“Universities play a transformational role in an economy through education and the wider impact of research; development of specialised skills and knowledge and providing ideas and inventions on which future prosperity will be founded. The creation of businesses and employment opportunities, enriching society and humankind, and influencing narratives that shape culture are all outcomes that touch society emanating from the university system. Universities often play an anchor institution role in their regions, shaping the economic, social and political fibre of communities around them. It is for this reason that universities are recognised as foundational building blocks in a country’s National System of Innovation.” - “Why invest in universities?”, Universities UK, June 2015
Universities face funding crunch
n broad terms, public universities in South Africa have three sources of income: student fees; state subsidies for teaching and research; and thirdstream income through research and donations from corporates, trusts and foundations. The proportions of these three revenue streams differ from institution to institution. Wits receives about 28% of its income from student fees, 25% from state subsidies and grants and the remaining 47% from research contracts and third-stream income. Students receive direct financial support through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), bursaries and scholarships, and university-funded financial aid. At Wits about 20 700 of the University’s 33 000 students received financial aid, scholarships or bursaries in 2015 totaling almost R1-billion. After the #FeesMustFall campaign, agreement was reached not to increase student fees in 2016. Currently it is speculated that government may recommend an inflation-linked adjustment to student fees for 2017. However, some student leaders and formations have indicated that they will not only reject any fee increase, but
will intensify their demand for free university education. It therefore seems likely that universities will again experience protest action in the coming weeks and months. As a result there is growing concern that student activism coupled with a decline in university income and increasing costs may cause immense harm to the country’s university system. Currently South Africa has a number of world-class research-intensive universities that play a critical role in our economy and society. They are national treasures and centres of excellence whose preservation should be defended by all South Africans and all graduates of these institutions. The case for funding access to higher education and maintaining the international standing of universities such as Wits is clear. The risk posed by a dramatic decline in income and uncompromising student activism cannot be addressed by universities on their own. Everyone in society has a stake and therefore should have a say and an expectation that realism will prevail. Peter Maher Director: Alumni Relations
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CONTENTS 1 EDITORIAL 4 SOCIAL
WITS ALUMNI STEP UP TO HELP
A TIME FOR NEW RIPPLES –
ROBERT F KENNEDY AT WITS
Q&A WITH #HACK.JOZI WINNER
1966 – 2016
FOR WHOM THE BELLS RING
10 NEWSBYTES 12
PERCEPTIONS AND REALITIES
IN A TIME OF ELECTIONS
MAKING DREAMS COME TRUE
– RHYTHMS OF SOUTH AFRICA
IN YOUR THIRD AGE
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Editor: Peter Maher email@example.com Contributors: Heather Dugmore firstname.lastname@example.org Deborah Minors email@example.com Kathy Munro firstname.lastname@example.org Keyan G Tomaselli email@example.com Design & Layout: Nicole Sterling firstname.lastname@example.org Printing: Remata
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PLACES TO VISIT AT WITS
WITSIES WITH THE WRITING EDGE
56 OBITUARIES 63
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Carl & Emily Fuchs Foundation Top Achiever Award 2015 (MACE) Best External Magazine 2015, 2012 & 2010 (MACE) Best External Magazine 2014, 2013, 2012 & 2011 (SA Publication Forum)
Cover: Perceptions and realities in a time of elections – Rhythms of South Africa. Story on page 12. GALLO IMAGES | Portrait of a boy with the map of Africa painted on his face.
August 2016 | WITSReview | 3
Right: A general view shows the Tiber river and a 550 meter-long mural by artist William Kentridge (above) called “Triumphs and Laments”, Rome, 2016. Kentridge used a technique called “reverse graffiti,” in which large figurative stencils are placed on the wall and then powerwashed around them.
MONUMENTAL MURAL South African artist William Kentridge (BA 1977; Honorary Doctorate in Literature 2004) recently unveiled his largest public work to date – a 550-metre-long frieze alongside Rome’s River Tiber, entitled Triumphs and Laments. It depicts a procession of more than 80 figures from Roman mythology to the present day. The frieze was unveiled on 21 April 2016 to celebrate the anniversary of Rome’s legendary founding in 753BC. The launch was accompanied by a series of shadow-play musical performances devised by Kentridge and composer Philip Miller.
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BERMUDA Bermuda is a small, subtropical archipelago in the North Atlantic off the eastern United States, renowned for pink-sand beaches and longstanding ties to the United Kingdom. With its acclaimed financial sector, Bermuda has several thousand expatriate workers, principally from Britain, Canada, the West Indies, South Africa and the USA. It’s no surprise, then, that Bermuda is home to about 10 Wits alumni. Four of them joined Lynda Murray, Wits Representative in the UK, for sundowners at the island’s capital, Hamilton, on a Friday evening at a venue overlooking the gorgeous yacht basin. Pictured with her, left to right are Greg RymonLipinski (BCom 1996, BCom Hons 1997), a vice-president at AXIS Capital; Andrew MacFarlane (BSc 2000, BSc Hons 2001), an actuary at XL Catlin; Sonia RymonLipinski (BCom 1997, BAcc 1999), a senior manager at PwC; and Shara Crunden (BSc Phys 2003) a physiotherapist for Bermuda’s national sports teams. Not able to attend were René Dippenaar (BCom 2003), a senior consultant at PCG, and Claudia Eisenberg Jackson (LLB 2009), an associate attorney at Appleby Global.
PHOTOS BY LYNDA MURRAY
HONG KONG Hong Kong has much in common with Bermuda, though on a much grander scale. It has a world-leading financial sector and was a British colony until 1997. Hong Kong, with a population of about seven million, is home to over 100 Wits alumni. An informal alumni get-together convened by Carl Bredenoord (BSc Eng 2004; MSc Eng 2007) was held in Kowloon on 10 June. Pictured at the gathering are (from left to right) Celia Chan (MBA 2002), Gwen Fok (MBBCh 1981), Carl Bredenoord, and Inoma Bredenoord, with Victoria Harbour and the Hong Kong skyline in the background.
August 2016 | WITSReview | 5
A time for new Ripples
– Robert F Kennedy remembered at Wits
Senator Robert Kennedy & Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Chief Albert Luthuli taken at their 70-minute meeting on 8 June 1966.
“It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped each time a man stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others or strikes out against injustice. He sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centres of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest wall of oppression and resistance.” – Robert F Kennedy, UCT, 1966 6 | WITSReview | August 2016
t has been 50 years since the late Senator Robert F Kennedy made his historic visit to South Africa in 1966 after being invited by the anti-apartheid students’ movement, NUSAS. It remains the most important visit by an American leader during the apartheid years when HF Verwoerd was Prime Minister, while Nelson Mandela and other opposition leaders were in prison on Robben Island or in exile. Senator Kennedy was renowned for his role in fighting for the civil rights of African Americans. In South Africa he and his wife Ethel met with South Africans from all backgrounds and walks of life. It made an enormous impact on black South Africans at a very bleak time.
Ripples of hope During their four-day visit to Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Pretoria, Kennedy delivered five major speeches: at Wits University and the Johannesburg Bar Council in Johannesburg, the University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University and the then University of Natal, Durban. His inspirational Day of Affirmation (“Ripples of Hope”) speech at the University of Cape Town is widely considered one of the greatest American civil rights speeches.
Justice, freedom, equality
“So tomorrow’s South Africa will be different from today’s – just as tomorrow’s America will be different from the country I left these few short days ago. Our choice is not whether change will come, but whether we can guide that change in the service of our ideals and toward a social order shaped to the needs of all our people. In the long run we can master change not through force or fear, but only through the free work of an understanding mind – through an openness to new knowledge and fresh outlooks which can only strengthen the most fragile and the most powerful human gift – the gift of reason.” – Robert F Kennedy, Wits University, 1966
The Kennedys’ itinerary included a visit to Soweto, where they were met with an exceptionally warm welcome. Their visit gave thousands of people a feeling of hope that they were not alone, that important people in the outside world knew and cared about what was going on in South Africa. Following their visit, an article in the Soweto newspaper, the Golden City Post, was headlined: “The Day We Will Never Ever Forget”. Of Kennedy it said: “He made us feel, more than ever, that it was still worthwhile, despite our great difficulties, for us to fight for the things that we believed in; that justice, freedom and equality for all men are things we should strive for so that our children should have a better life.”
Robert Kennedy stands on a car to address Soweto residents on 8 June 1966.
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From left to right: Robert Kennedy’s daughter and human rights activist, Kerry Kennedy, US Ambassador, Patrick Gaspard, former president Kgalema Motlanthe, and Prof Tawana Kupe discuss the significance of Robert Kennedy’s historic visit to South Africa in 1966.
Where are we today? Fifty years later, the Wits School of Governance hosted Ripples of Hope: Robert F Kennedy’s Historic 1966 Visit to South Africa – Its Significance Then and Now – an event and panel discussion in partnership with the United States Embassy that took place at the Wits Theatre on 30 May 2016. The event was part of the Wits School of Governance’s Dialogue on Development and Rights Series, and focused on commemorating Africa Month alongside the 50th anniversary of Senator Kennedy’s visit. The panel discussion speakers were: Kerry Kennedy, daughter of Robert F Kennedy and President of the organisation Robert F Kennedy Human Rights; US Ambassador to South Africa Patrick Gaspard; former President of South Africa Kgalema Motlanthe; and Wits Theatre Director Gita Pather. Chairing the panel was Professor Tawana Kupe, Wits Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Finance, HR and Transformation. Speaking at the event, Ambassador Gaspard said, “We are honoured to commemorate the 50th anniversary of RFK’s visit to South Africa. His words continue to ring true and bring inspiration to Americans and South Africans. They created a current that continues today in the strong relationship shared by our two countries.”
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The panellists addressed several pivotal questions, including these: - Fifty years after Kennedy’s speech, where are we today, as South Africa, as Africa, the world? - What lessons can we draw today from that era in pointing towards a brighter future for South Africa and Africa? - Where are today’s “ripples of hope” that could drive development and human rights?
Human rights & economic rights – Kerry Kennedy Speaking at the Ripples of Hope event, Kerry Kennedy said: “We can never set aside the importance of our civil liberties (basic human rights) both here and across the world, but it’s never going to work unless everyone has economic rights too. I think that’s a lesson that South Africa and the student leaders are teaching us now. That’s their message here and that’s a message that we need to embrace in our own country as well.” It is the same prophetic message that her father delivered when he visited South Africa at the height of repression. He spoke to students and political leaders not only about civil rights but about the importance of economic freedom, she said.
WITS ALUMNUS JFC CLARKE RECALLS 1966 “It was the power of the man through his voice that I remember on the night of 8 June 1966, when Robert F Kennedy delivered his speech at Wits. His voice broadcast from loudspeakers at the top of the Great Hall stairs to the crowd outside who could not get into the hall. There was a confidence and authority in the voice, I felt, reassuring us that our fight was right. We were not alone. I just knew and felt that this was different and special. “Suddenly, unexpectedly, at the end of the speech, leaving the hall, RFK came out to greet those who could not get inside, and stood at the top of the stairs, between the columns, right in front of me (I was about three steps down) – the voice made visible, and truly his charisma was palpable. I remember the crowd pushing and swaying. The image in my mind now is still very clear and the feeling of that moment I can still feel. I was 20 years old.
… It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped
The Great Hall audience gave Robert Kennedy a standing ovation during his address on 8 June 1966.
“On my first visit to the USA, Washington, Thursday, 9 February 1994, I crossed the Potomac from Georgetown and pushed on through deep snow to Arlington National Cemetery. It was an exceptionally cold day and it kept snowing. The museums had closed because of the weather. There was hardly a person to be seen in the cemetery. I walked up to the Kennedy gravesites followed at a distance by a single security officer. I was the only visitor there. It was an experience like no other I have had – and close to the simple Robert F Kennedy gravesite the words in stone from South Africa in 1966 … It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped … I was back again on the steps of the Great Hall.”
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WITSIES WIN VARSITY SHIELD The Wits rugby team soared to victory in the 2016 Varsity Shield tournament, earning it a place in the Varsity Cup for the next two years. In a make-or-break Shield game on Easter Monday, the Witsies thrashed the University of the Western Cape 60 – 13. “We are ecstatic that after two tough years the Wits rugby team has performed brilliantly. Our sincere congratulations go out to the coaching staff, management, alumni (WOBS) and, of course, the players,” said Adrian Carter, Director of Wits Sport.
Top left: Wits vs UKZN in the Varsity Shield game held on held on 14 March 2016. Top right: Dr Alan Menter reflects on his sporting and professional career at the Wits Rugby celebration event. Below: The Wits rugby team celebrate winning the 2016 Varsity Shield.
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SIX DECADES OF BROTHERHOOD The Wits Rugby Club is not just a club, but a close-knit and loyal family of brothers. Past and present members celebrated six decades of rugby at a moving reunion held in the Wits Sports Hall on 12 July 2016. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Adam Habib, welcomed about 200 guests, including alumni, rugby old boys and current players, as well as coaching and sports admin staff. Prof Habib reiterated the value of sport, and emphasised that its ability to unify is more important now than ever before in South Africa’s history.
A breakaway group discussion during the YaleGale – Wits alumni conference.
Speaking at the reunion was one of Wits’ former Springbok rugby players, Dr Alan Menter (pictured above left), who played flyhalf for the Boks in 1968. The year before this, he captained the glorious 1967 Wits rugby team that took the Pirates Grand Challenge Trophy: a title that has since eluded Wits for 50 years. Menter graduated with a medical degree from Wits in 1966 and is today a world-renowned dermatology and psoriasis specialist, based in Dallas. In 2014 the Dermatology Foundation in the US, which pays annual tribute to dermatologists whose exemplary capabilities and dedication have helped to make the speciality what it is today, presented him with the Clark W Finnerud Award. At the event, Menter reunited with many friends and colleagues, including Doug Smollan, another alumnus rugby star and provincial player in the 1960s who graduated with a commerce degree. Smollan’s talk followed Menter’s, with many entertaining anecdotes about life at Wits. He recounted how he managed to secure the affections of the RAG first princess of 1967, whom he married, and at the end of the story he pointed out alumnus Braam Bruwer, who married the RAG queen of the same year. A panel discussion of the highs and lows of rugby through the decades was next, and the current Wits Rugby head coach, former provincial player and past Super Rugby assistant coach Hugo van As, wrapped up the evening with his team strategy for the 2017 Varsity Cup.
YALE ALUMNI SHARE BEST PRACTICE AT WITS Wits University hosted a group of 30 Yale University alumni at a conference on alumni volunteer and programme best practice held on 30 June 2016. The Yale alumni were members of the Yale Global Alumni Leadership Exchange (YaleGale) organisation, whose mission is to advance higher education through alumni engagement and the sharing of best practice in alumni relations. Wits Alumni Relations Director Peter Maher said he was inspired by the example set by the YaleGale delegates and by the success of alumni programmes in the USA which have cultivated alumni who are intensely loyal and who contribute their time, talent and resources to help advance their alma maters. He paid particular tribute to YaleGale, whose alumni volunteers help strengthen universities around the world. While in Johannesburg, the YaleGale delegates also toured the Sterkfontein Caves and the Cradle of Humankind and enjoyed a lunch at the Wits Club with Research Professor and palaeoanthropologist Lee Berger.
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Perceptions and realities in a time of elections Rhythms of South Africa Perceptions of South Africa fluctuate wildly - from hope and excitement to fear and uncertainty. In August, South Africa is holding its most hotly contested municipal elections since 1994. Is there more pessimism than optimism? We explore some of the perceptions and realities. BY HEATHER DUGMORE IMAGES: GALLO|GETTY
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Warmed by the South African sun, we celebrate the escape from junk investment status and the resurrection of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. But then the chorus briskly changes, shifting back to peril and the threat of state capture, corruption, crime, unemployment, racist slurs and the pressing reality of the poverty of millions.
The average working citizen in South Africa is simply not making enough money to cover the basics
The average working citizen in South Africa is simply not making enough money to cover the basics – food, clothing, housing, education and transport. There are exceptions. Some are doing extremely well, and we have one of the biggest pay gaps in the world. A recent report by Mergence Investment Managers found that CEOs of JSE-listed companies earn, on average, 140 times more than the average worker. Among some of the top listed companies this increases to as much as 725 times their workers’ average salary. This is not sustainable. If we look at our current unemployment rate, conservatively pegged at 25%, and we add this to the inflation rate and the population growth rate, the future is looking bleak for the majority of South Africans. The imbalance does not bode well for stability or greater equality, for which democratic South Africa stands. That inequality is a global problem is no consolation. Harvard professor Larry Summers points out: in 1965, the ratio of CEO compensation to the compensation of the average worker in the United States was 20:1. Today it’s 331:1.
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REMOFILOE SEBOBE, MARKET PHOTO WORKSHOP
outh Africa is like a complex piece of music that loops between the deep-rooted love of this land and fear of consuming chaos. Its rhythm menacingly charges towards the brink of no return; then surprises us with shining interludes of confidence and respite.
A photo taken at Vlakplaas informal settlement near Spruitview in Ekurhuleni stands in stark contrast to a luxury suburban home in a Cape Town.
...we have one of the biggest pay gaps in the world.
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So what’s the good news? The heart of South Africa’s good news is located in the host of socio-economic projects, many of them partnering with Wits, other South African universities and the private sector.
“...we are so fortunate that there is still so much goodwill and dignity among so many people in South Africa”
Here, you will find stories of goodwill and hope. Innovative efforts and research programmes are helping thousands of young people to graduate, develop high level skills and find suitable employment. New entrepreneurs are being assisted to develop businesses; vast water projects are working on cleaning up rivers and catchments; solar and wind projects are changing the energy landscape; corporates are investing in communities, education, sport, art, music, food security and conservation. So many more South Africans are experiencing opportunities that never existed before.
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REALITY Traders at the popular Baragwanath Taxi Rank and Traders’ Market in Soweto.
all South Africans have the power to feel greater empathy and develop a better understanding of each other’s needs, lives and backgrounds.
Wits has many extraordinary alumni who come from financially impoverished backgrounds and who graduate against all the odds through courage and determination. Wits prides itself on producing graduates who enter the working world with a heightened sense of moral and social responsibility and a commitment to help educate the next generation. Then there is the wealth of inspiring stories of ordinary people in this country: groups of mothers who daily rise at dawn in Joburg to catch taxis to the fresh produce market where they buy vegetables in bulk at wholesale prices. They divide up their purchases and sell them in the townships or on the pavements outside shopping malls to support their children and put them through school and university.
And, of course, there is South Africa’s peerless Constitution, together with a legal system led by judges who have repeatedly demonstrated their independence and fairness, bringing to book everyone from corporate price colluders to the President. Individually, we might not have the power to address macro-economic challenges, but all South Africans have the power to feel greater empathy and develop a better understanding of each other’s needs, lives and backgrounds. As an elderly doctor once told me, we are so fortunate that there is still so much goodwill and dignity among so many people in South Africa; if it were not so, the country would have imploded long ago.
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on’t wait until South Africa gets better, come home and help it to get better. That’s the message of Homecoming Revolution, now 13 years old. Founder CEO Angel Jones says 359 000 South Africans have returned to the country from abroad in the past five years. She decided to come home in 2000 after hearing Nelson Mandela speak while she was living in London.
Homecoming Revolution “During that speech Madiba told us that he loved us all so much and that he wanted to take us home with him. I was deeply moved and returned tto South Africa in 2000. I opened an advertising agency called Morris Jones and three years later we started Homecoming Revolution as a non-profit to encourage South Africans to return home from all over the world and to help build our new democracy.“ Homecoming Revolution has since grown into a pan-African “mass repatriation vision” and recruitment business that places globally experienced Africans in positions in sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya. Jones says that coming home was the best decision she could have made: “I am intensely patriotic and I would not choose to bring up my children anywhere else, despite the rollercoaster that is South Africa. Being here, you are part of the history unfolding, you are part of the living debate about what it means to be South African and African.” She says that a few weeks back, during a speech she was giving, a student member of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) heckled her for calling herself African. “So we debated this and the young woman, Khensani Masisi, and I have since come together and we are creating a forum where we will be introducing older white South Africans to young black South Africans so that they can get to know each other, debate these issues, assist each other.
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Moeletsi Mbeki with Founder CEO Angel Jones at the launch of Mbeki’s new book
“This is part of why South Africa is such an incredible place – unexpected consequences develop from chance encounters all the time. Earlier this year at the launch of Moeletsi Mbeki’s new book A Manifesto For Social Change – How to Save South Africa, he said that corporate white money and white South Africans should come together with the extreme Left in this country because they both have the most to lose. Imagine the possibility of these groups in the same room, looking each other in the eye and engaging in generative dialogue.” Jones believes that economic and racial dialogue is crucial for South Africa because what frightens her most, beyond crime and corruption, is the racial divide: “People become increasingly polarised, particularly around elections, instead of committing to get to know each other and opening themselves to alternative opinions and perspectives. “We also have to be cautious of reacting to the edited versions in the media of statements from high-profile politicians like Julius Malema. I was at a talk where he clarified that it is not white people but rather white economic supremacy that the EFF hates. “The world’s 62 richest billionaires, many of whom were represented at Davos, have as much wealth as 3.6-billion people today. It is not fair that 1% of people in the world should own more wealth than the other 99% combined.” Jones’s point is that many of the issues that South Africa is facing are global issues, but this means we have to try even harder to achieve equality and freedom.
â€œI am intensely patriotic and I would not choose to bring up my children anywhere else, despite the rollercoaster that is South Africaâ€?
More information: www.homecomingrevolution.com
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Reasons for Excerpt from a column in Leadership Magazine by Professor Owen Skae, President of the South African Business Schools Association I am surprised that more was not made of Reasons for Hope, a national opinion survey published in March this year by the South African Institute of Race Relations (IRR) that looked at public attitudes to race relations, jobs and other key issues in 2015. Though acrimonious race debates have gripped the country in recent times, the IRR survey reveals a more nuanced picture of broader society.
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The introduction to the report says: Social media, in particular, have spoken of an ‘unbridgeable gap’ that has developed between black and white South Africans. South Africans were said to have ‘no interest in reconciliation, redress, and nation building’. The white community was alleged to be racked with racism and filled with a deep desire to bring back apartheid. Black South Africans were said to be filled with hatred for whites and a strong desire for vengeance. Threats of racial violence were made. The perception created was of a country on the verge of a race war.
Hope Perceptions are powerful because they fuel public opinion, and, as the report puts it, if this process continues unchecked, it may not take long before real damage to race relations is done. The report emphasises that it did not rely on perceptions or the subjective opinions of individual commentators. Instead, it reported on the results of a field survey, which asked South Africans how they themselves feel about race relations:
Our field survey canvassed the views of a balanced sample of 2 245 people from all nine provinces. It covered both rural and urban areas and all socio-economic strata. Of the respondents,
78.3% were black, 9% were coloured, 2.8% were Indian, & 9.9% were white.
Approximately half the respondents were under the age of 34, and their educational profile mirrored that of the country. Of those surveyed a quarter were unemployed. Of those with jobs, 2.8% worked in the informal sector and 38.8% were employed in the formal sector.
The feedback from the report is this: Far from being hostile towards one another, most South Africans, black and white, occupy a pragmatic middle ground on race relations. White South Africans understand and support the need for redress. Black South Africans do not believe that their white compatriots should be treated as secondclass citizens. The overwhelming majority from both groups believe that they need each other for progress to be made.
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The two most most serious problems in South Africa not yet resolved since 1994?
55.9% 28.8% 4.7%
UNEMPLOYMENT CRIME RACISM
Should SA sports teams be selected on merit and ability and not by racial quotas? When asked whether South African sports teams should be selected “only on merit and ability and not by racial quotas”, the responses showed that 77% of all South Africans support purely merit-based selections without reference to racial quotas. No fewer than 74.2% of black South Africans endorsed this view.
AGREE TO MERIT-BASED ALL SELECTIONS South Africans BLACK South Africans When asked what they made of all the talk of racism that dominates so many media headlines, 62% said: “All this talk of racism and colonialism is an attempt by politicians to find excuses for their own failures.”
The overwhelming majority, when asked to name the two most serious problems in South Africa not yet resolved since 1994, answered: unemployment and crime. In total, 55.9% of South Africans saw unemployment as the most pressing problem, while 28.8% cited crime. Racism (which included xenophobia and reverse apartheid) was cited by 4.7% of respondents.
The report concludes: We hope that the actual opinions of South Africans will serve as a ‘still small voice of calm’ that helps to cut through the divisive rhetoric we have witnessed this year.
Asked whether they thought that better education and more jobs would make the differences between the races steadily disappear 82.2% of the respondents agreed
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The Good News
“Positive developments about South Africa just don’t get reported in the mainstream media and most people, including South Africans, are not well-informed about the country; they do not know the facts, some of which are positive and serve to balance our national narrative,” says Wits diplomate (HDPM 1975), Steuart Pennington, CEO of South Africa – The Good News, an online news portal (www.sagoodnews.co.za). Since 2004, Pennington has given over 550 talks on South Africa’s progress and prospects.
I believe if our citizens understand and celebrate the good they have much more resolve to confront and deal with the bad. “Cape Town was named the top tourist destination in the world in the 2016 Traveler’s Choice Destinations awards”
Cape Town Stadium and CBD, looking towards Table Mountain and Table Bay2016 Harbour. 24 | Bay WITSReview | August
We remain the 30th
largest PAGE economy in NAME the world
by measure of GDP and our Global Competitiveness ranking
“My mission is to present both the good and the bad. I believe if our citizens understand and celebrate the good, they will have much more resolve to confront and deal with the bad. “Over the past 22 years much has changed. We remain the 30th largest economy in the world from a GDP point of view, and this year our Global Competitiveness ranking improved from 56th out of 140 countries to 49th. We were the only country to improve seven places. But having said this we have previously been ranked as high as 38th. There are 235 countries globally, but only 140 have sufficient information for data to be collected and compiled, and only 40 have a population of more than 10-million. South Africa, with a population of 55-million-plus is the 25th largest. “Generally, visitors to this country have a much more positive perspective of South Africa than the media portrait reveals. Some examples: in 1994 we had 3.5-million visitors, in 2015 we had 15.5-million. The World Tourism Council ranks South Africa as the 3rd fastest growing tourism destination globally (amongst countries with more than 9-million tourists). According to the Economist, South Africa currently ranks 24th globally in terms of total visitors. (France 83-million, UK 29-million, Switzerland 8.5-million, India 6.6-million, Australia 6-million). Cape Town was named the top tourist destination in the world in the 2016 Traveler’s Choice Destinations awards.
“According to the Global Competitiveness Report 2015/16 and the Economist 2015, the JSE ranks 16th in terms of ‘largest market capitalisation’ and the 2nd best regulated; South Africa is the only African country that is a member of the G20; SA ranks 1st in respect of auditing and reporting standards, 6th in respect of banking, and 14th out of 140 countries in strength of investor protection; South Africa is ranked 17th out of a total of 145 economies in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2015, ahead of many developed nations, including the UK (18th), United States (28), Canada (30), Australia (36) and France (57). “At the end of 2014, South Africa entered the world top 10 of countries harnessing renewable energy from the sun, with 15 solar plants contributing 503 MW to the country’s electricity grid. SA’s renewable energy programme is the fastest growing in the world. The busiest port in Africa is the Port of Durban, which welcomes about 4500 vessels per year, and in 2013/14 it handled about 44.8-million tonnes of cargo. “The above serves as an example of ‘news’ or information that is not well known, as we fill our daily narrative with stories of crime, potholes, taxis, incompetent civil servants, delivery protests, corruption, Guptas, racism and anything else that ‘bleeds’. “Of course there are negative developments that we need to be really concerned about. Top of the list in my view is education.
improved from 56th out of 140 countries to 49th The World Tourism Council ranks South Africa as the 3rd
fastest growing tourism destination globally South Africa currently
ranks 24th globally in terms of total visitors Cape Town has been voted the Favourite City Worldwide for 2016 by 17 000 Telegraph readers in the UK
9 of South Africa’s 23 universities rank in the top 4% of the 20 000 registered universities worldwide, and
11 in the top 8%
The Joint Education Trust (JET) – an independent non-profit organisation that operates across the state education sector in South Africa – cites that around 80% of schools in South Africa are dysfunctional as places of learning, 15% are functional and 5% are truly world class. “There is no doubt that the government has worked hard on improving access, electricity, water and sanitation at schools, but teacher competence has declined, many principals are incompetent, far too many schools still do not have sports fields or programmes. “Fortunately, tertiary education in South Africa tells a far better story: nine of South Africa’s 26 universities rank in the top 4% of the 20 000 registered universities worldwide, and 11 in the top 8%. (Source: QS Survey).”
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11 10 12
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SASSFE Board of Trustees: 1 Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, 2 Justice Richard Goldstone, 3 Justice Azhar Cachalia, 4 Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng. SASSFE Management Board members: 5 Tiego Moseneke, 6 Linda Vilakazi, 7 Moss Mashishi, 8 Terry Tselane, 9 Firoz Cachalia, 10 Kenneth Creamer, 11 Themba Maseko, and 12 Tebogo Thothela.
Witsalumni step up to help fund students
BY DEBORAH MINORS
Wits alumni have led the way in addressing the education funding crisis by establishing the South African Student Solidarity Foundation for Education (SASSFE). The Foundation encourages repetitive, reliable giving of any amount by university graduates from all walks of life.
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funds will make a dignified university experience possible for poor students who, despite achieving access, lack food, accommodation, text books or transport and are thus at risk of not graduating.
“SO IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT FEES; IT’S ABOUT A MULTITUDE OF STRUGGLES.”
In 1981 young Thabo Makgoba had to secure “ministerial approval” to study at Wits. When he finally got into university, the daily challenges of student life seemed insurmountable. Tuition fees paled in comparison to the costs of food, text books and accommodation.
“I really struggled at Wits,” he recalls. “My mother had to scrounge around. I did a BSc that took longer than expected and I ended up with a deficit.” But Thabo persevered and today he holds three degrees from Wits. He’s also the Archbishop of Cape Town and Head of the Board of Trustees of SASSFE – the South African Student Solidarity Foundation for Education. The Foundation aims to mobilise financial support for students from alumni. SASSFE was formed in response to the plight of students highlighted by the October 2015 #FeesMustFall campaign. Former presidents of the Wits SRC and Black Students Society – known as the ‘Presidents’ Forum’ (established by Wits Convocation in May 2014) – launched the Wits chapter of SASSFE on 6 April 2016.
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“We are concerned that too many people are denied education because they are poor,” said Archbishop Makgoba at the launch on West Campus. “SASSFE aims to raise funds for these students.” Funds donated to SASSFE-Wits will go directly into a dedicated account held at the University to assist Wits students in need. Archbishop Makgoba chairs an eminent board of trustees, including retired Constitutional Court judge Richard Goldstone, Supreme Court of Appeal judge Azhar Cachalia and Wits Convocation President and University of Cape Town Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng. SASSFE-Wits management committee members include alumni Tiego Moseneke (Chair), Firoz Cachalia, Kenneth Creamer, Moss Mashishi, Linda Vilakazi, Themba Maseko and Tebogo Thothela.
PHILANTHROPY Redress, transformation and nation-building
A dignified university experience Speaking at the launch, Moseneke said that the lived experience of poor students was often bereft of dignity, which resulted in alienation. “Wits should be a place where dignity is given back,” he said. Vilakazi, the first black, female SRC President at Wits, recalled: “In my first year at Wits I didn’t have a cent. My prescribed text in English was Heart of Darkness. I never read it. I couldn’t afford to buy it and I could never find it in the library. I had to rely on what I heard in tutorials to pass. So it’s not just about fees; it’s about a multitude of struggles.”
Although initiated by Wits alumni, SASSFE plans to set up chapters at other tertiary education institutions around South Africa, so that their alumni also have the opportunity to donate in this way. Justice Cachalia said: “Where are all the leaders of the various societies on campus over the years, all the leaders of the house committees, all former students of conscience, all activists, all students and all others who care about a future where higher education is accessible to all?” Justice Goldstone said: “I know how much Wits means to me. I’ve personally benefited from my Wits education. A democracy needs a high level of educated citizenry and it’s the duty of alumni to take that seriously. Students need facilities and they need food. There is an obligation. I commend Convocation for convening the Presidents’ Forum to form SASSFE.”
A multi-generational effort SASSFE leadership includes student body presidents spanning five decades from 1959 to today. Justice Goldstone said SASSFE-Wits was unique as it provided a forum where former student leaders could work hand in hand with current student leaders. Creamer said: “I’ve been a student and lecturer at Wits for over 25 years, and it has been a great privilege and pleasure to work with the current generation of Wits student leaders.”
“WITS SHOULD BE A PLACE WHERE DIGNITY IS GIVEN BACK”
Current SRC President Nompendulo Mkhatshwa said: “This year, 2000 students returned to university who don’t have money for food, books and transport. The graduation rate is not as high as it should be as students deregister because they have nowhere to live.”
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AlumniAchievement BY HEATHER DUGMORE
PROF HABIB AND JUSTICE CAMERON ELECTED TO THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ARTS AND SCIENCES In April 2016 the American Academy of Arts and Sciences announced its election of 213 new members, including some the world’s most accomplished scholars, scientists, writers, artists, and civic, business and philanthropic leaders. Founded in 1780, the academy is one of the oldest learned societies and independent policy research centres in the United States, convening leaders from the academic, business and government sectors to respond to the challenges and opportunities facing the world. Among the new members are Wits ViceChancellor Professor Adam Habib and Justice Edwin Cameron. From 1986 Justice Cameron ran a human rights practice from Wits’ Centre for Applied Legal Studies. In 1989 Wits awarded him a personal professorship in law. He also chaired Wits’ governing council for 10 years (1998-2008) and received an honorary doctorate in law from Wits in 2009.
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Top: Professor Adam Habib Above: Justice Edwin Cameron (Gallo Images)
WITSIES WITH THE EDGE
FIRST COUPLE TO BE AWARDED THE 2016 AIA GOLD MEDAL The architect Denise Scott Brown (a Wits honorary doctorate recipient) and her husband, architect Robert Venturi, have been awarded the 2016 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Gold Medal. This is the highest honour the AIA can confer on an architect. It acknowledges a significant body of work that has had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture. â€œWhat Denise and Bob have done for the profession far exceeds the completion of a great building or two. Through a lifetime of inseparable collaboration, they changed the way we look at buildings and cities. Anything that is great in architecture today has been influenced in one way or another by their work,â€? says the 2015 AIA President, Elizabeth Chu Richter. Zambian-born Scott Brown studied architecture at Wits University from 1948 to 1952. She received her Masters degrees in architecture and urban planning from the University of Pennsylvania. Wits awarded her an honorary doctorate in 2011. Philadelphiaborn Venturi received his undergraduate and Masters degrees in architecture from Princeton University. In the mid-1960s the husband and wife team began collaborating on built projects and literature that, as Chu Richter explains, set the stage for Postmodernism and nearly every other formal evolution in architecture. Their approach to design involves swapping one set of inherited vernacular traditions for another. In recognition of their contribution to architecture, their names will be etched into the granite Wall of Honour in the lobby of the AIA headquarters in Washington, DC.
Denise Scott Brown (Getty Images)
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ALUMNI ACHIEVEMENT The National Orders are the highest awards that South Africa bestows on distinguished local and foreign nationals. The awards are in recognition of the sacrifices and contributions they have made towards building a free, united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa. The Wits recipients of National Orders for this year are Professor Benedict Wallet Vilakazi (posthumous) (father of Zulu poetry), Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng (President of Wits Convocation), Professor Helen Rees (HIV/Aids researcher), and Wits alumna Sylvia “Magogo” Glasser (choreographer). They were honoured by President Jacob Zuma at a ceremony on 28 April 2016.
Witsies shine with National Orders
ORDER OF IKHAMANGA RECOGNISING SOUTH AFRICANS WHO HAVE EXCELLED IN THE FIELDS OF ARTS, CULTURE, LITERATURE, MUSIC, JOURNALISM AND SPORT:
Professor Benedict Wallet Vilakazi Order of Ikhamanga (Gold) The father of modern Zulu poetry, Vilakazi was the first black PhD graduate in South Africa, lecturing in the Department of African Languages at Wits. He and Wits linguist Professor Clement M Doke created the Zulu-English dictionary together. Vilakazi Street in Soweto, where Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu once lived, is named after this 20th century literary giant of the Zulu language, who died in 1947. The Order of Ikhamanga (Gold) was posthumously awarded to him for his exceptional contribution to the field of literature in indigenous languages and the preservation of Zulu culture.
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Sylvia “Magogo” Glasser Order of Ikhamanga (Silver) A Wits alumna, celebrated teacher and choreographer, Glasser is the founder of Moving into Dance (MID) – a dance company which in 1981 held the first multiracial dance performance in the Great Hall at Wits. Through MID, she inspired and transformed hundreds of performers, teachers, choreographers and leaders in the dance community, and brought people together in the 1980s to break down apartheid barriers. In 2014 she received a Knighthood in the Order of Oranje-Nassau from the Netherlands. The Order of Ikhamanga (Silver) was awarded for her excellent contribution to the field of dance, transference of skills to young people from all racial backgrounds, and fostering of social cohesion in the apartheid era.
WITSIES WITH THE EDGE
ORDER OF THE BAOBAB RECOGNISING SOUTH AFRICANS WHO HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO COMMUNITY SERVICE, BUSINESS AND ECONOMY, SCIENCE, MEDICINE AND TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION:
Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng
Professor Helen Rees (OBE)
Order of the Baobab (Silver)
Order of the Baobab (Silver)
Phakeng is the first black woman in South Africa to obtain her PhD in Mathematics Education. She is a Wits alumna, former associate professor at Wits, President of Wits Convocation and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Internationalisation at the University of Cape Town. She is the founding director of the award-winning Marang Centre for Maths and Education at Wits, calls herself an “apostle of education” and is widely regarded as one the most influential women in higher education and research in Africa. The Order of Baobab (Silver) was awarded for her excellent contribution in the field of science and for representing South Africa on the international stage through her research.
The Executive Director of the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, Rees has had a long and distinguished career as an internationally renowned expert in HIV prevention, reproductive health, vaccines and drug regulation. She serves in leadership roles in national and international structures and chairs various councils and research bodies of the World Health Organization related to Ebola vaccines, polio and immunisation. In 2001 she was made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE). The Order of the Baobab (Silver) was awarded for her excellent contribution in the field of medical science and research. Rees’s work gives hope to all communities afflicted with HIV and AIDS.
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PAGE NAME Wits Professor Lee Berger has been named in Time magazine’s 2016 list of the 100 most influential people in the world. He joins Wits alumna Advocate Thuli Madonsela, named on the 2014 list.
Time magazine’s 100 most influential people
In the words of Time editor Nancy Gibbs, “it is a list of the world’s most influential men and women, not its most powerful, though those are not mutually exclusive terms. While power is certain, influence is subtle. As much as this exercise chronicles the achievements of the past year, we also focus on figures whose influence is likely to grow, so we can look around the corner to see what is coming.” A Research Professor in Human Evolution and the Public Understanding of Science, Berger is a widely renowned, award-winning palaeoanthropologist, researcher, explorer, author and speaker at Wits’ Evolutionary Studies Institute. He is a National Geographic Explorer-inResidence and the recipient of the National Geographic Society’s first Prize for Research and Exploration. His explorations into human origins in Africa over the past two-and-a-half decades have resulted in many extraordinary discoveries, including: • The most complete hominin fossils for a new species, Australopithecus sediba (2008); • Rising Star Cave, the richest early hominin site in South Africa (2013); and • A new early human, Homo naledi, and the single largest fossil hominin find in Africa (2015). Berger credits his whole team for Time’s recognition of their research’s influence on world science, and applauds Wits’ leadership in open access and open sourcing. The University is a signatory to the Berlin Declaration on Open Access in the Sciences and Humanities.
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IMAGE: BRETT ELOFF
Jurist, activist and scholar
he former Deputy Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court, Dikgang Moseneke, has been appointed Honorary Professor of Bioethics in the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics at Wits University’s Faculty of Health Sciences.
Former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke at a graduation ceremony at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Moseneke was also recently presented with an Award for Peace with Justice by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba for his “lifelong public service, his strong commitment to social justice and equality, for his fiercely independent spirit and for his dedication to striving for what is good for all the people of South Africa.” Moseneke, one of South Africa’s leading jurists, retired from the Constitutional Court in May this year after 14 years of service. He is also the Chancellor of Wits University, a position he has held since 2006. Commenting on his new appointment, Moseneke says: “I am humbled to be associated with the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics and the Faculty of Health Sciences. I am not unmindful of what honour the Honorary Professorship bestows on me and hope to add value to the deliberations of the Centre in some modest way.” Professor Ames Dhai, Director of the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics, says Moseneke has had a deep impact on the judiciary as well as beyond the courts, and it is this legal authority as well as his intellectual and ethical integrity that will be invaluable to the Centre in its efforts to further the discipline of bioethics. “His combination of qualities as a jurist and a scholar of the highest acclaim will support growth and development of the Centre and its many activities. We look forward to working closely with him and benefiting from the valuable guidance and advice he will impart to us when grappling with the many ethical dilemmas which form part of our day-to-day work.”
ABOUT THE STEVE BIKO CENTRE FOR BIOETHICS
- Justice Dikgang Moseneke joins Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics
Situated in the School of Clinical Medicine, the Centre is committed to the values of justice, dignity, respect and freedom, both intellectual and academic. Its staff members have a wide range of expertise in ethics and are committed to furthering the discipline of bioethics in South Africa and internationally. At national policy level, the Centre provides advice on bioethics, human rights and health law for health sciences curricula, regulation, development and research. At an international level, it contributes to programmes in UNESCO, the World Health Organisation and the World Medical Association, to name but a few, and to the development of bioethics and research ethics capacity in Africa.
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Q & A PAGE NAME
with #Hack.Jozi Winner Neo Hutiri BY DEBORAH MINORS
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The #Hack.Jozi Challenge is a competition for innovative entrepreneurs to develop the best digital solutions to Joburg residentsâ€™ everyday problems. Witsie Neo Hutiri, 28 (MEng 2014), the founder of Technovera, beat 400 contenders to win R1-million in funding for his tech solution.
NEO HUTIRI Technovera enables people with chronic medical conditions to collect their repeat medication without waiting in queues. How does it work? It’s a “smart locker” which allows for pre-packed medication to be loaded into a dispensing unit. The system sends an SMS to the patient notifying him that his medication is ready for collection. The SMS contains a one-time pin (number) that can be entered at the unit together with the patient’s cellphone number and ID or passport number for authentication. The system pops open and dispenses the medicine, and the patient can be on his way. The system then reconciles the transaction back to the main clinic.
Is it accessible in terms of technology and cost? Our design uses concepts that people are already comfortable with. The average South African is familiar with a one-time pin via SMS. Collecting medication from our units is simpler than withdrawing money from an ATM. Our target is the public health sector. Patients don’t pay. We’ve been working with the Department of Health to ensure affordability.
What was involved in the #Hack.Jozi bootcamp and mentorship process that you had to complete? The training and mentorship was very targeted and helped entrepreneurs clarify their value proposition. Because of the variety of entries, the training was varied and provided a holistic approach to building a successful business. It helped entrepreneurs progress from ideas to tangible solutions and real products. More seasoned entrepreneurs learnt about managing a development team and alternative revenue streams.
You established your first company, GenWye, based on a personal experience of unsatisfactory parcel delivery, and Technovera came about from your own experience of waiting for chronic medication. Is necessity the mother of invention? I think it all starts with a problem that you care deeply about. Africa has really interesting challenges and this makes it fertile for social entrepreneurship that makes an impact. In my case, I was a patient who realised people lose time when collecting medication. My passion for the impact of technology keeps me hungry for innovation. An unmet need is the holy grail that entrepreneurs chase. It’s that resolute belief in a problem that gets me out of bed every day – even when things are not going so well and the bank account is close to empty.
You hold a BSc (Electrical and Electronics Engineering) from UCT and an MEng (Industrial Engineering) from Wits. To what extent did your academic training contribute to your #Hack.Jozi success? Academia trained me to think critically about solving problems. My technical background helped me turn ideas into product. Often some of the best ideas don’t materialise because the founder can’t create a minimum viable product. I continuously apply lessons from concepts I was exposed to at university. I visited the Wits libraries to research healthcare models in the public sector. Credibility is important; an investor considers a founder’s academic background before injecting cash into that business. Your academic career is sometimes used to measure your ability to start and complete something. The networks one builds at university become so important when you start your business. These relationships open doors for you. Almost all my business partners are people I was at university with.
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For Whom The Bells Sing Heritage. Whose heritage? Why preserve heritage? These are major issues in contemporary South Africa and something that Wits alumnus James Ball (BA Hons 2011; MA 2012) daily explores. BY HEATHER DUGMORE
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oburg is my spiritual home. I love this city. I love walking the streets, exploring the city and finding its hidden heritage secrets,” says James Ball, founder and editor of the online Heritage Portal.
It is a compelling site that delves into all the questions, dilemmas, tragedies, triumphs and circles within circles of South African heritage. I spend time exploring Joburg with Ball, who weaves me back and forth across the city’s spaces and places, from the relics and ruins of early inhabitants to the 19th century Markhams clock tower in Eloff Street. “The city of Joburg today is a mere 130 years old but people have been living in this region for thousands of years,” Ball explains from our starting point on the top of Northcliff Hill. Here, there are traces of Stone Age settlements. Tools from this era have also been unearthed alongside Joburg’s High Court building in the inner city, where we head next to explore the six-storey Markhams building and clock tower, built in 1897. Commissioned by WH Markham, it was the tallest building in Joburg at the time. “Built one decade after gold was discovered, it showed confidence in the fledgling town at a time when much of the world thought it was just a temporary mining camp, a gold rush flash-in-the-pan that would soon be abandoned,” Ball explains. The clock tower is Ball’s godchild. “I have always been drawn to it and wondered how it could survive in a
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city with a reputation for devouring old buildings. I decided to dig deeper and discovered that the building was almost demolished in the late 1970s to make way for a larger and more modern Markhams store.” The citizens of Joburg came out in huge protest and lobbied the owners of Markhams and the municipality to preserve the historic structure. As a result, the clock tower and the façade of the building survive to this day, when so many others have been lost. He is hoping that one day the large sum of money required to restore the clock and tower will be raised so that the bells may ring out again, alerting the city to the time of day and reminding its citizens of the swift passing of time. One of Joburg’s lost architectural treasures was the magnificent 2279-seater Colosseum Theatre, which opened in 1933. A prominent architect at the time, Percy Rogers Cooke, designed the exterior, while William Timlin, an artist from Kimberley, designed the interior, with its castle turrets and Spanish Renaissance style. An excellent article published on the Heritage Portal, authored by Kathy Munro, describes how this “cinema fantasy of the thirties” was closed in 1985 by the owners, the Prudential Assurance Company, demolished “and lost forever in a flash”.
“THE CITY OF JOBURG TODAY IS A MERE 130 YEARS OLD BUT PEOPLE HAVE BEEN LIVING IN THIS REGION FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS”
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HERITAGE In its place an office block was built, which has since been converted into the 10-storey residential block it is today, bearing the name Colosseum. Adaptive re-development of the original building as a mixed-use complex with a theatre, concert, convention centre, offices and shops was an option that was fought for at the time, but this battle was lost. We continue to burrow through the inner city streets, where another interesting heritage debate led to the gender-sensitive re-naming of streets to honour four women liberation icons and new recipients of the Freedom of the City award. • • • •
Bree Street is to become Lilian Ngoyi Street Jeppe Street is to become Rahima Moosa Street President Street is to become Helen Joseph Street Noord Street is to become Sophie de Bruyn Street Sophie de Bruyn is the only living member of the four.
The re-namings were widely debated by the City of Joburg, which took into consideration the inputs from the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation (JHF). It was decided, for example, that certain streets, such as Pritchard Street, should retain their original names. An excerpt from the City’s response to the JHF reads as follows:
“I COULD LOSE MYSELF FOR WEEKS IN THE ARCHIVES, READING UP ON PEOPLE AND PLACES IN AND AROUND JOBURG THAT HAVE SHAPED THE CITY’S PAST AND PRESENT.”
“As stated by the JHF, it is desirable to remember the contribution of William Henry Auret Pritchard (1861-1947), an early surveyor of Johannesburg. Pritchard moved to Johannesburg on 25 August 1886, arriving before the proclamation of the goldfields, and took up work as a surveyor. Pritchard continued to work as a surveyor in the city until 1957 and played a leading role in the establishment of the Institute of Land Surveyors of the Transvaal.” The politics of heritage are extremely complex, as the current monuments campaign and certain acts of vandalism attest. Who should stay and who should go? Prominent statues of prominent people in South Africa’s good, bad and ugly history are at the heart of this, but, as Ball explains, heritage is not just about the major players and massive moments in our history; it is as much about the ordinary people, who they were, where they lived, what they thought and what they did. “My Master’s through the Department of History at Wits deepened my understanding of heritage and gave me the opportunity to study under some of the best minds in the business,” he says. “It provided me with the platform to embark on the Heritage Portal journey.” He is particularly appreciative of the guidance he received from Professor Clive Glaser and Professor Noor Nieftagodien, both from the Wits History Department. “I am privileged to have been able to work so closely with such inspiring and exceptional men.” Another great teacher was Cynthia Kros in the School of Arts.
Opposite page, top to bottom: Hospital Superintendent’s House, Hillbrow 1966. The old post office, 1897, Johannesburg, South Africa. Old Fort in Constitution Hill, Johannesburg, South Africa. City hall, 1914, Johannesburg, South Africa, 20th century. IMAGES: GALLO
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PAGE NAME Nieftagodien convincingly argues for recognition of the ordinary person’s history and heritage. “This often gets neglected in the post-1994 emphasis on the country’s liberation struggle and its leaders,” says Nieftagodien who heads the History Workshop and the NRF/SARChI Chair in Local Histories and Present Realities. “If we don’t take the trouble to research and record the everyday experiences of all people we cannot understand human agency: what drives people to do things or to remain inert. Historians need to move beyond only focusing on the big events, because it is what happens between the big events that is so important,” he adds. “Hence if we think of Orlando West in Soweto, for example, we automatically think of Vilakazi Street, the only street in the world to have been home to two Nobel Laureates, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. This is part of our heritage, of course, but what about the ordinary people in Orlando West? Is Mrs Ntuli, living in a nondescript house in Orlando West, not as important to our heritage as Mandela and Tutu are?” These are the key heritage questions that fascinate Ball, and why he admires the work done by the team at Wits’ Historical Papers Research Archives (www.historicalpapers.wits. ac.za). Situated in the William Cullen Library, it was established in 1966 and is one of the largest and most comprehensive independent archives in Southern Africa. It houses over 3 300 collections of historical, political and cultural interest, from the mid 17th century to the present. Its primary aim is to serve the broader community as well as the university and to transform archives into accessible centres for research. Ball describes the team at Historical Papers as “a delight to work with”. “Their positive energy and stimulating conversations make every visit thoroughly worthwhile. I could lose myself for weeks in the archives, reading up on people and places in and around Joburg that have shaped the city’s past and present.”
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The old Pass Office in downtown Joburg is one example. This was the headquarters of the Non-European Affairs Department, which controlled almost every aspect of a black person’s life in Johannesburg in the 1950s and 1960s. The building is still there today, and it currently serves as a women’s shelter, but very few people are aware of its historical and heritage significance. Ball explains that there are many important sites that don’t have official heritage status. He encourages communities across the country to research and nominate sites for declaration by a recognised heritage authority. Another aspect of heritage resource management he raises is that any building or home older than 60 years anywhere in South Africa now has to be approved for any kind of renovation or development by the provincial heritage resources authority. In Gauteng it is the Provincial Heritage Resources Authority of Gauteng (PHRAG). One of Ball’s dreams is to have an online interactive heritage database that flags important information at the beginning of any planning process. This would be of interest to owners and developers and it would help to lighten the burden on overloaded officials.
“IF WE DON’T TAKE THE TROUBLE TO RESEARCH AND RECORD THE EVERYDAY EXPERIENCES OF ALL PEOPLE WE CANNOT UNDERSTAND HUMAN AGENCY”
Contemporary Johannesburg, South Africa.
View of Johannesburg, South Africa, 1888.
Volunteers from organisations such as the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation are working on developing an online heritage database. To support his voluntary heritage commitments, including editing the Heritage Portal, Ball teaches history at the International Pre-University College in Joburg. The Heritage Portal currently has over 20 000 readers per month, South African and global. Ball encourages anyone who would like to contribute to contact him. “You might remember something about Joburg or other parts of South Africa that people would be interested to read, or you might want to ask questions about a particular aspect of South Africa’s heritage. As a fellow Witsie it would be wonderful to hear from you.”
Contact James Ball: firstname.lastname@example.org
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You might be a physicist who dreamed of becoming a sculptor; a business person who always wanted to join a hiking club but never had the time; an academic who wanted to learn a new language or a different discipline.
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Making dreams come true in your third age BY DEBORAH MINORS IMAGES: GALLO|GETTY
he global University of the Third Age (U3A), which has a Joburg chapter, offers these options and many more to people facing retirement or who are semi-retired or retired. It changes what retirement means. For some it is a time to look forward to, when they can pursue non-work interests, but for many, retirement is a daunting prospect, particularly if their work has been their vocation or they are single, have lost a partner or don’t have a wide network of family and friends. U3A is a learning co-operative of older people where members get together to have a good time, meet new friends, share knowledge, skills and experience, and learn from each other. And the membership fee is just R50 a year. “When I retired from lecturing in Sociology at Wits, I wanted to learn rather than teach,” says U3A member Dr Beryl Unterhalter, PhD (MA 1956). “I wanted to pursue my interests in English literature, poetry and philosophy. I found my intellectual home in U3A. Among the group leaders were retired university staff who provide stimulating discussion in small groups with like-minded third-agers.”
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U3A U3A-Johannesburg specifically invites Wits alumni to become members and to share their skills and expertise as course leaders. There is a demand for academic and practical courses. “Currently our objective is to expand our courses, and we hope to source these from Wits retirees,” says U3AJohannesburg representative Maureen Spiro. Existing courses span a range of interests from conversational French and Shakespeare’s works, through history, art, croquet and vintage jazz, to philosophy and Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. Advocate Stanley Sapire (BCom 1953, LLB 1955) is a course leader who hosts monthly discussions on legal topics. “We live in times in which the government provides us with a constant flow of material,” says Stanley. “My group has about a dozen members. They continue to attend, so I like to think they derive benefit and enjoyment from our discussions.”
For more information or to volunteer as a course leader in Joburg, email: email@example.com. Join U3A worldwide at www.u3a.org
Aside from academic pursuits, U3A also arranges social gatherings and outings. Trips to Maropeng, Liliesleaf Farm, the Voortrekker Monument and the Natal Battlefields combine new experiences with a chance to socialise. There are also other shorter, regular walks. A former staff member at Wits, Pauline Cuzen began leading social walks after she benefited from a few U3A courses. “I offered to lead social walks as hiking had been a hobby,” says Pauline. “We walked around Emmarentia Dam, Delta Park and even Suikerbosrand. Now the new leader takes about 40 walkers every Monday.” U3A provides opportunities for intellectual stimulation and socialising. “Not everyone faces retirement with a happy heart,” says Pauline. “Offering a few modest activities has been enjoyable. Some preparation is necessary to start a course, but it has not been onerous because it has extended an existing hobby. I would love to attend a stimulating new course. Any offers?”
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Places to visit at Wits
ADLER MUSEUM OF MEDICINE
Wits Medical School, 7 York Road, Parktown Tel +27 (0) 11 717 2081 | firstname.lastname@example.org Cost free but venue hire tariffs on request | Hours: Monday to Friday 09:00 – 16:00. Saturdays on request
WITS ART MUSEUM | WAM
University Corner, Corner Jorissen and Bertha Streets, Braamfontein | Tel + 27 (0) 11 717 1365/58 | email@example.com | www.wits.ac.za/wam Hours: Wednesdays to Sundays 10:00 – 16:00 WAM has a café and hosts regular events and exhibitions. Admission free. Donations encouraged.
WITS THEATRE COMPLEX
East Campus, Wits University, Performing Arts Administration, 24 Station Street, Braamfontein | Tel +27 (0) 11 717 1376 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.wits.ac.za/witstheatre | PAA reception hours, 08:00 – 16:00, Monday to Friday | Theatre costs vary according to programme | Tickets: www.webtickets.co.za
THE WITS CLUB
Wits Club Complex, West Campus, Wits University Tel +27 (0) 11 717 9365 | email@example.com www.olivesandplates.co.za | Hours: 07:00 – 17:00 for breakfast and lunch from Monday to Friday. Booking is essential.
East Campus, Wits, Yale Road off Empire Road, Entrance 10, Milner Park, Braamfontein | Tel +27 (0) 11 717 1390 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.planetarium.co.za Hours: Kiddies’ show (5 – 8 years), Saturdays 10:30, R27 Details accurate at time of publishing. Please contact facilities directly.
MAROPENG, THE CRADLE OF HUMANKIND AND THE STERKFONTEIN CAVES
Directions: Off R563 Hekpoort Road, Sterkfontein, Gauteng | Tel +27 (0) 14 577 9000 | email@example.com | www.maropeng.co.za | Hours: 09:00 – 17:00 daily | Costs: Maropeng: Pensioner R77, student, R90, adult R144, child (4 – 14 years) R80 | Sterkfontein Caves: Pensioner R77, child (4 – 14 years) R87, student R90, adult R149 | Combination ticket: Child (4 – 14 years) R129, adult R194
THE ORIGINS CENTRE
West Campus, Wits, cnr. Yale Road & Enoch Sontonga Avenue, Braamfontein | Tel +27 (0) 11 717 4700 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.origins.org.za Hours: Daily and public holidays 09:00 – 17:00 | Costs: Adults R80, children (u/12 with adult) R40, guide fee (minimum 10) R200, learners R45, teachers (with school groups) R55, lectures, temporary exhibitions/walkabouts and films R50, Giving Back ticket R40 + 4 non-perishable food/toiletry items
WITS RURAL FACILITY
Directions: From JHB, N14 and from PTA, N4 to Witbank (eMalahleni) to Belfast (eMakhazeni) to R540 to Lydenburg (Mashishing) to R36 to Abel Erasmus Pass to R531 to Klaserie then Orpen Road turn-off 2km past Klaserie, Limpopo | Tel +27 (0) 15 793 7500 | email@example.com | www.wits.ac.za/wrf Cost*: Terminalia and Vaalboom en-suite units: R684 for two, R278/extra person | Lodge: pps R254, single R382 | Anselia self-catering unit: pps R321, single R435 | Aerocamp: pps R285, single R399 | Bushcamp/4-person dormitory: R124 pp. *Wits rates quoted. Refer to website for public rates.
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WITSIES WITH THE
WRITING EDGE BY DEBORAH MINORS
Gods, Spies and Lies: Finding South Africaâ€™s future through its past, by John Matisonn John Matisonn (BA 1996) was the editor of Wits Student in 1971 and began political reporting at the Rand Daily Mail in 1974. As a political and foreign correspondent over 40 years for, among others, the Rand Daily Mail and National Public Radio, he was privy to exchanges with the likes of Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela, John Vorster and Jacob Zuma. Matisonn was a pioneer of broadcast regulation and most recently the UN Chairperson of the Electoral Media Commission in Afghanistan. He launched Gods, Spies and Lies at Wits amid ongoing #FeesMustFall protests in March 2016. The book reveals political controversies almost designed to risk a populist or racial response. It asks difficult ideological questions about our Constitution and its efficacy in redressing current failings, and explores the roles of Mandelaâ€™s ANC, Black Consciousness, the Rand Daily Mail, and Wits students and NUSAS in ending apartheid. Revelations include how Mandela studied the Afrikaner Broederbond with 1951 Wits Student editor Charles Bloomberg; the spy who fooled the white liberal elite; and what history tells us about the meaning of the 2015 student protests.
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WRITING EDGE Outside the Lines, by Ameera Patel Ameera Patel (MA 2013) is a writer, actor, poet and teacher. She wrote Outside the Lines for her Masters in Creative Writing at Wits, for which she received a distinction. She is also a playwright and her debut play Whistle Stop won the PANSA New Writer’s Award in 2014. She is a founding member of the poetry collective Rite 2 Speak. Her theatre performances include Athol Fugard’s Victory, directed by Lara Foot (BADA 1990), and Oedipus @ KOÖ-NÚ, directed by Greg Homann (BADA 2003). Patel is arguably best known for her role as Dr Chetty in the SABC1 television show Generations. She also holds a BA (Theatre and Performance) from UCT. Outside the Lines (Modjaji Books, 2016) is both a thriller and a family drama. It tells the story of two women: Cathleen, a troubled young woman living in Johannesburg’s northern suburbs; and Flora, the domestic worker at Cathleen’s house. Cathleen disappears and tensions and drama ensue. Patel’s MA supervisor, Craig Higginson (BA 1994, BA Hons 1995, MA 2010), wrote that Outside the Lines is “edgy, witty, fresh, engaging, moving, memorable … a vivid portrait of contemporary Johannesburg”.
Ordinary Runners, by Neville Stocks Neville Stocks (BA 1961) majored in English and History at Wits. He taught English for five years and then entered business. He qualified as a chartered secretary and then managed investment portfolios over many years. Early retirement enabled him to focus on writing and his debut novel, The Deciding Votes, was published in 2013.
Ordinary Runners aims to capture the essence of arguably the greatest of all long-distance races – South Africa’s Comrades Marathon. Stocks himself is an experienced track, cross-country and road-runner, and he has been a running coach and administrator. His interest in the Comrades Marathon dates back to his student days at Wits in the late 1950s, and he has completed what is known as “the ultimate human race” three times. Ordinary Runners is a celebration of the human spirit as relatively ordinary people attempt to do extraordinary things. It is written to be enjoyed not only by runners, but by anyone looking for a thrilling, romantic and heart-warming read.
Passion for Existence: The life, strength and resilience of Bethuel Matabola, by Bethuel Matabola Bethuel Matabola (BEd 2013) is a teacher, a pastor and a survivor. At Katlehong High School, in the eastern Gauteng township of that name, he excelled at sport and academia. But in 1980, mental illness and a breakdown interrupted his matric year. This thwarted his formal education for more than 20 years. Despite the chaotic challenges of schizophrenia, Matabola continued to pursue education informally. He drew inspiration from his grandfather, who was a Methodist minister. Matabola completed a course in Public Relations through an adult education programme and eventually enrolled at Wits. In 2013, he graduated from Wits with a degree in education. Today he is a pastor at St Hamian Church and an educator at Edenridge High School – in Katlehong. Passion for Existence (Bua Concepts, 2016) is his story.
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BookReviews WITS ALUMNI, STAFF, AND STUDENTS QUALIFY FOR A 20% DISCOUNT ON WITS UNIVERSITY PRESS PUBLICATIONS WHEN BOUGHT AT WITS PRESS PREMISES AT UNIVERSITY CORNER, BRAAMFONTEIN.
PLACE OF THORNS BY TSHEPO MOLOI Published by Wits University Press, 2015
South Africa is a place of contrast and no more so than in fighting for political rights and the right of access to public utilities. Apartheid created extreme economic disparities in our society but how do we explain the ongoing frequency of service delivery protests if we have a democratic and functioning Parliament? Some of the answers lie in Place of Thorns, which explores the roots and history of protest in a small town, with an emphasis on the period 1976 to 1995. Politicians often fail to take note of the disconnect in the realities of our society, but these are the people who should read this study to grasp why there is a rich tradition of active civic protest and political life in the townships and what this could mean for the future. This is a book with a message for political strategy and solutions. The focus is the town of Kroonstad in the Free State and what happened in civic politics from the turbulent 1970s to the transitional but violent 1990s. Tshepo Moloi started this historical study as a PhD thesis and has converted that research work into a book that should reach a far wider audience. It is the first in a series published by Wits University Press, entitled Local Histories and Present Realities, which seeks to give a centrality to seemingly remote or supposedly unimportant parts of South Africa, where the case study of the particular and the specific throws light on the bigger picture and gets us talking and thinking about national policies and solutions. Moloi has chosen to study in some detail and depth the black township of Maokeng in Kroonstad. He was an outsider to Kroonstad, his first contact with the place being in 2006. The book is based on life history interviews with 80 respondents conducted on site between 2006 and 2012. These respondents were former teachers, local councillors, civic leaders, gangsters, religious leaders, trade unionists, youth activists and members of the MK and APLA military wings. Throughout the text these voices are presented in appropriate extracts from their life histories. But conversations need to be put into a context and this is where Moloi shines.
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REVIEWS BY KATHERINE MUNRO, SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING
Order Wits University Press publications online from www.witspress.co.za | UK & Europe: +44 (0)20 7240 0856 www.eurospanbookstore.com | North & South America: Toll-free: (800) 888 â€“ IPG1 (4741) | firstname.lastname@example.org FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.witspress.co.za | +27 (0)11 717 8700 | email@example.com
The establishment of Kroonstad in the 1850s as a Boer Orange Free State town is covered in a brief paragraph. There is no exploration of local white politics, nor is the author interested in the views of whites at the time. This study is firmly about black political organisation, the nature of protest and the history of the differing approaches to protest, whether moderate and conciliatory or radical and violent. The study is chronological. It starts with a chapter on protests before 1976 and then examines the black consciousness movement and student demonstrations between 1972 and 1976. I was fascinated by the chapter on the period 1977 to 1984. The Young Christian Workers (YCW) movement was accused of being a cover for terrorist activities. Here we read of the tragedy of three young men who became MK cadres and who were engaged in a shootout with police in Goch Street in Johannesburg in 1977; one of the three, Solomon Mahlangu, was captured, tried and sentenced to death. Mahlangu was not from Kroonstad, but there were others like him and in 1979 there was a trial of local YCW members. All but one were acquitted but it marked the end of the YCW in the town. Worker mobilisation followed and one sees the shifts in politics as limited reforms and concessions in local administration, such the development of new residential areas, gave palliative power to the Kroonstad Community Council which took over from the Urban Bantu Council. The central issue was the future of Africans in urban areas under the apartheid state.
The story of Caswell Montshiwa Koekoe (the Mayor up to 1995, who ultimately joined the PAC) reveals the tension between making townships ungovernable and attending to the needs of residents. In 1985, students began mobilising, organising and protesting at Bodibeng High in Maokeng, sharpening their political consciousness and expressing views on issues beyond education. Boycotts, disruptions, riots and looting spread into the townships. By 1986 protest was national and a state of emergency was declared. The story thereafter is one of increasing politicisation and activism of the community and workers. The entire apartheid system was under attack and ungovernability was a tactic that worked at a local level in small towns. But what Moloi charts is the bitter divides within the ranks of the protestors. With the unbanning of the ANC in 1990 new possibilities opened up for the restructuring of local politics. Transition did not bring peace. Instead gangsterism merged into political violence and caused heavy loss of life. Local people had to organise for self-defence and survival. The final task the author sets himself is to document the tensions between the local civic associations and the regional and national ANC structure and probe why the ANC lost the first democratic local government elections in Kroonstad. The story of Kroonstadâ€™s black townships and their politicisation is a complex one. Moloi is to be congratulated on his handling of this multi-layered history and ordering his material in a way that explains and enlightens.
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TERMITES OF THE GODS: SAN LIFE AND COSMOLOGY BY SIYAKHA MGUN Published by Wits University Press, 2015
I adore books about journeys. Accounts of journeys can be about a personal adventure or a memoir or an ancestral tale or even a journey of research and discovery. This fine, original book combines all these elements as the author sets out to discover deeper meaning and the symbolic significance in his own life and in specific features of San rock paintings to be found in many parts of Southern Africa. If you are interested in Southern African rock art and if you have ever been to the Matobo Hills in Zimbabwe, this book is a must. With this text in hand you will want to explore the Matobo National Park with new insight. Siyakha Mguni is a member of the Rock Art Research Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand and holds a PhD from the University of Cape Town. He is a man who has travelled far from his roots and into the rigorously scientific world of research, but he never loses sight of his origins. It is because of his own background that he turns the key to open up new ways of seeing and understanding Southern African rock art. The Matobo Hills near Bulawayo are a place of majesty, grandeur, fiercely fought battles and a number of caves that warrant close study to reveal a much more ancient history. The formations of precariously balanced but stable rocks are extraordinary in their presence and beauty. For me it is one of those places in Africa that casts a spell. Cecil Rhodes was buried here. Then there is the Herbert Baker designed Shangani memorial that stands like a monumental Greek lament. But these familiar human imprints are of recent origin. There is another layer to history if you go exploring in Manyenyeâ€™s or Nswatugi Caves in search of an ancient spiritual universe and San cosmology. Sometimes a book comes along that changes how one thinks about a subject or looks at an object or an image. I think this book hits that spot. It is a fine, tightly argued and closely researched volume that adds to our understanding of human ancestry and our place in the world. It also identifies other parts of Southern Africa which were major painting and engraving areas. The beautiful photographs of these areas are mainly the authorâ€™s own work.
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I think this book will be appreciated beyond Southern Africa. Mguni offers a precious gift to science and scholarship which at the same time is an homage to remote African ancestry. Through his research he is able to link our universe to another far more ancient one that has left few traces other than in the rock paintings that survive in caves in Southern Africa. It is a book that excites because of its originality, its subtle arguments and its innovative thinking. Mguni says the subject of rock art had the misfortune to be trivialised and oversimplified by earlier scholars such as Breuil and Frobenius. In sharp contrast, Mguni argues for complexity and many layers of meaning in the images to explain the San systems of knowledge and world view. Mguni’s principal theme is the painting category known as “formlings”. Formlings are worm-like images that appear in rock paintings. He argues that these formlings, the meaning of which has eluded archaeologists and anthropologists for decades, are representations of flying termites and their underground nests. He argues that formlings are associated with botanical subjects and also many larger animals considered by the San people to be of spiritual significance and power. He draws attention to the San ethnographic suggestion that human, animal and plant worlds interdigitate. In other words, sometimes people could become animals or plants and vice versa. Documenting, recording and capturing this fragile inheritance is a responsibility, a duty and a gift and Mguni delivers brilliantly. This book is the product of his years of scientific probing, travel and field work. It offers a highly personal account of a journey through time and the mind. Mguni gives of himself in this book; he becomes our guide to the world of his San ancestors.
His book makes this subject accessible to the amateur enthusiast (without oversimplification) and at the same time addresses his scientific peers (posing serious themes for further research and discussion). However, I rather wondered why the comprehensive bibliography made no mention of Eugene Marais’s The Soul of the White Ant (first published in book form in 1937, and reprinted in various editions since), based on Marais’s 10-year study of termites in the Waterberg, Transvaal in the early 20th century. Marais’s early results of his close study and field work appeared in Afrikaans in the Huisgenoot magazine. His work was relatively little known at the time but controversy was raised when a few years after the magazine articles appeared, Maurice Maeterlinck published his The Life of the White Ant and went on to be awarded a Nobel Prize, claiming originality. It was a book which Marais asserted was heavily plagiarised from his own earlier work. I would have liked to hear Mguni’s opinion of Marais’s work. S H Skaife was another South African naturalist and entomologist who studied termites and whose work could have added another angle. Termites of the Gods is a wonderful achievement. The volume is also a very attractively presented book, signalling that Wits University Press has the capacity to design a handsome book, where interesting subject matter is enriched through quality layout, fine colour photography, informative maps, artistic drawings and explanatory diagrams. My one criticism about production is to suggest that this high quality volume deserves a hard rather than a soft cover finish, even if the price rises slightly.
August 2016 | WITSReview | 55
Obituaries BY HEATHER DUGMORE
WITS UNIVERSITY FONDLY REMEMBERS THOSE WHO HAVE PASSED AWAY DR LAUREN OZEN (1958–2016) Psychologist Dr Lauren Janet Ozen (née Unterhalter) (BA 1979, BA Hons 1980, MA 1982, PhD 1989) died in Los Angeles, USA on 4 April 2016, at the age of 57, shortly after being unexpectedly hospitalised. Lauren grew up in Johannesburg and studied psychology at Wits, earning four degrees including her doctorate. In 1984 she married Michael and they emigrated to the United States. Lauren practised as a psychologist for nearly 30 years. Known for her generous spirit, she was committed to improving patients’ lives. All her love went to others – through her profession and as a volunteer at the Venice Family Clinic. Judaism and family were fundamental to Lauren. Her Shabbat dinners were legendary. She was a committed partner to Michael and a dedicated mother who raised their three sons as menschen, compassionate human beings who give back to society. Lauren was also a devoted daughter to her parents, ever mindful of her ageing parents’ needs. She embodied the ethos “honour your father and your mother”. She leaves her parents, Bernard (BA 1944) and Freda Unterhalter, her husband of 32 years, Michael (BAcc 1983, MBA 1977), their sons Jeremy, Daniel, and David, her brothers Stefan (MBBCh 1973) and Kenneth (BA 1971), and extended family.
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DR JOHN BECK (1933–2016) Dr John Meiring Beck (MBBCh 1955) died in England on 20 January 2016, aged 82. After graduating from Wits, he became a houseman at the Johannesburg General Hospital and received his surgical training from alumna Dr Phyllis Knocker. This significantly influenced him and he became a strong advocate for women studying medicine and surgery throughout his career. In 1964 he accepted a training post in Cape Town, which changed the course of his surgical career. Working for Drs Chris Barnard, Jannie Louw and Sid Cywes at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital convinced John to pursue a career in paediatric surgery. In 1966 he was invited to develop paediatric surgery in the former Transvaal province. Because of apartheid this meant working at racially segregated hospitals. Increasingly appalled by apartheid, the Becks left South Africa for the United Kingdom in 1972. John became the first paediatric surgeon in Yorkshire and remained there until his retirement in 1995. The Becks then returned to South Africa to work part-time and give back to the country in its new democracy. John worked at Themba Hospital in Mpumalanga for a year before moving to Cape Town. Here he worked in Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain. Persistent lymphoma forced his ultimate retirement from medicine and the couple returned to the UK in 1998. John leaves his wife, Paddy, and children, Lucy, James and Janet.
BERTIE LUBNER (1931 – 2016) Philanthropist and businessman Bertie Lubner, who built one of South Africa’s most successful companies, passed away at the age of 85 after a long illness. His caring, warm, generous nature and boundless energy exemplified his philosophy on life, based on these tenets: “What can I do to make a real difference?” and “Nobody can make a success of life without the help of others. You measure true success in two ways – in your own life, yourself and your family and when you add value to the lives of others.”
Bertie Lubner, former joint CEO of PG Group. Image: Jeremy Glyn, TimesMedia.
The longstanding Chairperson of the PG Group, Bertie personified the best attributes of a Witsie. He studied towards a BCom at Wits from 1949 to 1952 and was awarded an honorary doctorate by BenGurion University, Israel, in 1987.
“One should never expect to be rewarded for doing the right things. The reward in one’s own soul is far greater.”
He was in the office from 9am to after 7pm five days a week until weeks before his death. He was a strong proponent of public-private partnerships, which he saw as the only hope for South Africa: “We cannot succeed in this country if government tries to work alone,” he said. “Government has got the money, we have got the skills. If you put these together in partnerships then we’ve got the best chance of success.”
He was also a founder, with his brother Ronnie Lubner, of the Field Band Foundation, which to date has offered over 40 000 children in townships across South Africa a chance to develop their musical talents and life skills. He was Vice-President of the Institute of Directors and a member of the World Economic Forum Task Force.
He cared hugely about South Africa and was terribly frustrated by its failure to address poverty and achieve the country’s huge potential: “We’ve got so much in this country, and we’re just not playing to our advantages,” he said. He gave of himself to many organisations, including serving as Honorary Life President of the Gauteng Jewish Board of Deputies and joint founder with the late Chief Rabbi Cyril Harris of Afrika Tikkun, the Chief Patron of which was his good friend Madiba. Afrika Tikkun helps thousands of children in South Africa’s impoverished areas to achieve their potential, through educational, life skills and nutritional programmes.
When Madiba was released from prison, Bertie convinced him of the importance of attending Davos because of the networking opportunities it offered. Despite his global profile, Bertie never forgot what is important in life, and he made a point of paying tribute to his wife, Hilary, and thanking her for always being at his side. He passed away the day before their 61st wedding anniversary. Ever mindful of mortality, on one of the occasions when he was being presented with an award, he said: “One should never expect to be rewarded for doing the right things. The reward in one’s own soul is far greater.” He is survived by Hilary, their children Richard, Tony, Marc and Sue, six grandchildren, his brother Ronnie and sister Pam.
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IN MEMORIAM DR MAUREEN DALE (1926 – 2016) Dr Maureen Dale passed away on 26 May 2016 in Jerusalem, Israel, shortly before her 90th birthday. She completed her BSc Honours degree in 1946, in the same class as the late Prof Phillip Tobias, the late Dr Priscilla Kincaid-Smith and Dr Sydney Brenner. She subsequently graduated with her MBBCh in 1950 and joined the University of Natal’s medical school for “non-white” students, where she headed the pharmacology division. She pursued this for nine years but after constant interference from the Nationalist government she decided to leave South Africa. In 1961 she obtained a position in the Pharmacology Department at University College in London, where she obtained her PhD in Immunopharmacology. She became a recognised authority in the field and co-authored her first textbook, Rang and Dale’s Pharmacology, which has been translated into numerous languages. During her tenure at University College, Maureen married the late Professor Joel Mandelstam, who had lectured on statistics at Wits in 1945 and was Professor of Microbiology at Oxford University. After Joel’s death in 2008, Maureen renewed a longstanding friendship with Professor Joe Abramson, whom she had known since her medical school days. He was editor of The Auricle, Wits Medical School’s annual publication, and she was assistant editor. They married in 2011. Maureen did not have children of her own, but through her two husbands, she was a much beloved grandmother.
PROFESSOR REUBEN MUSIKER (1931 – 2015) Emeritus Professor of Librarianship and Bibliography at Wits, Professor Reuben Musiker (BSc 1954) died on 9 December 2015, aged 84. After graduating from Wits in 1954 he earned a Higher Diploma in Librarianship (with distinction) at the University of Cape Town. In 1955 he joined the Johannesburg Public Library and was active in the field of bibliography for over 40 years. He published six books, including Guide to South African Reference Books and The Special Libraries of South Africa. In 1973, he became Professor of Librarianship and Bibliography at Wits. He also tutored students and was an inspiring and patient teacher who assisted students in bibliographical style, citation of notes and references. In 1980 he compiled Wits University’s Style Guide for Theses and Dissertations. After retiring as an emeritus professor in 1991 he consulted to the South African Jewish Board of Deputies and installed a computerised cataloguing system for their library and archives. Reuben was passionate about light orchestral music from the era 1950-1980 and created a reference library on the topic to supplement his vinyl record collection. He also produced two reference volumes: Conductors and Composers of Popular Orchestral Music (1998), co-authored with his wife Naomi, and With a Song in My Heart: Aspects of 20th Century Popular Music (2013). He leaves Naomi, three children and six grandchildren.
Dr Jackie Ford (1943 – 2016) Dr Jackie Ford passed away peacefully on May 28 2016 at the age of 73. Beloved husband of Jeanette, father of Craig, Glenn, Quinton and Tracey, grandfather, brother and family member, he is mourned by his family and his patients, who described him as a committed, compassionate man with a lovely sense of humour. He was completely dedicated to his patients and assisted many through the most difficult of times. Professor Brian McKendrick (1938 – 2016) Former Head of the discipline of Social Work at Wits, Professor Brian William McKendrick (PhD 1980) died on 1 May 2016 after a short illness. He was 78. Brian was born on 4 October 1938. Carole Charlewood (1934 – 2015) Carole Heeley Charlewood (BA 1954), born 1 February 1934, died in Noordhoek, Cape Town on 14 September 2015, aged 81. She was the host of a TV show on SABC in the 1980s, called The Human Factor.
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OBITUARIES HARRY RABINOWITZ (1916 – 2016)
Chariots of Fire (1981), The Remains of the Day (1993), The English Patient (1996), The Talented Mr Ripley (1999), Cold Mountain (2003) – the profound music scores of these and many other superlative movies and productions for radio, TV and stage were conducted by Harry Rabinowitz, who died at the age of 100 on 22 June 2016 at his home in Provence, France. Born and raised in Johannesburg, Harry enrolled for a BA at Wits in 1940, studying politics, philosophy, ethics and logic. A stint in the South African Army during WWII followed and he subsequently headed for London, where the star of the Carry On films, Sid James, with whom he had served in the war, secured him his first contract. It was the start of a magnificent career during which the London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra were second homes to him. He was appointed MBE in 1977 and made a freeman of the City of London in 1995. A tribute to Harry in The Guardian on 23 June 2016 described his lifelong respect for his colleagues and the pleasure he derived from seeing musicians smiling and animated at the end of sessions conducted by him. He is survived by his second wife Mitzi Scott, three children, Karen, Simon and Lisa, from his first marriage to Lorna Anderson, and four grandchildren.
PROFESSOR ROBBIE ROBINSON (1929–2016) Chemical engineer and doyen of the mining industry, Professor Robin “Robbie” Edmund Robinson (BSc Eng Chem 1951, PhD 1954) died on 21 January 2016 after battling cancer. He was 87. Robbie studied chemical engineering at Wits, where he graduated cum laude and received the Raikes Memorial Prize for Best Student in 1950. He joined the Government Metallurgical Laboratory as a research officer and investigated the extraction of uranium from gold mining residues, the results of which led to the US Atomic Energy Commission authorising a pilot plant. Robbie’s research into the degradation of resins resulted in his PhD, but this was to be top secret under the Atomic Energy Act. It remains classified. In 1959 Robbie designed the first uranium refining pilot plant. He served as Director General of the National Institute for Metallurgy from 1966 to 1976. In 1978 he joined Sentrachem as Research Director. He was a member of the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy for over 50 years and its President in 1975. He initiated the formation of research groups at universities and Wits University appointed him as Research Adviser to the Vice-Chancellor: Research and as an Honorary Professor of Chemical/ Metallurgical Engineering. He was a generous Wits benefactor and an engaged alumnus. His wife of 61 years, Diane, their children Michael, Andrew, Chris and Jenny, and eight grandchildren survive him.
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IN MEMORIAM DR MARIAN SEABROOK (1941 – 2016)
PROFESSOR JOSEPH BORMAN (1929–2016)
“She had a heart of gold and hands like fine silk, making her the best of surgeons. She was meticulous when it came to surgical procedures and especially fond of paediatric surgery. She was always the first to arrive at the clinic and the last to leave,” is how Sister Yvonne Matimba, the current Head of Department of Wits’ Campus Health and Wellness Centre (CHWC), describes Dr Marian Seabrook (MBBCh, Wits; BA Hons, SA; DipPed, SA) the former Head of Department of the CHWC, who passed away on 4 June 2016, following a protracted battle with cancer.
Professor Joseph Borman (MBBCh 1951, FRCS 1956) died in Jerusalem on 21 February 2016, aged 86. After graduating from Wits he moved to England in 1954 and attained Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS). He moved to Israel in 1958, joining the Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem, where he became Professor and Chief of the Department of Cardiac Surgery.
Marian graduated with an MBBCh from Wits in 1968. She went on to work in general practice, paediatrics and trauma. In 1985 she joined Wits Campus Health, and in 1994 became Head of Department, overseeing the establishment of the new CHWC. She significantly contributed to the success of the South African Association of Campus Health Services, where she held several leadership positions, including President. Marian had many interests, including woodcarving, motor mechanics, calligraphy and Semitic languages. Dr Eddie Denga, former Head of Department of the CHWC, described Marian as “a great teacher, a mentor and a friend. She was humble, honest, kind, very dedicated, very hard working, compassionate and firm. I have never met a physician with neater handwriting and I have never met a faster driver!”
He was one of the founding fathers of modern open heart surgery and a pioneer in valve replacement surgery and coronary bypass surgery, and performed the first successful heart transplant in Israel. He trained numerous cardiac surgeons, became a world authority on the technique of myocardial preservation and was President of the International Society of Cardiothoracic Surgeons. He was named by the prestigious Golden Hippocrates Society as one of world’s 10 cardiac surgeons who had made outstanding contributions to their country, and received the Worthy of Jerusalem Award. His memoir, Open Hearts: Memoirs of a Cardiac Surgeon, featured in WITSReview in 2014. The welfare of his patients was Joseph’s paramount consideration. He was the ultimate cardiac surgeon, a combination of ultramodern technologist and old-fashioned humanitarian. A loving family man, he leaves his wife of 60 years, Ruth, children Margalit, Eyal and Alon, seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Jacobus Dreyer (1944 – 2015) Jacobus Johannes Botha Dreyer (MA 1991), born 14 January 1944, died 28 December 2015, aged 71. He was an archaeologist from Bloemfontein. Anselm Herrmann (1938 – 2015) Anselm Salomon Herrmann (BA 1962, LLB 1965) practised as an attorney in Johannesburg and served as Vice-Chair and then Chair of the Johannesburg Attorneys’ Association. In 2008 Anselm and his wife, Merryl, emigrated to Atlanta, USA, to be closer to their children and grandchildren. Dr John Pratt-Johnson (1929 – 2015) Dr John Ashburnham Pratt-Johnson (MBBCh 1951) served as Professor and Head of the Department of Paediatric Ophthalmology at Strabismus University of British Columbia from 1967-1992. He was the Canadian National Tennis Champion in 1992 and Vancouver International Tennis Tournament Champion in 2004. He leaves his second wife, Mae, his sons, Brian and Doug, stepchildren and grandchildren.
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OBITUARIES ROSEMARY GRAY (1955 – 2015)
PROFESSOR CHARLES LANDY (1945–2016)
Anne Rosemary Tyldesley Gray (née Parish) (BSc Hons 1995, MSc 2000, MEd 2012) died of cancer on 9 April 2015, aged 60. Rosemary grew up in Pietermaritzburg and graduated with a BSc degree from Rhodes University in 1978. She obtained a Higher Diploma in Education from UNISA in 1980 and taught at several schools including St Barnabas College and St Mary’s School for Girls.
Former Head of Electrical Engineering at Wits, Professor Charles Farrell Landy (BSc Eng 1966, GDE 1969, MSc Eng 1970, PhD 1970) died of cancer in the USA on 8 January 2016, aged 71.
In 1991 she joined the Department of Computational and Applied Mathematics at Wits as an Academic Support Tutor in Biomedical Mathematics. In 1992 she was also appointed Tutor in Mechanics for the Engineering stream in the College of Science. From 2003 she lectured Applied Mathematics to first-year Architecture students. While teaching, Rosemary earned postgraduate degrees in Science Education at Wits. A generation of students greatly benefited from her ability to guide them to discover the problemsolving skills that worked for each of them individually. The Faculty of Science has established the Rosemary Gray Prize for Service Teaching in recognition of her contribution. Rosemary was married for over 30 years to the Reverend Timothy Gray of St Francis Anglican Church, Parkview, whom she met while a student at Rhodes University. She was very active in the church and is survived by Timothy and their two sons, Francis and Paul.
After studying electrical engineering at Wits, Charles joined the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers as a student member in 1964 and became a full member in 1972 and ultimately a Fellow in 1994. His membership spanned 68 years. Charles was the Mondi Professor of Machines and Drives at Wits and became Head of the Department of Electrical Engineering. He served as the first Executive Dean of the new Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment until 2008, when he moved to the United States and joined a firm of consulting engineers in St Louis, Missouri. At Wits and in the profession, Charles also served on the Professional Advisory Committee of the Engineering Council of South Africa. Here, he was instrumental in ensuring that candidates applying for professional registration would receive due credit for their academic work. Charles was highly regarded for his leadership, his mentorship and his sharp intellect; he could immediately assess a situation and begin to work towards solutions. He was highly respected by his staff and students, and considered by many as their most valuable mentor.
PROFESSOR ANDREW FOLEY (1961–2016) A Professor of English in the Division of Languages, Literacies and Literatures in the School of Education at Wits, Professor Andrew Foley died at the age of 55 on 18 January 2016, after a brief hospitalisation. He was one of only 64 alumni to date who hold five qualifications from Wits. His were BA 1984, PDE 1984, BA Hons 1986, MA 1991 and PhD 1996. Andrew was an established academic in the field of language and literature education. He was a long-standing member of the Council of the English Academy, a non-profit organisation concerned with all forms and functions of English. He was active on Academy committees deciding on the recipients of English Academy Awards and, as the Master of Ceremonies, spoke with characteristic insight and humour. A wordsmith and conversationalist par excellence, he was happiest playing Scrabble and reading with his children. Also an accomplished sportsman, he played cricket and football at Wits and was a member of Randpark Golf Club. Fellow Witsies and Wobblers team mates paid tribute to him through the poem Alumnus Footballer by Henry Grantland Rice: “For when the One Great Scorer comes to write against your name, He writes – not that you won or lost – But how you played the Game.”
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ADVOCATE JULES BROWDE (1919 - 2016) Advocate Jules Browde, donor and alumnus (BA 1940; LLB 1948; Hon Doctor of Law 2000), married to Professor Selma Browde (MBBCh 1959; Hon Doctor of Science in Medicine 2003).
“He was one of the giants of the bar. He had an infectious enthusiasm, extraordinary empathy, a zest for life and deep commitment to human rights.” Advocate Gilbert Marcus SC & Advocate Matthew Chaskalson SC “We have lost a great alumnus of the Wits Law School. He was a legendary lawyer, a visionary civil society leader and a great son of South Africa who had also played an immeasurable role in the Lawyers for Human Rights.” Head of the School of Law, Professor Vinodh Jaichand “He was a lion-hearted man, whose personal and professional ethics shone through in everything he did.” Constitutional Court Judge Edwin Cameron “The death of Jules Browde S.C. brought to an end the long and distinguished career of one of the most remarkable advocates at the South African Bar. Jules was my oldest friend; I knew him at school, at Wits and, of course, at the Johannesburg Bar. He was a powerful and persuasive advocate in both civil and criminal cases. During the years of apartheid he conducted many a hard-fought court battle against the government. But his legal career extended beyond his work in the courts. He was chairman of Lawyers for Human Rights – an organisation looked on with disfavour by the apartheid government. Years later, after he retired from practice at the Bar, the City of Johannesburg engaged him as Integrity Commissioner, a position he still held at the time of his death. The Mayor of Johannesburg together with a municipal guard of honour attended his funeral.” Sydney Kentridge QC
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“Jules Browde, one of South Africa’s most renowned and admired human rights lawyers, died early on Tuesday morning at the age of 97, closing the curtain on a multifaceted career that colleagues said helped fundamentally reshape the legal profession in SA,” wrote the Editor of Business Day, Tim Cohen, in a tribute to Jules, following his death on 31 May 2016. He acted for numerous anti-apartheid activists and was a founder member of Lawyers for Human Rights and part of an influential group of South African lawyers whose strong commitment to human rights “culminated in a constitutional dispensation underpinned by law”, Cohen wrote. His relationship with his lifelong friend Nelson Mandela started when Madiba sat next to Jules in their first law lecture together at Wits. As a professional, Jules acted for Madiba; and when the Group Areas Act came into force in 1952, Jules prevented Madiba and Oliver Tambo from being ousted from their Fox Street office in downtown Johannesburg. Their friendship was interrupted by Mandela’s imprisonment for 27 years but strongly renewed after his release. In 1969‚ Jules was appointed as a Senior Counsel. He went on to serve as an acting judge in South Africa‚ as well as a judge on the Appeal Courts of Swaziland and Lesotho. In July 2008‚ he received the Sydney and Felicia Kentridge Award for Service to Law in Southern Africa. Jules was married for over 60 years to Professor Selma Browde‚ who is worldrenowned in her profession as a Senior Radiation Oncologist at Wits and at the Johannesburg group of hospitals. Selma, their three children and seven grandchildren survive Jules.
In search of a BY KEYAN G TOMASELLI*
CREDIT: RICO SCHACHERL AND ENCA.COM
Where #RhodesMustFall, others followed. Our economy might be in the doldrums, but if exporting protest could be commoditised we’d be in the pound (or is it euro?) seats. No sooner had the pooh dried on Rhodes’ statue than American students started demanding “safe spaces” on campuses and an end to “institutional violence”, “micro aggressions” and “trigger” words, comments or phrases.
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hese students won some concessions, including the establishment of a “Department of Inclusion” at the University of Missouri, where administrators are now obliged to undergo “implicit bias training”. And no one envies Georgetown University, which is tasked with tracking down the descendants of 275 slaves who were sold by Jesuit priests in the 1830s to help fund the university.
Nonetheless, the ruling party, which had fought valiantly to deliver freedom of expression to the country back in the day, faced a conundrum as “Baba loves Hlaudi”. First out the gate was ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa, who attacked SABC acting CEO Jimi Matthews for resigning in protest from the SABC and accused him of working against transformation. A short while later, there was a U-turn with scathing criticism of the SABC by ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu, who effectively said you can’t let any old Tom, Dick or Hlaudi run the SABC.
The “safe space” provided by Brown University during a debate about campus sexual assault included a room “equipped with cookies, colouring books, bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets and a video of frolicking puppies, as well as students and staff members trained to deal with trauma”, according to an op-ed piece in The New York Times.
Nobly sticking to its principles, the Communist Party arranged a protest against SABC censorship but it was hijacked by musicians who held a counterprotest. Fortuitously so, because this protest may have produced a seminal moment in SA protest when it was revealed that some of the protestors appeared to be stoned. Legalising the herb may be the solution to Hlaudi’s woes as protestors could get stoned rather than indulge in stoning, thus allowing SABC cameramen to film peaceful protest and allow us to float on towards our safe space.
But all this now seems petty compared to the brutal race-related murders on American streets. And while the US battles its demons, back home an SABC audience would have been spared witnessing the horror of violence on the streets of the USA thanks to Hlaudi (ninety percent) Motsoeneng. Frankly, if anywhere merits being a designated safe space it’s our own homes. We therefore need to be more appreciative of Hlaudi’s heroic, albeit abortive efforts to deliver safe space TV to our living rooms.
And we are not alone in this noble quest. The UK, having decided to Brexit, is now a space safe from European refugees and immigrants; the US is considering creating a space safe from Mexicans by building a Great Wall of America; and anywhere outside Zimbabwe is a safer space for Zimbabweans.
Luckily, Hlaudi also clarified that banning distressing images of violent protest is definitely not censorship: “What is this censorship thing? It is English so I don’t know it. There is no censorship here.” * KEYAN G TOMASELLI IS A WITSIE, A UKZN PROFESSOR EMERITUS, AND A UNIVERSITY OF JOHANNESBURG PROFESSOR. HE IS RECEIVING TREATMENT FOR THE IMPLICIT BIAS AND MACRO-AGGRESSION IN THIS WRITING. HE CAN BE CONTACTED IN A SAFE SPACE AT KEYANT@UJ.AC.ZA
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