THE OFFICIAL STUDENT NEWSPAPER OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN
25 February 2014
VOLUME 73: EDITION 1
UCT rejects sBux scheme Clare Garrard
n December 4th, 2013, the UCT Student Representative Council (SRC) was notified of the roll-out of a new sBux system in 2014 by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). NSFAS planned to pilot the programme in 12 universities and FET colleges this year. The motive behind the scheme is to reduce corruption at institutions and to ensure that the financial aid reached the intended students by cutting out third parties.
the remedy goes against a lot of fundamental principles
Image: Khanyisa Pinini SBUX: SRC rejects SBUX scheme on the grounds that the vouchers limit where financial aid student can spend their aid money. She emphasized, “The motive is good, but the remedy goes against a lot of fundamental principles.” “We are speaking with other universities to gain support,” added Gondwe.
feedback is required in order to improve the systems On February 19th, the SRC sent out an online petition against the sBux system to all UCT students: “The SRC requests that all students
support us as we continue to ensure that NSFAS students at UCT are protected.” The new scheme will work on a system of vouchers: NSFAS pays tuition directly to the university, and pays allowances for books, food, accommodation and transport in the form of sBux vouchers sent to the student’s cell phone. The vouchers can only be redeemed at registered sBux merchants, limiting the stores that a financial aid student can buy from. The current system, by contrast, works by transferring these allowances directly into the student’s bank account. A contract is signed between
NSFAS and the student involved, tying the student into a loan that must be repaid when they are earning more than R30 000 a year. “I am largely against the idea of using a mobile voucher banking system,” states Dallas. “Although I do not qualify for the NSFAS allowances, I am a financial aid student and can identify with the concerns of students who do qualify. My two main issues are the following: inconvenience and distrust. sBux is a hassle as it dictates where students shop, eat, how they travel etcetera. Secondly, it puts forward the idea that students cannot spend their money wisely.
This is a childish notion – we are at an age where we should be trusted to take full responsibility for our financial decisions.” In a statement on January 30th, 2014, Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education and Training stated, “The Department and NSFAS are continuously engaging with all stakeholders in this pilot phase to ensure that the lessons learnt and challenges raised are acted upon. It must be remembered though, that this is a pilot based at a few institutions and therefore feedback is required in order to improve the systems as we move forward.”
IN THIS ISSUE
The SRC took a decision on January 16th of this year to reject the sBux scheme in its entirety, following this up with a circular to all UCT students explaining the reasons for their decision. Included in the reasons given by the SRC against the scheme was the lack of consultation by NSFAS with affected students, as well as the creation of a “NSFAS experience” versus a “Student experience”, thus deepening the distinctions between students. Rebecca Dallas, a third-year Commerce student, stated, “I feel that this program could create a divide between financial aid and non-financial aid students. Many financial aid students I know don’t particularly like disclosing their financial aid status, and with this system financial aid students will be easily identifiable.” SRC President, Nommangaliso Gondwe, explained, “Steps have been taken through the Vice Chancellor, who is the one that is communicating with the CEO [of NSFAS], and there is an agreement to not implement the system for this semester. But we are still in the negotiating phases of ensuring that it actually does not get implemented.”
Fighting the system
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v73 e1 – 25 February 2014
News Bites Kenyatta trial hindered by Kenyan government
UN: North Korea must be held accountable
public hearings in Seoul, Tokyo, London and Washington. These interviews revealed the “unspeakable atrocities” that North Koreans have had to endure for the past decades. The interviews consist of numerous accounts of “deliberate starvation,” violence and torture to control and punish citizens.
NETHERLANDS – Prosecutors in the International Criminal Court case against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta have said that the Kenyan government is delaying the trial by not handing over Kenyatta's financial records. These could show that Kenyatta provided funds for the postelection violence. Kenyatta is charged with crimes against humanity associated with the violence that erupted after the 2007 elections. - REUTERS
Ugandan antihomosexuality bill UGANDA – The antihomosexuality bill that was passed by parliament in December last year is set to be signed into law by Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni. The bill states that people who promote homosexuality or fail to reveal that they know of people committing homosexual acts will be imprisoned, while people convicted of homosexual acts will be sent to prison for life. - ALJAZEERA
Facebook goes beyond the gender binary CALIFORNIA – Facebook announced on Thursday, February 13th, that users would now be given gender options outside of “male” and “female”. This change gives users more freedom in selecting how they identify themselves, with options such as androgynous, bi-gender, intersex or gender fluid. - ASSOCIATED PRESS
Belgium lifts age limit on euthanasia BELGIUM – Lawmakers have voted in favour of removing the age limit on euthanasia, allowing children under the age of 18 to choose to end their own lives if they have a terminal illness and chronic pain. Children who make this decision must understand what euthanasia is and have consent from their medical team and parents. - THE GUARDIAN
“The suffering and tears of the people of North Korea demand action”
Image: flikr .com/JongUncom
he United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights (COI) released a report on February 17th revealing the extent of North Korea’s human rights violations. The 372-page report accuses North Korean officials of having committed crimes of humanity as well as immense state control by making use of murder, torture, rape, slavery and mass starvation as tools to terrorize its population “into submission”. “The gravity, scale and nature
of these violations reveal a state that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world,” the commission states in the report. The report recommended that this issue be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in order for the North Korean leadership to be held accountable and be brought to justice for having caused a large scale of human suffering. “The suffering and tears of the people of North Korea demand action” emphasised the commission’s Chairman, Michael Kirby. The recommendation is to be reviewed by the Human Rights
Council next month. Alongside the recommendation, Kirby has also sent North Korean leader Kim Jong-un a letter, warning him of the prosecution he might face for his personal culpability as head of state if the case is brought to the ICC. The report is the result of an unprecedented commission of inquiry into human rights abuses, conducted by a three-man panel. The panel was established by the Human Rights Council in March 2013. The commission collected evidence from victims and witnesses through confidential interviews and
The North Korean leadership had previously refused to participate in the commission of inquiry and has now rejected its findings. “The DPRK [North Korea] once again makes it clear that the ‘human rights violations’ mentioned in the so-called ‘report’ do not exist in our country,” the North Korean leadership has stated. “It is nothing more than an instrument of political plot aimed at sabotaging the socialist system by defaming the dignified images of the DPRK [North Korea].” Kirby has stated his hopes that the report would raise the international community’s awareness of the crimes against humanity being committed in North Korea. “At the end of the Second World War, so many people said: ‘If only we had known...’ Now the international community does know. There will be no excusing of failure of action because we didn’t know.”
Students register to vote on UCT campus Hannah Gauss The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) set up a stand at UCT Plaza Week on Wednesday, 12th February, for students’ registration and voting for the 2014 national elections. The stand gave students the opportunity to register for the upcoming national and provincial elections on May 5th after the official last registration weekend (February 8th and 9th) had ended. Approximately 300 students registered with their residential address in Cape Town, and will contribute their vote for the Western Cape. “In national elections we are contributing to the Western Cape ballot and the national ballot. In the local elections [we contribute] to the ward vote and union vote,” said Shannon Bernhardt, co-ordinator of societies and Dayhouse at UCT. Bernhardt identified mostly geographical distance as an obstacle for students to register to vote: “There are actually not a lot of students registered on campus. They think it’s not their home town, as they live in residence. So what happens is they are registered in the area their residences are [in] to be able to vote.” Students complain about the inconvenient registration process at local IEC offices. First time voter Kuhle Sibuta explains: “It’s my first time voting. It was really inconvenient to go to the registration so I wasn’t really planning to. That’s why I’m here [on campus].” “This is very helpful. The
Image: Hannah Gauss O-WEEK REGISTRATION: UCT students were able to register to vote on campus during Plaza week [IEC] website isn’t that helpful. I learned more from societies [on campus] like Democracy starts with an X [and] about what voting means,” explains 19-year-old Yemalunda Nkanza. The campaign event was a cooperation between Bernhardt and SRC and is the second IEC voting registration on UCT since 2009.
“We wanted to look after our students to register. We thought we [would] make it as easy as possible for students on plaza during signup week,” says Jessica Breakey, SRC Transformation Coordinator. Breakey continues, “Because the youth have their biggest vote this year, we thought that campus would be a really good place for the IEC
to register …We plan on holding a lot of events on voting. It’s just the start to the campaign and we hope to get political figures to come in and lobbying. We have a whole campaign, The #UCTvotes.” The IEC has registered a record of 80.5% of the eligible voting population, according to the City Press.
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v73 e1 - 25 februay 2014
State of Nation: a good story to tell?
n the 2014 State of Nation Address President Jacob Zuma addressed the joint sitting of Parliament on Thursday, February 13th, in Cape Town, claiming: “We have a good story to tell.” Zuma highlighted major
successes of his administration in service delivery, job opportunity creations and increasing developments in the battle against HIV/AIDS. Zuma also addressed South Africa economic difficulties and on-going violent protests in the country.
Zuma addressed mine owners and union leaders, dismissing
the continuing strikes in the mining industry as 2014 marks the deadline under the mining charter to improve miners’ working and living conditions. “The purpose is to stabilise industrial relations in this very important sector of our economy.” The mining industry still remains South Africa’s most lucrative economic sector contributing R20 billion of tax revenues annually. The on-going strikes caused by the conflict between mine owners and union leaders cost the economy over R400 million per day, says the Chamber of Miners. Zuma emphasised: “In no way can we have conflict that destroys the economy.” He continued: “Strikes in the sector were fewer and shorter last year.” The President failed to mention the Marikana shooting in 2012 where 34 miners were killed by police forces. Zuma underlined the importance to overcome South Africa’s “culture of violence originated from the apartheid past”. In between 2005 and 2013, close to 800 police officers were killed. “The police are protectors and are the buffer between a democratic society based on the rule of law, and anarchy. […] we should be careful not to end up delegitimising them and glorify anarchy in our society.” Commenting on the latest violent outbreaks during protests, where petrol bombs and other
weapons had been used, Zuma the creation of “3.7 million new condemned the increasing use of job opportunities” through his violence in the country. “The right administrative in the past five years. of protest, peacefully and unarmed, Opposition parties harshly criticised is enshrined in the Constitution. the address as a misleading picture However, when protests threaten of the current situation in South lives and property and destroy Africa. DA leader Helen Zille told a valuable infrastructure, intend SAPA reporter: “Work opportunities to serve the community, they are temporary replacements… undermine the very democracy that while very important to relieve upholds the right to protest.” poverty; they are not a substitute The President continued that for real jobs that happen because of increasing violent protests in the economic growth.” country were not the result of Emerging markets analyst Peter government failure, claiming that Attard Montalto commented to “95 percent of households have the Cape Times: “[It] provided access to water”, virtually no but “the five forward-looking percent who still “In no way can we have elements on policy need to be provided conflict that destroys the changes to address for feel they cannot challenges in the economy.” wait a moment economy or areas longer. Success of action yet to is also the breeding ground of be undertaken”. rising expectations”. In his responds to the debate Lauren Paremoer, Politics on the State of Nation on lecturer comments: “It is true that February 20th Zuma promised: many South Africans have now “After the elections, the country access to housing and basic services. will enter a new radical phase However, these services are often in which we shall implement unaffordable, sub-standard and socio-economic transformation do little to address Apartheid policies and programmes that will meaningfully address poverty, spatial planning.” “The president rightly noted a unemployment and inequality. major success of his administration,” However, in his original State of Paremoer continues, “South Africa Nation Address presented no plan now runs the largest public-sector of action for this financial year, HIV/AIDS treatment programme stating: “The programme will be in the world.” presented by the new government In his speech Zuma presented after the elections.”
Freshers’ Braai ushers in first years UCT lecture recording Chai Nebe
Image: Lloyd Kammies
Ntandoyenkosi Mlambo The return of campus life began on February 6th as UCT’s newcomers were greeted with the Freshers’ Braai held on the Green Mile on Upper Campus - a time to introduce them to UCT campus life.
The annual event, which involves bringing the first years together in an introduction to the university and is the first big event of the year, is planned by the SOAC (Student Orientation and Advocacy Centre) and the SRC (Students’ Representative Council). The SRC President emphasised that they wanted to make themselves known among first year students to start communicating with them effectively. “We started work on the Braai last year and we are here just to show ourselves as the SRC and reveal our relatability with
them,” stated SRC president Nommangaliso Gondwe. “My advice to the first years is that they will hear a lot of advice, so they should take the advice that works best for them and apply it,” Gondwe added. Most First Years were full of excitement, with a number of them arriving at the gates 45 minutes before they opened. Imkita, a commerce first year from East London, stated, “We’re keen to meet new people and hear some awesome bands.” While inside the braai area, even with the expectation, some First Years were still waiting for the fun to start. “My sister goes to UCT so she told me to come because [the Braai] is fun. I think it’s nice. After eating we will walk around and see,” said Yamkela, a Fuller first year. Another first year added, “It’s okay, it’s not vibing as yet but maybe when the music starts.”
The music line-up, organised by UCT Radio, included Matthew Gold and Grassy Spark, while the SRC kept the crowd going with an original rap about their roles at UCT. The Braai also included various society stands, such as the Varsity Newspaper stand and the UCT Radio stand, to gain interest in these societies in the run up to Plaza Week. The online perception on Freshers’ Braai was good and showed how much the first years enjoyed the Braai. Twitter was abuzz with positive comments on the SRC’s rapping skills. @KunaalMaharaj exclaimed, “Super proud of our @UCT_ SRC for their insane rapping skills! Leading with style and skill!” “Every muscle in me is numb for having such an amazing #FreshersBraai the line-up was super kwaithanks @UCT_SRC,” @ ThabangBhili added.
From the beginning of the new academic year UCT provides students with a new lecture recording service expanding to an additional 35 new lecture venues across campus. Stephen Marquard, Learning Technologies Co-coordinator for the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT) at UCT said the university is “a pioneer” in terms of both the scale of implementing lecture recording and “the leading-edge technology” it is using. A UCT Teaching Venues Survey of 2012 showed that 62% of students said they would like their lectures recorded. Venues across the UCT campuses such as Leslie Social, NSLT, the Kramer buildings and Groote Schuur have been modified to accommodate lecture recording, according to the Centre for Educational Technology (CET). Students or staff members can now request to have lectures recorded, published to the course’s Vula site and downloaded by students. Increased ownership of laptops, tablets and smartphones have made interactive, online lectures possible and accessible, Marquard said. Sal Ahmed, a second Bachelor of Social Science (BSocSci ) major said: “I think lecture recording is great! It promotes a respect between the lecturers and the students because now the students have a choice to enrich themselves.” Bachelor of Social Science student Siphokuhle Mathe said it was an innovative idea because
the busy campus life clashed with lecture times. “It’s good for winter days when bad weather makes it easier to study from your room!” said Awodwa Dabula, a third year Accounting student. UCT’s official policy on using computer technology “acknowledges that the changing terrain requires increased flexibility of course provision” to enhance teaching and learning experiences. But Marquard emphasized that lecture recording was only a safety net for students to catch up on missed lectures. According to the CET, it also “provides richer content; and improvided access to content for students with disabilities.” “I think lecture recording helps because sometimes the lecturer goes through the slides and concepts so quickly that I can’t take notes,” said BSocSci student Sinesipho Ngcayisa. Ahmed said lecture recording allowed lecturers to explore key concepts in more depth. Marquard added: “We found that students who skip lectures and try to catch up from recordings towards the end of the course do not do as well.” “International research on lecture recording shows that it does not have a significant effect on attendance at lectures, which is also the experience at UCT,” Marquard continues. Ella Maso, a third year Accounting major, said lecture recordings would not make students watch classes by unpopular lecturers. “If they’re bad in class; they’ll be bad on the screen. I’d rather use my textbook.”
v73 e1 – 25 february 2014
in the news this week
What does justice mean to you? Megan Thomas
n under-the-skin contraceptive device the size of a match is to be made freely available for women at public hospitals by February 27th, announced Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi on Wednesday,
February 19th. The device is said to provide protection from pregnancy for three years. The advantage of the sub-dermal implant over the contraceptive injection – where the effects can take up to 12 months to wear off - is that users wishing to fall pregnant can do so within weeks of its removal. “This device costs R1 700 if you
go to a private doctor. But, we shall give it free of charge to every woman in South Africa, regardless of their socioeconomic status.” Motsoaledi described it as “the biggest family planning programme South Africa has ever seen” and that it gives freedom to women to control their own lives.
Life and times of Dr Jane Goodall Sophie Robertson
n February 5th the University of Cape Town, in collaboration with the Fitzpatrick Institute, presented the first Open ViceChancellor’s Lecture of the year with an enthralling speech by the world renowned primatologist and conservation activist, Dr Jane Goodall. The lecture celebrated Dr Goodall’s 80th year of activism for chimpanzees. The Baxter Theatre was filled to capacity and hosted an audience of students, lecturers and members of the public. The free event was open to all and served as one of UCT’s many ways of giving back to society. Dr Goodall was asked to speak not only because of her success as a primatologist but also for her passion and dedication to social and environmental activism. Upon introducing her, ViceChancellor Max Price was asked by Dr Jane Goodall to enact a greeting which would take place between a male and female chimpanzee meeting for the first time. After some “bristling” up of Max Price and a head patting of Dr Goodall, the audience was taken on a journey of the life and adventures of a woman with a passion for the study of chimpanzees that developed into a dedication to environmental activism. Her dream of living in Africa was born at a young age after reading Tarzan and the Apes – she believed that “Tarzan had, in fact, married the wrong Jane”. For a woman who travels more than 300 days of the year, she began her adventures at the young age of 23,
On Friday February 14th, the UCT student-run movements V-Girls SA and AmaDODA, along with many other international organisations, co-hosted UCT’s participation in the “One Billion Rising 2014” campaign on Jammie Plaza to raise awareness of violence against women. Due to the issues of sexual and physical violence in UCT residences as well as non-resident accommodation, the event aimed to illustrate how this universal sentiment is a reality within UCT’s context. The V-Girls SA and AmaDODA set up a stand on Jammie Plaza with desks, paint, paper and markers and asked students to share a “What does Justice Mean to You?” message. Oyama Unathi Botha, studying a BSocSci in IR PPA and Organisational Psychology at UCT, wrote: “Justice = Fair & Just” and her sentiments were shared by a variety of other participants through their own personal messages, linked by their displays of discontent with the lack of justice associated with sexual crimes. As well as providing such means of expression, a Soapbox was also set up where open forum was provided for all students who were interested to share speeches, songs or poetry centred around
their views. Dalisu Jwara, a cofounder of the young men’s movement AmaDODA, spoke on the day about the need for young men to stand up and protest the injustices inflicted upon women and ensure that women are treated as equals in order to reduce the country’s shocking rape statistics. Busi Mkhumbzuzi, from V-Girls SA, spoke to the audience and thanked them for showing their support of “One Billion Rising” and illustrated the pressing
event served to tackle the prominent issue of gender violence and sexual abuse on campus issues regarding the treatment of women in South Africa. Nomsa Makgabenyana from the UCT SRC, thanked the audience on behalf of the general student body for their support as well as thanking the leading movements on campus such as AmaDODA and V-Girls SA in the highlighting of international, but also home bound issues. The event served to tackle the prominent issue of gender violence and sexual abuse on campus as well as to create a safer environment at UCT for women, through challenging the noticeably distorted relationship between men and women.
An interview with the UCT Ombud: Ms Zetu MakamandelaMguqulwa
Image: Lloyd Kammies paying for her first trip to Tanzania on a waitress’s wage. Dr Goodall attributes her success to her mother who volunteered to accompany her to Africa under instruction from the British authorities. Dr Goodall recounts one of her mother’s messages: “If you really want something, if you really work hard and if you never give up, you will find a way.” This wisdom encouraged Dr Goodall to argue against her colleagues in Cambridge who ridiculed her research. In her writing, Dr Goodall gave the chimpanzees names instead of numbers, which was unheard of at the time. In 1986, Goodall realised the environmental damage which affected both humans and animals alike, leading to the creation of
her Roots and Shoots programme in 1991. The program, which now operates in more than 120 countries with over 150 thousand members, encourages people to get involved with making a positive difference for their communities, for animals and for the environment. There is a Roots and Shoots program in South Africa based in Gauteng and operating in four schools in the Western Cape, Forres Pre-primary and Primary School, Parow High School and the German International School. Dr Goodall reminds the audience and people around the globe that “every single one of us makes a difference every single day and we have a choice […]. Don’t forget that every day you live, you make a difference”.
What is an Ombud? An Ombud is a designated, independent and impartial conflict resolution practitioner whose major function is to provide confidential and informal assistance to the UCT community. The Ombud also provides information on campus policies, procedures and services, and verifies that these are being followed; and serves as a consultant, conducting forums and workshops when necessary and advising on changes to UCT’s policies, procedures and services. Describe a normal day in the office for you. A typical day at the office is difficult to describe as no two days are ever the same. The only thing I know is that I will have to listen to somebody. What kinds of complaints do you normally see to? As an office of last resort, I can listen to any issue that has been brought through internal structures
when the student still feels unhappy. I work with individuals and groups at UCT to explore and assist them in determining options to help resolve conflicts, problematic issues or concerns. I also bring systemic concerns to the attention of the university. In a nutshell, I promote a humane system. Explain the four principles of your Ombud’s office. The four principles of the office are based on the Standards of Practice set by the International Ombudsman Association (IOA). They are: independence, thus ensuring that the office operates without interference; informality, meaning that the office operates offthe-record and is not drawn into formal proceedings; impartiality, in that the office is neutral and does not take any sides; and lastly confidentiality, thereby ensuring that the identity of the person contacting the office remains unknown unless this person has given their permission to publicise their name.
editorial 2014 Collective editor-in-chief Laurie Scarborough
deputy Editor Katy Scott
t’s always been a secret ambition of mine to say a Dumbledore-style welcome back to school speech. This seems like the best chance I’ll get – in this newspaper distributed around the Hogwartian grounds of UCT 2014. So, fellow students, welcome to another year at the continent’s finest institution of witchcraft and wizardry (I mean learning and research). So, what did you miss these holidays? Well, on the eve of South Africa’s 20 years of democracy, the father of our nation went gently into that sweet goodnight and no one
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online editor Daniël Geldenhuys
Copy Editor Jena Ascough
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news Hannah Gauss & Clare Garrard
registered to vote. To clarify, when I say no one, I mean that 23% of high school leavers have registered to vote, and in the Western Cape less than half of 20 to 29-year-olds have registered. I hear the mutterings of older people grumbling about “the youth” and “the struggle” and yet here we sit, watching reruns of Newsroom and House of Cards, hoping that this will allow us to say we’re “pretty up-to-date on current affairs”. I know that the images of this newspaper don’t wave back at you from the page like the Daily Prophet, but I’m hoping that you will nevertheless be informed and entertained by the upcoming VARSITY editions.
I hope that if you aren’t really the “news type” or you’re “not a political person” that VARSITY can be the place that you can read short articles on current affairs that are produced from within these stone walls, and also a place that you can read features, student opinion and sports updates. If you think that we aren’t doing that, tell us why, help us improve, or write us your own articles. We need you. And now for some start of term notices: The forbidden forest is out of bounds to all students who do not wish to suffer a very painful death, and students should know that magic is not permitted in the corridors between classes.
It’s hard out here
opinions Parusha Naidoo & Vikash Gajjar email@example.com
features Lynne Marie Fraser & Busang Senne
sportS Megan Kinnaird & Mark Nandi firstname.lastname@example.org
centrespread Krysia Gaweda
images Sofia Gilli & Khanyisa Pinini
V73 E1 - 25 FEBRUARY 2014
It starts off unhurried, a toe dipping into the ocean of student life. Introduction lectures, icebreakers, course readers, textbook after textbook, excitement? Cape Town: the city of dreams, beaches, revelry. Fresh new students fill up the streets of Claremont at night and sprawl across Jammie stairs all day. Skin starts to grow coarse and pink, sweat collects in the nape of necks and slowly slides down spines, sending a salty warning. Tutorials, tests, assignments and essays wriggle their way in. This is not child’s play.
Overwhelmed with lecture slides, paper after paper to read, more pages than minutes in a day, falling behind, sobbing on the phone to mom, dad, anybody who cares. Freaking out. Frantic conversations about stress, being “screwed” for the test, not caring? Really caring. Trying to scrape by doing the bare minimum. Running out of pocket money. Life has never been this hard. Unbeknown, a girl sits starving in a class full of spoilt students and laptops, scared but excited about the prospect of using a computer for the first time.
She keeps her head down in tuts and is never seen in the food court or dining hall. She sends her financial aid money home to fill the stomachs of her family and to fuel the hope of her brother so he too can come and sit amongst the hard lives of these poor girls and boys. English may or may not be her first language but she pushes and fails and tastes dirt but comes back again. She sits quietly witnessing these students, lending an ear to their difficult lives and stories of woe. She smiles with sympathy, and thinks to herself, it could be worse.
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v73 e1 – 25 february 2014
Expectation vs. reality Dean Horwitz
Image: Charlie Turnley
When Jacob Zuma got up in front of the country to deliver his annual State of the Nation address in Cape Town on February 13th, expectations were running high. This was the first State of the Nation since Mandela’s passing, the last of Zuma’s presidency and was to be delivered months before the next general election.
he did not offer any tangible solutions This year’s address carried even greater significance with this year marking 20 years of democracy in South Africa, a milestone which was expected to feature heavily. In the days leading up to the speech, politicians, analysts and members of the public made their wishes known, but did Jacob Zuma listen? And how will this address translate into reality? The one uniting theme across these expectations was a call for Zuma to address the series of service delivery protests that have been rocking South Africa over
the past few months. Citizens, politicians and political analysts were looking to Zuma to deliver a strong message and announce a range of solutions to these protests. However, all they got was a lousy and weak excuse. Zuma made it clear that his position was that success breeds protests and that the gains in service delivery that the ANC have made since 1994 are the leading cause of these protests. Even if you managed to swallow this excuse he did not offer any tangible solutions that can be analysed for their ability to translate into reality. Another key theme amongst the expectations that were written in the daily newspapers and on the internet was the dual theme of the economy and jobs. Over the past
year, the South African economy has had to deal with a weakening rand, a rising interest rate and a steady increase in unemployment. On both the economy and the employment fronts, Zuma failed to show leadership. Instead of using the address to admit to the failures of his presidency on job creation and economic development, he hid behind the 20 years of Democracy theme and decided to give out a list of statistics indicating how life is better now than it was under apartheid. Taken as a whole, life is definitely better, but the blunt truth is that both Thabo Mbeki and Nelson Mandela managed to deliver more jobs and steer our economy through much rougher seas than our current president. Where he could have admitted his mistakes he hid behind his predecessors and where he could have delivered concrete solutions and plans he used the platform as an attempt to ensure his party wins the next election. It is unfortunate that while our president had a golden opportunity to stop the burning of service delivery protests, to stabilise the economy and to provide solutions to unemployment he chose to hide behind the ceremonial and celebratory nature of the occasion.
New beginnings Sandile Tshabalala
O-Week is a time of growth: a chance to make friends and celebrate being at UCT. O-Week provides you with the opportunity to explore yourself; to try things you’ve never done before. It is also a time for fun. First years are fortunate to be able to take part in events such as Freshers’ Braai, Big Bash and SAX Appeal. Residences pull a leg in ensuring that first years are patriotic and feel at home. O-Week often gives first years the best moments of their life at UCT. The memories that will last forever include your first hookup, changing your degree on the second day into your Orientation Programme, and realising the reality that your dreams are finally coming true. O-Week is undeniably what you make it to be. Each student brings out the best of what O-Week has to offer. It is up to each first year to determine the extent to which they utilise all the crucial information they have been bombarded with. It is no one else’s responsibility but the fresher’s. Orientation Leaders play an incredible role in supporting first years come to terms with the reality of being a university student. Their role is temporary; hence first years are now standing on their own. Whether this is unfortunate is debatable. Where are all the support structures now? It is important
for first years to be familiar with relevant services offered to them in certain circumstances such as DISCHO, CPS, Wellness Centre, HAICU and the Disability Unit. First years must never underestimate the existence of the SRC, Faculty Councils, House Committees and various other societies. These student bodies seek to deal with all issues at the core of student life. UCT has numerous structures such as the First Year Experience (FYE) initiative and Student Orientation and Advocacy Centre (SOAC) that are aimed at giving freshers a sense of belonging and academic and emotional support. These structures will not come chasing after you – you have to go chasing after them. Not all 4 735 first year students who are registered this year will graduate. It is the norm of university life that some students
will be academically or financially excluded, some will have illnesses that will hinder their studies, some will fall pregnant and some will take leaves of absence. It is true that every student that made it through to UCT deserves it and is capable of graduating. As the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Prof Nhlapho said at the Humanities Orientation, “You are embarking on absolutely the most amazing phase of your life; use this opportunity to the fullest.” It cannot be stressed enough that each first year student has to now take UCT and own it. Allow the reasons that made you apply to UCT be the motivation that will see you through it all. Never forget the lessons you have learned throughout your life time. This is an academic environment, no one can tell you that you are wrong, all ideas and concepts are meant to be intellectually challenged.
The lady doth protest
Parusha Naidoo Opinions Editor
A tale of two rapes
of scrutiny and interrogation. The stories of Booysen and Pandey not only attracted media attention and public outrage, but also became the symbols for the faceless and forgotten victims before them. More importantly, it proved that violence goes beyond race, class or nationality and instead it begins with gender. Back home we faced the horror story of Booysen with public debate and small marches. It even seemed to be the breaking point for UCT students who mobilised February 2nd may be of very and took to Jammie steps to little significance to many of us hold placards and chant “We say and probably passed by as just enough” in an attempt to make up another day in the three month for every other rape and murder blur we fondly refer to as vac. we had never thought to protest Cast your mind back to the same about. It was an impressive sight but, day a year ago and recall the tweets, statuses and headlines after the last speech was made and of the month. You may instantly after our placards were put in the recycling pile, remember the we returned to tragic killing our own worlds. of Reeva became Steenkamp by our university protest We Oscar Pistorius sufferers of was a tiny dent on Valentine’s shock fatigue Day. – another Attempt day, another to jog your memory and go a mother, sister, daughter and bit further back to the short another rape. In India the case stint before we hopped off one of Pandey sparked country wide bandwagon and decided to protests calling for reforms in devote our conversations to the the attitudes, culture and laws para-olympiad who shot his surrounding the treatment girlfriend. Perhaps the story may of women. come to mind of a 17-year-old Unlike India, we failed as girl named Anene Booysen who South Africans to materialise was raped and disembowelled, our thoughts into visible mass and subsequently died in action against sexual violence, our university protest was a tiny Tygerberg Hospital. Overnight Anene Booysen dent to a bigger problem. Rape became synonymous with South is probably still as rampant in Africa’s daily reality of violence India as it was before the story of against women. A year after the Pandey broke but the difference death of Booysen, rape is still is that a country, and not just a committed every day and each university, rallied together. A year later we can stand on new statistic deepens the never healing wound of violence against Jammie steps and look down on the greater Cape Flats area, women. During the same time that comforted by the stark physical South Africa grappled with the and social distance that assures cold reality of Anene Booysen, us the problem of rape originates across the Indian Ocean protests in a place far from our leafy were ignited by the death of Jyothi suburbs. Instead we must realise Singh Pandey, a student who was it is not an isolated problem gang raped and mutilated aboard and the end to violence against women requires every South a bus in New Delhi. In the space of two months, the African to change their attitude rape and torture of two women and demand nothing less than from separate worlds were caught justice for every mother, sister in an international media storm and daughter.
v73 e1 - 25 february 2014
Fighting the system from within
Illustrator: Romeo Sefika
An open letter from Rekgotosfetse Chikane students at UCT
am also prepared to defy the law.” These words were spoken in 1952 by Chief Albert Luthuli at the beginning of the Apartheid Defiance Campaign which involved numerous stakeholders across the country. It was his way of signalling that in order to create change within an unfair system, one must be willing to join others who are fighting the system – even if this means defying the state and the law.
I don’t believe you are doing enough to create change in our society So when I look at financial aid students, and in particular black students (all encompassing), I wonder whether they will be willing to defy the law to help those who are fighting against an unjust system. During a conversation with a friend last week, I was struck by the truth in his opinion that we simply cannot define progress as the ability for the few to achieve social upward mobility, especially when those few remain firmly in the majority of the country as a whole. It’s a nuanced argument of what is absolute progress versus relative progress. I am firmly an advocate of the latter; that in order to achieve real progress in South Africa we will require large scale change rather than the incremental change seemingly advocated at
UCT. Many will speak about the change that occurred in 1994 that gave us the freedoms we enjoy today, but when looking at society now it doesn’t take a lot to acknowledge that these freedoms are very hollow to many across the country. Thus I write this letter to Financial Aid students at UCT to say that I don’t believe you are doing enough to create change in our society. I think you have been made comfortable by being placed in one of the best Financial Aid systems in the country and that you have become complacent to help only yourself and your family. This though is not your fault and I do acknowledge that there are still many of you who suffer and struggle every day just to make it through the week. But I believe that on top of all of your current responsibilities there should be the over arching responsibility to ensure that those who follow you do not fall into the same problems. It is a heavy burden that I believe you have to firmly take in your stride. That your goal should be not to simply uplift only your family but to uplift your community as well as your country. I say this because I honestly do not believe that relative change can be made by the students at UCT who come from schools such as SACS, St Johns, Michael House, Grey College, St David’s or even my own rather progressive high school. Though their efforts are admirable,
and I implore them to continue, by pure absolute numbers and willpower they will not be able to uplift the poor and marginalised of this country. We live in a country of political freedom chained by economic inequality; in a country where students who protest against unfair discrimination towards those who are financially needy are threatened with expulsion from their university. During January, students at the University of Johannesburg were arrested and threatened with suspension because they felt aggrieved by NSFAS failing to pay their fees and the university giving them the cold shoulder. While these students sat in jail wondering where their futures lay, but still strong in their convictions, I wondered what would be the reaction of UCT students in a similar social and economic condition. The answer I came to was a resounding “Nothing!”
Students from UJ, TUT, UWC were willing to defy the law if the need arose Students across the country protested against being denied access to results from 2013. Some were unlawfully removed from their residences with no alternative and some even sat in the offices of the Department of Higher Education throughout the night, all because of
problems between NSFAS and the university that were beyond their control. Students from UJ, TUT, UWC were willing to defy the law if the need arose because the system failed them and had been failing them for years. But at UCT we did nothing. You did nothing. I know I might be accused of generalising with respect to the agency of Financial Aid students, but can you honestly say that UCT students will one day change the fortune of the millions of the country? I don’t think so. I don’t think so simply because at this university you have been made comfortable with the idea that “I” can uplift “myself ” when I get “my” degree. We might say differently with our words but our actions show our true intentions. The best way I think you can
gauge whether you are willing to make a meaningful relative change in society is to ask yourself whether you are also prepared to defy the law because the law protects an unjust system. It’s an unfair question to pose to some, but I firmly believe that a time will come soon in this country when that question will be firmly thrust at you. I hope that at that time you will be able to make the choice that isn’t based on just your wellbeing or that of your families but is based on ensuring that future generations will not suffer the same fate. It’s a difficult question to answer but, then again, change is always difficult to achieve. Regards, Rekgotsofetse Chikane
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:
v73 e1 – 25 february 2014
What is African about UCT? commit itself to pursuing the longevity of the African culture and eradication of the socioeconomic inequalities that exist rom my arrival at UCT, I was in our society. Every student, struck by the distinct European regardless of pigmentation, culture of the institution. An needs to find a place within UCT immediate question arose from that resembles a home for them. my mind: what is African about We need to transform our UCT? institutional culture to one Unintended on my part, I also that is inclusive of all races found myself questioning what and culture and not one that is it meant it to be an African and, exclusively European. furthermore, what it means to be I am an African not because in an African university. I am black, nor because my These questions led me to forefathers are black. I am an look into my own identity, African because I eat and drink further rekindling those adverse from this soil and because I owe feelings black UCT students my being and allegiance to Africa often express by saying, “I only and its people. I am an African started feeling black when I because I live and embody came to UCT.” the values and aspirations of This indicates the impact Mother Africa. that UCT has on one’s identity When I say “Motho ke which, prima motho ka batho” facie, seems to – “a person is a be a result of the “I only started feeling person because of black when I came to people” – it is not different racial and sociojust an utterance UCT.” economic group of speech, instead interactions I am sounding that exist at our institution. out what already exists in my The only resemblance to heart and soul. This gives “Africanism” UCT seems to testimony to the fact that I am have is that it happens to be on an African child. African soil. Often enough the agents of It is naively taken that transformation are asked when naming a few buildings after you will be satisfied. We shall black people and adding more never be satisfied, not until the black students and academic student and staff demographics staff inevitably makes UCT an become a reflection of our African university. That could society; until this institution not be further from the truth – transforms its academic you can add as much sugar to curriculum such that it is water as you like, but it will still inclusive of African thoughts not become coffee. and knowledge systems. We An African UCT must will not be appeased until seek to spread the values and we do not have to talk about aspirations of Africa. It must transformation anymore.
Image: Charliey Turnley
Vikash Gajjar As our democracy sheds an era of adolescence, I am forced to resolve that its political pubescent years have only just begun. It has become clear that a new political landscape is beginning to emerge from within the familiarity of the old. Twenty years on and South Africans, too, are beginning to mature – beginning to question the promises that have yet to be fulfilled; whether this democracy is everything that we fought for and more, or a severe compromise on the guarantee of a free South Africa for all. Democracy requires constant effort from various key institutions to ensure that it is effective and efficient. It relies on the advocacy of every citizen for a transformed and reconciled society. Too often, those who thwart the advancement of such ideals believe that they have nothing to
gain from transformation, and thus have no interest in a reconciled South Africa. This attitude towards wholesome progress has become too common ever since the passing of Nelson Mandela. Too many people misinterpret what Madiba did in 1994. He did not achieve freedom and justice for every South African. Instead, he created a philosophy based on reconciliation and transformation – a philosophy in which every South African has to play an active role to ensure that one day all citizens will benefit equally from our democracy. As we enter a new era postliberation, South Africans begin realising the importance of their voices in the shaping of this new political landscape. This realisation is perhaps the greatest development for our country. The functioning of a democratic state relies not only on its citizens and their active involvement, but also on the presence of a reliable
and transparent government and a strong opposition. Too many people protest that the ANC today isn’t the ANC that was voted into power in 1994. However, the more pertinent question should be: is the ANC today better than the ANC that was voted into power during the previous national elections? The Secrecy Bill was quietly passed in government when the nation mourned the death of its father. Does this now mean that accountability and transparency has been buried with Madiba? South Africans voted for a democracy in 1994. We now need to vote for a government that will strive towards the realisation of Mandela’s philosophy through transparency and accountability – a government that will build a competitive democracy. Indeed, a democracy in which those in power fear being rendered powerless by those who voted them in.
Public Access’ days are numbered Laura Irvine It was with great hilarity in the second half of last year that I realised I could access my parents' course results online – from first year all the way through to masters: course by course, percentage by percentage, even though they graduated over 20 years ago. After sharing this newfound revelation with my brothers and having a good laugh at their anatomy marks from second year, I realised that if my parents' marks were available, so were mine.
students’ grades could be used for public humiliation In theory, I could access anyone's marks from any internet connection without identification, as long as I had their student number or birthday. Should we be worried that our personal information is not under lock and key, and available for the public to peruse any time they want to?
Image: Khanyisa Pinini According to Ms Patricia Lucas, Communications and Media Liaison, "Under the current policy, students who apply and register at UCT are asked to sign a declaration (on both the application and registration forms) stating: '... that UCT places records of qualifications awarded and academic records in the public domain'." The Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) is an Act designed to regulate the processing and access of personal information, which includes students' grades.
This Act has been signed into law, but has yet to be implemented. UCT publishing students' marks online without any protection accompanying them is not illegal – yet. Asking several students on campus whether they were concerned, the resounding answer was "No, I don't care." A Social Work student on the Dean's Merit List said that she didn't mind whether people saw her grades or not, because she had nothing to be ashamed of, and felt that others
should see it the same way, regardless of how well they did. If you worked hard, why worry? Academically excluded students feel slightly differently. Speaking to an ex-student who was excluded at the end of 2011, he was completely oblivious to his marks being available online for anyone to peruse, "As an individual, I do think it's an invasion of privacy... I am definitely uncomfortable with anybody being able to access my marks." In the second semester last year, the UCT Exposed blog published
the marks of a student, adding derogatory remarks about her grades. There is a worry that students' grades could be used for public humiliation, but fortunately I think that the UCT Exposed fiasco was an exception, not the rule. Anyone having access to marks does make this kind of situation a possibility though, however slight. In fact, UCT is in the process of changing their policy. "The fact that the results are now available on the website, and that there have been instances of abuse of this access, has led to proposals for a change in policy." says Ms Lucas. At a meeting on February 4th, 2014, the UCT Senate Executive Committee considered a proposal to change current policy so that online access to marks is password protected. These proposed revisions still need to be approved by Senate and Council, but because of POPI these changes will need to happen sooner or later. I am relieved to say that my future children will not have the opportunity to laugh at my dismal History marks but until new policies are implemented, my secret is safe with me and anyone willing to find it.
v73 e1 - 25 february 2014
Another election, another series of scandals
o you have heard about the partnership between the Democratic Alliance’s Helen Zille and Agang SA’s Mamphela Ramphele ending up in tears. Some people are wondering just how things could have gone wrong. With hindsight, we can see that it was a game of Russian roulette right from the beginning for both parties, with the guns almost fully loaded.
One donor later, and she became the DA’s presidential candidate One big mistake on the side of Ramphele is that according to high-profile members of Agang, she failed to follow proper procedure. At least her party will finally get some attention from that particular slip-up, but nobody can expect things to be smooth from now on.
The motivation behind the merger was even harder to swallow. Ramphele previously made known the fact that she didn’t want to join the DA because of her apprehensions over the party’s failures. One donor later, and she became the DA’s presidential candidate, if only for the time before the fallout. The DA’s repeated .357 magnum rounds to the feet involved the preconceived notion that Ramphele and Agang would have assimilated seamlessly into the party like effervescent tablets into water. This was made clear by the DA naming her as their presidential candidate. But even if this had gone through, it could still have backfired due to Agang’s supporters having lost “a more viable alternative” to a party that they don’t support. This is without possible accusations of window-dressing flying around. For future reference, DA, don’t think that because a merger worked with the Independent Democrats that it will work with Agang SA. Patricia DeLille made a conscious choice to merge with your party for
a clear reason: to create a stronger opposition. Donor funding as motivation for a merger, where the parties are known to be disinclined to merging otherwise, just looks like a gift-wrapped cyanide pill in comparison. If this has made anything clear, it is that money talks when it comes to political parties. A lot
Image: flickr.com/ HackingStuffs
Big Brother isn’t going anywhere
Anurag Arnab The idea that professionals are paid to monitor your internet and phone usage might have sounded like something out a sciencefiction novel a year ago; but this is not far from what America’s National Security Agency (NSA) has been doing. Last year saw Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing disgrace the American government while tainting the reputations of technology giants such as Google and Microsoft who handed over their user’s data. The series of reforms announced by President Obama to address the abuses of his intelligence agency were expected. However, the result was superficial, announcing reforms merely to boost the image of America’s technology industry. The key points from Obama’s reforms include no longer logging American phone calls and ceasing to monitor the communications of
heads of state (although they kept quiet about Nkandlagate). At no point does Obama mention that the NSA will no longer have the authority to read your emails, dig up your Facebook data or browse your Dropbox. The reality, however, is that the nefarious work done by the NSA simply cannot be undone. They have been intercepting communications since 1952 and have inserted vulnerabilities into common hardware and software to help decipher electronic communication. Windows 95 even had a debugging symbol named “NSAKEY”, erroneously left behind by Microsoft programmers. As any computer science student will tell you, people on the same public Wi-Fi network can see the data that you are transmitting – but because it is encrypted, they can make absolutely no sense of it. The problem lies with the NSA having had a leading hand in developing these encryption standards. Furthermore, there are
claims that they can bypass some of these algorithms. Surveillance is inevitable, though not quite in the Orwellian sense. Public outcry at America’s eavesdropping has been relatively underwhelming. On Tuesday, February 11th, an online campaign dubbed “The Day We Fight Back” was launched in protest of the surveillance. The fact that you have not heard of this campaign emphasises the public’s indifferent response. A similar campaign launched two years ago against proposed copyright laws (in which heavyweights like Google went offline) actually resulted in the proposals being scrapped. Most of us did not change our internet usage patterns once we heard that the NSA was intercepting our data. The agency has got more important things to do than to unearth your “anonymous” UCT Confession or the pictures your smartphone automatically backed-up onto the cloud.
of what they do will be heavily influenced by the donors that bankroll them, often regardless of the consequences. Just because the ANC has more money than moral fibre doesn’t mean that other parties are immune to stupidity. Elections will always be rocky, with their usual share of scandals. This ill-conceived exercise has just
created one of the first of such incidents to dog the period. Wait awhile and there will be more news about the usual ANC tactics of bribing people with food parcels, using state funds to erect campaign billboards, threatening critics with the wrath of God and very possibly invoking Godwin’s Law.
Money in the murder business Nkhensani Manabe
The murder of a woman will once again be raised to the level of national preoccupation on March 2nd, 2014, when MultiChoice launches The Oscar Pistorius Trial: A Carte Blanche Channel on DStv channel 199. According to MultiChoice, the producers of Carte Blanche have put together a channel that will provide viewers with “around-the-clock coverage of the legal proceedings, profiles and in-depth expert analysis.” Indeed, there will be a 24hour channel dedicated to examining the murder of Reeva Steenkamp and its aftermath. At first glance, this seems like a great idea. The citizens of our country are fascinated by the controversy surrounding one of their most-loved heroes. This channel will provide them with all the information they need to track the trajectory of their hero’s fall from grace. And everyone just loves to watch the mighty fall, right? While the launch of this new channel strikes me as ridiculous and highly insensitive, it does not come as a surprise. For weeks after the “Valentine’s Day Murder”, media outlets were using the story to sell papers and magazines. Interviews with Oscar’s family and Reeva’s close friends had members of the public enthralled. This channel is the obvious next step in the media coverage of the crime. Once a person is deemed a “celebrity”, their life becomes public property. Every achievement is highlighted, and every mistake or lapse in judgement is scrutinised. That the celebrity is a human being becomes irrelevant, as their actions are used as starting points for other discussions that
are bigger than them. And that is the issue here: this story has become bigger than the people involved, and has taken on a life of its own. While the wider discussions around crime and the abuse of women in South Africa (which have stemmed from this story) will always be relevant, when will it be time for the media to step back and let justice proceed? Ultimately, what is at issue here is that someone – a human being, not a manufactured celebrity – was killed. Someone has to be held accountable for that, and who that person is will be left for the judge to decide. This new channel will be romanticising the murder of Reeva Steenkamp, calling it an “event” and transforming it into a source of entertainment. The idea that there could be people who are so morbidly fascinated by the murder, that they would sit in front of a screen watching “experts” analyse it, is disturbing. It is incomprehensible that this case should get a dedicated TV channel, while other similar cases get a week or two of coverage and are subsequently forgotten. Does the level of “celebrity” of a person determine what we should regard as important and worth our attention? While the producers of Carte Blanche are definitely talented professionals who excel in the field of investigative journalism, I do not support their latest move. Feeding the people’s insatiable appetite for up-tothe-minute detailed news and information is a great business idea, yes – but in this case it is also another way to profit from a woman’s death. At this point, all the public needs to know is what the verdict is when it is reached.
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UCT?” r Mat enjoying u o y e floor fo e h r t “A n o it s ats.” e had to more se d a “Well, I’v h y e h cool if t be more
It is that time of year again, semester has started and UCT is crawling with first years. VARSITY finds out what’s happening and how you are coping.
“Describe your first day at UCT.” “Brilliant! I didn’t go to a single lecture. I sat on Jammie steps and watched the pigeons all day. Whoever said varsity was difficult, I think they were lying.”
“If you could, what would you change about UCT?” “I would definitely make it more wheelchair friendly. I have a friend who is in a wheelchair and it take her ages to get to class. That isn’t fair.”
“What did you expect UCT to be like?” “I expected it to be tough.” “Has it lived up to your expectation?” “Yes. I have 8am–5pm lectures everyday and I have already written a test.”
Seen at Freshers Braai
“Why did you choose to come to UCT?” “Both my mom and my dad graduated from UCT – now it’s my turn to be a UCT graduate.”
“I was a late acceptance into UCT.” “How do you feel about that?” “Pretty good. UCT has far more opportunities available so I feel stoked about the year ahead.”
“So who you going to vote for?” “(Laughs) For the only party that is going to make a difference in this country.” “And who is that?” “We will have to wait and see.”
Created by: Krysia Gaweda Images by: Khanyisa Pinini, Krysia Gaweda and Charlie Turnley
“What is your greatest fear as a first year?” “Failing. And Exclusion! I fear not doing as well as I want to.”
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“What do you think first years’ fear the most when starting at UCT?” “They probably fear awesomeness. They are coming from a small school into a big varsity and the first thing they are afraid of is being overwhelmed by their surroundings.”
s are anon ymous
“What has been the best part about UCT so far?” “Super Sandwich! I think I am in love with their food!”
v73 e1 – 25 february 2014
Mandela’s last walk to freedom
One of humanity’s biggest goodbyes, from close-up and personal Charlie Turnley
We just got off Airforce One, and we’re here with the Obama administration.” My journalist father’s American accent sold the bluff perfectly. The policeman opened the barricade. I was in Johannesburg at 7am driving towards the tightly secured FNB stadium, which would host the memorial service for Nelson Mandela. The stands were immersed with the thousands who had come from Soweto and the surrounding regions to pay respect to Madiba. Standing with the other press on the field of the Stadium, I was overcome by my good fortune to be there and the overpowering emotion that poured from the stands. This was a day when everyone, no matter their race, creed, gender or religion, mourned and celebrated in unity. I saw people of all races hugging, EFF supporters sitting with ANC members and thousands of people raising their fists high in the air. It was a moment of solidarity. Even in death, Mandela and the symbolism surrounding him continued to spark something positive in every person. The next morning, for the first time, Mandela was taken to rest in Parliament from the Pretoria Military Hospital. We found ourselves ten minutes behind schedule and stuck behind 15 minutes worth of traffic. Not a good start to a busy Wednesday. My enthusiastic father, ramping the pavement and speeding past rows of bewildered faces, was determined to make it to the hospital before the body
Images: Charlie Turnley FNB Stadium: All races and creeds came together to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s life. left. Again bluffing our way through a police barricade, we found ourselves on the road Mandela’s hearse would travel down, just in time to catch the police sirens screeching around the corner. Acting on reflexes, my dad pulled into the motorcade and suddenly we were four cars behind Mandela’s hearse – the only photographers in the world photographing from inside the convoy. Unable to believe my luck, I photographed everything for
the next 12 kilometres on the way to the Union Buildings – seeing just what Mandela would have seen had he looked out of the hearse window that morning. Crowds of people lined the streets throwing flowers, holding signs and saluting in unison. Almost every serviceman and policemen in Gauteng was stationed along the road. I watched from 30 metres away as Mandela’s body was brought to rest in parliament, while the honourary
guard of the South African Navy marched in salute. Later, when returning to the streets of Pretoria, I was swarmed by hundreds of people celebrating their hero’s memory. Flying to Qunu was the icing on the cake. As Nelson Mandela’s body was driven through the streets of Mthatha to his final resting place, thousands of Eastern Cape locals swarmed the streets. Although well controlled by the strong military presence, no threat of machine guns
could dampen the crowd’s spirit. As Madiba’s body drove past, a silent sigh of contentment drifted through the crowd: he was home. My experiences in those ten days taught me the powerful effect of Madiba. Growing up in the bornfree generation, we often focus on the future, sometimes forgetting the true impact of someone such as Mandela. What Mandela did was not just political, it was spiritual and it was human.
UMTHATHA: Crowds erupted as the body of Mandela arrived by hearse, transporting him to his final resting place of Qunu.
PRETORIA: Service officials and veterans salute Nelson Mandela on his way to the Union Buildings.
PRETORIA: A boy leads a public rally of hundreds of people through the streets, celebrating Madiba’s memory.
V73 E1 - 25 FEBRUARY 2014
How over 3 000 people in the rural Cape Flats are earning a healthy living – and you can support it
Lynne Marie Fraser Abalimi Bezekhaya is a community supported agriculture organisation that provides the finances and support needed for struggling communities to become self-sufficient. Its reach extends over Khayalitsha, Nyanga, Philippi, Crossroads and across the Cape Flats, with hundreds of large and small farms. They form part of a system that allows the produce off these farms to be enjoyed in weekly supply by anyone, from a single student to a household of four or even large businesses like the Mount Nelson Hotel, one of Abalimi’s biggest supporters. The constantly growing initiative proves that a bit of land, some seed and some water can go a long way. “Abalimi bezekhaya” means the “farmers around the home”. It was founded in 1982 by Rob Small, who has been working on agriculture programs to support under-privileged communities in South Africa since the late 1970s. “It’s a question of people waking up and joining forces,” Rob insists. “Excuse time is over now. It’s not about black-white anymore. It’s about people getting together to do the job. That’s what we’re about.” Rob uses biodynamic practices, which focus on not only a holistic agriculture system, but also aims to spread a new way of thinking in a wide range of aspects concerning food and its production – from understanding the land to supporting community-based agriculture. The organisation helps the farmers’ development from farming for survival, to subsistence and finally small-scale commercial
Images: Lynne Marie Fraser SUSTAINABLE FARMING: Every Tuesday the vegetables are packed into boxes by the farmers and volunteers at the Harvest of Hope Packshed. level farming. Rob argues that the national government’s rural development and land reform efforts have failed to appreciate the value of these stages. Its Harvest of Hope marketing project provides an outlet for Abalimi farmers’ excess produce by selling it to the middleclass consumer market in and around Cape Town. The produce is of a high enough standard to compete with organic vegetables from any leading grocery outlet. Every Tuesday, boxes are delivered by order to about 30 different collection points in and around Cape Town. Another big problem that Abalimi attempts to address is people’s attitudes to food in our globalised society. “We need to
stop looking down our noses at the wild foods,” Rob explains. “They are more powerful for our minds and our spirits than anything else”. It is this kind of approach that Abalimi is helping people to rediscover. However, satisfying our most basic human need – eating to survive – remains Abalimi’s core focus. Rob insists that Abalimi Bezekhaya provides a model of food security and jobs that can be replicated anywhere, provided there are people who are willing to buy organic, seasonal food and others who enjoy farming it. The aim is to develop a thriving national microfarming movement in South Africa. And with the farmers themselves beginning to come forward with innovative ideas – like the recent
proposal by one Philippi farmer to launch a farming initiative for the disabled – Abalimi Bezekhaya is certainly a strong example to follow. Rob smells a change, he says. “There is a new wave of people who want more than just a job; they want to build good community structures.” The People’s Garden Centre in Nyanga, one of the most important links between Abalimi and those that farm under its support structures, is thriving. It is a place where anyone can learn to start a vegetable garden,
with or without any previous gardening experience. It is where people can buy seeds, compost and manure at subsidised prices and attend Basic Micro-Farmer Training Courses. Abalimi inspires people of all ages to maintain the skills it teaches. Gardening skills, plant protection, crop rotation, planning and composting are just some of them. Most importantly, though, is that it teaches people about the potential of a space, a spade and little determination.
Fade to Black Phetha Motumi
Black History Month is currently underway in the United States. With this year’s award season drawing to a close and the 86th Academy Awards left to take place on March 2nd, I look at the list of nominees and wonder, what has happened to Black Cinema? They say that history is learnt so that we are not condemned to repeat it, but in the cinematic sphere has anything changed? Because it seems there has been digression. Let me not single out that it is solely Black Cinema that seems to be recycling the same stories, because all movies do so. Yet in all the nominations for this award season, there are few that are “non-white”. The issue is not race or the award system, neither is it that Black Cinema has become a sort of sub-genre on its own. The issue is that said sub-genre has been lacking movies of a certain standard. Seldom do we find an entire ensemble representing cinema or television that is “of colour”. Every few years, they seem to come a dime a dozen – from 2009’s Precious to 2013’s 12 Years a Slave. Nowadays, the same faces are seen, and those are the faces that excel. These faces include Kerry Washington starring in Scandal (also known as The Fixer), who is the first woman of colour to lead a primetime television series in over 40 years. In terms of accolades, there are a handful that have won the coveted Oscar in the past ten years including
Jamie Foxx, Octavia Spencer, Forest Whitaker, Morgan Freeman and Jennifer Hudson – with Denzel Washington being the only black actor to win two Oscars. There are many black-led movies that are made, but they seem to have all been condensed to the same storylines without any follow-through to make them any more special than their counterparts. Tyler Perry has cashed in during these past few years by directing, writing and acting in his Madea movies. As entertaining as they can be, the formula is always the same: a troubled woman, a conflicted relationship, a church scene after which Madea pops in for comic relief when the movie gets too heavy. This begs the question: have all black movies become associated with the typical and melodramatic Tyler Perry? The answer seems to be yes. Making a movie that stands out has become a difficult thing to do. It takes a script that moves us, even if it’s adapted from a play or a book, a cast that can make us believe them when they fall in love – or out of it and into heartbreak – a decent set, and costumes from the correct time period. A good soundtrack never hurt anyone either. It seems easy enough, but clearly something has gone amiss. Only when there are more fresh faces and ideas onscreen will we see more black movies worthy of a nomination nod.
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Breath-taking at Baxter Ryno Nortjé UCT Alumnus stirs up a sense of pride and a new interest in theatre. In seconds the pale-skinned, chalk-stained history teacher standing before you morphs into an almighty Xhosa Chief. His assegai deftly cuts through the battle. Blows to his bare chest and head send blood cascading across the stage. His bellowing voice fortifies the resolve with which he fights. The bullets become too much for him and he is defeated by the white colonist. The lights fade and the audience is silent. Spectral, trance-like African chanting fills the theatre. This is theatre at its fiest.
“you’re not performing to people who are picking their noses or having sex” The three-time Naledi award winning Death of a Colonialist has
come to Cape Town and has named Baxter Theatre as its home until 1 March. UCT alumnus, Jamie Bartlett, took home the Naledi award for best actor in his portrayal of Harold Smith, the central character in this gripping theatrical performance. Harold's son Jonathan, played by Nicholas Pauling, is another talented UCT alumnus, who delivers an excellent performance in this play. In Death of a Colonialist, Harold Smith is an eccentric history teacher from Grahamstown. Both of his children have left the country, estranged by crime and corruption. Harold's wife, Maggie, has been diagnosed with terminal cancer but lacks the courage to break the news to him. The play takes you on a South African journey through the lives of the Smith family. Theatre is demanding. Jamie Bartlett explains, “It’s a concentration span of about one hour and fifty minutes.” On stage, the actors don't have the convenience of calling "Cut!" if they forget their lines. They have to improvise, something which Bartlett did exceptionally well in one
of his recent performances of the play. After falling off the stage during one of his shows, he did not skip a beat. Remaining in character while he made his way back onto stage, he complained to his wife: "Why do you always leave the front door open?" Off stage, Bartlett stars as David Genaro on the South African series Rhythm City, and more recently can be seen in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. When asked why he returns to theatre, despite his successful career in film and television, Bartlett responds, "Theatre is lekker because you're not performing to people who are picking their noses or having sex.” Unlike performing through television, which is streamed directly into people’s homes, Bartlett appreciates getting us out of our homes. “Theatre is different,” he says. “People are coming to sit down and they can feel every synapse in your body. They can see the sweat pouring off your face.” Theatre is not separated from its audience by a screen; it is palpable. After watching this play you’ll be sure to return for the experience again.
Simon says; be real and feel Tayla-Paige van Sittert
Crystalise your tears and turn them into jewels, don’t let them leak down your face and wash away your façade, because if you dare cry you will be damned to “poordom” and foolishness. This is the harrowing stigma going around: to feel emotion is to parade in distraction and lose sight of success. But thank the crying skies, Simon (from Simon & The Bande Á Part) says: to feel is to be real.
People don’t value the richness of who they are as South Africans. Simon & The Bande Á Part is an introspective folk band whose name derives from the phrase “faire bande à part”, which means, "to do something apart from the group". Their difference lies in the way that their lyrics remind people that emotions are a part of the human condition and that there should be a mad pursuit towards authenticity and a creative move away from Americanisation. Their new album Blinking & Breathing is swathed in all kinds of beautiful feelings and sentiments of living – from existential questioning, to repressed memories being liberated, to conflicted introspection, to lover’s woes. Life exists on this album in all its fluctuating forms. It speaks of authenticity from the bottom of its heart. Music becomes a space for Simon to liberate his feelings: “Music reminds me of feelings I’ve forgotten or repressed. We have been brought up to show a certain
side of ourselves, certain emotions are associated to negativity and only the positive emotions are associated with success. Music allows you to express any kind of emotion, so when listening there is that emotional space that gives me permission to feel. I have a lot of conflict with my own emotion so it’s therapeutic for me when I enter into that emotional space created by music.” By listening to the new album Blinking & Breathing, one tends to feel this kind of space being created, as one becomes a voyeur of his lively folk-blues. Simon quite eloquently observed that pop music is like McDonalds; he explains that “it gratifies but does not nourish”. The current South African music scene seems to entertain the American idea of popular music, which leaves people temporarily satisfied such that they are led into believing that they need more. He pointed out that 5FM won’t play his music on the radio because it allows people to feel, and if people feel, then they start to think. “People don’t value the richness
Music allows you to express any kind of emotion
of who they are as South Africans. We would be so much happier if we could adopt authenticity, and it’s the job of the musician to teach people how to be authentic,” Simon explains. Fair enough. Perhaps if the South African music scene challenged listeners more then we could create a music society of holistic satisfaction, as opposed to our current shovelling of “McMusic” down audience’s ear-shoots.
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Tattoo-virgin Part One – The tattoo-virgin embarks on her journey and preps us for the Cape Tattoo Expo. Candice Land The charming, tattoo-clad Matt jots my name next to an appointment slot. “Text on ribs” is scribbled underneath. My cellphone beeps to confirm the R500 deposit has been paid. In my mind, there is no turning back. As a tattoo-virgin, making the decision to ink my skin for the first time meant many backand-forth discussions bouncing in my mind. Wildfire Tattoos removed all my doubts and my decision was finalised inside their studio on Long Street. The concept of a tattoo's permanency and the use of needles are often on the forefront of a tattoovirgin's mind. Owner of Wildfire tattoos, Manuela Gray, puts both of these hesitations at bay. In-depth consultations before getting a tattoo will guarantee that your potential tattoo is not a funny cartoon that will only be
Image: Manuela Gray
The Magic of FunDza Busang Senne Has anybody asked you why it is that you read? It seems like an arbitrary question, considering that you’ve spread the pages of our humble newspaper and taken two minutes of your time to read my humble article. The magic of a string of letters that make words, a string of words that make sentences and an eventual web of interwoven ideas and messages creating a quilt of reality wouldn’t typically be the first answer that pops to mind.
Reading is an exchange. And that exchange can be the key to unlocking anything from a door at Hogwarts to a revolution. But if you remember the daunting task of reading The Great Gatsby for your Matric class, you’ll know that reading can be a chore. Indeed, the love of reading for some may be equivalent to that of being stuck in a boiling hot lecture theatre at 4pm. The FunDza Literary Trust is here to change this. FunDza aims to get young adults to appreciate the magic of reading by removing the pressure some feel when tasked with reading a hundred pages of literature. FunDza strives to make words lovable again by encouraging students to submit stories themselves, and to read those stories written by their peers. With more cellphones
hilarious for six months. By tattooing only custom pieces, Wildfire promises that your tattoo is not one of many found in a flipfile, but rather something personally symbolic and sentimental. The other dominant concern is the pain. Manuela beautifully describes the sensation as a cat scratch with a slight electric shock. Not exactly a back massage, but not nearly as terrifying as the warning stories told by tattoo-free parents. Manuela Gray is held in high prestige in the South African tattoo industry. Her clients book months in advance to have an appointment with her. Her established reputation extends further – she is also the organiser and initiator of the Cape Tattoo Expo. This year the expo runs from February 28th to March 2nd at the City Hall in Cape Town, and promises to be a riveting and stimulating experience. People travel from all over the country to attend this expo in
order to experience the unique performance art and showcasing of top international tattoo artists. The Cape Tattoo Expo is Manuela’s passion project. It aims to unite, elevate and showcase the platform of tattoo artistry. Interaction is encouraged between the public and the local and international artists. Although the Cape Tattoo Expo was pioneered by Manuela, she did not brand it under Wildfire Tattoos, as it would defeat the point of uniting all tattoo artists and their studios. The expo prides itself on being an exhibition of styles and skills, not a moneymaking scheme. Manuela, when asked what she has learnt from running and organising the expo over the past six years, says, “When you dream something, you can make it possible by fuelling it with passion.” Profit is sacrificed in order to put on a quality display and to elevate the growing industry. With exhibitions, bands and vendors, the Cape Tattoo Expo promises to be an exhilarating experience for those clothed in tattoos and tattoo-virgins alike.
Platform for the pen Writing, workshops and winning – in the name of diversity in South African literature Neksane Manabe
than books, FunDza not only creates a platform for young South Africans to access information, but does this through a unique network of social media and telecommunication, including MXit and Facebook. It aims to narrow the gap between reading and writing by promoting this process as a shared experience. With initiatives like the Transition to Tertiary creative writing course where students entering the academic sphere publish their hopes, FunDza opens the playing field of literature to all demographics, making for stories that resonate with the complex climate of being a young South African. Whether it be Joyce’s Ulysses, a blog post, a Tweet, something on your Kindle or a book checked out of a library, FunDza makes these resources accessible by linking literature with technology. By involving the readers themselves, FunDza creates a world for everyone to be part of. They say actions speak louder than
This year Pearson Education, the world’s leading learning company, will host the eighth Maskew Miller Longman Literature Awards. Since 2006 Maskew Miller Longman has been acknowledging talent in writers of all skill levels, giving them the opportunity to submit manuscripts in any of South Africa’s 11 official languages. The competition was launched to show the company’s commitment to embrace South Africa’s diversity and to provide a platform for the development of quality literature for young readers in their language of choice.
Submit manuscripts in any of South Africa’s 11 official languages Maskew Miller Longman aims to encourage and support young writers who wish to produce work in their own languages. The awards have indeed received writing submissions in all 11 official languages in the past, proving that there is a amrket to fill this gap in South African literature. More than half the entries in 2012, in the Drama competition, were in languages other than English and Afrikaans. Previous winners of the MML Literature Awards, CM Lubisi and Mafori Charles Mphahlele,
Image: flickr.com/jeffrey james pacres wrote in Xitsonga and Northern Sotho respectively and even went on to receive MNet Literature Awards for their work. The competition is as much about unearthing new talent as it is about encouraging a love of reading and developing literacy in South Africa. In establishing and maintaining these Literature Awards, Maskew Miller Longman is championing the cause for strong literacy skills and along with them, the potential to transform individuals as well as communities and social and economic structures. In the run-up to the awards this year, Maskew Miller Longman will host workshops to help writers develop their manuscripts. Participants will have the privilege of working closely with Roy Sargeant, who is a Drama Consultant at the
Artscape Theatre and the Director of Artscape’s New Writing Programme. This year, the workshop is entitled ‘Introduction to the Elements of Playwriting’ and will be held on 5 March. The workshop will present an opportunity to interact with and draw inspiration from experienced authors who have a passion for the art of writing. In order to get involved – and also to stand a chance to win the R10 000 prize – experienced, new and aspiring playwrights can submit original, unpublished work to Maskew Miller Longman before the deadline that is 30 April. If you have always wanted to try your hand at writing for the stage, or you are looking for an exciting environment in which to refine your writing skills, this event is definitely something you should be a part of.
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A healthcare hackathon Buying the brand
Slowly stitching the glitches behind the South African Healthcare System A guide to UCT’s “No Refunds” policy for Freshers Steven Mugerwa
On January 24th and 25th, the first Healthcare Hackathon in South Africa was held at Groote Schuur Hospital. A hackathon is an event for programmers – as well as others involved in software development – to collaborate on projects over a short period of time. The hackathon was organised by the Inclusive Healthcare Innovation Initiative. The main goal this year was for medical practitioners to address flaws in the healthcare system, such as poor administration processes causing delays in treatment. Health workers pitched problems that they experience in their daily work and just a few hours into the event major flaws in the healthcare system were revealed – and so were many opportunities. Solutions were categorised into three groups in which to address problems faced by patients, health administrators and health practitioners. Some of the notable projects included a system that prioritised patients for surgeries scheduled in advance, also known as elective surgery. Gratify is a healthcare worker-rating system to be used by patients. ECTracker is a triage system to help determine the priority of patients based on the severity of their conditions. These two projects won in their categories. A week later, ECTracker was
Freshers, welcome to the University of Cape Town, as heard on TV in Suits. You are now at a place where Barack Obama has spoken, research programmes have significantly contributed to the community, and the apartheid government was defied. You are now at a place of prestige and high academic standards. You’ve made it. With the help of your parents’ bank accounts, you’ve made it. For the average price of R4000 - R5000 per course, or R40 000 - R60 000 per year, you’ve purchased the UCT Student title. But besides the academic standards and statistics that convinced your parents to discard you here, you may want to hear about other ways to spend your parents’ money at UCT. UCT offers its students the stunning view of Cape Town’s concrete jungle, the mountain’s nature and of course, for better or for worse, the beloved feathered wildlife. Our favourite is the shortlegged, not-scared-of-humans bird: The Pigeon. UCT has its own breed that is brave enough to harass you for your food. However, this is not how you’ll go hungry for lunch. They’ll fly towards you when you’re not looking and you’ll drop your food. Seeing as you needed this food for
Image: Dianna Kane announced the overall winner of the Health Hackathon at the Inclusive Healthcare Innovation Summit. ECTracker was made up of eight individuals: Farah Jawitz a fifth year med student, Muzzammil Ismail a sixth year med student, Jarred Martin a CompSci Masters student, Steven Sajja a third year Information systems student - all from UCT. Javonne Martin, a CompSci Honours student at University of Stellenbosch; Sikhumbuzo Mabunda, a Public Registrar; Jen Poole, a User experience consultant and Debre Barrett, a Director at Flow interactive made up the rest of the team. ECTracker is a web-based and mobile application designed to improve the productivity of trauma teams and the quality of triage services in hospitals in Africa.
Based on the current system used by Groote Schuur Hospital, ECTracker was designed to simplify the flow of patients through Emergency Centres. It serves as a real-time indicator of how many patients are in casualty as well as their triage status. This allows for real-time tracking of patients from arrival to treatment and discharge, with minimal electronic input by healthcare workers. This ensures that healthcare workers spend less time writing and more time helping patients. The ECTracker team emerged winners of R15 000 and the team hopes to create a scalable product that can be piloted within the Western Cape. Hackathons of any nature drive innovation, spark creativity and create real products – this is exactly what is needed in the healthcare system in South Africa.
your brain to function in UCT’s intellectually stimulating lectures, you’ll have to spend more money to buy more food. Over time, this can turn into a financial crisis. It will hit you when you realise that you don’t have enough money to pay for Sideshow’s entry fee, buy shots at Bob’s Bar, or get a Groove Afrika ticket. If you’re a fresher that was here during O-Week but those references mean nothing to you, you’re unlikely to fail anything this year. It’s not a myth; the more you party, the less you will get high grades. In all our first years we tend to think that exclusion is a twisted joke made up by lecturers. So, the partying doesn’t stop and the money runs out. What you spend your parents’ money on will seldom benefit your grades. You won’t find yourself asking your parents for extra cash to buy a hard copy of a suggested reading that isn’t going to be part of your exam. You’ll find yourself asking for money for something that could jeopardise your UCT Student title before you graduate. For example, why did you parents think you needed so much money during O-Week, before lectures had started? However, next time you make bad decisions, remember this: UCT Student does not come with a money-back guarantee.
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USSA Round-up Megan Kinnaird Chess
The UCT Chess team became the first institution in years to successfully defend their title at the 2013 USSA National Chess Championships. They did this by scoring a total of 88 points to emerge as the overall victors for the second straight year. The tournament was held from December 2nd to December 6th, this time at the Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria. UCT first year Mo Bhawoodien continued to amaze by taking the individual open title with a score of 8/9 (7 wins, 2 draws) in what many considered the strongest field that USSA has seen in many years. The victory puts Mo in poll position to be selected to represent South Africa at this year’s World University Championships. UCT also had two other players in the top ten in the open section who both finished on 7/9: Laura Irving (who was also the only female player in the open section) and Mats Elliott. The UCT women’s team also performed admirably but, could not successfully defend the title they won in 2012. They ended up missing out on a bronze medal on tiebreaks. Alyssa Ziegler (6.5), Elizabeth du Toit (6) and
the University of North West (Potchefstroom) from December 2nd to December 6th. The UCT Cricket Club side put up a great effort, eventually placing an overall seventh of 16 teams. On the last day of the tournament, UCT memorably took on the University of Fort Hare, winning by 139 runs. The Cape Town side managed to get their competitors all out for 74 in just 27 overs, an impressive achievement by the team. UCT’s R. Tissiman was selected as a non-travelling reserve for the SA Students Cricket team as evidence of his impressive performance over the course of the games.
Image: Daron Golden Nicholette Brown (6) were all in the top ten. Selected for the SA Students team was Irving, Ziegler, Du Toit and Brown, and Bhawoodien. After such a performance, UCT can definitely call itself the top chessplaying university in the country.
Ayrton Sweeney was on brilliant form when the UCT Swimming Club competed in the 2013 USSA National Institutional Aquatic
Championships in December. A total of seven medals were accumulated with Sweeney hauling in six of these: gold in the 400 Individual Medley and 200 Breast Stroke, silver in the 400 Freestyle and 1500 Freestyle, and bronze medals in the 200 Freestyle and 200 Individual Medley. The final medal went to the Ladies’ A relay team who gave a strong performance winning bronze in the 4 x 100 Freestyle relay. All in
all, the ladies finished fourth out of ten teams, and the men finished seventh out of ten. Combined, they finished sixth, and when combined with the endeavours of the Waterpolo players, UCT can be placed with their overall third place behind Maties (first) and Tuks (second).
Last year, the USSA Cricket Championships were hosted by
The UCT Tennis Club put up a massive performance at last year’s USSA Championships, coming an overall sixth out of 16 teams. Memorable games for the team were those against NMMU where they won eight to NMMU’s three. Similarly, their challenge against the University of Kwazulu-Natal saw them claim eight games to their rival’s zero. In the men’s singles, brilliant performances were given by Alexi Breichle who won all four of his matches, and Sacha Bruessow, who won both the matches he played. In the women’s singles division, VARSITY’s own Krysia Gaweda had a majorly successful tournament, winning three of the four matches played and being selected for the SA Student Tennis Team. Safe to say, the club was more than proud of its members’ performances, and looks to continue successfully in 2014.
Image: Bruce Hughes
UCT Cycling Club first off the line in 2014 the winner would be decided on a count back of number of laps completed in the 24 hours. After an early tussle with the second placed team during Saturday afternoon, the UCT boys pushed hard through the wee hours of the morning to gain a tactical advantage by sunrise on Sunday morning and take home the gold with a total of 45
the UCT boys pushed hard ... to gain a tactical advantage by sunrise on Sunday morning laps or 540 kilometres clocked. The following weekend, Nina Sender won the ladies’ category of the Porcupine Ridge 55km mountain bike race in Franschhoek. Finally, two weeks ago, the full complement of UCT’s 1st team cycling took to the melting tar roads of Stellenbosch to compete
Bruce Hughes Although official club signup only started on February 12th, the UCT Cycling Club hit the ground running, having
already successfully competed in four events across various cycling disciplines this year. On February 1st and 2nd, the four-man team of Aaron Adler, Brendan Van Niekerk, Bruce Hughes and Greig Knox took
part in a unique 24-hour (yes that is 24 hours of non-stop cycling) mountain-bike team relay in the picturesque (read hilly) surrounds of Grabouw. Starting at midday on Saturday and finishing midday on Sunday,
in a one-hour Criterium-style lap race around the centre of town on Saturday afternoon. As if that was not enough, they returned for more punishment on Sunday morning in a 109km road race starting over Helshoogte pass before looping out towards Riebeek-Kasteel and
they returned for more punishment on Sunday morning in a 109km road race back. Although the team walked away empty-handed from the weekend, they can be proud of the fact that they fought their hardest in each of the races and were in the reckoning until the final kilometres. All in all, things are looking very positive for the club in its build up to the Argus Cycle Tour in three weeks’ time.
Masch reveals all Javier Mascherano has revealed that he did not refuse to play for Liverpool in the lead-up to his £22 million move to Barcelona back in 2010. Amid rumours that he refused to take the field against City in August 2010, Mascherano has revealed that broken promises by the then manager Roy Hodgson and the club’s hierarchy prompted his exit, "When I went back to Liverpool for pre-season I had a lot of meetings with them and they were promising a lot of things to me but they never kept their word." (Football411.com)
UCT Men’s Basketball impress in Rome Mark Nandi & Eugene Manditsera The UCT Men’s Basketball team took part in their first international competition (Euro Roma Competition) in Italy’s capital, Rome, in November 2013. Due to their consistent effort throughout the year, the team made it through to the quarterfinals. Given that the team members had just concluded their end of year exams and were making a debut appearance at the competition, their performance was impeccable. The following interview was conducted by Eugene Manditsera and the answers are given by a member of the club. How did it feel to reach
Canadian bobsledder wardrobe malfunction Had he not tried on the suit beforehand, Canadian Olympic bobsledder Christopher Spring may not have discovered that it was probably too small. The suit apparently wasn’t prepared for his belly, prompting Spring to tweet a photo of his self-proclaimed “#powerbelly” bulging from a rip down the centre of the suit. Hopefully the Canadians have sorted that out. (Yahoo South Africa news)
No wrongdoing on Schumi accident The probe into Michael Schumacher's skiing accident has been closed after there was found to be no wrongdoing. Schumacher has been in a coma since he hit his head on a rock when skiing off-piste on December 29th at the Meribel resort in the French Alps. Albertville prosecutor Patrick Quincy said that “no person has been found guilty of any violation” and that the investigation has been closed. He remains in a coma but is undergoing a “waking up process”. (www.crash.net/f1)
Gamer-turned-racer Red Bull F1 team has signed PlayStation gamer-turned-racer Jann Mardenborough to an "intensive driver development programme”. The Welshman will also compete with Arden International in this year’s GP3 series. The 22-year-old won Nissan’s GT academy in 2011, an online competition that saw him enlist for a week-long race camp at Silverstone where he emerged the victor. Red Bull intends to maximise his potential on their simulator programme. (www.skysportsf1.com)
It was extremely delightful because it was our debut in the competition and we lacked the experience that other teams may have had at the tournament. Facing the reigning champions VDU (Lithuania), who went on to defend their title again, was reminiscent of the USSA 2013 where a similar fate in the quarterfinals was faced. It is always disappointing to not win a competition but the team can be proud of their efforts and will surely come back stronger this year. What was it like to be the only African team? It was a somewhat motivating factor because it meant that we represented the whole continent in a competition with teams from all over the world.
Image: Frans Mamabolo
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Standing Left to Right: Braxton Stephens, Siphumle Qanya, Coach Mohamed and Timothy Magezi. Front Row: Charles Turnley, Sfiso Dlomo, Eugene Manditsera and Wilfried Nguz. Team Manager (Not in Picture): Frans Mamabolo How would you describe the level of competition? The Europeans’ technical abilities, as we saw in 2012 with our German exchange student Nico, have always been commendable and I think that was a key difference. Physically we were there. How did the team prepare for the tour? The Basketball Club, like the University, prioritises the players’ academics; so the fact that the tour was so soon after exams may have affected
our performance in the competition. Coming off one of our better seasons in recent years meant that individual training during the exam period was the best option as it gave each player the opportunity to work on his fitness and technique to the best of his ability, given the academic pressures of the exam period. Who was UCT’s best player at the tournament? The team as a whole played well and having a bigger squad may have granted us depth to progress further
in the tournament. However, Rookie Siphumle Qanya, who went from strength to strength the whole year made some substantial contributions with his athletic ability on both ends of the floor. Tour Results Pool Stage: UCT (24) COMILLAS MADRID (26). UCT (9) AMERICAN UNIV. SHARJAH (18). UCT (31) AUST BEIRUT (27) Quarter Final: UCT (6) VYTAUTAS MAGNUS UNIV. (39)
Sports Shorts Athletics 2014 got off to a bang for UCT Athletics Club (UCTAC) with a record-breaking display at the first Western Province Athletics Track & Field League meet of the season which was held on Saturday, February 15th, at the Bellville Stadium. First year student Zane Weir’s best effort of 16.36 metres in the shot-put broke the UCT U19 record for the event, absolutely decimating the previous mark of 12.75m set back in 1997. Meanwhile, the scorching mid-day heat did not prevent Nolan Steele from dipping under two minutes yet again for the 800m and American Nicholas Grudew from setting a solid time of 16 minutes, 32.22 seconds in the 5 000m.
The Top Form 10km Challenge, which took place on February 8th, saw a particularly strong field of athletes taking to the streets of Athlone, since the race doubled as the Western Province 10km Championship. Running on a cool morning and a f lat route, Rowan Nicholls crossed the line in a time of 38 minutes, 30 seconds
while Byron Reeve clocked 36 minutes, 59 seconds. The top UCT performance, however, went to Grant Sheriden with an impressive 34 minutes, 40 seconds. Rowing The 2014 rowing season is already in full swing for the UCT Rowing Club. The club's annual rowing camp in Pretoria was very successful, with a record number of junior rowers joining the club. The VLC Sprints regatta following the camp provided a great opportunity for the rowers to get back into racing and gain valuable experience for the upcoming season. On the back of this preparation, the UCT Rowing Club competed in the first two kilometre regatta of the season on February 15th on the Buffalo River in East London. The Buffalo Regatta was started in the 1800s and is one of the oldest and most prestigious sporting events in South Africa. The UCT men's eights placed second in both the A and B divisions, just behind a strong Tuks crew.
They also placed second in the B coxed fours and fourth in the A coxless fours. In the pairs race, the UCT men came third and fifth ahead of strong national level competition. Another highlight for the men's side was the sculls race, where William Cahill placed fifth in one of the most competitive races of the regatta.
The UCT women also had a very successful regatta, with the highlight of the day being the coxed and coxless fours race where both crews won by convincing margins. The women also placed first and second in the pairs race ahead of some formidable crews. In addition, the women's eight placed second and the women's A double placed third. Despite very windy conditions and tough competition, UCT placed second overall at the regatta just behind TUKS. The team is looking forward to the next regatta, USSA Sprints, which will be held for the first time at Misverstand Dam in the Western Cape in March this year.
Cricket UCT 1A 1st cricket team clinched a memorable win over Western Province Cricket Club (WPCC) on February 16th in a Western Province Premier league cricket match hosted at the UCT oval. On day one of the match, UCT scored 191/9 with Captain M. Pote topping the scoreboard with 33. WPCC replied with 186/8 with spin wizard Tendai Chitongo securing four wickets for 48 off 21 overs. UCT then went back in to bat, scoring 248/6 with Grant Edmeades scoring 124 (after scoring 168 not out against Bellville last weekend). WPCC managed 246/10 with Chitongo clinching 5 wickets for 111 runs off 22 overs and final wicket falling in the last over of the day. UCT walked away with 22 valuable league points and they currently lie fifth of ten teams on the log.
Contributions: Rowan Nicholls, Abby Davidson Kerr Rogers.
FIXTURES Varsity Cup MARCH 3rd UJ CAMPUS
UCT 1st vs. UJ
TENNIS MARCH 2nd UCT
UCT 1st Men vs. Constantia
Strong start to the Varsity Cup for Ikey Tigers Megan Kinnaird
he Ikey Tigers have had a successful start to their 2014 Varsity Cup campaign overcoming a poor opening game, but since exceeding expectations and moving themselves into fourth place on the overall log. UCT began their season with a game against NWU-Pukke on February 3rd in front of a massive crowd on the Green Mile. While the team lost 47-24, the score line does not reflect just how well-contested the game was. Within the first 20 minutes of the game, UCT were up 16-0 with two brilliant opening tries. While they managed to keep themselves in it until just about half-time, ill-discipline prevailed and Pukke ran away with it in the second half. Significantly, after the first encounter, new coach Kevin Musikanth had this to say about their position: “Rugby competitions are not only about one game; much like boxing it is not about the first round. You can get knocked down but as long as you get up and keep moving forward you have just as much chance of winning it as the team that is standing opposite you.” And get back up they did. For the second round of the competition, the Ikeys headed over to Stellenbosch to take on familiar
Image: Michael Sheehan/SASPA
foes Maties, who also had a rough start to the season losing their opening match to NMMU. Moving forward past their earlier mistake, UCT took immediate control of the game and maintained dominance of the encounter throughout. The boys played the entire game with the intensity that was missing in their first game and the final scoreboard read 33-16 to Ikeys. It was the first time UCT had beaten Maties in the Varsity Cup since 2008 so, needless to say, it was a massive win for them. In terms of what was done differently from the Pukke game, Musikanth said: “I think our intensity was vastly different and the meaning with which the guys
played. They played with fire and enthusiasm and also played for a full 80 minutes.” After the game, UCT winger Lihleli Xoli had much to say about the atmosphere in the squad: “The boys felt ecstatic, lots of emotions after the historic win. And a major feeling of relief as our hard work was finally rewarded.” With a renewed spring in their step, the Tigers made their way to Port Elizabeth for their biggest challenge thus far. NMMU were coming off two huge wins against the Maties in the first round, and UJ in the second round. Unbeaten, there was no doubt that UCT were about to take on “the side to beat”
as the coach called them. As the game was not televised, Ikeys fans across the country sat glued to the Varsity Cup Twitter account, eagerly awaiting their updates. Shockingly, UCT once again maintained the momentum, made use of patient endurance and steadfast defence and beat NMMU 26-13. Brushing off being dealt an obscene 20 penalties in comparison to 8 in the Maties game, and noticeably tough reffing, the side stormed to victory. The cherry on top of it all was an intercept try by Richard Stewart under the poles in the last play of the game. Stewart deftly caught the ball on their own 22 and dashed
down the field to seal the win. UCT flanker Jason Klaasen was rightfully awarded the FNB ‘Player that Rocks’ award, as he not only had a massive game but has also had a brilliant season thus far. UCT will have their work cut out for them in the fourth round as they return home to take on Tuks. When asked about the game, Musikanth said: “There is a calm confidence in the camp and the team realises that, despite the fact that wins are so important, the manner in which we prepare and the boxes we tick as well as the way we play the game is more important than the ‘result’.” He went on, “The team has committed to giving one hundred percent over the last two weeks and they have made everyone proud by putting one hundred percent heart into their games, and I can only think that the same will apply at the Green Mile against the strong Tuks team.” Captain Liam Slatem was similarly enthusiastic about the upcoming game, saying: “Tuks are a good side and we know that Monday is going to be a huge challenge for us and one that we are looking forward to.” As you all know, the game took place last night on the Green Mile in front of a massive crowd of loyal UCT supporters. To find out how the Ikey Tigers fared, head on over to www.varsitynewspaper.co.za.
UCT Water Polo flourish in Durban Nicholas Hock The annual USSA water polo tournament was held in sunny Durban at the end of 2013, and saw the UCT men’s 1st team reclaim their trophy for the fourth year in a row, and the women’s 1st team narrowly missing out on the top spot.
the men’s 1st team arrived at the final undefeated The tournament commenced in the first week of December and, other than the two top sides, the men’s 2nd team (the notorious “Salmon”) also took part in the competition. Those competing had been training non-stop in Cape Town for the month prior to the tournament and were well prepared to take on challengers from universities across the country. Having won the tournament for the past three years, the men’s 1st team was expected to take the trophy back to Cape Town once again. The ladies, having made the
final on several previous occasions, were eager to settle the score with their old rivals Maties. And finally, the men’s 2nd team, who would compete in the 1st team section, wanted to show the strength and depth of the UCT water polo club by upsetting some of the other university’s top sides. Having posted some large scores against weaker teams at the tournament, the men’s 1st team arrived at the final undefeated. For the fourth year in a row they were to face Maties in the final round. The game was closely contested in the beginning but the overall result never seemed in doubt as the men from UCT came away with a convincing 7-3 victory over their fellow rivals from the Cape, thus maintaining their three-year unbeaten record in all competitions.
“The Salmon” ... brought an unparalleled level of gees to the tournament The UCT ladies reached the final of their competition getting through a much more difficult field of competitors, including having to beat a strong team fielded by
Image: Big Red Photography
Tuks. As fortune would have it, the women were in a similar predicament to the men and had a shot at the Maties women’s 1st team in the final. Despite a recent victory in the Western Province league, UCT did not have the strongest record against the side, and went down 9-3 to a very on-form Stellenbosch team. The lead came early on, and UCT were unfortunately never quite able to recover. As per norm, “The Salmon” were the biggest vibe in the UCT
camp and brought an unparalleled level of gees to the tournament, their war cries always the loudest support at any of the UCT games. As well as bringing the gees outside the pool, they also brought it in their matches, losing narrowly to a strong Maties 2nd team but generally putting in a good performance, especially considering they were playing in the 1st section. As well as their massive win, a record seven men were selected from UCT for the tournament
team, which is essentially a South African university team: David Ormrod, Devon Card, Alex du Plessis, Nicholas Walker, Jonathan Hock, Nicholas Hock and Chris Baker. Tayla Smith, Amica Hallendorff, Jamie Day and Chloe Bradley were also selected for the tournament team from the women’s team. All in all, it was a powerful showing by UCT, especially the men’s 1st team who proved that they are, without a doubt, the side to beat in 2014.