The Oppidan Press

Edition 4, 29 April 2014
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Academics work towards
greener communities
How to optimise your
training regime
Homophobia at SANBS
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News Features
2 Te Oppidan Press 29 April 2014
Khanyi Mlaba, Ayanda Gigaba
and Kyla Hazell
Over a year and a half ago, South Africa and the rest of the world
bore witness to the brutal Marikana Massacre, in which 34 strik-
ing mineworkers were killed at the hands of the state. Tis is the
most deaths caused by police brutality in a single incident under
democratic South Africa to date. Te Marikana Moment reveals
a need to expand our concept of democracy and reafrm our
national commitment to dignity and an end to violence.
Tis was the message that emerged on 17 April when the Unit for
the Humanities at Rhodes University (UHURU) hosted a day-long
colloquium on the Marikana Massacre. Postgraduate students as-
sociated with UHURU, along with academics from outside Rhodes
University, presented research papers as part of the programme.
All stressed the importance of taking the politics surrounding the
strike that precipitated the Massacre extremely seriously, arguing that
the opportunity ofered something particularly new and unique.
“Marikana helps us think about not just what is happening in the
country, but whether we are thinking about what’s happening in the
country in appropriate ways,” explained Director of UHURU Profes-
sor Michael Neocosmos.
UHURU is a newly-established research centre which is funded by
the Mellon Foundation. It aims to come up with approaches that will
bring the Arts, Social Sciences and popular politics together in order
to research current and past afairs, with a focus on questions related
to human emancipation in the Global South, especially in Africa.
“A vital part of the mission of UHURU is to connect up with these
struggles [for emancipation] and of course to provide tools to combat
the enormous struggles of poverty and inequality that our country
faces,” said Dean of Humanities Professor Fred Hendricks in his
opening address.
Te colloquium, which was chaired by Politics and International
Studies lecturer Dr Richard Pithouse, covered the Marikana strike as
one such example of a struggle for emancipation.
Papers explored the relationship between worker struggles and
broader community politics, the interrelation between the rural and
the urban in contemporary politics, migrant labour, and political
subjectivity as key themes.
Masters student Sarah Bruchhausen shed light on the Marikana
Massacre by employing the historical lens of the 1958 Mpondo re-
volts. Tese took place in Ngquza Hill – which is near Mthatha in the
Eastern Cape – in response to the imposition of Bantu Authorities
and the revolts which were an important part of the anti-apartheid
struggle. According to Bruchhausen, both the revolts and the Mari-
kana strikes embodied a disciplined commitment to democracy by
consensus and meaningful engagement beyond the constraints of
party politics, nationalism, and class.
“If we do not take that seriously, we are completely missing the
point,” she said.
Tese key themes also featured prominently in the research pre-
sented by UHURU’s Camalita Naicker. In her paper which focused
on the role of women in the community struggles that supported the
mineworker strike of August 2012, Naicker highlighted the need to
view Marikana as more than just an example of class struggle.
Te paper revealed that in addition to a call for increased wages,
the Marikana community sought dignifed treatment and greater op-
portunities for training and upward mobility in the context of what
they strongly feel is a society that remains racist.
Neocosmos called the audience to refect on Marikana in the lead
up to the May national election, which always remained at the front
of discussions throughout the colloquium.
“A strike opens the eyes of the workers to capital, but a strike also
opens the eyes of the world to the state,” he said. It remains to be seen
whether the refections of Marikana will have an efect on the elec-
tions on May 7.
UHURU studies the Marikana strike
SHARC refects on 20
years of HIV policy
Sanele Ntshingana, SHARC President 2014
Column
In May 1994, a month afer being sworn in as the ruling
party, the African National Congress (ANC) drew up a
National Health Plan calling for the development and
implementation of an efective HIV/Aids strategy. Afer
realising the devastating implications of the epidemic
in South Africa, the ANC hoped to have a useful system
in place by the end of 1995.
However, South Africa saw a negative attitude to HIV/
Aids policies when the former President Tabo Mbeki
stepped into ofce in 1999. His disastrous denial of HIV
directly causing Aids and the resulting policies is said to
have cost the lives of at least 400,000 South Africans.
Rhodes University was no exception in dismissing
the extreme seriousness of HIV/Aids infection in South
Africa. By 2001, the University had no HIV/Aids policies
in place and no HIV/Aids ofcer. Te Student HIV/Aids
Reistance Campaigne (SHARC) was established as a reac-
tion to these negative conditions.
SHARC fought for HIV policies to be drawn up by
the University and for an institutional HIV ofcer to be
appointed. SHARC won the fght, and HIV/Aids policies
were introduced in 2002 and the HIV/Aids ofcer later
on. Meanwhile, afer Jacob Zuma stepped in as President,
his administration’s policies on HIV/Aids were seen to be
more progressive and efective.
Te University and SHARC now make concerted eforts
to provoke discussion, debate and thought around issues
such as drug use and sex, by showing frst years things
such as the STDiesel DVD during O-Week. However,
while Rhodes students are aware of these issues, there are
still students contracting STIs and falling pregnant due to
a lack of proper contraception.
In the frst term of this year alone, there have already
been 14 pregnancies reported at the Rhodes Health
Care Centre, and 30 students were tested for STIs – six
of whom were frst years. Tis number is worrying and
has disturbing connotations, showing that students still
engage in unprotected sex due to the mentality that HIV is
‘out there, not at Rhodes’.
Furthermore, of the 963 students who were tested dur-
ing the 2014 First Tings First Campaign, more women
than men were tested despite the brunt of the epidemic
still being mainly felt by women. Te disproportionately
high HIV prevalence levels among young women in the
country evidently requires a restructuring of conventional
approaches to HIV prevention. Tis will address the un-
derlying socio-cultural patriarchal norms. Tere is also a
need to address young men’s complacency when it comes
to regular condom use.
Over the next few editions of Te Oppidan Press,
SHARC will discuss an epidemic that is still a crisis in
Grahamstown and how we have paid the price for HIV/
Aids denialism. Te series will include expert opinions
from HIV activists and will give new insights into scien-
tifc developments related to the disease. It will also tell
personal stories of Rhodes students with HIV and explore
the current state of the disease at Rhodes.
Director of Transformation and Equity initiates talks about change
SHARC President Sanele Ntshingana.
Photo: Gabriella Fregona
Rhodes rocked by deaths in residence
Chelsea Haith
R
hodes became the focus of national
news afer the death of student
Amanda Tweyi and the suspected
suicide of non-student in the early hours of
Saturday 26 April at Cullen Bowles House.
Police stated that they received a report of
the shooting at around 6:00 am and instantly
rushed to the scene where they discovered
the two deceased.
“Police responded immediately and on
arrival found the bodies of a woman and a
man inside one of the university’s residences.
Te body of the woman, a 21-year-old
Rhodes student, had no visible injuries and a
post mortem will be conducted to determine
the cause of her death.
“Te 34-year-old man’s body had a bullet
wound to the head and it is suspected that
he may have shot himself,” said the press
statement released by the Grahamstown
SAPS although the statment referred only to
the state of the room as it was found by the
police.
Futher statements given to Te Oppidan
Press said that Tweyi had been shot, and
killed, but whether the shot was the cause
of her death is unclear as the autopsy is still
under way.
“We lost one student from Rosa Parks and
one non-Rhodes student,” said Professor
James Gambiza, the Hall Warden of Kimber-
ley West Hall.
Safety concerns have been raised by a
number of students on social media. Rhodes
student Vanessa Chivhere-Bosman wrote on
Facebook in a comment on the article, “Tey
also need to address the issue of how a non-
Rhodes student can access our residences.”
“Basically there’s no security at the door.
We have a fngerprint scanner but it breaks
every second day. Tere is no security and
it’s an issue because it’s been like this for
the last two years,” said Charles Mackenzie,
a Cullen Bowles House resident, who lives
on the same foor as the room in which the
incident took place.
House Warden Johan Botha said that
Cullen Bowles is not like other residences in
terms of access: “We have diferent sections
and they all have diferent entrances and
exits. Tat makes it difcult to secure the
safety of the residence. If someone wanted to
come in, they would not just have one door,
they could try any of the others.”
Te Vice-Chancellor has asked Director of
Special Projects in his Ofce as well as Doc-
tor Colleen Vassiliou of the Dean of Students
Ofce to conduct an investigation into the
facts surrounding the deaths.
Many have been badly shaken by the
events of Saturday morning and the Univer-
sity has made support available.
“I am truly distressed by what has hap-
pened today. It’s a traumatic moment and
we’re doing our best to ofer the support
we can to everyone involved,” said Dean of
Students Dr Vivian de Klerk.
“We had house meetings in each house
around about eight o’clock, and we had
councillors available for anyone who needs
it,” she continued.
Te Oppidan Press extends its deepest con-
dolences to the family and friends of the two
deceased as well as all who have been afected.
More updates at oppidanpress.com.
Cullen Bowles House made headlines on Saturday 26 April following the death of two
people in the early hours of the morning. Photo: IVAN BLAZIC
News Features
29 April 2014 Te Oppidan Press 3
Studies lecturer Dr Richard Pithouse, covered the Marikana strike as
one such example of a struggle for emancipation.
Papers explored the relationship between worker struggles and
broader community politics, the interrelation between the rural and
the urban in contemporary politics, migrant labour, and political
subjectivity as key themes.
Masters student Sarah Bruchhausen shed light on the Marikana
Massacre by employing the historical lens of the 1958 Mpondo re-
volts. Tese took place in Ngquza Hill – which is near Mthatha in the
Eastern Cape – in response to the imposition of Bantu Authorities
and the revolts which were an important part of the anti-apartheid
struggle. According to Bruchhausen, both the revolts and the Mari-
kana strikes embodied a disciplined commitment to democracy by
consensus and meaningful engagement beyond the constraints of
party politics, nationalism, and class.
“If we do not take that seriously, we are completely missing the
point,” she said.
Tese key themes also featured prominently in the research pre-
sented by UHURU’s Camalita Naicker. In her paper which focused
on the role of women in the community struggles that supported the
mineworker strike of August 2012, Naicker highlighted the need to
view Marikana as more than just an example of class struggle.
Te paper revealed that in addition to a call for increased wages,
the Marikana community sought dignifed treatment and greater op-
portunities for training and upward mobility in the context of what
they strongly feel is a society that remains racist.
Neocosmos called the audience to refect on Marikana in the lead
up to the May national election, which always remained at the front
of discussions throughout the colloquium.
“A strike opens the eyes of the workers to capital, but a strike also
opens the eyes of the world to the state,” he said. It remains to be seen
whether the refections of Marikana will have an efect on the elec-
tions on May 7.
Talking Transformation
Director of Transformation and Equity initiates talks about change
Amanda Xulu and Kyla Hazell
R
hodes University will examine the state of trans-
formation in higher education institutions during
a one-day seminar to be held on 30 April 2014.
Titled ‘Africanisation and South African Higher Educa-
tion Institutions’, the seminar highlights transformation
at tertiary level as a central challenge needing to be faced
if South Africa is to realise the democratic ideals of equal-
ity and freedom.
“By convening the seminar, we hope to encourage debate
on transformation within the institution and to actively
contribute to the broader debate taking place in the coun-
try,” said new Director of Equity and Institutional Culture at
Rhodes Noluxolo Nhlapo.
“We hope that through such seminars a clearer vision of
a transformed South African university and indeed a trans-
formed Rhodes University will emerge,” she explained.
Te seminar forms part of the Higher Education South
Africa Common Campaign project, which seeks to have all
institutions commemorate 20 years of democracy collective-
ly. “Te main objective of the campaign is to facilitate the
deepening of conversations on transformation. It is easy to
talk about the number of black students entering university
spaces that they could not enter when speaking about trans-
formation. What is more difcult to talk about, and indeed
envision, is the transformation of the university space to en-
able all students and lecturers to reach and contribute their
full potential,” Nhlapo said.
Te seminar will focus on questions of transformation in
institutions of higher education, with papers covering topics
such as “Racialised Identities and the Africanisation of South
African Universities” and “Africanisation: the basis of self-
transformation”. Presenters include Professor Melissa Steyn
of Wits University, Professor Pitika Ntuli from Tshwane
University of Technology, Professor Lesley Le Grange of
Stellenbosch University, and Professor Barney Pityana.
Trough debates about the merits and demerits of various
models for transformation, Nhlapo hopes that a deeper
understanding of what transformation should mean will
emerge. “It is our [the ofce of Equity and Transformation]
job to open up spaces for such discussion to take place. Such
discussion will also enable us to further clarify what we,
Rhodes, want to transform into.”
Te colloquium will be one of the frst big public projects
undertaken by the Ofce of Equity and Transformation
under Nhlapo’s direction. Nhlapo, who arrived at Rhodes at
the beginning of the year, has a long history of working with
questions of identity construction and inclusion in South
Africa, Swaziland and the United Kingdom. A central aim of
her work here will be to open up spaces for more discussion
among staf and students at the institution.
Te importance of the seminar has not been missed by
those who take matters of transformation personally. Mas-
ters student Boipelo Bonokwane urged Rhodes University
students to attend and take the one-day seminar seriously.
“If we are to challenge hegemonic practices and norms in
the institution that marginalise staf members and students,
it is important that we encourage conversations that place
everyday understandings of knowledge and its production
under scrutiny,” she said.
Bonokwane further stressed that it was critical for
students and academics alike to understand that matters
of transformation should not be relegated to seminars
and conferences, but that they are matters that one should
confront daily. She also argued that Rhodes needs to be
more critical of whether transformation is happening at a
tangible rate. “Rhodes University needs to encourage more
critical conversations regarding the rate at which it is mov-
ing towards reaching its transformation goals. Furthermore,
it needs to honestly assess whether the Africanisation of its
lecture theatres, residential spaces and the like has a role to
play in contributing to the realisation of these transforma-
tion goals.”
The story of Stephen Bantu Biko
Sinphiwe Msizi
Tis column is the frst in a series to be written by activist Sinphiwe Msizi
about the life and work of Steve Biko as it relates to Rhodes University. Msizi
has had signifcant experience in heritage work and has particularly focused
on the commemoration of Biko. As the country marks 20 years of democracy,
Msizi is working with key groups at Rhodes in order to memorialise Biko’s
legacy of leadership. He believes in a critical, student-driven programme to
achieve this goal.
Steve Biko was born on 18 December 1946. His birth place is uncertain
because his parents frequently moved around. Steve was the third of four
children. His father was a policeman, but later resigned and became a
clerk in King William’s Town where the family lived in a township called
Ginsberg. His father died of a mysterious illness soon afer their arrival
there, but Steve continued to attend primary and secondary school in
Ginsberg. Records state that he was a gifed student and always at the top
of his class.
In 1963, Biko obtained a scholarship to attend the prestigious Lovedale
College just outside of Alice, where his older brother Khaya was enrolled.
However, they were both expelled in March 1963, mainly because of Khaya’s
political activities. Tey were also barred from attending any government
schools.
In 1964, Biko was admitted to St. Francis, an equally prestigious mission-
ary school just outside Durban. Tere, he excelled academically and upon
matriculation was admitted to the University of Natal Medical School. Te
political seed had already been planted when Biko arrived at the university.
He found a group of older students who ofen got together to discuss the
place of black students in a predominantly white university, including their
specifc political role in the predominantly white National Union of South
African Students (NUSAS).
Biko initially believed in a multiracial student movement, though his
colleagues tried to convince him otherwise. However, this inclusive stance
changed during the NUSAS conference at Rhodes in 1967. Te Rhodes
University authorities went along with the apartheid government’s position
that black students had to leave the University campus every evening to sleep
in the townships. Biko asked the white students to join them in the township.
He also proposed a motion that the conference be cancelled until a venue
where they could all be accommodated in one place could be found. He lost
both arguments. Biko then lef to join another conference organised by the
newly established and more radical University Christian Movement (UCM).
In contextualising Biko’s decision, Dr Saleem Badat states the following
in his book, Black Man You are on your Own: “Te growing disafection of
some black student activists with NUSAS versus the more representative
racial composition as well as the more radical orientation of the UCM gave
the latter a greater appeal as a forum for intercampus contact and discussion.
Yet, black students with experience of NUSAS politics (Biko included) who
attended the conference discovered that, despite the UCM’s political stance
and its majority black membership, leadership of the organisation was still
concentrated among white members.”
Biko and other black students felt that it was time that blacks formed
an organisation which would be pro-black, but not anti-white, in order to
address their needs in a more drastic manner. Dr Xolela Mangcu states in
his book, Biko, a Biography, that Professor Barney Pityana, one of Biko’s
closest friends, frst opposed the idea as it would appear racially divisive.
Pityana was later convinced by Biko that black students at conferences were
not strong enough to challenge the whites in full meetings and remained
subject to segregationist laws governing access and accommodation. Te
students decided to call a caucus to discuss these issues. It was decided then
to call a national conference of black students in December, which led to the
formation of the South African Student Organisation (SASO), launched in
1968 at the University of North (Turfoop). Biko was elected as SASO’s frst
president.
To be continued…
Activist Sinphiwe Msizi (pictured) has involved himself with key Rhodes
groups in an efort to memorialise the legacy of Steve Biko. Photo:
GABRIELLA FREGONA
The annual staf and research student photos lining the walls of the Pharmacy department serve as reminders of the
deracialisation of Rhodes. Photo: KELLAN BOTHA

By convening the seminar,
we hope to encourage
debate on transformation.
– Noluxolo Nhlapo, Director of Equity
and Institutional Culture
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News Features
4 Te Oppidan Press 29 April 2014
Emily Corke
A
s we celebrate 20 years of
democracy in our country,
President Jacob Zuma
insists that South Africa has a
good story to tell, even if the years
leading here have not been easy.
Alternatively, there is a narrative
that these years have been turbu-
lent and tarnished by disappoint-
ment. In Grahamstown, it remains
uncertain which narrative prevails.
Radio 702 presenter and Rho-
des Alumni David O’Sullivan
reminisced about Grahamstown
during apartheid and the struggle.
O’Sullivan and his friends would
ofen venture to Grahamstown East
and sit on a hill to watch the unfold-
ing struggle in the townships of
Grahamstown.
“We would go watch what hap-
pened; it was especially helpful
when the police put a huge spotlight
on the township to prevent uprising
because then we could see it even
clearer,” said O’Sullivan.
According to O’Sullivan, what
isn’t remembered about Graham-
stown is that it was also the site of
severe violence in the township. “It
was just as bad as in Gauteng. Gra-
hamstown East was a huge point of
protest. You just didn’t hear about it
because it happened in the confnes
of the township walls.”
Grahamstown was the site of
struggle and segregation during
apartheid, but it can be argued that
very little has changed since the
advent of democracy.
Rhodes University’s Professor
Paul Maylam feels that Grahams-
town is still a site of segregation afer
apartheid, although it is no longer a
written law as it had been pre-1994.
Maylam explained that the segrega-
tion between the “lower classes” in
Grahamstown East and Grahams-
town West remains quite distinct.
“Strangely, yes, in many ways, I
can still see it as an apartheid town,”
said Maylam. “Te spatial arrange-
ment of the residential areas is the
same as it was before.” Te shopping
areas, according to Maylam, are
more integrated but there is still a
sense of segregation with the ‘lower
class’ shopping centre on Bathurst
Street while the more afuent resi-
dents shop in Peppergrove Mall.
“Te main diference between
then and now is the local govern-
ment, because the ANC is in power,”
added Maylam.
Head of the History Depart-
ment Professor Gary Baines echoed
Maylam’s sentiments. “I don’t think
the composition of the town has
changed that much in 20 years in
terms of racial demographics in
town. Te town is very much what
it was when I frst moved here in the
90s,” he said.
Professor Paul Walters in the
English Department believes that
Grahamstown has in fact gotten
worse, especially because the leader-
ship in the town has, in his opinion,
broken promises and demonstrated
a lack of know-how.
“A forensic audit needs to be done
of the qualifcation of the people in
power in this town,” said Walters.
“Nobody dares do it because they
know what the truth is.” With
specifc reference to the Makana
Municipality, he said: “Tere has just
been a total breakdown in all the
fundamental functions of civil soci-
ety and a blatant ‘don’t-care’ attitude,
plus this wastage of funds.”
Baines echoed Walters in saying
that the municipality was more
efective pre-1994, but with one
signifcant clarifcation: “Tat isn’t
a really good comparison though,
because the municipality was only
servicing Grahamstown West - they
didn’t take responsibility for the
other half of the town.”
Nomathemba Booi, who works in
St Mary’s Dining Hall, has been in
Grahamstown for 50 years and has a
diferent story to tell. Booi said that
while she still notices “tiny aspects”
of discrimination, there has been
an immense change for her. Booi
pointed to the change in housing
through the Reconstruction and De-
velopment Programme (RDP) and
also noted the important fact that
there had been no black students at
Rhodes before 1994.
“Tere was very bad segrega-
tion between races; we had to act
diferently around white people,”
explained Booi. “Now there has been
change - we are all the same.”
One aspect that Maylam and
Baines both agree on is the dramatic
change over the years in the area
between New Street and African
Street. Before Peppergrove was con-
structed, the ground was a residen-
tial area of open ground.
“Te central area around African
Street has changed a lot because of
the excuse for a mall we have there,”
said Baines. “Many businesses have
moved there from High Street
because it has become the CBD of
the town.”
While there has been a lot of
change in the area between New
Street and African Street, Maylam
and Baines said that one constant
shared in pre- and post- 1994 is the
Rat and Parrot. Baines said that it
has been a spot he has frequently
gone to since the early 90s.
Not enough change in
20 years of democracy

Emily Corke
Strangely,
yes, in many
ways, I can still
see it as an
apartheid town.
The spatial
arrangement of
the residential
areas is the
same as it was
before.
- Rhodes University’s
Professor Paul Maylam
2
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Ten governmental shortcomings in the EC
Housing for all: On 3 April this year, the Minister for Human Settlements Connie September came to Grahamstown to
hand over the new housing plan, said to start in the area by the end of the month. Te contract has been signed and the site
has been handed over to begin construction of new houses in the area. However, residents felt that they were tired of waiting
for the municipality to provide them with housing and have used what money they have from their pensions to buy bricks
and build their own homes. Tese houses have since been demolished by the municipality.
Water for all: Te Eastern Cape has
the highest number of households with
no access to piped water, the highest
number of households that rely on riv-
ers and streams for their main source
of water, and the most households
without toilets.
Ending rural poverty: Valerie Moller,
Professor of Quality of Life Studies in
the Institute of Social and Economic
Research (ISER) at Rhodes University,
says that the rural population of the
former ‘homelands’ who sufered most
from underdevelopment in the past
have been hardest hit by the rising cost
of living in the new era.
Quality education: In 2013, the matric
pass rate for the province was 64.9%.
While this was a marked improvement
from 2012, the province is still the
worst-performing when it comes to
education in the country. In 2002, in
the Eastern Cape, there were 284,283
learners who entered Grade one but
only 48,734 learners successfully com-
pleted Grade 12 in 2013.
Build an economy that creates jobs
for all: Te Democratic Alliance (DA)
has pointed to the unemployment rates
since the beginning of Zuma’s term
in presidency: unemployment has
risen from 23.5% to the current levels
of 25.6%. Economic growth has not
fared any better over the same report-
ing period. In Zuma’s fourth year as
president, GDP growth dropped to just
below 2% since the beginning of his
presidency.
Basic service delivery for all: Te
Eastern Cape only met 51% of its
target of service delivery in 2011/2012
and South Africa has been dubbed the
protest capital of the world because of
the prominence of violent protests in
part sparked by service delivery issues.
Quality healthcare for all: In 2013, life
expectancy had risen from 53.2 years
in 1998 to 59.2 years. In the Eastern
Cape, HIV/Aids accounted for the
largest proportion of female (34%) and
male (23%) deaths.
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End to violence in the country:
According to Crime Stats SA, over
160,000 people have been murdered
in South Africa since 2004 and 5,900
crimes are reported to the SAPS daily.
End to corruption: According to
Crime Stats SA, it has been estimated
that SA has lost R650 billion to cor-
ruption over the last 18 years, with
Nkandla being the most recent public
scandal. South Africa ranked 72 out
of 177 countries on the Transparency
International Corruption Perception
Index in 2013.
Curbing unemployment: In the
Eastern Cape, the 2011 census showed
that the ofcial rate of unemployment
is 37.4% and the expanded unemploy-
ment rate is 51.2% (which includes
discouraged work seekers). Tis is the
highest in the country.
1. Te rapes of Alison Botha in 1994 and
Anene Booysen’s in 2013
2. Hansie Cronje guilty of match fxing in
2000
3. South African Arms Deal since 2000
4. Zuma accused of fraud, corruption and
rape since 2005
5. Te shooting of Brett Kebble in 2005
6. Tabo Mbeki is recalled in 2008
7. 34 miners killed in Marikana in 2012
8. Oscar Pistorius shoots Reeva Stenkamp in
2013
9. Nkandlagate in 2013
10. Service delivery protests at the beginning
of 2014 (with Mothotlung at the forefront)
The ups and downs of the last two decades
1. 1994 National Elections
2. Truth and Reconciliation Commision for a
nation in turmoil in 1995
3. South Africa wins the 1995 Rugby World
Cup
4. South Africa wins the African Cup of
Nations in 1996
5. Mark Shuttleworth went to space in 2002
6. Charlize Teron and Tsotsi bring home
Oscars in 2004 and 2005 respectively
7. Legalisation of same-sex marriage in 2006
8. South Africa wins the 2007 Rugby World
Cup
9. South Africa hosts the 2010 FIFA World
Cup
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awarded to South Africa in 2012
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• Opening the doors of learning
• Unity in diversity
• Jobs and better incomes and a growing economy
• Ending rural poverty
• Housing and services for all
• Land reforms
• Improving the quality of life
The ANC manifesto then and now
• Improve and expand education
• Build a united nation
• Ensure decent living conditions
• Build an economy that creates jobs
• Transform our rural areas
• Health care for all (services)
• Sustained human settlements
What do we have to show for
our 20 years of democracy?
Afka Jadezweni, Andrea Nevay, Tarryn de Kock
and Mitchell Shaun Parker
S
outh Africa’s ffh democratic national
general elections are only a week away and
the decision to vote for a particular party can
no longer be taken lightly. With former Minister
of Intelligence Ronnie Kasrils’s recently launched
‘Vote No’ campaign being mistaken for an anti-
voting initiative, Te Oppidan Press looked into the
practice of spoilt voting and what its repercussions
could be.
Kasrils launched the campaign to protest cor-
ruption and instability within the ruling African
National Congress (ANC), citing growing inequality
and poor governance as key areas needing to be rem-
edied. Te campaign challenges voters to go to the
polls to express their dissatisfaction with the last 20
years of ANC rule, encouraging them to actively vote
for opposition parties or spoil their ballots.
However, Democratic Alliance (DA) parliamentary
candidate Marius Redelinghuys called spoiling votes
“a rotten choice”. In a recent article on ToughtLeader,
Redelinghuys said that it would be better to vote for
an opposition party than to spoil a ballot, arguing
that in the 2009 election the 240 000 people who
spoilt ballots could have brought down the ANC’s
claim to a two-thirds majority by 1%, or at least fve
seats in Parliament. “Te Vote No campaign has not
been very coordinated and so the various groups who
oppose or favour spoiling ballots have not managed
to come together in a coherent way ,” said Politics lec-
turer Dr Sally Matthews. Matthews teaches a course
on electoral systems and comparitive politics.
South Africa uses a proportional representation
system where seats are allocated according to the per-
centage of votes won by parties. Spoilt ballots are not
counted as legitimate votes and are merely recorded
as part of the total number of people who voted, thus
not afecting the overall percentage received by in-
dividual political parties. Even if there is an increase
in spoilt ballots, we may not even know the motiva-
tion behind every spoilt ballot. It is because of this
that prominent academics, such as Rhodes alumnus
Politics
29 April 2014 Te Oppidan Press 5
Housing for all: On 3 April this year, the Minister for Human Settlements Connie September came to Grahamstown to
hand over the new housing plan, said to start in the area by the end of the month. Te contract has been signed and the site
has been handed over to begin construction of new houses in the area. However, residents felt that they were tired of waiting
for the municipality to provide them with housing and have used what money they have from their pensions to buy bricks
and build their own homes. Tese houses have since been demolished by the municipality.
Curbing unemployment: In the
Eastern Cape, the 2011 census showed
that the ofcial rate of unemployment
is 37.4% and the expanded unemploy-
ment rate is 51.2% (which includes
discouraged work seekers). Tis is the
highest in the country.
• Improve and expand education
• Build a united nation
• Ensure decent living conditions
• Build an economy that creates jobs
• Transform our rural areas
• Health care for all (services)
• Sustained human settlements
Spoiling ballots: what you should know
Afka Jadezweni, Andrea Nevay, Tarryn de Kock
and Mitchell Shaun Parker
S
outh Africa’s ffh democratic national
general elections are only a week away and
the decision to vote for a particular party can
no longer be taken lightly. With former Minister
of Intelligence Ronnie Kasrils’s recently launched
‘Vote No’ campaign being mistaken for an anti-
voting initiative, Te Oppidan Press looked into the
practice of spoilt voting and what its repercussions
could be.
Kasrils launched the campaign to protest cor-
ruption and instability within the ruling African
National Congress (ANC), citing growing inequality
and poor governance as key areas needing to be rem-
edied. Te campaign challenges voters to go to the
polls to express their dissatisfaction with the last 20
years of ANC rule, encouraging them to actively vote
for opposition parties or spoil their ballots.
However, Democratic Alliance (DA) parliamentary
candidate Marius Redelinghuys called spoiling votes
“a rotten choice”. In a recent article on ToughtLeader,
Redelinghuys said that it would be better to vote for
an opposition party than to spoil a ballot, arguing
that in the 2009 election the 240 000 people who
spoilt ballots could have brought down the ANC’s
claim to a two-thirds majority by 1%, or at least fve
seats in Parliament. “Te Vote No campaign has not
been very coordinated and so the various groups who
oppose or favour spoiling ballots have not managed
to come together in a coherent way ,” said Politics lec-
turer Dr Sally Matthews. Matthews teaches a course
on electoral systems and comparitive politics.
South Africa uses a proportional representation
system where seats are allocated according to the per-
centage of votes won by parties. Spoilt ballots are not
counted as legitimate votes and are merely recorded
as part of the total number of people who voted, thus
not afecting the overall percentage received by in-
dividual political parties. Even if there is an increase
in spoilt ballots, we may not even know the motiva-
tion behind every spoilt ballot. It is because of this
that prominent academics, such as Rhodes alumnus
Eusebius McKaiser, have urged voters to vote for the
‘least bad option’ rather than spoiling their votes.
McKaiser’s view is that, because voters will inevi-
tably have to submit to the government put in place
afer the election, they should be active in trying to
ensure that it is a government that is representative of
the needs of the country. He also believes that politi-
cal parties should be held accountable by showing
them that their support bases are never guaranteed.
Spoiling one’s ballot is an act of protest against the
options available and against the government in pow-
er. While it is a democratic right to express this senti-
ment, the general sense has been that it is not what is
necessary in these crucial elections, which mark the
20th anniversary of our democracy. With democratic
South Africa fnally out of its teens, impatience has
arisen around the ability of the country to mature
fully and realise the promises of independence.
“National elections are a huge deal and no matter
how much we don’t approve of ‘the system’, it should
be respected as such,” said Cory House Sub-Warden
Sonwabiso Damana.
SRC Activism and Transformation Councillor
Lindokuhle Zungu argued that choosing to be silent
would not stimulate the change South Africa needs.
“We should use the opportunity democracy has af-
forded us to critically engage with party manifestos
and be that generation that will cast its vote with a
well-informed mind,” he said, adding that there are
parties with progressive ideas that can speak to the
needs of young people.
Environmental Science student Josh O’Brien
agreed, “I feel that everyone who can vote should,
especially the ‘born-frees’. We fnally have a chance
to make a diference and move this country forward,
and it is disturbing that some people choose to let
their votes go to waste.”
Get to know the manifesto #3
Kimberley Nyajeka

Te fnal in our Get to Know the Manifesto series looks at three
parties with small but quite specifc support bases.
Freedom Front Plus
Te Freedom Front Plus (FF+)
was established in 1994 and ran
in the country’s frst democratic
election as the Freedom Front,
winning 2.2% of the seats in the
National Assembly. Tis fgure
dropped to 0.8% in the 1999
general election and since then
the party has not seen any major
growth in its support base.
Te party manifesto high-
lights that the “New South Africa of 1994 has failed and
has become an old South Africa. Te recipe for nation building
in the past 20 years since 1994 has not worked. We dream of a
truly New South Africa which is to the advantage of all its people”.
Party leader Pieter Mulder, who is also the Deputy Minister of
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, stated that should there be a
reduced ANC presence in government, South Africa will be able
to transition smoothly into becoming a nation where every indi-
vidual is equal. Mulder predicts that the ANC will gain no more
than slightly above 60% of the seats in parliament, emphasising
the party’s slow decline in infuence.
Te FF+ party advocates for a coalition with the government,
whereby all members of the executive, legislative and judicial
branches work together to ensure that the entire population’s
political as well as socio-economic rights are protected.
Te party has been described as pro-Afrikaans in the past
and enjoys signifcant support in Orania, the controversial town
formed in 1990 that follows “Afrikaans” values and culture.
Iqela Lentsango: Dagga Party of South Africa
Te Dagga Party of South Africa is
a registered Independent Electoral
Commission (IEC) party which
advocates for the legalisation of
cannabis (marijuana). Founded
in 2009, the party’s manifesto
illustrates how it “shall strive for
a carbon neutral, people-centred,
dagga-based community” through-
out the country.
Although the Dagga Party is not eligible to run in this year’s
general election because it didn’t register in time, it has a grow-
ing support base despite being seen as a niche party. Te party
argues that the legalisation of cannabis would be benefcial to the
economy and cites Ukraine as an example, where the legalisation
of marijuana in 2013 has resulted in a revenue of R140 million.
Te party draws on how the plant can be used to treat cancer
patients, as well as the fact that legalislation could potentially
open doors for further research into the medical benefts of
cannabis.
Te party does not seem to have much else on its agenda, but
party leader Jeremy Acton assures sceptics that “dagga legalisation
is like a dagga bush: it keeps on growing”.
Equal Rights Party
Tis party was ofcially
established in 2013 and
stands for the rights of the
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,
Transgender and intersex
(LGBTi) community in
South Africa. President and
spokesperson of the Equal
Rights Party (ERP) Michael
Herbst stated that the party
was established “afer huge
incidents of corrective rapes
of lesbians” were reported
in 2012.
Herbst also explained in an interview that “we have the most
beautiful constitution in the world, but when it comes to imple-
menting the Bill of Rights there is very little support”. Te party
argues that despite the legalisation of homosexual marriage in
2006 and general acceptance of LGBTi culture in the more afu-
ent and metropolitan areas in the country, homosexuality remains
a cultural taboo in South Africa.
Te ERP chooses not to integrate itself within a larger, more
infuential lef-wing political party. Herbst accounts for this by
explaining the party’s feeling that larger political parties are more
concerned with proportional racial representation in the govern-
ment and the economy than with representing the needs of other
minorities.
Te party is registered with the IEC and will contend for seats
in parliament in the upcoming elections.
Students should be aware of all the voting options available to them for the upcoming
election. Photo: SHEILA DAVID
Spoiling one’s ballot is
an act of protest against
the options available and
against the government
in power.

6 Te Oppidan Press 29 April 2014
OppiTV Election Debate
Tarryn de Kock and Mikaela Erskog
Ongoing problems in basic education
O
n Friday 29 November 2013, the Minister of Basic
Education Angie Motshekga published legally
binding “Minimum Norms and Standards for
School Infrastructure”.
Minimum Norms and Standards are regulations that
defne the infrastructural conditions that make a school a
school and stipulate the basic level of infrastructure that
every South African school must meet in order to be able to
function properly.
For the frst time in post-apartheid South Africa, there
exists a law that stipulates that every school must have water,
electricity, internet, working toilets, safe classrooms with a
maximum of 40 learners, security, and thereafer libraries,
laboratories and sports facilities.
Te Minimum Norms and Standards came into existence
due to the eforts of Equal Education (EE), a movement of
learners, parents, teachers and community members. EE
uses analysis and activism to establish a more equal South
African education system by pursuing the better facilitation
of quality school infrastructure.
However, according to Equal Education, the Minister’s
plan has some shortcomings:
• Despite the urgency of schools’ infrastructural crises, it
will take 10 years to complete.
• Te national sanitation
standards do not meet
current national or
international norms.
• Bigger schools require
modifed standards that
speak to their contexts.
However the Norms
did not specifcally
designate standards for
schools that have over
1200 students.
Te plan for
implementing Norms
and Standards also does not include sufcient public ac-
countability measures. For example, there is no requirement
that implementation plans are made available to communi-
ties. Public accountability is critical to ensuring that the
sanitation crisis is solved at a low cost and in a time-efcient
manner.
Te issue at hand is accountability. Although it is a
triumph to have a standardised point of departure for infra-
structure in all South African schools, there is no standard
avenue for the implementation of these norms.
Access to tertiary institutions and NSFAS
Earlier this year, thousands of young people
protested the National Student Financial Aid
Scheme’s (NSFAS) funds shortage, which saw
many lef without funding for tertiary educa-
tion and accomodation. Because of South Af-
rica’s historical structural inequality, there are
race and class considerations at play in who
can aford to pursue further education, some-
thing that the Department of Higher Education (DHE) has
been working to resolve. NSFAS (created to ease the fnancial
burden of tertiary studies on needy students) has struggled
to cope with the growing number of students needing assis-
tance, especially with a 90% increase in enrolment at Further
Education and Training (FET) colleges around the country.
Te contingency plans which have been put in place have
given rise to questions by analysts surrounding the DHE’s
commitment to a strengthened school curriculum, quality
Matric passes and building more FET colleges
even though existing ones are currently fnan-
cially and, for some, infrastructurally lacking.
Discussions around tertiary education
inevitably draw on the job market’s instability
and the fact that most students entering tertiary
studies merely swell the ranks of the unem-
ployed three years later than their peers who
do not pursue further education. Te inability to match both
unskilled school leavers and tertiary institution graduates
with meaningful work is testament to the gap between the
education sector and the market, which seriously impacts
the government’s plans to eradicate poverty by 2030. Despite
numerous successes in other crucial areas (such as school
nutrition), the recent SA Basic Education Conference high-
lighted the massive steps needed to realise the goal of quality
education for all.
National Youth Wage Subsidy
Te implementation of the new Employment Tax Incentive
Act (ETI) has been accompanied by ferce debate between
actors such as the ANC, DA, and Cosatu. While Cosatu
rejects the ETI and calls it exploitative and short-sighted,
the ANC, DA and other political parties have come out in
support of a national youth wage subsidy. Deputy Finance
Minister Nhlanhla Nene warned the DA not to use the issue
as a ‘political football’, drawing attention to the contentious
nature of the subsidy and its potential use as a rallying point
in the upcoming elections.
Te subsidy starts at 50% of earnings from R24 000 and
tapers down to 0% at the income tax threshold of R60 000.
Employers collect the subsidy as part of a tax incentive for
employing youth (18-34 years old) and can collect it for
a maximum of two years. Because of this, Cosatu, Equal
Education and other actors feel the ETI would encourage
employers to privilege young workers over older ones with
more experience in order to get the subsidy.
Tey also argue that there is little obligation to ofer skills
development or training on the job during the two-year
period, which should be crucial considering government’s
projected investment of R800-million into the subsidy for
this year alone. In order to catch up with other developing
economies, government found that SA would have to create
9 million new jobs in 10 years, and Finance Minister Pravin
Gordhan said that ‘cost-sharing’ between government and
the private sector would be crucial in getting young people
to work.
Gender issues and what is/isn’t being said about them in party manifestos
South Africa’s constitution was
the frst in the world to outlaw
discrimination based on sexual
orientation, but this agreement
was not reached without deep
discussion by actors involved
in writing the transitional
Constitution. While SA is still seen as a country which
celebrates the individual’s right to practice their sexuality,
our country’s government has been remarkably silent on key
issues facing the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and
intersex (LGBTI) community.
In the same way that the transitional document had to
decide whether to include LGBTi rights in the Constitution,
LGBTi issues remain uncertain in SA today. Tere is specifc
concern about the complexities of negotiating an existing
historical idea of the traditional masculine presence across
racial and cultural lines. Tere has been very little
meaningful response to the rising number of
hate crimes perpetrated against members of the
LGBTi community, especially with regard to the
corrective rape of lesbians, and the less publi-
cised but all-too-common assault and harass-
ment of gay men across the country. Tere is a
growing sense that LGBTi issues, despite being enshrined in
the Constitution, are only given serious political considera-
tion as part of a bid to win more votes.
While many parties include mention of women’s rights
as part of their manifestos, very few include discussion of
the rights of the LGBTi community and some do not even
make mention of the community’s presence within the SA
landscape. SA has reduced the discussion around minority
rights to one that has efectively excluded the physically and
mentally challenged, the aged and the LGBTi community.
T
his Wednesday 30 April Te Oppidan Press will welcome representa-
tives from a number of political parties who are included on the
Eastern Cape ballot. Tey will form part of a live debate produced
by OppiTV which seeks to generate critical discussion which is relevant to
Grahamstown youth in the run-up to this year’s national elections.
Much has been said about this being the election that marks 20 years of de-
mocracy. Te pre-teen hype with which we celebrated our 10-year anniversary
a decade ago has given way to a more sombre segway into adulthood. Many are
looking to the so-called “Born Free” generation for the diference that their frst
vote might make in the trajectory of South African politics.
Te debate will primarily look at issues of education, unemployment, and
gender. Proceedings are set to take place in the Africa Media Matrix television
studios and will be chaired by Politics Honours student and Senior Reporter
Fezi Mthonti before a small in-studio audience. Research has been guided
by the views of students on campus as expressed in vox pops collected by the
OppiTV team. Students, staf, and community members have been invited to
attend a live-streamed screening of the debate in the Barratt Lecture Teatres
on 30 April 2014 at 6pm. Te Oppidan Press thanks the Dean of Students ofce,
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Dr Sizwe Mabizela, and the Students’ Representative
Council (SRC) for their generous support.
Te studio audience in the AMM will comprise students drawn from various
notable societies and organisations on campus. Tey attend as representatives of
their constituencies more broadly and although their contribution is essential,
more widespread engagement is required to drive the debate towards meaning-
ful conclusions. For this reason, all will be able to participate in the discussion
by sending questions and comments on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag
#OppiDebate. Tese will be fed into a Twitter stream to appear along the bot-
tom of the screen, so all can see what others have to say, and will be used to
question the parties.
Te following two pages of this edition contain information gathered by our
journalists about the representatives, the topics to be discussed, and the prom-
ises which have been made during parties’ campaigns thus far. We encourage
you to read carefully as an entrance into Wednesday’s discussion.
It is our hope that this debate will challenge the idea that the “Born Free”
generation is apolitical and apathetic. Te work which has been put in by our
team as well as all those young people involved in organising and promoting
this debate, in my mind, bears testament to the fact that students most certainly
are engaged. Te Oppidan Press thanks them for their innovation, inspiration,
and efort.
We refuse to listen to parties repeating catchy buzzphrases during Wednes-
day’s discussion. We do not wish ‘Born Free’ to remain a vacuous term that fails
to encompass the political potential of a generation raised to think diferently.
We invite you to assist us to absorb these representatives in a conversation –
comment, criticise, question, and we will attempt to extract answers.
The Oppidan Press staf and contact details
The Oppidan Press
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Online Editor: Stuart Lewis. Assistant Online Editor: Chelsea Haith. News
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Politics Editor: Tarryn de Kock. Assistant Politics Editor: Mitchell Parker.
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Our focus for the debate
Minister of Basic Education
Angie Motshekga
29 April 2014 Te Oppidan Press 7
Mitchell Shaun Parker
T
hroughout the year, we have been running a ‘Get to
Know the Manifesto’ series with the aim of canvass-
ing which political parties are saying what. In this
edition, we have put together a recap on fve of the parties
participating in the Election Debate. Find more informa-
tion on the rest of the parties taking part via oppidanpress.
com, under the tab ‘Election Debate’.
• Aims to eliminate
corruption by making
15 years in prison the
minimum sentence for
any public ofcial found
guilty of corruption,
and by preventing any
engagement between
government members
or their families and
business.
• Education is another big priority, with a larger emphasis
being placed on skills training. Agang believes training will
boost our economy and sees partnering with big business
as a way to get funding for it. Tey promise to increase the
pass mark to 50% and ensure scholarship opportunities for
well-performing students.
• In terms of business development, they envision greater
ease of access for investors, removal of red tape and im-
proved infrastructure for all business development, with the
aim of increased job creation.
• 50% of the land that the government has will be used to
satisfy the need for residential property, building of facto-
ries and other industrial properties.
• Universal access to free healthcare.
• Tey would demilitarise the police and ensure national
security through improved diplomatic relationships with
surrounding coun-
tries.
• Restrictions on
public servants
doing business and
holding individu-
als accountable for
corruption.
• Improved infra-
structure. Tey
envision that a
particular focus
on internet as well as a shif to local development of goods
and services will help develop business and job creation in
South Africa. Strong investment in the Science and Tech-
nology sectors, diversify the banking sector and work on
strengthening Broadbased Black Economic Empowerment
(BBBEE) are also promised.
• Speeding up land claims and reopening a period of 5 years
needs to be allowed. Tey also want to enable the Khoi and
San people to claim land lost before 1913.
• Eradication of adult illiteracy, expanding and improving
existing educational structures and giving greater support to
all students who need it.
• Fight crime through increased police presence with a
focus on crime hotspots and a prioritisation of domestic
violence eradication and border control.
• Greater investment in smaller farms, with access for small-
scale producers in municipal markets.
• Institutionalised long-term planning including improving
the engagement of citi-
zens with their govern-
ment.
• Improved public
participation with
procedures to allow the
public to remove their
elected representatives to
improve accountability.
• COPE supports the
National Development
Plan (NDP) and would fnd ways to improve on it. Tey see
small, medium and micro-businesses as the future for eco-
nomic growth in South Africa and want to use the economy
to help create more tradable goods and support local youth
development programmes. Te mines, agriculture and
manufacturing would also be supported, in so far as they
support their local communities too.
• Re-open teacher training colleges, integrate Early Child-
hood Development programmes into the education system
and improve school governing body support. Exclusion of
Unions in the education sector.
• Universal free healthcare and improving on the existing
structures. Cheaper medicines, 24-hour clinics and the
promotion of natural therapies are also aims.
• All safety, security and intelligence services depoliticised
and all payment and promotion of ofcers to be based on
their qualifca-
tions, skills and
performance.
• Institution of
constituency
representation to
make MPs more
accountable to
voters, removal of business-government nepotism
and stopping government MPs from using public money for
extravagances.
• Job creation and business development will be promoted
by creating job opportunities so that young job seekers can
fnd work experience, primarily through using the Youth
Wage Subsidy.
• Improve BBBEE and make it easier for investors to engage
with the SA economy.
• Invest 10% of the GDP in infrastructure.
• Land reform policy for the DA would see all possible land
owned by the government being released as well as an extra
R10 billion being committed to land reform programmes
over the next fve years.
• 15,000 more teachers per year, ensuring adequate access
to textbooks and an increase to NSFAS in order to improve
education in South Africa.
• Afordable healthcare, social grants and improved basic
service delivery plus universal access to fast internet for all
South Africans.
• 25,000 trained police ofcers in the country, the reinstate-
ment of special crimes units and stricter regulation of the
SAPS as a whole,
plus the improved
use of technology
to reduce crime.
• Increasing ef-
fciency when
dealing with
corruption: policy
changes like stop-
ping the use of
consultants and
project management when doing basic government service
delivery are proposed as well as a 20 year sentence for those
found guilty of corruption.
• R4500 minimum wage and priority being placed on em-
ploying people with disabilities, black people and women.
Youth development is also to be prioritised. Increased use
of local resources and an end to excessive importing with
improved export rates. Nationalisation of banks and other
strategic sectors of the SA economy are also on the table.
• Land distribution without compensation: the state would
manage all land in the country, abolish foreign land owner-
ship and have 60% of mines nationalised.
• Free quality education for all plus scholarships for 15,000
students to go overseas and study, a 100% increase in frst
year acceptance rates and the abolition of mud schools.
All corporations would pay an education tax that would
cover upgrades and developments of the current education
system.
• Universal free healthcare and training in the healthcare
feld. Nursing colleges would be reopened, traditional
healers would be incorporated into the system and generic
medicines (regardless of intellectual property rights) would
be produced in South Africa.
• Increased police visibility, allowed community justice and
the banning of live ammunition at protests to help reduce
crime. Special units and courts would also be created to deal
with particular issues such as corruption.
• 50% minimum representation of women in government
with gender education being compulsory for all.
Get to know the Big Five
Debate Chair: Fezokuhle Mthonti
Mthonti is currently studying
Honours in Political and Interna-
tional Studies at Rhodes University.
Mthonti is an avid debater. She
competed at both high school and
university level and in 2012 was a
Member of the National Schools
Debating Championship Com-
mittee. Mthonti was the Media
and Branding Coordinator for the
Pan-African Youth Dialogue Sum-
mit in 2013. Her interests also lie
in the dramatic arts where she has
had extensive success. In 2012, Fezi
performed in the winning produc-
tion of the Standard Bank Ovation
Award, Wintersweet as well as in the
National Arts Festival production of
Tender in both 2012 and 2013.
List of speakers
ANC: Cde Phumulo Masualle
COPE: Nosipho Plaatjie
EFF: Unconfrmed
UDM: Tando Mpulu
PAC: Khwezi Dalisile
UCP (UCDP): Roderick Vencencie
PAMSA: Lindiwe Liwani / Noma
Mlomo
AGANG: Philip Machanick
DA: Yusuf Cassim / Kevin Mileham
UNICO: Nokulunga Sithole
ACDP: Cheryllyn Dudley
Refreshments will be served afer
the screening and attendees will
have a chance to speak informally
with party representatives.
Agang
ANC
COPE
DA
EFF
Uhleli Mdingi
I think it’s important to vote because in
order for a democracy to work prop-
erly, its citizens need to participate in
it fully and the one best way to do that
is through voting. Your vote is your
voice and if your don’t vote, you can’t
complain!
Simon Brill
I am voting. I signed up last year. You can’t sit back and complain all day. Tings
aren’t going to change by themselves. Make a diference, cast your vote!
Tim Abel
I will be voting! Although I have distrust in a
lot of the parties, I think it’s still a better option
than spoiling your ballot or not voting at all.
If you’re not going to vote because you have
an issue with the nature of the democractic
system in South Africa then you need to do
something more because that’s simply too
passive. It’s important to take part in the voting
process because if you don’t, you don’t really
have a say in what happens.
Mohammed Hussein
I will be voting this year, but not for any particular party. I believe in democracy
but I don’t believe that the current political system and its political candidates
have the ability to live up to the role. It would be a complete disservice to voting
for me to vote for them. Te idea is to spoil my vote. Tis shows the government
that the people can stand up for themselves.
Erin Joynt
I’m not voting! I really couldn’t be bothered.
Tere is no change that I could really make
just as one person. Te vote that I place will
just be disappointing because I know that
the party that I vote for probably won’t be
elected.
OppiTV asks RU voting?
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Unable to make the screening? Watch the stream on our YouTube channel
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Opinion
8 Te Oppidan Press 29 April 2014
Is Rhodes complicit in the societal repression of female sexuality?
Serena Paver
Troughout their lives, women are
constantly taught to censor their own
sexuality. As a child, I remember
using the word ‘sexy’ as a positive
descriptor and being severely told
of for it. I had always thought being
sexy was this infnite gif bestowed
upon women. It gave them this
power that they themselves could not
understand. Yet there I was being
told of by a female teacher - thus
beginning the long road of sexual
repression that lay ahead of me.
Supposedly, Rhodes provides an
environment which accepts free love
and with it an escape from this repres-
sion. But since being here I have found
that women are constantly put down
for practising free sexuality where, in
similar situations, men are praised. I
happen to be a resident in one of the
most notoriously ‘sexually deviant’
dining halls on campus, but I am still
constantly amazed how the men from
my hall are hailed as studs for ‘getting
it in’, while the women are whispered
about behind half-moon hands and
branded ‘sluts’ for the same behaviour.
For me, an important facet of the re-
pression of female sexuality is the way
in which we females repress ourselves.
Tis is not commonly acknowledged
by those fghting against repression,
but by buying into the matchbox op-
tions we are given we are sluts, sultry
untouchable goddesses, or (I shudder
at the word) prudes. We have been
brought up to shy away from sexuality.
As a result, any woman trying to make
sense of her sexuality works within
boundaries she does not even realise
are there, categorising herself as either
the kinky (see: 50 Shades of Grey), the
bi-sexual (see: any 16 year old girl),
the laughable (see Sex in the City) or
the bodacious babe in a bikini (see any
GQ, Liquifruit advert – the list goes
on). Actually, what we as women need
to do is accept amongst ourselves that
we cannot be defned. Only in this
way can we stop making it easy for our
patriarchal existence to classify where
we belong.
Tere are many ways in which soci-
etal patriarchy fosters this sheltering of
women’s sexuality: rape jokes, misogy-
nistic jokes about women, the fact that
women are programmed to not feel
safe walking alone, the fact that in ad-
vertising women are used as objects to
sell something, or to be sold, or to be
won, or to be used. We are always seen
as possessions – not people. Te fact
that university female residences exact
intervisiting rules far more stringently
than the male residences is a perfect
example of females propagating their
own oppression.
In my experience, residences just ex-
press a looming sense of judgement on
their girls: repeating the word ‘ladies’ a
thousand times in each house meeting
as if we were dressed in pantyhose and
satin bonnets.
It is all very well and good to have
rules in community living, but to con-
stantly put girls down for having male
company (sniggers covered by palms)
and to survey them with an omnipres-
ent eye of disdain is unnecessary.
By doing this they are once again
making sexuality a taboo, reducing
it to a small dark demon, which just
gives it negative power.
When a woman embraces all the
deliciousness that she is, she possesses
a power beyond her mere physicality.
Tis is the side of ourselves that we
should tap into - we should not confne
ourselves to the pictures society lays
out for us. When we expect ourselves
or others to ft into a box we are per-
petuating our own subordination. We
are not better than men; men are not
better than us. Tis is not about a war
of the sexes: this is about admitting
that we have internalised the misogy-
nistic ideals around despite us trying
to overcome them.
Nkandla is our fault
Ben Rule and Sazi Ntuli
W
e are starting to reach a
point in national politics
where the phrase ‘public
fnance’ is embedded with an inter-
nal, twisted irony. But the largest
voices in the Nkandla uproar should
consult with their own leadership
culture before distancing themselves
from our government’s spending
habits.
‘Nkandlagate’ has caused a massive
frestorm (although I think it has a
pool for that?) and a lot of fapping
across the various wings of South
African media. Te last few months
have been a constant stream of open
letters and closed-minded tweets,
incredulity and outrage. Tis scandal
has become the fat kid who slipped
and fell in the school playground, and
all of our related and unrelated prob-
lems are gleefully sprinting towards
the pile-on. If that sounds a bit nasty,
then I think I’ve adequately captured
the spirit of vitriol with which our
population is responding to this issue.
Tis is not to defend the president.
He has enough people (and proce-
dure-abusing commissions
of inquiry) already doing
that for him. Nkandla is a
scandal. We are justifably
outraged. But the source
of our outrage is a bit
deeper than a compound
in rural KwaZulu-Natal.
Tis scandal is a poster
child for everything that’s wrong
with South African leadership. It
is the latest successor in a dynasty
that includes arms deals, travelgate,
Shaiks, Guptas and the not-so-
occasional burst of love-me-tender.
We, the people of Facebook, Twitter
and the News24 comments sections
(and maybe also the readers of some
respectable publications), are fed up.
It seems appalling to us that
somebody who is entrusted with a
position of public power would abuse
that power for personal gain. It is
especially problematic to the Western,
urban, media-engrossed upper
classes that the money spent on fre
pools and such could have been used
to build twenty hospitals, or sixty
schools, or two hundred thousand
houses. We don’t understand what
makes these politicians think that this
type of behaviour is acceptable. What
we also do not understand is that the
way we teach our leaders afxes them
with this mentality of entitlement.
Most schools (primary and second-
ary) from this segment of society
have some type of leadership system
in place. Usually prefects. Prefects
have many camps or trips to various
locations for bonding and train-
ing purposes. Prefects also acquire
a set of privileges (along with their
responsibilities) which distinguishes
them from the non-prefects. School
money is spent on this. Nobody really
complains about that; we understand
that it is deserved.
Universities follow in the same
trend. Rhodes house and hall com-
mittees are familiar with trips out of
town for ‘leadership purposes’. Our
SRC has ‘re-strategising’ weekends at
the beach, among other expenditures.
Te SRC at NMMU has recently been
subject to a bit of publicity for spend-
ing many thousands of rands on de-
signer shoes for its Executive. It seems
quite clear that our leadership culture
automatically includes the spending
of ‘public’ funds (be they the school’s,
the university’s or the country’s) on
leadership purposes.
We need to train our leaders. We
need them to connect with one an-
other in order to make them efective.
We need them to have the optimum
conditions for efective decision-
making. For all of this, they need to
spend money on themselves. Starting
at school, we teach our leaders that
certain privileges are attached to
leadership; that leadership involves
using money (which probably could
have been better-spent elsewhere) for
investment in the leaders themselves.
Tis is the context in which we
must view the behaviour of the
current government. Misappropria-
tion of public funds is not the wrong
side of a binary, it is a slight slip on
a sliding spectrum. Sometimes the
slides slip enough to become a fall.
We can change the leaders, but until
we change the way we teach them
to think about leadership, our social
media will need a fre pool.
Society has shaped sexuality to be something for which women are judged more harshly than men. Photo: NICK DAKIN
Opinion
29 April 2014 Te Oppidan Press 9
Is Rhodes complicit in the societal repression of female sexuality?
Mitchell Shaun Parker
A
n archaic and discriminatory
policy for donating blood
means that gay men, regard-
less of the actual suitability of their
blood, are unable to donate at all. It
is not clear why this practice persists.
Te South African National Blood
Service (SANBS) needs 3000 units of
blood to be donated per day to meet
their demand. Without that amount,
those who have been in terrible car
accidents, people who urgently need
transfusions and suferers of compli-
cations in what could be life-saving
surgeries will and do die.
In their comprehensive donor ques-
tionnaire, important questions relating
to the quality of your blood are asked.
Tese questions relate to HIV, medica-
tion and drug usage – all of the above
indicating that your blood should not
be used in any transfusions as it may
harm the recipient of the blood. Tis is
perfectly justifable.
Question 2.5 in the ‘Self-exclusion
Questionnaire’ section is more prob-
lematic: ‘Male donors: In the past six
months have you had oral or anal sex
with another man with or without a
condom?’ Regardless of whether or not
the other exclusionary questions are all
marked with an answer that would im-
ply that a donor’s blood is clean, if this
question is answered in the afrmative
then the blood is seen to be unaccepta-
ble and no donation takes place.
To contextualise this: the SANBS
references the blood crises of the
mid-1980s when HIV began emerging
as a global threat. At the time, there
was no way to test blood donations
for the disease and, as a result, many
thousands of people contracted HIV
because they received infected blood.
Because there was a high prevalence
of HIV amongst the gay community at
the time, the disease was at one time
called GRID (Gay Related Immune
Defciency) and the question was
added to help prevent the spread of the
disease. While unfortunate, there was
precedent at the time.
Tis has, however, changed. Te
SANBS prides itself in ensuring that
all blood that makes it into hospitals
is highly tested, despite the short-
age of blood being donated, so as to
protect those on the receiving end
from being infected with diseases like
HIV, hepatitis and syphilis, amongst
others. Tey also caution that even if it
is your 200th donation, your blood will
still undergo the same rigorous tests.
Terefore, not allowing a willing donor
the chance to donate is nonsensical.
When looking at the idea of exclud-
ing men who have had anal or oral sex
with another man, what is efectively
happening is that all sexually-active
gay/bisexual men are having their abil-
ity to donate blood removed.
Sexuality, although not entirely
based on the actual act of engaging
in sexual activity, is something that
strongly correlates with such acts.
Tus, by saying that gay sex makes
your blood unacceptable, the SANBS
are also efectively excluding an entire
segment of the South African popula-
tion, regardless of how badly the
donated blood is needed
Despite extensive checks being done
to determine whether a prospective
donor is promiscuous or not, gay men
are instantly removed on the sheer
premise of their sexuality. If a gay man
has had one partner for his whole life
and the two of them are entirely safe in
their sexual activity, they are still both
excluded.
Constitutionally this is also prob-
lematic. Final year Law student and
member of OutRhodes Armand Swart
clarifed this: “Tis could defnitely be
brought as a claim under Section 9 –
the right to equality – and the Equality
Act, as unfair discrimination based on
the listed ground of sexual orienta-
tion.”
Continuing on the thought of
discrimination, the next question that
needs to be asked is why this only
applies to men. Swart pointed out the
inherent contradiction present in the
policy: “Loads of straight people have
anal sex. Why is it male to male sex
only if male to female sex can be just as
risky? Furthermore, why is protected
sex included if it is the safest and least
risky type of sexual activity?”
Gay men make up 5% of the popula-
tion of South Africa. Te SANBS only
has roughly two and a half days of
blood on hand - a distinct shortage
- and with the exclusion of gay men
being in principle a discriminatory
practice, not allowing those men to
donate is a waste of what could be a
perfectly viable life-saving resource.
Tacit homophobia of the SA National Blood Service
Stephanie Stretch
Te continued expansion of the LGBTQIA
acronym is threatening to include the entire
alphabet, calling into question whether a group
encompassing so many distinct identities can
even be referred to as a single community. We
could soon reach a point where ‘LGBTQQIP-
2SAA community’ becomes oxymoronic.
Te LGBTQIA community is becoming an
increasingly broad umbrella term which encom-
passes a variety of concepts or identity mark-
ers. Tese are (currently): lesbian, gay, bisexual,
transgender, queer or questioning, intersex and
asexual or allies.
Te question which follows is whether the ac-
ronym is becoming too broad, losing its purpose
or otherwise becoming too convoluted. Tis is
the question which many people are inclined to
ask with regard to a variety of issues relevant to
the queer community and its alphabet soup. A
feasible answer is that, when we name something,
the point is to help us relate to that idea, person,
or thing – to give it signifcance, tangible struc-
ture and a solid form.
Te next question then is whether the queer
community, in naming itself, is making itself
more difcult to relate to. Te acronym – already
two letters longer than the average word in
English and still growing – is beginning to stretch
across the page like an Afrikaans compound
noun with no foreseeable end in sight.
Te myriad terms available for gender identity
also alludes to the problem that the LGBTQIA ac-
ronym will never, and can never, be good enough.
Te alphabet community is not only comprised of
lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex
and asexual individuals, but also pansexual in-
dividuals, skoliosexual individuals, third gender
individuals, two-spirit people, and almost every
other term for being human. In attempting to
be inclusive it invariably excludes some, and the
more inclusive it becomes, the more it will exac-
erbate the exclusion of the excluded. Terein lies
the conundrum.
Te unfortunate expectation is that minor-
ity groups must defne themselves in order to
be seen as distinct from the majority. But if the
acronym continues to expand, it may very well
include the entire existing population. Tis, while
leaving us feeling somewhat foolish, may not be
an altogether bad thing.
I personally quite like ‘the alphabet commu-
nity’ as a community name because, at the very
least, it doesn’t leave anybody out. Te process of
defnition may be worthwhile on some levels, at
least in terms of educating people, but it also cre-
ates an ‘other’ and allows the majority to ignore
their own specifcity and to mistakenly fall into
the mentality that what is outside of the acronym
is ‘normal’.
If we consider the fairly recent rise of toler-
ance of homosexuality in the western world, a
developing understanding of issues relevant to
the transgender community and an ever rising
interest in queer theory, one could describe the
LGBTQIA movement as a young one. Like most
youthful things, it may lose its footing from time
to time, get lost, or otherwise struggle to make
sense of itself. It is an active, continuous explora-
tion of new identities which is in the process of
refning itself and requires a little nurturing, time
and patience.
While some may argue that the LGBTQIA
community is starting to miss the point through
its ever-expanding acronym, it is also impor-
tant to acknowledge that defnitions do serve
a purpose. Te new list of gender descriptions
on Facebook is one such example. Tese ofer a
number of people avenues for self-exploration
and declarations in terms of identities not previ-
ously aforded to them.
Te queer community is no longer about one’s
sexual orientation, but rather about who we are
on a fundamental level. Perhaps one day, when
the growing acronym becomes too difcult to
sustain, or begins to resemble something out of
a Maths exam, we will simply adopt the term
‘alphabet community’ as an expression of com-
munal identity. Or perhaps we will simply settle
on ‘human’ as a community term when we are
all equal - on the other side of the rainbow, in a
world without binaries and where such terms no
longer matter.
LGBTQIA: a community of alphabet soup and identity crisis?
Despite the improvement of blood-testing methods since the 1980s, SANBS still prevents members of the gay commu-
nity from donating. Photo: KELLAN BOTHA
The continued extension of the LGBTIQA raises questions as to whether it is in fact a unifed
community Photo: DELIA RABIE
Arts & Entertainment
10 Te Oppidan Press 29 April 2014
Josh White
R
hodes University’s Gam-
ing Society (GameSoc) has
attracted numerous people
from Rhodes and the general Gra-
hamstown community thanks to the
variety of entertainment it has on
ofer. One such source of entertain-
ment is Live Action Role Play Gam-
ing, or LARPing.
A LARP is usually organised by a
Game Master (GM) and at its begin-
ning both its story and setting are
discussed and agreed upon by the
GM and the players. Te nature of the
LARP is dependent on the preferences
of the players, who create suitable
characters for the given scenario which
they then pretend to be for a specifed
amount of time.
Te size of the group involved can
change from one scenario to the next,
and set-ups can range from the com-
bative to the merely social. “Te kinds
of LARPs that exist at Rhodes are more
social events,” said former Vice Chair
of GameSoc William Walters.
One example is the holding of
Malkavian picnics, inspired by the
role-playing game Vampire: Te
Masquerade. Tese are primarily social
gatherings, but constitute LARPs
insofar as each participant must come
as a Malkavian - a member of a family
of vampires all aficted by a certain
degree of insanity. “Te nature of their
insanity and the degree to which it
afects their actions is decided entirely
by them,” explained GameSoc’s Head
of LARPing Cazz Immelman.
Samantha Munro, a Masters student
in Fine Art, recounted the experience
of creating her own character, whom
she called Skittles. “I am not usually
too outspoken so I chose a character
who was,” she explained.
Popular set-ups like war re-
enactments or murder mystery
dinners are also considered LARPs.
“My standard joke is that LARPing is
the adult version of ‘make-pretend’
games,” said Immelman. Chairperson
of GameSoc JC Bailey also highlighted
the entertainment value of LARPs.
“LARPs are unique since they envelop
each participant into the world they’ve
designed, ranging from fantasy to
sci-f settings,” he said. Although
wearing elaborate costumes which
suit the set-up is optional, Bailey said:
“Te accessories are also a driving
point which is why it’s such a creative
activity.”
However, other Role Play Gaming
forms a substantial part of Game-
Soc’s activities, while LARPing is a
more irregular activity. “[LARPing] is
something of a peripheral department,
and is open to everyone who wishes to
join. Tey do not have to be members
of GameSoc or even Rhodes students,”
said Immelman.
Despite how sporadically LARP
events might occur, they still attract a
substantial amount of participants. “If
there is a large demand or initiative
from a player or group then organis-
ing a LARP is relatively hassle-free,”
explained Bailey. “As with all events,
we don’t force them on anyone but
make it openly available to those who
are curious and willing to play.”
LARPing serves as an efective
platform for many Rhodes students
to exercise their creativity. “Te only
restriction as to what you can do is
defned by the nature of the LARP,”
said Immelman.
A substantial amount of students in-
volved in LARPing work in the Faculty
of Humanities, with many literature
fans and theatre enthusiasts will-
ing to participate in the creation of a
spellbinding context in which to carry
out a certain story. In fact, numerous
students who enjoy improvised acting
have a great time participating. “It is
basically the point where ‘improv’ act-
ing and gaming meet,” said Immelman.
LARPing-inspired entertainment for Rhodents
Drashti Naik and Lili Barras-Hargan
Historically, the Arts have always been per-
ceived as secondary to the more ‘professional’
subjects of maths and science. A degree in any
school of Humanities is seen by many to be
economic suicide, and it is a widely-held belief
that Arts students will remain unemployed due
to a lack of any business skills. Although the
Humanities hold some currency locally, the
debate regarding their utility is ever-present.
Arts subjects are arguably some of the most
rewarding and character-building felds of study;
yet a large number of parents are reluctant to let
their children take these courses at university.
Tis is not an attitude exclusive to South Africa,
but one that is shared by other countries as well,
such as Kuwait.
According to a Career and University Guid-
ance staf member at a school in Kuwait, last year
only 5% of students from a top Kuwaiti Inter-
national School applying to universities in the
United Kingdom (UK) opted for Arts courses.
Te remaining students applied for subjects
such as Medicine, Accounting and Engineering.
Sophie Pretorius, a Zimbabwean studying at the
Courtauld Institute of Art in the UK, said, “When
I was trying to fnd scholarships, though my
results were the best in the country, no one would
give a scholarship to an Art student as it ‘would
not improve the country’.”
Rhodes University is ostensibly a platform for
open-minded people to glean further knowledge,
but there are still some who hold negative views
of the Arts. Some students continue to buy into
old-fashioned and restricted views of their peers
who study Arts subjects, negatively describ-
ing them as ‘feminine’ and closely linked to the
overly-clichéd and stereotyped image of drug
consumption. “I was once asked by an employer
if I was gay and I think that is because of the
‘feminine’ connotations of a man playing a fute,
for example,” said conductor of the Kingswood
College Concert Band Stephen Holder.
Despite this negative perception, one of the
main real world obstacles that Arts students face
is the issue of unemployment. However much we
try to sugar-coat the issue, Arts subjects do ofer
less job opportunities. Tere are a substantial
number of graduates who go out into a working
world that seems to have no need for them.
According to an article written in City Press,
graduates are fnding employment to be an in-
creasingly elusive goal and this can be attributed
to their choice in degree. It was found that the
lowest unemployment rate of 0.4% belongs to
accountants, lawyers, engineers and medical doc-
tors. Te article further stated that students who
have a BSc or BCom degree have a low unem-
ployment rate of 3.1%.
In a world plagued with increasing consum-
erism, many Arts students are faced with the
questions: “What will you eat?” or, “Where will
you sleep?” In answer to this, former Art History
lecturer at Rhodes University Professor Kylie
Tomas commented: “Producing art, music and
theatre cannot only be about making money and
a career. [Tey] have to feel called, inspired and
motivated to do their work.”
On the other hand, we must take into con-
sideration the fact that the growing number of
graduates with STEM degrees (Science, Technol-
ogy, Engineering and Mathematics) will result in
jobs in those felds becoming increasingly scarce.
Pretorius said, “Art doesn’t always need a
capital A. If we focused entirely on survival, on
working, earning money, sleeping, reproducing
and eating, what would we be? We’re all about
what we do in between these things and I think
that merits study.”
According to Professor Phindezwa Mnyaka,
senior Art History and Visual Culture lecturer,
“a contemporary degree in the Arts exposes
students to a range of ideas that connect artistic
practice to questions of personhood and politics
in contemporary South Africa in a dynamic way.” 
Studying Arts subjects: What will you eat?
LARPing allows students to exercise their creativity on an emerging gaming platform. Photo: BRONWYN PRETORIUS

- Professor Kylie Tomas
Department of Fine Art
Producing art, music
and theatre cannot
only be about
making money and a
career. [They] have to
feel called, inspired
and motivated to do
their work
A degree in the Humanities is often perceived as inferior to those in Science or Commerce.
Photo: KELLAN BOTHA
Arts & Entertainment
29 April 2014 Te Oppidan Press 11
Sam van Heerden
In March this year, two Rhodes
University students and a Belgian DJ
came together to establish MixLab,
a DJ and event organisation collec-
tive. With appearances from popular
DJs Das Kapital and Veranda Panda
already under its belt, MixLab seeks
to bring new and exciting events to
Grahamstown.
Te MixLab team is made up of
Ross McCreath and Luniko Fut-
shane, two Rhodes students from
the Grahamstown area, and Yannick
Bryssinck, professionally known as
“DJ Clinxx”, from Belgium. Bryssinck
recalled that the three of them started
the collective because they were tired
of the poor organisation of events and
the lack of quality music in Grahams-
town’s nightlife.
“We wanted to do what others had
done but just better. Tis eventually
led us to do what others had not,”
explained McCreath.
Futshane, known as “DJ Von Dirty”,
added that MixLab is a combination
of a DJ collective, business and label
which aims to give Rhodes students
new and quality entertainment experi-
ences. According to McCreath, it was
afer the success of their frst gig at the
Monastery that they decided to hold
events on a monthly basis.
MixLab events have been held at
Te Monastery and Prime and have
included DJ sets by resident DJs as well
as national artists. Te MixLab DJs
play a range of Electronic Dance Music
(EDM) genres including deep house,
drum and bass, minimal, hip-hop,
electro and dubstep. McCreath says
that their events have been well sup-
ported and very successful so far.
Te founders explained that none of
them had worked with big names be-
fore this year, so it has been a daunting
but fulflling experience. When asked
what it was like to work with such
well-known DJs, McCreath replied,
“It’s been amazing! Tese are some
of the biggest names in South Africa
at the moment and we have been
fortunate, lucky and stupid enough to
attempt to actually get them here.”
Yannick explained that in order to
bring in the DJs they wanted, they had
to meet certain requirements which
made their job quite difcult. Without
a sponsor to advise and contribute to
the fnancial side of their organisation,
they have had to learn to overcome
these drawbacks by using the
resources at their disposal. “We always
manage to make a plan,” explained
Futshane. Despite the difculties
in organising their events, they still
carry on producing a fresh range of
entertainment for Rhodes students
because the artists they collaborate
with inspire them to push through.
“Working with professionals in the
music industry has inspired us to
improve the quality of our events and
achieve more,” explained McCreath.
Te MixLab team has a number of
events in the pipeline for the rest of
the year, including a free party at Grey
Dam, a club night at Te Union, a
Warehouse party and a music festival.
Tey are also holding a Boat Party
event which will see 70 Rhodes stu-
dents travel to Port Alfred on a ‘party
bus’. Tis event was scheduled for 27
April but had to be postponed to the
third term due to logistical issues.
Innovative event organising
collective set to stir the scene
Ellen Heydenrych
G
rahamstown flmmaker Mark
Wilby and his team of Clip-
tivists held their frst public
forum. Addressing both socioeco-
nomic and environmental issues, the
Cliptivists drew on their personal
experiences in order to enlighten
their audience.
Te aim of the public forum, which
was held on 23 April in the Environ-
mental Learning Research Centre
(ELRC), was to introduce the concept
of Cliptivism to a wider audience. Tis
team of fve is working on building a
tier of support for their movement by
listening to how the movement is be-
ing received by the community.
Wilby set the movement in motion
last year by flming himself sending his
toenail clippings to the Chinese Em-
bassy to protest rhino poaching and
encouraging others to do the same. He
then expanded the project into a social
documentary, bringing together the
Cliptivists for that purpose.
Wilby recognised the need for the
public to question societal complicity
within existing social activism, with
particular reference to the issue of rhi-
no poaching. By looking at poaching
(something usually viewed as being an
exclusively environmental problem) he
hoped to invite the public to critique
the societal reasons that underpin such
issues. He focused on the part society
plays in allowing poaching to continue
and allowed his audience to comment
on the methods in which we try to
combat such a large-scale problem.
He noted that despite our eforts to
raise awareness via social media and
bumper stickers, the problem steadily
worsens.
By drawing on their collective expe-
rience since starting this project, Te
Cliptivists used the meeting to refect
on an incident that had an emotional
impact on every member. Te team
witnessed Temba, a rhino who was
de-horned, struggle to live afer the
attack and his subsequent death due
to his injuries. Wilby said the incident
made him feel a “supreme sense of
embarrassment for the human race”.
Fellow Cliptivist Strato Copteros
elaborated on this point, highlighting
that the human species is in a “fun-
damental crisis”. Te issue of rhino
poaching, he said, is not purely an en-
vironmental problem, but has its roots
in socio-economic issues that we all
play some part in, no matter how big
or small. Tus, the way in which the
issue should be dealt with is through
introspection and questioning of why
things are the way they are. Wilby re-
ferred to this as “revisionist activism”.
Drama Masters candidate Push
Nqelana expressed her personal jour-
ney of becoming a Cliptivist and how
she tackled the issue from an indig-
enous standpoint. She repeatedly asked
herself what she could do in her capac-
ity and at that specifc point in time.
“Each [of the Cliptivists] in their own
way has an engaging way of respond-
ing to the world,” said Wilby.
Te public forum allowed for a vari-
ety of voices to be heard on the topic of
poaching as well as any critiques of the
Cliptivist project. Poet and producer
of the anthology Rhino in a Shrinking
World, Harry Owen, saw this meeting
as an opportunity to spread the word
and gain more awareness for the threat
posed to rhino. “Anything that helps to
do this [spread the message] has to be
a good thing,” explained Owen.
Tis project has hopes for more
public interaction and co-operation
in the future. Te Cliptivists are an
ever-growing presence in Grahams-
town and through public interaction,
platforms such as forums and social
media, they can begin to help unravel
the many aspects of our societal values
and ideas around this topic. Trough
introspection, promotion of thought
and word of mouth, Cliptivism may
just take the world by storm.
The clipping
continues
Each [of the
Cliptivists]
in their own
way, has an
engaging way
of responding to
the world

Grahamstown Music Soc ensures top-class performances
Bronwyn Pretorius
As the host of the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown
is renowned for its arts scene. Te Grahamstown Music
Society (GMS) aims to build on this reputation and
ensures that creativity remains ever-present in the town
by welcoming people of all ages to attend its concerts.
Tis society ofers the opportunity to watch a diverse
range of performances and listen to a variety of instru-
ments.
“Te Grahamstown Music Society (GMS) forms part of
a mélange of culture,” said previous member of the GMS,
Tim Huisamen, a sentiment which was confrmed by for-
mer Chairperson of the GMS Torquil Paterson. “Members
are presented with a wide diversity of instrumentation
and repertoire,” Paterson said.
Te society’s ensemble of musicians includes South
African artists as well as prominent performers touring
from abroad. “It is a great privilege to be able to hear
these world-class performers, right here in Grahamstown
for a fraction of the price,” said current Chairperson of
the GMS Aiden Smith.
Although he believes that listening to music is crucial
for aspiring musicians, he made the point that “listening
to a CD or watching a performance on TV doesn’t com-
pare to live performances”.
Paterson put the GMS’s sole purpose in simple terms:
“Our mission statement is to bring concerts of an interna-
tional standard to Grahamstown.”
Tere are seven concerts spread throughout the year
and tickets are available at the door. Membership tickets
can also be purchased, which allow free entrance to two
concerts during the course of the year. Members can also
attend the annual general meeting, which gives them a
say in the committee’s composition and policies. Another
beneft of becoming a member is receiving detailed infor-
mation on the musicians and their music.
Concerts are held in either the Beethoven Room in
Rhodes University’s Music Department or in the Saint
Andrew’s College Drill Hall. Paul Richard and Christo
Greyling, two former Masters students from Rhodes and
previous winners of the Grahamstown Music Competi-
tion, will partake in a concert on 18 June 2014.
Upcoming concerts:
23 May 2014:  Antonio Pompa-Baldi (Piano Recital) at St
Andrew’s College Drill Hall
18 June 2014:  Paul Richard (Saxophone) and Christo
Greyling (Piano), past winners of the Grahamstown
Music Competition and former Rhodes Masters Students
in the Beethoven Room.
7 August 2014:  Flute, Viola and Harp Trio (Liesl Stoltz,
Xandi van Dijk, Jacqueline Kerrod) at St Andrew’s Col-
lege Drill Hall.
28 August 2014: De Quiros (Piano Recital) at St Andrew’s
College Drill Hall.
11 September 2014:  Vienna Brass Virtuosi at St An-
drew’s College Drill Hall.
27 October 2014: Avigail and Ammiel Bushakevitz (Vio-
lin and Piano) in the Beethoven Room.
The Cliptivists (pictured above) held their frst public forum to discuss revision-
ist activism as well as environmental and socioeconomic issues.
Photo: SHEILA DAVID
Yannick Bryssinck, Luniko Futshane and Ross McCreath and aim to bring more
big names to the Grahamstown nightclub scene after fnding that there was a
lack thereof. Photo: NICK DAKIN
- Mark Wilby
>> OppiTV live election debate
>> The Africanisation of
higher education
>> Local band Shackle & Bones on
tour in Cape Town o
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Environment
12 Te Oppidan Press 29 April 2014
Mikaela Erskog and Lili Barras-Hargan
In October 2013, there was a protest against the cut-
ting down of trees for the building of the new Life
Sciences Building. Te grove of trees in question had
a mixture of exotic and indigenous species, but these
were not considered endangered and were subse-
quently removed to make way for the new building.
Part of the problem when encountering such situ-
ations is that little awareness about local endangered
plant species exists. Critically endangered plant species
are plants whose current scarcity suggests that they
are rapidly moving towards extinction. Tese plants
and their habitats should remain undisturbed in order
to facilitate their survival. Although some of these
endangered plants have no ‘functional’ purpose, their
survival maintains the integrity of biodiversity in their
local environment.
Tis means that we should be aware of the local spe-
cies that are on the critically endangered list so that we
can look out for them. Here are three endangered indig-
enous plant species that you can keep an eye out for in
Grahamstown. Common terms could not be found due
to rarity of the species:
Lobelia zwartkopensis (1)
Isoetes wormaldii (2)
Lachenalia convallarioides (3)
Planting new knowledge of the Grahamstown environment
Elisa Edmondson

Te fower beds in front of the clock
tower were ablaze with fery mari-
golds for Graduation Week, cour-
tesy of the meticulous timing of the
Grounds and Gardens team. While
aesthetically pleasing, the fower
beds’ ever-changing state raises
questions about sustainability and
unnecessary expense.
Acting Manager of the Grounds and
Gardens Philip Crous explained that
the upkeep of the iconic fower beds
revolves around three major events of
the year: Orientation in early February,
Graduation in April, and the National
Arts Festival during June and July. At
an estimated retail price of R3800 per
plantation session, the fower beds
cost around R11 000 per year if the
beds are changed approximately every
4 months. Te fowers are used as a
marketing tool for the university as
well as a warm welcome for the infux
of visitors expected during these times.
Once the fowers are removed from
the beds, they are considered disturbed
and cannot be planted elsewhere.
Tese fowers are composted and be-
come part of an organic fertiliser used
for the next round of annuals. Head
of the Botany Department Susanne
Vetter explained that composting the
fowers in this way is extremely useful.
Referring to the soil nutrition provided
by the decomposing fowers, she said
that, “no one should underestimate a
good compost.”
Apart from the circle of life, the
fowers may be removed afer experi-
encing harsh weather conditions which
cause the plants to begin rotting. Other
disturbances include thef of the fow-
ers and pets running loose through
the beds.
Due to the scheduled planting, it is
nearly impossible to replace the fowers
when issues such as these arise.“Te
whole process takes a lot of planning,
faith, and praying,” stated Crous. “Our
work changes as the weather changes.
It is extremely organic.”
Joseph Quduba, who has been a
gardener with Grounds and Gardens
for 40 years, said: “At the beginning of
every day, I walk over to my garden,”
said Quduba, referring to the fower
beds. “I like my work, and those beds
are very important. On days when
I am on holiday, I worry about my
fowers.”
Despite the tremendous amount of
pressure, Grounds and Gardens takes
great pride in their work and make it a
point to provide a rich and sustainable
environment. “Our workplace is visual.
We are privileged to see the results of
our work, and to see students enjoy the
environment,” says Crous.
The bloom and doom
of Rhodes’ gardens
Marigolds bursting into bloom in front of the main Administration building.
Photo: SHEILA DAVID
Mikaela Erskog
Environment
T
he recent celebration of Earth Day on
22 April drew attention to humankind’s
commitment to environmentalism. It
brought to the fore the question of whether
or not Rhodes University and its broader
community are doing enough in the move-
ment towards a healthier, happier Earth. Te
Environmental Learning and Research Centre
(ELRC) is one body which is seeking to address
this concern within the University.
From an academic standpoint, Rhodes is
promoting environmental education and research
in order to fulfl its environmental commitments.
Safety, Health and Environment Ofcer Nikki
Köhly stated that, “Substantial research is being
conducted by committed staf in various depart-
ments.” Postgraduate students in these depart-
ments are doing important academic and scientif-
ic environmental research. Tis work contributes
to the growing scholarship on environmentalism
and shows how local infrastructure may or may
Does the Rainbow Nation need more green?
Mikaela Erskog
When one considers the massive environmental problems
facing this country the lack of green politics in South
African government is worrying. From water scarcity to
pollution, South Africa needs a government that takes
environmental issues seriously - not only for the sake of
nature, but also for the social welfare of the South African
citizens.
Amidst the political mudslinging that has taken place
during the leadup to the 2014 National Elections, few ques-
tions have been raised about the proposed environmental
obligations of each political party, let alone the lack of envi-
ronmental considerations within popular political discourse.
Te Green Party of South Africa (GPSA) was formed in
1999. Up until this election, it has been registered on the
ballot sheet but has sadly been relatively marginal despite
being the only ofcial environmental party. With 37 likes on
its Facebook page, it seems to have gotten little public sup-
port and is slipping into relative obscurity.
However, more popular, global discourse on green politics
also seems trivial about real structural changes that would
ensure better environmental practices. Te main green
policies being put forward by parties are more about making
shallow political repairs, without eliminating the cause of
environmental damage (i.e. challenging the capitalist system
which is predicated on infnite growth through unsustain-
able use of fnite natural resources.)
Many environmentalists would argue that the green party
politics that have become increasingly popular in Europe
and the United States only scratch the surface of sustainable
environmental practices.
However, South African society arguably has more press-
ing problems of unemployment, gender inequality and
poverty to deal with. So many argue that the fact that South
African political parties scratch the surface of environmen-
talism at all is quite impressive.
Parties like the United Christian Democratic Party
(UCDP) make some environmental promises: of executing
international agreements and protocols on the environment
and prioritising more efcient water management. But the
UCDP’s proposed environmental commitments do not
seem to delve into the heart of environmentalism as, for ex-
ample, they make no mention of how to sustainably manage
resources like water.
Surprisingly, the Economic Freedom Front (EFF) presents
one of the more detailed environmental proposals, which
expresses the need to rely more heavily on green energy
and water sustainability. But at the same time, the EFF’s dis-
course on nationalisation of the mining industry does not
talk about how this industry can exist in accordance with
environmentally-friendly practices. Tere is no challenge to
the assumption that capital accumulation trumps environ-
mental concerns.
Te Democratic Alliance (DA) has environmental policies
that are aligned with international conservationist agendas.
Tey propose the need to motivate households and busi-
nesses to reduce their environmental impact, to strengthen
regulations to protect natural resources, and to make fund-
ing available for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Yet, this is not a main talking-point in media forums or
public discussion and we see little questioning of the societal
values that arguably underlie detrimental environmental
practices.
Political debaters do us all a disservice if no attempt is
made to hold parties more accountable to their environmen-
tal proposals. One must not forget that social welfare rides
on the state of the environment. Te way in which political
parties approach environmental issues speaks to just how
much consideration they have made for their constituencies.
Backing up: storage to prevent student stress
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>> The Africanisation of
higher education
Features
29 April 2014 Te Oppidan Press 13
Mikaela Erskog
Environment
T
he recent celebration of Earth Day on
22 April drew attention to humankind’s
commitment to environmentalism. It
brought to the fore the question of whether
or not Rhodes University and its broader
community are doing enough in the move-
ment towards a healthier, happier Earth. Te
Environmental Learning and Research Centre
(ELRC) is one body which is seeking to address
this concern within the University.
From an academic standpoint, Rhodes is
promoting environmental education and research
in order to fulfl its environmental commitments.
Safety, Health and Environment Ofcer Nikki
Köhly stated that, “Substantial research is being
conducted by committed staf in various depart-
ments.” Postgraduate students in these depart-
ments are doing important academic and scientif-
ic environmental research. Tis work contributes
to the growing scholarship on environmentalism
and shows how local infrastructure may or may
not be contributing towards the betterment of the
natural environment.
In 2013, then Masters in Business Administra-
tion student Nondumiso Mfenyana wrote a thesis
that explored sustainable paper usage at Rhodes.
Tis made various recommendations towards
reducing wasteful paper use. Mfenyana explained
in the thesis that other academic work related to
environmental sustainability exists with fnd-
ings that promote the implementation of more
efcient practices.
Yet if this kind of academic work does not
translate into societal improvements, it loses its
transformative power. Environmental research
is rendered inefectual if no practical work is
done as a result of the fndings and there is doubt
that academia equals action for Rhodes envi-
ronmentalism. “From an operational point of
view, I believe much could be done to strengthen
RU’s environmental commitments,” commented
Köhly.
For the last three years, the ELRC has worked
towards providing a space for integrating
academic work into the broader community. In
order to promote the transformative potential
of environmental education, the ELRC facili-
tates ongoing reciprocal collaborations between
academic experts, students and members of the
Makana community on the matter of environ-
mental sustainability.
Lecturer and associate at the ELRC Rob
O’Donoghue said that the centre aims to facilitate
deeper critical thinking about local and global
environmental issues. It also aims to encour-
age environmentally-aligned dialogues between
University afliates and members of the local
communities, who do not ofen get the chance to
interact on equal, mutually benefcial grounds.
O’Donoghue further stated that the kind of
trans-disciplinary work done at the ‘sustainability
commons’ (the ELRC) is powerful, as a diversity
of opinions ofen generates diverse solutions.
Former RU Green Chairperson and Rho-
des alumnus Ruth Kruger explained that “the
[environmental] cause attracts such varied
people, from biologists to lawyers to journalists to
engineers. It’s the reason that the ELRC at Rhodes
functions as a great meeting place for green-
thinking individuals from all disciplines”.
“Te centre and its members have been a hub
of ideas for all kinds of green thoughts that we’ve
had through the years and have helped us turn
these thoughts into action,” she added.
By working with community members and
academic experts, O’Donoghue explained that
the ELRC is flling the gap between academic
work and practical environmentalism. “We
look at the key arenas [of society] for positive
co-engagement around environmental concerns,
where we can learn with and learn from one
another,” he said.
A common space for a common green cause
Bradley Prior
Scitech
Many students fnd backing up their
information to be a nuisance, but few
can argue against it being a crucial
activity for anyone who wants to
keep precious work safe. Any student
whose hard disk has ever stopped
functioning can attest to the fact that
backing up their work saves them a
lot of time, money and sanity.
Te most obvious way to back up is
by saving all of your work to physical
external storage devices. which include
fash drives, CDs and external hard
drives.
Of the three, external hard drives
are generally considered to be the
best choice. Tis is due to their ability
to hold large quantities of data, and
the fact that they are less likely to be
damaged than fash drives and CDs.
Some reliable brands to look out for
when buying an external hard drive are
Western Digital (WD), Toshiba and
Seagate.
Another way to back up work is
through cloud services. Cloud services
hold all the data that you want to back
up online. Tis obviously brings the
complication of needing an internet
connection to access the backed up
data, but it also provides confrmation
of your data’s safety – you cannot spill
juice on a cloud!
OneDrive (formerly known as
SkyDrive) is a frm favourite as far as
cloud services go. Tis is due to all
Windows devices (phones, tablets and
PCs) being sold with OneDrive pre-
installed.
Microsof Ofce 2013 ofers a dis-
tinct advantage to OneDrive users as
they can automatically save their work
online via the service.
Alternatives to OneDrive include
Google Drive, which links natively
with Google Chrome browsers and
Android devices, and allows editing
through Google Docs. Tis service also
ofers more options for sharing work
or attaching work to emails, as it links
very well with Gmail.
Finally, for a large amount of storage
capacity, Dropbox is always a good
alternative. Available online or on the
app stores for most smartphone de-
vices, the program allows users a base
storage capacity of up to 25 gigabytes,
with the option for more through
sharing perks or premium packages.
Although it ofers the least in terms of
features, its functionality is consistent
and efective.
Te couple of minutes you spend
setting up a backup source, or the sec-
onds spent uploading data to a cloud
service, will seem worthwhile if you
ever fnd that your hard drive has been
corrupted. Do not risk not backing up
your work–it only leads to disaster.
Backing up: storage to prevent student stress
“ Earth Day provides an opportunity to refect on the ELRC’s eforts to integrate academic work on environmental sustainability into a broader community framework. Photo: GABRIELLA FREGONA
From an operational point
of view, I believe much
could be done to strengthen
RU’s environmental
commitments
- Safety, Health and Environment
Ofcer Nikki Köhly
Features
14 Te Oppidan Press 29 April 2014
Bradley Prior
Scitech
G
aming is one of the fastest growing and most
prominent industries of the 21st century. Video
games have morphed from simplistic, pixelated
creations such as Pacman and the earlier Pokémon games
into the lifelike virtual worlds of Call of Duty and Bat-
tlefeld. However, this improvement has come at a cost to
gamers – literally.
Dedicated gamers can fnd themselves paying tens of
thousands of rands just to acquire a gaming set-up suitable
for running modern games at optimal settings. And then
they still have to fork out up to R800 per game. However,
there are ways to circumnavigate these costs or, at the very
least, reduce them.
Steam sales are a great way to acquire games at a fraction
of the retail price - albeit in digital format as opposed to a
boxed copy. Steam is a massive virtual marketplace and the
largest centralised PC gaming platform to date.
Due to its sheer size and success, Steam can aford to hold
incredibly cheap and regular “Steam sales”, where game
prices can be reduced by up to 90%.
Alternatively, the Humble Bundle is an afordable way to
get high quality games. It works on a pay-what-you-want
system for a specifc set (or ‘bundle’) of games, with the
lowest amount payable being around one US dollar (R10,61
at time of print).
Paying more than the average amount of about $5,00 will
add extra games into the bundle - all of which are sent as
download codes which are redeemable through Steam.
Free-to-Play (F2P) gaming is also a booming market, of-
fering games that are downloadable and playable for free.
Tere are in-game purchases to enhance the player’s
experience – which is how the developers make money –
but they are not a requirement to play the game and do not
unbalance the gameplay.
Some of the more popular F2P games include League
of Legends and Dota 2 – which are also well-publicised
eSports. Prize pools for international tournaments in these
games have exceeded a million dollars each, and over 32
million unique viewers streamed the League of Legends
2013 World Championship on Twitch.tv.
Tese fgures make it clear that these games are well made
and well worth a gamer’s time, despite the fact that they are
free to play.
It is easier than many would expect to game on a budget,
although it requires a lot of downloading. Many gamers
have simply not explored cheaper options and are missing
out as a result.
Gaming doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg – unless
you’re playing a frst person shooter.
Gaming on a budget
From the horse’s mouth
The segment where the Opinion Editor sits down with a horse’s
mouth and gets a few answers. This week’s horse: The video-
gaming community This week’s mouth: William Walters
Ben Rule
Opinion
William Walters is the former Vice-
Chair of Gamesoc, a society with which
he has been involved for over three
years.
Opinion Editor: From the outside,
the pastime or hobby of video gam-
ing could be seen as quite an anti-
social behaviour – a sort of removal
from people. Is this at all the case?
Mostly not. From social gaming to
competitive gaming there is a strong
sense that you are part of a community.
Tere are a lot of single player games,
but multiplayer games are progres-
sively becoming competitive. Tere are
diferent types of multiplayer games:
from casual LANs (where people meet
up in person and play the same game
through a local network), to competi-
tive gaming leagues on the internet
where people can play with people
from everywhere for money, prizes
and prestige. Te community ranges
from casual to competitive players and
the term ‘gamer’ implies the belonging
to this community.
I’ve seen people become passion-
ate about playing video games to a
point of obsession, especially when a
new game comes out. Do you think
that video gaming can become an
addiction? Is this recognised within
the community, that there is a line
beyond which it is a problem?
It depends on the person; there
are people who are naturally prone
to addictions and tend to develop an
addiction to a certain game. World of
Warcraf has the reputation of having
a large number of ‘addicts’, but ofen it
depends on the personal appeal that
certain games have to people. It is
defnitely possible to develop an addic-
tion and I would say that it is recog-
nised within the community. Tere are
cases where people have died while
playing games for extended periods
of time, but those are the exception
to the norms that exist within our
community. Te obsession that some
people have with video games is not
that diferent from that which some
people have with the sports teams they
support.
Video games, in a lot of people’s
minds, are something which children
or teenagers play. Tey are associated
with immaturity. Presently though,
society seems to be heading towards
a place where adults are constantly
playing video games. Should this be
perceived as a problem?
I would say that it is not so much a
problem really. Sure, you have adults
(both men and women) becoming
professional gamers who make a living
of the games they play and the work
they do around the industry. I think
the perception that games are linked
to immaturity is more based on an
outdated perception that most games
are like Pacman or Tetris, or at the very
least the kinds of casual games that
people play on Facebook. Increasingly,
games are being designed for mature
audiences; people who can appreciate
the subtle nuances and social com-
mentaries that many games ofer. In
addition to that, there are a number
of games that emerge as artwork, with
highly developed, non-clichéd plot-
twists and developments.
Ofen people spend a preposterous
number of hours at a time playing
games. It’s clear to me that there is
no physical beneft to be gained from
this, and it seems as though there’s
not much of an intellectual beneft
either. So where is the beneft? Or are
they all just wasting time?
I would say that there are many
unacknowledged benefts to gaming
which need to be recognised. Te frst
is the intellectual beneft: many studies
have shown that people who have been
gaming have shown increased spatial
perception and 3D problem solving,
and that they have highly attuned
refexes and increased capacity to
process many levels of data. Most of
these skills are developed according
to the gamer’s preference to the kinds
of games they play. With regard to
physical benefts, there has been a rise
in certain gaming consoles which have
accounted for this problem. Systems
like Kinect and the Wii’s Wii-ft,
as well as various dance games, are
incorporating physical activity into
their gameplay. Te physical aspect is a
problem which is being addressed.
The Rhodes videogaming community is growing steadily as computer
technology develops to encompass more genres. Photo: KELLAN BOTHA
There are a
number of games
that emerge as
artwork

Big businesses in Little Grahamstown
Christopher Fisher
Business
Active participation in community
outreach programmes and eco-
friendly initiatives is fast becoming
an important part of running a
successful business. Businesses in
Grahamstown which acknowledge
their corporate social responsibility
not only beneft the community, but
also ofen bring in more customers.
Tis is because there is ofen the
expectation that businesses will
engage with their corporate social
responsibility. “Businesses have to
take care of society in some way or
another,” agreed penultimate year
LLB student Koketso Molope.
One business which takes its cor-
porate social responsibility seriously
is Pick n Pay - which is one of Africa’s
largest retailers. With approximately
250 employees, the Grahamstown
Pick n Pay is one of the town’s largest
businesses in the town.
Manager of the Grahamstown
Pick n Pay Werner Pienaar believes
that “the immediate beneft created
by Pick n Pay for the Grahamstown
community is job creation, with over
90% of the employees coming from
the town itself ”.
Rhodes students also beneft
from the presence of businesses like
Pick n Pay. “Students gain potential
employment opportunities through
the businesses operating within the
town. Tis in itself is a major positive
of having these businesses here,” said
former SRC Community Engage-
ment Councilor Tabo Seshoka.
Pienaar agreed with this sentiment,
stating that “students in the past have
made some of the best employees”.
He went on to say that many students
have a wonderful ability to interact
with customers.
But mutually benefcial employ-
ment is not the only thing that Pick n
Pay has to ofer in terms of commu-
nity engagement.
Trough a variety of continuous
donations and initiatives run and
made by Pick n Pay throughout
the year, the food giant supports a
large number of local organisations,
including Grahamstown Hospice.
Pick n Pay also contributes to a
variety of Rhodes initiatives and they
are the ofcial sponsor of the Give 5
campaign, a student-run fund-raising
programme.
While Seshoka acknowledged
that companies such as Pick n Pay
and Steers donate money and sup-
port diferent initiatives within the
university, he also pointed out that “it
happens in the background”.
Tis is something that Pienaar
agreed with as he explained how “we
don’t want to be the heroes”.
So while the majority of big busi-
nesses in the town are positively
complying with the requirements of
corporate social responsibility, the
exact extent of their involvement is
sometimes hard to establish.
The cost of gaming equipment has risen in recent years to the point where gamers have had to search for alternatives.
Photo: KELLAN BOTHA
Sport
29 April 2014 Te Oppidan Press 15
lowest amount payable being around one US dollar (R10,61
at time of print).
Paying more than the average amount of about $5,00 will
add extra games into the bundle - all of which are sent as
download codes which are redeemable through Steam.
Free-to-Play (F2P) gaming is also a booming market, of-
fering games that are downloadable and playable for free.
Tere are in-game purchases to enhance the player’s
experience – which is how the developers make money –
but they are not a requirement to play the game and do not
unbalance the gameplay.
Some of the more popular F2P games include League
of Legends and Dota 2 – which are also well-publicised
eSports. Prize pools for international tournaments in these
games have exceeded a million dollars each, and over 32
million unique viewers streamed the League of Legends
2013 World Championship on Twitch.tv.
Tese fgures make it clear that these games are well made
and well worth a gamer’s time, despite the fact that they are
free to play.
It is easier than many would expect to game on a budget,
although it requires a lot of downloading. Many gamers
have simply not explored cheaper options and are missing
out as a result.
Gaming doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg – unless
you’re playing a frst person shooter.
Gabi Bellairs-Lombard
Swimming is not a particularly big sport at Rhodes University, and even
less so in Malawi – which is where Zahra Pinto hails from. Despite this,
the young swimmer and second-year BComm student beat the odds to
compete in the 2008 Beijing Olympics at the tender age of 14.
“Coming to South Africa for university was always the second-best alter-
native to home,” Pinto said. Leaving home was not easy, but she sacrifced
being with her family for a decent tertiary education. “Rhodes was always an
option for me; I’ve always wanted to come here.”
Pinto started swimming at the age of four. She admits outright that she did
not think swimming was competitive until she was scouted by a local swim-
ming club during her second year of high school. She also mentioned that
her mother was a prominent factor in maintaining her motivation, and was
a consistent source of support. “My mom introduced me to swimming in the
frst place, and was always there when I needed that extra push.”
Despite being very young at the time, Pinto “swam in the full-on, Michael
Phelps-kind of Olympics”. Even though her Olympic appearance was a few
years ago now, Pinto still sticks to the same training and dieting regimes.
“I try very hard to adapt my dieting regime from preparing for the Olym-
pics to my life as a swimmer now,” she explained. “Initially, I have to cut out
carbs to prevent weight-gain, but afer a few weeks I re-introduce it into my
diet for muscle growth and repair.”
Having a sweet tooth is a struggle for Pinto due to the rigours of a high-
protein diet that emphasises nutritional balance. “Breakfast and supper are
your most important meals. Tese have to be big, and then snacks through-
out the day are just to keep you going.”
Pinto emphasised the importance of rest in any professional swimmer’s
routine. “As a serious swimmer, your daily life is the pool, the gym, then the
pool again. In between that, rest is important to regain the energy that you
lose.” She went on to explain what her own body went through when she
prepared herself to swim the 50m freestyle at the Olympics, which was only
her second international event.
Pinto currently trains at the DSG indoor swimming pool. She adapts
training programmes to suit the time that she has to spare and waits for
confrmation to represent Malawi again at the next major sporting event in
the near future.
A well-shaped column:
Zahra Pinto’s journey with
professional swimming
Olympic swimmer Zahra Pinto has managed to beat the odds and is testa-
ment that any goal can be achieved. Photo: SUPPLIED
A guide to healthy living
Joshua Kosterman
O
nce a term, all Rhodes
University (RU) Health Suite
members are entitled to a
free body assessment. Te assess-
ments are conducted by personal
trainers and focus on various parts of
the body. Tey provide both a general
overview of your health and ftness,
along with an in-depth analysis that
can pinpoint specifc areas where
improvements can be made.
Te tests range from simple height
and weight measurements to other
more complicated tests that gather
quantitative data and determine body
fat percentage and body mass index
(BMI). Te results allow the personal
trainer to analyse the subject’s ftness
levels and potentially to detect certain
health problems. Tis helps the subject
to set realistic ftness goals which
should serve as motivation to improve
personal health.
Personal Training Manager at the
RU Health Suite Dusty Zeisberger
spoke about the benefts of doing a
body assessment. “Data that we are
able to gather from these tests can tell
us a lot about how healthy a person is,
their risk of heart disease or just give
someone a starting measurement of
body characteristics which they may
be able to improve on.”
Alexander van den Bos, who plays
for Founders’ rugby side, went for his
frst body assessment last year. “I did
it because I was curious – it’s nice to
know where you stand,” he said. “You
can target specifc body parts from
there and know where you’re going. I
knew what needed to be improved and
what didn’t.”
Trough undergoing assessments
regularly, gym-goers can adapt their
goals according to their progress in
assessments. Body assessments are
extremely helpful in designing body-
specifc training programmes, due to
the fact that they are thorough and
account for so many aspects of the
body. Taking a body assessment once
per term will allow you to adapt your
training regime if it is not achieving
the desired results. Without the as-
sessment, it may be difcult to identify
shortcomings in your routines.
So whether you are an athlete who
wants to develop a training regime that
suits a particular sport or just someone
who wants to lead a healthier lifestyle,
a body assessment is a good place to
start.
All you need to do to qualify for this
worthwhile service is become a mem-
ber of the RU Health Suite for the
weights section – memberships range
from R500 to R580 per year.
The Health Suite ofers free body assessments to all members on a termly basis. Photo: BRONWYN PRETORIUS
Rhodes Cricket refects on a successful season
Muhammad Hussain
As the Rhodes cricket season came to a close at the end of
last term, there was a distinct sense of satisfaction at the
improvements made by the teams. Despite a shaky start,
each team managed to shine by the end of their season.
Chairman of the Rhodes Cricket Club Shane Murphy
described the season as one of the better ones for cricket at
Rhodes, with great commitment shown by the players.
For the frst XI, the new cricketing year started in Decem-
ber with the annual Universities Sports South Africa (USSA)
tournament in Potchefstroom. Although the team fnished
sixth out of eight with no stand-out performances, they did
manage to retain their place in the A-section of the draw for
next season.
With the start of term one the frst team were back in
their whites and representing the University in the PE
Premier Cricket League. Brendon Smith stood out as the
leading wicket-taker, with eleven scalps to his name, and the
team racked up three victories on the trot before sliding to
end the season with four wins and four losses.
Speaking about the losses, Captain of the First XI Rein-
hardt Arp said, “Two were against better teams, while the
other two were narrow games which we should have won.”
However, unlike the previous season, the team was able
to avoid being relegated to the play-ofs and managed to
ensure a spot in the league.
Te Rhodes teams really shone at Pineapple Week (a local
tournament). Te Rhodes Second XI (Shrews) fnished as
runners-up in the B-section, while the Rhodents won the
plate fnal.
Fletcher Grafon notched up the most sixes and highest
aggregate, top-scoring with 169, while the highest wicket-
taker Marc Stone took 14 wickets.
According to Arp, the main quality that marked this sea-
son was the camaraderie which the teams developed. He be-
lieves that this will certainly help in continuing to improve
the club. Murphy also highlighted the importance of honing
the talent in the frst years, especially since the sign-up for
cricket in 2014 is the highest it has been in his four years.
With the spirit of the senior players and the talent of the
new ones, Rhodes’s cricketing future seems to be heading
along the path to continued improvement.
Gaming on a budget

The main quality that marked
this season was the sense
of camaraderie which the
teams developed
- Reinhardt Arp
Sports
20 years of democracy
Immersive gaming
gaining popularity
How to not lose your data
(and your mind)
Page 4 Page 10 Page 13
RU Rowing Club successful at SA Champs
Douglas Smith
Te RU Rowing Club (RURC) en-
joyed a highly successful SA Rowing
Championships, which took place
on 12 and 13 April at the Roodeplaat
Dam in Pretoria. Te event was the
frst serious challenge of the season
as the rowers prepare for Boat Race
in September.
Earlier in the year, the RURC was
set to receive a newly-built high
performance training centre for row-
ing, sponsored by a grant from the
National Lottery. However, the plans
have been delayed until the end of the
year and as a result the club has been
forced to get by on sub-par resources
and equipment.
“We have had to coach ourselves and
stay motivated, but we still managed
to get good results at SA Champs,”
explained Captain of the RURC First
XIII Scott Walraven. Te club won
gold medals in the men’s A-coxed-4,
B-sculls, B-pair and C-coxed-4 races.
Tey also placed second in the men’s
A-sculls and women’s B-coxless-4
races.
Walraven credits the club’s success
to experience. “Age is a huge factor in
rowing,” he said. “Te last time we won
Boat Race the average age in the team
was 25 or 26.” Tis year the First XIII
is comprised of seven rowers from last
year’s team and just one new recruit.
Walraven is optimistic that this could
give Rhodes the edge at Boat Race.
As the premier university rowing
event, Boat Race is the highlight of
the rowing calendar and this year the
RURC believes that they can give the
country’s best rowers a run for their
money. “We have really positive vibes
at the moment, and if we keep going
there is no reason why we can’t make
an A-fnal and race against UCT or
TUKS,” said Walraven.
However, RURC president Jedrick
Teron made special mention of the
fact that the club is still willing to ac-
cept rowers who have not yet signed
up and would like to take part in Boat
Race.
“Every year I hear people talking
about how excited they are for Boat
Race season – it’s just a great time,”
Teron encouraged.
Teron himself is enjoying an
amazing rowing season. Along with
six other Rhodes rowers, he has been
shortlisted for the South African
national rowing squad, which will
compete at the World University
Championships (WUC) in France, in
August this year.
Even more encouraging for Rhodes
rowing is the fact that three of the
seven RURC members shortlisted for
the WUC squad are female rowers.
“Te ladies in the team are younger
than the guys, but they have lots of po-
tential,” said Josie King, Vice-Captain
of the RURC women’s team.
Tis just shows how far the RURC
has come over the past few seasons.
Hard work and dedication has been
the name of the game for some time
and hopefully this is the year that Rho-
des reaps the rewards at Boat Race.
Keegan Latham
O
n Friday 25 April Rhodes University
hosted Fort Hare reserves side on an
icy Grahamstown night. Fort Hare’s
scored two late tries to down a resilient Rhodes
side 15 - 14.
Te game began with Fort Hare immediately
applying the pressure. However, Rhodes showed
courage and admirable heart in defence despite
Fort Hare having the upper-hand in contact
situations. Rhodes scored frst through some
dynamic running which opened up the Fort Hare
defence. Fullback Jonty Rawlins made the conver-
sion to put Rhodes 7 points up.
Fort Hare began to fght back immediately and
caused problems for the Rhodes defence, using
their powerful runners to good efect. Afer a
period of sustained efort, including four kickable
penalties, Fort Hare fnally charged across the
line. Number 8 Tyatyado scored the try, and with
the conversion unsuccessful the score went up to
7 – 5 in favour of Rhodes.
Te Rhodes team showed fare from the restart
and through determined play and inspired
backline work they collected their second try of
the night. Rawlins made no mistake from the
kicking-tee to give his side a well-deserved 14-5
lead going into the break.
Te second half paled in comparison to the
frst, with the game freezing up and both sides
making a number of errors. Te night would only
get colder for Rhodes as they saw two of their
players sent of towards the end of the second
half.
Tis was just too much for the brave Rhodes
side, who conceded two late tries to Fort Hare’s
big number 7 and captain Billy Dutton.
Te game was played in great spirit and noth-
ing can be taken away from the home team’s
efort. Te Fort Hare coach was full of admiration
for the opposition.
“My team played well today but you cannot
take anything away from Rhodes. We snatched it
from them. Tey have a good coach and they’re
doing something right. I have no doubt they can
achieve Varsity Cup given the right support,” he
said.
Physical Fort Hare grind out result against Rhodes
Rhodes University’s frst team narrowly lost to Fort Hare on Friday 25 April. Photo: NICK DAKIN

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