The Oppidan Press

Edition 2, 28 February 2012

Win tickets to RAMfest!

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Charges laid after racial slur: student called ‘gay k****r’

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Israeli Apartheid Week
Rhodes students join national campaign against Israeli ‘apartheid’ National Jewish students union calls campaign “careless and dangerous”

Their hearts beat

Ubom!

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News 4 Opinion 17

Serenades fail to woo

3, 14

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Flower trade: sustainable?
6 O-Week helpers unhappy

Rough start to the year for SRC
2 Emergency elections 4 Lost SRC documents 5 Councillors resign en masse

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The Oppidan Press 28 February 2012

28 February 2012 The Oppidan Press

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Racist incident darkens O-week
The first term has not been short of controversy. Rhodes University students laid charges of crimen injuria and assault after they were allegedly called “gay k****rs” by a group of men. The racist insult allegedly turned physical, and Rhodes students involved in the off-campus fight were left with an assortment of bruises, black eyes and split lips. Student Mallory Perrett wrote about the alleged brawl in a letter to The Oppidan Press, and expressed her disappointment that the constitutional values of Rhodes had not filtered into the Grahamstown community (see page 16). This was closely followed by the Mail & Guardian Online’s exposé of a military-style camp for Afrikaans teenage boys, where camp commander Franz Jooste indoctrinated boys with horrifying racial hatred and extreme ethnic nationalism. A former major for the apartheid military forces, Jooste’s unwavering belief in the validity of his racist rhetoric is chilling, as he trains young boys in preparation for the ‘race war’ he believes is inevitable. The tragic irony is that in Jooste’s fascistic drive to protect what he believes to be “Afrikaans culture”, he is at risk of destroying it, as more and more young Afrikaans South Africans denounce their heritage for fear of being associated with such racist batshittery. This extreme ethnic nationalism has been attributed to Israel as well, with critics of the nation-state likening its policies to that of apartheid South Africa. In line with this, anti-Israel campaign Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions (BDS) has organised a global Israel Apartheid Week (IAW) to take place from 5 to 11 March (page 4). Rhodes students and staff have joined the campaign in petitioning against what they believe to be Israel’s ‘apartheid’ policies. Students for Social Justice (SSJ) member Ben Fogel wrote about Israeli ‘apartheid’ for The Oppidan Press, and explained the stance of the IAW campaign. The situation in the Middle East is fraught and extremely complex, however. The Oppidan Press endeavoured to untangle some elements of the debate by seeking the views of the South African Union of Jewish Students (SAUJS). National liaison officer for the union Ariel Shapiro wrote for The Oppidan Press about the IAW campaign, and described it as misinformed and malicious (page 17). The Oppidan Press sought out these two perspectives, and gave them the space to air their concerns for the reader. Likewise, and due to our extensive coverage of the Student Representative Council in this edition, we offered the SRC the opportunity to publish a column on the difficulties they have faced upon returning to office this year. These difficulties include five resignations of key members of the SRC team, the mismanagement of society documents, and accusations of poor leadership by the O-Week helpers (pages 2, 4, 5 and 6). The Oppidan Press had hoped the SRC would take up this opportunity to explain their views on this situation, but unfortunately they did not submit a column to the newspaper before going to print. The Oppidan Press has endeavoured to cover the SRC’s struggles in great detail as an issue of accountability. The SRC represents Rhodes students on a variety of matters, and if they should fail to do this adequately, a channel for frank and transparent discussion needs to be opened. As a matter of transparency, it is important to note that The Oppidan Press is a society that falls under the SRC’s administration.

Racial and homophobic tensions between students emerge before the start of term
By Kyla Hazell been cast that night. The two happened upon the argument while walking home from BP and, in trying to help, became involved in the scuffle that ensued. “One guy in particular was very derogatory and aggressive,” said Perrett. “There was a lot of punching and shouting and somebody called us all ‘a bunch of niggers’. Thankfully, Hi-Tech and the police got involved to end the fight.” The issue has not yet been officially brought to the University’s attention. “Rhodes will not tolerate any racism, sexism, or homophobia,” said Dean of Students Dr Vivian de Klerk. “We encourage students to come forward and report these matters to the prosecutors. They will be taken seriously. We want to ensure that that sort of attitude is stamped out as we are trying to create a culture in which diversity is celebrated and everyone is respected.” Captain Mali Govender, spokesperson for the Grahamstown Police Service was able to confirm that a case of assault and crimen injuria had been opened in relation to the incident, but said the investigation was still under way and no arrests had yet been made.

Local activist’s trial draws public protest
Police brutality sparks an outcry to remedy injustice
By Stuart Thembisile Lewis Local social activism organisations the Unemployed People’s Movement (UPM) and Students for Social Justice (SSJ) have organised a public protest to be held outside the Grahamstown Magistrates’ Court on 29 February. They are protesting against the assault trial of prominent local activist and UPM chairperson Ayanda Kota. The protest was initially prohibited by Makana Municipality Director for Corporate Services Thabiso Klaas, on the grounds that the SSJ failed to submit a written application for permission to gather to the municipality. This decision, however, was later overturned by the Magistrates’ Court and the protest has been allowed. In January, Kota was summoned to the Grahamstown Police Station to answer to an allegation of theft from Rhodes Professor Claudia MartinezMullen. He was then allegedly assaulted by a Constable Zulu and fellow officers in front of his 6-year old son and Rhodes University lecturer Richard Pithouse. Kota was charged with resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer. He also laid a counter-charge of assault against the officers. Kota would not comment on his expectations for the trial but did say that one is innocent until proven guilty, “As such, I maintain I am innocent.” He also expressed dissatisfaction with The Oppidan Press’s coverage of the incidents, stating that he felt it was slanted against him. “We are currently in a society where the most basic notions of an open democratic society ruled by law are under great threat,” said protest convener and SSJ member Paul Hjul. Hjul feels that civil society has an obligation to guard against this threat, which he believes is directed at South African courts and universities as well as the media and Public Protector. “Non-violent public protests and the adoption of the space outside court buildings where proceedings are taking place are one such means. We need to oppose police brutality if we wish to avoid tyranny. We also need to create a society where people are, and are seen to be, concerned about the fundamen-

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Serenades fail to woo SRC toSRC to hold emergency electionsvacancies hold emergency elections to fill to fill vacancies
First years feel alienated and sexually objectified by this year’s serenades
By Kyla Hazell The Students’ Representative Council (SRC) has within the past week had to pull together an emergency election to fill vacant posts following a series of resignations earlier this month. The Councilors’ return to campus this year was darkened by the news of Student Liason Officer Mark Addison’s resignation and the tragic death of office administrator Nicky Harris. Described by SRC President Matthieu Maralack as a huge blow, these staff losses were followed in quick succession by the resignation of numerous other Councilors. “Our Treasurer and our Activism Councilor, both of whom were executive members, resigned. Then the Thursday of that week our Societies and Media Councilors, two very crucial portfolios, resigned on the same day,” Maralack said. After a hasty reshuffling of the executive that saw former Student Benefits Councilor Simone Starkey stepping into the position of Treasurer and runner-up Bradley Bense taking over as Media Councillor, the SRC is now left with three vacant portfolios. According to Deputy President Internal and Electoral Officer Martin Forsyth, the positions available are for Student Benefits, Student Activism and Transformation and Student Societies. Nominations last week Wednesday saw candidates embarking on concentrated individual campaigns to fill these roles. An election is to be held tomorrow in dining halls across campus, which will determine who is successful. “Because we don’t have to make quorum and are trying to fill these vacant portfolios in an efficient manner, we are hosting the election by secret ballot and not electronic posting,” explained Forsyth. The election process has been overseen by the Student Disciplinary Board (SDB) and Student Defence Council (SDC) to ensure fairness and according to Maralack, SRC Councilors have had minimal involvement. Although Maralack assures students the SRC will be back to normal shortly, the debacle has highlighted questions concerning the Council’s Constitution, first raised at last year’s Student Imbizo. “It is my personal opinion that certain aspects of the SRC need to be revised,” said Game Soc Chairperson Jonathan Kenyon. “SRC Members are not required to make any legal commitment to commitment to I their positions. their positions. I simply feel that if you are elected by are elected by By Kyla Hazell simply feel that if you a majority of the students you have a a majority of the students you have a responsibility toresponsibility to them and that leaving them and that leaving for unexplainedfor unexplained and possibly inadand possibly inadhe tradition of serenades is due to be reviewed folequate reasons should be discouraged be discouraged equate reasons should lowing complaints from first years, claiming that by punitive measures.” by punitive measures.” it contradicts the University’s official stance on This issue is oneThis issueto be of many to be of many is one issues such as sexism and homophobia. considered. considered. Though not a compulsory event, first years are encour“What I have overarchingly seen is “What I have overarchingly seen is aged to participate in the dawn caterwauling in the name that student governance that student governance at the moment at the momentof residence solidarity and good old-fashioned fun. Many, is in said of a mess,” said is in a bit of a mess,” a bit Forsyth. “So Forsyth. “So however, opted out this year, feeling that the lyrics and what we are going to what we are going to accomplish un- accomplish un- dance moves of certain serenades were sexist, degrading and like many years like many years before is the rewriting disempowering for women. before is the rewriting of the Constitution and of the Constitution and the restructur- the restructur- “As a woman I feel that the option of choice has been ing of our denied throughout history,” said one first year who prefers ing of our governance.” governance.” Maralack says that to remain anonymous. “This is particularly relevant in maleMaralack says that the SRC aims the SRC aims to have a Constituto have a draft of the newdraft of the new Constitu- female interaction. Therefore, one should have the option tion available for circulation by June. not to participate due to the content of the songs and the tion available for circulation by June. Students will beStudents will be by wayfor input by way way in which they are presented.” asked for input asked of forums. Another first year, who thought serenades first introduced of forums. “We have a hectic “We have a hectic period ahead ofperiod ahead of men and women to each other as sexual objects, said she us, said Maralack. “But us,” said Maralack.”“But I’m very glad I’m very glad participated for fear that it might be awkward not to. “There to say that our substructures have is a certain amount of pressure, even from other girls,” she to say that our substructures have carried the midst of carried on as normal inon as normal in the midst of said. “I’m sure a lot more girls feel the way I do, but don’t all this madness. People sometimes think they have a right to speak up about it”. all this madness. People sometimes forget that than 15 The issue has been brought to the attention of Dean of forget that the SRC is morethe SRC is more than 15 people and as a peoplewe haveabeen we have been Students Dr Vivian de Klerk, for whom the next step will be whole and as whole functioning. Although functioning. Although this may seem this may seem to convene a meeting of all relevant parties, both students like a crisis, things aren’t like a crisis, things aren’t as bad as they as bad as they and staff, to discuss the way forward. seem.” “I am becoming increasingly concerned about the impresseem.” Rhodents to encouraged to have sion I have that, in some residences, serenades are starting Rhodents are encouraged arehave their Wednesday’s to verge on initiation and seem overtly sexual, which makes their say by voting in say by voting in Wednesday’s election. many students uncomfortable,” she said. election. Although new rules were implemented this year with regard to dress, lyrics and dance moves, some felt uncomfortable with being questioned about their “porn-star name” parodied in interweb memes” we or having to attach the title of their favourite movie to the parodied in interweb memes” we quoted Jean Machel is quoted Jean Machel Gaud. His nameGaud. His name isphrase “in my pants”. in fact spelt Gaud. We in fact spelt as: Jean-Michel as: Jean-Michel Gaud. We Thomas Pringle sub-warden Benita Bobo felt that certain residences took the serenading too far despite the new rules regret the error. regret the error. We would like to call We would like to call on our readers on our readers in place. “It seems girls are encouraged to be sexy while guys arrive half naked and pelvic thrusting. It’s supposed to be to hold future edito hold us to account inus to account in future editions, and welcome letter tions, and welcome letter submissions submissions fun and exciting, but we need to be stricter on dress code and lyrics,” she said. in this regard. in this regard. According to Dr de Klerk this task is one that needs to be monitored by house committees. “If students want - Editor. - Editor.

n anonymous source recently revealed to The Oppidan Press that he and friends had been called “gay k****rs” by a first year male during an argument that broke out between several Rhodes students in Peppergrove Mall on the final Friday of Orientation Week. “I am not naïve about racism in any context, but I find it disconcerting that a young group (mixed in race for that matter) of first year students decided to act collectively in the way that they did,” said the anonymous source. “The O-Week programme designed by the University strives to address various issues like racism and violence. Did they not learn anything? Our university should not tolerate the likes of them. They don’t deserve to be here!” Third year BA Student Mallory Perrett, and Honours Organisational Psychology student Sihle Mdakane, confirmed that racial slurs had indeed

Our university should not tolerate the likes of them. They don’t deserve to be here!

Serenades being performed at RUJamming on 9 February in the Great Hall. Picture: EMMA JACKSON

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The Oppidan Press staff
Editor: Michelle Solomon. Deputy Editor: Benjamin Katz. Editorial Consultant: Mikaila Thurgood. Marketing Manager: Siân Rees. Distribution Manager: Mlamuli Hlatshwayo. Legal Consultant: Lwandlekazi Gaga. 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. Sports Assistant Editor: Denzil De Klerk 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: Fabio De Dominicis. Chief Designer: Stephanie Pretorius. Assistant Chief Designer: Chevawn Blum. Marketing and Advertising Designer: Amy Slatem. Junior Designers: Fundiswa Ndlovu, Jehan-ara Khonat, Sandra Parmee, Sibongile Mphuthing Letters to the Editor: editor@theoppidanpress.com Advertising details: advertising@theoppidanpress.com Distribution queries: distribution@theoppidanpress.com www.oppidanpress.com www.facebook.com/theoppidanpress www.twitter.com/theoppidanpress The Oppidan Press publishes letters that are bona fide expressions of opinion as long as they are not clearly libellous, defamatory, racist or sexist. We publish anonymous letters, but as an act of good faith on 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.

While The Oppidan Press aims for accuracy and fairness in all of our reporting, we do sometimes err. We do however, hold our team accountable for any and all mistakes made in our pages. In our O-Week edition (published on 3 February) we made certain factual errors. We hope we will not repeat similar mistakes, and offer an

Our apologies...

unreserved apology to those affected by the errors. In the page 2 editorial we wrote that Lionel Faull had founded The Oppidan Press in 2007. The Oppidan Press was in fact co-founded by Lionel Faull and Ines Schumacher in 2006, and ran their first edition in 2007. We regret and apologise for the error. In the page 4 story “DASO poster

self-governance, then they must take the responsibility that comes along with it,” she said. Serenades are supposed to build a sense of unity amongst students in residences, said Dr de Klerk. However, many feel excluded from the practice by virtue of their religion, sexual orientation or personal values. “I didn’t take part in serenades last year. It is against my religion to dance and sing as I practice and follow Islam. Also, I find it indecent to come out in inappropriate pyjamas that hardly cover your body to dance in front of strange guys,” said Second Year student Nabeela Sader. “My religion has taught me to be modest and to guard my modesty.” Dr de Klerk recently posted a letter from an anonymous first year’s account of serenades to her Facebook wall. The account explains the particular student’s feelings of disillusionment upon arriving at an institution that supposedly rejects any form of sexism, homophobia or chauvinism. The student wrote that this ideal is contradicted by the residences’ expectation to “shake my booty” at early hours in the morning in front of a group of unknown men and to later be denied coffee should she fail to do so with sufficient enthusiasm. “And so I feel compromised, and betrayed. I aim to know that this is not intended to make me feel this way. But, if we arrive as unmoulded clay, and in the first week, the leaders who have already spent time at Rhodes – ‘where leaders learn’ – tell us, as young women, that it is appropriate to feel validated when a man shouts for you, what does that teach me to become?” she said. This sentiment was echoed by others. “Serenades don’t need to be sexual and provocative,” one first year said. “The problem with sexism or any other form of discrimination is that if you let the little things slide, the bigger problems start to build up.” Though these complaints have been noted and are to be dealt with by the university, the Dean of Students Office will keep in mind that other students, such as BJourn student Ruwa Nhamoinesu, still find serenades enjoyable. “Serenades were great and really fun. I enjoyed being woken up early to get serenaded and singing in return,” Nhamoinesu said. “I hope we can rescue the good and get rid of the bad without banning everything in a knee-jerk reaction,” Dr de Klerk said. “We are aware of the problem and are taking this matter very seriously, but no hasty decisions will be made. We have a full year to think about what ought to be done.”

tal issues of justice,” he said. Police emphatically denied all allegations of brutality in a press statement released earlier this year. Kota refused to comment on the alleged police brutality ahead of his trial. Captain Mali Govender confirmed that permission has been granted for the solidarity protest to take place and said that police would closely monitor the situation. The SSJ intends to direct all future communication with Makana to Ntombekhaya Baart, the Municipal Manager, and will confer directly with the SAPS with regards to traffic arrangements on the date of the protest. Hjul said that the SSJ now refuses to communicate with Klaas. “Despite knowing of the problems with Klaas and the handling of gatherings, the Makana municipality persists in giving him power,” he added. Hjul also said that whilst SSJ is involved in organising the gathering, it is not an SSJ event and all persons and organisations are invited to participate. The protest will take place at 08:30 on 29 February directly outside the Magistrates’ Court in High Street.

Ayanda Kota speaks at the launch of the Eastern Cape branch of the Right2Know campaign in September 2011. Picture: AIMEE DE LA HARPE

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The Oppidan Press 28 February 2012

28 February 2012 The Oppidan Press

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Activists prepare for Israeli Apartheid week
By Kyla Hazell

World Day of Social Justice
By Joshua Oates World Day of Social Justice kickedoff Live Smart Week last Monday 20 February, with various displays and discussions taking place around campus. A documentary called Rise like Lions of the Occupy Movements worldwide was shown in Eden Grove Blue, followed by a discussion chaired by Richard Pithouse. “The film is not only about the rich taking more for themselves; it’s about profits being privatised,” said Pithouse. “When things go wrong, it’s the majority of ordinary people who pay the price,” he said. Pithouse took part in the Occupy Grahamstown movement last year, and said that the Makana Municipality has since started taking notice of the citizens’ needs. “The bonds between the Students for Social Justice (SSJ) and the Unemployed People’s Movement (UPM) are stronger now, and the interaction with the government is ongoing,” said Pithouse. The Occupy Grahamstown movement was an outcry in protest of the bucket system still used in the townships. The residents took some buckets of human waste and threw them inside the municipality building. Pithouse stated that what happened in the Grahamstown Occupy movement was more interesting than what happened elsewhere, as a result of the solidarity that was negotiated between students and the Grahamstown community. Other events that took place on the day include a display of various books related to social justice in the Rhodes University Library, a display of posters of international statistics and social justice issues in Eden Grove, and discussions on topics concerning social justice issues relating to homosexuals.

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ctivists from Students for Social Justice and the Muslim Students Association are readying Rhodes to be one of many campuses across the country to take part in the South African leg of Israeli-Apartheid Week (IAW) early next month. “IAW is an initiative started by activists at the University of Toronto in 2005 as a vehicle to express global outrage and foster solidarity between individuals and organisations in the face of continued oppression faced by the Palestinian people by the Israeli apartheid state,” said Rhodes IAW Coordinator, Hussein Badat, in a Call to Action released on StudentZone earlier this month. The annual series of events held in cities and on campuses around the globe is, according to Hussein Badat, being overseen nationally by Boycotts, Disinvestments and Sanctions (BDS) South Africa. “Because of our unique and similar histories, the people of Palestine have looked to BDS South Africa to be a main partner in 2012 and lay foundations for future campaigns,” he explained. “This year is about education as much as mobilization,” Badat continued. “Rhodes is often very good with national issues, but we don’t tend to look out. It is healthy to get politically conscientised on a global scale and I feel this could be healing for Grahamstown politics in general. People can now set aside their differences and pull together.” Having started later than most other universities, Rhodes is slightly behind in terms of planning, but Badat confirmed that IAW will kick off

on the 5 March with a screening of the documentary “Road Map to Apartheid”. Students should also look out for lectures and seminars throughout the week as well as a mock Israeli checkpoint to be set up around the Day Kaif. “We hope to demonstrate what it is like to have to produce ID to do basic everyday things,” Badat said. “It is important for South Africans to recognise that many people fought and suffered for our freedom here and not let similar atrocities happen elsewhere.” Ulandi du Plessis of Students for Social Justice (SSJ) agreed. “I was initially inspired to take a stand on the plight of the Palestinian people by a professor who drew strong parallels between apartheid and the situation in the Occupied Territories,” she said, explaining her choice to become involved in organising IAW at Rhodes. Running now for its sixth consecutive year, the week will, according to the movement’s official website, take place this March in over 94 cities worldwide. Members of the wider Grahamstown Community are also encouraged to take part in IAW and Badat hopes that school children specifically will become involved. Other campuses observing the week include the University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and The University of Witswatersrand. In encouraging students to take part, du Plessis said, “Our own particular history shows the transformative potential of international solidarity, but most importantly an acknowledgement of our common humanity should inspire us to fight all forms of oppression.” For more on this see page 17.

The resignation of crucial SRC members meant that the remaining council had to take on extra responsibilities during O-Week. Picture: SRC

Resignations cause headaches for SRC
Student Representative Council goes into crisis control mode as councillors resign en masse
By Kate-Lyn Moore focus on filling the empty portfolios, as they are mandated to do and had to attempt to manage O-Week without these crucial councillors. “In the event of a vacancy,” says Deputy President Internal Martin Forsyth, “that portfolio is redirected to other members of council to make sure that it is not neglected.” As such, council members Nicolain Shabangu and Amirah Kolia were, according to Forsyth, to work together on the Societies portfolio and Starkey was to work both on the Treasurer portfolio, as well as the Activism portfolio into which she had been elected. “At this point you’re not just, say, the media councillor, you’re a councillor,” explains Maralack, “Its Live Smart Week this next week, we don’t have an Activism councillor, but things still need to happen. So we are all pulling together. You’re not going to point fingers, cause there’s no one to point at. At the end of the day the SRC is responsible.” This breakdown in the SRC has had massive repercussions on its functioning particularly, says Forsyth, “in that in the time leading up to the Societies councillor’s resignation, all the documentation from last year went missing.” The result of this was that they were left in the dark with regards to societies, not knowing how many they had, who they were, or how to get a hold of them. This made the coordinating of the societies extravaganza extremely complex. This was, according to Maralack, the greatest difficulty the SRC had to face. “So it’s been a rough patch,” says Forsyth, “but we have been able to pull together and I think that’s been the greatest thing, because in all the mess we were able to come together and work more effectively to solve the problems.” “It has been quite difficult,” says newly co-opted Media councillor Bradly Bense, “but I think we’ve actually pulled through and everything is going ahead as scheduled and so far so good actually.” Having been able to outsource various events made things more manageable, says Forsyth, “And that freed up a lot of our time to focus on for example student appeals, financial aid appeals, the issues that really matter.” Maralack explained that the issue is not as great as it may appear to be, because at the end of the day they are getting their work done. True as this statement may be to some extent, the lack of cohesive organisation for events such as the original societies extravaganza, the Amazing Race mishap, as well as the reported mistreatment of O-Week helpers is not to be forgotten, although considering the situation, it can be to some extend excused. They are currently in the process of having an election, which according to Forsyth, “will be hosted by ballot not by electronic posting. So we are going to have boxes in dining halls,” following which they will ideally be getting back into the normal functions of the SRC.

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The official poster for the nation-wide Israeli-Apartheid campaign. The official poster for the nation-wide Israeli-Apartheid campaign.

Lost SRC documents enrage some campus societies
By Kyla Hazell The SRC was sent into crisis mode during orientation week as the unexplained disappearance of documents relating to societies and simultaneous resignation of former Societies Councillor, jeopardised the organization of Societies Extravaganza. Three boxes containing hardcopies of information that had not yet been entered onto a database mysteriously vanished from outside the SRC offices early this year. Among documents lost were the contact details of new society members and their completed budget request forms. “There was some speculation and hearsay that the boxes were taken either as a prank or in sabotage, but I can’t see why anyone would do that,” said SRC President Matthieu Maralack. “We recently changed offices and had all our computers reformatted so there have been many variables, but we have no clear explanation.” According to Maralack, Lihle Ngcobozi resigned as Societies Councillor for personal reasons, though the boxes’ disappearance may have been the final straw. As current councillors and SRC alumni Allan Magubane and Mohammad Shabangu teamed up to save the Extravaganza, societies were asked to resubmit their budget request forms in a meeting called for 16 February. Many chairpersons were frustrated by a perceived lack of organisation and communication within the SRC. “I am currently unimpressed with the fashion in which the SRC dealt with the situation,” said Jonathan Kenyon, chairperson of Game Soc. “I am well aware that there have been many challenges before the SRC, and many of them have been met admirably. However, their planning has been less than adequate. In my opinion, things like [the] Extravaganza and sign-up [evening] should have been organised last year, not a few days in advance. I also felt that certain individuals reacted in a needlessly aggressive fashion when questioned at the recent meeting.” Chairperson of Debating Society Afika Nqeto agreed. “The problem is that when things were going wrong they weren’t speaking to people,” he said. “I understand they’re in a difficult position, but they just need to make sure they tighten up on communication.” Maralack has acknowledged this as the SRC’s biggest downfall and identified their main fault as not having one individual take responsibility for the situation. Alex Lenferna, chairperson of SEACC, defended the SRC. “This was not necessarily foreseeable and it would have been difficult to have a backup plan,” he said. “I think they have done a relatively good job in a difficult situation and that they’ve been communicating well considering their limited capacity. The president especially has handled this very professionally.” “The SRC takes full responsibility for this loss and we have done our level best to get the information back,” said Maralack. “But under the circumstances I’m very proud of the current councillors. O-Week, the Field Party and Extravaganza were successful and we’ve had minimal complaints, so I think we’ve dealt quite well.”

The problem is that when things were going wrong they were not talking to people

espite various unprecedented and overwhelming setbacks, the SRC (Student Representative Council) was able to pull the fragments of their shattered council together and practise their crisis management skills, effectively managing the events of O-Week, which looked set to be dire indeed. “I’m very proud of our team. I’m quite tired and fatigued; because there’s a lot of things that we had to react to. You have your planning but things pop up and you have to deal with them,” says SRC president Matthieu Maralack. However, he goes on to explain that he is sure they would have had a better O-Week had they had a full council, as councillors thus had to take on responsibilities that did not fall into their portfolio. According to Maralack, before even having returned to Rhodes, the SRC was faced with the resignation of its Student Liaison Officer, as well as with the tragic death of its office administrator. Following the loss of these crucial staff members, the epidemic of resignations began. “Our Treasurer and our Activism Councillor, both of whom are Executive members, resigned. So that was huge already, and then for our Societies and our Media Councillor, two very crucial portfolios, to have to resign on the same day, that was two huge blows,” says Maralack. Following an emergency reshuffle of the executive positions, Student Benefits councillor Simone Starkey took on the role of Treasurer. Additionally, runner up Bradly Bense was co-opted into the position of Media Councillor. The SRC now had three vacant portfolios: Student Societies, Student Benefits and Student Activism and Transformation. However, under the circumstances, the SRC was not able to

In all the mess we were able to come together and work more effectively to solve the problems

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The Oppidan Press 28 February 2012

Shavathon: Dare to go bare or colour your hair
By Joshua Oates

Features Zombies are stupid. Throw socks at them
The undead return for a second attempt at overthrowing the Rhodes campus and this time the fight for survival is even greater
By Stuart Thembisile Lewis the zombie’s cell phone, immediately became undead herself,” said horrified Third Year BA student Rachael Crossley, describing how she witnessed the Original Infection. The original zombie infection was reported at Goucher College in Baltimore in late 2005 by Chris Weed and Brad Sappington. Since then infections have sprung up all around the world in diverse locations, from military bases to public libraries. In other countries, zombies have been known to be stunned by anything from marshmallows to rubber darts fired from blasters. The rare ‘Rhodes Zombie’ seemed immune to those weapons and was only affected by balled-up socks. Dean of Students Dr Vivian de Klerk, whose office is rumoured to have funded the humans in their battle, and who personally felt “terrified” during the epidemic, stated that she hoped the infection had deterred even “the most dedicated drinkers from their favourite bars, at least for one week”. Thankfully three humans escaped to safety on the final Friday of infection, returning to campus with a cure to administer to the rotting zombies. Come Monday morning, the only sign that a full on war for survival had taken place were a few lonely, unclaimed socks lying discarded around campus. The completion of the Final Mission (top), Kendall Sidey and Jason McMillan taking refuge in the passage below the Geography Department to avoid the hordes of Zombies after them. Pictures: DAVID HARDING

28 February 2012 The Oppidan Press

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Unhappy O-Week helpers criticise SRC
A lack of organisation during O-Week made helpers’ lives very difficult
By Abongile Sipondo particular was in charge of organising each specific event, resulting in unclear leadership. He attributed this to challenges that plagued the SRC earlier this year with regard to unmanned portfolios and staffing issues. The helpers claimed that even OWeek Helper Coordinator Zoe Sibeko, who was employed by the SRC to oversee them, expressed her frustration with the SRC’s instructions. On the O-Week Helpers 2012 Facebook page, Sibeko wrote: “....please remember at all times that all instructions I give you [the helpers] come straight from the SRC. They are my boss and [I] just pass on the message....I am in no position to overrule what they say merely because you guys are not comfortable with it....Your concerns are valid”. The lack of communication between the SRC and the helpers was another hurdle. “This year we found that there was a major breakdown in communication in plans,” said SRC Deputy President Internal Martin Forsyth. “The SRC would plan an event and it should go off as ‘x’ and that wouldn’t necessarily be communicated effectively enough, because the helpers [would] start improvising, only to find that it’s not necessarily in line with the vision that we had,” he explained. Furthermore, the helpers felt that they were “treated as manual labourers”. It appears that they were informed that manual labour would be expected of them when they took up the positions, but the severity of the tasks, which included carrying hundreds of chairs for some events and working all day long to set up for events such as the jazz evening, was sometimes overwhelming, particularly considering the fact that it was unpaid volunteer work . The SRC acknowledged that the helpers had to do some strenuous work. “The SRC hires O-Week helpers to do the physical things that we as a body cannot do over and beyond our commitments on the SRC,” said Forsyth. He added that it is not possible for council members to perform their duties whilst doing the heavy lifting. This is what makes the O-Week helper so crucial. However, Forsyth continued to explain that the helpers were well briefed, as “we hosted an actual application process that included interviews and a short-listing process, that hadn’t happened in the past. What we tried to do was get people that were going to work...we tried to make that as transparent as possible”. The SRC said they were aware that the O-Week helpers got the impression that they were being bossed around. According to Forsyth, however, that was unintentional. “That wasn’t necessarily how we were trying to do it, it’s just that in their role and their functioning there were certain things that they needed to do and there were certain things that we needed to do,” which from the SRC’s side consisted of a largely administrative function, in terms of the coordinating of the week. Although they enjoyed meeting new people, serving the university, and making the lives of first year students easier, the O-Week helpers who spoke to The Oppidan Press emphatically said that they would not repeat the experience. The challenges far outweighed the benefits.

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magine you are a first year student, overwhelmed by leaving your parents behind, surrounded by looming buildings, an unfamiliar environment, and with intimidatingly large university books merely adding to the frisson. Then an Orientation week helper comes to your rescue, a friendly face that points you in the right direction. One would expect that these unsung heroes would be treated with absolute respect. However, a number of claims from O-Week helpers state that they most certainly were not. The helpers felt that their efforts were “unappreciated” by some SRC members. However, according to SRC president Matthieu Maralack, this was certainly not the case. He stated that the SRC highly values the work done by the helpers because, “without them, O-Week would not have been successful.” Numerous complaints against the SRC members were raised. Chief amongst these was the lack of organisation within the SRC, and lack of clear instructions from them with regard to the work the helpers had to accomplish. On numerous occasions, the helpers claimed that there were “arguments among the SRC members about what the helpers should be doing”. This uncertainty led to helpers having to repeat tasks on a number of occasions, having not completed them according to the SRC’s original plans. Maralack acknowledged that there may have been poor planning on their part, specifically with the Council not being clear on who in

he annual Shavathon and Spin-athon is sheduled to take place this Saturday, 3 March, at the Rhodes Health Suite. The money raised from the Shavathon will be given to CANSA, whilst the amount raised by the Spin-athon will be donated to the Grahamstown Hospice, which cares for over 300 patients and their families in the Makana and Ndlambe areas. Ruth First House and the Cancer Awareness Initiative at Rhodes (CAIR) have organised the event in order to raise awareness about cancer on campus and funds in aid of cancer research at both a local and national level. “It is so exciting to see other societies and university residences joining together with us to make this goal achievable,” said Kyle O’Hagan, the MSc student behind the CAIR initiative. The Dean of Students’ office is going to sponsor Nombulelo High School to enter a team in the Spin-athon. “We are trying to get the township schools involved as cancer affects everyone, not just the people on campus,” said Charlene Donald, a Third Year BA student involved in organising the event. The day has attracted many Grahamstown businesses to donate prizes, or enter teams in the Spinathon, for which bicycles need to be booked beforehand. Some of the prizes include movie vouchers from Roxbury Cinema, food vouchers from Spur, and a R100 voucher from Wallace’s Pharmacy. Grotto Mojito and Insight Technology will enter teams in the Spin-athon

whilst Dupli-Print has donated 1000 flyers for the event. Grahamstown Pharmacy will donate two cases of water for the schools participating, and Albany Sports will donate money. Salon Gavroche is hosting ‘Curls for Cancer’ where one has the option to have your hair curled rather than shaved. “Every little contribution made goes a long way in bringing health and happiness to another life,” said O’Hagan. “I encourage everyone to support the event - it promises not only to be fun, but extremely rewarding.” Last year, hosts Ruth First house managed to raise R3500 in one evening. The Shavathon and Spin-athon will now take place over the whole of Saturday. Donald shaved her head for the cause last year. “I am most likely to shave it again, I mean what’s hair?” she said. On the other hand, Georgina Niven, the Ruth First Sports representative, said that her main focus is on the Spin-athon. “I will certainly be cycling for cancer,” she said. David Barker, from the Grahamstown Hospice, said that a cure for their patients is no longer a reality, and so loving care is provided. “The money will be used for the running of the home based programme for those disadvantaged people who cannot afford the medical care,” said Barker. This includes salaries for the employees of Hospice, as well as medical supplies and food. In addition, Barker said “The money will allow us to provide bereavement care to the families of the 10 patients who die every month while in our care and the 70 patients who have cancer.”

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f you are reading this article, it means you survived the zombie apocalypse. You either fought desperately with tooth, nail and sock to avoid the gnashing jaws of your fellow students or you were, like this reporter, bitten and treated with the antidote. The second Humans vs Zombies in under a year struck campus at the beginning of Live Smart Week, forcing panic-stricken first years and veterans of previous contaminations to band together in defence of the human race. Luckily, for the good people of Grahamstown, dedicated members of Game Soc were on hand to coordinate nightly missions against the Zombie hordes that were spotted crawling across campus under the cover of darkness. Within minutes of first infection, moderators had set up safe zombie-free zones inside all buildings on campus and places like the Day Kaif. “With students having been back such a short time, it was difficult to coordinate the masses needed,” said game administrator Monique Mulholland, but organisers still managed to pull 353 Rhodes students and staff members into the fray. The Oppidan Press can now reveal that the source of infection was two local university students Greg Corder and Martha Soteriades, designated Patient Zero and Patient ZeroPointTwo respectively by the government clean up teams. “It was about 8:00 am on the Monday. I saw a zombie walk up to a girl and bite her. She protested, but upon being shown something on

Last year, hosts Ruth First house managed to raise R3500 in one evening


Vice-Chancellor Dr Saleem Badat congratulates Ruth First Scholarship recipient Camalita Naicker. Picture: AMY VAN WEZEL /Rhodes website

A small town first for student
Ruth First scholarship winner making a difference
By Ashleigh Brown Coming from a small town on the North Coast of KwaZulu Natal, Camalita Naicker has been awarded the first ever Ruth First Scholarship. With a curriculum vitae that would impress anyone, it is not difficult to see why Naicker was chosen from the 13 who were shortlisted. The Ruth First Scholarship is aimed at Masters or Doctoral degrees studied at Rhodes. The scholarship is intended to support candidates in a field of research that emulates the spirit of Ruth First, who was both a journalist and socialist. Naicker fits this ‘spirit’ perfectly. “For me it is not just enough to be a commentator on society or politics. I think one of the problems is that people do not engage more and are not active members of their society”, said Naicker. She has definitely lived up to this, with an impressive list of community engagement activities. Naicker is currently studying a Masters Degree in Politics in the Mother City. She is presently at the Centre for African Studies at the University of Cape Town doing two courses. Not to fear though, the Ruth First scholarship awardee will be returning to Grahamstown by the second semester. Once here, she will be studying yet another course. Naicker, who majored in Politics and Journalism, found her calling during her Honours year in Politics. “Doing a Masters degree will allow me a fuller and more in depth engagement with research and writing around issues of social justice,” said Naicker. The scholarship has a monetary value of R80 000, as well as covering all one’s living expenses. The scholarship lasts for two years, the amount of time it takes to complete a Masters degree. For Naciker, she was very, “excited and relieved and happy and grateful,” to have been awarded this scholarship. Moving from one small town, to another, Naicker has paved her way to a promising future.

Picture: MADIEN VAN DER MERWE

For me it is not just enough to be a commentator on society or politics

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The Oppidan Press 28 February 2012

28 February 2012 The Oppidan Press

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Metrosexual man: Metrosexual man: evolved or selfevolved or selfinvolved? involved?
A look intoA look into the flourishing band of local fashion forward males the flourishing band of local fashion forward males
By Nontsikelelo Mpulo

Mandela: the face of the nation?
Controversial proposal to include Mandela’s Portrait on new SA notes
By Shandu Mulaudzi apartheid, and honouring him in this significant manner. In debates on social networks, a few liberation heroes and prominent South Africans were argued to deserve similar acknowledgement. These include the likes of Steve Biko, Chris Hani, Beyers Naude, Helen Suzman, Ruth First and Albert Luthuli. It is asserted that many of these individuals made equal, if not superior, contributions to the liberation struggle. So why is it that Mandela should be the one to receive this particular and prestigious honour? Nguhi Mwaura, former International Councillor of the SRC, said she felt putting Mandela’s well-recognised and highly respected face on South African bank notes could be highly beneficial, in that it could result in the country’s currency strengthening and therefore may be a very wise move. Disagreeing firmly with this position, Professor Leonard Praeg of the Politics Department asserted that we should, “honour the struggle itself not Mandela”. Furthermore, he noted that perhaps choosing one man over many other apartheid heroes was not a very “African” thing to do, as Africans value Ubuntu, which is about working together as a people. He stressed that the ANC made a conscious decision during the struggle to make Nelson Mandela the face of liberation and that perhaps it was time for them to debunk that myth. Furthermore, there is the issue that the move may ‘politicise’ the South African currency, by aligning it with a celebrated ANC figurehead. This is contrasted with the The Big Five that currently resides on the bank notes, arguably more ‘neutral’ figures and that are similarly associated with the South African nation. When questioned, it became apparent that many students on campus

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hen asked to describe a metrosexual male, most people immediately refer to David Beckham. Other examples include the likes of Kanye West and Usher. According to Rhodes students, a metrosexual male is generally well-groomed, particularly interested in the clothes he wears, always smells good and takes care of himself. “It’s not just that he washes his face with face wash rather than soap. A metro-sexual man knows that there are different products for different skin types, and he practices the three step process for cleansing,” explains Journalism student Amanda Dlamini. One such candidate is Lester Mofokeng. He dons a stylish pair of tailored black shorts, stylishly paired with a checked shirt and a button down cardigan. The trendy leather sandals and fedora finish the look to perfection. When asked whether he considers himself to be a metrosexual male, his reply is an emphatic: “Yes.” He then confides that he is looking for a good place in Grahamstown that

Free Mandela! Free Mandela!” Placards bearing these exact words once filled stadiums and streets. The people’s voices resonated offers manicures and pedicures for men. throughout South Africa, wanting offers manicures and pedicures for men. In fact it is not uncommon not uncommon these days to their hero, Nelson Mandela, to be In fact it is these days to walk into a beauty salon and find asalon and find a ‘manlyfreed from prison. On 11 February walk into a beauty ‘manlyman’ having his man’ havingand it would be and it would be nails done, his nails done, 1990, the dreams of many a South unusual to find a beautician that unusual to find a beautician that does not offer does not offer African citizen were realised and he walked free. various waxing treatments for men. various waxing treatments for men. On the 22nd Anniversary of So, what is of far in terms So, what is too far in terms toowhat society of what society will tolerate as the of groomwill tolerate as the acceptable level acceptable level of groom- Mandela’s release from Prison, in ing for are acceptable, are ing for men? Man bags men? Man bagsevenacceptable, even commemoration of his struggle for coveted, tend to people tend coveted, but most peoplebut mostdraw the line to draw the line freedom and democracy, President at men who wear eyeliner. “Guy-liner is a step Jacob Zuma announced that a new set at men who wear eyeliner. “Guy-liner is a step too far,” explains Dlamini. of Rand bank notes bearing Mandela’s too far,” explains Dlamini. It appears that a man who It appears that girls may prefer girls may prefer a man who face had been designed. This has raised is manly, but still looks after many questions and prompted many is manly, but still looks after himself. Guys, himself. Guys, however, are suspicious too however, are suspicious of a man who isof a man who is too debates with regard to the singling out well groomed. “Okes that of Mandela from the many individuwell groomed. “Okes that worry too muchworry too much about how they aboutand smell are insecure look how they look and smell are insecure als who struggled for freedom during about themselves,” Second about themselves,” suggests a male suggests a male Second Year student. Year student. On whichever side of the On whichever side of the dichotomy one dichotomy one falls, it is clear that male is falls, it is clear that the metrosexualthe metrosexual male is part of evolvingpart of evolving popular culture, and that popular culture, and that more and more moreconsider dressing in de- dressing in demen and more men consider signer clothes and smelling good signer clothes and smelling good as a normal, as a normal, and perhaps even essential, and perhaps even essential, part of everydaypart of everyday life. life.

Will future South African bills feature the face of Nelson Mandela? Picture: THE PRESIDENCY OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA’S PHOTOSTREAM/Flickr were not even aware of this proposition and it seems that many do not understand the systems that are in play when decisions such as these are made. There is no doubt that Nelson Mandela has contributed tremendously to this country and perhaps this is a great way of noting the contribution he has made to this Nation, however, it is crucial to remember that apartheid was not the victory of one man.

Live Smart: The truth behind Rhodes’ drinking culture
By Laura Skippers Members of the Dean of Students (DoS) office and residence wardens recently gathered on campus for a seminar presented by Johnnie Tolken of Stellenbosch University as part of Live Smart Week. The annual week of activism organised by the DoS seeks to change the misconception surrounding student drinking behaviour by encouraging students to drink responsibly. Tolken primarily addressed common misperceptions held by young people regarding their peers’ alcohol consumption. “Students think their peers consume more than they do and use this as a means to justify their own drinking behaviour,” he said. According to a study conducted by Charles Young and Dean of Students Dr Vivian de Klerk in October 2007, nearly half of the 227 students surveyed drank responsibly while only 18.4% engaged in harmful drinking behaviour. Tolken blames a “negative bias” or the inclination to recall more negative than positive events for misconceptions regarding alcohol consumption. “Drinking is a very visible behaviour which allows us to easily over exaggerate it. Its visibility is evidently also what makes it so appealing,” he said. Tolken argued that emphasising a problematic drinking culture could ultimately inflate the misconception when in fact Rhodes already has a healthy drinking culture. When asked what she considered a

It is not uncommon these days to walk into a beauty salon and find a ‘manlyman’ having his nails done
Greg Nicolson, a true metrosexual man, understands that even as a man it is important to look after oneself. Picture: KIRSTEN MAKIN

The parties or the programmes: why are you here?
First year students explain their reasons for making Rhodes University their institution of choice
By Amber Leigh Davies Rhodes University is a melting pot of people from all over the country and the world. With over 7000 students, everyone is bound to have a different story and reason for joining the ranks of the Rhodent. While some fret about the infamous drinking scene being a big factor in first years choosing to attend Rhodes, one simply has to stir this little hot pot of ours before a few good reasons start wafting their way out. The Rhodes “drinking culture”, as Dean of Students Dr Vivian De Klerk described it, has never been the best kept secret in South Africa. In fact the article “Patterns on alcohol usage on a South African University campus” suggests that as much as 18.4% of Rhodes students engage in harmful drinking. One needs to consider: is this a realistic and cited reason for attending this university? Campbell Easton, a First Year Journalism student admits that the Rhodes “reputation for drinking” was among the reasons for his desire to attend the university, in conjunction with the “esteemed Journalism faculty”. However, many students’ thoughts rarely strayed from academics and the drinking culture was more of a realisation upon arrival. First years Zinhle Hlatshwayo and Farkhanda Quddusi both maintain the university’s academic excellence was the most prominent reason for their applying here. Other favourites include the small town atmosphere, according to first years Christopher Johnson and Siyanda Mahlati, as well as the need for a “new start” says First Year Fine Art student Jasmin Jaftha. Unfortunately, Rhodes’ worst kept secret means that people are bound to be attracted to the drinking lifestyle and this increases the likelihood of its compounding every year. When asked about the first years on the party scene, Greens resident Jason Boyns stated, “They party as hard as we do, but are much less respectful”. However, fellow Greens resident Kiera Loughrey says she sees no problem with the new first years at all. This prompts the question whether the ‘Rhodes Reputation’ is created by the intake of students with a desire for the party lifestyle, or if the student drinker is quite simply bred by the Rhodes drinking culture.

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Stellenbosch lecturer, Johnie Tolken, lead a talk on normative misconception about student drinking culture. Picture: MICHELLE CUNLIFFE main factor contributing to the Rhodes drinking culture, Dr de Klerk replied, “Rhodes University is in its own bubble. The alcohol promotion strategies of the night life industry have a very negative effect.” Dr de Klerk encouraged students to engage in a positive drinking culture and make use of the university’s Get Home Safe initiative in emergencies. Other Live Smart Week events included an SRC comedy evening, wellness residence events and the second annual Humans vs Zombies. The campus-wide tag game encourages students to “have a great time without getting so drunk you need your friends to remind you what happened”.

They party as hard as we do, but are much less respectful

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The Oppidan Press 28 February 2012

28 February 2012 The Oppidan Press

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Debating the endangered flora trade
Casual flower traders urged to pick their stock with more care
By Kristen Birch Environment

A Classic case of of Unique iPhone application A Classic case change change launched
By Lucy Holford-Walker By Lucy Holford-Walker

Digital piracy weighs anchor at Rhodes
By Sithandwa Ngwetsheni Sci-Tech Just 2 days after residences opened for returning students, the University received its first piracy warning for 2012. It referred to copyrighted content made available via Bit Torrent. Guy Halse, the current systems manager at the IT division at Rhodes University says that as the university they will not protect those who share illegal content. Bit Torrent is a peer-to-peer file sharing protocol used for distributing large amounts of data over the Internet. It is one of the most common protocols for transferring large files and it has been estimated that peer-to-peer networks collectively have accounted for roughly 43% to 70% of all Internet traffic (depending on geographical location). Bit Torrent trackers are able to track down through ISP computers or networks that have been used to share illegal content. According to Halse, this problem started in 2004 after the university got enough internet bandwidth. This development made it easy for people to download content and share it and since then, it has been getting worse. “Technology makes it easy for people and isn’t responsible for what people choose to use it for,” says Halse. Peer-to-peer file sharing wasn’t something that was unique to Rhodes. It is something that’s readily accessible to anyone in town with a reasonable Internet connection, irrespective of whether or not they have any affiliation with the University. However, the university is being blamed within our community. Over the years Rhodes has received complaints from movie and video rental businesses as some students are sharing illegal content, which is copyright violation and results in such businesses losing customers. According to Halse, the University is not responsible for data being shared on the server, but the file-sharing system just so happens to be using the university’s network. Halse also claims that the file-sharing system Bit Torrent is not the issue at hand but rather the content being shared; students are not aware that they are actually breaking a number of rules and laws. “People are not aware that they are actually breaking rules and are not aware of the consequences,” he says. Halse believes that “the idea of shutting down a particular server will stop a global problem is somewhat naïve. Experience at other universities (such as UCT) shows that for every server that’s shut down, another two are started within a matter of days. It would likely start an arms race between the University and students”. The South African Federation against Copyright Theft has approached the University and asked that it runs an awareness campaign regarding the implications of sharing illegal content. “We’re frequently amazed by the number of people who openly admit that they’re breaking the law (and go so far as to provide specific details often in public) and are then surprised when we are obliged to act on that information,” Halse says. He says that the university will act if an individual is sharing illegal content and they found out about it.

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n issue which has been brought to the attention of the Grahamstown community is that of the street-selling of national and endangered flowers. Various men and women have been sitting in areas around Peppergrove Mall, selling flowers such as white arum lilies and the national flowers King Protea and Strelitzia. The debate continues as to whether the sale of these endangered flowers should be permitted. Associate Professor Emeritus of Rhodes University and member of the Grahamstown Branch Committee of Wessa (Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa) Roy Lubke says that Wessa has been discussing the issue for over a year now. Wessa upholds the public reality that the harvesting of veld plants is illegal and recognises that only those with a permit from conservation authorities are able to trade such flowers. “Proteas and other fynbos plants are not that abundant,” Lubke said. In order for the King Protea species to sustain its population, the plant may only be harvested on a limited basis. Street-sellers Gladis Nabe and Lyndace Teshani trade their stock near Peppergrove Mall, directly in front of Ben Bell. Nabe and Teshani sell King Proteas and Strelitzias and express that they only sell, moreor-less, three bunches of flowers per day, priced at R15 per bunch. “We have always sold flowers,” Nabe said. The two say that they acquire their flowers from Sunnyside farm. Naas Ferreira, owner of Grahamstown’s Casablanca Florist, says that he has reservations about where the plants come from and questions the correct treatment of these flowers, as they are often placed in the sun. He expresses that this street-selling is not considered fair competition with his business. “It is a different type of thing we do here: we make arrangements,” Ferreira said, “Let them be.” Lubke mentions that various streetsellers have been seen selling white arum

lilies and Restio (Cape Reed) brooms. The handles of the brooms are made from the alien species such as black wattle. The broom reed stems (Restio paniculatus) are of excess amounts. Thus, the selling of such merchandise aids in the clearing of alien plants and utilises sustainable natural resources. Lubke says that the white arum lilies or “varkblomme” are common plants in Grahamstown and that they get their name from their frequent occurrence in the soils around pig sties. “They’re everywhere,” Ferreira said. Lubke recommends that the public not buy the endangered species such as the King Protea, but rather the white arum lilies and Cape Reed brooms. “Rather stick to the weedy species with the exception of the Restios for the brooms, of course,” Lubke said. Wessa has discussed the matter with local conservation officers and the authorities have discussed flower-harvesting with the various flower-sellers. “I think it is okay, as long as collecting is done discretely and does not ravage the site,” said Lubke, “but only those that are of abundance.”

American wizkid wows the tech-savvy with his new application

The white Arum Lily (above) and South Africa’s national flower, the King Protea (left) that are being sold on the streets of Grahamstown. Pictures: GARRY KNIGHT/Flickr TEDDY LLOVET/Flickr

Controversy surrounding commitment to COP17: Where does the world go from here?
By Jordan Du Toit Environment The recently held COP17 was impossible to miss amid the buzz of controversy and media coverage. Its aim was to develop concrete plans to combat human-induced climate change and address the state of the ageing Kyoto protocol. Grahamstown is in the process of improving the state of its “green” interests. Before COP17 took place, a round-table convention was held. Fifty-five Grahamstown residents sat down and wrote up a proposal to “green” up the city. This was sent through to the COP17 conference. The first commitment period to the Kyoto Protocol expires this year. Countries have agreed that they will sign on to a second commitment period so as to extend this. This treaty that will be agreed upon by 2015 will most likely be put into practice only by 2020. Questions abounded about the absence of immediate action. “We cannot deliver a more ambitious package unless civil society acts more decisively to pressure their governments into more meaningful climate action,” says Alex Lenferna, head of the student branch of the SEACC SF (South East African Climate Consortium). During COP17, protests were held outside the ICC (International Conference Centre) in Durban. Activists were objecting to concern that developed countries were expected to be passive and disinterested in implementing change and that the interests of wealthy polluters would be favoured. Protests were slightly hampered by police and ANCYL activists apparently paid to disrupt the march. “Harassment of protesters by the ANC members went on for over four hours while the police stood idly by,” says Ben Fogel, head of Students for Social Justice and one of the protesters during the conference. Consequently criminal cases have been opened against those harassing the protesters as well as the Durban City Council. However, this was a fairly small incident which did not drastically disturb the progress of the march. Fogel sums up the UN conference as “a superficial stage-managed show of grappling with imminent environmental collapse without really committing anyone to anything”. He emphasised that this happened in a “city run by a municipality that pays thugs to attack legitimate protest.” At the Grahamstown round-table convention some of the main worries were that “there was not enough awareness of climate change [and that] the city’s water infrastructure and management were not good enough,” said Ndumiso Nongwe, Makana Municipality Environmental Manager. He told the group that the municipality is attempting to get Grahamstown recognised as a “green city” by expanding bike and walking paths

Classics, formerly termed Classical CivilisaClassics, formerly termed Classical Civilisations, has just recently reconstructed the course tions, has just recently reconstructed the course so that the subjectthat thecovered is now covered over three so is now subject over three Sithandwa Ngwetsheni years and no longer over two, as hasover two, as has been the Sci-tech years and no longer been the case for the past fifteen the past Rhodes Univercase for years at fifteen years at Rhodes University. As some Humanities students attempt to sity. As some Humanities students attempt to formulate theirformulate their wonder why the degrees, many degrees, many wonder why the t only 16 years old, Eli Bock is the master mind change has occurred and for what reasons. what reasons. change has occurred and for behind the first iPhone application game with John Jackson, Head of the Classics department John Jackson, Head of the Classics department fully animated characters. The high school at Rhodes University, explained that the subject that the subject student brought his animation, musical and technical at Rhodes University, explained is too vast to be is too vast to be years and istwo years and is insuf- skills together to produce this new game that has now covered in two covered in insufficient for in-depth study and analysis. “The new ficient for in-depth study and analysis. “The new been taken under the Apple banner. arrangements allow for flexibility; Classics can be Classics can be Bock did all of the art and background and even arrangements allow for flexibility; taken as a singletakenyear coursefirst year course at any stage in programmed the levels himself. To top it all off he used first as a single at any stage in one’s degree, or one’sthree or two year major.”two year major.” as a degree, or as a three or musical skills for the music and the timing of the game. Jackson stands firmly behind the change and the change and Bock spent hours putting this game together, the product Jackson stands firmly behind thinks it a great thinks it a great concept. He believes that the new of which is proof of this. He began putting together the concept. He believes that the new structures will better equip those students who students who game mid-2011 and by the end of 2011 his game was structures will better equip those wish to pursue Classics pursue Classics at postgraduate level. wish to at postgraduate level. finished and ready to take on the app world. Teenager Eli Bock poses with “Space kiwi”, a game apClassics is a multidisciplinary subject involving Classics is a multidisciplinary subject involving Space Kiwi and the App hit the stores in December plication he designed and created on his own. Picture: literature, politics, history,politics, philosophy,and philosophy, literature, art and history, art 2011.Space Kiwi by ORRO Apps is a fun forward-scrollANGELA ROWLINGS/Boston Herald just to name a few, andname a few, and the extended length of just to the extended length of ing and arcade-style game that “might just be the cutest the subject now the subject now “makes for high quality research bird-related game around”, says Jaimie Adler. ORRO is a “makes for high quality research to his career and that its going to be an investment for in the disciplinein the discipline and an ever more stimulating and an ever more stimulating him. name that Bock came up with because he believes it adds environment for students andfor students and staff ”. Jaimie Adler from Bay leaf communications claims that environment staff ”. a more memorable and exciting element to his creation. The number of students taking students has this game is “entertaining and challenging. The cute facThe number of Classics taking Classics has Space Kiwi also represents the first iPhone game app increased three-fold over the last 15 years, ulti- 15 years, ulti- with fully animated characters’ features. The game player tor is so high that even the most hardened of hearts will increased three-fold over the last mately meaningmately meaning that with the subject’s increase can manipulate the title character through a series of that with the subject’s increase melt, but the action is so good that teenaged boys won’t be embarrassed to brag about their high scores”. in popularity, the department the department has had to re-think competitive space adventures in minimal, but wellin popularity, has had to re-think From conception to final product, creating Space Kiwi their teaching strategies so as to provide so as to provide the very designed levels. their teaching strategies the very has been a labour of love for the teen developer, longbest and in-depth education in theeducation in the field. But as best and in-depth field. But as Bock has great plans for the future, one of which is to skilled in animation (see TodPole.com). Space Kiwi Jackson pointedJackson pointed out:be obsessed out: “one shouldn’t “one shouldn’t be obsessed create another successful game. He is still working on a combines his passions for high-strategy game-challenges, with numbers.” with numbers.” puzzle game and anticipates its launch within the next captivating music, and colorful artwork. “What really matters is really matters is to offer courses which year. Besides the puzzle game this tech wizkid is also “What to offer courses which Bock is a good example of proving that dreams do students find interesting find fulfilling and of fulfilling and of that working on other games and describes his own as Bock students and interesting and that come true when hard work and creativity are fused. I have no doubt Ithat the students themselves will themselves will is still blown away by the reviews and the ratings he has have no doubt that the students be the best judges.”the best judges.” be received from experts. He believes that this is a good start The change has The deterred students, as wasstudents, as was not change has not deterred the initial concern due to the transition. The transition. The the initial concern due to the number of students registered for Classics has for Classics has number of students registered risen from only indicates that this risen from last year, which last year, which only indicates that this change is a those interested or change is a positive one. Allpositive one. All those interested or wanting to find wanting tothe Classics depart-Classics departout more, find out more, the ment School Of Languages and addition. However, as I slowly edged through the ment is located in the is located in the School Of Languages and First off, it is important to note that my opinWilliam Walters lecturers are more than willing lecturers are more than willing to answer ques- to answer quesion toward the series had been somewhat soured staggering amount of content (the perfectiontions ist in me can never leave a side-quest undone), tions and concerns. and concerns. by Oblivion, which I felt lacked both depth and a fun combat system. The spells were unoriginal, I eventually found myself with maximum skill I will admit that I in destruction spells, enchanting, and smithing, and their visual effects dull. Melee combat was somewhat missed the while wearing a full set of Daedric armour. This not much better. boat when Skyrim was a rather refreshing experience as the game It is, however, with great pleasure that I was initially released. does not punish you for breaking stereotypes, announce that Skyrim is a vast improvement. It took the enthussuch as that of the un-armoured mage. ing of my friends to The visuals are breathtaking and although the There are, however, one or two complaints engine it is built on is the same as Oblivion, convince me to buy that I can lay at Skyrim’s door. These relate less the latest in Bethesda you can barely see the similarities. Each spell to the game mechanics and more to the quests. and weapon feels unique, and the lack of classes Game Studios’ line Some quests seem to railroad you into certain makes being a competent all-rounder plausible. of Elder Scrolls as well as reducing dependence on fossil fuels. choices, and the game has a tendency to make The addition of a special form of magic, known games. For interested residents Nongwe mentioned solutions to problems very one way or the other. as the Shouts, also serves the Environmental Forum, which is about to There are not many quests where a compromise to make combat more be transformed from a casual meeting, where can be reached. That said, there are thousands of dynamic, providing community members can submit suggestions to quests to choose from, and I encountered only a characters with the council, to a formal part of the municipality. few minor bugs as I adventured in the world. unexpected With opportunities such as these it’s a crying The second complaint I have, is that certain powers. shame not to get involved. aspects of the game lack balance. Using my For my Ruth Krüger, the University’s environmental maximum level enchanting and smithing, I was playrepresentative for the SRC (Student Repreable to forge and enchant my armour and accesthrough, sentative Council) echoes this feeling saying, sories to reduce the cost of my destruction spells I started “It is vitally important for all of us to take ownto zero. While this was awesome, it completely out as a pure ership of climate action. The grassroots level wrecked the difficulty curve of the game, as I spell-wielder: is where change must start if it is to be effective was incapable of running out of magicka. This the game aland sustainable. That is why I would like to call is admittedly a minor exploit but it ties in with lows the use of on all people at Rhodes, in Grahamstown, and the fact that it is possible to level your smithing, weapons and all over the world, to be the change that which as I did, by making hundreds of daggers. Having spells simultathe UN will not give us.” made only daggers, it seemed a bit of a leap that neously, which It is now up to individuals to get involved and I could forge Daedric armour. is a fantastic ensure our town is not one of those who copied the inaction of COP17. Screen shot from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

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For more information about the university’s policy go to: http://www.ru.ac.za/aup

Game Review: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim brings magic back to gaming
On a purely technical note, the game ran smoothly on my PC, with short load times all the way through. The most staggering thing about Skyrim is just how compact the game is. Boasting new compression technology, the game clocks in at around the six gigabyte mark. This is astounding, considering the size of the world. While Skyrim does have its failings, it is overall one of the better games I have played in recent years. As such I have awarded it a nine out of ten, as its successes far outweigh its failures. Contributed by GamesSoc

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The Oppidan Press 28 February 2012

28 February 2012 The Oppidan Press

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200 years on we march...
1. A group of Amaphiko Township dancers entertain watchers on High Street 2. Odd Body performers lead the march from Drostdy Arch 3. A member of the Graeme Collage steel band enjoying the march 4. Upstart performers warming up the Drostdy Arch 5. A local percussion group performing for the parade 6. A young Grahamstowner enjoying the steel band music 7. The parade catered for all ages, here children enjoy a jumping castle 8. UBOM! Theatre group join in the festivities as they march through the Drsotdy Lawns Pictures: NTSIKI MPULO

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Opinion

The Oppidan Press 28 February 2012

Tradition goes to court
By Stuart Thembisile Lewis and Lucy Holford-Walker Politics Complaints from first years on serenades being overly sexualised has put the spotlight on the Rhodes Orientation Week convention. Picture: STANLEY KIDD WEBSITE In a country where culture and tradition are unique to that of anywhere in the world, it is apparent that as of late, this inimitable branch of the South African identity is under acute criticism and condemnation. The Traditional Courts Bill, initially introduced in 2008, has caused a stir as the date for the Bill enactment approaches and as the new laws proposed in the Bill guarantee to potentially eliminate the fundamental rights of millions of South Africans. Traditional courts form an active part of South African society and for many without access to the conventional legal route, people turn to their community and their traditional leaders to settle any disputes. Their case can be therefore debated by any member of the community present at the meeting and the end result is often democratic. The elementary idea behind the Bill is to create a basis from which customary courts have legal influence. It allows a traditional leader to be appointed without any community input as a presiding officer of the court by the minister. This presiding officer then has the power to hand down judgement and have the final say on what constitutes traditional law. The Bill states that the officer may be advised about what traditional law but does not ensure that he is bound to consider the advice. This poses

Opinion 2012 - How will South African politics fare?
The conflicts, crises and positives that could arise this year
By Lucy Holford-Walker Politics transport infrastructure and others. Whilst these overwhelming issues may not be directly political in subject, if accurate, they will be to South Africa’s political detriment. “As pervasive corruption swamps government and business alike, promises made to the South African nation in 1994 are still-born and 2012 could be the flash point for large-scale civil unrest as has been experienced in Egypt, Libya and Syria during the past year.” said Mast-Ingle. Whilst the above seems severely pessimistic, and some might argue that it is realistic, eminent political analyst Aubrey Matshiqi sees benefit in rather seeking possible solutions to these predictions. “It does seem, at least to me, that - instead of focusing narrowly on internal battles in the ruling party and the Alliance - we should also be thinking of how the ANC should be tackling domestic and global challenges.” “This we must do because, in our context of single-party dominance, the burden of re-positioning the country will fall mainly on the ANC.” So there is hope. It would appear that the future of South Africa in 2012 is not all doom and gloom in every one’s opinion. Many new age philosophers believe humankind will enter an age of enlightenment in 2012. There is a range of subjective and by and large positive beliefs shared, some of which include a positive social shift and age of peace. If anything, this should be of some comfort in that 2012 might just surprise us all. Predictions, although interesting, remain just that – mere educated guesses. Their accuracies remain questionable and of course only this time next year will South Africans be able to see just how South Africa coped in the year alleged to be the planet’s last. Until this year ceases, either in annual cycle or in existence, as the ancient Mayans would have us believe, South Africans can only wait and see what 2012 indeed brings to the political fore.

28 February 2012 The Oppidan Press

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Dear Viv...
Dr Badat said at the opening: “I wish to make absolutely clear that at Rhodes University there are no first class and second class students and people; and that at this University there is no accommodation of racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic or any other kind of chauvinist behaviour…Everyone at Rhodes deserves respect and dignity.” Great. Really great. All of this was thrilling, and I was highly impressed. Surely, one’s first week in a new place, with new people, new rules, and challenges, should focus on building one’s trust and confidence in oneself and the institution one has just joined. Lectures look incredible, facilities mind blowing, the surroundings picturesque. And this morning I was woken at 5:30 am to jump out of bed and rush down the stairs, and outside. This is the third time this week I have been woken up, scrambling for my clothes, my body flooding with adrenalin, hands shaking, as I rushed to make it out in time. The night before, we’d been made to practice for two hours inside and then outside, while being told we were not being energetic enough. Then we were sent out in pyjamas, to watch a boys’ res “serenade” us. This serenading included some pelvis rolling and crass lyrics. The first morning, the boys did this in their shirts and boxers. And then it was our turn. We headed downstairs, sang, danced and the first time we rolled our butts up like strippers, the boys cheered. And then it got worse. We push our breasts out, shake our hips, and gyrate our pelvis. All in accordance with the routine we have been taught. And the boys yell, “Yeah!” as their eyes pop. Following this, we do an icebreaker. Our keys are all given to a sub-warden who hands them out to the boys. They call out our numbers and off we go to have a friendly chat with them and there after present each other to the room. The student population is 59% women, and so there were more girls than boys. And some just couldn’t resist. When proposals came around, one boy got on his knees to say, “I’m gonna be honest. I’m into threesomes.” Do we have to make it that easy, as letting a boy call out a girl’s number and have her present herself? We did this on Monday before our general welcome by the Dean of Students, Dr Vivian de Klerk, who said she hoped we were all wide-eyed and awake for this week in which we attend introductory lectures and make important decisions about our subjects. No, we’re falling

a letter from a first year about her experience of the tradition of serenades
for the full version please go to www.oppidanpress.com you do sweat the small stuff. I am well aware that not every guy on the block thinks that women are made to be taken. But when I walk up to res and hear guys talking about how they saw a girl’s picture on her student card, attached to her key chain and tried to slip it back into the bunch, I wonder how necessary it is to provide any sort of condoning, encouragement, agreement with behaviour such as whooping when a girl shakes her chest. And so I feel compromised, and betrayed. I aim to know that this is not intended to make me feel this way. But if we arrive as unmoulded clay, and in the first week, the leaders who have already spent time at Rhodes – “where leaders learn” – tell us as young women, that it is appropriate to feel validated when a man shouts for you, what does that teach me to become? Because I would think that this is the environment in which you teach me to say no. But as my sub-wardens wear T-shirts against Sexual Discrimination, and teach me to shake my booty and look up, smile and bat my eyelashes, I feel a clanging of terror that tells me to run, run as fast as I can. Which tells me to catch a plane home, and hide from the idea, that I have committed myself, “chosen” an institution for my “self-betterment” that does not acknowledge that gender-based violence is rooted in a textbook of gender-based discrimination that includes chapters on convoluted gender roles and stereotypes. This is entirely enhanced by such behaviour, in my opinion. Surely the university should be setting a standard, especially in these early weeks of our learning, that states as firmly as Dr Badat did. We were told that we are counted as “among the most intellectually talented women and men of our society.” And this is how our orientation is conducted? Such a place of “one of the highest proportions of academic staff with doctoral degrees” and “the best research output per academic staff member of any university of South Africa” couldn’t come up with something better? If it were a subculture, that would be fine. As it is, it is the culture of my residence and my campus so far. I pray that the end of my “orientation” will bring peace and calm to a fine room that overlooks Grahamstown. I pray that facing the prospect of time spent here, will no longer feel like “facing” anything. I don’t expect that overnight. But I wasn’t expecting to feel compromised overnight either.

asleep because we were woken at 5: 30 am. I attended my lectures on Monday, and ended up having an okay day. I thought, “the serenades are unpleasant and uncomfortable because they encourage an inappropriate standard in my opinion.” But they were not unbearable, and sure, I thought I could suck it up. We once again streamed out to perform. And I struggled to smile while a war of principles took place inside of me. I am well aware that this is a silly dance and way of breaking the ice. I get (and hope) that those are the sentiments behind it. I am also aware that this was going to be a challenging time anyway. I feel that the focus should be to make one feel safe and secure, when surrounded by strangers and challenges. Some were having a great deal of fun, others were not. On this second morning, I woke up to banging on doors and a girl not much older than me walking through the corridors yelling “First Years!” Her shrieking tone that made me want to have nothing to do with the term. (I was told I was lucky – last year they were woken with the fire alarm. The warden intervened.) On Tuesday morning, after the first set of dancing performance, we were told to find out the guy’s favourite movie, and say “in my pants” at the end of presenting his details. Someone’s favourite was “Grease”… in my pants. Ha. The subwardens found it funny, at least, and some others. I panicked. I didn’t want to say that. I didn’t want to condone that kind of humour. So what do I do? I just got here, do I refuse to say it, and get booed by my new “peers?” Do I say it, and feel sick inside? Because yes, that is my response, whether it’s intense or not, that’s how I feel. And we’re individuals, right? And I’m supposed to be learning what “I am to become.” Is this what I am to become? Following this, we were made to practice for the next set. And they kept telling us to look up at the balcony, spot your guy and make him believe what you’re saying. I kept going, and when they told us to smile, and only those who were doing it with sufficient enthusiasm would be allowed to go inside for coffee. I did it with all I had. I wondered how this was building us up as a group, as opposed to dividing us. But I accepted that as beyond me, and waited to be acknowledged by the (sub)wardens patrolling our ranks. I am well aware, that this is not the experience that everyone has. I own my reaction entirely. It is founded in who I am. But who I am is founded in morals, values, principles and the Broken Window Theory that says you can’t address the big picture stuff, until

a problem as it excludes forms of community participation, which is an integral part of the traditional courts process. In the Mail & Guardian report, Dr Sindiso Mnisi Weeks, a senior researcher at the law, race and gender research unit of the University of Cape Town pointed out that due to the Bill having just one presiding officer, “it centralises power to a single individual who may have conflicts of interest”. Additionally, The Bill will also not allow participants to have any form of legal representation and, as traditional culture is often embedded in a patriarchal belief system, has the potential to erode women’s rights. Additionally, under some traditional laws, women will not be allowed to testify for themselves and a male member of the community will have to testify for them. According to many civic organisations, the Bill is completely unconstitutional and what adds fuel to the fire is the question of bias: because there is only one presiding officer, there is the possibility that not all groups will be represented. The head of the Presidency of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa, Zolani Mkiva, believes in the contrary: the presiding officers would not be biased and added that in the event of unfairness, such matters can be taken further. Many, however, are still not convinced. Only time will tell how the Bill is received Will President Zuma once again lockonce again lock horns with COSATU in 2012? Picture: Will President Zuma horns with COSATU in 2012? Picture: after concerns have been addressed in MICHAEL WUERTENBERG/flickr MICHAEL WUERTENBERG/flickr parliament, but nevertheless, conflicting arguments suggest that the Bill is in need of a thorough address before it is enacted.

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t’s a new year and in light of the past political year and a government facing the battles of bureaucracy, one cannot help but wonder how South Africa will politically fare in the upcoming year. Our political future is one of uncertainty in many South African eyes, and as we approach the elections, political predictions for the year have surfaced and got many speculating. According to prominent South African journalist Stanley Uys, the former political editor of The Sunday Times, South Africa is set to face some chaotic challenges this year. In an article entitled ‘World Cup: Let’s sober up’, Uys points out that there will most definitely be “anarchy of all sorts” in 2012. Uys foresees a year rapt in strike action and demonstrations for higher wages and improved working conditions, and also much to the alarm of all South Africans, conflict within the higher levels of the ANC. Uys predicts an internal battle for leadership succession within the ANC. A conflict of this proportion will undoubtedly create a toxic political environment for all South African citizens, no matter their political party preferences. Uys furthermore anticipates a face off between President Zuma and Cosatu (congress of South African Unions) as well as the SACP (South African Communist Party), as they both respectively demand superior interests in the decisions regarding the future of South Africa. Further issues predicted for South Africa include local and well-known author and former member of Sapa (South African Press Association) Wren Mast-Ingle. Mast-Ingle predicts corruption and following it, economical crisis, deteriorating health services, high-cost power supply, costly communications networks, degradation of the environment, inadequate security and

An Amazingly discriminatory youth?
By Bombeleni Mavundza It is Wednesday night and campus is abuzz about a play that is an absolute “must see”. Being a Postgrad comes with a few drawbacks, one of which is that O-week is no longer quite so exciting. I am told, however, that this is a play with a difference. Since I made the conscious decision of skipping all other O-week activities, maybe I’ll give this one a try. While many opt for the “politically correct” route of teaching everyone to get along in Mandela’s dream of a rainbow society, The Amazing Other Show chose to jab below the belt and call a spade a spade. We all come from different backgrounds and with that, have different biases, which come into play as we interact with each other. The play presents a multitude of situations, with the main theme being the need to fit in. Having been around the University for a couple of years now, one gets past this point. It was interesting therefore, in the question and answer section, to see how the idealistic and bright eyed first years would approach the “real” questions the play grappled with. I attended the play twice. No really, it was that good. The easiest questions that it posed were related to the attempts to fit in at the dining hall, as well as the cross-cultural scene. In this, we all, myself included, tried to understand how one can justify knowing, based on my twang alone, that I am not a proud black South African. However, interestingly, no one prompted the seemingly “touchy” subject of discrimination based on sexuality or sexual violence. So, let’s set the scene: two girls sit on stage talking about another female student who, the night before, had walked past a group of jeering guys, ignoring them and proceeding to meet up with and kiss her girlfriend. Such a display of public affection was met with indignation by the characters in the play. Similarly, one of these same girls mentioned that she was going to meet up with a friend, who happened to be homosexual. Her companion refused outright to have anything to do with this girl, for fear that “the lesbian” might ask her out. God forbid if that were to happen. The contradiction demonstrated in these scenes lies in the fact that it was considered “wrong” for the two girls to display their affection to the masses, when public displays of affection by heterosexual couples raised no alarm. Furthermore, based on the lack of reaction by many first year groups, it was considered more acceptable, or at least normal, for the male actors to demonstrate disrespect towards female characters. Jordyn Mortimer, a Third Year Drama student, who has seen the play three years in a row, has never, in her experience, seen issues of harassment, sexual violence and discrimination based on sexuality reacted to and discussed, despite their having been repeatedly demonstrated. I must admit that was a hard contradiction to make sense of, but it was striking. We all have opinions on sexual orientation. This topic has been debated to no end, one might say ‘till the cows come home’. But I think it’s safe to say that the cows are lost somewhere out there. Maybe it is time to send out a search party so we can bring them back home. We have all heard people standing on their soapboxes, going on about how homosexuality is wrong, immoral and for many Christian groups, “it is [considered] un-Christian”. “God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.” Ok, we get it, but here is the reality, homosexuality exists. It is more than just Jason and Senzo on Generations. It is in our backyard and our very campus. Such a state of mind has bred a hatred so great that it has caused many people to behave in ways that go beyond the ambits of religion and morality. This defeats the purpose of the very values of religion as a whole, of acceptance and loving thy neighbour (gay or straight). We have read time and time again of corrective rapes. Men and women have been killed or have been made to feel like social pariahs, as if their homosexuality were a choice. Another great misconception is the fact that homosexuality is a disease that can be caught. As a young woman, I still cannot know how other women, young and old, find each other, but do have it on good authority that it is safe to sit with another girl, regardless of her sexual orientation and not catch the proverbial “lesbian disease”.

The Traditional Courts Bill is under severe criticism because of its potential to represent only a select few, as opposed to all who use the traditional court process. Picture: STEVE EVANS/Flickr

Another great misconception is the fact that homosexuality is a disease that can be caught

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Opinion
You can’t get lost in Joburg
By Mvuzo Ponono I was in Johannesburg during the vac. A city I used to dislike but have recently gained affection for. Leaving for the hustle and bustle of the north was surprisingly easy. I got to Park Station mentally prepared for the chaos that it is. If you have never been to that bus terminal/ mega hall/human congestion then put it on your bucket list. The only person I knew in the whole city was an ex girlfriend of a cousin. I called her in the early hours of the morning and the foggy agreement by her the previous night to fetch me turned to hung-over directions to cabs. Without getting mugged, I found my way to Auckland Park. It wasn’t difficult, I just had to be brave and venture out. The truth is you can’t get lost in Joburg. The city has the most intricate taxi system in the world. For example, from Auckland Park, Rosebank is a trek north but taxis first take you east to the Bree taxi rank. Another taxi and fare will get you to your destination. Buses are more sober. Instead of having to take two taxis, it was worth waking up early in the morning to catch a bus. The number of times that drivers skimmed me off my change eventually got ridiculous. Those rides got trippy. I’d find myself falling completely in love with every second girl each morning. Or sometimes I would feel lost; the blur racing past the window would be different even though I had been taking the same route for weeks. Work was in Rosebank. I was an intern for The Sowetan, the seriousmainstream-critical tabloid. It was easy work. My job was to write 200-word general news articles. I wrote one a day and got a reasonable salary at the end of the month. My best days were riding to or from a story, where I’d be on the freeway and all of Johannesburg would come up. The buildings would rise and fall and I would take comfort at the great endeavour the city was. One afternoon I found myself on Constitutional Hill for an exhibition. I decided to explore town and grab a Coke. I crossed the street and marveled at the density of human beings before me. People were crawling on the street, moving and breathing and living. I bought my Coke, walked around and then caught a taxi home. I found out a couple of days later that I had been walking around Hillbrow. If you have never experienced a Joburg summer storm you haven’t lived. The black thunder clouds, the rumblings of the sky against cheap apartment buildings is a sight to behold on your way back from work. The smell of moist air, of pap and gravy, broken dreams and the fight up the social ladder in an unforgiving city is intoxicating. I left Joburg very much in love with its harsh reality.

The Oppidan Press 28 February 2012

28 February 2012 The Oppidan Press

Opinion

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(Un)welcome b(l)ack
Fourth year student Mallory Perrett explains how her fourth O-Week at Rhodes took a bad turn when a racial slur against her and her friends turned into a street fight and an assault charge

Israel wants peace
Ariel Shapiro describes Israel as a “beacon of light” for democracy in the Middle East. He adds that descriptions of Israel as an ‘apartheid’ state are “malicious” and “false”

End Israeli ‘apartheid’
Ben Fogel says that Israel, as an ‘apartheid’ state, systemically oppresses Israeli and Palestinian Arabs. This, and Israel’s “economic warfare” against Palestinians, is a crime against humanity

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t was my fourth O-Week. It’s embarrassing to admit that, but it’s worth it every year coming back for the infamous First Cougar Monday, the opening of the newest club (which is pretty much just a name change) and seeing old friends, while pretending to be young. O-Week was nothing new: same story, different far-too-forward first years. One incident did make it quite a unique start to the year though - I had my first fight. Now the ‘coloured’ in me is shocked that such a thing took quite a while, I thought I’d at least be able to steek someone before I turned 13 years old. I thought I was always that

activist; the zen-hugging-a-tree and making-plenty-of-love-not-war, but I guess appearances can be deceiving. Like the problem happening in Grahamstown. I’m not even talking about the students, we know that the Dean of Students and Student Representative Council have that on lockdown…I mean “Rhodes Cares”, right? The issue I have is that how can we be all liberal and tolerant in our purple bubble when as soon as we go beyond the Arch, it isn’t safe. That this socalled open-mindedness and constitutionally enforced acceptance hasn’t drifted onto the local streets. How is calling my two close friends and me a k****r and n****r still okay to do? It

wasn’t even to the tune of a Jay-Z song. And since when was four-on-one a fair fight? What was witnessed looked like a scene out of The Bang Bang Club, with less Ryan Philippe and more injustice and blood and flesh pummelling flesh. Now we were told by the attackers’ acquaintances that we should just “let them be”, “they are being stupid, they don’t know any better”, but how long are we supposed to rise above, be the better person? When someone calls you a name so hurtful and derogatory that you go into a blind rage, because you are blinded by past injustices, because you are bewildered that you have been

transported to 1960s South Africa, it is hard to be the voice of reason and socially accepting. But we have to forgive, but never forget. You can’t let the hate and anger define your life because at the end of the day, the events of that night were brought on by someone who was ignorant and so pathetic in his irrelevant life that he felt the need to define himself and affirm that he was better. The only way he could do that was by putting us down. It was a crappy start to the year, but a rude awakening and an education about Grahamstown and South Africa that I had yet to receive.

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Military-style camp preps for ‘race war’
On Friday 24 February the Mail & Guardian Online released a documentary filmed inside a military-style camp for Afrikaans teenage boys. The chilling 8-minute film makes for harrowing viewing, as former apartheid major Franz Jooste uses intense military training to break the boys’ spirits, both physically and emotionally. He uses racist propaganda to indoctrinate the boys, and boasts that he can do so in “less than an hour”. Jooste encourages the boys to wipe their boots, muddied from training, on the new South African flag.

Jooste, in a display of extreme ethnic nationalism, tells the boys: “What is the biggest difference between you and a black man? The cortex [forebrain]... He [a black man] can’t do that organising. It’s not because he has black skin, his flat nose or his big lips. It’s because his cortex weighs 120 grams less than yours.”

To read more, go to www.oppidanpress.com

ampuses across South Africa are bracing themselves ahead of the so-called “Israeli magine a state prone to attacking its neighbours in clear violation of international law. A Apartheid Week (IAW)” that will be taking place next week. This campaign is being state which systemically discriminates against a substantial proportion of the population orchestrated by groups and organisations that claim to be representing Palestinians and on the basis of ethnicity. A state which has been illegally occupying supposedly sovereign fighting for Palestinian rights. A mere cursory investigation of these groups and their agendas land for decades, a state which has forcefully relocated millions of people to tiny crops of land reveals the truth, however: these anti-Israel groups are not really pro-Palestinian and they are in which they are denied access to the outside world and the ability to meaningfully exercise certainly not pro-peace. self-determination. A state in which people suffer daily harassment and are forced to produce a The arguments comparing apartheid South Africa to the current democratic State of Israel are pass at regular military checkpoints in order to travel in the land of their birth. A state in which devoid of any factual backing. These claims are either espoused by radical groups, with extreme people are excluded from access to work and economic resources purely on the basis of ethnicagendas or by those who mean well, but are misinformed. This comparison is convenient but careity, all the while this same state is championed by its defenders as a bastion of Western Civilizaless and dangerous. It evokes emotions and passions that often cloud rational thoughts and create a tion and democracy in a hostile region. Does this scenario sound familiar at all? scenario where facts are relegated to second place. It is undeniable that these practices within the state in question, Israel, closely parallels that of To delve into the issues is to give legitimacy to the absurd claims. However, as a point of referanother state. This latter state has now been condemned to the dustbin of history: the state of apartence, consider the light shed by the recent uprisings in the Middle East. It is now clear that Israeli heid South Africa. Apartheid South Africa had a penchant for attacking its neighbours on a regular Arabs (full citizens of the State of Israel) are among the only Arabs who have the fundamental basis, occupying other country’s land, and relocating the majority of the population to economically human right of a real democratic vote. Fighting to obtain this inalienable right afforded to Israeli destitute Bantustans. All the while denying people basic rights purely on the basis of an accident Arabs is exactly what the uprisings and revolutions have been about in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria of birth: their perceived race. It is for these reasons that a growing proportion of the international etc. There are currently eight Arab members of the Israeli parliament. This is democracy. How many community have condemned Israel as an apartheid state which systemically discriminates against black South Africans sat in the government during Palestinians purely on the basis of their ethnicity, apartheid? It is the existence of facts like these that which is no more than an accident of birth. shame and expose the claims of IAW supporters. According to international law, apartheid can be Justice Richard Goldstone, no stranger to what defined as a crime against humanity committed “in apartheid really was, wrote in the New York Times on the context of an institutionalised regime of systemOctober 31 2011: “The charge that Israel is an apartatic oppression and domination by one racial group heid state is a false and malicious one that precludes, over any other racial group or groups and committed rather than promotes, peace and harmony.” with the intention of maintaining that regime”. Every problematic issue that arises in the PalestinIsrael is guilty of gross human rights violations, ian Territories is a direct result of failures in peace including: indefinite detention and forcible transfer negotiations. It is important to realise that these IAW of peoples, assassination, economic warfare and campaigners will have you believe that it is Israel who numerous other actions of systemic domination taken is at fault for the current impasse in peace negotiations against Palestinians and increasingly against Israeli and that it is Israel who is unwilling to compromise. A Arabs in the name of ensuring the supremacy of a quick look at the facts will put this claim to bed. Israel state based on Jewish ethnicity. wants peace. Israel offered peace and statehood to the The state of Israel practices daily economic warfare Palestinians in 1993, 2001 and 2007 – including far aimed at preventing one of the already poorest areas reaching compromises. in the region from having access to vital humanitarian It is as a direct result of the Palestinians’ refusal to goods, electricity and even rebuilding infrastructure accept Israel that the situation has not improved – not which was destroyed in a “war”. The same war which the other way around. If it was truly peace that these the United Nations has described as a deliberate atorganisations desired, they would put pressure on tempt to “humiliate and terrorise a civilian populaPalestinian groups like Hamas or Islamic Jihad; ortion, radically diminish its local economic capacity ganisations which are bent on undermining the peace both to work and to provide for itself, and to force process and even the existence of Israel itself. Instead upon it an ever increasing sense of dependency and the criticism is biased and misleading. vulnerability”. Israel is nothing short of a beacon of light in a very In the occupied territories themselves, as Israel dark region. Freedom of the press, freedom of religion, continues to support and extend illegal settlements, civil liberties and minority rights are better in the the system of control implemented there includes State of Israel than in any other country in the Middle “Jewish only settlements”, separate roads and military East. Israel is not perfect; no country is. One must be checkpoints. This, according to the defenders of Israel careful not to apply a double standard, however. Israel that supposedly belong to the Sovereign entity of the outdoes her neighbours in every regard when it comes “Palestinian Authority”. to western values of liberty, democracy and freedom. Thousands of Palestinians, some as young as 12 To the organisers and supporters of this misleading years old, are indefinitely detained every year under campaign these facts are of little or no significance, a brutal and authoritarian policy known as “Adminhowever. These enemies of peace claim to stand for istrative Detention” in the name of Israel’s National A sketch mural of Jerusalem city on the Palestinian side of the security barrier that Palestinian rights but in reality, the Palestinian cause is separates Israel and the Westbank. Picture: DAVID BACON/Flickr. Security. They have no access to legal rights. Since an ends to a mean. They care about one thing - under1967 over 650 000 Palestinians have been “honoured mining the State of Israel at every opportunity. guests” of the Israeli prison system, an average as high as 1 in 4 in the occupied territories. Recently Any person who believes in a just and peaceful solution for both sides, should be weary of these Khadir Adnan, a Palestinian baker and activist, embarked on a 66 day hunger strike after being extreme groups. They should not confuse solidarity with the solicitation of hatred. The events for detained (not for the first time) under the Orwellian policy of Administrative Detention. The policy IAW must be seen for what they are and should be avoided by anyone who does believe in peace. dates back to British colonial rule. In response to the campaigns being waged by these organisations, the South African Union of Khadir managed to force a deal for his release in April, but hundreds more languish behind bars Jewish Students (SAUJS) will be hosting events that encourage constructive dialogue on this issue. facing torture and humiliation while having their stint in prison indefinitely extended. The courMore importantly, the events will strive to show all sides of the conflict and will provide a platform age of people like Khadir shows that even a state possessing (illegally) nuclear weapons and vast for engagement. Bassem Eid, a Palestinian striving for Palestinian rights will be arriving to offer military capabilities, backed almost uniformly by the most powerful country on the planet can be some ideas on how to move toward peace. His reputation of being a true supporter of his people defeated by individual acts of bravery. and their future precedes him. We hope that those with a true desire to support peace in the region Taking the bravery of people like Khadir and the example of the international campaign of come to listen and debate the issues as opposed to following the one-sided path of IAW. solidarity that eventually helped bring the South African apartheid state to its knees, as inspiraWhen one considers taking an interest in and learning about this conflict, there are two simtion a group of concerned students at Rhodes have come together to set up Israeli apartheid week ple choices: The first is to help promote dialogue, understanding and peace between Israelis and on campus in the week of March 5-11. We are hosting this week in conjunction with over 90 cities Palestinians. The second choice involves finger-pointing, blind denunciation and pure hatred. It is worldwide and 11 other South African campuses. We aim to both create awareness around the isclear which side those involved with IAW are on. It is our hope that young, intellectual students see sue, through a program of political education and ensure students get involved in a global campaign through this thin façade and do not fall prey to this damaging campaign, but rather align themto fight for justice and human rights in Palestine. selves with those interested and committed to peace and reconciliation. Ariel Shapiro is the national liaison officer for the South African Union of Jewish Students (SAUJS). He is an engineering student at the University of the Witwatersrand. Benjamin Fogel is a member of the Rhodes University organisation the Students for Social Justice (SSJ). He is also a freelance writer, and regular contributor to Amandla!

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Arts & Entertainment
A call to “Adapt or Fly”
By Chelsea Farrelly Trumpets sound and the lights go dim as the anticipation builds within the full theatre. A single red light fades out and the large black empty stage is lit up. A figure is revealed reading a newspaper. As the paper is lowered the audience is greeted by Adolf Hitler and laughter explodes from everyone. So begins a riveting performance as this comic genius draws us all into a world of stories and characters that personify horrors and memories that belong to a generation of survivors. Pieter-Dirk Uys first created “Adapt or Die” in 1981 after PW Botha uttered those famous words. He highlighted the absurdity of the political policies and the cruelty that the masses were living through because of a selected few, whose power was out of control due to fear. So why 31 years later did this political activist reinvent a play that should belong to a broken time? We have the ANC to thank for that and the spokesperson who informed the public that “all cowards can go if they can’t take the future here.” “Adapt or Fly” was thereafter born. The show is a timeline of where we have come from, who has ruled, inspired and revolutionised us and where we are going today with the leaders of tomorrow. Uys plays over a dozen characters and as Daniel Tharratt, a Saint Andrews College student said: “I do not know what happened back then as it was before my time but he makes it relevant as I see the same things he’s talking about happening today.” Over coffee, Uys said it was “because of this [he] felt the need to brush the cobwebs off these characters”. He has spent the last six months creating a show that reminds us that our baby democracy still needs help walking. He openly discusses the corruption that we see blatantly happening within a government that was chosen by the people. A line from the one-man show that a reporter loved was, “Hypocrisy is the Vaseline of political discourse”. Humour is the weapon of choice and as proven the most effective with the performer. Uys, as well as doing four other shows around the country, has been going to local schools and educating the youth on HIV. “Adapt or Fly” will be touring the country for the rest of the year and if it is within your means it is highly recommended. The production is a beautiful reminder that we live in a country that is made so special by the fact that we are all so different. Comic genius Pieter-Dirk Uys. Picture: BEN WILLIAMS/flickr

The Oppidan Press 28 February 2012

Arts & Entertainment
The Plush effect
Cape Town-based Plush rock the Gtown crowd
By Stephanie Pretorius and the tragic death of former guitarist Chas Smit – Plush has played more than 600 concerts throughout the country and abroad. “You really know you’re doing something special when you arrive at a concert in Germany and there are kids wearing Plush t-shirts” said Elliot. “The biggest development in our music must be our age and experience” said Elliot. Having expected to hear some of their new songs, I was slightly disappointed to mainly hear the classics such as “When Grace Grew Tall” and “Halo” – nevertheless the crowd still felt the hype. But Elliot is right, you can hear their age and experience coming through in their new music. There is a subtle complexity in songs such as “I am Frank” and “Dancing in a Storm” that has replaced the raw, ragged emotion of previous albums. “There’s no recipe for making music or making it big, you have to make the music that means something to you” says Elliot, “no major radio play, just gig, gig, gig, gig, that’s what we did.” And eventually people are wearing your name on their t-shirts. The Beatle effect.

28 February 2012 The Oppidan Press

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Rob Murray (centre) the new director of the Ubom! Theatre Company strikes a pose with the new company members. Picture: UBOM! THEATRE COMPANY

It was like the Beatles effect,” says Rory Elliot, frontman of Plush, grinning that grin that’s slightly creepy when you see it at 8:30 am in the morning. Screaming girls – guys too actually – so loud you can hardly hear the acoustic duo sitting in the corner of the shiny new Prime dance floor. It’s a far cry from the first time I heard Plush play, an innocent grade 8 in a dark school hall, but even back then the girls were screaming all the same. The Beatle effect; maybe it’s a bit of a leap, but Elliot said it, not me. Elliot and Carl Wegelin, lead guitar and vocals, two of the three members of homegrown band Plush, graced Grahamstown for a single night and were met with a crowd that was definitely in the mood for a party. “One of the best parts about performing is being in a new environment and meeting new people. Grahamstown is definitely up at the top, everyone is really friendly,” said Wegelin. Almost 10 years after the band first formed – after playing in school halls

Rory Elliot and Carl Wegelin basked in the adoration of the crowd. Picture: CHÉ MAKANJEE

Ubom! Gets revitalised with new heart beat
Local Fleur du Cap winning theatre group’s latest revamp will offer more opportunities for students
By Tarryn De Kock including Fleur du Cap and Naledi Awards. For Rhodes students, the new Ubom! will mean more opportunities to involve themselves in Ubom! productions as well as exposing them to a diverse range of disciplines marrying in a fusion of the performing and visual arts. Ideas in the pipeline include mentorship programmes aimed especially but not exclusively at Rhodes drama students, and plenty of opportunities to be involved in Ubom!’s community engagement work. The aim here is to allow all Rhodes students to reclaim Ubom! as their own and have pride in one of the university’s best-known and respected products. “Besides offering full time employment to Rhodes University postgraduates and local unemployed community artists, Ubom! has been taking theatre to the most obscure places, touring to almost every province in South Africa,” says Sikhakhane. In the process of this activity Ubom! has reached hundreds of thousands of people in both urban and rural settings. With its founding aim as having been to serve the Eastern Cape community and provide a platform for easy access to the arts regardless of socio-economic background, Ubom! has grown to become a nationally recognised and awarded company that regularly collaborates with community organisations and performers to produce works that help build audience appreciation for the theatre. Ubom! has found a niche in the South African theatre community through its innovative use of whatever space available (anything from theatres to open air spaces), vibrant language and movement texts, and a broad knowledge of the experiences of people from many walks of life. Its ‘Heartbeat Theatre’ has a simple philosophy behind it: that without a heartbeat, life cannot take place, and so with theatre as well. Ubom! Theatre Company has become a mainstay in the Rhodes Drama Department since its inception a decade ago, and this year’s events seem set to imprint the company firmly in the hearts and minds of many South Africans, especially those lucky enough to find themselves in Grahamstown. With plenty happening throughout the year, one can keep track of them by liking their Facebook page or visiting their website, www.ubom.co.za. All in all, don’t miss out on what promises to be a turning point in the heartbeat of Rhodes.

Brace yourselves...RAMfest Brace yourselves...RAMfest makes its wayway to the Windy City makes its to the Windy City
With Nisterone, Hog Hoggidy Hog and Fokof, how could you not throw throw With Nisterone, Hog Hoggidy Hog and Fokof, how could you not away your readings for the weekend? away your readings for the weekend?
By David WilliamsDavid Williams By Spread over five cities, overdays cities, five days and Spread five five and seven stages, RAMfest will be truck- will be truckseven stages, RAMfest ing its way to Port Elizabeth’sPort Elizabeth’s Hume ing its way to Hume Park for the first time. The organisers The organisers Park for the first time. of RAMfest have travelled to other of RAMfest have travelled to other countries to observe the world’s most world’s most countries to observe the acclaimed festivals and they have and they have acclaimed festivals pumped up thepumped in line with volume up the volume in line with international standards - so get ready - so get ready international standards for some explosive some explosive performances. for performances. RAMFest is short for ‘Real Alterna- ‘Real AlternaRAMFest is short for tive Music Festival’ and has had its and has had its tive Music Festival’ roots tracing back since 2007.back since 2007. Accordroots tracing According to Dawid Fourie, one of the organ- of the organing to Dawid Fourie, one isers, RAMFest beganRAMFest began out of a desire isers, out of a desire to start a South Africana South African festival which to start festival which could compete on an internationalan international could compete on scale. It has been likened to been likened to Download scale. It has Download Festival in The UK and Glastonbury, to Glastonbury, to Festival in The UK and name a few. name a few. “We also want to give ourwant to give our local guys “We also local guys a proper platformproper platform to showcase their a to showcase their talent along with the international international talent along with the artists,” said Fourie. Thesaid Fourie. The music festival artists,” music festival has brought international acts such as has brought international acts such as Pendulum and Alkaline Trio toAlkaline Trio to our Pendulum and our shores. shores. Even though RAMFest in Bloemfon- in BloemfonEven though RAMFest tein and PE is starting on a small scale,on a small scale, tein and PE is starting the festival hopes tofestival in the near the “grow hopes to “grow in the near future,” said Fourie. “If people want to see it grow, they must come and support. Our ultimate goal is to have international bands traveling to all five cities for the RAMfest national tour, we want the fest to be the first ever touring festival in the history of the South African music industry,” Fourie added. Being voted best festival in South Africa for three consecutive years in the Your LMG festival poll, RAMFest is guaranteed to make live music history in Port Elizabeth. The line-up includes Fokofpolisiekar, Hog Hoggidy Hog and Niskerone. Tickets cost R80 and are available at www.ramfest.co.za or www.ticketbreak.co.za. Alternatively, they can be bought at the door for R100 and gates open at 5pm. Camping is also available for festival goers. The Oppidan Press will also be doing an exciting double ticket giveaway.

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aving won numerous awards and making a name for itself in the South African theatre landscape, this year heralds an exciting time for the Ubom! Theatre Company as they welcome new resident director, Rob Murray, as well as a new marketing campaign. The new campaign ‘My heart beats Ubom!’ is aimed at attracting the greater Grahamstown community as well as the rest of the country to become patrons of Ubom!’s unique approach to theatre. Having kicked off on 24 February, ‘My heart beats Ubom!’ is a celebration of a decade of Ubom! and new additions to the company will seek to strengthen the community outreach work that Ubom! has been focal in in the Eastern Cape. Without giving away too much, Ubom! projects manager Sifiso Sikhakhane said that the company plans to be a major player at this year’s National Arts Festival as well. Rhodes graduate Murray, according to Sikhakhane, has ‘dynamic energy and vibrancy’, an energy which can be seen in his past productions and the numerous awards they have garnered,

Get ready to rock with RAMfest!
The Oppidan Press, in association with RAMfest, will be giving out two free tickets to RAMfest Port Elizabeth on 2 March. The tickets will go to a randomly selected reader that has the correct answer to the question below:

Who are the two international acts that will be gigging with RAMfest?
Email your answer, name and number to winning@theoppidanpress.com. We will get back to you on 29 February if you are our lucky winner.

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Arts & Entertainment
Outsourced Field Party leaves local bands out
Local bands were left disappointed as the SRC Field Party headlined more celebrity than home grown acts
By Binwe Adebayo and David Williams Our budget was also less than the budget they had last year,” Abrahams mentioned. Although the SRC claimed to have hosted a successful event, there were concerns regarding the minimal number of local artists on the line-up. This year’s event consisted of Johannesburg-based DJs Fresh and Euphonik, Cape Town-based band Jax Panik, Port Elizabeth’s Guns ‘n Lazers, with only DJs @ Play representing the Grahamstown music scene. Many local artists said they were eager to get involved in one of the largest events on the entertainment calendar, but that the SRC provided no avenue for them to do so. “There’s no other venue that would give us that kind of opportunity. It was disappointing that they made the choice not to include us”, said Luke Clayton, guitarist of established Grahamstown bands Lu-Fuki and Shackles and Bones. “The SRC didn’t make enough effort, knowing full well that there’s a lot of talent in the Rhodes and Grahamstown communities,” Clayton said. When asked about the position of local artists at the Great Field Party, Abrahams was adamant that the SRC had considered the students’ interests. He said that he did include local artists by including local DJs. However, DJs @ Play was the only local act which was part of the line-up. “There was a poll on Facebook where they could choose who they wanted to see and we would respond to that,” said Abrahams. With regards to the band Shackles and Bones, Abrahams said that “he had no prior knowledge of them” and that “artists should recognise that it is a two-way street, and have their agents contact us so we can accommodate them”. He emphasised that it was “not the SRC’s duty to seek out bands” and that they may have been included had they approached him. SRC Academic Counsellor Sak’he Badi said that the choice of including local DJs rather than bands was due to the fact that it was a party, and so it “made sense to have DJs at the event”. Sunship percussionist Strato Copteros said that his band, which had applied in October last year to perform at the event, were disappointed not to

The Oppidan Press 28 February 2012

Arts & Entertainment
The SRC didn’t make enough effort, knowing full well that there’s a lot of talent in the Rhodes and Grahamstown communities

28 February 2012 The Oppidan Press

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n the first Friday of term, the streets are usually buzzing. The air is filled with excitement and purple vibes as the most anticipated event of the year (besides Inter-varsity) is about to take place. This year however, the atmosphere was not the same. Advertising in the run up to the Great Field Party was insufficient. Many students had no idea of who was playing, how much tickets would cost or where they could be purchased. SRC Projects Manager Rory Abrahams felt that the line-up for this year had improved and although the event was not as well publicised as last year, the student turnout this year was greater. “Last year they managed to reel in just over 3000 students whereas this year we were able to draw just under 5000 students. Although our advertising was not very media-based, we pushed really hard on pre-sold tickets and word of mouth worked fantastically.

have been on the line-up. “We were frustrated that we had put in so much effort and also that because we were not a student band, we got less recognition, even though we’ve received such a warm response from other venues,” he said. Other local musicians did not believe the SRC’s actions were unfair, however. Chris Hartley of Blindside Productions said that he understood the SRC’s position: “If you want first years to go to the event, you need to be pulling in big names that they will recognise. From a marketing perspective, I understand what they did. I also think that there will be plenty more opportunities for these bands in the future.” The lack of inclusion of local bands in the Great Field Party seems to have

created a negative perception of the SRC by some local bands. When asked about how he believed the relationship would develop after this initial hiccough, Abrahams said that he believed a link between the two parties was important. “It’s a local community so of course we support local acts. Of course a relationship is important, but we can’t appeal to every band out there,” he added. He insisted that local acts were used and that bands were used for the Jazz Evening held during OWeek. However, the acts which played at that event were in fact sourced by Rhodes Live Music Society and not the SRC itself. Despite the complaints coupled with organisational challenges, the SRC considers the Great Field Party to have been a wonderful success.

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CHAMPS strums the right chord into the hearts of live music junkies
Grahamstown’s got a lot more grunge and musical grime as new action bar brings in fresh talent to the City of Saints
By Binwe Adebayo storm with their commitment to edgy, provocative music. “People were really whipping their hair back and forth to that music,” said audience member Carla Simmons. More than that, the band really connected to the new venue. “It’s like Cheers (TV sitcom), you know everybody and we’re all here for the same reason,” said Clayton. For new entrants to the scene as well as the usual gig goers, Champs has fast become a new home to explore and enjoy what Grahamstown’s artists have to offer. With a 3-man strong guitar line up front and centre, Half Price were not only amazing musically, but showed themselves to be the most serious dance enthusiasts. Half Price blew Champs apart with fun lyrics, solid guitar skill and a rare engagement with their audience. Even though they’re not local, the audience joined in with the lyrics and foot-stamping as if this was their neighbourhood garage band. Band member Peter Grey was excited about the performance. “This is a cool vibe and the crowd was great,” he said. The great music was paired with relatively cheap drinks prices, efficient service and a buzzing atmosphere. With a strong start like this, Champs should quickly become an established spot for popular bands and enthusiastic patrons.

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Bicentennial gets Grahamstown jiving
By Chelsea Farrelly and Mvuzo Ponono The City of Saints was smiling down on its inhabitants as the colourful parade made its way along High Street to the Church Square on 17 February. The noise built as excited children and adults ran alongside the clowns on stilts, jugglers and performers. There was an electrifying energy that made everyone want to move their feet to the various beats and sounds. Once arriving in the Square, people gathered in groups waiting for the shows to begin. The children had their faces painted and gorged themselves on free cotton candy, and bravely jumped on the jumping castles and played a game of tag with the artists on stilts. The festivities were opened by executive mayor Zamuxolo Peter as he warmly welcomed the crowd. Peter said that “the day was not a celebration rather than a milestone that cannot be overlooked.” Municipal councillors led by the mayor walked down with the parade from the Drostdy Arch entrance of Rhodes University to the Church Square. Business came to a momentary halt as patrons and workers stood aside to watch the boisterous procession. “We cannot deny that this town was born out of blood and war during the colonial wars between the British, AmaXhosa and Khoisans. If we reflect on where we come from, surely that is characterised by bad, ugly and good memories,” said Peter. Peter also drew parallels between the African National Congress celebrating 100 years this year and the Makana bicentenary. He said that the ANC has made it clear that it is going to recognise the existence of the South African Parliament regardless of its racialised history. “Our main focus is reconciliation. We want everyone to look back at the past in building Makana and the community,” he said. People stood side by side enjoying the live performances on stage. Children enjoyed magic shows, face painting and a jumping castle while Graeme College provided their highly entertaining marimba and steel bands. Revellers also enjoyed delicious treats sold at the food stands. The main stage came to life with performances from local artists: Ubom! The Eastern Cape dance company was energetic. The Amaphiko Township Dance Project and the Sakhuluntu Cultural Dance project showed off their talented members who performed routines from mapantsula, Sophiatown styles to contemporary dance. “This is a mini-festival that belongs exclusively to the people of Grahamstown. It is a local event that gives artists from here a platform,” said Sakhuluntu coordinator Vuyo Booi. He echoed the sentiments of the mayor saying that he hoped the parade would become an annual event that provided local performers a chance to showcase their talent. Over all a great day was had by everyone; happy birthday to the city of saints, Grahamstown! See photo story on this event, page 12 & 13

Fiddlestix: home cooked Fiddlestix: YourYour home cooked meal away from home meal away from home
By Binwe Adebayo Every student knows the sinking feeling that comes with knowing that tonight, you will be forced to eat take-aways. Again. Whether it’s the menu options in res, or an empty fridge in digs, finding a decent meal can be a little difficult sometimes. Lucky for us, two mothers from Grahamstown have opened their kitchens and hearts to provide quality home-cooked meals that cater to every palette. Opened on 1 February 2012, Fiddlestix recognised a niche in the market for simple tastes and healthconscious recipes. In partnership with the retailer Montagu, Fiddlestix is described by co-owner Bev Armstrong as a place where there is “something for everybody”. From the scrumptious fruit and nut mixes to the quick microwave meals, owners Armstrong and Liz Thomas stress the importance of fresh ingredients, sizeable portions and healthy cooking methods. With a clear list of ingredients on all the products, there is no evidence of processed ingredients which often characterise other microwave meals on the market. Besides the food, there is something quite magical about Fiddlestix. “We’ve tried to give the place a homely touch,” said Thomas, and that is certainly the case. It almost feels like walking into your neighbourhood shop or even your mom’s kitchen. The subtle ’50s style decor with candy striped

he Grahamstown music scene is like none other. From the Battle of The Bands season at Slipstream, to performances on Monastery’s stage by some of the country’s hottest music acts, it isn’t hard to get a dose of banging beats and hardcore riffs in this town. The punk scene is particularly popular in Grahamstown at the moment, and it seems Champs, has created a home for head bangers. On 15 February, the new spot played host to Johannesburg-based Half Price and Grahamstown band Shackles and Bones. With a couple of new members, Shackles and Bones opened the evening with a punkesque spirit reminiscent of the 90’s. Comprised of Luke Clayton, David Glover, Grant Mears and Steve Ellery, this wellestablished band took the audience by

It’s like Cheers, you know everybody and we’re all here for the same reason

Peter Grey punks out at Half Price gig. Picture: KELLY MULLER

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With Fiddlestix Withcan expectyou can tantalising delights to suit delights to suit any tasteyou Fiddlestix various expect various tantalising any tastebud. Picture: bud. Picture: KELLY MULLER KELLY MULLER walls and Arts Festival posters put the customer at ease immediately. The warm reception from the two owners also makes for a pleasurable shopping experience. They stress that they make their food according to the needs of their customers. “We’re open to suggestions and criticism as well,” said Armstrong. Options for weightconscious and vegetarian customers are also catered for. Having had the opportunity to sample some of the products, from a delightful carrot and raisin muffin (a new variety is baked freshly every day) to the 500 gram portion of Chicken a la King, it was abundantly clear that these moms live up to their promise of what Armstrong describes as a “proper, wholesome, home-cooked meal”. So what’s next for Fiddlestix? The set up is purely retail at the moment, and there huge plans there are no plans for are noexpan-for huge expansion. However, for those who would sion. However, for those who would like to sit down like to sittheir meals, to enjoy down to enjoy their meals, the business is considering opening a the business is considering opening a back section within the back section within the next six weeks. next six weeks. Armstrong they have Armstrong is adamant that is adamant that they have no intention of competing no intention of competing heavily with heavily with surrounding restaurants. “We’re not surrounding restaurants. “We’re not here for that; wehere for that; we saw that the kids were saw that the kids were not and we wanted and not eating properly, eating properly, to we wanted to help,” she said. help,” she said. It seems working as It seems this approach isthis approach is working as there has been athere has been a inter- hype and interlot of hype and lot of est surroundingest surrounding the new venture, and the new venture, and as a a large success, a as a mark of success,mark of number oflarge number of returning customers. returning customers. “We’ll be your moms “We’ll be your moms in the kitchen, in the kitchen, and even if you and even if you need a shoulder to cry need a shoulder to cry on”, said Thomas. It is on”, said Thomas. It is the warm spirit the warm spirit of these women, and of these women, and their commit- their commitment to students that ment to Grahamstown’s Grahamstown’s students that makes Fiddlestix an absolute delight. makes Fiddlestix an absolute delight.

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Gig guide
Monday

The Oppidan Press 28 February 2012

28 February 2012 The Oppidan Press

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19 Human Rights Week 20 Human Rights Week 21 Human Rights Week 22 Human Rights Week 23 Human Rights Week 24

12 Environment Week 13 Environment Week 14 Environment Week 15 Environment Week 16 Environment Week 17 St Paddy’s Day

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Mount Olympus moves to to Mount Olympus moves London 2012! London 2012!
Despite it being Despitethebeing one of the biggest sporting events on themore to there is more to themeets the spectator’s eye spectator’s eye one of it biggest sporting events on the planet, there is planet, the Olympics than Olympics than meets the By Graham Griffiths By Graham Griffiths a priestess, ignites a torch by placing it inside a parabolic mirror which focuses the sun’s rays. She then lights the torch of the first relay bearer, thus initiating the Olympic torch relay that carries the flame to the host city. How much does it cost to fund the Olympics? The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) is the private sector company responsible for preparing and staging the 2012 Games. It has a £2bn budget. The National Lottery Fund is also helping with an amount of £2.2bn to build the facilities to host the Games. The Greater London Authority (GLA) is contributing £925 million to the Olympic Delivery Authority. This money will be spent on the regeneration of infrastructure and facilities that will continue to benefit Londoners for generations to come. The Olympics commence from 27 July to 12 August, while the Paralympics begin on 29 August till the 9 September. The next Olympics will be held in Rio de Janiero, Brazil in 2016. The London 2012 Olympic Games will feature 26 sports, which break down into 39 disciplines, across 34 venues (including Wimbledon, Old Trafford, and The Millennium Stadium). There are 8.8 million tickets available, to see 10 500 athletes, representing 205 National Olympic Committees (countries) compete in 302 medal events. The Games last 17 days (19 days with football), and are broadcast thanks to 21,000 media and broadcasting personnel. In the Paralympic Games, there are 4,200 athletes competing in 20 sports, one of which is disabled rugby, representing 170 National Paralympic Committees in 503 medal events. The event runs over 11 competition days and over 19 venues, most of which are the same venues as the Olympics. Eight thousand different torch bearers from across the UK will carry the Olympic Flame during the Torch Relay. Their personal stories will have the power to inspire millions of people watching around the world. The main aim of the Games, as it was in antiquity, is to show the physical qualities and evolution of the performances. The games also encourage good relations between the countries of the world. The Olympic motto is Citius, Altius, Fortius, a Latin expression meaning “Faster, Higher, Stronger”.

Year of the sport
By Mvuzo Ponono South Park called it the ‘China problem’. The problem is: how is anyone going to upstage the spectacular that was Beijing 2008? This year the Olympic torch goes to London and all eyes will be on the opening ceremony. In the first of our sports features highlighting the major sports events that you can look forward to this year, senior writer Graham Griffiths looks at the nitty gritties of the 2012 London Olympic Games. The event might only be in the second half of the year but London is trending and all things British are oh-so fashionable. The Africa Cup of Nations has come and gone. Zambia has been praised for their youth development structures that have allowed them to lift this year’s trophy. All South Africans can wish for is a miracle to enter the heads of our soccer administrators. Six Nations rugby is underway and there have been proverbial thrashings handed out to Italy and Scotland. For a much needed reprieve from Sevens and European Rugby, South African rugby fans will turn to Super Rugby. Post world cup, it will be interesting to see if New Zealand can continue their dominance and world cup finesse. Later in the year we will also have the pleasure of a visiting England rugby team. Another big event that we will feature is the Euro 2012 finals. Can Spain’s golden generation do it again? Can they defend their title? We will have to wait for June to see. One refreshingly local event we cannot forget is Intervarsity. The games are welcomed back to Rhodes this year. The Oppidan Press will feature the sport, the fun, lunacy and general madness that is Intervarsity.

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he first ancient he first ancient Olympic Olympic Games can be traced back to traced back to Games can be 776 BC. They were dedicated were dedicated 776 BC. They to the Olympian godsOlympian gods and were to the and were staged on the ancient plains of Olymstaged on the ancient plains of Olympia, located in the western part ofwestern part of the pia, located in the the Peloponnese, Greece. Peloponnese, Greece. According to myth, Hercules myth, Hercules supAccording to supposedly built the Olympic stadium as posedly built the Olympic stadium as a tribute to Zeus after completing his completing his a tribute to Zeus after twelve labours, and thus founded the founded the twelve labours, and thus games. Since that, or some other possigames. Since that, or some other possible inception, the Games havethe Games have travelled ble inception, travelled to 22 host cities,to 22 been cities, and been played reguand host played regularly for almost threefor almost three millennia. larly millennia. The Olympic symbol consists symbol consists of five The Olympic of five intertwined rings and represents the represents the intertwined rings and unity of the five unity of the five inhabited continents inhabited continents (America, Africa, Asia, Australasia and Australasia and (America, Africa, Asia, Europe). The colours of the rings were the rings were Europe). The colours of chosen because chosen because every nation had at every nation had at least one of them on its national flag.its national flag. least one of them on The Olympic flag was flown for the flown for the The Olympic flag was first time at the 1920time at the 1920 Summer Olymfirst Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium. pics in Antwerp, Belgium. Months before the Games, the the Games, the Months before Olympic flame is lit in Olympiais lit in Olympia in a Olympic flame in a ceremony that reflects ancient Greek ancient Greek ceremony that reflects rituals. A female performer, acting as rituals. A female performer, acting as

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Guy Buttery and Ladies night @ Nibs van Spuy Live Friars @ The Lowlander, 8pm

Solidarity Protest Against Police Brutality, 9am

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NatCaf @ Union, 7pm

Ladies night @ Friars Silent Protest @ Alec Mullins, 6am
Innovations

Ladies night @ Friars

NatCaf @ Union, 7pm

RAMfest @ Hume Ladies night @ Park (in PE) Friars Grotto Mojito 1st Birthday Rhodes Rugby Avon & Lutea Party Cheese & Wine @ @ SSS Union, 7pm

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Girls and boys, let’s play Girls and boys, let’s play
By Denzil de KlerkDenzil de Klerk By Futsal is a termFutsal is a term that is not widely that is not widely known on the Rhodes University known on the Rhodes University campus, but a word thatbut acer- that will cercampus, will word tainly be on thetainly be on the lips of students very lips of students very soon. soon. Futsal is the official international international Futsal is the official term for indoor term forThis year, Rho- This year, Rhosoccer. indoor soccer. des will have its des will have its first Internal Futsal first Internal Futsal League for bothLeague for both men and women. men and women. Andrew Lowndes, the chief organ-the chief organAndrew Lowndes, iser of the league, emphasised the emphasised the iser of the league, importance of promoting women’s soc- women’s socimportance of promoting cer. “The primary focus isprimary focus is to encourcer. “The to encourage futsal and participation amongst age futsal and participation amongst Rhodes students, especially women’s Rhodes students, especially women’s soccer, which has been which has for neglected for soccer, neglected been the past few years,” he said. Lowndes said. Lowndes the past few years,” he further described futsaldescribed futsal as, “a social further as, “a social league that seeks to encourage Rhodes league that seeks to encourage Rhodes Students to playStudents to play sport.” sport.” The venue for this event will be at event will be at The venue for this the brand new Rhodes futsal pitch, the brand new Rhodes futsal pitch, right next to theright next to the hockey astro. hockey astro. Scheduled to officially begin on 7 Scheduled to officially begin on 7 March, time is running timefor running out for teams March, out is teams to register. to register. “All you need to“All is pick up toform pick up a form do you need a do is from Sports Admin, fill it in,Admin, fill it in, hand the from Sports hand the form back to the receptionist,the receptionist, pay, and form back to pay, and you are registered,” Lowndes said. ” Lowndes said. you are registered, How does futsalHow does futsal differ from normal differ from normal soccer? How much of your time will your time will soccer? How much of this take? These this understandable understandable are take? These are questions that all studentsthat all students ask. questions ask. Futsal League will take place on Wednesday and Friday nights. Matches are twenty minutes long with short five minute half-time intervals. Five players from each team, including a goalkeeper, are allowed on the pitch at a time, and teams are encouraged to have at least ten members, as rolling substitutions are allowed. There are several other differences to normal soccer that characterise futsal. Back passes to the goalkeeper are allowed, and there are kick-ins rather than throw-ins. The other good thing is that all you need is a pair of takkies or crosstrainers to play; no soccer boots are allowed. The Futsal League will make for a great social event, with alternating girls and guys matches. Stands will be made available for comfortable viewing, and the Rhodes Sports Bar will be open with good music and cold refreshments all night.

Pool club focused on breaking world record
By Mvuzo Ponono By the end of this weekend the 72 hour Guinness World Record for playing the longest game of pool will possibly be broken by the Rhodes Pool Club. Club chairman Kevin McMenamin and entertainment representative Shaun Gordon will attempt to play for three straight days. “We feel that if we can get to past the 72 hour mark, we can get an extra eight hours in. That’s the idea that if we break the record, we break it hard”, said Gordon. The gruelling attempt at the world record is part of the Pool club’s effort to publicise their facilities and establish a Grahamstown league. “We want to build a local league. We would like local people to join our league because no external community league exists”, said McMenamin. Students who have been at Rhodes a few years will remember that the Pool Club has hosted public 24 hour events every year. The world record attempt forms part of a revamped version of the annual event. Three pool tables will be in use. The first two will be used for world record attempts. Pool Club committee members Ntsikelelo Qoyo and Sivuyile Mhlekwa, also known as Stix and Q, will compete with Gordon and McMenamin for the world record. The last table will be left for the use of the public. Challengers will fight it out the whole weekend and the winner stays on. The last man standing, so to speak, will win a cue. Gordon and McMenamin said that they felt ready for the challenge after a few years of playing 24 hour marathons. “When we have done those events we both said that we could actually push on,” said Gordon. They will be tested on Thursday. Both players will have to abide by very strict Guinness World Record stipulations. “We can only take five minute breaks for every hour we play. So in order to get a 30 minute break for a shower or food we have to play for six hours. And we need to video record the event and have two witnesses,” said Gordon. In order to deal with the added pressure of record attempts and an external league, the club has invested in five new pool tables. The bar area has also been renovated. “Now we feel that we have the capacity to host events and the facility to break the record,” said Gordon. The club overlooks the Great Field on the balcony of Steven Bantu Biko Building.

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Boat Races Saturdays @ Pirates

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Boat Races Saturdays @ Pirates

Boat Races Saturdays @ Pirates

Boat Races Saturdays @ Pirates CANSA Shavathon @ Health Suite, 9am Oppi Day Mare @ Union Lawn, 12pm

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A game of trickery and skill: Futsal adds an exciting dimension to Rhodes sport. Picture: NSW FUTSAL ASSOCIATION/Flickr

We would like local people to join our league because no external community league exists

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Zombies get 7 socked

Misperceptions 9 ‘distilled’

Inter-res Athletics a run away success
By Mvuzo Ponono

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t was rowdy, raucous and the organisation might have hinged on the shambolic side but overall the Inter Res Athletics was more fun than expected. Besides the glitches and the Athletics club being unable to tally the final results, the event was a win for all concerned. The Dean of Students Office will be happy that their Wellness Campaign was well attended. The star of the night had to be Tafadzwa Chitokwido. The Guy Butler House paceman

hardly broke a sweat during the 100m heats. Chitokwido, who also doubles as a Zimbabwean international sevens player, ran an astonishing 11:01 seconds to clinch the 100m final. The fans went ballistic watching his mixture of power and very graceful running. Farirai Nengare from Jameson House won the women’s 100m final. The Hockey player, without any recognisable training before the race, ran an impressive 14:32. Another surprise package on the night was Stephanie da Silva from Atherstone (Athies) House. The first year student was the cause of wild celebrations on the Athies stand. She

smashed her competition in both the 800 and 1500m. Jan Smuts House may have been overshadowed by Joe Slovo in rowdiness and theatrics but Tim van Rooyen gave them something in to cheer about, having run a very smart race. He powered to the finish line in the last 50 metres, beating about four contenders in the process for a time of 2:16. Although ending with the 1500m instead of the more exciting shorter races might have been a bit of a whimper, the winners of the men’s final still received a rapturous applause at the finish. The first man to cross the line disappeared into

the maddening crowd. The Oppidan Press could not verify the name of the individual before going to print. He resides in Adamson House and ran a time of 4:57 seconds. The overall winners had also not yet been announced by the Athletics club by this time. The final standings for the 100m men and women’s relays are also waiting verification.

Catch the results at: www.oppidanpress.com as soon as they are released.
Picture: DAVID HARDING

Racism once again spotlighted in football
By Darsha Indrajith Football, and the English Premier League in particular, has always been marred by racism. The FA has launched numerous anti-racism campaigns to prevent both fans and players from turning “the beautiful game” into a display of bigotry and prejudice. However, these clearly haven’t worked. Following racist comments by Luis Suarez and John Terry, racism has become the biggest issue in football. In October last year, Luis Suarez called Patrice Evra a “n***o”. The FA’s reaction to the incident was unprecedented. It took strong measures against Suarez by handing him an eight-match ban and a substantial fine. Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish and his players supported Suarez believing that he did not engage in racist behaviour. “It is our strongly held conviction that the Football Association and the panel it selected constructed a highly subjective case against Luis Suarez based on an accusation that was ultimately unsubstantiated,” the club said in a statement following the announcement of Suarez’s ban. The matter however, was not put to rest. When the two great rivals clashed again in February, Suarez refused to shake Evra’s hand before the game. Suarez immediately became an even bigger villain in the eyes of the media, who also criticized Dalglish for claiming that he did not see the incident. “We are extremely disappointed Luis Suarez did not shake hands with Patrice Evra before yesterday’s game. The player had told us beforehand that he would, but then chose not to do so,” said Ian Ayre, the Liverpool managing director. Both Suarez and Dalglish were forced to apologise.This incident has set the benchmark for the future and, hopefully, both players and supporters will learn from it.

Luis Suarez (left) and Patrice Evra (right) during a heated exchange. Picture: THOMAS NOLAN/flickr

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