness during the shutdown
f you are anything like me, you’ll need the gym for motivation to exercise, and due to the current climate at UCT, you’re now in need of an alternative means to stay active. Students are finding themselves in a limbo being stressed about exams and thrown off routine. However, a great way to motivate you to work at home and to push through the anxiety is through doing a few basic exercises. The first hurdle is that it is difficult to find motivation, especially in the comfort of your home. Here is where I draw inspiration (from a much underestimated motto), from Nike. Just do it.
Important not to neglect your health at this time
Trust me it works, before binge watching that fourth episode, yell at yourself; “just do it!” Then jump up and do it. It can be as simple as automated cues, motivation disguised as rewards, or after every third episode do 10 minutes on a jump rope (imaginary or real) to get rewarded with three more episodes. You can use daily household routines as cues of exercise, for example while the kettle is boiling, in that time you have to do jack-knife jumps, from start of boil to end; that means every boil: whether it be noodles to coffee. You name it, you jump. To be honest, I can convince myself that walking along campus is exercise, so when I do my householdcued exercises it is with the motivation around generating some movement for energy, motivation and clarity of mind. So you would have to adjust it to your current
fitness level, if you could spend an hour in the gym working a vigorous routine and you find yourself itching for some weights or running. You may have to increase the level of your household exercises. For example, use the laundry basket as weights as you carry it around, so do a squat every time you pick something up. But most importantly, compete with yourself; if you could have done 10 push ups during the title sequence of Game of Thrones; the “re-re watch”, then why not 15? Or 20? To the students that find themselves in the protest actively trying to initiate change, it is important not to neglect your health. A few basic exercises may increase the energy and make the wear on your body a little less severe. Because you are so actively moving and participating in dialogue, it would be best to use your flash exercise sessions for something more in the line of stretching and warm up exercises rather than full cardio. Finding yourself in a group means finding yourself in an area of 200 motivators to get you going. When you have found motivation, lead a stretching circle, or another exercise depended from your fitness knowledge. If you feel yourself shied away from motivating fitness dialogue with so many other things to bring up, you can slip away into a stairwell for a break and use the stairs for some basic stretches, from stretching your legs as far down the stairwell while keeping your body straight, to a few aided push up's and squats. Never underestimate the power of angles and aids. It is all about your fitness standards and the reason for you to motivate yourself to exercise. For all students, the minimum you owe your health at this time is small stretches to keep the blood flowing and the mind active. Healthy body healthy mind.
Britain’s Heather Stanning and Helen Glover successfully defended their London 2012 Olympic title by winning gold in the women’s pair in Rio. The Rio win meant Stanning and Glover were unbeaten in 39 races, a run stretching back five years. The pair finished 1.2 seconds clear of New Zealand in a time of seven minutes 18.29 seconds “The pressure was immense,” Glover stated. “London was a home game and there was nothing more special but this is defending a title - it means so much.” Bbc.com
Lewis Hamilton’s title hopes were dealt a heavy blow when his engine failed as he was leading the Malaysian GP. Hamilton had dominated the race until flames started pouring from his Mercedes on lap 43. Nico Rosberg, his team mate, finished third to extend his lead to 23 points, with five races to go and 125 points available. After the race finished Hamilton told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Tom Clarkson: “My question is to Mercedes. We have so many engines made, but mine are the only ones failing this year. Someone needs to give me some answers because this is not acceptable. We are fighting for the championship and only my engines are failing. It does not sit right with me.” Bbc.com
Provincial sport conference postponed due to student protests
The third Provincial Conference on Sport at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) George campus has been postponed due to ongoing student protests. The conference is organised by NMMU, the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, George Municipality and the Eden Sport Council, and is set to discuss the development of sport in the Western Province and in the country. NMMU management has halted operations and is engaging with the students to seek a solution and to address student concerns. http://www. oudtshoorncourant.com/
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All UCT sporting activities halted as protests continue Shelby Labuschagne
n 28 September, 2016, a sports representation meeting was held in Kramer teaching room 5A, in order to discuss UCT sports in light of the current climate at UCT. UCT Sports have announced that all sports must stop while university operations have been postponed, and with the Sports Centre being closed, all official sports practices have been instructed to discontinue. Many teams do not have a safe place to practice and organizing off campus training sessions are expensive and difficult to organize. UCT sport clubs have been recognized as unique in size and circumstances, and therefore it was agreed that they should be dealt with accordingly. Sports has not been
targeted up until this point, however the safety of the club members is not guaranteed unless all official UCT sporting activities are to be stopped for as long as needed. In light of competitions, UCT sport has decided to continue attending the USSAs competitions despite losing valuable training time. The USSA is the unified national sporting structure that is responsible for organizing all the sports nationally at university level, and therefore the experience gained from this is invaluable. At the time of the meeting, there were three options available to UCT: If UCT is to open on Monday, 3 October, with no disruptions, business as usual will occur, with a two week shift of the term.
If UCT operations are further postponed after the week starting Monday 3 October, UCT will look into weekend lectures to make up for the lost time. If the above two options are not possible, and further delays happen, the last option would be to close UCT until February 2017. The following conclusions were made: If the UCT academic programme is stopped for the rest of the year the consequences are disastrous, not only to UCT but on a national scale. The sport representation of UCT is firm in their stance to continue with the academic programme for 2016. The vast majority of the student body is unaware of all of the facts pertaining to the interdicted
students, as reflected by this meeting. It was stressed that the interdicted students should not be granted amnesty and should be given a fair trial. They are against bringing private security onto campus. The reasons for this were: Cost of private security is seen as a waste of money given current austerity measures. Safety of students is not guaranteed. Students do not want to be in an environment where civil liberties are restricted. The effectiveness of private security preventing protest action is highly questionable and it is believed their presence will only further incite violence. UCT Management and the SRC need to improve communication
with students on past and present matters. UCT management should be engaging with students on more potential solutions before providing ultimatums on which there is a disparity of views. At a SSU General Meeting in August 2016, Sport unanimously agreed that while free education is not currently possible, we should be making progressive plan towards free education for those who cannot afford it. Information provided by Gordon Dodge, 2016 SRC Sport Representative and Student Sport Union Chairperson.
Sports Facilities around South African Universities Erica Mare In South African universities, sports is considered to be an important part of the holistic education process of students, and forms a major part of university culture across South Africa. Whilst many universities offer a range of different sports, for the purposes of this article, I will only be looking at three of some of the top universities in South Africa: the University of Cape Town (UCT), the University of Witwatersrand (WITS) and the University of Stellenbosch (SU). When comparing all the sports facilities that these universities have to offer, I realised that they all have something in common; they offer all the mainstream sports such as Soccer, Cricket, Rugby, Hockey and
– Where does UCT fit in?
Netball, along with other sports, which we’ll go into later. But where does UCT fit in? UCT is fairly involved when it comes to sports, a fact which not many people are aware of. UCT boasts over 40 sports clubs with a total membership of over 9000 students and staff. The more traditional sports are undoubtedly well catered for. However, if you’re not one for team sports, UCT also offers some exciting individual activities like archery, hiking and mountaineering and a selection of martial arts. There is no need to worry about whether you are a novice or an experienced athlete, as the sports clubs are equipped to deal with various levels of experience. UCT’s sports facilities also include an Astroturf hockey facility,
an indoor sports complex, as well as tennis, squash, soccer, rugby and cricket facilities, with the rowing club being one of the best equipped university clubs in the country. UCT also has access to a mountain near Ceres, many sailboat dinghies and an ocean-going dive boat. Additional to all these sport clubs, UCT also has a gym with aerobics and tae-bo classes held in the studio.
are not good at reaching out, like, to be honest I have no clue what sport we even have because we hear nothing from them except the stupid rugby team.
accommodate the timetable of a Hiddingh student. Despite asking various societies for a later exercise slot they refuse. I understand that they can’t change it for one fine art student but there should be some sort of compromise. A lot of sports societies even have really cool outreach programs and those usually start 2pm on Friday- which is when my class begins. I find it very excluding and as a fine arts student, I could never hope to be a part of that. I find the only solution my classmates have discovered is leaving class too early to make it in time for certain sports; however this has led to lecturers finding it disrespectful and rude. Wynand Ferreira: For me, I have a very physically and emotionally demanding course. I think the only way someone who does Theatre and Performance course can take part in other UCT sports, is if they have a deep passion
More unique clubs
In comparison, WITS offers some 30 active sports clubs. They have activities ranging from aquatics to soccer and snow ski. Two clubs they
have which aren’t very common at other universities, are their Yuishinkai Kobujutsu and Tang Soo Do clubs, which are two martial arts disciplines. Their facilities include two volleyball courts, 12 squash courts, a gym with a 32-station super circuit, floodlit courts for netball; soccer and basketball, a rugby stadium, two cricket fields, six tennis courts and two hockey fields. Whilst they may not have as many clubs as UCT, they certainly have more unique clubs, with a range of sport facilities to match. SU has more or less 30 sports clubs which you can choose from. These include sports such as cycling, gymnastics and canoeing. They also offer two sports that many other universities in South Africa don’t seem to have. These are Kendo, a
modern Japanese martial art which descended from swordsmanship, and Equestrian, which is horse riding. SU’s sizable range of sports facilities include an athletics stadium with 14 000 seats and floodlights, swimming pools (both normal and heated), hockey and cricket fields, squash and netball courts, fifteen rugby fields and a main stadium with 17 000 seats , 27 tennis courts and five rugby/soccer fields. When comparing these three universities one can see that each university has something different to offer, but none are very far apart in terms of their involvement in sport. Who knows, perhaps UCT might be able to include more unique clubs in future especially due to the increasing awareness in disabled sports.
for it, and can make some special arrangement with the Drama department. But this almost never happens. I have a passion for fitness so for me, I start my day 6am in the UCT gym till 8am, to then be ready for my classes at 9am. With regards to health and exercise, students in this acting course do not really do sports because they have different forms of yoga, dance, pilates training built into the course.
and may often reveal hidden extra costs throughout the year – forcing students to leave the sport as it becomes unaffordable. The consideration of petrol costs for students who do not live near UCT must be taken into account, as well as time spent in traffic to get to UCT to partake in their sport. Many students are also not aware of the physical and mental benefits of taking up a particular sport, and so they do not feel the need to join any sport, and instead devote their extra time to other curriculum activities. For example many students are excluded at Hiddingh Hall –due to their time-consuming courses and being situated far away from sport facilities.
Is UCT Sport not for you? Anne Fulton
e always hear about those who partake in UCT Sport, but what about the rest of the UCT students who do not partake in any UCT sport? Many students, regardless of their sport history or interests in sports, do not join or partake in any UCT sports activities. When it comes to the idea of sports commitments, expenses, awareness and accommodation – there are several reasons as to why students will not or cannot partake in UCT sport. Non-sporting students at UCT were asked to give us insight as to why students do not join sport at UCT: San Marie Van der Merwe: I’m just not a sporty person. Sport does not interest me at all. They
I have no clue what sports we even have Phenyo Kgongwana: I think UCT Sports and Gym are not well advertised. Also, there is no clear incentive to partake in any activity while studying. So maybe promoting a healthy balanced student life would be a good initiative UCT can embark on. When I say UCT I mean sport leaders, instructors and so forth that are involved. Katya Minster: I don’t partake in sports at UCT because I cannot find any that
Devote extra time to other curriculum activities Georgie Herbert: To sum up the main reasons, most students feel that UCT sports are not advertised enough to create awareness for those who may want to join a particular sport. Many sports are financially exclusive
If you are interested, check out UCT sports on Facebook (UCT Sport)or Twitter(@UCTSport), where you can find contact details as well as links to club websites.