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May 2017 Volume 37
UNIVERSITY RANKINGS 203rd
Academic Ranking of World Universities 2016-2017
Centre for World University Rankings (CWUR) 2016
BEST RESEARCH UNIVERSITY IN AFRICA
BEST UNIVERSITY IN AFRICA
BEST A F R I C
CWUR world ranking of subjects 2017
Times Higher Education (THE) Alma Mater Index 2017
Anthropology Area studies
ONLY AFRICAN UNIVERSITY IN THE TOP 100
(history, politics, economics and cultures of geographical, national or cultural regions)
THE BRICS & Emerging Economies University Rankings 2017
THE World University Rankings 2016-2017
A question of leadership EDITOR'S NOTE
The qualities we expect a leader to possess have been a topical issue in the national and international community in recent times. Leadership can be a defining aspect of a country, a business, an organisation, and even a university. Whatever the constitutional or organisational context, a leader can have a profound impact, for better or worse.
When I worked for the Department of Education under Kader Asmal we used to undertake surprise visits to schools on the opening day of each new school year. What struck me forcefully on these tours was that two public schools, sometimes only a few hundred metres apart in the same neighbourhood, could be vastly different from each other. Whereas one could have eager learners, motivated teachers and an extremely high pass rate, another could have ill-disciplined learners, absent teachers and a dismal success rate. We often found that a key reason for such different outcomes despite similar investment lay in the quality of leadership given by the school principal. This experience impressed on me the value of a good leader and the damaging consequences for those who suffer under poor leadership. Leadership skills can be one outcome of receiving a well-rounded university education. Throughout its history, Wits has produced a remarkable array of scientific, civic, political, business, and educational leaders. One of them is Adam Habib, who was recently appointed for a second term as ViceChancellor and Principal of Wits University. Announcing the appointment, the Chairperson of the University’s Council, Dr Randall Carolissen,
paid tribute to the leadership Professor Habib had shown, saying the University had achieved enormous success during his first term in office despite the unprecedented challenge of the student fees protests. One measure of this achievement is the extraordinary improvement in the University’s position in the global academic and research rankings. Wits is now regarded as the best university in Africa in two of the major ranking systems. To a large extent this is due to a phenomenal 43% increase in research output by Wits academics over the last three years. Rankings are just one, sometimes contentious measure, but Wits has also made significant gains in other areas, including transformation and reforming institutional culture, new modes of teaching and learning, attracting new investments, and the rejuvenation of Braamfontein. While institutional achievements are the result of team work and the contribution of all stakeholders, it is leadership that establishes an enabling environment for Wits to strengthen its place as one of the world’s leading universities. Peter Maher Director: Alumni Relations
DR JUDY DLAMINI: ANYTHING I CHOOSE TO BE
SWIZZLING FOR SCIENCE
MEDICAL TRAINING IN GOOD HEALTH
WEDDINGS AT WITS
WITSIES IN LOVE
WITSIES WITH THE WRITING EDGE
LAUREN KIM PHOTOGRAPHY
Editor: Peter Maher Contributors: Heather Dugmore Lyrr Thurston Kathy Munro Ufrieda Ho Graphic Design: Nicole Sterling
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Carl & Emily Fuchs Foundation Top Achiever Award 2015 (MACE) Best External Magazine 2016, 2015, 2012 & 2010 (MACE) Best External Magazine 2014, 2013, 2012 & 2011 (SA Publication Forum)
Cover: Science & Cocktails graphic by Barry Downard. See story on page 26.
WITS REVIEW LETTERS TO THE EDITOR ARE WELCOME AND CAN BE SENT TO PETER.MAHER@WITS.AC.ZA.
A fine teacher
Letters Gems of Joburg
Dear Editor, Robert Arridge writes (Letters, WR, Vol 36) about “entertainment in Old Joburg” and asks a few questions which I hope I can answer. What happened to the Metro? It had the most spectacular Art Deco architecture and interior decoration in the entire city. It was a veritable Art Deco cathedral. It was demolished and is now the site of Damelin College. Mr Arridge also asks about the 20th Century cinema. It was in Rissik Street, corner Jeppe, and had a magnificent Modernist interior. Also in Jeppe Street, but of a much earlier vintage, was the Bijou Theatre, which was truly bijou, and beautiful. He also asks about His Majesty’s Theatre in Commissioner Street, corner Joubert Street. This gem, too, has gone – as great a loss to the city as was the Colosseum, which he well remembers. Its beautiful Beaux-Arts Edwardian interior, sadly lost, has however been replicated in the Globe Theatre at Gold Reef City (thanks to the efforts of the late great Anthony Farmer). Other theatres lost to Johannesburg are the once revered Standard Theatre and the intimate Library Theatre in Pixley Ka Seme Street, now sadly used only for “stacks” for the Johannesburg Public Library. But should Mr Arridge again visit Johannesburg, he’d be interested to see the new(er) theatres like the Johannesburg Civic Theatre, renamed The Joburg Theatre, the Wits Theatre on main campus, as well as the splendid Linder Auditorium on Wits’ Education Campus (old JCE), which is regarded as the symphony hall of the city.
Dear Editor, “Teacher” might have been one of the accomplishments added to the all-too-brief obituary of Michael Coulson (WR, Vol 36, page 60). He lectured to part-time Economic History students for several years in the early 1970s. At the time, Economic History was a brilliant department with many fine lecturers, but many full-time students – myself included – opted for the late-afternoon sessions with Coulson. Interesting and illuminating, his classes were always spiced with his sardonic wit. Peter Vale (BA 1971, BA Hons 1973) Director, Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study
Inherited addiction Dear Editor, The article “The power of addiction” by Heather Dugmore (WITSReview, Volume 36, December 2016) makes a brief mention of inheritability. Years ago, Dr H Begleiter showed that alcoholic men had abnormal visual evoked potentials (VEPs). But what was interesting was that young sons of these alcoholics showed the same VEP abnormalities. Thus there was evidence of a genetic trait in men developing alcohol addiction. Joseph C Marcus (MBBCh 1953) Associated professor of Clinical Neurology, emeritus SUNY-Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, USA
Michael Hobson, PR and publicity officer and archivist for the Performing Arts Administration at Wits, 1981-2001
social WITSIES SHINE IN VARSITY CUP After initial losses to Shimlas and Maties in the FNB Varsity Cup, Wits recovered their pride and spirit on 30 January by demolishing FNB Ixias (Central University of Technology) 43-3, scoring four tries. They lost their next match 25-9 to UP-Tuks but managed to shock defending champions Pukke by beating them 22-13. After a nail-biting 28-23 loss to UJ, Wits ended their best ever season in the Varsity Cup with a flourish by thrashing UCT 35-23. This is the tenth year of the university rugby competition. FNB Wits regained Varsity Cup status after winning the Varsity Shield last year.
PHOTO BY LIAM NEL, SASPA
Lineout lunge: Witsâ€™ Constant Beckerling reaches for the ball in the game against Maties held on 6 February 2017
HONOUR FOR CARING BUSINESS LEADER Wits awarded an honorary Doctor of Commerce degree to Stanley Bergman (BCom 1972, CTA 1973) in December 2016. Bergman is Chairman and CEO of the US-based group Henry Schein, the worldâ€™s largest provider of health care products and services to dentists, doctors and vets. The honour was conferred in recognition of his outstanding achievements in business and philanthropy.
Bringing back memories: Stan Bergman inspects a display of memorabilia from his student days
In the 1990s, he and his wife Dr Marion Bergman (MBBCh 1974) contributed generously to scholarships for black health professionals in South Africa, and they continue to support a range of initiatives in the arts, education, health care and entrepreneurship.
PHOTOS BY VIVID IMAGES
He has outlined his approach thus: “Success is all about caring about people. The most successful, enduring business people and leaders in the world are the ones who care about people. I learned from my late mother growing up in Port Elizabeth that if you treat people how you want to be treated, things work out, and from my late father I learned to always look for the good in people and be optimistic.” Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Adam Habib said: “Mr Bergman has made a success of his career and has made a difference to countless people’s lives as a champion of preventive healthcare and universal healthcare access. He has also advanced dialogue among people of different cultures and beliefs to work towards a better understanding among all.”
Guests celebrated Stan Bergman’s achievements at a dinner held in the William Cullen Library. L-R: Michael Katz, Stan Bergman, Prof Adam Habib
While in Johannesburg for the graduation ceremony, the Bergmans visited the Health Sciences Faculty and the Charlotte Maxeke and Chris Hani Baragwanath hospitals. They told Professor Habib that “the intersection of tremendous clinical needs coupled with world-class academic research at Wits became clearer” to them. They also visited the Wits Art Museum and attended a function in their honour, where they were shown some of the University’s priceless treasures, such as fossils, rock art and the original, handwritten notes Nelson Mandela made in preparation for his sentencing at the Rivonia Trial.
MINING CLASS CELEBRATE A GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY The mining engineering class of 1965 got together for a lunch at the River Club in Johannesburg to celebrate their 50th anniversary.
CELEBRATING 120 YEARS OF MINING ENGINEERING The School of Mining Engineering celebrated 120 years of mining education and research at a colloquium held in the Wits Great Hall on 23 March 2017. The School’s celebration programme highlighted its origins as the South African School of Mines, established in Kimberley in 1896, and reflected on the parallel histories of Wits, the mining industry and South Africa. Nick Holland (BCom 1980, BAcc 1983), CEO of Gold Fields, gave the keynote address on the contribution gold mining has made to the economy and the challenges that arise from a gold price that has declined by about 30% since 2011. Engineering Dean Ian Jandrell (BSc Eng 1985, PhD 1990) and Head of School Professor Cuthbert Musingwini (MSc Eng 1999, PhD 2010) also spoke of the research and training that Wits is doing to produce graduates for the new demands of mining. Witwatersrand University Mining Engineers Association (WUMEA) committee member Hawk Rakale (BSc Eng 1998) outlined the support that alumni give to students and reminded alumni of the annual fundraising dinner to be held on 27 July at the Wits Club.
Wits Mining – Class of ’65 L-R: Simon Malone, John Bircher, John Cruise ’66, Hannes Koekemoer, Hans Smith, Jurie Geldenhuys, John Carr and Philippe Anderson 8
Class member Simon Malone observed that, “Mining has unquestionably been the main contributor to the South African economy from the diamond mining days of 1885 through the development of the Witwatersrand mines, on to the East Rand, the West Rand mines, the Klerksdorp and the then Free State mines, followed by the development of the coal industry and the platinum sector from the 1960s onwards. “Throughout these 120-plus years Wits produced a steady stream of talented mining engineers who took the industry from fledgling level to the status of one of the major mining economies in the world in the late 1960s to early 1970s. “The 1965 class started with 50 in the first year and was whittled down to 12 graduates, of whom four have sadly passed away,” noted Malone. Class of ’65 graduates include Hans Smith, who became the managing director of Iscor, Jurie Geldenhuys, executive director of mining at Anglo Vaal, John Bircher, Anglo Coal planning manager, and Theo van der Westhuizen, general manager of Foskor. Philippe Anderson and John Hatfield started and ran the only fine milling company in South Africa. Hannes Koekemoer is the owner of the largest manufacturer of cycling clothing in South Africa and Simon Malone founded and ran Metorex, one of the few successful junior mining companies in South Africa. They remain close friends after all these years!
WELCOME DAY Thousands of new first-year students and their proud families arrived on campus on 29 January for Welcome Day, to be greeted by student leaders and the University’s senior executive team. “Wits students are problem-posers and problem-solvers,” said Vice-Chancellor and Principal Prof Adam Habib. Urging the first-years to enjoy the “unforgettable journey that will change your life forever”, he also asked them to “remember that all rights come with responsibilities” and to “wear the Wits badge with honour and pride”. They got started right away by pulling on their Proudly Witsie T-shirts, painting their faces Wits blue and gold, and getting acquainted with the friendly mascot, Kudos Kudu. Some comments from Instagram: “Nothing could have made me prouder than this moment right here”; “The next chapter begins...”; “Officially part of the Wits family”; “Yay!!!! The start of a new era”; “Here’s to the start of a new adventure”; “It isn’t what it is, it’s what you make of it”.
PHOTOS BY PETER MAHER AND VIVID IMAGES
WE SHARE OUR FUTURE WITH THE POOR Wits University conferred an Honorary Doctorate in Commerce on Patrice Motsepe (LLB 1988) on 31 March 2017 to recognise his entrepreneurial skills, his achievements and innovation in business and his contributions to society.
PHOTOS BY VIVID IMAGES
Speaking at the graduation ceremony in a week of high political drama in South Africa, Motsepe said the country had faced many serious challenges in the past – and had always overcome them. However, there first had to be “a frank and honest assessment of the problems”. He said that at the time when he was a Wits student, some people doubted that “this great democracy that we have built” would happen. We should never give up on the people of South Africa, he said. “All of us must focus on the poor, the marginalised and the unemployed, because the future of all of us is inextricably intertwined with their future. As much as the politicians have a profound impact, the future is in your hands, and you have the capacity to make this the best country in the world.”
L-R: Patrice Motsepe, Archbishop Buti Tlhagale, Vice-Principal and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Tawana Kupe, Chancellor Dikgang Moseneke
“We should never give up on the people of South Africa ...” Motsepe started his career with law firm Bowman Gilfillan. In 1994, he established Future Mining, a company that undertook contract work on gold mines. He later founded African Rainbow Minerals (ARM), acquired low-yield mine shafts and turned them into successful enterprises which share profits with workers. Motsepe chairs ARM, Naledi Mining, Future Mining and TEAL Exploration & Mining. He is Non-Executive Chairman of Harmony Gold, Deputy Chairman of Sanlam, and Chairman of Ubuntu-Botho Investments. He recently established African Rainbow Capital, a financial services company owned and controlled by black South Africans. He also owns Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club and has contributed generously to school soccer development. In 1999 Motsepe and his wife, Wits alumna Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe (MBBCh 1987), established the Motsepe Foundation, which supports educational, religious and healthcare projects. The foundation has donated more than R18-million to needy Wits students since 2014. About 100 Wits students are beneficiaries in 2017. Motsepe and fellow Witsie Patrick Soon-Shiong (MBBCh 1975) are also signatories to The Giving Pledge, a commitment announced by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett in 2010 in which many of the world’s billionaires pledge the majority of their wealth to philanthropy in their lifetime. A dinner was held in honour of Patrice Motsepe in the William Cullen Library on 31 March hosted by the Chancellor, former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke. On display at the dinner were historical treasures belonging to the University, including documents about resistance and oppression in South Africa during the years when Motsepe was a student. L-R: Bridgette Radebe, Prof Adam Habib, Fatima Habib
Health starts early: Weighing children under age five at a health centre in Mozambique. Arturo Sanabria, Photoshare 12
news A thousand days to get it right
Prof Linda Richter
Caring for children properly in their first 1000 days of life, from conception to two years, makes a huge difference. Professor Linda Richter, Director of the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Human Development, led a Lancet series of studies which showed how investment in early childhood development contributes to lifelong health, wellbeing and productivity, and has significant economic benefits. This investment – which need not be costly – should happen earlier than the preschool years. Prof Richter says: “In South Africa, 63% of children younger than 18 live in poverty: that is, on less than R923 a month or R31 a day. And 27% of 0-3-year-olds are stunted, a condition which results from long-term undernutrition.” A third of children in South Africa (30%, or 5,5-million) live in households where no adults are employed. The effects of undernutrition are felt in a variety of ways over generations by individuals, families and countries. Programmes to improve early childhood development could cost as little as 50 US cents a year per capita, when combined with existing services. More than one-third of South Africans depend directly or indirectly on social grant payments, according to Wits’ Professor Jannie Rossouw. Research by Professors Matthew Cherisch (Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute) and Sharon Fonn (Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa) supports the idea that pregnancy support grants for women in South Africa would improve health outcomes for babies and mothers. They say studies show this would not encourage poor women to get pregnant simply to obtain the grant.
Who cares about carers? Lisa Vetten, a PhD Fellow based at the Wits City Institute, has written in The Conversation about “the parlous state of South Africa’s care economy – those aspects of human activity (both paid and unpaid) devoted to the care of the current and future labour force, as well as the entire population”. Government pays care workers as little as R500 a month. Vetten writes that welfare organisations can’t do much to protest about this: “while the [social welfare] sector’s hardships are very real, their quiet desperation is overshadowed by more spectacular forms of confrontation.”
Why are more sightings of European Honey Buzzards being reported in South Africa? Caroline Howes, a PhD student, is using satellite trackers to understand where the birds are at any one time. She will be analysing South African Bird Atlas data to understand the relationship between increased birder awareness and actual abundance of the species (Pernis apivorus), and she will use stable isotope analyses of feathers to understand the European origins of the birds.
Feathered friends from afar
Puff adders don’t have a long reach when they strike, so they need their prey to come closer. The snakes put their worm-like tongues out to attract hungry frogs, which then become the meal. Wits researchers Xavier Glaudas and Graham Alexander say some other species use “lingual luring” too, but this is the first time terrestrial snakes have been shown to do it. And it seems they use the trick on amphibian prey only, not on mammals. 14
Come over for supper
A woman in Ethiopia carries a bundle of moringa leaves, which are used as medicine.
Take it or leaf it The moringa plant (Moringa oleifera) contains nutritious compounds, but it tastes bitter. Extracting the good stuff conventionally requires solvents that pose a potential threat to health, but now Wits chemist Professor Luke Chimuka has found a better way to do it. His pressurised hot water technology is safer and more environmentally friendly, producing an extract for use in foods, beverages and cosmetic products, and as a dietary supplement. The product has been patented under a company called Extra Green and it is hoped that future commercialisation will bring benefits to the communities that grow the plant. Prof Luke Chimuka
Top: Prof Lewis Ashwal studying an outcropping of trachyte rocks in Mauritius. Such samples are about 6-million years old, but contain zircon grains as old as 3000-million years. Photo: Susan Webb, Wits University Right: Zircon crystals, billions of years old, are signs of the presence of an ancient continent underneath the younger volcanic island of Mauritius. Getty Images
Geological crumbs under the table When the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana started breaking up about 185-million years ago, a piece got covered with volcanic lava and is now underneath Mauritius. As an island, Mauritius has no rocks older than 9-million years, but zircon crystals 3-billion years old have been found within volcanic rocks (trachyte) on the island. These minerals must be traces of ancient continental material under Mauritius, according to Wits geologist Professor Lewis Ashwal. He says there could be more pieces in the Indian Ocean. â€œDiscovering new pieces of continent will help geoscientists to understand the details of how continents break apart, and how the pieces can be better reconstructed to their pre-breakup configurations. This could, for example, be used as an important exploration tool for mineral deposits.â€? 16
LE MORNE BRABANT PENINSULA, MAURITIUS | GETTY IMAGES
Knowing is surviving Many people avoid going to a clinic for an HIV test, often because of stigma and inconvenience. But there are tests they can do themselves at home. If a simple saliva test achieves an earlier diagnosis, then life-saving treatment can start sooner. A new study in the rural area of Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga, is looking into whether this self-diagnosis method will improve the rate of testing among young women. The MRC/Wits Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit is working with the Universities of North Carolina and California in this research. Zola Myakayaka is the project manager. Of course, the accuracy of any medical test is crucial. Wits scientists have developed new technology that guarantees the quality of the molecular diagnostic tests for tuberculosis. In one year, 78 000 results out of the 3-million tests performed by GeneXpert instruments would otherwise have been incorrect. That is a lot of sick and infectious â€“ or unnecessarily medicated â€“ patients. Wits Enterprise has set up a company called SmartSpot to commercialise the TB Check technology, which was developed under the leadership of Professors Wendy Stevens and Lesley Scott of the Department of Molecular Medicine and Haematology, in collaboration with Professor Bavesh Kana of the Centre of Excellence for Biomedical TB Research.
Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital interior
Special care for kids The 200-bed Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital was completed in December 2016, built on land donated by Wits. Construction in Parktown, Johannesburg began in April 2014 after the project was initiated by the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. Capital funding came from donors, and the operating costs will be met by government. The hospital trust is chaired by former president Nelson Mandela’s widow, Graça Machel. The operating board members represent government, universities and business. Wits is the lead academic partner.
An aerial view of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital
The hospital will be a centre for research and training in specialised paediatric care, with several centres of excellence and admission by referral from paediatric specialists only. Having completed the building phase of the project, the hospital is now in its “people phase”, recruiting and training staff as it prepares for patient intake. The opening will begin with certain outpatient treatment areas in June, ramping up to full occupation at the end of 2017. MAY 2017
I CHOOSE TO BE
BY HEATHER DUGMORE
DR JUDY DLAMINI, MEDICAL DOCTOR, WITS MBA AND ONE OF SOUTH AFRICA’S MOST SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSWOMEN, ATTRIBUTES HER ACHIEVEMENTS TO HER PARENTS. grew up in Westville, near Durban, at a time when it was a crime to have my complexion. Yet I was raised by parents who encouraged me to pursue my education and who told me I could be anything I chose to be.”
Dr Dlamini’s late parents – Rita Dlamini (born Ngwane) and Thomas Dlamini – refused to be broken by the apartheid system. Their strength, resilience and entrepreneurial spirit triggered their daughter’s success.
Now 57, Dr Dlamini is the founder and Chair of the Mbekani Group, based in Illovo, Johannesburg, where we meet in the boardroom. Her group celebrates its 21st anniversary this year, and has grown to include a wide range of companies, including surgical equipment, facilities management, security, commercial property and luxury fashion retail. TRIUMPH AND TRAGEDY BUILD RESILIENCE Immaculately groomed and wearing Alexander McQueen, she talks about her parents and life with depth and candour. “My mother was a primary school teacher and my father was an entrepreneur. My mother would run night schools at no charge to empower domestic workers. To supplement her teacher’s salary, she sold snacks at school and made children’s clothes, petticoats and jerseys, which she sold on weekends.
“My father started his own painting business and bought land where African people could in those days. He then built and rented out apartments, or ‘flats’ as we called them back then. He had typical African entrepreneurial flair, which apartheid erased in many people.” But not in her father and mother: “That is why I am so resilient; I never give up and I have been like that from birth. I had no choice; it was how I grew up.” Her father passed away while she was waiting for her matric results, and never got to see his daughter graduate as a medical doctor and continue in his entrepreneurial footsteps. Her group’s philosophy, Live Life Beautifully, is born of the awareness of life’s fleeting journey. Her success is the product of decades of hard work, long hours and ongoing academic advancement, including an MBA (Wits University, 1999) and a Doctorate in Business Leadership (University of South Africa, 2014). She has profound experience of life’s triumphs and tragedies, including the loss of her son, Sifiso Nxasana (Wits BCom Hons 2008), in 2012. “An important aspect of living life beautifully is being able to continue to live with hope in our lives,” she explains. “It is also about enjoying a good lifestyle, and, very importantly, it is about nourishing beautiful minds, a healthy body, giving back to society and empowering women.
EQUAL BUT DIFFERENT “Women make up half of the world’s population and human capital and the world at large can only start to live life beautifully as a collective when 50% of the population achieves full equality.” Her recently published book, Equal but Different: Women Leaders’ Life Stories, Overcoming Race, Gender and Social Class, based on her research for her doctorate, explores why leadership positions and boardrooms are still predominantly occupied by men. “Women account for only 4.4% of CEOs of Fortune 500 companies (2015) and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange is no different, at less than 3% (2015),” she says.
“Empowering women starts with a quality education. They must be able to achieve their full potential and assume leadership positions in the future”
“All men, particularly those in leadership positions, need to contribute to changing the status quo and proactively partnering women in removing the barriers that are stopping women from rising to the top levels of corporate leadership,” explains Dr Dlamini. She credits her husband, Sizwe Nxasana, a leading businessman and one of the first black Chartered Accountants in South Africa, for his unqualified support of women’s empowerment and education. He has a significant role to play as Chair of the board of South Africa’s National Student Financial Aid Scheme. Both of them support initiatives to grow quality education for lower-income South Africans, through their family’s Mkhiwa Trust.
Within the Trust, Nxasana heads the Sifiso Learning Group. One of its initiatives is Future Nation Schools, which is establishing private schools that charge affordable fees for lower-income groups. The first two schools in the Future Nation Schools group were opened in Gauteng this year and more will follow. “Empowering women starts with quality education. They must be able to achieve their full potential as learners and students, to assume leadership positions in the future,” says Dr Dlamini.
“Within companies, stereotypes and prejudices need to be addressed as part of good corporate governance. If you only have minorities with the privilege to lead, you have very mediocre leadership. “If you have a pool of 100 potential leaders you have a greater chance of great leadership than if you have a pool of 10. It’s common sense, but too many people still refuse to acknowledge this or are too quick to cut down all women if one woman fails. “As Barclays Africa Group Chief Executive Maria Ramos says, when a woman fails it is all women who have failed; when a man fails it is just that man. We need to get to the stage when one woman’s failure does not define what other women can achieve; it’s a process, but we need to accelerate it.” She strongly supports the work being done by South Africa’s Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UnderSecretary-General for Gender Equality and Executive Director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. Luminance luxury fashion store in Hyde Park, Johannesburg
PROMOTING AFRICANNESS She also strongly advocates Africanness, foregrounding African issues and solutions, and elevating Africa to the world stage. As a reflection of this, one of her companies, Luminance, a luxury fashion chain, offers South African-origin labels such as MaXhosa, David Tlale and Clad Chic alongside major international names. And her in-store magazine, Luminance, showcases high fashion alongside pressing health issues, such as the dangers of skin lighteners and products that damage and lead to the loss of black hair. “With my background as a medical doctor I am very invested in these issues,” says Dr Dlamini, “and what concerns me is that most of the pharmaceuticals come from first world countries and predominantly address first world problems. I am driving for African solutions for African problems.”
“We need to celebrate our Africanness and our contribution to the world. We need to celebrate the beauty and diversity of our looks, complexions and beings”
She says it’s critical to change the idea that our knowledge and innovations are inferior to those of the so-called developed world: “We need to celebrate our Africanness and our contribution to the world. We need to celebrate the beauty and diversity of our looks, complexions and beings. The process has started but I believe I will see this significantly advance in my lifetime.”
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF MBEKANI GROUP
An MBA through Wits “An MBA takes so much time, effort and money that it needs to be done through a recognised institution like Wits. Recognition stands for something – it is about the institution’s history, legacy and academic standing. Following on this I think it is extremely important that Wits retains its status and ranking as a leading university with a recognised MBA.”
Dr Judy Dlamini is the recipient of: • The African Economy Builder Lifetime Achiever Award for 2016 from the African Economy Builder Forum • The CEO Global 2016 award for Africa’s Most Influential Woman in Business and Government (Business and Professional Services) at regional and national level • The 2016 Fabulous Woman Award, founded in 2013 by businesswoman Pontsho Manzi to celebrate the foundational principles of ethical womanhood. It’s the first award in South Africa to recognise both girls and women.
About free higher education “The only way out of poverty is through quality education. Any self-respecting country has to be able to educate its poor, and this includes comprehensive free higher education for academically deserving students. Where I differ on the subject of free higher education for all is that I do not think my children should have free education, because I can afford it. Those who can afford it should pay.”
Swizzling for science BY UFRIEDA HO
“WE COLLABORATE ON THE COCKTAILS AND WE HAVE A BARMAN WHO WORKS OUT SOME DRINKS THAT MAY BE THEMED WITH THE TOPIC OF THE NIGHT. WE TRY TO MAKE IT FUN AND A BIT OF A SPECTACLE.” Kevin Naidoo, The Orbit 26
ome things make more sense with a cocktail in hand – like why E equals mc², the fate of Schrodinger’s cat, or the chemistry behind falling hopelessly in love.
Even scientists must think there’s something about liquid lubrication that gets the grey matter fired up – it’s one half of the successful Science & Cocktails public lecture sessions, which got their start in Copenhagen in 2010. The cocktail element is about a relaxed atmosphere; a space and vibe that are deliberately chilled out, laid back and informal. The events always throw in live entertainment too. It makes for a combination that respects the science while attracting a broader audience. Science & Cocktails has bolstered science outreach in Denmark and over the past two years has proved to be a hit in Joburg too. Science & Cocktails in Joburg was started by Kevin Goldstein and Costas Zoubos in July 2015. Goldstein is an associate professor in the Wits School of Physics and Zoubos is an associate professor in theoretical high energy physics at the University of Pretoria. Zoubos, who was based in Copenhagen for some time, worked with the team that set up the original sessions. When he moved to Gauteng in 2013 he knew that with some tweaking the concept could be transplanted.
When he met Goldstein, the two physicists joined forces to start a Jozi chapter. It was about finding the right venue, securing some funding to keep the events operating as not-for-profit sessions and getting institutional support from both Wits and UP (for the use of projectors and sound equipment). For a venue they settled on the popular jazz club The Orbit, which is virtually across the road from Wits’ main campus in Braamfontein. And so, in the dead of a mid-week Highveld winter night, they launched the Joburg edition of Science & Cocktails. The scene was set in the divinely moody club, where cocktails with names like “Penicillin” bubbled and smoked (thanks to some dry ice). Then science took centre stage, and the people came. They’ve kept coming back ever since, making this the must-attend event every last Tuesday of the month. Even the most science-phobic types have had their interest piqued with topics that have ranged from forensic analysis and interpretation of bone trauma to the relationship between biological sex, sexual orientation and gender, the universe’s monster black holes and yes, even string theory. “I don’t think we were surprised by how successful Science & Cocktails has become because we knew from the Copenhagen model that it does work. But we have been really pleased that even on ‘bad’ nights we have still managed to get around 150 people,” says Goldstein.
WITS REVIEW He says it’s significant that the science talks take place mid-week and at night. For him it’s about shifting perceptions that there are no-go zones in Joburg after dark and also challenges the lame lament of “there is nothing going on in Joburg”.
A talk on Big Data held on 28 February 2017 attracted huge interest
“Being in Braamfontein is great because there are a lot of students who live here and we have been able to attract a younger group of people to make the sessions more broad-based.” After the official proceedings, the live music performances take over and the bar stays open. Zoubos adds that having Braamfontein as a location means Science & Cocktails is not just for those who have personal transport to get to suburbs further out from the centre of town. “We may have lost a few people who are too scared to come into town, but we have attracted many more people willing to give it a try – and they find they like it,” he says. He adds: “It’s really gratifying to see Science & Cocktails grow in Copenhagen and in Johannesburg. When the first event was held in Copenhagen it was in a cocktail bar that could seat only about 40 people, and about 30 people arrived for a talk about the Higgs boson. Nowadays over 400 people attend events.” Collaboration, the right partnerships and innovation add to the alchemy of what makes events work. For Science & Cocktails its heart is good science and good science speakers. Goldstein says they do their homework about speakers and presenters to make sure these scientists have interesting research to share and also understand the need for effective communication to get non-science types excited. Other components of the success are that the entry fee is a nominal R20 and there are no bookings, so no added admin nightmare. The fee goes towards paying artists who perform after the formal proceedings – a hurrah for support of the arts. There is also the theatre and frivolity in the cocktail menu – some mixology and dry ice for dramatic effect. Bar takings go to The Orbit. Kevin Naidoo, a director of The Orbit, loved the idea when he was first approached. He says: “It’s such a great concept and we’re neighbours after all. It was an experiment for us too in the beginning, because we’re a jazz club and this was science. But we loved that music and entertainment would be a key part of the events.” 28
Says Naidoo: “We collaborate on the cocktails and we have a barman who works out some drinks that may be themed with the topic of the night. We try to make it fun and a bit of a spectacle.” Naidoo says collaborations also make business sense. “The events take place on a Tuesday night, which isn’t a busy night for us. We get feet through the door and some people book for dinner before the talk. For a lot of people, this is their introduction to The Orbit. It’s also an introduction to venturing out to Braamfontein at night.”
Goldstein says they’re hoping to expand this year. With additional funding they can look to bring in science speakers from beyond Gauteng. They may also look to increase the frequency of talks and expand to other venues. As scientists and teachers, Goldstein and Zoubos love the questions that are asked at the end of talk, where curiosity and information meet. It’s a magical collision of science outreach, enhanced public access and understanding, a platform and actual pay for musicians and even a tick for business. Raise a glass to Science & Cocktails!
*SCIENCE & COCKTAILS TAKES PLACE EVERY LAST TUESDAY OF THE MONTH AT 8PM AT THE ORBIT. FOR MORE DETAILS, SEE WWW.SCIENCEANDCOCKTAILS.ORG/JOZI
MEDICAL TRAINING IN GOOD HEALTH Wits-trained doctors, surgeons and specialists are the unsung heroes of health care in South Africa. Wits also leads the way in training a new generation of medical experts at private and public hospitals in Johannesburg.
BY HEATHER DUGMORE
WITS DONALD GORDON MEDICAL CENTRE
Prof Jerome Loveland, specialist paediatric and transplant surgeon
laying a pivotal role is the Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre (WDGMC), South Africa’s first private teaching hospital, of which Wits University is the main shareholder. Some of the country’s top medical practitioners are doing groundbreaking work here.
“We train specialists and sub-specialists in association with state hospitals, and provide training in sub-specialist disciplines that were not available before in South Africa, such as solid organ transplants and geriatric medicine,” says Dr Sue Tager, neurologist and CEO of the WDGMC since 2008. “The training we offer is critical for South Africa.” Dr Tager says they pride themselves on being able to train in areas not always available in the public sector: “Through this approach we have managed to create more opportunities for doctors to further their expertise in this country. We have also been able to attract specialists back from the private sector and overseas (many of them Wits-trained), to develop their field with us.” As a teaching hospital the WDGMC has retained a notable number of doctors and specialists who might have been lost to the training environment, moved to private hospitals that don’t do training, or relocated overseas. Dr Tager explains this directly enhances the quality of health care, as well as the quality of training at Wits and in the public sector environment, adding that there has been an exponential increase in the number of black and women specialists and sub-specialists.
Nurturing nurses “We are also helping to address the nursing crisis in South Africa, and the WDGMC is involved in the training and skills upgrading of nurses in the disciplines we provide.” Salaries are a perennial issue, but Tager says research shows that what nurses want most is training. Dr Sue Tager Photo: WDGMC
The WDGMC partners with a number of state hospitals, including the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital (Joburg Gen), Helen Joseph and Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital (Bara).
“We believe that to maintain high standards of health care, strong partnerships between universities, public and private hospitals and the state are essential.” She adds that public health care in general is not where it should be and private health care is very expensive: “Across the board, quality health care needs to be available to far more people. Wits and the WDGMC have contributed to more accessible, continuously improving health care and we have maintained a high standard of health sciences education. We are proud of this and we welcome closer collaboration with the National Department of Health.”
WITS DONALD GORDON MEDICAL CENTRE
“Wits and the WDGMC have contributed to more accessible, continuously improving health care and we have maintained a high standard of health sciences education.”
PHOTO: SANDY MAYTHAM-BAILEY
WITS DONALD GORDON MEDICAL CENTRE
Some of the WDGMCâ€™s specialists are: Professor Russell Britz (Wits-trained; MBBCh 1979) established the liver transplant unit in 2004. It is currently headed by Professor Jean Botha (Wits MBBCh 1990), who returned from the United States in 2012 to establish the paediatric liver transplant unit. The first renal and pancreas transplant in a child in South Africa was performed at the WDGMC in 2008. The medical team included Dr Gary Fetter (Wits MBBCh 1986), Prof Britz and Prof Dokkie Botha (Wits MBBCh 1964). Prof Dokkie is now in his 70s and still assists with surgery. Professor Jose Ramos (Wits MBBCh 1983) returned from the private sector to head the hepatobiliary surgery unit. Dr Brent Tipping (University of Cape Town-trained) heads the Geriatric Medicine Unit. In 2008 he started and heads the geriatric medicine division at Wits in association with Helen Joseph Hospital. They train geriatrician registrars and fellows in both the public and private sectors. Dr Brendan Bebington, who did his postgraduate specialisation at Wits, returned from the private sector to head the colorectal surgery unit. Dr Charles Sanyika (University of KwaZulu-Natal) is a member of the WDGMC radiology and interventional radiology treatment unit, where he performs unique interventional radiology procedures. Cancer of the liver can be treated through noninvasive means here.
The WDGMC is the only facility in Southern Africa for pancreatic and related living donor liver transplants The WDGMC Transplant Unit has established itself as a leader in liver, kidney and simultaneous kidney-pancreas transplantation, and is the only facility in southern Africa today that does pancreatic transplants and related living donor liver transplants in children. The paediatric and adult liver transplant service at the WDGMC is offered to all citizens, with public hospital patients subsidised by the state.
Professor Jean Botha HEAD OF THE LIVER TRANSPLANT UNIT, WDGMC “In 2016 we did 25 paediatric liver transplants, 50% from living donors and 50% from donated organs. In the same period we did 70 adult transplants, all from donated organs,” says Prof Jean Botha, who did his MBBCh and general surgery at Wits.
Sir Donald Gordon Sir Donald Gordon’s R120-million donation to the University in 2002 is the largest single donation ever received by Wits. Gordon, a Chartered Accountant by profession, founded Liberty Life in 1957 and Liberty International PLC in 1980. In June 2005 he was knighted in recognition of his services to the arts and business. He has an Honorary Doctorate in Economic Science from Wits (1991). His legacy continues to make a considerable impact in South Africa through the Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre and the Donald Gordon Auditorium at the Wits School of Governance. With the funds from the Gordon family’s donation, Wits was able to purchase the Kenridge Hospital in 2002. Mediclinic, the international private hospital group, became a 49.9% shareholder in 2005.
DONALD GORDON, GALLO IMAGES
In 2000 he took up a fellowship at the University of Nebraska Medical Centre in the United States to learn how to do liver transplants. He remained there for 12 years, rising to head the living donor liver transplant programme. “During that time my South African colleagues, including Professor Russell Britz, would go over there, and my partners and I would come to South Africa, where I did the first liver transplant on an adult at the WDGMC in 2004,” he says. “I returned in 2012 because I always had this desire to come home, and I knew that I could make a difference to many people’s lives here. America was a wonderful experience but you miss home and family.” On returning in 2012 he established the paediatric living donor transplant programme. “In living donor liver transplants we use the smallest possible piece of liver from an adult, usually a parent, which we transplant and it then grows. It is a relatively safe operation and we we have done this for 100 children over the past four years. We cannot do this in adults because the piece of transplanted liver would need to be too big. In adults and in children where there isn’t a suitable living donor, we do donor transplants using livers from deceased people.” Children and adults need liver transplants for a variety of reasons, including biliary atresia, fatty liver diseases, autoimmune conditions, cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis B and alcoholic liver disease.
WITS DONALD GORDON MEDICAL CENTRE
“We have an 83% one-year survival rate for all our liver transplants in children and 87% in our adults. Once patients get through the first year they have an excellent prognosis for long-term survival. We currently have the same survival rates as international units but we are working towards achieving 90%.”
“We have an 83% one-year survival rate for all our liver transplants in children and 87% in our adults.”
Over 50% of the unit’s paediatric patients are black and approximately 25% are state patients who have the transplant at the WDGMC at no cost to the patient. “The state partially contributes towards the cost of state transplant patients. A liver transplant can cost from R500 000 to R1-million and it is extremely important to us that all South Africans, irrespective of whether they are on medical aids or not, have access to our facility. “We work closely with our colleagues at all the state hospitals in Gauteng and regard ourselves as one big unit. We are here to help as our unit has the resources and human power required for liver transplants, and to train specialists at the highest level. What we urgently need are more liver donors, as we currently have 57 people waiting for liver transplants. If we had more donors we could do so many more transplants.” Prof Jean Botha Photo: Sandy Maytham-Bailey
Professor Jerome Loveland HEAD OF WITS UNIVERSITY’S DEPARTMENT OF PAEDIATRIC SURGERY Professor Loveland is a specialist paediatric and transplant surgeon, based at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital (Bara). Bara is the largest and busiest paediatric surgery unit in South Africa, offering a world class surgical service, thanks to Prof Loveland and his Department of Paediatric Surgery team.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE WITS DEPARTMENT OF PAEDIATRIC SURGERY
They provide a service for emergencies and elective surgery at Bara and at the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in three main wards: the neonatal surgery ward for newborn babies up to 3.5kgs, the main paediatric ward for all children over 3.5kgs up to the age of 16 and the children’s burns unit. “Paediatric surgeons are one of the true remaining general surgeons, operating on a broad spectrum of issues and pathologies,” says Prof Loveland, who did his MBBCh and surgery training at Wits and has worked at Bara since 2006, when he qualified as a paediatric surgeon.
WITS DONALD GORDON MEDICAL CENTRE
He says that he never wanted to leave South Africa because “this is my home and this is where our team can really make a difference to the lives of all our little patients and their families”. The Department of Paediatric Surgery does the full range of paediatric operations at Bara and at the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital, except for liver transplants where they partner with the WDGMC liver transplant unit. Prof Loveland is a senior member of Prof Botha’s transplant team. At Bara and the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital Prof Loveland’s team manages an enormous clinical load, performing 200 to 300 paediatric operations every month and managing 1500 to 2000 patients per month in their outpatient clinic. The majority of patients are from the greater Joburg and Gauteng area, but numerous patients travel from all over the country to be attended to by Prof Loveland and his team. “There is a severe shortage of paediatric surgeons in South Africa; we currently have about 30 in total,” says Prof Loveland. “We should have one paediatric surgeon per 200-to-400 members of the population but we currently have one per 1-to-2 million. To address this we changed our training system at Wits, which enables us to have the capacity to train more paediatric surgeons, and we are now training two to three times more than we were a few years back.”
“... this is my home and this is where our team can really make a difference to the lives of all our little patients and their families”.
Prof Loveland’s team currently includes four consultant paediatric surgeons and a host of paediatric surgery and general surgery registrars, supported by community service doctors and medical officers. “There is a lot of competition to get jobs with us because it is seen as such a good training area, and I can confidently say that paediatric surgery training at Wits is as good as or better than it ever was. We also have a high retention rate and I think a big part of this is that there is wonderful job satisfaction. We have also made an effort to create a good working environment, which directly filters to our patients.”
Prof Loveland says the Department of Health salaries are acceptable and they are permitted to do a few hours in private hospitals per week, which augments their incomes, gives them the opportunity to work in the private sector, and ensures that the whole community has access to their level of paediatric surgery. “It goes without saying that budgets at Bara and the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital are tight, the facilities are not where they should be, the nurses are stretched and access to theatre isn’t as good as it should be.” To help address some of the shortages, they managed to get Investec on board, which has been very supportive of their work. Two years ago the department further launched a direct funding drive called ‘Surgeons for Little Lives’ to raise funds to build a paediatric surgery outpatient facility at Bara. The current facility is housed in a prefabricated building with no amenities or beds for parents or carers who bring their children to hospital, often from afar. “The response to Surgeons for Little Lives has been very encouraging,” says Prof Loveland. “GlaxoSmithKline is donating the funds to build a R20 million state-of-the-art new outpatient building with sleeping facilities for 24 outpatient and inpatient parents/carers. The building will be formally opened on 23 November 2017.”
www.surgeonsforlittlelives.org MAY 2017
Bruno Correia revisits the Northwest Engineering Building, where his career began, with his bride Sandy.
weddings at wits
The Wits Campus is a versatile setting for wedding photos, styled for urban edginess, timeless elegance or garden beauty. Ceremonies and receptions also take place at the Cape Dutch style Wits Club and Barns. The Olives & Plates restaurant at the Club is legendary for its excellent service and food. To book it for your wedding function, contact Joseph Koch on (011) 717-9365 or email email@example.com.
PHOTOS: CHRISTIAAN DAVID PHOTOGRAPHY
WEDDINGS AT WITS
Tunnel of love: Paul and Courtney Esterhuizen strike a romantic pose in the tunnel linking East and West campuses.
CHRISTIAAN DAVID PHOTOGRAPHY
Above: Paul and Courtney Esterhuizen ... Right: Genea Tehini says she was “obsessed” with Olives & Plates as the venue for her wedding to Chad. “Wits made a very New York backdrop to the photos!”
LAUREN KIM PHOTOGRAPHY
witsies in love
TYRONE K ZERF PHOTOGRAPHY
Student life is all about newfound freedoms, stretching your mind, finding “your people” and maybe even finding “the one”.
“We cherish the memories of those wonderful years.”
VIV & NOEL Viv Pope (Jones) is a Witsie who found the real thing on campus: her husband Noel, whom she married 64 years ago. Noel, a Mechanical Engineering student in 1943, was enlisted in the SA Air Force. He had got his wings as a fighter pilot at the end of 1944 and was about to go to Burma when peace was declared. So back he came to Wits, to College House men’s res. Viv arrived at Wits in 1947, a “green convent girl” from Ermelo. “I had four wonderful years in Sunnyside Women’s Res,” she recalls. “I played timpani in the orchestra and sang in the chorus in Don Giovanni and Cosi Fan Tutte.” She later became a teacher. “Noel’s and my paths crossed from about 1948. He was courting a Sunnyside friend of mine, Mary, and had a dreadful motorbike accident on his way back from the Wits Boat Club at Rand Leases. He landed in the Maxillofacial and Dental Hospital, then in Braamfontein. Mary visited him there regularly and we took it in turns to accompany her on the walk. My first face-to-face with Noel was seeing two staring, ‘bloody’ eyes on a reconstructed face,” she says. But the eyes had it. By 1950 they were a couple. The Popes were married in 1952 but both continued to be Wits students for many years, says Viv (MEd 1979). Noel did his PhD on wind tunnels (titled “Supersonic nozzle design”) in 1960, at a time when aeronautical engineers were working on achieving speeds that would break the sound barrier. “Noel was an Anglo American employee all his working life and I lectured at the Johannesburg College of Education (now Wits School of Education) for 18 stimulating years.” They live at the Village of Golden Harvest in Randburg, love the outdoors and are active in the University of the Third Age, the South African Archaeological Society and the Botanical Society. “Wits shaped our lives and has contributed to the shaping of our son Trevor (also an engineer) and his two children. We cherish the memories of those wonderful years.” 44
DANIELLA & GRANT There was no instant connection when Daniella Crankshaw (Roman) first set eyes on Grant Crankshaw at the Wits Drama School in 1989. “We didn’t like each other at all at first, but through studying drama, you learn about yourself and others, and get different perspectives on life. I’d been so naïve at school but my eyes were opened,” says Daniella. Three months on, they were a couple. By their final year they were engaged. Daniella says studying drama was “brilliant training in how to read people and situations and act accordingly”. Drama gave the couple the insight and flexibility to adapt, which was useful when Grant converted to Judaism to marry Daniella. They emigrated to Israel in 1997, encountering an entirely different culture there. Now, with their son Jared, a sound engineer, they run Desert Rose Productions. They have a dream to create a cultural centre in Israel where the arts can flourish in the English language, a neutral language of expression for Israelis of every religion. They also created a light-hearted play about their marriage and life with all its absurd and challenging situations, called Together, Against the Odds, which came to South Africa in November 2016. “You’ve got to laugh,” says Daniella – and audiences did.
WITSIES IN LOVE
NICOLÉ & HUGO A power couple since their schooldays are Nicolé van der Merwe and Hugo Maré, who fell in love at Marais Viljoen High School and remained together through their university years. “I was completing my BSc and Honours, Hugo was completing his LLB (2014). We were very involved in each other’s studies. I would attend LLB lectures when I had time and Hugo would do the same with science. During my Honours year he even had the opportunity to visit the lab, with the supervisors’ permission of course. We drove to varsity together, worked together during the day and went home together,” says Nicolé (BSc 2012, BSc Hons 2013, LLB 2016). She says they spent “many, many hours in the Commerce Library and the William Cullen Library”, as well as study and brainstorming sessions at Olives and Plates – “the best food and cake on campus”. It’s no wonder they had their engagement photo shoot on campus, “at all our iconic and memorable spots at Wits”. The couple, who will be married in August, took pictures in the romantic garden setting of the Wits Club, went on to the Tower of Light – cue memories of hours spent in the law clinic – and of course revisited the Great Hall, scene of all those graduation high points. “Wits is close to our heart, and will always remain so,” says Nicolé. “The foundations of our careers were built there. Our dedication to success and our love for one another grew stronger year after year. We truly are proud Witsies.”
“Our dedication to success and our love for one another grew stronger year after year. We truly are proud Witsies.”
PHOTO CREDIT: MENSE MET GESIGTE
Nicolé and Hugo chose all the iconic Wits places for their engagement photo shoot.
TYRONE K ZERF PHOTOGRAPHY
CUAN & BRETT A blind date at the Wits Art Museum coffee shop was how Cuan Humphries (BA 2015, BA Hons 2016) and Brett Pepper (BA 2012, BA Hons 2013, MA 2015) first met. The couple initially didn’t think they’d take their relationship beyond that first date, but four years later are still happy they said yes to the lunchtime set-up a mutual friend had arranged. It helped that the second date was a comedy show, where the pressure was off. Something of a challenge was the fact that Brett was doing his Master’s and was under more academic pressure than second-year Cuan when they met. On the other hand, they were in the same age group, both heading for postgraduate degrees, and they shared an interest in psychology. It was also helpful, Cuan says, that Wits was less conservative than some other environments, allowing gay couples to feel more comfortable. “A relationship that starts at Wits has a good foundation because you’re both invested in the opportunity to further your education and you’re part of a community,” Cuan says. He is now working in market research, and Brett has his own clinical psychology practice.
A big step for Odette and Duane between the North- and Southwest Engineering Buildings.
ODETTE & DUANE Odette and Duane Davids met in 2010 while she was on a gap year from Australia, where her family had emigrated. Finding a husband and staying in South Africa was not in Odette’s plan, but when he proposed in front of a TV camera at a big concert, what could she do? Odette studied part-time at Wits and was keen on Braamfontein’s Shine Studios and Wits for the wedding reception and photos. “A very happy moment for us was listening to our guests, some of whom hadn’t been back to South Africa in well over 10 years, commenting on how they hadn’t seen this side of Joburg before and the beauty of the gardens and the city on display really opened their eyes.”
TYRONE K ZERF PHOTOGRAPHY
WITSIES IN LOVE
The physics of a romantic setting – pillars form a timeless backdrop to a special moment.
ROSHEN & VENESHREE Roshen Pahaladh (BSc 2007, PDM 2010, MBA 2016) and Dr Veneshree Padayachee (MBBCh 2010) met in their first year at Wits, 2004, and have been inseparable ever since. Spending a lot of time together on campus “provided the solid foundation required in building our long-lasting relationship and allowed our love for each other to blossom,” says Veneshree. They married in January 2015 and “thought it only fitting to allow Wits to be a part of our special day, as it brightened our future by allowing us to meet each other”. After a wet wedding day, a rainbow put in an appearance over the Great Hall in time for the photos. Veneshree says: “Our time at Wits is filled with great memories of all the fun and difficult experiences we endured while building our careers through our studies as well as our relationship. I qualified from Wits as a medical doctor in 2010, and subsequently specialised through Wits in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Roshen has three degrees from Wits.” She jokes: “I think he was trying to find someone new and then decided to settle with me.” Two years later, “we are definitely planning a few other proud Witsies to be.”
BAILEY & JACK Jack MacDiarmid and Bailey Cockerill were introduced by a friend who played hockey at Wits with Bailey. Jack is an Australian who studied mining and finance at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. He came to South Africa in 2010 to watch the Soccer World Cup and has yet to leave. He is completing a parttime MSc (Mineral Economics) at Wits while working for Anglo American. The couple chose Olives and Plates as their wedding venue “to show off this great city to the 40 Aussie visitors we had. We were completely blown away with the setting, food and service and couldn’t have asked for a better day and venue. The Aussies were amazed with everything South Africa had to offer,” says Jack. “To this day, we still have people commenting about how special it was,” adds Bailey. She did a BSc in Human Movement Studies & Physiology at Wits and now has her own biokinetics practice within a multidisciplinary wellness centre in Blairgowrie.
CAROLIEN & BEN WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY
The Wits Club was a classy reception venue for Bailey and Jack.
WITSIES IN LOVE
LINDA & MZILA
LOUISA & EITZAZ
BEN VILJOEN PHOTOGRAPHY
Res food may be far from romantic, but served up at the shared dining hall for Sunnyside Res and Men’s Res it was what brought Linda Mthenjane (BA Hons 1993) and her husband Mzila (BSc Eng 1992) together in 1989. “Those were the good times,” Linda says. “I’d been at boarding school, so Wits meant safe independence. Mzila grew up in Soweto and it was his first opportunity to leave home. “We did a lot of simple things like walking to the movies in Hillbrow. We would buy food at Checkers and chill, listening to music together. It gave us time to get to know each other.” They have now been married almost 20 years and have two daughters. The Mthenjanes agree that Wits offered them an amazing network that they only became aware of once they started working. “The number of Witsies in powerful positions is astounding.” Today Linda is Group HR Executive for MMI Holdings and Mzila is Executive Head: Strategy and Stakeholder Relations at Exxaro.
Louisa Ferreira met Eitzaz Sadiq in their first year at Wits, in 2000, and both graduated as medical doctors in 2005. “It was only natural for us to have our wedding photos taken on campus as it was the beginning of our amazing 17-year love story,” says Louisa, now a paediatric palliative care specialist. Her husband is a neurologist and they have four children. “We reflect often on the wonderful times we had at Wits, the friends we made and how Wits shaped us to be the doctors and people we are today.” She says Wits gave them not just the edge but each other, and they are grateful for that every day. MAY 2017
DR THULANI DLAMINI
Witsies with the edge THANDO MKATSHANA Thando Mkatshana (BSc Eng 1995) has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of African Rainbow Minerals Platinum. He was previously CEO of ARM Copper and ARM Coal. His career in the mining industry began in 1988 at Anglo American Coal, and he has also worked at Xstrata Coal, Kalagadi Manganese and ArcelorMittal South Africa.
Dr Thulani Dlamini (BSc Hons 1994, PhD 1999) has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. He joined the CSIR in 2005 as the head of the National Laser Centre and in 2008 was appointed Group Executive for Research and Development. In 2011 he joined chemicals and energy company Sasol, where he became Vice-President for Strategic Research and Technology. He has a Master’s in Business Leadership from UNISA in addition to his Wits chemistry doctorate, has served on numerous boards and is a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa. He was closely involved in developing a national strategy for photonics research, development and innovation. “It is my hope that together with our global partners we can deliver on the mandate of the CSIR to use science, engineering and technology to advance society and industry,” he said at the time of his appointment.
DR MORRIS MILNER
WITSIES WITH THE EDGE
Dr Morris (Mickey) Milner’s contribution to helping people with disabilities, through biomedical and rehabilitation engineering, has earned him a Lifetime Achievement Award from Life Sciences Ontario. The organisation represents the sector and encourages the commercial success of ventures in biopharmaceuticals, agriculture, medical devices and so on. Dr Milner is Professor Emeritus at the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto, and was President and CEO of the Health Technology Exchange, after a long career at the Bloorview MacMillan Children’s Centre. He obtained his BSc Eng at Wits’ Department of Electrical Engineering in 1957 and his PhD in 1968, and taught at Wits. In addition to his international academic career, he has helped to develop and commercialise medical and assistive technologies and has mentored many people in the field.
PROFESSOR SHABIR MADHI Vaccinology Professor Shabir Madhi (MBBCh 1990, MMed 1999, PhD 2004) has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa and received the Scientific Leadership Award from the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trial Partnership. He has again received an A rating from the National Research Foundation, for his international leadership in his research field. He is the Director of the Respiratory and Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit of the Medical Research Council, and his work focuses on using vaccination to reduce illness and death from infectious diseases, particularly among children.
BookReviews In this memoir Manganyi relates the story of his life and transitions from boyhood to professional scholar, from psychologist to educational leader. He is particularly interested in how he became a psychologist and what it meant to be a black psychologist during the oppressive years of apartheid.
Apartheid and the Making of a Black Psychologist: A Memoir By N. Chabani Manganyi
Professor Chabani Manganyi is a man of many parts. He has lived through several careers, as psychologist, writer, biographer and researcher, educator, university leader and government administrator. He was an intellectual activist and “thought leader” long before that term ever produced darlings of the press. A memoir is a particular type of autobiography that usually comments on the public aspects of one’s life. It may well exclude the private side of life, though omissions can be as important as the events and experiences that come under the spotlight. 52
The early chapters of his boyhood and family background reveal traditional, missionary and parental influences on his life choices. He was born in Mavambe (now in the province of Limpopo) and recalls his succession of ancestors. He touches on how families fall into poverty and pays tribute to his teachers. His university studies began at Turfloop (officially the University College of the North) but financial difficulties forced him to complete his first and then Honours degrees at UNISA with majors in Psychology and English. His first experiences with prejudice and barriers in the world of commerce and personnel led him to study and work as an intern in clinical psychology at Baragwanath Hospital. It was here that horizons and career choices for a young black intellectual broadened. The negative experience of many black professionals is integral to this story and in this sense the form of the memoir provides a space for reflection and coming to terms with luck, unfairness and personal
choices. Ultimately Manganyi journeyed, studied and worked abroad and so challenged the boundaries of South African life. In South African art history circles, Manganyi is known for his biography of the artist Gerard Sekoto. The political elements of the Manganyi memoir are an enduring and important commentary on life, struggle and resistance in South Africa in the 1980s. I was surprised, though, that this memoir ends at the point in time when Manganyi resigned from his position of Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the North in December 1992, during a period of violence and protest on campus and a time of transition. I presume he is planning to add a second volume covering the last 25 years. Manganyi puts himself on the analyst’s couch but reveals only so much. A writer of a memoir should also think about his reader, who seeks relevance and resonance, and perhaps some lessons, in the life story of another. I think Manganyi meets this challenge, but it’s the political story about injustice and oppression that dominates and explains why this is a memoir of a black psychologist and not simply a South African psychologist. Reviewed by Katherine Munro, School of Architecture and Planning
Anthropology at Wits is at the heart of Andrew Bank’s new book Pioneers of the Field: South Africa’s Women Anthropologists, published by Wits University Press in partnership with Cambridge University Press. A historian of intellectuals and their ideas, Bank has already brought us some important work on the history of anthropology in this country, with a focus especially on Monica Hunter Wilson, long-time chair of the field at UCT.
Pioneers of the Field: South Africa’s Women Anthropologists By Andrew Bank Reviewed by Dr Hylton White, Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology, Wits
Now he has widened his scope with this volume of intellectual and biographical portraits of six anthropologists – Winifred Hoernlé, Monica Wilson, Ellen Hellman, Audrey Richards, Hilda Kuper, and Eileen Krige. Hoernlé founded the department at Wits, while all the others except for Wilson were students or members of the department in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. (Hellman was the first woman awarded a doctorate at Wits, in 1940.) As Bank argues persuasively, they were the foremothers of the tradition of anthropological work that dominated in liberal universities in South Africa throughout the 20th century. Social anthropologists try to record and to understand the great diversity of the social worlds that people have made in different times and places. At first this was based on studies of texts and artefacts collected at a distance, but in the early 20th century this “armchair” approach gave way to a new method based instead on personal immersion in the social contexts studied: what anthropologists still call “fieldwork”. Many women were among the leading figures in this new enterprise. But as Bank points out, the South African women who shaped the modern fieldwork tradition here have often been more marginalised in the telling and in the teaching of the history of the field. In Bank’s view it was fieldwork itself that gave women room for intellectual innovation, more than they would have found in other disciplines which constrained them to the patriarchies of library and laboratory work. And much innovation there was, as women such as Hellman produced the very first works of urban anthropology, for instance. This shifted the field away from a founding bias towards the worlds of rural traditionalism, and give rise to a subdiscipline that ever since then has played a leading role in social science scholarship across sub-Saharan Africa. Under Hoernlé’s example, these women also brought the results of their fieldwork into the public domain, using them to craft their own interventions against the increasingly racist direction of government policy.
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Bank is rightly an advocate for the memory of this extraordinary group of researchers, teachers and public intellectuals. However, we also need to tell the fullest story of the black intellectuals who shaped the field together with them, both within universities and in their role as research assistants and interlocutors (the subject of recent work by Wits historian Sekiba Lekgoathi). The current book is a very important step forward, though, in the project of writing a more decolonised history of South African universities and their scholars.
WITSIES WITH THE
The Keiskamma Art Project: Restoring Hope and Livelihoods BY BRENDA SCHMAHMANN
A woman dressed in the quiet blue fabrics of rural domestic life, a man at her side, facing the future together confidently, though the background teems with lost children. This is just one arresting detail among the illustrations of The Keiskamma Art Project: Restoring Hope and Livelihoods (Print Matters, 2016). Creativity, history, community health, nature and spirituality come together in this beautiful, informative and moving book by Brenda Schmahmann (BA FA 1982, BA Hons 1983, MA 1987, PhD 1997). It records the history of the Keiskamma Art Project, a community needlework group in the Eastern Cape village of Hamburg, and discusses the themes of its most important work. The group was founded in 2000 by Carol Hofmeyr, an artist and medical doctor, in an effort to create a source of income for the villagers. Schmahmann taught art history at Wits in the 1990s and now holds the South African Research Chair in South African Art and Visual Culture at the University of Johannesburg. Much of the Keiskamma needlework takes pieces of Western art – the Bayeux Tapestry, the Isenheim Altarpiece, Picasso’s Guernica – as the impetus for expressing local themes, using local imagery. Schmahmann considers known sources, references and intentions as well as other possible influences and significance, and helpfully compares and contrasts the old and the new. The book’s illustrations show not only the finished pieces but the place where they were made, people making them, and the ways they were exhibited. While often quoting viewpoints of members of the Keiskamma Art Project, Schmahmann also allows her own understandings of these powerful images to suggest ways of interpreting them.
Developing the Right to Social Security – A Gender Perspective BY BETH GOLDBLATT
Dr Beth Goldblatt’s book (Routledge 2016) sets out the context of gender-related poverty and proposes principles for a gendered right to social security. It looks at how UN bodies have applied this right and considers the cases of South Africa, Australia and India. The chapter on South Africa examines, in particular, the child support grant and the conditions attached to it. Dr Goldblatt (BA 1989, BA Hons 1990, LLB 1994, LLM 2001) is an Associate Professor at the University of Technology Sydney and an Honorary Senior Fellow of Wits’ School of Law. As a student, she was on the Wits SRC and was the Secretary General of NUSAS. An “extremely proud” alumna, she is married to a Witsie, Paul Jammy (BA 1986, LLB 1989), and is the daughter of another, former Judge Lewis Goldblatt (BCom 1956, LLB 1958, HDip Tax Law 1974). She worked at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies from 1996 to 2008, when she moved to Australia.
Justice: A Beginner’s Guide BY RAYMOND WACKS
Prof Raymond Wacks (BA 1968 LLB 1969) has written an introductory book for the general reader, explaining influential theories of justice and showing how ideas like fairness, equality and freedom are applied in practice. He has also written extensively about privacy and the law. Prof Wacks left South Africa in 1970, intending to return, but “ended up becoming a professional student at Oxford, then teaching law there”. Later he spent 17 years in Hong Kong and 15 in Italy, and is now back in the UK. He says Wits “was a wonderful experience which I shall never forget. The values that we fought so hard to uphold seem to be surviving, if not exactly flourishing.”
The Printmaker BY BRONWYN LAW-VILJOEN
What kind of impression does a life, or an experience, make? What do we leave behind? Do our lives have to be seen and known by others in order to have value? Bronwyn Law-Viljoen’s first novel (Umuzi, 2016) is set in Johannesburg. Repeating episodes from different viewpoints, adding to them and moving backwards and forwards in time, it gradually builds up a picture of a man whose deep feelings poured out of him quietly and in obscurity, in the form of his art. After his death, an old friend of his asks a curator to help her sort through his work. This is a story about friendship, connection, making sense of “a lifetime of fragments” and symbols. It’s a stimulating read, touching South Africa’s own raw spots as well as timeless themes, and especially rewarding for readers with an interest in art. Law-Viljoen heads Wits’ Creative Writing programme, which has nurtured many successful writers, including Rehana Rossouw, Ameera Patel, Antony Altbeker, Kevin Bloom, Shaun de Waal and Craig Higginson. The programme (now with three full-time staff members, including the poet Phillippa Yaa de Villiers) is also associated with an online creative writing periodical, ITCH (www.itch. co.za), started by Wits alumna Mehita Iqani. Anyone can submit their work for consideration, free from commercial pressure. Ideas about what we leave behind, what we leave out, and how we connect with others, also run through some of the work of Ivan Vladislavić, Wits alumnus and Distinguished Professor in the Creative Writing Department. His 2015 collection 101 Detectives (Umuzi) includes a story about heavy old trunks full of “leavings” which the protagonist feels obliged to make sense of. But as he says eventually: “We recede endlessly, framed and reframed, until we are unreadable to ourselves.”
The Sperrgebiet: Nature’s Parched Masterpiece BY GRAHAM AND FRANÇOISE WILLIAMSON
Witsie couple Graham and Françoise Williamson have produced a large, enormously informative and richly illustrated book on the natural history of the Sperrgebiet, the 26 000km2 desert wilderness in the southwestern corner of Namibia, along the Atlantic coast. Access to the area has been controlled since 1908 because of diamond mining, but gems are not its only treasures. This part of the Namib – which the authors describe as a “strange, fog-soaked sandsea” – also harbours fossils, archaeological remains and highly adapted plants and animals. It is a World Heritage Biodiversity Hotspot and a national park. The Sperrgebiet: Nature’s Parched Masterpiece, published by Oshana Publishing (2016), contains chapters on the landscape, the Orange River, the coast, dunes, fossils, climate, desert survival adaptations, gems, history, the Williamsons’ own expeditions, plants, invertebrates, vertebrates, Oranjemund and mining. There are also checklists of plants and lichens, references, a glossary and an index. There are 1236 colour illustrations and 46 line drawings and paintings.
Graham Williamson qualified in dentistry at Wits in 1957 and worked in Zimbabwe and Zambia before being appointed dental surgeon in Oranjemund in 1976. He had long had a serious interest in botany, and this posting gave him the privileged opportunity to explore the area in his spare time. He retired from dentistry in 1983 and devoted his attention to botany, earning an MSc from Wits in 1986 for work on the orchid flora of Zambia. Françoise (Clerc) majored in French at Wits, where she and Graham were married as students, and obtained her BA in 1957. She helped organise botanical expeditions and the whole Williamson family (four daughters) usually went along. Both Graham and Françoise have Sperrgebiet plants named in recognition of their work, and Graham has published worldwide and over the years won awards for his photography, artwork and botany. He is now a research associate of UCT’s Bolus Herbarium.
Confronting the Corrupt: Accountability Now’s Battle Against Graft in SA BY PAUL HOFFMAN
Advocate Paul Hoffman SC (BA 1972, LLB 1974) wants us to STIR. That is, he is calling for a new Chapter Nine institution in South Africa, an Integrity Commission with the following attributes: Specialisation; Training; Independence; Resources (guaranteed); Security of tenure of office.
And what you see in the book is the inside story of courtroom battles involving the arms deal commission, the disbanding of the Scorpions anti-corruption unit, and the bread cartel. In the Scorpions case, the Constitutional Court laid down the STIRS criteria for effective anticorruption machinery. Taking on the big bread manufacturers, Accountability Now achieved recognition of a general class action in South African law.
“Jaded and cynical”, as he says he was, he retired from the Bar in 2006 and started working in the nonprofit sector. He’s far from jaded now. A founder and director of the organisation Accountability Now, he has helped bring about some important changes in our legal system which empower ordinary people, and he is fighting to save South Africa from being “ploughed under” by corruption. At the launch of his book (Tafelberg 2016), he said: “The value system of the Constitution is inconsistent with the value system of a revolution, and as a consequence of that I decided to stop practising law … and get into the business of exacting accountability from those pursuing the revolutionary agenda. That manifested itself in what you see in the book.”
“I decided to stop practising law … and get into the business of exacting accountability from those pursuing the revolutionary agenda.”
Obituaries MARY SALKINDER-BERNSTEIN 1929 – 2017
Wits University fondly remembers those who have passed away
MAURICE KIBEL 1929 – 2016 Emeritus Professor Maurice Aaron Kibel (MBBCh 1952) was a pioneer in paediatrics and child health in Southern Africa. He practised in Zimbabwe for more than 20 years and at the Boston Children’s Floating Hospital in the USA before establishing the Child Health Unit at the University of Cape Town. He was involved in setting up a clinical trial site for the South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative and mentored many clinicians. He edited the textbook Child Health for All, contributed to Fofar’s Textbook of Paediatrics, and co-authored First Aid for Babies and Children. “He was a brilliant teacher and clinician and an inspirational and deeply humble human being – an extraordinary man who continued to contribute to the health of the most disadvantaged children and their families long after his retirement,” said Prof Heather Zar, Head of UCT’s Department of Paediatrics and Child Health. He was UCT’s University Orator for a time and a talented singer, and published a collection of humorous rhymes called General Tso’s Chicken and the Seven Deadly Sins. He leaves his wife, Leonora, his children, Owen, Shelley and David, and his grandchildren. (Source: SA Medical Journal) 60
Dr Mary Salkinder (MBBCh 1954) died on 14 February 2017, after a long illness. She was the widow of Professor Ralph Bernstein (BSc 1935, BSc Hons 1936, MSc 1937, MBBCh 1940), whom she married in 1950, in her third year as a medical student. She worked at the Poliomyelitis Foundation and took up an Eleanor Roosevelt Cancer Research Fellowship in 1966. She leaves her daughter Irene Bernstein, son Dr Geoff Bernstein, grandchildren and greatgrandchildren. The Salkinder and Bernstein families produced many Wits graduates. Ralph Bernstein, the most distinguished science graduate of his year, was the younger brother of Bertrand “Birch” Bernstein, who obtained his first Wits degree in 1927, was the most distinguished law graduate in 1929 and became Chancellor of the University in 1975. The amber stone set in the Wits mace is intended as a tribute to him, since “Bernstein” is the German word for amber.
ANTHONY MYERS 1926 – 2016 Dr Anthony Barton Myers (BDS 1950) passed away at age 90 on 23 November 2016. He was born in the Transkei on 3 October 1926. He practised dentistry in London, Johannesburg and Durban North. He was a well-loved dentist and was missed by his patients when he retired. He emigrated to Vancouver, Canada at age 84 to live closer to his son and daughter. His wife, Anne, died in 2002. He is survived by his son Nigel and daughter Phillipa and their families.
GEORGE GRANT 1927 – 2017 George Grant (BSc Eng 1950) was born in Johannesburg and educated at Parktown Boys’ High. After war service, he qualified as a civil engineer at Wits and later studied traffic engineering at Yale University. He led the teams that designed Johannesburg’s motorways and in 1983 was appointed City Engineer. He retired in 1991 as Deputy Town Clerk: Technical. He was Chairman of the Transvaal Association of City and Town Engineers, and a Fellow of both the South African Institution of Civil Engineers of Southern Africa and the Institution of Municipal Engineers of Southern Africa. His interests included bird photography, steam trains, collecting Africana and wildlife books.
GERALD GORDON 1933 – 2016
CECIL MICHELOW 1925 – 2017
Joseph Moses Gerald Gordon died in September 2016 at the age of 82. He had three degrees in architecture from Wits (BAS 1982, MArch 1987, PhD 1994), the Master’s thesis having been on Mies van der Rohe and the PhD thesis on a redesign of AutoCad. Gerald was known for his creativity and his originality in design. The vernacular architecture he encountered during travels in Europe and the Middle East strongly influenced his thinking about using natural and appropriate materials in housing design. He designed and built his own home on the rocky hillside of Linksfield Ridge, following in the footsteps of an earlier Johannesburg pioneering architect, Hermann Kallenbach, who as a stonemason, carpenter and architect also blended nature, site and design in close proximity to House Gordon. His cliff site was considered unbuildable but he constructed a fourstorey home clinging to the rocks and incorporating many of his ideas about alternative technology and building methods. His children called the Gordon home The Cave, as the rear quartz rock face, so typical of Johannesburg’s ridges, was the wall of the house. One entered the house at roof level. Gerald taught at Wits for 18 years, offering students insights that combined architectural history, theory and independent analysis to inspire African originality. His passion for design combined with cost savings led him to develop a new course called “Design under cost constraints”. His retirement from the University coincided with the change in South Africa. He felt despondent about the continuation of monotonous township housing as a solution to the massive housing backlog, and returned to his low-cost building research. This resulted in the system of building now known as thin-skin construction. His website at www.thinskinconstruction.com reveals much about Gerald, his philosophy and his pushing boundaries to find alternative techniques. Wits honoured him in his retirement with an appointment as Honorary Research Fellow in housing. A colleague said he had “a deep emotional intelligence, a generosity across social strata, and a strongly egalitarian purpose particularly in bringing about social change by improving living spaces”. He added: “Gerald believed that the definition of good design was a space where people felt at home. He loathed dead space, or pretentious, grandiose design.” Clive Chipkin recalls Gerald as “an independent, highly creative talent”. Herbert Prins remembers him as “an erratic genius”. He was married to Lorraine Gordon for 50 years
Maurice Cecil Michelow (MBBCh 1948) died on 20 January 2017 in Springfield, Massachusetts, aged 91. The son of Sara and Harry Michelow, he was born in Johannesburg in 1925 and attended Jeppe Boys’ High School. He was a pioneer of in vitro fertilisation in South Africa and was internationally acclaimed for assisting a 47-year-old woman to carry triplets for her own daughter in 1987. This was the world’s first mother/daughter surrogate pregnancy. Dr Michelow once explained how he had come to specialise in this field: in his final year of training at the Medical School, Dr GP Charlewood asked him to help for six weeks as an intern in the temporarily understaffed Gynaecology Department at the newly opened Baragwanath Hospital. After final exams, he returned there and was so busy that he had to ask for permission to attend his graduation. “That seven month internship was the happiest time of my life. I chose obstetrics and gynaecology as my future life’s work.” In 1960 he took on duties at the Infertility Clinic at the Johannesburg General Hospital when its chief consultant resigned. This was a time of many advances in the treatment of infertility, and presented an interesting new field of work. Research flourished after the birth of the world’s first “test-tube baby”, in 1978. In 2004, Dr Michelow and his wife Berenice moved to the USA to be closer to their family. He was a keen photographer and loved reading and discussing current world events. He is survived by Berenice (Davis), their sons Bryan and Ian, daughter Diane and their families. They remember him as “a vibrant, brilliant, compassionate and gentle family man with a great sense of humour”.
WITS REVIEW of the British Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathologists and the Scandinavian Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathologists.
MERVYN SHEAR 1931 – 2017
He also wrote a book about a difficult period of history, Wits: A University in the Apartheid Era (WUP 1996).
Emeritus Professor Mervyn Shear, former Deputy ViceChancellor of Student Affairs (1983 – 1990) and founder of the Department of Oral Pathology at Wits, died on 24 January 2017 at his retirement home in Cape Town.
As Deputy Vice-Chancellor in the late 1980s, he provided leadership at a time of political protests and harassment, a state of emergency and clashes between anti-apartheid activist students and police. Apparently there were 52 student demonstrations while he was in this office. It was, as he said in his book, “a steep learning curve” for him – and he even took a police rubber bullet in the back.
He was born in Johannesburg, the son of Sam and Minnie (Labe) Shear. He qualified at Wits (BDS 1954, HDip Dentistry 1959, MDent 1965, DSc Dent 1973) and was awarded an honorary LLD in 1992. He established the first biopsy service in oral pathology at Wits in 1958 and headed the department for 17 years, from 1969.
“A great pathologist and writer, he was a great liberal and forward thinker – and sometimes a little mischievous. He was a thorn in the side of the SA government. During one period of unrest, police helicopters were buzzing the campus; Mervyn had the students place chairs on the lawn, in an arrangement that from above read F---- O--!” recalls Prof Crispian Scully.
He pioneered work on cysts of the oral and maxillofacial regions, resulting in many published articles and a book on the subject.
“We always were in no doubt that Prof Shear would be on our side when we were being attacked, arrested or detained by apartheid police,” says former Black Students Society president Tiego Moseneke.
“He was a great and kind teacher and always had the students’ interests at heart,” says Prof Jos Hille, who worked with Prof Shear at the University of the Western Cape, where he gave his time freely in semiretirement. Described as a “legend” in his field, he was also “a great colleague and wonderful friend”. He was an Honorary Life Member of the South African Dental Association; a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa, the Royal College of Pathologists and the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa; co-founder and past President of the International Association of Oral Pathologists; and an Honorary Member
Former SRC president Linda VilakaziTselane says: “Prof Shear deserves the respect and recognition that matches the support and sacrifices he made for the marginalised students. A true champion of humanity, justice and courage for equal access.” Mervyn Shear’s wife, Caryll Shear (Posel; MBBCh 1954, BA Hons 1972, MA 1975), who taught Fine Arts at Wits in the 1980s, died in 2013. The Shears were art collectors and donors to the Wits Art Museum. Their son, Dr Keith Shear, lectures in African Studies at Birmingham University in the UK.
ARTHUR MAGERMAN 1933 – 2017
“My father was a selfless man who did everything out of principle, never for self-gain or advancing his career. He did it out of a great sense of justice, a visceral calling to help those less fortunate” Masimo Magerman
Arthur Magerman (BA 1971) was born in Johannesburg’s Alexandra Township, the son of Joey Magerman and Khatazane Mkhwanazi, and attended the Holy Cross Mission School in Alexandra, matriculating in 1952. His grandparents were among the first property owners in Alexandra, one of a few places in white cities where this was possible for black people. He embodied the complex politics of Alexandra, influenced by socialist ideas of the mid-20th century and a deep commitment to this unique space in Johannesburg. In the mid1950s Magerman was part of a group of young intellectual activists, including Dan Mokonyane, Lawrence and Ethan Mayisela and Simon Noge, who had become critical of the ANC’s politics. They were attracted to socialist ideas and came under the influence of Wits University academic Vincent Swart, who established a local branch of the international socialist organisation, Movement for a Democracy of Content. This organisation, led by Mokonyane, played a leading role in the famous Alexandra bus boycott of 1957 against fare increases. Magerman is said to have walked the 14km each way between Alex and Wits, every day for a month. In the late 1970s Magerman worked closely with Reverend Sam Buti and Leepile Taunyane in the Save Alexandra Campaign against the apartheid government’s plan to destroy the township. Their success led them to form the Save Alexandra Party, which won the local elections and controlled the township council in the early 1980s. His son Masimo-a-Badimo says the family sheltered anti-apartheid
activists and helped them to leave South Africa to join Umkhonto weSizwe, the ANC’s armed wing. “Our homes in Mmabatho and Alexandra were not only safe houses but weapon storage facilities and transit posts for MKs coming and leaving the country. Marion Sparg, Arnold Geyer and Damian de Lange were the first white people I had seen in our house. He was not shy of using his family to do runs across the border, and would frequently use my young brother, Eugene (currently a doctor in Canada) and I to accompany him to get weapons in and out of Botswana. We provided the perfect father-and-son cover so the border gate soldiers were never suspicious. My elder brother Errol (now in the Gauteng government) worked very closely with him and he was of an age to take more risk. Errol had made a conscious decision to join the underground movement, and he would be one of my dad’s couriers in and out of Botswana and Swaziland.” Arthur Magerman remained active in a number of organisations involved in the development of Alexandra and between 2003 and 2008 served on a history and heritage committee, with other veterans of the township, which collaborated with the History Workshop in researching and writing the history of Alexandra. “My father was a selfless man who did everything out of principle, never for self-gain or advancing his career. He did it out of a great sense of justice, a visceral calling to help those less fortunate,” says Masimo. Magerman loved Sundowns football club and played golf. He leaves his wife, Gabafiwe Dorothy, and four sons, Errol, Masimo-a-Badimo, Stanley and Eugene.
WITS REVIEW CYRIL EVIAN 1948 – 2017
MARIO ALTINI 1949 – 2017
DARREL PLOWES 1925 – 2016
Dr Cyril Ian Evian (BDS 1971) died in Philadelphia, USA, on 26 January 2017. He studied, taught and undertook research in periodontics and implant dentistry at the University of Pennsylvania, and continued to teach after starting his own practice in 1986. He had a passion for teaching and for learning, saying: “I believe you become a great teacher when you understand what students need to develop and grow.” This skill was recognised when UPenn and New York University gave him teaching awards. He also taught at the University of Maryland and Temple University. His family has set up an education fund for dental students, saying: “Education was his obligation, and now we will make it his gift… With immense pride and honour we will give the proceeds in his name to a student that needs a little help from the Cy Guy.” One of his favourite quotes was: “Whatever else history may say about me when I’m gone, I hope it will record that I appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears; to your confidence rather than your doubts. My dream is that you will travel the road ahead with liberty’s lamp guiding your steps and opportunity’s arm steadying your way.” One online tribute called him “the consummate mensch … selfless, hilarious, and wise”. He leaves his former wife, Andrea Evian, and children Allon Hellmann, Samantha Zemble, Tracy Waasdorp, Debra Chesbrough, and Michael Evian.
Mario Altini (BDS 1973, MDent 1977), died on 10 February 2017. Under the tutelage of the late Professor Mervyn Shear, he became Acting Head and Honorary Professor of the Department of Oral Pathology in 1984, and full time Head in 1990. He held the post through to his official retirement in 2011 and was recognised internationally by the International Association of Oral Pathology with the distinction of an Honorary Life Membership. Professor Altini taught his students with empathy, encouragement and infectious enthusiasm. Specialists trained in his department moved on to hold senior positions in institutions of higher learning. He was a Councillor of the International Association of Oral Pathologists, President of the South African Society of Oral Pathology and Microbiology and an executive member of the South African Society of Forensic Dentistry. His scientific contribution to the understanding of oral lesions and tumours was significant and he was awarded a DSc in 2013. In May 2013 he was appointed Honorary Professor and then Visiting Professor in the Department of Anatomical Pathology, where he developed the research programme and played a successful mentoring role. His students and his colleagues will remember him as gentle, sincere, approachable, kind and thoughtful. He leaves his wife Gail and family.
Darrel Charles Herbert Plowes was born in Estcourt, KwaZuluNatal, and died in Zimbabwe, aged 91. After his war service with the South African Survey Corps (1943-1945), he studied agriculture, soil conservation and ecology at Wits under Prof John Phillips and graduated with a BSc in 1949. He then emigrated to what is now Zimbabwe and joined the Department of Agriculture as a pasture research officer at the Matopos Research Station, Bulawayo. By the time he retired he was responsible for agriculture and land development in the tribal areas of the eastern region of Zimbabwe, an ecologically complex area then serving a population of about one million. He helped to establish innovative and sustainable land-use systems for small-scale farmers. Plowes had a deep and lifelong concern for ecological and environmental matters and his interests included birds, succulent plants, butterflies, orchids, archaeology, palaeontology, prehistoric rock art and photography. He was honoured in the names of several species. His collections of bird eggs, plant specimens and photographs, and his published work, were substantial contributions to science. He helped to secure the La Rochelle property, the bequest of Sir Stephen and Lady Virginia Courtauld, as a botanical garden for the National Trust of Zimbabwe. The Trust described him as “one of the greatest all-round naturalists of Zimbabwe” and said: “We give thanks for the wonderfully inspiring life of this man and his love of all creation.”
“Architecture innately is there basically to satisfy human needs from the moment of birth to death.” Sidney Abramowitch
SIDNEY ABRAMOWITCH 1923 – 2016 A passionate supporter of Wits, the architect and artist Sidney Abramowitch passed away peacefully on 13 December 2016 in Johannesburg, aged 93. He obtained his BArch degree in 1947 and, in 1989, his MArch (Urban Design) with a thesis on “Development of an African City: With reference to the re-urbanisation of Johannesburg and the Development of an Inner Core”. His mentor and friend was Prof John Fassler, the Dean. Abramowitch’s career produced many Johannesburg landmarks, including the glass IBM building, Innes Law Chambers and the Apartheid Museum. He said it was a “huge privilege” to be involved in the design of the museum, for which South African communities were consulted widely. Explaining the design, he said: “This is a minimalist building reflecting the fact that apartheid buildings were born of incarceration. We wanted to reflect the harshness, crudity and horror of apartheid.” He was also a watercolour artist and composer, and spent many hours on the piano – an instrument he adored. A preserver as well as creator, he helped to compile a list of 600 heritage buildings for the Institute of Architects. According to a 2009 interview in Business Day, the young Abramowitch wanted (like many boys) to be an engine driver, but at school became fascinated with perspective drawing and thus found his vocation. He said: “Architecture innately is there basically to satisfy human needs from the moment of birth to death.” His wife, Maja Abramowitch, who wrote about her Holocaust experience in her book To Forgive But Not Forget, died in August 2016. He leaves his four children and their families: Diana Smullen (BA 1974), David Abramowitch‚ Karen Aginsky and Roy Abrams.
MONTY ZION 1925 – 2016 Professor Monty Mordecai Zion (MBBCh 1947, DSc 1958) died in Bnei Dror, Israel on 22 October 2016, aged 91. He spent his housemanship at Baragwanath and was a registrar at the Johannesburg General Hospital. He specialised in cardiology under the leadership of Dr Maurice McGregor, whom he described as the “guiding light in the shaping of my career”. In 1954 he went to London, where he received his membership of the Royal College of Physicians and spent time as a cardiac registrar. Upon his return to Johannesburg he started his career as a specialist physician in private practice and rented a suite of rooms from Dr Cyril Adler, founder of the Adler Museum of Medicine, who became a lifelong friend. Seeking an academic association, he started working as a clinical assistant in the Cardiac Clinic of the Johannesburg General Hospital, enabling him to be involved in research while still running his own practice. With the development of open-heart surgery, Monty was appointed as a cardiologist to assist the surgeons. He performed significant firsts in South Africa, including pacemaker implants. Disenchanted with South Africa as an apartheid regime, he moved to Israel in 1978, to be the Chief of Cardiology at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, known as “the hospital with a heart”, and Clinical Professor in Internal Medicine at the Hebrew University. He was involved in research and laid the foundation for his unit to become one of the most prominent in Israel. Monty was appointed a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London and of the American College of Cardiology, and published more than 100 articles. Upon his retirement from Shaare Zedek at the age of 67, he opened and ran an ambulatory cardiac institute for another 10 years. He was a keen lawn bowler and woodcarver. Monty passed away shortly after Myra, his wife of 66 years, leaving their three children and their families.
“she was like a lighthouse flashing in the distance, a beacon for young aspiring artists ...” Kim Berman
Keith Dietrich, writing for LitNet, said that on meeting her he “was struck by the unassuming, kind and respectful presence of this deeply humane, creative and visionary artist.” He said her “meticulously crafted” work was valuable for teachers of art technique.
A former Wits student, Gregory Kerr (BA 1973), wrote in an introduction to Mason’s book The Mind’s Eye: An Introduction to Making Images, that “there was at least one person on the teaching staff for whom I had nothing but the utmost respect and affection, and that was the astonishing Judith Mason. … She was a shining example of the artist, the ham-fisted wrestler with the craft and sullen business of finding, but she was also something else, something so rare that it intoxicated. She could find the words and the images and the poetics to speak directly to the acolyte. … Reading The Mind’s Eye was to be taken back forty-seven years into that studio in the John Moffat Building, listening to the darkhaired young woman with the strangely plat accent and the twinkle – the inevitable twinkle – of anti-earnestness sweetening the stern seriousness beneath the monologue.” The artist Kim Berman (BA FA 1982, PhD 2009) spoke at Mason’s memorial, saying “she was like a lighthouse flashing in the distance, a beacon for young aspiring artists. When I was a student at school and then at Wits, she was a legend … like the wise and compassionate guide who found a way to slice through the lies and deceit and the immorality of the abominable politics of the 70s and 80s through the depth and sharp wit of her paintings.” 66
JUDITH MASON 1938 - 2016
Judith Seelander Mason (BA FA 1961) taught painting at Wits in the 1960s and early 1970s and was an important artist, represented in major collections, including the Wits Art Museum’s. She died in White River, Mpumalanga, in December 2016, and will be remembered not only for her work but for her “profound humanity”.
At a retrospective exhibition, A Prospect of Icons, in 2008-2009, Mason herself spoke about the main threads in her work: “A lot of my work deals with pain experienced, the nature of pain inflicted, in order to explore the common ground we share and to refine our capacity for making choices. … Bound with the pain thread … is a respect for animals. … The third thread is religion. A lot of my work deals with religious themes, even though I have not been a believer in any recognised sense for decades. … Religion and art seem to me to stem from the same set of overwhelming imperatives; a need to try to understand the world, a need to express that understanding, to find beauty in that understanding, and to communicate it. … I have tried to make sense of grief and mortality. It has helped me to appreciate life and joy and the boundless grace of creativity.” Judith Mason leaves her two daughters, Tamar and Petra, and grandchildren, Maru and Simon.
Captured by time The other night I was out with a group of people when, from the corner of my eye, I was distracted by a small green light blinking impatiently. BY UFRIEDA HO MAY 2017
light was coming from something strapped to someone’s wrist. The device was wide and chunky and looked like a futuristic shackle. “What’s it doing?” I asked, staring into the screen as she raised her arm. The green glow flashed once more, then vanished into the perfect black gloss finish of her fitness watch. “Oh, it’s telling me that I’ve done half my daily recommended steps,” she said. “It also tells me how much I’ve slept and tracks my heart rate …” she drifted off, her fingertip stroking the screen as she gave me a quick tutorial. She said the fitness tracker even knew when it was faced away from her and signalled this to her periodically – more blinking green lights. I looked down at the screen to see digital numbers light up showing the time alongside pictographs of a running man and some graphs. “Umm, wow,” I managed to say, having another sip of my beer, thinking about how I should get to gym more often. I also couldn’t help thinking that technology has changed not just devices but time itself, painfully policing what little of it we have. Just when you think you’re chilling at 9pm on a Saturday night, having some fun, your watch reminds you of what you haven’t done that day and how little sleep you’re getting – when your almost-daily refrain is how tired you feel. What happened to technology saving us a bit more time, making our lives a little easier? Why is it that even when we reduce information to 140-character Tweets and say that we want the short and sharp version of everything, we’re more screen-addicted than ever and not all that much smarter or wiser? And shock-horror it’s May already; a quarter of the year has been ticked off. The roses we promised we’d stop to smell more often are last season’s memory. No sooner has Santa caught a reindeer (or maybe Uber) ride home than the Easter Bunny comes hopping onto our store shelves. Huffington Post founder Ariana Huffington writes about “hurry sickness” and “time famine”, that terrible FOMO that makes us cram everything into our days, fearful we’ll miss out if we don’t have jam-packed 68
“You watch more cat videos on YouTube than you admit to ...” schedules. We overbook ourselves, she writes, because “unused capacity” seems wasteful and unproductive. It’s what the late Erma Bombeck, American columnist and author, put down as our modern compulsion (or curse) of “running to stand still”. She wrote once that she’d always let her phone ring when she knew it was her adult children calling. Having to wait on the line, she wrote, was the only relaxation they got all day. With wry humour and wit, her caution was about rushing to pause or raging with things we can’t change, only to wonder why we’re exhausted all the time. I wonder what she’d make of today’s apps touting time management. There are apps promising greater productivity by making you better organised; digital reminders consolidated in one place; focus boosters to segment your time for priority tasks. I think she’d see that our digitally disrupted world has introduced new time thieves. Think how much time you waste downloading, uploading, inevitably re-setting forgotten passwords and still feeling like you’re not quite up to date. You watch more cat videos on YouTube than you admit to and your phone camera eats every meal before you do because you have to Instagram it before you dig in. Autumn’s arrival, though, invites reflection. There are no sure ways to slow down 2017, no guarantees we’ll finish a cup of coffee in peace before our ‘new messages’ notification pops out. We can’t stop time, but maybe we don’t need to buy into the scare story that if we’re not on every digital platform out there we’ll be rendered #clueless. Maybe we can leave the umpteenth WhatsApp group we’re on without guilt. Maybe we can tame our devices enough to not be governed by a blinking green light, and maybe we can remember that a watch, no matter how technologically advanced, is not a shackle.
Places to visit at Wits
ADLER MUSEUM OF MEDICINE
WITS ART MUSEUM | WAM
MAROPENG, THE CRADLE OF HUMANKIND & THE STERKFONTEIN CAVES
Wits Medical School, 7 York Road, Parktown. T +27 (0) 11 717 2081 E firstname.lastname@example.org Hours: Monday to Friday 09:00 – 16:00. Saturdays on request. Cost free but venue hire tariffs on request.
www.wits.ac.za/wam. University Corner, Corner Jorissen & Bertha Streets, Braamfontein. T + 27 (0) 11 717 1365/58 E email@example.com. 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
www.wits.ac.za/witstheatre. East Campus, Wits University, Performing Arts Administration, 24 Station Street, Braamfontein. T +27 (0) 11 717 1376 E firstname.lastname@example.org Reception hours: Monday to Friday 08:00 – 16:00. Theatre costs vary according to programme. Tickets: www.webtickets.co.za
THE WITS CLUB
www.olivesandplates.co.za Wits Club Complex, West Campus, Wits University. T +27 (0) 11 717 9365 E email@example.com Hours: Monday to Friday 07:00 – 17:00 for breakfast and lunch. Booking is essential.
www.planetarium.co.za East Campus, Wits University, Yale Road off Empire Road, Entrance 10, Milner Park, Braamfontein. T +27 (0) 11 717 1390 E firstname.lastname@example.org Hours: Kiddies’ show (5 – 8 years), Saturdays 10:30.
www.maropeng.co.za. Directions: Off R563 Hekpoort Road, Sterkfontein, Gauteng. T +27 (0) 14 577 9000 E email@example.com. Hours: Mon-Sat and public holidays 10:00 – 17:00. Closed on Sundays.
THE ORIGINS CENTRE
www.wits.ac.za/origins. West Campus, Wits University, Corner Yale Road & Enoch Sontonga Avenue, Braamfontein. T +27 (0) 11 717 4700 E firstname.lastname@example.org. Hours: Mon-Sat and public holidays 10:00-17:00. Closed Sundays. Refer to website for rates.
WITS RURAL FACILITY
T +27 (0) s15 793 7508 E email@example.com Refer to website for public rates.
Details accurate at time of publishing. Please contact facilities directly.
Magazine for alumni and friends of the University of the Witwatersrand