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Madien van der Merwe Sharp debater: Blade Nzimande talks academic freedom 2
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Sharp debater:
Blade Nzimande talks
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Edition 11, 20 October 2011

Edition 11, 20 October 2011

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>> Second year art exhibition a success

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>> Stand up and be counted - Census 2011

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Sipping soup through a straw: a weekend full of musical treats for all

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Sharp debater: Blade talks academic freedom

Kyla Hazell

Commercial interests, he argued, are presently more

I n a recent visit to Grahamstown, Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande, emphasised the need for universities to assist in fostering develop-

ment within South Africa’s borders. Speaking on the role of universities in a transforming tertiary education system in the 2011 DSC Oosthuizen Aca- demic Freedom Memorial Lecture last week, Nzimande said, “I am firmly of the view that academic freedom, as important as it is, cannot be tackled in isolation from the development needs of our country.” Nzimande presented the lecture to an audience of stu- dents, lecturers and senior University staff gathered for the annual event. “The purpose of this lecture is to recognise and celebrate those who participated in the fight for truth and justice in this country that has led to the freedoms we enjoy today,” said Jane Duncan, Chair of Highway Africa and the Academic Freedom Committee at Rhodes, in her welcome address. Nzimande began by emphasising the responsibilities that accompany any right, including academic freedom. “Academic freedom, like freedom of any kind, is always fragile and we must be prepared to defend it – but defend it from what?” he asked, and continued to explore a number of threats to academic freedom in post-apartheid South Africa.

Nzimande put forward that, while citizens must always remain vigilant against the erosion of academic freedom by the state, holds on academic freedom from government have receded drastically post- apartheid. “As we talk of academic freedom we must recognise how far we have come in the past two decades,” he said, reminding the audience of the political censorship that hindered knowl- edge production in the old South Africa.

threatening than state interference, with the agendas of those funding academics affecting curricula and research. He ex- pressed concern over what he termed the “commercialisation of universities”. Focusing on resources, teaching and research, Nzimande also asserted that worrying inequalities exist between universities in South Africa and that this restricts academic freedom within certain institutions. “Resources are essential to academic freedom,” he said. “Those who have are free and those who don’t are not.”

A third threat to academic freedom, according to Nzi-

mande, is posed by what he believes to be a lack of diversity of views in both academic and popular discourse, as well as the media, stemming from the general acceptance of neo-liberal thought in the new South Africa. Raising what he called the potential elephant in the room, Nzimande denied that the Protection of State Information Bill would pose a threat to academic freedom and urged the Uni- versity to create a platform for sensible debate on the topic.

In order to tackle challenges to academic freedom, Nzi-

mande believes universities need to focus research on issues of poverty, inequality and progress. “If we do not meet the needs of the poor, no one will progress,” he said, position- ing academic freedom as important to South Africa’s larger developmental goals. He stressed that an educated population is essential for achieving not only economic development, but also cultural and social development within South Africa. Professor Steven Friedman, Director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy at Rhodes and the University of Johannesburg and the discussant for the lecture, agreed with the Minister that poverty and inequality must be of utmost concern to universities if they are to avoid becoming ivory towers. “Academic freedom can never be a protection against society,” he said, “it must always be a way of serving society. We want a university system which is excellent at dealing with the developmental challenges we face.” Though Nzimande and Friedman were not entirely in agreement as to how universities should approach develop- ment and transformation, both agreed that certain changes must be made, but that aspects of the present post-school education system are functioning well and must not be discarded.

“We are not saying that we must destroy what is good in our institutions,” Nzimande
“We are not saying that we must destroy what is
good in our institutions,” Nzimande said.
“We must rather strengthen it
and make it more accessible.”
Madien van der Merwe

Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande, paid Rhodes University a visit last Tuesday to deliver the 2011 DCS Oosthuizen Academic Freedom Memorial Lecture

Rights abuses in the University beg the question “What next?”

Lebogang Tlou

Questions have arisen as to what steps will be taken by the University to address issues raised at the second Rhodes University Truth Commis- sion, held at the end of last month as part of the 2011 Constitution Week Programme. “The event left us with a feeling of, ‘what next?’,” said Deputy Dean of Students Roger Adams. Two debriefings have been held in the wake of the Com- mission, one involving only the com- missioners and the second involving the Dean of Students (DoS) Division as well. “The Dean of Students Division is in the process of putting together a docu- ment with due consultation in response to the event. It is intended that some of our plans will be incorporated in the document,” elaborated Adams. A week before the Truth Commis- sion, a Campus Climate Survey was posted on StudentZone, but Adams informed The Oppidan Press that the survey was planned several months ago and is not in response to the event, as has been suggested. “Both can be considered aspects of our engagement with [the University’s] institutional culture,” Adams said.

The first of its kind at the University, the survey aims to help the DoS office find out if Rhodes truly is a comfortable living and learning environment for all students. Dean of Students, Dr Vivian de Klerk, has urged all Rhodes students to participate. According to Deputy Vice-Chan- cellor of Rhodes University Dr Sizwe Mabizela establishing and recognising a common sense of humanity is the answer to solving the issue of human rights violations. “The Bill of Rights proclaims that everybody has an inherent dignity,” he said at the Commission. Mabizela urged the creation of an institutional culture that supports diversity to ensure that everybody is respected and able to enjoy their constitutional rights. He further suggested that Rhodes Univer- sity students should be challenged to see our society in a different light. “University, by its very nature, should be transformative,” Mabizela stated. “A person should arrive at uni- versity and have their personal values challenged and reviewed, so people can experience personal transformation.” He emphasised the role of educa- tion and the need for the University to be informed about instances of rights violations on and around campus.

Oppidans given a chance to speak

Kyla Hazell

The first ever Oppidan Forum, which took place on Monday 17 October, saw Oppidan students given a platform to raise their concerns with a panel of representatives in the hopes that they might be addressed. The event was organised by the Op- pidan Committee in an initiative to cre- ate a sense of unity between students, the Committee, the University and the wider Grahamstown community. Various facilities such as the Op- pidan Bus, the Oppidan dining hall and the Oppidan common room exist, in conjunction with initiatives like the Lease Workshop and other events in which Oppidans can participate. “The Oppidan Committee exists to make the Oppidan experience a more amicable one in whatever way possible,” Gamuchirai Mbetu, Oppidan Welfare Officer, said. “We would like to know whether our initiatives are satisfying the Oppidan students. If they are not, we hope to create means by which we can improve the Oppidan experience.”

Some key issues highlighted by Oppidan students for discussion were related to security, emotional wellness and feelings of exclusion from campus life, the effectiveness of the Oppidan Bus and the marginalisation of foreign students who live off-campus. The panel was comprised of repre- sentatives from various bodies able to engage with Oppidan students around these particular concerns, including the Campus Protection Unit, South African Police Services, Counselling Centre, In- ternational Office, Financial Aid Office and Hi-Tec Security Company. “The panel was created because these are where we felt that the Oppidan students have issues that need some sort of redress,” Mbetu said. “The panel was not there to give students long and mundane speeches about what is on of- fer to them. They were there to answer questions that students may have and engage in a sort of dialogue.” Discussions on the day were facili- tated by the Oppidan Committee who hope to be able to implement plans to deal with problems raised now that they have been brought up.

Attempted rape at Monastery

Carey Frazer

An alleged incident of attempted rape recently occurred in the bathrooms of popular night- club, Monastery. The victim, who prefers to remain anony- mous, was about to enter a bathroom cubicle when a male suspect tried to force her inside. Some friends of the club’s owner, Daniel Long, were in the bathroom at the time and witnessed the girl struggling with the suspect. They immediately called Long, who then took the suspect to the back of the garden for holding while the police were on their way. The police arrived and arrested the suspect.

According to Long, the victim was traumatised and in shock. Long stated that it is unfortunate that this type of thing happens, but that it occurs in many places. “We cannot control what happens in the bathrooms, all we can do is act appropri- ately and quickly, like we did in this situation. The police were very efficient,” he said Third Year Pharmacy student Azeem Battey believes that attempted rapes on campus have increased due to alcohol abuse “People get very drunk and are not in the right mindset. Police and security officials need to be hard on laws as victims of rape can be severely traumatized by the assault and may have difficulty functioning” he said.

The Rat Pack by Stephen Mina

The Rat Pack by Stephen Mina

The Oppidan Press 20.10.11 3

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Hilltop Hall hosts trolley Grand Prix

Amy Ebdon

T rolleys and laughter filled the Barratt Lecture Theatre Com- plex parking lot on Saturday

when Hilltop Hall hosted their Trolley Grand Prix, as part of the Dean of Student’s alcohol-free challenge. The idea behind this event is to show students that they are able to have fun without having to consume alcohol. Shoprite, Checkers and Pick n Pay kindly allowed the use of their trolleys as race cars for the teams of four who

participated. One person needed to sit in the trolley at all times, while the other three group members pushed them around a race track laid out by the organising committee. The aim of the day was to have as much fun as possible, but minor rules were needed to keep the game in check. “Each team was required to wear head gear of any kind and was also re- quired to dress up and look ridiculous. This was just to make the event a jol and to bring the gees,” said Vicky Gross, one of the event organisers. Everyone was encouraged to take

part with residence students, societies and Oppidans joining in the excite- ment. A crowd of supporters turned up to cheer as well. Incredible prizes were given away at the event, including Nestlé ham- pers, Pirates Pizza meal vouchers and Hilltop Hall caps sponsored by Extreme Embroidery. The runners up in the men’s race were the Talladaga Knights while the @ T11 team took first prize. In the lady’s race, the winners were Hlokoloza and second place was taken by Nollywood.

Joshua Oates
Joshua Oates

The starting grid for the recent trolley Grand Prix

Joshua Oates
Joshua Oates

Vusi Mazibuko and Robert Stewart-Thompson from team “Kutuna and the Boys”

Pic sourced
Pic sourced

Rhodes will be hosting the universally-recognised Slutwalk at the end of this month, following in the footsteps of other Slutwalks in the country

Slutwalk comes to Grahamstown

Athina May

Grahamstown residents will soon join the worldwide Slutwalk Campaign, which aims to challenge myths around the causes of rape. The campaign was launched earlier this year when, on 24 January, a Police Officer in Toronto, USA, made the following statement: “Women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised”. This caused an interna- tional uproar and left millions of men and women shocked. The statement resulted in the rapid spread of a worldwide protest. Graha- mstown now joins this protest as it con- tinues to spread and change the harmful inferences attached to the term ‘slut’. The Grahamstown Slutwalk was initiated after a conversation between five Rhodes University students who felt the need to raise a discussion on the topic of discrimination against woman. “We live in a country where a woman is raped every 17 seconds,”

said a statement on the Grahamstown Slutwalk Facebook page. Cape Town and Johannesburg led the way for South Africa by holding their own Slutwalks. “We hope that the Slutwalk will generate discussion and draw attention to the myths of rape causation,” com- mented English MA student Lauren O’Brien, one of the organisers. “The term ‘slut’ is an oppressive word used to wound,” stated an article on the Slutwalk Toronto website. The aim is to take back the term and re- appropriate it to be inoffensive. The Slutwalk Campaign in Graham- stown will take place on 29 October at 11am from the Drosdty Arch and will proceed to Raglan Road, where par- ticipants will be addressed by speakers. “The walk will be a dialogue on foot,” said O’Brien. Participants will engage in conversation and talk about the issue at hand during the Slutwalk. Students are invited to paint placards for the protest this Saturday at 11am on the Drosty Lawns.

Local artists sing for soup

Laura Skippers

The Masincedane society hosted their third Singing for Soup event in aid of the Masincedane Soup Kitchen at Grotto Mojito over the weekend. The society started in 2005 in part- nership with Cynthia Belwana who, at the time, was running the soup kitchen from her home in Xolani. Since then the initiative has grown and the soup kitchen now also runs a bread-making initiative, Masinqaqambe, which em- ploys community women to bake bread and sell it at a cheap price for a small in- come. This service is relied upon by the surrounding community, who appreci- ate the nutritious yet affordable bread. More than 100 elderly people, dis- abled individuals and school children currently rely on the Soup Kitchen to provide them with a balanced meal three times a week. Jocelyn Coldrey, president of the Masincedane society, stated that since 2010, the expansion of the soup kitchen’s projects has caused a greater demand for volunteers and funding. “In previous years the event has been well attended and we have been able to raise a considerable amount of money,” Coldrey said. “With every workshop the society has, members of the community and students are able to engage together and learn things from each other. Constructed borders are broken down in the process, and so are stereotypes,” she said. Featured local bands, poets and co- medians entertained the audience while they enjoyed the hot soup and bread on offer for a small fee. Hannah McDonald, a First Year Journalism student and member of The Bad Hands who played at the event, said, “It’s amazing that doing something

Kirsten Makin
Kirsten Makin

The Bad Hands perform at Singing for Soup. From left: Clarke Ellis, Hannah McDonald and Justin Brasher

we love and are passionate about can be used to benefit others.” The event was held to raise funds for equipment and capital needed to further expand the joint projects of Masincedane and the Soup Kitchen. “This serves to show people that there are still cool ways out there to raise money,” McDonald said. “Fund- raising doesn't have to be some lame raffle or cake sale; if you think hard enough, you can come up with creative, innovative ways to encourage people to support you.” Clarke Ellis, a fellow member of The Bad Hands and Second Year student at Rhodes, highlighted that roughly 60% of people in South Africa are living below the poverty line and that 81000 of these people are living in the Greater Grahamstown area. “Eighty one thou- sand is a huge number for such a small town and yet most of us are ignorant to this fact,” Ellis said. He also said that because many Rho- dents live lives of relative luxury, they

Kirsten Makin
Kirsten Makin

Keegan Watkins opens the performance on Saturday night at Singing for Soup

often take for granted how privileged they are. “We hope to have brought aware- ness to Rhodes students that something as small as a packet of soup or can of beans can make a difference,” said Ellis.

4 The Oppidan Press 20.10.11

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Targeting apathy isn’t the solution

The apathetic student is becoming a tired complaint. The issue is brought up at poorly attended awareness weeks, political campaigns and social marches. Often a link is made to the ‘olden days’, the anti-apartheid struggle, when 40 years ago thousands of young people rallied together and inspired the international world. Perhaps it can now be argued that such protest and uprising hap- pened in the context of a war, but it’s not as if equally pressing problems aren’t confronting us today. Ours is the most unequal country in the world and the world’s resources are quickly being depleted. Additionally, our recently appointed Chief Justice believes that rape is not as bad when it’s between a husband and wife; and as per each year at Rhodes Univer- sity, a number of students will be financially excluded. But back in ‘those’ days, people such as Steve Biko ran mass move- ments. Biko could be found across South Africa speaking emphatically at

universities, being arrested for his cause, and all the way through, spread- ing Black Consciousness in schools and inspiring a movement. Biko was a powerful leader, and having good leadership is vital. It takes a special kind of person to inspire a movement. The question ‘who

is

inspiring students today?’ needs to be asked. It’s possible that the right

causes are there, but effective leadership is not. There’s a reason why the University’s Student Services Officer Larissa Klazinga and the Spokesperson for the Unemployed People’s Movement

Ayanda Kota are featured so often in this newspaper. Both lead a number

of

social campaigns throughout the year that are well attended and pas-

sionately supported.

 
 

These two activists are spreading relevant causes with conviction, and

in doing so are inspiring people to want to make a change. Our technological world is changing, but what mobilises masses is not.

A Facebook page is not a social rally. One online event with thousands of

invitations sent is not going to result in thousands of attendees. Spread your cause, but don’t expect your preferred social networking site to do it for you. You need to get out there and do the talking. Student apathy is targeted by SRC campaigns and by society chair- persons. But as long as targeting student apathy is the cause - instead of having a cause to stand for in itself - we won’t achieve the large participa- tion we’re looking for. People buy into an idea but don’t buy into ‘getting involved’. The anti-apartheid movement was successful because it had mass support from people who felt strongly about their cause, the future and their livelihoods. The issues the struggle fought for were relevant to the people, and the active parties used that grassroots emotional response to organise action. Find an issue that students can feel strongly about, and offer them an interesting and effective way of protesting for it. The same people referring to the mass protest participation in the ‘olden days’ should learn from those past leaders: student apathy may not be the issue, and making it the target is certainly not winning any wars.

The Oppidan Press staff and contact details

Deputy Editor: Benjamin Katz. Editorial Consultant: Mikaila Thurgood. Managing Editor: Jamie Bezuidenhout. Marketing Manager: Siân Rees. Financial Manager: Masixole Njumbuxa. Distribution Manager: Mlamuli Hlatshwayo. Legal Consultant: Lwandlekazi Gaga. Online Editor: Maricelle Gouws. Webmaster: Thandile Pambuka. News Editor: Kyla Hazell. News Assistant Editor: Joshua Oates. Features Editor: Kate-Lyn Moore. Environmental Editor: Kate Janse van Rensburg. Politics Editors: Sibulele Magini, Lucy Holford-Walker. Arts & Entertainment Editors: Binwe Adebayo, David Williams. SciTech Editor: Sithandwa Ngwetsheni. Sports Editor: Mvuzo Ponono. Pictures Editors: Ananda Paver, Kelly Muller, Kirsten Makin, Madien van der Merwe. Chief Sub-Editor: Wilhelmina Maboja. Deputy Chief Sub- Editor: Matseliso Taka. Sub-Editors: Bakhulule Maluleka, Fabio De Dominicis. Chief Designer: Stephanie Pretorius. Assistant Chief Designer: Chevawn Blum. Marketing and Advertising Designer: Amy Slatem. Junior Designers:

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The Oppidan Press publishes letter that are bona fide expressions of opin- ion as long as they are not clearly libellous, defamatory, racist or sexist. We publish anonymous letters, but as an act of good faith in your part, we require your full name. We reserve the right to shorten letters due to space constraints and to edit them for grammatical inaccuracies. Any letter that does not make it into our print edition will be published on our website.

Stand up and be counted

Kyla Hazell

S tudents in residence and Oppi-

dans alike will be able to “Stand

up and be Counted!” in South

Africa’s latest and largest post-1992 census, which kicked off nationwide last week Monday. As an inventory of the country’s peo- ple and characteristics and organised by Statistics South Africa (StatsSA), the census will provide the most complete set of data on the country’s economy and society available in the past two decades. In this endeavour, South Africa is joined by many other African nations who have committed themselves to the 2010 Round of Population and Housing Censuses which has run since 2005 and is to end in 2014. Much work has been done in preparation for the census and Zandile Nkosiyane, Provincial Executive Manager for the 2011 Census in the Eastern Cape, recently confirmed that the project created about 23000 jobs for people in the province. Costing the country approximately R1.7 Billion, the Census is an expensive exercise but, according to an interview with Nkosiyane in Grocott’s Mail, the expense is justified because it provides information government can use to identify problem areas and improve service delivery. She informed the paper that it is about more than merely count- ing the country’s population. According to a statement released last year by StatsSA to mark 365 days until the ‘Big Count’ kicked off, the information gathered will be used by both businesses and policy-makers to draft development projects. The data collected will relate to the likes of

Kirsten Makin
Kirsten Makin

It’s time to stand up and be counted. Currently officials are attempting to conduct a census in order to count all of the people in South Africa.

education, employment and healthcare and will hopefully allow government to respond to these challenges more effectively. Census questionnaires will be deliv- ered to the residences before the end of the month and students will complete them during house meetings arranged for the purpose. With regard to our University, Oppidan students will be visited by fieldworkers in their digs. An e-mail has been sent out by the Oppi- dan Union informing students in digs of the Census process and referring them to the StatsSA website. Oppidans have been told how to identify fieldworkers who will be wearing yellow bibs and

encouraged, for security reasons, to verify the enumerators by calling the Census call centre on 0800 110 248. Raymond Harris, one of the Op- pidan wardens said,“The Census will help in determining the South African population and assist government and private sector planning for the future with regard to job creation, facilities needed, and infrastructure required.” The last census, held in 2001, recorded the South African popula- tion as being 44 million. 2011 mid-year estimates by StatsSA saw this figure increase to 50.5 million. The results of the current census should be available by November 2012.

Student Imbizo hoping to revolutionise Rhodes

Deneesha Pillay

Rhodes University’s goals, values and tactical management came under scrutiny at the first ever Student Imbizo, hosted by the SRC in Bathurst earlier this month. It was hoped that the event would help in identifying significant issues and challenges that face those associ- ated with the institution, with student concerns being the main focus of the weekend. The Imbizo focused on four key issues: student governance, the university’s motto ‘Where leaders learn’, teaching and learning and institutional culture and transformation. Martin Forsyth, Vice-President In- ternal of the SRC, said that two changes likely to occur as a result of the Imbizo are the “revolution of student gover- nance” and the redrafting of the Rhodes University Constitution. “Although the new constitution will be written by professionals, student input is still es- sential,” said Forsyth. With regard to the redrafting of the constitution, Forsyth affirmed that vari- ous law firms across the country had been approached. The reconstruction is estimated to cost between R50 000 and R100 000.

SRC International Affairs Council- lor Amirah Kolia, who attended the event, said while important issues were tackled, more planning was needed to possibly improve student interaction. “We need to have more of an influ- ence on the average student to possibly produce an audience that does not only consist of student leaders.” A University Imbizo was held earlier this year to assess the methodology of the institution. However, there was concern regarding the lack of student involvement and representation. Consequently former SRC President Allan Magubane, and former Interna- tional Councillor Nguhi Mwaura, took action by organising the Student Imbizo to create a platform for students to address these important issues. Despite this new platform that was created, lack of student attendance remained an issue. “Right now it is difficult to say whether the Imbizo was a success or not, however, I can say that it has given the SRC plenty to think about,” said Martin Forsyth. “At the moment the structure of student governance is, to some extent, disorganised. Conse- quently, the SRC is trying to reduce the distance between the students and themselves and ultimately find a

We need to have more of an influence on the average student, to possibly produce an audience that does not only consist of student leaders

method to filter down the power.” Cacheral Wroots, an SRC Hall Representative, said, “A common goal needs to be created in order to make an effective difference. More students need to get involved.” The main areas of concern identified at the Imbizo included the University’s vision and mission statements and the current state of student governance structures. Other issues discussed were the strategic drive of becoming more postgraduate orientated and its implica- tions, and whether the standards of teaching are at an acceptable level. Despite the fact that this Student Imbizo was merely a platform for discussion, there are hopes that it will, in due course, lead to much greater pos- sibilities for the Rhodes community.

The Oppidan Press 20.10.11 5

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Environment

Running for a green cause

Andrew Tombs

O ver 200 keen participants

gathered for Rhodes Uni-

versity’s annual Green Fund

Run at the entrance to the Makana Botanical Gardens on Saturday 8 October. This year’s event marks the second anniversary of the race and the culmination of the 2011 Environmen- tal Week. According to Nikki KÖhly, Rhodes’ Safety, Health & Environmental Officer, the reason behind the event is to show a commitment to the green cause. This was done through donations by specta- tors and participants, with a minimum entrance fee of R10 per person. The race was open to individu- als and teams consisting of three. The course was a five kilometre run around the Rhodes campus and through the Botanical Gardens. The route was split into three legs for each member of a team taking part in the relay event. This added a fun group dynamic. Certificates were given to the first three teams or individuals and to the teams that had the best costume and baton promoting an environmental message of sustainability. “There were also some teams that were really keen to do the run in a good time, and I think this added a little bit of a competitive edge without making the atmosphere too tense or serious,” said Kohly. Team Formula 21 won the race, with Cullen Bowles finishing in both second and third place. Hilltop Three won the best baton category, running the entire race in brightly-coloured green capes and a wheelbarrow carrying small

Spekboom trees. Team Social Move- ment won the best costume category with their creatively green fashion statement. Special mention was given to Sam Schramski and the Invasive Vil-

lians as they had a striking and interest- ing looking costume. Schramski, who wore a green alien mask and who had various invasive plants attached to his clothing, evidently had strong feelings towards his cause. The certificate holders were given

a tree to be planted in their honour outside the Environmental Learning Research Centre. A plaque stating who the trees were in honour of will be put up in the near future. All participants and spectators were given a Spekboom branch to plant and look after as a memento of the race and to ensure the planting of more trees. R7300 was raised at the Green Fund Run with R2100 coming from cash at the registration table and R5200 coming from the Vice Chancellor’s Challenge, where Dr. Saleem Badat matched the funds raised by the different Deans and Heads of Division. The Green Fund is still a fairly new venture that was created by Rhodes University in 2009. The Fund’s purpose

is to reduce Rhodes University’s carbon

footprint while ensuring that Rhodes becomes a more environmentally friendly institution.

“It is still a bit too early to say but I think it is hugely important in raising awareness with regard to environmental concerns and sustainability,” underlined KÖhly. “Once the fund has grown to

a more satisfactory level, we can then

start releasing meaningful amounts in support of projects.”

Kate Janse van Rensburg
Kate Janse van Rensburg

Jean-Jacques Moolman, Deane Lindhorst and Brad Lehring won Best Baton at the recently held Green Fund Run

Get to know your food

Kate Janse van Rensburg
Kate Janse van Rensburg
Roxanne Henderson
Roxanne Henderson

Top: Carina Truyts demonstrates at Environmental Week’s “Getting to know your food day” at the Kaif. Bottom: Karin Reum assists Truyts with chopping vegetables, mixing dressing and packing sandwiches.

COP 17 stumbling blocks

Senior reporter Abigail McDougall

The build-up to COP 17 in Durban is intensifying. The 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Con- vention on Climate Change (UNFCC) will be a litmus test for global politics. Negotiations on an international agreement on responding to climate change will reveal the true interests of countries and the power dynamics between them. Following the fizzling out of the Copenhagen COP in 2009 and the tentative progress made at the Cancun talks last year, much hangs on the Durban COP. Whether or not states can overcome the stumbling blocks between them will determine the future of multilateral cooperation. One of the main sticking points is the question of equity. This debate revolves around who should take responsibility for climate change, and how they will be expected to pay for it. The lines are drawn primarily between the 37 developed (Annexe 1) countries, and the developing countries. Firstly, although the UNFCC technically puts countries on an equal footing, some clearly hold more weight in setting the agenda. If a small island state walks out of the negotiations in protest, it’s unlikely that the whole of COP 17 will unravel. If the USA refuses to play ball, the entire process is undermined. The equity debate revolves around responsibility: the environment is something all countries are affected by,

but which countries pollute unevenly. Who should pay? Those who created the problem in the first place (America and the developed industrial countries of the north), or those who are rapidly catching up as polluters (China and India)? Adaptation and mitigation are expensive, and the wealthy countries didn’t have their development hobbled by environmentally responsible growth. The least developed countries also don’t have the capability to pay the cost of changing their habits: they will require aid, which they argue should come from the developed countries who created most of the situation. Although Cancun failed to address the political inequalities, the Green Climate Fund, which will help to pay for mitigation and adaptation, moved forward under the leadership of the BASIC countries (India, Brazil, South Africa). Develop- ing countries will only accept an agree- ment that will guarantee them support from the developed world in terms of financing, capacity building and the development and sharing of technology. Developing countries are also insist- ing on improved and legally binding monitoring, reporting and verifying of Annexe 1 mitigation. They want to be sure that developed countries are actu- ally obeying the Kyoto protocol. Equity is the major sticking point that reveals the underlying dynamics of climate politics. Understanding the equity debate helps understand why countries struggle to agree. Everyone should play fair, but the field is uneven.

Green Eggs and Ham

Kate Janse van Rensburg
Kate Janse van Rensburg

Carina Truyts

I was standing in a throbbing crowd, surrounded by shrieking girls and the tang of sweaty bodies. Jack Parow was waving his armpits at me, as you do when you are cooler than everyone else. I was filling up my squeezy bottle with gin and dry lemon. I was listening to the grandest music, eating falafels, and watching all the hipsters walking around. I was swimming in the dam with the confused ducks; soaking up the energy that over 11,000 campers brought to Rocking the Daisies 2011. Every now and again I would wonder what I was doing in Darling, just as you are probably wondering why you are reading about what I was doing in Darling. The answer to that is: Life is too short. Last Wednesday I received a shrill phone call. My friend’s lift had bailed out. They offered me a free ticket and the promise of sunshine. I knew I had loads of homework, and this column to write for Monday. I knew I would spend money I didn’t really have to spare, and that driv- ing over 2000km for a festival is a bit ridiculous. I knew these things but I phoned her back to say: It’s on. Thus you are reading a column about a music festival. A very eco- friendly music festival I must add, that won the South African Climate Change Leadership award two years in a row. They encourage 100 people to walk or cycle from Cape Town, and recommend car-pooling, energy sharing, and brushing your teeth with not too much water. The whole thing is powered by the Darling Wind Farm project, and it felt like there were more recycling bins than there were portable toilets. While I was drinking my vodka and Red Bull, lying on a hay bale with very loud music in my ears, I got a message from my dad. Just a tentative “How are you doing?” (Which really meant: have you lost your phone yet, or are you in a drug dealer’s vice grip?). I thought of my favourite jus- tification for spontaneous, unreason- able, off-the-cuff adventures: “Life is too short”. This motto is a bit ironic and stupid because life is also too short to fail and be miserable because you missed your degree due to a music festival. Then I remembered that my life wasn’t so hectic that I had to say no. I was pretty on top of things when I received that message. I thus conclude that life is too short not to be spontaneous. It is too short not to swim with the ducks. Not to watch the rugby with 10 000 other people at 7am who threw beer on the floor when the ref messed up. Not to watch musical acts who invigorated the masses and made time frames shrink and stretch. Too short to miss out on watching a zef white rapper and the chance to try and squeeze an account of Rocking the Daisies into a column of 500 words.

6 The Oppidan Press 20.10.11

Politics

Do you have something to add? Email politics@theoppidanpress.com

DA’s Mazibuko: the skepticism

Lucy Holford-Walker

Fascination has ensued as the hopeful Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko, an unusual and refreshing new parliamentary candidate for the leading opposition party, makes a name for herself in the game of South African politics. But questions are surfacing with regard to her qualifications for the position and her lack of experience. What makes Mazibuko’s possible appointment an exciting prospect in South African politics is undoubtedly her being a woman. She is currently a spokesperson for the DA as well as the shadow minister of Rural Development and Land Reform. Depending on the outcome of the elections that will proceed later this year, she might soon be the upcoming parliamen- tary leader for the country’s chief opposition party. All the hype regarding her possible appointment means that she has recently come into the spotlight, which has given cause for many skeptics and critics to question her background, age and what it is that qualifies her for the position. Mazibuko has had a sound and envied education. She was born in Swaziland, but was brought up in Durban where she matriculated in 1997 at St Mary’s DSG in Kloof. After matric, Mazibuko went on to the University of KwaZulu-Natal to pursue a degree in Music, but after one year she decided to follow other interests. She later completed her studies at the University of Cape Town, majoring in French, Classics and Media and Writing. She obtained her Honours in political communication in 2007. With an obviously keen interest in politics, Mazibuko became involved in the DA when she chose to make the leader of the DA, Helen Zille, the subject of her dissertation in her Honours year. She also improved her knowledge on the party’s policies and programmes. According to DA.org:

“She soon discovered [that such policies and programmes] were very much in sync with her own ideologies and political vision for this country.” Despite such vision, some of the public have brought the issues of qualification and experience to the fore; they worry that her lack of experience in the political arena might be her downfall. One such person is Thokozani Mtshali, politics edi- tor of The New Age newspaper. He said, “Much as Mazibuko has the potential to shine and do good for the country, poli- tics is a tough game. She already has two built-in weaknesses:

firstly, she has been in politics for less than five years and sec- ondly, being a leader of the opposition automatically sets her up against [President] Jacob Zuma and the experience gap is too vast.” Another issue being critiqued by skeptics is her age. At 31, Mazibuko’s youth has been detected by some analysts as a possible obstacle, however Mazibuko responds to this concern saying that there is a need for a ‘generational mix’

in South African politics. “I understand the apprehension around my age but I think it is important for us in politics to have a mixed generation. To leave the running of the country where two-thirds of the people are under 35 to people in their 60s and 70s seems unnecessary when there are young people eager to get involved,” she said. Regardless, the DA is confident in their candidate. The DA confirms that whilst “she had never been actively involved in politics… she had always had a passionate interest in every area of political life, particularly in South Africa”. This passion led to Mazibuko becoming a parliamentary researcher for the DA, and thereafter her appointment as the party’s national media officer. Only time will tell whether Mazibuko will indeed succeed in her quest to become the parliamentary leader for the DA, and furthermore whether support for her in the position will increase or rather decrease with continued skepticism.

Pic sourced
Pic sourced

Lindiwe Mazibuko is the National Spokesperson of the DA and a hopeful candidate in leading the party

Cele targets hostels in new operation

Matthew Kynaston

P olice Commissioner Bheki Cele has called for a crackdown on hostels across the country,

saying they are a breeding ground for criminal activity. Operation ‘Duty Calls’ has been put in place to seek out criminals who are hiding in hostels. Many criminals are said to be found in these buildings, and Cele believes this points to a greater problem with hostels as a whole. An elite tracking unit has been set up in the hopes of catching specific criminals. Cele said that “detectives will come with a list of wanted people to them” and they would stop at nothing to catch them. Typically, hostels are raided in the early hours of the morning, starting at around 3am and ending at 7am. The raids have gone well so far, with the arrest of bank robber Bongani Moyo being lauded as the start of a successful campaign. The team also found drugs, primarily dagga, in some of the hostels. Speaking of the tracking unit, Cele said, “The unit must be able to find its own intelligence. It must be able to track you. It must be able to respond physically should you put it under pressure.” He is optimistic about the

Pic sourced
Pic sourced

National police Chief General Bheki Cele is planning a crackdown on hostels to combat the crime rate

future of the unit, saying that it would take pressure off detectives who are searching for the country’s most wanted criminals.

The tracking unit will be based in Gauteng, with more units being set up in KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape in the near future.

SASCO celebrates 20 years of existence

Bulumko Dukada

The General Secretary of the Con- gress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) Zwelinzima Vavi, said that as Cosatu they rely on the South African Students Congress (SASCO), as an intellectual reservoir, to provide them with necessary skills and young revolutionary minds, whose sense of radicalism and energy is a daily inspi- ration to the working class. “We salute the bullet-braving student generation of the 1980s whose struggles made an immense contribution and created a momentum in these struggles of our people led by the working class to the defeat of apartheid,” said Vavi. He was a keynote speaker at the 20th anniversary celebration of SASCO, a national event which was held at Nolu- thando Community Hall in Joza. Vavi also pointed out that “20 years ago, on this historic campus (Rhodes), SASCO was launched as a non-racial student organisation aimed at advanc- ing the aspirations of the student

populace in South Africa.” He further provided a brief history of the organ- isation: “The merger of SANSCO and NUSAS (National Union of South African Students) gave birth to the big- gest student organisation in the country

– SASCO”. This merger took place at

Rhodes University during a congress from 1 to 6 September 1991. A brief history about the students’ movement that contributed to the establishment of SASCO: The first student organisation, NUSAS, was the initial step towards the formulation of a students’ movement. This organisation was formulated in 1924 at Grey College by Afrikaans and English speaking cam- puses. It went as far as co-ordinating all SRC activities in the Afrikaner Student

Body. NUSAS was a white-dominated student movement which severely marginalised black students, causing them to form the South African Student Organisation (SASO) as a means to have their voices heard and also have

a significant influence in the general

student fraternity. This began in 1969 when the progressive gallant martyrs

of the Black Consciousness Movement

led by Steve Biko decided to break away from NUSAS to form SASO. In 1977, SASO was banned because

it aligned itself with the Freedom

Charter. Subsequent to the banishment of SASO, in 1981 the Azanian Student Organisation (AZASO) was formed to fill the breach left by SASO, and during all that dispensation NUSAS was not affected and was still fully operational on Afrikaner and English campuses. AZASO also took the nature of representing the objectives of Black Consciousness. AZASO was later transformed to the South African National Student Con- gress (SANSCO), and created a strong association with NUSAS to fight in op- position to the Education Bill raised by President FW De Klerk to reduce sub- sidies to politically active institutions of higher learning. After struggling towards this notion both SANSCO and NUSAS were also banned. In February 1990, when liberation movements were unbanned and politi- cal activists were released from prison, SANSCO and NUSAS sustained their discussions to form one non-racial student organisation. The outcomes of these discussions necessitated a confer- ence held at Rhodes University, which is where SASCO emerged in 1991. In numerous campuses around the country, SASCO continues to dominate the SRC elections. However, right at its birthplace, Rhodes University, the or-

ganisation seems to be invisible and its members keep losing the elections. This year, the branch faced some predica- ments following the resignation of its Chairperson Junior Bata and his deputy Egmont Bouwer.

20 years ago, on this historic campus (Rho- des), SASCO was launched as a non-racial student organi- sation aimed at

advancing the aspirations of the student populace in South Africa

Deputy Minister visits Makana

Sibulele Magini

The Makana Town Hall Mayoral Chamber was filled with the regional ANC leaders, all leagues and alli- ance leaders to listen to the Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, ANC National Executive Commit- tee member and Chairperson of the ANC Disciplinary committee, Derek Hanekom. The Deputy Minister criticised the Makana sub-regional ANC for only having seven out of 14 wards in good standing. He did, though, applaud Makana for improving in the recent lo- cal elections. He appealed to the coun- cillors to continue with the door to door

campaign even beyond the elections saying that “we must never lose contact with our constituency”. Hanekom reflected on the issue of the Dalai Lama and criticised the ANC for not handling the matter appropri- ately. He also bashed the ill-discipline of the ANC Youth League for burning the organizations’ flags and T-shirts with the president’s face on them. However, he did not want to comment on the disciplinary hearing. He emphasised his concern on the organisational and ad- ministrative challenges of the Makana ANC sub-region. Hanekom is deployed by the ANC National Executive Committee in the Eastern Cape.

The Oppidan Press 20.10.11 7

Do you have something to add? Email politics@theoppidanpress.com

Politics

No Dalai Lama as drama ensues

Catherine Baytopp

I t’s been splashed across local me-

dia during the past month and the

only outcome visible to the public

is gross confusion concerning the Da- lai Lama and his visit to South Africa. His visa was apparently processed too late after he was invited to attend Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s 80th birthday celebrations. But this is not the first time the Dalai Lama has been denied entry by the South African government, which begs the question: why has he been refused entry into the country? With both Tutu and the Dalai Lama being globally respected spiritual lead- ers, one would think that South Africa would welcome the spiritual leader as a sign of respect and honour. He is a No- bel Peace Prize winner, and played a vi- tal role in the struggle against apartheid. Tutu has, after all, been both a national and international icon for years. The Dalai Lama posed no apparent

threat to South Africa, seeing as he is

a leader in peace and does not have

any form of criminal record or act of violence against his name. Therefore was South Africa’s reason for delay- ing the issuing of the Dalai Lama’s visa

legitimate? And why was it necessary to create such hype around it? There has been vast speculation about whether the spiritual leader’s denial into the country has anything to

do with South Africa’s economic and political relations with Tibet’s opposi- tion, the People’s Republic of China. During a videoconference with Tutu, the Dalai Lama was quoted as saying, “Some Chinese officials describe me as

a demon so naturally there is some fear

about the demon.” With China being probably South Africa’s largest trading partner, the South African government seems to stop at nothing to prevent upsetting China and the Chinese government. It has recently been revealed that South Africa is planning to release a R1 tril- lion tender for six new nuclear reactors

and China is one of the major contribu-

tors to this deal. This will have huge economic effects for South Africa. Our relationship with China would seem to run a great deal deeper than most of the public realise and creating imbalances in that relationship could be detrimen- tal. The Dalai Lama was evicted from China and the Chinese government see him as an enemy of the state, thus South Africa may have been forced to think twice about letting the Dalai Lama into the country. We should be aware of South Africa’s political relations, as it affects our future as well as where our country stands in the political arena. The issue of the

Dalai Lama not being able to attend Tutu’s birthday celebration is not really the issue at hand. What is concerning for us is the moral standpoint of the government as well as our relations with China. We should be able to look critically at the actions of the govern- ment and know the truth behind their decisions behind this controversy, so as to form our own judgements.

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Pic sourced

The Dalai Lama’s visa spectacle is an indication of the need for transparency in government and its other bodies

Red October Campaign says no to state tenders

Sibulele Magini

The Red October Campaign was launched by the South African Com- munist Party (SACP) in 2000 with the intentions of celebrating the spirit and the victories of the Great October Socialist Revolution of 1917 in Rus- sia. The campaign also aims to usher the issues of the working class to the government. Speaking at the re-launch of the campaign, General Secretary of SACP Dr. Blade Nzimande, said that the party

is against the state being daily “ten-

derised” as this causes the bureaucrats in the state not to do anything. “All the government does is spend its time writ- ing up tenders and adjudicating applica- tions,” said Nzimande. He also men- tioned that “instead of uniting popular forces behind a common struggle for transformation, the state divides com- munities into competing factions all vying for a tender”. Nzimande further pointed out that tenders are a source of

a great deal of corruption in the state

and factionalism within alliance parties, like the SACP and Cosatu, which get used by the state as stepping stones to influence the allocation of tenders. Nzimande called for the South Af- rican Communist Party to fight against the latest phenomenon of ‘professional tenderpreneurs’, who does nothing but use their political influence to pressure for tender awards and getting cuts from those corrupt proceeds. As one of the major alliances of the ruling party, Nzi- mande also reflected on the affiliation SACP should have with the state: “Let us not allow the relationship between government and political leadership, on the one hand, and our communities, on the other, to be mediated by the tender.” The SACP called upon all the Cosatu members to cement its unity with the party by focusing on the key challenges facing our country such as poverty, unemployment and HIV/AIDS. Commenting on the issue of de- tenderisation, Chairperson of the ANC

Youth League at Rhodes University Vuyo Gwayi, said, “The minister should not treat the symptom but the disease.” She said that Nzimande must provide a solution to whatever causes corruption in the issue of tenders and not remove them tenders completely. Gwayi also stated that de-tender- isation would have a negative impact on the country’s economy as some businesses rely on the states tenders to function. “I understand where the party comes from as communists. However, the proposal is not reasonable,” said Gwayi.

Instead of uniting popular forces behind a common struggle for trans- formation, the state divides communities into competing

factions

“I do not think de-tenderising the state is an option, but the ANC should not be allowed to be connected to any companies that receive government ten- ders,” said a member of the Progressive Youth Alliance, Lennox Langbooi. Nonetheless, the issue of tenders in the state seems to be a problem. Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan announced in his Medium Term Budget Speech that R25 billion worth of public tenders are being investigated for fraud and corruption. This follows a story in Kwa-Zulu Natal where three ANC provincial se- nior officials faced fraud and corruption charges relating to a R1 million ‘dona- tion’ paid by South American business- man Gaston Savoi to the trio in 2007 in exchange for a R45 million government tender.

Winnie Mandela gets honoured with the Ubuntu Award

Sibulele Magini

The National Heritage Council hon- oured Nomzamo Winfred Madikizela- Mandela with the Ubuntu Award, making her the first female recipient of this honour. The award is given to those who have contributed selflessly to the benefits of humankind. Previ- ously bestowed on former Cuban president Fidel Castro in 2008, former United Nations Secretary-General Boutros-Boutros Ghali in 2009 and South Africa’s former president Dr Nelson Mandela in 2006, this award is renowned worldwide. According to the council, Madikiz- ela-Mandela will be granted this award because of the “dehumanisation she faced while in detention, which cannot be over-emphasised”. “The sacrifices that she made in liv- ing without her family, being banished to remote areas, and being in solitary confinement, encompass the values of Ubuntu.” The council further explains that the mother of the nation is a relevant recipient for this honour since

this year’s Heritage month is launched under the theme ‘liberation heritage’ in honour of the heroes and heroines of the struggle. Her “selfless conserva- tion for global attention to the needs of the less fortunate and relentless contribution to the betterment of the nation has touched the lives of many. Despite the deplorable circumstances that surrounded her for many decades, she is still a source of courage”, said Chief Executive Officer of the National Heritage Council Advocate Sonwabile Mancotywa in a statement. The move by the National Heritage council to honour this controversial an- ti-apartheid activist has spurred debates and different views from people. The ANC Youth League released a statement in support of the award being given to Madikizela-Mandela. The league con- gratulated the council for not being un- apologetic in celebrating and honouring struggle heroes and heroines. Further- more, the Youth League pointed out that honouring Mama Winnie Mandela confirms that her status as a revolution- ary, freedom fighter and a humanist

who made profound contribution to many people’s lives is ranked alongside the previous recipients of the Ubuntu Award. Chairperson of Rhodes Univer- sity ANC Youth League Vuyo Gwayi, says, “She personifies Ubuntu as she led and is still leading a life that shows what it means to be people’s person.” Some academics were critical of the award being given to such a controver- sial figure with a shocking reputation of murder and kidnap. “The situation is complicated since she has a loud history and a reputation for the violation of human rights,” said Politics and Inter- national Studies 1 Extended Studies lecturer, Corrie Knowles. International Relations lecturer, Siphokazi Magadla, said; “It amazes me how Nelson Mandela’s bad deeds are swept under the carpet and how he is praised for the good things he has done whilst Winnie’s good deeds are underplayed and only her bad deeds are highlighted.” Magadla further pointed out that though Winnie was out of control, she admires her resilience and bravery.

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Pic sourced

The National Heritage Council has honoured Mama Winnie Mandela with the Ubuntu Award

8 The Oppidan Press 20.10.11

A day at the kaif

Ananda Paver
Ananda Paver
Kirsten Makin
Kirsten Makin
Kirsten Makin
Kirsten Makin

From a quick cup of coffee before a lecture to a ciggarette break under the leafy shade, the Day Kaif caters to every daily fix

The Oppidan Press 20.10.11 9

Kirsten Makin
Kirsten Makin
Madien Van der Merwe
Madien Van der Merwe
Kirsten Makin
Kirsten Makin
Kirsten Makin
Kirsten Makin

10 The Oppidan Press 20.10.11

Arts & Entertainment

Do you have something to add? Email artsandentertainment@theoppidanpress.com

10 years of Rock ‘n Roll for LMS

Voodoo Child bring the heat to Grahamstown for LMS’s 10th birthday bash

Graham Griffiths

M other Nature set the tone of the evening, long before the music

started: HOT! and Jo’burg based 6-piece band Voodoo Child only added to the heat at the Slip Stream Sportsbar (SSS) on Saturday night on 8 October. Saturday night was Voodoo Child’s second performance in Grahamstown, as they helped a full capacity crowd celebrate Rhodes Live Music Society’s (LMS) 10th birthday. Keyboardist and manager of Voodoo Child Alan Hay- ward says, “Tammy [LMS Chairperson] just called me up and asked if we could play and naturally we said ‘hell yes’ because we love Grahamstown and just playing in general. We rarely say no to any chance to play live.” The night’s proceedings began with a charming and passionate performance by accoustic duo George and Mike . “I dig them so much. Very sweet, reggae- feeling acoustics,” said LMS Chairper- son Tammy Dickinson. Since their quite recent inception in mid-2011, Lu-Fuki have taken Rhodes live music lovers by storm, winning

the recent LMS Battle of the Bands. The four-piece, punk/ alternative-funk group boast excellent musicianship on all four fronts (guitar, bass, drums and

has progressive rock influences from TOOL; the old school rock ‘n roll/blues of Jimi Hendrix; along with the soul of Marvin Gaye and Whitney Houston.

lead vocals), along with an energetic

The

hip hop royalty of The Roots to the

and eccentric stage performance by lead

mix

is evident too. In describing their

vocalist Sandi Dlangalala. Saturday was no exception, but was by all standards,

sound, lead singer Lebohang Mochudi comments, “I remember in the studio

an outstanding performance. The crowd

once, we all came up with something

sounded like they wanted Lu-Fuki on

that

was good but not going anywhere,

stage the whole night.

and

I said to the guys, “Ok, now let’s

LMS has been a well organised, well represented and interactive so- ciety for a decade. It’s very realistic to expect more of the same for another decade.

But next up, finishing the evening off in style was one of South Africa’s most versatile and lively rock ‘n roll groups, Voodoo Child. The group

‘Voodoo-ize’ it!” That’s the best way to describe us.” The musicians summed

up their band in one word: “Rainbow” (as in a rainbow-nation) said drummer Hendrik Nel; “definite” said guitarist Brendon Gold; and “our-music-for-the- people” keyboardist Alan Hayward said,

who clearly didn’t care about the word

count. Voodoo Child’s debut album was nominated for a South African Music Award (SAMA), headlined SA’s major

festivals like OppiKoppi, Woodstock

and Splashy Fen, and even opened for

English Rock ’n Roll legends Jethro Tull at Carnival City in Gauteng. LMS has been a well organised, well represented and interactive society for a decade. It’s very realistic to expect more of the same for another decade.

Kelly Muller
Kelly Muller

Voodoo Child band members Lebohang Mochudi and Brendon Gold enthrall the crowd with their “Voodooized” sounds at LMSS’s 10th birthday bash

Ananda Paver
Ananda Paver

Honours Director Bianca Binneman at the reading of her playtext, Girl Disappearing

Five Women: Honours Creative Writing

Ananda Paver

The Box Theatre felt empty, mundane without the spectacle of lights and the buzzing of an anticipant audience. A haphazard group of drama students sat in a ring of chairs arranged centre stage. This was the simple setting in which Bianca Binneman’s script had its last critical evaluation. Five Women is the public showcase of the Creative Writing pieces devised by Drama Honours students. It is also the last opportunity for these students to receive feedback from department heads and peers. “It’s a new initiative,” explained Drama lecturer Dr Anton

Kruger. “Ultimately, the text must be spoken; it makes it real, objectifies it. It gives the writers a sense of having cre-

ated something.”

The showings were made public in

order to get a response from a variety of students. “It’s intimidating,” Binneman admitted. “You put a lot of yourself and

your own experiences into it, but it is

useful to hear it read by different voices. So it’s not just lines on a page.” Girl Disappearing is an absurdist slice-of-life drama in which two scenes, set in the same dingy restaurant but years apart, converge and overlap. Subtly humorous, undeniably eerie and entirely heartbreaking, the play portrays love and its decay as inexorably intertwined with the slime and misery of the city. Sheldon Fairfoot, a First Year Drama student and one of the actors said of the play, “It is ethereal. It’s refreshing to work with an original text. One where there was no urge to make it pretty.” The text certainly did not avoid the less pret- ty side of life, and moments of piercing clarity were juxtaposed with a confu- sion of lines subverted across scenes and through unfinished sentences. The script was incredibly well-crafted; it delicately handled tension in such a way that arguments were implied rather than exaggerated. Lorraine Beaton, a fellow Honours

director, commented, “I didn’t feel that

the reading did [the piece] justice. I feel it needed some kind of set even if [the actors] still used their scripts.” How- ever, in a way the reading’s unrehearsed quality with its lack of fluidity and familiarity complemented the play’s stilted nature. There is an almost robotic quality to the speech which had the dual effect of simultaneously alienating and intriguing the audience. Overall, Binneman’s text is a haunt- ing yet gentle investigation of relation- ships and regrets; the unreal sense of its absurd elements beautifully countered by the gritty subject matter. One is left with a feeling of profound loss, inevitable after witnessing valiant efforts that are frustrated and all solution lost in life’s ironic twists. The reading of Emma Hutton’s Girlfriends was held in the Box Theatre on Monday 17 October and Lorraine Beaton’s Window Seat will be held in the Box Theatre on Monday 24 October. These students have produced some excellent material and the showings are certainly well worth attending.

we recommend

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Pic sourced

Knowing Your Rites. “Do

you believe in sin, Michael?” This opening quote encapsulates the movie. Psychologically intimidat- ing and intriguing. Whilst spiritu- ally testing, Sir Anthony Hopkins and Colin O’Donoghue combine to give a performance of hypnotis- ing subtlety and sincerity. Michael (O’Donoghue) meets Father Lucas (Hopkins) who challenges his scepticism and teaches him the taboo and precise ritual of exor-

cism. The plot takes a twist, when a figure of prominent moral symbol- ism is possessed by an evil entity and the fledgling priest is forced to

exorcise the powerful demon, and battle his own evils. Directed by Mikael Håfström, The Rite is purported to be based on a true story.

- Graham Griffiths

Taking the Long Way Down.

Pic sourced
Pic sourced

Combine Obi-wan Kenobi, an Eng- lish travel-writer and actor, motor- bikes and two continents, and you get Long Way Down. It documents a journey-by-motorcycle undertaken by close friends Ewan McGregor (Star Wars) and Charley Boorman (The Bunker). Riding through 18 countries, starting in Scotland, they travel through Europe and Africa and end in Cape Town. Long Way

Down was undertaken in 2007 and

is the pair’s second cross-continental trip after Long Way Round. Written as journal entries, they share the pains of their journey, the highlights and charity work on the road and the people they’ve met in a fool-hardy and playful tone.

- Graham Griffiths

…Listening to this con- coction of sounds is enough to whet your appetite in time for the soon to be released third self titled album by MGMT. Late Night Tales is a compilation by founding members Andrew VanWyn- garden and Ben Goldwas- ser. The album consists of a selection of post-punk and

indie artists. The compilation reflects the band’s eclectic sound, and draws comparisons with music from both sides of the Atlantic featuring artists such as The Velvet Underground. MGMT also make an appearance with their cover of Bauhaus song “All We Ever Wanted Was Everything” of the 1982 album The Sky's Gone Out.

Pic sourced
Pic sourced

- David Williams

The Oppidan Press 20.10.11 11

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Arts & Entertainment

Nina Van Tonder
Nina Van Tonder

Thomas Revington and Alastair Thomas of Short Straw strum and entertain the crowd at Monastery

Short Straw draws in crowd at Monastery

David Williams

Monastery showed its folk face on Friday 7 October as it hosted the You’re Underfed, I’m Wonderful album launch of Johannesburg band, Short Straw. Troubadour’s Gil Hockman and local David Knowles opened the evening. A seated, intimate audience was mesmerised as Knowles fixated them with his resonating acoustics and unique echoing vocals. With Knowles’s playing style, he took acoustic guitar to an electrifying level. His set reached a climax with his rendition of Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good”. The tempo was raised dramatically as Rhodes alumnus Gil Hockman made his entrance jeaned, hooded and armed with his guitar. Audience members shouted “Moses can play!” and “I like your beard!” Hockman, with his steady and Dylanesque style of playing, livened up the crowd with his rendition of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” and Johannes Kerkorrel’s “Hillbrow.” Hockman’s songs, such as “The Ballad of Me and the Doctor,” evoked memories and smiles from the audience. A laid-back individual, Hockman is committed to ordinary music making. “My songs are about stuff that happens,” said Hockman in an interview. Benches and chairs were moved to the side as Hockman finished and Short Straw made their entrance with their upbeat track “One Long Day”. Short Straw’s make-you-want-to-clap songs had the crowd stomping in time for Smash ‘n Grab

to end the evening with Monastery-style heavy dubstep and drum ‘n bass. Short Straw was formed by Alastair Thomas and Oliver Nathan as a two-piece acoustic guitar and drum band in 2007. They played with other folk bands and soon developed the label of “Thrash Folk.” Short Straw now consists of Alastair Thomas on guitar and vocals, Oliver Nathan on drums, Thomas Revington on guitar, Gad De Combes on keyboard and Russell Grant on bass. They have a unique song style approach of comical lyrics yet immaculate composition that can be found on their album You’re Underfed, I’m Wonderful. Guitarist Thomas Revington added, “They’re silly in terms of the story but they are well structured and people like that. Because other bands sort of take themselves too seriously, we don’t want to be boring.” Short Straw take influ- ences from bands such as Blink 182 and Weezer. After the gig, owner of Monastery Daniel Long said, “I don’t think people have heard that kind of music. We’ve had a great turnout even with people having the stuff they’re used to. So they still remained true.” Guitarist of Short Straw Thomas Revington shared his thoughts of the gig, “The response from the crowd was awesome. What’s so cool is that everyone is out to party and they have that yes attitude, we can’t wait to play here again,” he said. Short Straw’s You’re Underfed, I’m Won- derful and Gil Hockman’s Too Early In The Journey are available at www.shop.wolves.co.za.

Tyson Ngubeni - campus comedian

Khutso Tsikene & Binwe Adebayo

Tyson Ngubeni, a Second Year Journalism and Drama major, captures campus life with his cunning wit and charm. After spending a good hour with Ngubeni, student by day and comedian by night, there is a clear sense of where his comical journey began and what he plans to do with his talent. “Why try to fit in when you were born to stand out?” is the mantra by which Ngubeni lives. He is emphatic that his only goal is to make a difference and nurture his dream of becoming a performer. Born and bred in Johannesburg, Ngubeni, whose full name is Zintle Thokozani Ngubeni, starts off by explaining how the name Tyson came to be. When he was in high school, he had just started in a brass band and at his first band practice, a classmate started teasing him and calling him Tyson. Although there was not much sense behind it, the name seems to have stuck. The first week of high school gave birth to the public persona, Tyson. After high school, Tyson worked for three years before enrolling at Rhodes. While at work he met

a stand-up comedian, Ettienne Shardlow, who was running comedy workshops at the Johannesburg

Theatre. Upon receiving the ‘life-changing’ Comedy Bible he learnt how much structure was involved in comedy and took it seriously. Like most other successful performers, Tyson recalls his first performance as a horrible experience. As a self-critical and introspective individual, Ngubeni realised that he must

not let the experience end his journey, but rather that he needed to “get back out there”. He finally found

a greater structure to his craft and recalls his best performance being at the Comedy festival. Ngubeni draws his material from day-to-day conversations and is inspired by his surroundings. His material is Rhodes-specific and he says quite emphatically that although he is not the only comedian on campus, Rhodes remains an exploitable source for this art form. His self-dubbed ‘dining hall comedy tour’ has seen him entertain from Kimberly West to St Mary’s dining hall, performing at Hall Balls and Leavers’ dinners, from cultural shows to Grotto Mojito. He has recently become part of an impro- visation comedy troupe called Nat(urally) Caf(feinated) which performs at The Union every second Thursday. Considering the ever growing interest in South African comedians, we can only imagine how far this Rhodent will go.

When art comes to life

Vimbai Midzi

The second year art exhibition kicked off to a rather innovative start this year, combining per- formance art with some cutting-edge pieces. The Second Year Fine Art students put the exhibition together - entitled “Hola Hola in Transition” - with the minimal guidance of Rat Weston, a lecturer in the Department, in only three weeks – a huge achievement for the artists considering the quality of work. Keeping within the theme of “Transitions”, Jana Toman, one of the artists, showcased her piece entitled “Waiting”, which focused on the “tension and awkwardness” experienced in waiting rooms. At different intervals, different groups were forced to sit in the waiting room and forced to make conversation with complete strangers. In this way, Toman appealed to her audience through their feel- ings, and included them in the creation of the piece itself. Each piece at the exhibition was unique,

capturing the essence of artwork in its pure form. Among the people who came to see the exhibition were other second years, Grahamstown residents and first year Fine Art students. Jennifer Ball, a first year, enjoyed the exhibition and said, “It allowed you to try and read your own meaning into the art- work without the explanations of the artists.” Ball also mentioned how refreshing it is to see some performance art. There is definitely not enough of it, especially at student level,” she said. “Untitled,” by Heidi Slaughter, was particularly moving, as it displayed the painful memories of transitions in people’s lives through broken car parts hung on a wall. The artwork was emotionally capturing, as each piece carried a certain amount of pain or hap- piness that was felt simply by examining it. Other pieces included “Forsaken,” by Njabulo Kunene, and “Reality conversing with graffiti” by Candice Gardner. The exhibition showed the second year Fine Arts students’ ability to transform art and push boundaries.

Caz Futcher
Caz Futcher

Second year Amy Slatem’s art exhibition is displayed at the “Hola Hola” second year art exhibition

Caz Futcher Second year Amy Slatem’s art exhibition is displayed at the “Hola Hola” second year

12 The Oppidan Press 20.10.11

Features

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Harry Potter thesis: inciting intellectual debate or wasting time? Ananda Paver Kate-Lyn Moore N o
Harry Potter thesis: inciting intellectual debate or wasting time?
Ananda Paver
Kate-Lyn Moore
N o one would deny that Harry
Potter, the boy wizard, has
nestled his way deep into the
hearts and minds of the world, refus-
ing to this day to budge even one inch.
Showing unprecedented dedication
to the phenomenon, many people have
committed their entire lives to Harry
Potter: working as journalists for fan
sites such as mugglenet.com and the-
leaky-cauldron.org, creating fan fiction
and organising fan conventions such as
“The Phoenix Rising”. One such indi-
vidual, Melissa Anelli, made her début
as an author with her book, Harry, A
History, which chronicles the adventures
of Harry Potter-crazed fanatics such as
herself.
However, this trend does not appear
to be limited to the Americas. Rhodes
graduate Jayne Glover delved into the
magical world of Harry Potter for her
Masters thesis in English Literature.
Similarly, her doctorate is based on the
works of another cult fantasy, namely
the work of author Ursula K. le Guin.
Many undergraduates do not plan
to join the realm of the postgraduates,
commonly known as ‘the ghosts of
campus’, having had their fair share of
essay writing by the time they complete
their undergraduate degree, and as such,
seem puzzled at the very existence of
such a thesis.
Third Year student Ellen Richardson,
majoring in English Literature, seemed
pleasantly surprised at the mention of
what has become commonly known
as, ‘the Harry Potter Thesis’, expressing
an interest in reading it. However, she
thinks that many people are unlikely to
regard the thesis seriously as, despite
its immense popularity, most people do
not associate Harry Potter with serious
literature or literary criticism.
This raises the question of whether
such theses are a valuable contribution
to intellectual debates, and whether they
are worth the valuable time and money
that is invested into them.
This is not the only curious phenom-
enon to be found in the caverns of the
library, however. Senior lecturer at the
department of Language and Linguis-
tics, Mark de Vos, wrote his thesis about
the conjunction ‘and’, which many
would consider to be an insignificant
topic, hardly worthy of such research
and attention.
De Vos, however, would beg to differ,
explaining that it is crucial to under-
stand how ‘and’ functions, as ‘and’ is
the carbon atom of language. It is small,
but central in its importance. In fact
according to De Vos, the word ‘and’ has
probably had more papers written on it
than any other single word.
Furthermore, De Vos’s thesis in
fact only focuses on one subtype of the
word, of which there are several. Thus
demonstrating that even something as
seemingly insignificant as the word ‘and’
can make for serious academic debate.
Despite its
immense
popularity, most
people do not
associate Harry
Potter with
serious literature
or literary
criticism

Students remain unaware of awareness weeks

Ananda Paver
Ananda Paver

The wall behind the library is painted over to support Rhodes awareness weeks

Ananda Paver

Earlier this term, the Rhodes Muslim Society’s (MSA) Amazing Race, part of Islam Awareness Week, had to be cancelled due to poor attendance. This and similarly apathetic responses to events raises genuine questions about the social responsi- bility of Rhodes University students. What is the truth behind this apparent lack of in- terest? Do we make a conscious decision to disregard these events or do the causes they promote illicit little more than a glance at a painted wall? Perhaps we just get distracted in a world that drives huge quantities of information at alarming rates. “I think students are generally apathetic toward any involvement,” says Gerhard De Lange, a First Year BA student. “Rhodes University is supposed to be where leaders learn and yet we are struggling even at res level to get a House Comm together.” Nikki Köhly, the Safety, Health & Environmental Officer of Rhodes University, has a different view:

“I don’t think students are apathetic. If there is not a good turnout at events like these, the reason might be because there are so many things happening, and people start feeling overloaded by all the input.” Perhaps students are simply too busy to devote at- tention to every cause they come across, but, in that case, which issues should they choose to fight? SRC Environmental Councillor Ruth Kruger said, “It is hard for students to get excited about every awareness week. There needs to be fun aspects which will encourage people to get involved. That’s why I wore a green cape [to promote Environmental Week].”

Köhly admits that there is no way to determine exactly what could or should be done to combat student apathy. A possible solution could be to have fewer events which are spread across the year and publicised well in advance, to limit the demand placed on people’s time. Societies with similar inter- est groups could collaborate in order to produce high-quality events which might boost attendance. Köhly will be joining Kruger in a meeting next week with Di Hornby of Rhodes Community

Engagement to discuss ways in which the two fields of interest could effectively support each other. “It is important to be sensitive to the audience,” she adds, “pay attention to the wider student response, and discuss ways of being more effective, meeting needs and interests, and trying out new strategies.” Despite most students’ overwhelming lack of interest in causes, there have been some success stories: Student HIV/AIDS Resistance Campaign has accomplished all the long-term goals set at its incep- tion. However, this was only achieved 10 years after the society’s creation. Surely student societies should not have to wait a decade to receive the support they need from the University heads and wider campus. In light of the apparent student indifference, one must ask: have we become too apathetic to take

a stand on the issues affecting our future? Does

student awareness begin and end on the constantly metamorphasing wall behind the library? Or are

we simply pushed for time, unable to pull ourselves away from more pressing demands on our attention?

It seems as if weeks pass and issues are forgotten as

easily as if they too were covered in a coat of white paint.

The Oppidan Press 20.10.11 13

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Features

Why you should be happy to live in digs

Ashleigh Brown

A s the student population expands, the government subsidises Rhodes for the growth. This is why the new

Hilltop residences were opened this year, to better accommodate more Rhodes students. This is one of the main reasons the three Hilltop residences were built. However, as most of the funding for residences has gone towards Hilltop, the older residences are slowly falling apart. The Hilltop residences are all structurally sound – contradicting the many wild rumours of them sinking into the ground or sliding down the hill, giving birth to various comments along the lines of, “Hilltop 1 and 3 will be co-ed in a few years [when they collide]”. Dr Zschernack, the Hilltop Hall Warden, dispelled all of the rumours that the Hilltop residences were not built properly. “The only part that was sliding down the hill was the mud between Hilltop 2 and Hilltop 3. That’s only because there are no flower beds yet, and the heavy rain washed some of the mud away,” he said. The one problem that the Hilltop resi- dences have, according to Zschernack, is that they are on the top of the hill and it is a signifi- cantly longer walk down to lower campus. The Hilltop residences might be structurally stable, but the older residences are not. Due to their bearing the brunt of the lack of funding, they are slowly falling apart. From leaking roofs to doors that won’t open, and a myriad of other problems, the old residences are in desperate need of maintenance.

Kim Wienand, a First Year resident in Dingemans House, knows full well what it feels like to be living in a residence that is falling apart around her. She experienced a roof leak

that dripped on her heater in winter, as well as

a door that would not open or close properly

due to the rain it had absorbed. After countless e-mails and berating, her door was finally fixed, and her room painted to cover the water marks,

but that did not stop the leaks. “They said I could be relocated to New Res,

if I wanted. But I like my room, and I am home

here. I didn’t want to move, I just wanted the problem fixed,” said Wienand, who was not

the only student to experience such problems. However, Tracey Chambers, the warden for Dingemans house, was assured by the Univer- sity that the roof would be properly fixed this December holiday. Until then steel plates have been placed on Dingemans’s roof to help stop some of the leaking. This seems to be a common problem amongst older residences. Denzil de Klerk,

a Botha House resident, describes similar

problems with leaking, stating, “When it rains reasonably hard, the roof leaks in several places, especially in the bathrooms.” The leaks also span across the top floor passages. It appears that maintenance waits until the problem can no longer be tolerated, before trying to fix it. However, in Botha House, there has been no attempt to fix the problem yet. Students living in residences pay a fair amount of money to have a ‘home away from home’ atmosphere. However, this atmosphere is not so homely when you are constantly fighting against the building you are staying in.

Ananda Paver
Ananda Paver

Botha House is one of many older residences in need of maintenance

Postgrad: just a numbers game? Kate-Lyn Moore Last year Rhodes University announced its plan to
Postgrad: just a numbers game?
Kate-Lyn Moore
Last year Rhodes University announced its plan
to expand the postgraduate programme, even-
tually aiming for it to account for 30 percent
of all students. In pursuit of this goal, Dr Peter
Clayton, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research
and Development, noted how they have to be
careful to ensure quality rather than quantity
in implementing this plan, and how the process
has thus been a rather lengthy one.
“As soon as I say our postgraduate programme
As soon as I say our post-
graduate programme is
perfect, someone will
come forward with a hor-
ror story, and certainly we
have had some, I would
never want to deny that.
But in general I think our
standard is very good
is
perfect, someone will come forward with a
horror story, and certainly we have had some, I
would never want to deny that. But in general I
think our standard is very good,” said Dr Clayton.
“Our throughput rate is amongst the best in the
country.” Indeed one such postgraduate student
noted how due to issues with her previous super-
visor, she has been significantly set back in the
writing of her masters thesis, which will now only
be ready after January.
“I was going to submit this year,” she says,
“but I have to push myself so at least by the end
of January I am done. I won’t have a vac but it’s
a
sacrifice I am willing to make, just to finish,
because I just can’t continue to third year, its so
demotivating, especially when everyone around
you is done.”
Due to a supervisor who eventually ceased
communication entirely, the student had to
work mostly alone, resulting in the thesis lacking
definition and having to be reworked entirely.
“I think the mistake was that he was supposed
to have told me that I was overambitious in the
beginning, but it continued until this year, 10
months into my research and I had collected all
my data. So I wasted a lot of time,” she said. The
situation was uncomfortable, she stated, because
she did not want to get the supervisor in trouble.
Reportedly this kind of situation is not un-
common, and is certainly not limited to Rhodes
University. Upon seeking advice from fellow
students, she notes how she was told, “You’re not
the first and you won’t be the last.”
Dr Clayton stated that these kinds of situa-
tions do occur, but that they do have quite a num-
ber of mechanisms in place to ensure quality at
an individual level. However, the best thing to do,
according to Dr Clayton, is to confront the issue.
“I would encourage anybody not to leave an
issue that is not healthy and is festering, because
it is very expensive in time; you end up getting
setbacks and students become demotivated. It is
better to deal with it as early as possible,” he said.
The University will always try to resolve the
problem, and if necessary, move the student,
depending however, on the capacity and expertise
of supervisors.
“There is constant concern about quality,
because postgraduate students do need quite a
lot of attention, and depending on the faculty,
they sometimes need quite a lot of resources,
particularly in the sciences. And so we do want
to be careful how fast we grow and the main filter
to our postgraduate growth at Rhodes, because
of our size, is the number of supervisors,” he
explained.
As such, the University has set up oppor-
tunities for departments to start individual
programmes for growth, slowly beginning this
process. The question, however, remains as to
what will happen in the interim.

14 The Oppidan Press 20.10.11

Sci-tech

Do you have something to add? Email scitech@theoppidanpress.com

Steve Jobs: pioneer and revolutionary

Sithandwa Ngwetsheni

M uch of the world mourns the passing of the creativity and intelligence that was

embodied by Steven Paul Jobs, who revolutionised how the world com- municated and interacted. Having been the inventor and co- founder of Apple Inc., Jobs was at one point fired from his company but beat defeat by founding his own. His new company was called Next Computer, where he introduced the Second Gen- eration of computers, claiming that this generation was more of an interper- sonal computer that would replace the machines popular at the time. With this invention Jobs modified the way human beings communicated and the way in which group work was conducted, as the interpersonal

computer was able to share voice, image, graphics, and video in e-mail for the first time. Jobs also developed software known as Next Software and during this time, came up with a framework for web application known as WebObjects. WebObjects was later used for Apple Stores when Apple. bought Next. Jobs then returned to the company which he co-founded and was named interim chief executive. Under Jobs’s guidance the company’s sales increased with the production of the iMac and other products. Jobs later dropped the interim from his job title, becoming CEO for Apple. Jobs was more than the CEO of Apple - he was an integral part of the company. Earlier this year Jobs an- nounced his resignation. Statistics show that after the announcement, shares in the company dropped by five percent.

Experts said that this would be nega- tive not only for Apple but for other companies that Jobs was a part of. On 5 October Jobs passed away, leaving an indelible legacy behind. Some of the products that Jobs brought forth in his life, include the iPad and the iPod, which was first introduced in 2001 enabling people to listen to music wherever they were. The iPod touch was then introduced in 2007, then the iMac and iPhone respectively. Jobs is listed as either primary inven- tor or co-inventor of 342 US patents or patent applications related to a range of technologies from computer and por- table devices to user interfaces (includ- ing touch-based interfaces), speakers, keyboards, power adapters, staircases, clasps, sleeves, lanyards and packages. This is a legacy only few have man- aged to leave.

Possible cancer cure found in sharks

Timothy Smith

Squalamine, a biological compound discovered nearly 20 years ago, may be our ticket to fighting cancer and other ailments in humans. This com- pound can be found in different sources in na- ture, one known source is the deep water shark, where the compound can be found in the liver. Squalamine is not a protein. It is the first known example of a class of compounds called amino sterols, each being a steroid chemically linked to an amino acid. Proteins are easily destroyed by diges- tive enzymes in the stomach. However, squalamine remains unharmed through the digestive tract. Scientists testing the compound found that it was nearly 100% effective in destroying viruses in some animals, but beyond that they found it to have one further benefit: squalamine can inhibit blood flow to cells and other related structures that are growing out of control. This means that squalamine could possibly stop the blood supply to cancerous cells and related growths, starving the growths.

While it has been known for some time that this chemical helped the sharks from which it was originally found to fight off bacterial threats in their bodies. Recent research and tests have revealed that this doesn’t just apply to these marine predators, but can be used on humans as well, proving effective against viruses and perhaps cancer as well. The compound is currently produced synthetically so there are no worries about the effects of harnessing this chemical on the en- vironment or shark stocks. Further- more, the synthetic chemical has so far proved as effective as its natural counterpart. While further tests are ongo- ing, there are high hopes that this compound will see use in the near future as a treatment against viral and cancer-related ailments in

humans.

Pic sourced

viral and cancer-related ailments in humans. Pic sourced Squalamax is one of the products made from

Squalamax is one of the products made from squalamine

Did you know?

There are a number of science and technology intellectuals in South Africa, all of whom have helped put the country on the map.

Pic sourced
Pic sourced

South African physicist Allan Cor- mack helped with the development of the computed axial tomography scan, or CAT scan. The scan was developed from Cor- mack’s interest in the problem of X-ray imaging of soft tissue or layers of tissue of differing densities. Cormack saw this as a problem and he acted on it. Cormack provided a mathematical technique for the scan, in which an X-ray source and electronic detectors are rotated about the body and then analysed by a computer to produce a map of the tissue within a cross-section of the body. In 1979 Cormack and his partner Godfrey Hounsfield received a Nobel Prize for this invention.

Pic sourced
Pic sourced

George Pratley, a Krugersdorp en- gineer, invented Pratley glue in the 1960s. He invented the glue while looking for something that would hold components in an electrical box. The glue is the only South African invention that has been to the moon. In 1969 the glue was used to hold parts of the Apollo XI mission's Eagle together. Tons of Pratley glue have been exported all over the world, and the company has branched out into other prod- ucts.

Compiled by Sithandwa Ngwetsheni & Lithemba Sebe

Kelly Muller
Kelly Muller

A tribute has been set up in the African Media Matrix building to celebrate the legacy of Steve Jobs, the innovator and founder of Apple

iSign brings integration and communication to South Africa

Sithandwa Ngwetsheni

There is a new application coming and it will help bring together the two communities of Sign Language and Speech. The objective of this applica- tion is to create the technology needed to build a system that will assist deaf people in interacting with the speech community. One of the masterminds that con- tributed in this development is James Connan, who is currently a lecturer at the Computer Science Department at Rhodes University and is the head of this groundbreaking project. According to Connan, this project is a complex process which involves computer scientists and linguists. Connan also adds that the applica- tion involves four steps when it comes to translating one language from the other (speech and Sign Language). The steps involved in translating Sign Language to English (speech) are as follows: a video of a person using sign language is recorded. This is done through cellular phones. Computer vi- sion is then used to extract semantic in- formation. Sign Language is translated to English through a machine. Existing text to speech synthesis systems, such as Festival, will be used to perform this task. This project not only focuses on Sign language, but also translating English to Sign Language. A person speaking English needs to be recorded, which can be done with a phone or a PC. Speech recognition then needs to be performed. A machine then translates English to South African Sign Language (SASL). Though this is not a current fo- cus of this project a system will be built

Pic sourced
Pic sourced

This iSign application will be using cellular phones and computers to integrate these communities.

to collect SASL information to facilitate this process in future. The last thing is to render an avatar of translated SASL. Rendering systems for both PC and mobile platforms will be developed. Currently the project has developed

a digital SASL book with phrases. User interaction is through a phone and the processing happens on a server. The phrasebook recognises manual gestures.

It can be used for remote phone to

phone communication.

With this development the gap that

is between Sign Language ‘speakers’ and

speech producers will be closed. These communities will be able to understand one another. Let us welcome another invention from South Africa. According to Con- nan this invention will help those in the Deaf Society access their careers, help- ing to further empower them.

to Con- nan this invention will help those in the Deaf Society access their careers, help-

The Oppidan Press 20.10.11 15

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Sports

Proteas vs Aussies in battle of the fledglings

Graham Griffiths

It’s time to get those “Shosholoza” lyrics memorised to drown out the “Waltzing Matilda” that’s coming over this October and November. Cricket Australia is now focused on a six week tour of South Africa, where they will compete in two Twenty20s, three ODIs and two Test Matches. This series also marks some interesting debuts. Both nations have only eight players appearing in both the T20 and the ODI squads (with Australia now only hav- ing seven players making appearances in both formats, after Brett Lee was dropped from both squads because of his sudden appendicitis). Mitchell Johnson was selected to spearhead the fast-bowling attack. For- mer Proteas Coach Mickey Arthur said, “Mitchell is a proven match winner and he'll do it time and time again for Australia in the future.” Australia will be fielding some relatively untried youngsters such as fast bowlers Patrick Cummins, Mitchell Marsh and James Pattinson in the Twenty20 squad. Cummins and Pat- tinson will stay on for the ODIs. Hashim Amla will make his interna- tional captaincy debut for South Africa.

He replaces the injured AB de Villiers. Batsman Richard Levi, 23, is a new cap

in the Twenty20 squad. Morne Morkel will spearhead the Proteas’ fast-bowling attack, while Dale Steyn rests during the T20s. Proteas speedster Lonwabo Tsotsobe is likely to share the new-ball duties with Morkel. Both teams also have new coaches. SA cricket legend Gary Kirsten will be in charge of his home nation after

a successful stint with India and his

Australian counterpart is Troy Cooley. Graeme Smith is expected to captain the South African Test side, after having recovered from knee surgery. The Aussie tour began on Thursday 13 October with the first T20 in Cape Town, ending in a disappointing loss for the Proteas. However, the team bounced back in the second T20 in Johannesburg, man- aging to chase down Australia’s total of 147 in the last over of the day. The win ensured that South Africa levelled the series 1-1, and was Kirsten’s first victory as the new coach. Australia’s tour ends with the last Test Match on 17 to 21 November at The Wanderers stadium in Johannes- burg. Then the Sri Lankan invasion ar- rives from 5 December until 22 January, but the Proteas are taking one opponent at a time.

January, but the Proteas are taking one opponent at a time. Pic sourced Cricket Australia is

Pic sourced Cricket Australia is currently on a tour to South Africa, where Roelof van der Merwe and the rest of the team will hope to topple their arch-rivals

Pic sourced
Pic sourced

A united front: the Canadian rugby team sings their national anthem before a match

An outsider’s look at the Rugby World Cup

Jacob Ross-Ewart

It was indeed a disappointing year for South African rugby but as fans of the game itself must concede, this has been an overall brilliant World Cup so far. Cards on the table time: I’m both a rugby rookie and a Canadian. I watched every Springboks game, cheering and yelling at the TV along with the rest of you, but my true allegiance lay with the Canadian team – a group largely composed of amateur players who were never going to advance from their group. I’m obviously biased, but I have to say, cheering for one of the lesser lights of the tournament is at least as ex- citing and maybe more gratifying than bleeding SA green and gold. Be honest, how many of you actually enjoyed

watching the Bokke grind out a nail- biting win against Wales in their first match? And that ridiculous thrashing of Namibia may have been gratifying, but was anyone jumping on their chairs when Francois Hougaard crossed over in the 80th minute to put them up 87-0? Meanwhile, the Canadians made the most of their tournament, stealing a

victory from Tonga in their opener with

a dramatic 76th minute try that resulted

in thousands of new converts to the sport back home. There were even posi- tives to be taken from a serious kicking

at the hands of the All Blacks – Canada

is the only team so far to score first

against New Zealand, having put two tries on the board against them. The Canadians are by no means the only team to impress this year. Ireland shocked Australia by winning their group, Wales has qualified for

the semi-final for the first time in 24 years, and in the shock of the tourna- ment, Tonga upset France in a victory that did not allow them to move out of the group stage, but did allow them to climb into the top 10 in the world rankings. So does this help to ease the pain of Springbok fans? Of course it doesn’t. It is, however, a sign that there is increas-

ing parity on the world stage. It’s very likely you will see the same eight teams qualify for the quarter-finals in 2015, but if the second tier teams continue to improve as they have, by kickoff in 2019

there may very well be some new names at the top of the logs. Hopefully, this will help to alleviate some of the pres- sure on the perennial favourites, which might even make losses less painful and winning all the sweeter.

English League might be a Manchester affair

Denzil de Klerk

The Barclays Premier League is head- ing towards the 10 matches stage and with this season’s log having taken its own unique shape, the league contin- ues to supply us with entertainment in the form of wonderful world-class football. So far there has been a fair share of extraordinary results. One which would immediately spring to most football lovers’ minds is the humiliating 8-2 annihilation imposed on Arsenal, by the ever consistent Manchester United. While the high score line might cause some degree of surprise, the larger shock factor came with the fact that not too long ago, Arsenal were serious contenders for the 2010/2011 title. Cur- rently, however, they find themselves on the opposite end of the table. The 5-1 drumming of Tottenham Hotspur by the star-studded Manches- ter City is another high scoring result that has certainly caught the attention of football supporters. Manchester City has had a very promising start to the season, resulting in speculation by many that this season will be a contest between the two Manchester clubs. Another very likely contender for the title is last season’s runner-up, Chelsea, who have a promising new manager in the form of young André Villas-Boas. Chelsea’s Fernando Torres has found himself under the spotlight after com- mitting what many call the worst miss in history, in their 3-1 loss to Manches- ter United. Considering the fact that he was bought by Chelsea from Liverpool for around R450 million towards the end of last season, it is inevitable to wonder whether Chelsea is getting their money’s worth in Torres. One can also not disregard a team with as much prestige as Liverpool.

Pic sourced
Pic sourced

The Manchester Derby is always a heated affair

Liverpool has been bolstered by the re- turn of their captain, Stephen Gerrard, who has recently come back from a long stint of injuries, and the 2011 Copa América player of the tournament Luis Suarez. The two together might prove to be a deadly combination. The three new teams Swansea City, Norwich City and Queens Park Rang- ers, while not regarded as title contend- ers, are certainly making a significant contribution to the league with a high standard of football. All three are well clear of the relegation zone at this stage. What has proved to be an exciting start to the season certainly predicts that the rest of the season will be just as exhilarating.

Madien van der Merwe Sports RIPL: Let the fans wait awhile Graham Griffiths & Mvuzo
Madien van der Merwe
Sports
RIPL: Let the fans wait awhile
Graham Griffiths & Mvuzo Ponono
Days before the much hyped Rhodes
Internal Cricket League (RIPL)
semi-finals and final, the organisers
cancelled the event via a message
on Facebook. The South African
Breweries (SAB) sponsored spectacle
was scheduled for Saturday October
15 and fans were informed of the
changes on Thursday afternoon. One
bemused spectator, Daniel Hollick
voiced his chagrin, simply writing,
“What?????” on the RIPL’s Facebook
page.
The organisers offered no informa-
tion other than that the Finals Day con-
flicted with the Eastern Cape Cricket
Board scheduling. According to Smuts
Sultans batsman Damien Berluti, an-
other possible reason for the cancella-
tion was due to the Farmers’ League (a
league between country clubs such as
Salem and Seven Fountains) which was
scheduled to play on the same day as
the RIPL finals. This however was not
confirmed by the RIPL tournament.
The finals were supposed to bring
the gees and cap off a successful third
year of internal league cricket matches.
The Pro20 matches started on Septem-
ber 19 and the four teams in the pools
slugged it out, each team playing three
games.
The dust settled a few weeks ago,
with the Tops Awkward Turtles making
semi-final one, opposite the Oppi Super
Tigers. The second semi, which close
observers would have hoped would be
the final: The Panthers (The Hill team)
were billed to take on the undefeated
Belmont Bashers. The Bashers finished
undefeated after the pool stages and
topped their group, while the Panthers,
also in fine form, were undefeated until
their last game. Berluti said that, “The
Bashers are the definite favourites to
win the tournament. They’ve won the
previous two championships and won’t
want to break that record.”
On the flip side of the fight, ball
was put to bat in contest for Plate
honours. The Plate semi-finals saw
the Ox-Braai Smuts Sultans taking on
the College Knights and the Cunning
Stunts up against the Pink Platypuses.
The Platypuses, boosted by the return
of their star player James Price, who
has recently been signed to play for the
Chevrolet Warriors, made easy work
of the Stunts. They were joined in the
Plate final by the Smuts Sultans.
Revellers and fans alike will be
disappointed that SAB will have to wait
another week to strut its stuff as tour-
nament sponsors. One of the few things
that the organisers have confirmed so
far is the erection of a marquee and
a bottomless beer garden. The RIPL
looks intent to keep the cricket tight
and the party loose with DJs@Play at
hand to get everyone shufflin’.
Speculation as to when the curtain
might fall on the RIPL has yet to be
confirmed.

Titans dominate EC

Reitumetse Twala

“A basketball team is like the five fingers on your hand. If you can get them all together, you have a fist,” Mike Krzyzewski, coach of Duke Uni- versity’s Blue Devils once said. While Krzyzewski was talking about his own team, the same can undoubtedly be said about Rhodes University’s Titans. Recently Rhodes University hosted the semi-finals of the Nelson Mandela Bay Basketball Association (NMBA) Metro Super League Playoffs at the Alec Mullins Hall. After a gruelling game be- tween the Titans men’s team and the PE Comets, the Comets beat the Titans by four points for victory. The final score was Titans 70 – 74 PE Comets. Captain Walter Tayali of the Titans men’s team was disappointed at the loss but stood firmly in support of his play- ers, saying that the team will come back better next season. The Zwide Panthers, scheduled to play the Titans women’s team, failed to pitch and thus forfeited their chance at contending for a place in the finals. Titans head coach Tisco Mati is very pleased with his teams’ perfor- mances throughout the season and praised them for their commitment and respect for him and for one other. The Titans women’s team will head to the first leg of the finals on Sunday 23 October. Their opposition as well as the venue for this game are yet to be confirmed by the NMBA. 2011 has been a particularly suc- cessful year for both the men and women’s Rhodes basketball teams, more affectionately known as the Titans. The women’s team is sitting at the top of the log and the men’s team has steadily

climbed up the ladder from fourth place and are looking to join their female counterparts at the summit in future. Earlier this year, the Titans headed to the University of Fort Hare in Alice to compete for the number one spot at the Inter-Varsity tournament. The Titans men’s team ranked third out of four teams, while the Titans women’s team conquered and took first place, yet again. Whoever claimed that basketball is a men’s sport has clearly never seen these women in action. In addition to rank- ing first in the tournament, the Titans’ Nobubele Phuza was selected as a part of the all-star team for the tournament, as well as boasting amazing players like Kelina Mudzanapabwe, who was voted as the Most Valuable Player of the tournament. Kelina says that the award definitely put a considerable amount of pressure on her but she takes it in her stride, saying that, “it makes me want to do better. I can’t move down from that”.

The Titans men’s team ranked third out of four teams, while the Ti- tans’ women conquered and took first place, yet again.

Madien van der Merwe
Madien van der Merwe

Runners start the race from outside Piet Retief House to raise funds for Chris Felgate, an Olympic hopeful

Poor turnout for a good cause

Andrew Tombs

On Wednesday 28 September, Piet Retief held a fun run to raise funds for Olympic hopeful Chris Felgate, a Rhodes University alumnus. The cause was, however, hindered by the poor turnout. The evening race had an entrance fee of R30. This guaranteed a boere- wors roll and Energade after the run. All the proceeds were to help finance Felgate’s trip to the qualifying rounds for the Olympics. Felgate is hoping to make the Zimbabwean Triathlon team for the 2012 London Olympics. His main method of raising funds has been through sponsorship and winning races. According to Tim Ross, the Piet Retief House sports representative, the main reason for the event was to show support for Felgate, and not to raise money to finance his trip. Rob Benyon, the warden of Retief, believes that the event is a great initiative, as it “raises awareness of an Olympian Rhodes

alumnus, as well as looks to help sup- port his efforts in qualifying”. The advertising was done through word of mouth, creating a buzz about the race through Facebook and posters around campus. Ross believes that they could have done more to advertise as the turnout was much lower than antici- pated and that this was due to the short notice of the event, as he would have wanted a two to three week build-up to the race. Rescheduling of the event was also a contributing factor to the low numbers. The campus race was won by digs students Warrick Smith and Natalie Ross. Smith said that the race was quite tough and that “the poor turnout was unfortunate”. Ross agreed, saying that the race was very hard, especially at the end. Piet Retief is planning to follow up the event with another race, to garner more funds and raise support for Felgate.

IF YOU READ NOTHING ELSE

Postgrad: just a numbers game?

Page 13

A time to laugh, not whine

Mvuzo Ponono

It’s time to admit that the juvenile delinquent that is Bafana Bafana has a problem. For too long caring fans have stood aside and watched the troubled team wallow in mediocrity. The opium that has made us forget the obvious crisis that is South African football was the automatic qualifica- tion into the World Cup because that came with being hosts last year. The intoxicating effects of that opium must be wearing off after this recent blunder, as the masses come to realise that football in this country is on a collision course with a giant iceberg. Before hosting the international tournament, South Africa failed to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament. They have failed to do so again two years later, al- beit this time, much more embarrass- ingly, with the whole world watching. After a goalless draw in their last qualification match played against Si- erra Leone, the malleable soccer team danced and celebrated qualification, thinking that they had made it to the continental show piece. Hell, even a poor Sunday Times writer thought this was the case and wrote that Bafana Bafana had sneaked through. It was only later on that the team and the nation were alerted to the rule book which clearly stated that should the teams finish on level points – Ni- ger, South Africa and Sierra Leone all finished with nine points – the net re- sults of games would decide the win- ner. Niger ended up with six points compared to the other team’s five. The South African Football As- sociation is now appealing the rule. SAFA CEO Robin Peterson said on News24: “We are of the opinion that this particular rule should be thrown out because it defeats the traditional way of determining a log standing.” The ‘traditional way’ that Peterson was referring to is separating teams with equal points according to goal difference, which is the SAFA way. But the long standing Confederation of African Football rule differed and no one in the whole country bothered with section 14.1 carefully enough. By the time this goes to print the story will be old news. We will tactfully avoid the national team and immerse ourselves in the PSL or other leagues. The Sangoma that is harassing the SAFA for R90 000, apparently for services rendered during the World Cup, will have magically disappeared from the nation’s agenda. The high sal- aries paid to executives within football administration for dubious reasons will undoubtedly continue. So will the tenure of the SAFA president who was elected under dodgy circumstances because the two men favoured for the job feared to go head-to-head to last year and risk a bitter struggle. Failure to qualify for AFCON doesn’t necessarily mean that the World Cup in Brazil in three year’s time is out of reach. It just means that with the state our football is in we should not be surprised if we don’t make the much bigger tourna- ment. The World stage separates the men from the boys. We are the worst kind of juvenile, the type that gets home with bruises on the hand from repeated beating by teachers because we refused to listen. We are the boy that spends half the day facing the wall for some silly misdemeanour. The establishment of youth develop- ment structure to feed our football is something this boy desperately needs to grow.