The Oppidan Press

Edition 7, 6 August 2014


The death of
Fracking gets the
green light
Gaza under
4 6 7
of to
News Features
2 Te Oppidan Press 6 August 2014
Rhodes Confessions
page raises funds
Gemma Middleton and
Zondelela Njaba
he popular Facebook page,
Rhodes Confessions, which
has stirred up heated
discussions among students in the
past, recently helped raise money
for a struggling Grahamstown resi-
dent.Tis has helped to prove that
the page could be used for more
than just gossip and controvesy.
Happyboy Solani, a local Graham-
stown resident who currently works
at Checkers, approached a member
of the admin for the Facebook page
afer receiving the quote for his sis-
ter’s upcoming funeral. “It touched
me when I saw how little the money
was, and how hard it was for him
to get it,” commented an admin for
the page, who would like to remain
anonymous. His sister, who had
been sick for some time, had one
child who is now the only family
Solani has lef.
Cash donations were handled by
library staf afer Mutsa Prudence
Mambo, a member of the staf,
recieved a message about the project
from the Rhodes Confessions
admin. “I just felt that as a human
being, no one should be reduced
to having no options,” commented
Mambo. Students and staf alike
donated money towards Solani’s
cause, enacting the Mandela Day
mantra of helping others. A total of
R1527.90 was collected and donated
on 28 July. “Tis has brought
out the best in students and staf
from Rhodes,” said Mambo. “For
everyone to help someone they do
not know, it was humbling, and I am
in awe of the privilege of being from
this institution.”
Although the Facebook page has
been a source of controversy in the
past, these donations have shed a
diferent light on the website. “Rho-
des Confessions is known as a ‘silly’
page that has caused controversy
and created a lot of news around the
campus,” said the admin. However,
this popular opinion may be slightly
inaccurate, as the page has previ-
ously helped raise money for various
worthy causes. Tis includes drives
to collect clothing for impoverished
children as well as helping strug-
gling students with transport funds.
Tis, however, does not mean
that the Facebook page will become
a charity platform, only that the
admin will continue to help those in
need. “We know the power we have
and we will continue to take advan-
tage of it,” stated the admin.
Post-heist safety concerns
Ayanda Gigaba
Te shooting of Rhodes University
student Amanda Tweyi and the safety
issues which surfaced immediately
afer have heightened safety concerns
on campus. While High Street boasts
a number of shops and restaurants
which are frequented by students, the
recent armed robberies of the Gra-
hamstown Post Ofce and Spur on
High Street have made students even
more wary of their safety of campus.
A focus group held by Te Oppi-
dan Press revealed the sentiments of
Rhodes students on the reality of the
crimes which occur on High Street.
Ayanda Gigaba: How safe do you
feel in Grahamstown?
Tshepo Mantje: Walking down High
Street, I don’t feel so safe.
Georgina Makhubele: I think we all
have a false sense of security in resi-
dence and on campus, but I do feel safe
on campus nevertheless and more so
during the day. At night, not so much,
but I haven’t had any security problems
thus far.
Ayanda Gigaba: Would you feel safe
enough to walk on High Street alone?
Renita Govender: Defnitely not. I
always go into town with a group of
friends whenever I need to go and buy
stuf. Night or day, I feel more com-
fortable when I’m with people
of campus.
Ayanda Gigaba: What do the armed
robberies at the Post Ofce and Spur
mean to you as a student?
Megan Govender: It’s freaky. I
don’t really use the Post Ofce but I
go to Spur every now and again. Te
robbery there makes me hesitant to go
back. I would hate to be caught up in
something like an armed robbery.
Desiree Mtoba: I don’t know if this
relates to the robbery, but I was
walking past Spur and a street child
asked me for money. I refused and
usually beggars lose interest afer
that but this child was persistent
and followed me all the way down
the street.
Ayanda Gigaba: What personal
safety measures have you taken?
Renita Govender: Besides walking
in a group and having safety in
numbers, I don’t know what else I
could do. I don’t own a Taser or
pepper spray.
Grahamstown resident Happyboy Solani poses for a photo to thank do-
nors who contributed to his sister’s funeral. Photo: SOURCED / RHODES

It touched
me when
I saw how
little the
money was,
and how
hard it was
for him to
get it.
SRC Transport plans soon to be fnalised
Mitchell Shaun Parker
Te Rhodes University Student Representative Council
(SRC) is currently looking at a tender with Blunden to
implement a new transport system for students. Student
transport will be noticeably lacking from 2015 due to
legislation prohibiting the University from providing
the service itself without the appropriate insurance
and licensing.
Te proposed plan, which will cost just over R2.6 million
a year, aims to implement a system of fve buses that will
work around campus and throughout Grahamstown.
Tere will be added services, such as a cell phone
application that allows students to fnd their nearest
bus, included in the cost. Additionally, the service will
run throughout the academic year, thus ensuring that
postgraduates who do not leave for the vacation are not lef
without transport either.
Financing for this plan will come directly from students.
Roughly R300 extra a year will be included in the annual
fees structure in the same way that ResNet costs have been
included in student fees. Te SRC is in the process of getting
student buy-in for the project, but the clock is ticking as the
budgeting committee that will decide fees for next year sits
in October – afer which it is too late for any new 2015 plans
to be implemented.
Tis plan had been tabled at Student Forum earlier in the
year and received mixed reviews. In her farewell to students
at the same Student Forum, former Dean of Students Dr
Vivian de Klerk said that it had been her mission to fnalise
plans for student transport while she was at Rhodes.
While she said she did not have many regrets about her
time at Rhodes, she did regret not being able to push for
plans for student transport to be set in stone.
Protocol not followed
in DoS changeover
After a spate of robberies in High Street this year, many students question
their saftey. Photo: KELLAN BOTHA
Legislation which prohibits Rhodes from providing a transport service has led to the SRC looking into the viability of a
tender with Blunden Shuttle tours. Photo: KELLAN BOTHA
- Admin for
Rhodes Confessions
News Features
6 August 2014 Te Oppidan Press 3
Emily Corke
ince the resignation of former Dean of Students
(DoS) Dr Vivian de Klerk, Rhodes University has
seen a number of changes in the leadership of the in-
stitution. For one, the Director of Student Afairs division
has replaced the DoS division as of 1 July 2014, led by
Acting Director of Student Afairs Dr Colleen Vassiliou.
However, Te Oppidan Press has learned that the review of
the DoS division did not follow due and fair processes.
Registrar at Rhodes University Dr Stephen Fourie was
tasked with reviewing the DoS division, which happens at
the end of every change of leadership. Fourie was assisted by
Natalie Ripley, head of data management at Rhodes.
“We reviewed it and made various recommendations,
most have which have been adopted,” said Fourie. “Te
major change is that there will be a Director of Student
Afairs and it will not be an academic position but a support
staf position.”
Te review process requires a submission from the
division that is being reviewed. Te committee, including
members from the division being reviewed, put together a
report with recommendations for the future of the division.
According to de Klerk, this did not happen with the review
of the DoS position.
“Myself and my division were completely bypassed,” said
de Klerk. “A full committee should have been drawn togeth-
er of the people who understand how the division works.”
When de Klerk took the position of DoS eight years ago,
it was agreed then that the position would cease to exist
when de Klerk retired. De Klerk expressed her concern
about this decision over the years.
“Te DoS who is appointed is a symbolic title that gives
the incumbent parity with other deans of faculties who are
all elected,” said de Klerk.
According to de Klerk, a Director is on a lower level than
a Dean. De Klerk feared that this would incur a disjunction
between the students and the University.
“It will turn into a case of us and them and their [academ-
ics and senior management’s] understanding, and the voice
to explain student experiences and concerns will be a little
bit more distant in my humble opinion,” said de Klerk.
As a retiring member of the Rhodes staf, de Klerk was
meant to receive an exit interview as part of research con-
ducted about the institutional culture at Rhodes. De Klerk
did not receive such an interview.
Tis is, according to de Klerk, a systemic issue in the
administration of Human Resources (HR) at Rhodes. She
felt that with a high turnover of staf and no real sense of the
institutional culture at Rhodes, HR is not operating as
it should.
Despite de Klerk’s concern that there will be big changes
within the DoS division, Fourie said this will not be the case.
“Te change means little in terms of interaction with stu-
dents. It just means that the incumbent is freed from various
academic responsibilities such as involvement in Senate
Executive and the Deans’ Forum,” said Fourie.
When asked about the allegations of due protocol not
being followed, Fourie said, “I have no comment other than
to say that in being asked to conduct the review I was given
terms of reference for the review and I complied with them.”
Fourie added that the recommendations in his review had
been approved by both Senate and Council.
While the position has changed, Vassiliou said that the
purpose of the division is to create a living and learning
student support system.
She added that the ofce of Student Afairs would be
an environment which is inclusive and is conducive to a
healthy lifestyle, personal growth, development and aca-
demic success for students.
“Students can be assured that this ofce will remain the
voice of the students,” said Vassiliou.
Protocol not followed
in DoS changeover
Myself and my
division were completely
bypassed. A full
committee should have
been drawn together of
the people who
understand how the
division works.

- Dr Vivian de Klerk,
former Dean of Students
Protocol was not followed when the Rhodes administration replaced the DoS position with ‘Director of Student Afairs’
in June. Photo: ASHLIEGH MEY
Celebrating the strength of
Rhodes women this August
Mila Kakaza
“You strike a woman, you strike a rock.” Tis saying has come to be
associated with the march by South African women to the Union
Building in Pretoria in 1956. It now represents the strength and courage
of women worthy of being celebrated on 9 August every year. As South
Africa celebrates Women’s Month this August, Te Oppidan Press spoke
to some of the women who are making an impact in their industries.
Professor Tebello Nyokong
Distinguished Professor Tebello Nyokong arrived at Rhodes Uni-
versity in 1992. “I wasn’t expected to succeed, either as a woman or
a black person,” said Nyokong. But it was just this challenge
of being a black woman in an oppressive society which
allowed her to make a success of her life. “I wanted
to represent all women and black people to show
that colour or gender does not matter,” she said.
Nyokong is well known for her L’Oreal Unesco
award for Women in Science. Nyokong added that
it helped carry her career further into Europe.
Nyokong regards Women’s Month as being vital,
adding that “recognition of women is important as they
can ofen be overlooked”.
Professor Lynette Steenveld
Professor Lynette Steenveld was the only black person and woman at the
School of Journalism and Media Studies in the beginning of her career in the
1980s. “It was not an easy position to occupy,” she said.
At the beginning of her career at this institution, she
taught flm studies which focused on the relationship
between politics and the media. “I taught courses
in African flm, gay and lesbian cinema and third
world cinema which helped to open up students to
a wider political environment,” she said.
She is a founding member of the Women’s
Academic Solidarity Association (WASA).
Lieketso Mohoto
A recent addition to the Rhodes University teaching staf, Lieketso Mohoto
is currently in her second year of being a junior drama lecturer.
Mohoto stated that her success as a performer, academic and live voice
artist has been driven by the enjoyment of her work and
colleagues. As the 2014 co-chair of WASA and with the
upcoming WASA event on 9 August 2014, Mohoto
said that Women’s Month has developed a strong
signifcance in her life. “My idea of womanhood
is becoming broader,” Mohoto said, adding that a
month dedicated to women is a necessity for the
society we live in.
Dr Vashna Jagarnath
Dr Jagarnath, who is a lecturer in the Department of History, advocates the
need for awareness of a Women’s Day which is free from
any form of prejudice. “If Women’s Day gets people to
think about the role of women in society, then that is
a good thing,” she explained.
For Jagarnath, entering a classroom as a black
woman is one of the problems she encounters fre-
quently. “I have to really convince the students that I
know what I am talking about,” she said.
Jagarnath is also a public opinion writer for online
magazine Te Con as well as Te Daily Maverick in order to
take academia beyond the classroom with her writing so that it is accessible
and interesting.
Professor Chrissie Boughey
Professor Chrissie Boughey arrived in South Africa in
1988. “I was a newcomer but I had dreams for the
future of the country,” she said.
In 1999, Boughey was appointed as the Direc-
tor of the Academic Development Centre which
at the time looked only to support students. Along
with colleagues, Boughey believed that the institu-
tion had to undergo some changes in order to fulfll its
mandate. “We looked at curriculum change and change in
teaching by developing the staf members’ capacity as teachers,” she said.
Boughey added that she personally experienced the difculties of being a
working woman.
“I wrote my PhD at the kitchen table because I had children,” she said.
To Boughey, Women’s Month is a time for celebration and acknowledg-
ment of all that women have achieved.
4 Te Oppidan Press 6 August 2014
Actors in the Israel-Palestine confict
Campus talks on Gaza confict
Palestinian loss of land
1946 to 2000
Israeli land
Palestinian land
Ramallah Ramallah Ramallah Ramallah
Jerusalem Jerusalem Jerusalem Jerusalem
Bethlehem Bethlehem Bethlehem Bethlehem
Gaza Gaza Gaza Gaza
Tel Aviv Tel Aviv Tel Aviv Tel Aviv
1 2 3 4
1. Palestinian and Jewish
Land 1946
2. UN Partition plan 1947
3. 1949-1967
4. 2000
Timeline of
Tarryn de Kock
he recent escalation in ten-
sions between Israel and Pal-
estine became a popular topic
of conversation on campus at the
start of this term. Te frst organised
discussion took place on Tursday
24 July at the Barratt lecture theatre,
and was titled Gaza Under Attack.
Rhodes has come under fre in the
past for having visible pro-Palestine
elements existing on campus among
staf and students, particularly
the Rhodes University Palestinian
Solidarity Forum (RUPSF) which
organises the annual Israeli Apartheid
Week. Te discontent has ofen been
located in perceived antagonism
towards Jewish students, a view held
and expressed by the South African
Jewish Report, a major national
Jewish-oriented newspaper. Tese
claims have been consistently denied
by both the institution and its pro-
Palestine community.
“We have to recognise that this is
a crisis regarding human rights and
human life,” stressed Professor Robert
van Niekerk from the Institute for
Social and Economic Research (ISER),
at the Gaza Under Attack discussion.
Van Niekerk and post-doctoral fellow
in the Politics department Dr Irene
Calis chaired the discussion, which
was focused on devising a strategy for
bringing attention to the crisis in the
Gaza Strip. Te current Israeli ofen-
sive was precipitated by the abduction
and killing of three Israeli teenagers in
the West Bank on 12 June.
“Te problem is that symmetry
doesn’t exist in this situation, and that
those on the Israeli side aren’t consid-
ering how they would respond if they
were in the Palestinian situation right
now,” said Director of the Allan Gray
Centre for Leadership Ethics (AG-
CLE) Pedro Tabensky at the Existen-
tial Conversation held on 31 July.
Some participants in the conversa-
tion emphasised the fact that Israel’s
establishment as a state has a direct
correlation to its current behaviour,
and stressed the problematics of creat-
ing Israeli victimhood stemming from
events such as the Holocaust.
“If you identify yourself as a victim,
everything you do is justifed,” said
one participant. Calis, also present
at the conversation, argued against
the strict binary between good
and bad that is ofen deployed in
discussions of the confict, and in the
dehumanisation of the other side that
makes killing people systematically
a possibility.
Te magnitude of the factors in the
confict - including the discovery of
natural gas of the Gaza coast - raised
questions about the realistic scope of
the efect of international pressure,
though Calis stressed that the Israeli
state cared about its public and inter-
national opinion.
She also emphasised that the dis-
tinction needed to be made between
anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, to
avoid alienating the many Jewish
people who have also condemned the
assault on Gaza.
“Let’s agree that we can create a
common front around creating a
human rights culture,” van Niekerk
said. “Because of the symbolism of
the struggle against apartheid we are
seen globally as a society that upholds
certain values, and that is one of the
key reasons that we should come out
in support of the people of Palestine.”
In response to the ongoing crisis in Gaza, a series of discussions have been
planned on Rhodes campus. Photo: RA-EESAH MOHAMED
Tarryn de Kock
• A radical Islamic organisation established during
the First Palestinian Intifada (uprising) in 1987.
• Power base: Gaza Strip.
• Has been criticised for being conservative,
antagonistic towards areas such as progressive
gender rights, but is said to support religious
tolerance within an Islamic state.
• Refuses to recognise the Israeli state. Its covenant
calls for the destruction of Israel and the “defeat
[of the] injustice” of Palestine’s occupation.
• Has been at the forefront of the current confict
with Israel. Current attacks on Israel are a result
of the violent Israeli clampdown on Gaza afer
the abduction of the three Israeli teenagers.
• Hamas has refused to enter a long-term truce
until the border blockade of Gaza is lifed and
Gazans have access to the Rafah border crossing
into Egypt, a crucial point of trade and commu-
nication in the Arab world.
• Founded in 1964.
• Based in the West Bank, which is geographically
separated from Gaza.
• Seen as more moderate than Hamas in its
dealings with Israel in the past, especially as it
accepted Israel’s right to exist in 1993.
• Largest party in PLO coalition is Fatah, which
recently came out in condemnation of the at-
tacks on Gaza while militant groups attached to
the party joined Hamas and the Islamic Jihad in
their attacks on Israel.
• Fatah and Hamas have had a tense and some-
times violent rivalry. However, both agreed to
form a unity government in April this year.
• Hamas rejected the PLO’s proposed ceasefre
with Israel during the current confict, casting
doubts on the ability of the unity government
to navigate the complex ideological diferences
between its major stakeholders.
• Major right-wing party in Israel, formed in 1973.
• Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu broke with
the party’s hard-line stance on Israel’s territory
claim, suggesting the possibility of a Palestinian
state in 2009.
• Likud put pressure on Netanyahu to avoid cease-
fres and continue Israel’s ofensive
against Hamas.
• Some key members have also expressed dissat-
isfaction with the USA’s ambivalent diplomatic
demands, warning that Israel’s right to defend
itself surpasses its relationship with the USA.
Tis also has implications for the Israeli electoral
race, with Netanyahu facing strong
opposition if the Gaza ofensive is not resolved
in Israel’s favour.
1948 May
Declaration of the new independ-
ent State of Israel by the newly
formed United Nations Organisa-
tion from the British Mandate
of Palestine.
1949 February-July
Israel concludes armistice agree-
ments with neighbouring countries
and further extends its borders
into Palestinian territory.
Yasser Arafat forms
the Palestinian National Liberation
Movement (Fatah).
1964 February
Palestinian Liberation Organisa-
tion (PLO) formed in Cairo by
the Arab League. Te main goal of
PLO is the destruction of the State
of Israel and the establishment of
an independent Palestinian state.
1967 June
The Six Day War: Israeli forces
defeat a combined army of the
Arab League and their support-
ers, capturing the Sinai Peninsula
and Gaza Strip from Egypt, East
Jerusalem and the West Bank from
Jordan, and the Golan Heights
from Syria.
September: Eight Arab states
sign the Khartoum Resolution
declaring that they will not
recognise, negotiate or make peace
with Israel.
Arafat made chairman of the PLO.
Fatah becomes the dominant force
in the PLO afer it joins in 1967.
Te Camp David accords, mediat-
ed by the United States of America
(USA), results in a return of the
Sinai Peninsula to Egypt - the frst
peaceful recognition of Israel by an
Arab country.
1987- 1991
Te First Palestinian Intifada.
Violence, riots, general strikes, and
civil disobedience campaigns by
Palestinians spread across the West
Bank and Gaza Strip. Israeli forces
respond with tear gas, plastic
bullets, and live ammunition. Tis
movement results in the creation
of groups such as Hamas operating
in favour of the Palestinian cause.
Despite negotiations in Madrid in
1991, attacks along the Gaza strip
continue. Te Israeli Defence Force
(IDF) implements operations such
as ‘Grapes of Wrath’, bombing Pal-
estinians and neighbouring Arab
countries. Palestinians retaliate
with suicide bomb attacks in Israel.
Te Second Palestinian Intifada,
resulting in the West Bank barrier
construction by Israel.
Post-Intifada Gaza confict.
Constant abductions, assassina-
tions and massacres spark waves of
increased violence between Israel
and Gaza, making any attempts at
negotiation seemingly futile.
2014 July 9
Operation Protective Edge: the
current Israeli ofensive against
Gaza, following increasing rocket
fre between the two.
6 August 2014 Te Oppidan Press 5
Judaism does not equal Zionism
Heather Dixon
Death toll (as of 31 July): Since the
start of the confict 1390 Palestin-
ians have been killed, and over
7000 injured.
Of the dead, 251 were children
and 50 elderly, while over 2 000
children and 250 elderly have been
wounded. Only 20-25% of those
killed in Gaza have been militants –
about 140.
Gaza’s population density of
between 4000 and 5000 people per
square kilometre is almost double
that of New York and just less than
London, increasing the likelihood of
civilian casualties.
Israel has lost 56 Israeli Defense
Force soldiers and 3 civilians since
the beginning of the confict.
Rockets fred: 2 319 rockets have
been launched on Israel from Gaza.
Israeli rockets have struck 3 289
targets in Gaza.
Military expenditure: In 2013
Israel’s military expenditure was
the ffh highest amount per person
in the world. Its defence budget in
2012 was $15 billion (about R159
billion). In comparison, SA spent
about R130 billion on defence, po-
lice, and law courts in the same year.
Tere is a lack of conclusive infor-
mation on the military expenditure
of the diferent factions in Palestine,
although Qatar is believed to be the
main fnancier of Hamas, with head
of state Emir Sheikh Hamad bin
Khalifa al-Tani pledging $400 mil-
lion to Hamas and the Gaza Strip
in 2012.
Economic impact: Te Gaza Strip
has sustained about $3 billion (over
R32 billion) in damages since the
beginning of the current confict.
Its annual Gross Domestic Product
(GDP) is about $1.8 billion
(R19 billion).
Israel has also sustained close to
$3 billion in damage, with $239 mil-
lion (R2.6 billion) being in damages
to factories and businesses. How-
ever, its GDP is $250 billion (R2.6
trillion), which may make rebuild-
ing in the future more feasible.
Mitchell Parker

Ndzalama Dumisa, Law student: Te Israeli
- Palestinian confict sees the death toll rise
constantly and civilians caught in the crossfre.
Recently a UN school was attacked in which at
least 16 children were killed. It is unforgivable
when innocent human lives are taken. A possi-
ble solution is a two-state solution in which the
outcome will see a state of Palestine alongside
the state of Israel.
Amirah Kolia, Economics student: Te global community needs to put
more pressure on Israel. Tis is absurd; Gaza is a slaughterhouse. People
need to be aware and not get desensitized. Children are being murdered
and in what world is that supposed to be tolerated? Free Palestine!

Danielle o’Neill, Journalism student: I think there
is still too much apathy surrounding the confict in
Gaza. People need to realise that this is not a fght/
confict between Islam and Judaism, or Muslim and
Jewish, or Zionist and pro-Palestinian. It’s human
against human. Te sooner we realise that we can no
longer blindly watch as the injustice of one human
against another plays out before our eyes, the closer
we come to realising that this is our problem too.
Solidarity events for Gaza crisis
Facts about the confict
What is your opinion on the Gaza crisis
and how do you think it will be resolved?
Tarryn de Kock
Since the beginning of the term,
the RUPSF has been engaging on
the issue of showing solidarity with
those afected by the current crisis
in Gaza. Te Gaza Under Attack
discussion was the frst in a series
of projects aimed to raise awareness
and institutional support for the
Palestinian cause.
Professor Robert van Niekerk from
ISER suggested that moves be made to
urge the South African government to
expel the Israeli ambassador, as well as
recall our own ambassador from Israel.
“One way that we can put pressure on
Israel is to show that our government
is so unhappy with the situation in
Gaza that they are willing to withdraw
their diplomatic support and represen-
tation,” he said. Tis is part of a greater
international movement to put pres-
sure on Israel to cease its operations
in occupied Palestine, spearheaded by
the Boycott, Divestment and Sanc-
tions (BDS) movement, which targets
business and political interests and has
had success in, for example, getting
major international companies to redi-
rect their operations away from Israel.
Tere are several ways to get in-
volved. A vigil will be held on Friday
8 August at 6.30pm on the Drostdy
Lawns, to commemorate the loss of
over 250 children since the beginning
of the confict. Staf and students are
invited to join in this show of solidarity
by attending the vigil, and by assisting
in writing the names of the children
killed in the confict on the plaques
that will be laid out during the vigil.
Tis can be done on Wednesday 6 and
Tursday 7 August from 1pm to 2pm
at the St Peter’s Campus lawns, outside
the Nelson Mandela dining hall, and at
the library wall.
Te BDS website contains a list of
products and companies that support
the Israeli state, and encourages people
to boycott products produced in Israel
or by Israeli companies. Te Palestin-
ian Solidarity Campaign has encour-
aged individuals to get their religious
organisations, civic groups and trade
unions to publically support the call to
end the violence in Gaza. Tere have
also been suggestions that people call
the Egyptian embassy in their country
to encourage Egypt to lif its border
blockade on Gaza and allow Palestin-
ians through Rafah.
What is most important alongside
these eforts, however, is the con-
tinuing dialogue around the issue of
human rights and the fundamental
right of all people to live. Conversa-
tions about identity, nationhood and
humanity will be crucial in building
support for an inherently human pur-
suit of the right to belong and be safe
in one’s surrounds.
Kim Nyajeka
iscussions around the Israel-Palestine confict
ofen reference the religious confict between
some followers of Judaism and Islam in those
countries, but ofen Judaism as a religion is confated with
Zionism as a political movement. Tis can result in unfair
assumptions that, for example, all Jewish people support
the Israeli state, or that all Jewish people are also Zionists.
Judaism is the religion, philosophy and way of life of the
Jewish people. Zionism is not a religion or an abstract con-
cept but a secular political movement for the re-establish-
ment, development and protection of a Jewish nation. Jews
of this movement highlight that their people are indigenous
to the territory currently known as Israel.
Te Land of Israel (the Biblical ‘promised land’ granted
to the children of Israel) is the notion evoked by Zionists
and founders of the State of Israel. Israel’s ruling Likud party
has its roots in revisionist Zionism which involves secular
right-wing elements of the movement - primarily concerned
with the territorial dispute and the maximisation of Israel’s
land claim.
Judaism and Zionism are thus not identical in nature.
Zionism is a secular campaign with its fundamental goals
being the political maintenance of a religious right to the
territory they believe to have been promised to them by
their faith. One cannot assume that all Jews are Zionist, and
in fact large numbers of Jewish people have protested Israel’s
role in the confict and spoken out against Zionism.
Te International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network has is-
sued several statements condemning the strikes on Gaza,
organising vigils and protesting the defacing of a mosque
in Toronto. Te organisation’s vision also clearly states that
“[t]he State of Israel’s historic and ongoing ethnic cleansing
of the Palestinian people from their land contradicts and
betrays the long histories of Jewish participation in our own
and collective struggles for liberation”.
“Being Jewish is an accident of birth, like any other
imposed ethnic identity,” said Rhodes alumnus Benjamin
Fogel. “Many Zionists attack the Jewishness of any person of
Jewish descent who speaks on behalf of Palestinian human-
ity, labelling them as self-hating or deniers of the Holocaust.
Tis is pathetic bullying,” he added
At the Gaza Under Attack discussion, Dr Irene Calis
argued that the link between anti-Zionism and anti-
Semitism be denaturalised. It is imperative to note the
distinction between Judaism and Zionism if we are to
prevent meaningful debates from turning into binary
opposing camps of not only pro-Palestine and pro-Israel,
but pro-Islam and pro-Zionism.

The recent Israeli attack on Gaza has sparked outrage and protests around the globe. Photo: RA-EESAH MOHAMED
Restrictions on Palestinian movements by Israel have been likened to
Apartheid in South Africa. Photo: RA-EESAH MOHAMED
One way that we can put
pressure on Israel is to
show that our government
is so unhappy with the
situation in Gaza that they
are willing to withdraw
their diplomatic support
and representation.
- Professor Robert van Niekerk
6 Te Oppidan Press 6 August 2014
The Oppidan Press staf and contact details
Mitchell Shaun Parker
he Rhodes University Student
Representative Council (SRC)
is currently in the process of
fnding Councillors for the 2015 aca-
demic year and, as usual, questions
about the efcacy and importance of
the SRC should be raised.
Te Rhodes SRC should ideally be
at the helm of student governance
structures. Each SRC member sits
on diferent university committees to
ensure student representation at every
organisational level. Student leaders
from various groups report directly
to the SRC and it is through these
connections between students, their
representatives and the committees
they are on, that progress is supposed
to be made at higher levels of the
University, such as Senate and Council.
Te importance of their positions is
not to be underestimated.
Speaking to the relationship between
students, the SRC and the institution,
outgoing SRC Activism and Transfor-
mation Councillor Lindokuhle Zungu
noted: “Te student body has trusted
the executive members of the SRC
to represent them and be as vocal as
possible with the limited seats that we
have on these university forums.”
It seems the problem comes in with
engagement with the University at
higher levels. As issues progress up the
bureaucratic chain, student representa-
tion becomes weaker.
Where Student Forum is comprised
of only student voices, spaces like
faculty boards only feature a maximum
of three students.
Despite the fact that many of the
decisions being made are important
to the experience students have at the
university, it can be argued that there
is little drive from the University in en-
couraging student engagement. A clear
case of this was when the University
proposed a new Intellectual Property
policy in 2013.
Although this policy had distinct
ramifcations on the ownership of
academic work, the SRC was not made
aware of the proposed change until the
last moment.
What we need to be seeing as an
electorate body is a more hands-on
engagement with the SRC and the elec-
tions by students. Te apathy argument
notwithstanding, students only seem
to be interested in the people that lead
them in critically important spaces
when they either a) do something
scandalous or b) during the Grazzle
when the student body can attempt to
publicly embarrass them.
And more notably, this is not just an
issue that afects SRC elections. How
many residences can say that their
house committees work efectively?
Or is it more the case that people who
put their names forward wanted to be
present for Orientation Week?
Without thoughtfully elected leader-
ship, be it at the House Committee
level or in the SRC, an important link
in the chain from student body to
Council is broken and the positions
become hollow.
SRC elections an opportunity
for thoughtful voting
Bracken Lee-Rudolph
Te oldest newspapers date back to
17th century Europe, specifcally to
German publisher Johann Caro-
lus’s Relation aller Fürnemmen und
gedenckwürdigen Historien in 1605,
when both sanitation and electricity
were but a myth. Four centuries later,
newspapers still exist, although there
have been some changes - primar-
ily that they are not all in German
or published by the Holy Roman
However, print media is dying by
electrocution. Phones, tablets and
personal computers occupy the hands,
tables and bags of news readers world-
wide, while newspapers are more ofen
used to wrap fsh and chips or ensure
the safety of fragile objects in luggage.
Newspapers, and print in general,
are losing relevance to CPU-driven,
battery-powered alternatives. Cross-
words and Sudoku puzzles have be-
come Candy Crush and Angry Birds.
Letters to the editor have turned into
outraged tweets rife with typos and
grammatical errors.
Electronic devices provide a far
more engaging experience for readers,
such as interactive infographics and
comments sections where they can
express their disdain for everything
the writer holds dear. News can travel
faster like this: fuming readers share
their disgruntled rantings about a
story on their Facebook timelines, with
their respective devices’ Caps Lock
function active and an aggressively
provided accompanying link.
Yet another advantage of having
images composed of millions of tiny
pixels burnt directly into your retinas
by an excessively bright LED-backlit
screen that print cannot match.
However, nothing may have sealed
the fate of books and newspapers more
than the advent of the touchscreen.
To simulate manually turning pages,
without the ever-present threat of
potentially lethal papercuts, tablet
owners can swipe their screens for a
half-baked animation and a new page
of text. All for more than thrice the
price of your average book.
But there is plenty of hope for the
survival of print media. Newspapers
will always make better emergency
gif-wrapping material than a Samsung
or Asus tablet ever could, and ironic
Instagram shots of a book will always
be more convincing than a screenshot
from the PDF version of the same
title. And just think of how awkward
it would be if you tried to spread your
tablet just inside the front door in win-
ter to stop you leaving wet footprints
on the foor.
Print media is reaching its </end>
nder the apartheid regime, the vast majority of student news
organisations were unashamedly political. With every edition,
they would take heavy swings at the political status quo and
damn the repercussions that may follow.
Nowadays, student journalism exists in a very privileged space in the
media industry. While we may fret and bite our nails about whether we
will have enough money to print the next edition, we are never worried
about whether we will be closed for lack of proftability, and so we have
more freedom to explore sensitive issues.
As long as there are student journalists, there will be student news. We
don’t have to answer to the whims of a hostile media industry to survive.
Unlike our colleagues at Wapad at North West University last year, we
don’t have to worry about being shut down by the University for critiquing
the way that it works. Wapad dared to challenge dated traditional systems.
In this edition, we are going to make full use of the privilege to be a
political paper. We have two double-page spreads in a single 12 page edi-
tion - a frst in our history. Each of these deals with a profoundly political
Te frst is our best attempt to contextualise the extremely complicated
Israel-Palestine confict. While this issue may seem wildly removed from
our day-to-day lives here in South Africa, it should not be.We support the
argument that the Palestinian state exists in a system similar to apartheid.
We should also clarify that we, as an organisation, are not pro-Hamas or
pro-Israel, we are against the high civilian death toll.
Tis stance does not also necessarily refect the opinion of all our staf,
who are more than capable of articulating and defending their own views
on this. In light of this, we will be hosting a live-streamed debate on the
issue tonight on the OppiTV YouTube channel. We encourage you to take
a stance and make your opinion heard at this forum.
Our second spread is dedicated to the Silent Protest, a movement which
we have covered for years and which is an integral part of understanding
activism at Rhodes. Te terrifying statistics about rape in this country
make it an issue that no one should ignore. We encourage you to read it,
especially if you were not present at the protest last Friday.
Finally, it is third term. Tat means it’s SRC election time. As always, we
cover the elections vigorously, but the power ultimately lies in your hands.
A strong SRC means a strong student body. Choose well, exercise your
vote carefully and ensure a strong student politics for the year to come.
It’s time that we, as a student body, did away with the far-too-ofen-used
stereotype of Rhodes being a depoliticised campus of apathetic students.
Editor: Amanda Xulu. Deputy Editor: Stuart Lewis. Executive
Consultant: Binwe Adebayo. Managing Editor: Sindisa Mfenqe.
Financial Manager: Lorna Sibanda. Advertising Managers: Chiedza
Guvava, Tariro Bhunu. Marketing Manager: Sarah Taylor. Community
Engagement Ofcer: Abigail Butcher. Online Editor: Chelsea Haith.
Assistant Online Editor: Liam Stout. News Features Editor: Emily
Corke. Assistant News Features Editor: Mila Kakaza. Politics Editor:
Tarryn de Kock. Assistant Politics Editor: Mitchell Parker. Opinion
Editor: Ben Rule. Arts & Entertainment Editor: Jenna Lillie. Assistant
Arts & Entertainment Editor: Matthew Field. Scitech Editor: Bracken
Lee-Rudolph. Environment Editor: Mikaela Erskog. Sports Editor:
Douglas Smith. Assistant Sports Editor: Kimara Singh. Chief Photo
Editor: Gabriella Fregona. Assistant Chief Photo Editor: Kellan Botha.
Chief Online Photo Editor: Alexa Sedgwick. Assistant Online Photo
Editor: Ivan Blažić. Chief Sub-Editor: Kaitlin Cunningham. Chief Online
Sub-Editor: Melian Dott. Sub-Editors: Kate Jennings, Danica Kreusch,
Leila Stein, Jessica Trappe, Amy Wilkes. Chief Designer: Madien van
der Merwe. Assistant Chief Designer: Hannah McDonald. Junior
Designers: Alex Maggs, Amy-Jane Harkess, Sihle Mtshiselwa. External
Content Advisors: Tope Adebola, Ndapwa Alweendo, Lucy Holford-
Walker. OppiTV: Chief Editor: Natalie Austin. Content Editor: Vimbai
Midzi. Output Editor: Lilian Magari. Webcast Producer: Marc Davies.
Ombudsperson: Professor Anthea Garman.
Letters to the Editor:
Advertising details: @oppidanpress
The Oppidan Press publishes letters which are bona fde expres-
sions of opinion provided that they are not clearly libellous, de-
famatory, racist or sexist. We publish anonymous letters, but as
an act of good faith on your part, we require your full name. We
reserve the right to shorten letters due to space constraints and
to edit them for grammatical inaccuracies. Letters that do not
make it into our print edition will be published on our website.
6 August 2014 Te Oppidan Press 7
Mikaela Erskog
n light of the new proposal made in
response to the review of Rhodes Univer-
sity’s old Environmental Policy, the Rhodes
Environmental Committee is looking to create
a more relevant and sustainable environmental
policy that will afect real change.
Te current Environmental Policy was created
in 1998 and has since become outdated. Safety,
Health and Environmental Ofcer Nikki Köhly
explained that there was a need “to develop a
more relevant environmental policy and reach
consensus on objectives and implementation of
the Policy”.
In an efort to make the Policy more relevant
to the broader community, the Environmental
Committee has circulated the proposal to as
many relevant stakeholders as possible in order
to involve the diferent spheres of activity at the
university. Tis includes the Teaching and Learn-
ing Committee, Infrastructure, Operations and
Finance, Communications and Marketing, Com-
munity Engagement and the SRC.
In a letter addressed to the various
departments, Chair of the Environmental
Committee Professor Hugo Nel stated:
“Environmental sustainability in concept, policy
and implementation spans various disciplines,
units, departments, support divisions, student
bodies and committees across the university,
comment from which is essential for the
new Policy to be acceptable to the wider
university community.”
Te proposed Policy seems to be taking on
a more critical and holistic approach to how
Rhodes should engage with environmental issues.
Te old Policy’s opening declaration stated in two
lines that the University “recognises that its use
of resources has an impact on the environment”
and “strives to meet internationally acceptable
standards”. Te document goes on to briefy men-
tion areas of key interest, such as waste, water and
energy, partnerships with students and commu-
nities. It then expands into the history of the Tal-
loires Declaration (an international environmen-
tal agreement signed by a number of universities
from diferent countries) which the university
had signed. However, this declaration gives little
insight into the particularities of the implementa-
tion of environmental best practices.
Te proposed Policy, on the other hand, seems
to have shown a greater commitment to critical
engagement, as a line in the opening declaration
shows: “Tis policy embraces a social-ecological
interpretation of sustainability where practices
and actions are viewed in terms of their beneft
with regard to protecting and improving the well-
being of interacting social elements – including
quality of life, cultural, economic and political
concerns, and biophysical elements – including
the natural and built environments.”
Tis suggests a deeper commitment to far-
reaching environmental sustainability, especially
as the document goes so far as to defne the
concepts that they hope to realise.
Te proposed Policy is also showing a greater
degree of commitment to the South African
context (and therefore the immediate environ-
ment we fnd ourselves in) as one of its objectives
is to uphold national environmental legislation.
Whilst many critical environmentalists believe
that policy does not necessarily efect change,
Köhly explained that this policy has consider-
ably more long term benefts. “We are hoping to
draw stakeholders in, in part by alerting them to
the fact that short-term expenditure may have
long-term fnancial and environmental benefts
versus short-term savings which may have high
long-term fnancial and environmental costs,”
she said.
Te Policy also articulates a much clearer
moral obligation to the broader environmental
and social community, and its detailed involve-
ment and call to particular stakeholders to play a
more meaningful role in environmental protec-
tion suggests critical steps in the right direction.
For more information on the proposed
environmental policy, visit
RU Environmental Policy under review
Lili Barras-Hargan
Nearly three months afer the 2014
national elections and a couple of
days afer Rhodes University Envi-
ronmental Week, it seems an oppor-
tune time to assess how the elected
government is responding to matters
of the environment.
Afer the recent elections in May,
many are wondering if the environ-
mental policies of the African National
Congress (ANC) are in order – despite
the fact that environmental concerns
barely made the agenda during its
campaign trail. In the ANC’s 2014
manifesto for the elections, it stated,
“Te pace of oil and gas exploration
– including shale gas exploration – by
the state and other players in
the industry will be intensifed as
part of the country’s efort to ensure
national self-sufciency and energy
security while promoting environmen-
tal sustainability.”
Now, afer President Jacob Zuma’s
recent announcement of plans to begin
fracking in the Karoo, tensions have
risen and there is more concern about
what measures are being taken to
‘promote environmental sustainability.’
Even if one puts aside the ‘fracking-is-
argument for a moment, the proposed
activities still lack sufcient credibility
with regards to the ambiguity of the
economic benefts. Due to the uncer-
tainty surrounding fracking as an ener-
gy source, the promised environmental
sustainability (let alone the economic
benefts) has not been critically dealt
with, as the ANC has not elaborated
on just how they will be ‘promoting
environmental sustainability.’
Fracking is a relatively new, but con-
troversial, way of sourcing energy that
could reduce the pressure that we put
on coal reserves — our primary source
of energy in South Africa. With its
promises of changing the way we look
at fossil fuels and the ANC’s proposal
that it will promote environmental sus-
tainability, it seems a breakthrough in
energy production methods. However,
there are a number of negative efects
which can threaten not only those
residing close to the excavation site but
South Africa as a whole.
As it stands, the ANC is punting the
economic benefts of fracking. Zuma
touched on the issue of fracking in
his State of the Nation address; “Te
development of petroleum, especially
shale gas, will be a game-changer for
the Karoo region and the South Afri-
can economy.”
However, lecturer at Rhodes and
Agang representative Professor Philip
Machanick argued that “the stated eco-
nomic beneft is vastly overblown and
the risk of destroying rural infrastruc-
ture is high. Add in climate change
concerns and it is the wrong solution
to the wrong problem”.
In recent news, plans to begin exper-
imental fracking in the Karoo are be-
ing met with protests by the Treasure
Karoo Action Group (TKAG). A letter
written by TKAG and activist group
AfriForum has been hand-delivered
to Zuma. It asks for him to investigate
the poorly-researched fracking process
and open the topic for discussion with
the general public. “We want to see
physical steps to halt the process. He is
the one that needs to put a stop to it,”
said CEO of TKAG Jonathan Deal.
A strong issue associated with frack-
ing is its newness, which translates into
limited experience with the fracking
process. As such, the long-term efects
cannot be projected and could in fact
worsen the current state of our envi-
ronment. Additionally, the ‘cocktail’
of chemicals being inserted into
underground waters could potentially
poison groundwater. Tese poisoned
waters fow freely below the surface
and mean that vegetation, wildlife and
surface water bodies can be damaged
on an enormous scale. Furthermore, a
number of small earthquakes have oc-
curred near areas where fracking takes
place, which suggests that seismic
activity is afected by the process.
Although the government’s expecta-
tions of sustainability through fracking
may seem misguided, they appear to
have some considerations to maintain
the state of the environment in the
Te ANC’s advocation for solar
and wind power schemes may prove
fruitful, but with little discussion on
how their current ventures can actu-
ally sustain a healthy environment
(which many believe big industry to be
incapable of), a more environmentally
sustainable South Africa is unlikely.
Government wants fracking while the environment is cracking
The development
of petroleum,
especially shale
gas, will be a
for the Karoo
region and the
South African

– President Jacob Zuma
Government’s insistence on granting companies like Shell the right to frack in the Karoo has sparked a series of demon-
strations in the region. Photo: SOURCED/TIMESLIVE.CO.ZA
Safety, Health and Environmental Ofcer Nikki Köhly (far right) hopes to attract stakeholders to
fund a renewed environmental policy at Rhodes. Photo: SOURCED/TOGETHERSA.CO.ZA
Silent Protest 2014
8 Te Oppidan Press 6 August 2014
Thandi Bombi and Leila Stein
ver 1700 people in Grahamstown par-
ticipated in the annual Silent Protest
last Friday. Joining Rhodes University
staf and students, residents in Kwa-Zulu Natal,
Gauteng and the Eastern Cape were taped in an
act of solidarity with rape survivors through-
out South Africa. Te number of participants
has increased since the protest was established
eight years ago, and it has grown in response to
the ever-evolving rape culture.
Tis year’s Silent Protest at Rhodes, previously
organised by former Student Ofcer Larissa
Klazinga, was run by Kim Barker, who has been
involved in the Silent Protest and My Body, My
Choice campaigns in previous years.
Te protest was started as a way to speak out
against sexual violence and rape against women
in our country, an issue that over time has gar-
nered minimal attention.
Horror stories like that of Anene Booysen
continue to shock the general public. Tis neces-
sitates a change in the narratives that surround
sexual violence issues in South Africa. Te protest
aims to do so and as it has grown it has expanded
to include men as well as those who do not iden-
tify with a specifc gender.
“Tis year we have made it very clear in all our
communications that we stand in solidarity with
all survivors of sexual violence and we have high-
lighted the statistics for sexual violence against
both men and women on the Silent Protest
t-shirts,” explained Barker. Tis inclusion began
last year as men were invited to join the protest as
rape survivors, in addition to standing in solidar-
ity with female survivors.
“Male rape has been possibly even more
stigmatised and silenced than sexual violence
against women,” added Barker. “How we respond
when a man speaks about having been raped will
determine how possible it is for the next man to
break his silence.”
Men at both Rhodes and the University of
Witwatersrand donned rape survivor t-shirts in
protests this year.
Te fact that the protest has expanded into a
more inclusive event of all genders shows the evo-
lution of thinking around rape culture. As aware-
ness about sexual violence has grown, so has the
understanding that it is not based on gender, race,
class or sexual orientation.
“Te Silent Protest includes all victims and sur-
vivors of sexual violence in South Africa because
it is a protest against sexual violence in solidarity
with those victims and survivors — regardless of
their identity,” said former media liaison for the
Silent Protest Michelle Solomon.
Identity is another element of the Silent Protest
which was re-modelled this year. In previous
years the options for t-shirts were Rape Survivor,
Solidarity or Silent Protest. It has been said over
the years that wearing the Rape Survivor t-shirts
could be incredibly difcult. Discussion soon
followed when it was felt that the Rape Survivor
t-shirt made it appear as though this was too nar-
row a description.
“One of the difcult aspects of it is that for a
whole day, the frst and only thing that people get
to know about you is that you survived a terrible
violation,” said Barker. As a result, a white block
with the words “AND” was added to the Rape
Survivor t-shirt, so that the participants could
write other words that speak to who they are.
Tis ability for survivors to help cultivate their
own identity surrounding their trauma is key and
the Silent Protest has been used as a key plat-
form through which they attempt to dispel their
victimhood by breaking their silence.
“As someone who broke the silence for the
frst time in 2013, I was more nervous about this
year’s Silent Protest but it’s good that there was a
platform that set the tone for what would be said
and how people should react to it,” said student
and protester Deryn-Anne Swatton.
Te growth in participants means that
more and more people feel they need to take
part in what is an undeniably psychologically
demanding experience. Registered Counsellors
and Wellness leaders were available in the Rob
Antonissen room in the Steve Biko Union
building throughout the day. “As Wellness
leaders we provided peer support to those who
felt overwhelmed by the Protest,” said Residence
Wellness Leader Jena Meyer.
A Debrief Café was another safe space provided
for participants, survivors or those in solidarity to
talk to counsellors or participate in activities. It is
usually held the day afer each Silent Protest, but
this year a Debrief Café was held on the day of
the Silent Protest as well.
“Te Debrief Café was so well-received last
year that we decided to make it available on the
day of the protest as well,” said Barker.
More voices to break the Silence
2014’s annual silent protest at Rhodes saw over 1700 participants in attendance in an efort to raise
awareness of rape and rape culture. Photo: GABRIELLA FREGONA
Dylan Green
Social media was a primary resource
for the Silent Protest last week, which
speaks to the power and utility of
online platforms for raising aware-
ness about issues including sexual
violence. But social media creates as
many problems as it does solutions
to these issues.
First among the challenges facing
social media is how it is ofen used to
violently express sexist outlooks. It is
not difcult to fnd negative comments
or tweets in which women who decide
to publicly express their own opinions
are completely shut down by a barrage
of hateful and insulting responses.
A prime example of how impas-
sioned these virtual harassers can
become is the case of Anita Sarkee-
sian, a pop culture critic who targets
misogyny in diferent forms of media.
Her work, theTropes vs. Women in
Gaming web series, is an academic and
objective critical analysis of a largely
male-dominated industry, but it has
spawned the creation of a violent inter-
active game.
Tis game has been designed for
the sole purpose of a virtual beat-up,
where users can click on an image of
her face until it has become increas-
ingly bloodied and bruised.
Even more unnerving is the recent
incident involving the rape of a 16-
year old Texan girl named Jada, which
was recorded and then shared over
social media — where both her and
the video were subsequently mali-
ciously mocked.
Te picture of Jada as she lay vic-
timised and without personal control
soon became a trend as many other
people began imitating her position
under the hashtag #Jadapose, treating
her rape as a joke. Tis showcases an
alarmingly widespread blasé attitude
to sexual violence, especially in the
online sphere.
Te locally popular Rhodes Confes-
sions Facebook group has also been
in the spotlight for gender prejudice
due to instances of “slut-shaming,” an
ofensive title given to the act of sham-
ing a woman who might be perceived
to be sexually promiscuous by certain
societal standards.
Women have been criticised in
posts dealing with sexual experiences,
pregnancy and abortion, while males
noted for expressing their sexuality
have, at times, received praise instead
of criticism.
Te Silent Protest aims to bring
awareness to how emotionally devas-
tating the epidemic of sexual violence
is toward its victims. It has its own
popular and highly active Facebook
page, which efectively communicates
with and attracts more supporters. It’s
an event that doesn’t deserve to
lie in the shadow of a dark corner of
the internet.
Sexism on social media: the painful side of a shining industry
Max Barashenkov and Montle Moorosi were dismissed from FHM in 2012 due
to “corrective rape” comments made on Facebook. Photo: SOURCED
Silent Protest 2014
6 August 2014 Te Oppidan Press 9
Matthew Field
he presence of the Silent Protest at
Rhodes provided a number of people
with the chance to share their emotional
stories and experiences with the world. It also
gave the rest of us a chance to draw critical at-
tention to the high prevalence of sexual assault
in our country.
When people think of rape, they ofen think of
something far-removed from their everyday lives.
Te popular perception of rape is one of women
being assaulted out of the public eye. We never
imagine that rape – and the culture that encour-
ages it – is actually all around us.
Popular culture is awash with stories and
images that all promote the same message: rape
is okay.
It may not be as overt as that. In fact,
the people perpetuating rape culture may not
even know that that is what they are com-
municating to their audience. Rape culture is
everywhere – in our books, in our flms, in our
advertisements – and it has become so ingrained
that it now goes unnoticed.
If you want an example, look no further than
the controversy surrounding the song “Blurred
Lines” by Robin Ticke. On the surface, the song
seems to be just another forgettable party track.
It has a good beat, a catchy rif – something you
could easily imagine yourself playing at your
next party.
But listen critically to the lyrics and an entirely
diferent song emerges. In the song, Ticke de-
scribes his attempt to charm a “good girl” he has
just met into sleeping with him.
He claims that he wants to “liberate” her while
also saying that he “knows she wants it.” In other
words, she is clearly “asking for it.”
Tis dangerous assumption is easily recognis-
able as a common justifcation among rapists,
who ofen claim that their victims desired their
violent sexual advances.
We are bombarded every day with the mes-
sage that women are objects designed solely for
pleasure. How many times have you watched a
romantic comedy where the plot revolves around
a man’s many desperate attempts to pursue a
woman while ignoring her every plea for him to
leave her alone?
How many advertisements have you seen that
use women (or rather, women’s body parts) in
order to sell items completely unrelated to the
human body? How many times have you seen a
woman included in a movie or television show
for the sole purpose of falling in love with the
male protagonist?
Tose scenarios make up the main cultural
narrative: one that places women in a subservi-
ent role to men. In every case, women are treated
as a reward, no diferent from a paycheck or a
complimentary toaster.
In almost every movie and television show,
we expect that the hero will “get the girl.” At the
end of the day, even when the female character is
shown thinking about whether or not she wants
to be with the protagonist, we as the audience
already know what her choice will be.
And this is the problem: whether we want to
admit it or not, we all see ourselves as the hero
of our own story. While this is not worrisome
in itself, it becomes a problem when you take
into account the fact that men are taught from
an early age that, at some point, they will be
rewarded with a beautiful woman if they are able
to accomplish certain tasks.
Trow in the prevalence of hyper-masculine
stereotypes in pop culture and what you are lef
with is a generation of men with a toxic mix of
entitlement and insecurity.
Granted, this is not the only reason why
some men act violently towards women, but we
cannot deny that it plays a large role in shaping
their attitudes.
Te fact is, this problem is too big to be
properly covered in one article. Tis article is an
enormous oversimplifcation of a problem that is
nearly as old as modern society itself.
However, part of combating rape culture is
acknowledging the dangerous messages we as a
society are sending to our men. Once we do, we
can take steps to actively contest them.
How the media contributes to rape culture
Heather Dixon
Te Silent Protest was a frst for
me, and a difcult one at that. I
have broken down and solidly wept
countless times today. Friends I
know from home who have been
raped, friends who have not told
anyone, have been in my thoughts
all day.
I have gone through a whirlwind
of emotions, from feeling victori-
ous, to angry, to crushed, to inspired.
Victorious because I can be there and
stand in solidarity with such incred-
ible people and do something so tiny
— believe them and be there for them
and hear their stories — but do some-
thing so great at the same time.
I have felt anger that we as a society
are still allowing these crimes to
happen. I am angry that when brave
men and women speak out they
are shamed – accused of lying or
ignored. I have also been angry at
us, the protesters. While I think it is
incredible that there were over 1700
of us participating, why should we
feel proud? Tat’s not even half of
this University. Should we be proud
that we disagree on something so
obviously fundamentally wrong?
Ultimately though, today I have
been touched and inspired. I sincerely
thank the survivors who participated
and spoke out. You have shown me
immeasurable courage.
I found out that some of the most
amazing people I know are survivors;
I commend you for breaking the cycle
of silence.
I especially thank all the male
survivors, too ofen you get sidelined.
I think it is particularly important that
we acknowledge that rape happens
to everyone.
Impressions of a frst timer
Tarryn de Kock
I woke up on 1 August feeling like
it was any other day, and it was that
feeling that puzzled me the entire day.
I had been nervous before the other
Silent Protests because of how har-
rowing the day can be, and ofen is.
Confronting the reality of surviving
rape is bound to have a greater efect
on you when you are doing it in a
public setting.
Tis year it felt as though the Protest
was not as rigidly run, and this seemed
to work in the best possible way. Te
amount of freedom people had with
their t-shirts, and the fact that the faces
that were taped were not just those of
silent protesters, seemed to blur the
line between rape survivors and pro-
testers. We could blend in.
I also appreciated that we were
mostly allowed to take part in the day’s
proceedings as we saw ft, without
pressure to do anything that made us
uncomfortable. Tere was something
poetic about walking through a thick
mist to reach the cathedral; something
about all the possible dangers that
exist out there being mediated by that
beacon of truth and safety at the end of
a long, sombre day.
In the time that I have been at
Rhodes, I never thought I would reach
the day where I shared the greatest part
of myself so willingly. I woke up on
1 August feeling like it was any other
day because it was any other day, a day
where I could be a friend, a sister, a
thinker, a thousand things other than
the Survivor shirt I wore. Tat realisa-
tion was all I needed. I felt freed.
Impression after four years
Protesters unsilenced
Ross McCreath’s Land Rover, painted vivid purple, leads the Silent Protest through Grahamstown.
Protesters hold hands at the Die-In, which was held in the library quad and honoured those who died as a result of
sexual violence. Photo: GABRIELLA FREGONA
Arts & Entertainment
10 Te Oppidan Press 6 August 2014
Sam Van Heerden
he local, zany and slightly of-centre band, the
Fishwives, will be leaving the fsh bowl for bigger
waters when they play at the Oppikoppi Festival
in Limpopo in August. Following their success at the
2014 National Arts Festival, the band has an exciting few
months ahead of them, including a gig at Rocking the
Daisies in October.
Te band started out in Grahamstown as an acoustic
guitar duo with Sarah Burger and Lizzie-Lou Gaisford in
2012. Cellist and ethnomusicologist Nicole Germiquet
joined them in 2013 and the trio were combined with an
experimental funk duo consisting of bassist Cal Tompson
and drummer Strato Copteros. Soon aferwards the fve-
member band started gigging around Grahamstown and
were popular at the 2014 National Arts Festival.
According to Copteros, the band’s sound has been com-
pared to Pink Floyd and Te Doors, but he feels that it is
more eclectic in nature. “It’s not genre-less; it’s genre-free,”
he explained. Teir sound draws on genres such as swing,
blues and folk.
According to Tompson, there is no frontman and the
members ofen swap instruments throughout their set.
Copteros explained that their sound is evolving and is more
structured than it was initially. However, improvisation is
still an underlying feature of their sound, which they call
Te band played a number of gigs during the 2014
National Arts Festival at the beginning of July which was,
according to the group, challenging at times due to technical
difculties. However, they found that they learnt a lot from
the setbacks and appreciated the experience.
Tey were well received by their audiences and one of the
things they enjoyed the most was having so many artists
together in the same area. “It makes you want to be a rock
star!” exclaimed Tompson.
“It’s not about being a band, it’s about the music and hav-
ing a jol,” explained Copteros. Tey described their band
as ‘ego-free’ and explained that they play for the love of the
music. “We didn’t even expect to go far,“ said Tompson.
According to the group they are nervous but also ex-
tremely excited about playing at Oppikoppi. Te festival,
which runs from 7 to 9 August in Northam in Limpopo,
will be their frst big national gig. According to Copteros the
most important part about the festival will be the personal
development it brings. Tompson and Gaisford added that
they are excited about the musical interactions they will
have with other inspiring artists.
Te band will also be playing at the Greenpop Hogsback
Reforest Festival in September and at Rocking the Daisies in
October alongside international headliners such as MGMT
and Crystal Fighters. Fishwives will be moving to Cape
Town next year so be sure to catch them rocking out at ven-
ues such as Champs Action Bar and Te Vic this semester
before they relocate.
Fishwives to move
to a bigger pond
Bronwyn Pretorius
Te Grahamstown National Arts Fes-
tival is a great opportunity to exhibit
and discover talent and this year it
did not disappoint. Alongside the
Main and Fringe festival, local artists
in Fingo Village displayed their tal-
ent by hosting their very own festival.
Fingo Fest was frst launched in
2011 by Xolile Madinda and Bule-
lani Booi and aimed to encourage
Grahamstown residents to observe or
participate in the daily dialogues, per-
formances and children’s programmes
which were held in the village. CEO of
the National Arts Festival Tony Lank-
ester paid a brief visit to the Fingo Fest
and was pleased with what he saw. “It
is an important project as part of the
broader National Arts Festival ofer-
ing,” he said. “It
absolutely adds
to the richness
of what we are
able to provide.”
Although Fin-
go’s crowds were
smaller than
the main fest’s
audience, it did
not hinder their
ambition. “For
us, we would
like people to
attend Fingo
Festival because
of the setup, not
because there is
a special person
they want to
see,” Madinda
While the main festival required the
purchase of tickets for shows scattered
throughout Grahamstown in various
buildings and halls, Fingo emphasised
the outdoors and all performances
were free of charge. But this did not
detract from the talent displayed by
the local artists. “In the community, a
certain level of arts must be seen. We
must have the same standard as people
have in a place that is not regarded as a
township,” said Madinda
Due to low funds, Madinda and
Booi were unable to pay their marshals
as much as they had hoped. Instead,
they supplied them with enough
money to buy a few items to resell dur-
ing fest, which taught them valuable
business skills. “Information becomes
knowledge and knowledge becomes
power to a person who knows what to
do with it,” Booi said. “Fingo Fest does
not only beneft the level of artists, it
benefts the community.”
Despite the
challenges posed
by funding and
sponsors, the vi-
sion and purpose
of Fingo Fest
did not take a
back seat. “In the
past four years,
the programme
has organi-
cally evolved
itself,” Booi said.
Madinda added,
“We are not
doing a festivity,
we are making a
Manezi Mbeju,
who helped with
the children’s
in the mornings, also felt that the
fnancial constraint did not dampen
their spirits. “When the festival is in a
township, it’s about the entertainment.
It’s not only about spending money, it’s
about the art.”
Fingo Festival proved to the com-
munity that it was not money or
prominent names that brought about
change but rather community support
and integration. Madinda and Booi
were proud of what they were able
to bring to the community. “Tis is
beyond just arts,” said Madinda. “It’s
about transformation.”
Vision of change for Fingo Festival
Social networking in an academic environment
Nicole Germiquet and Lizzie-Lou Gaisford in a Fishwives rehearsal. Photo: GABRIELLA FREGONA

It’s not about
being a band, it’s
about the music
and having a jol
- Strato Copteros,
drummer of Fishwives

Fingo Fest
does not only
beneft the
level of artists,
it benefts the
- Bulelani Booi
6 August 2014 Te Oppidan Press 11
Heather Dixon and Bracken Lee-
ith the advent of smart-
phones and tablets, the
popularity of social
networks has skyrocketed with the
knock-on efect of academic com-
munication taking place on these
networks. Although social media has
ofen been criticised for being detri-
mental to productivity, many users are
fnding more practical applications to
suit an academic context.
Class Representative for Maths 1
and Physics 1 Jaclyn Stevens feels that
social media has had a signifcant ef-
fect on her classes. Stevens specifcally
emphasised that it has improved how
things are organised in her classes and
how students cope with work they do
not fully understand. “It’s quite helpful
to be able to get a hold of everyone es-
pecially in Maths, which is a pretty big
class – and it provides a more relaxed
setting for students to ask questions
where they really struggle,” she said.
Stevens’ groups have not been
without problems however; group
members can veer entirely of-topic
and Stevens even had to ban one user
for being needlessly infammatory.
Class Representative for Music 3 and
Instrumental Music Studies (IMS) Kay
Mosiane feels that social networking
has aided communication between
students and class representatives.
“It’s the frst thing everybody checks
when they wake up or before they
go to sleep,” said Mosiane, who has
noticed a defnite increase in the use of
Facebook groups for classes since her
frst year.
Mosiane believes that Facebook
lends itself more to information shar-
ing than WhatsApp, which is better
suited for smaller groups such as her
vocal ensemble group. “Students are
defnitely more comfortable using
Facebook. It’s a platform for asking
questions or exchanging notes,”
she said. However, Mosiane believes
that RUConnected and emails are
better suited for more formal com-
munication, including the sharing of
lecture slides.
“My sense is that social media plays
a huge role in students’ lives,” said
Journalism and Media Studies lecturer
Gillian Rennie.
She explained that students may
feel more comfortable sharing infor-
mation and interacting on Facebook,
as it is a platform that they are very
familiar with.
However, Rennie has her doubts
about Facebook and the quality of
communication on the platform.
“Te reason I dislike Facebook is that
the quality of discourse is abysmal.
I think, because of its immediacy,
it helps ratchet up anxiety and panic
and that defnitely doesn’t help
learning,” she said.
While social networks may not have
the academic focus of systems like RU-
Connected, they certainly have their
uses. Whether the efect of platforms
like Facebook or WhatsApp is positive
on students is debated, but their use
in an academic context has increased
markedly and seems to be growing
Social networking in an academic environment
Far from being used only ‘traditionally’, social media platforms such as Facebook are increasingly being used for aca-
demic purposes at schools and universities. Photo: BRONWYN PRETORIUS
-Kay Mosiane,
Class Representative
for Music 3

It’s the
frst thing
checks when
they wake up or
before they go
to sleep
Rhodes Confessions
more than it seems
DoS review
Evolution of
Silent Protest
2 3 8
Kimara Singh
he Retief Renegades are set
to meet Titans in the Rho-
des Soccer Cup Final on 13
August 2014 afer both teams battled
their way through the semi-fnals to
secure an epic closing encounter.
Retief faced Joe Slovo in a challeng-
ing quarter-fnal match, which eventu-
ally swung in their favour late in the
frst half and ultimately booked their
place in the semi-fnal to face Hilltop.
Te semi-fnal started with Retief
leading by a goal to nil in the frst half
but they were rattled when Hilltop
scored two quick goals to take the lead
mid-way through the second half.
However, Retief refused to back
down and reaped the reward with a
late equaliser. Te game then went on
to penalties, which saw some heroics
from the Retief keeper Asaduma Sam
that won them a place in this year’s
Cup Final.
Retief ’s captain Tony Mampura
said that the team is ecstatic that their
hard work has paid of, especially
considering that they were the under-
dogs this season. “We know it’s not
going to be easy playing against a team
of Titans’ calibre, but we believe that
we have the quality and the utmost
ability to emerge victorious in the
fnal,” explained Mampura.
Titans faced KDFC in their quarter-
fnal in which emotions ran high as
the game went to a stressful penalty
Te teams were stuck on level terms
afer the regular penalties. A sudden
death round was needed to end the
stalemate. Titans kept their nerve the
longest and eventually grabbed
the victory.
Titans then faced the skilful Abu
Dhabi side in their semi-fnal. Neither
side wanted to disappoint in this high
profle encounter and the game began
with an energetic tempo.
Titans kept the fow of the game go-
ing well in the frst few minutes of the
frst half, but were lef back-tracking
when Abu Dhabi got on the score
sheet. A spectacular strike by Titans’
Januaris Mugazambi forced the game
to penalties.
Having won on penalties in the
quarter fnal, Titans hoped that their
experience from such situations would
get them through. In the end this
proved to be the case as they snatched
the victory from a disappointed Abu
Dhabi. Titans’ captain Mandla Nkondo
said, “We played with the intention of
going into the Cup Final. It was a great
game and Abu Dhabi played with a lot
of heart. My team and I are ecstatic
about reaching the fnal.”
Internal League and Referees Co-
ordinator Kudzi Nzombe said that the
Cup Final has been running according
to plan and that no hiccups have been
encountered to date.
“Te best teams, based on perfor-
mance, collective hard work and a hint
of luck actually made it to the fnal,”
Nzombe added.
Te two victors will go head-to-
head in the fnal and it will certainly be
a match not to miss. Both teams have
worked tirelessly to get into this posi-
tion and hope that they come out with
a coveted Cup Final win.
Retief to meet Titans in Cup Final
Women’s netball
ups the ante
Gabi Bellairs-Lombard
During the June vacation the Rho-
des frst team woman’s netball took
part in the University Sports South
Africa (USSA) Netball Tourna-
ment in Port Elizabeth. Te team
placed fourth out of twelve teams
in the C division.
Captain Vuyolwethu Langa, a
BComm Accounting graduate of
Rhodes, has led the team since the
beginning of the year. “Being captain
was no easy job, especially since it
was my frst time participating in a
USSA tournament,” she said. “Tere
were moments where I had to push
myself in order to keep everyone up
to speed.”
Although they did not achieve
the frst place they hoped for, their
hard work certainly paid of as the
experience which they gained from
the tournament was a fundamental
learning curve for the team. Even
though the team struggled to cope
with playing in a USSA tournament
for the frst time, their inexperience
was counteracted by their determi-
nation and good preparation. “Our
ftness really helped us,” Langa said.
“We trained hard and prepared well,
and we worked together as a team.”
Te team’s improved physical and
mental preparation for the tourna-
ment was emphasised by Chairper-
son Saphokazi Nxokweni. “We were
well-trained and disciplined, and
this is something we lacked in the
past,” said Nxokweni.
Part of the frustration surround-
ing their loss is due to a number
of challenging situations on the
day. Some opposing teams did not
arrive for matches, and the Rhodes
frst team sufered fatigue due to
playing extra games they had not
planned for. Tis meant that they
went up against challenging op-
ponents. “I felt cheated in our fnal
game because of this, but overall we
worked well as a team,” said member
Nosiseko Mtati.
Despite these frustrations, the
Rhodes ladies felt they did well to
fnish with the result they did, and
will use the experience as a stepping
stone to future success. Teir next
challenge will take place in Kimber-
ley from 8 to 10 August, where they
will compete against several other
clubs in the hope of achieving the
success they feel they deserve. “We
have sat down and picked out our
weaknesses, and I feel confdent that
we can now move forward as a bet-
ter team,” Nxokweni said.
The Rhodes frst team women’s netball team came away with fourth place
out of twelve teams in the USSA Netball Tournement in June.
Our ftness
really helped
us. We
trained hard
and prepared
well, and
we worked
together as
a team

- Vuyolwethu
Langa, Rhodes
frst team women’s
netball captain
Brandon Yates
Te annual University Sports South Africa (USSA) rugby
week was hosted by Rhodes University this year from 3
June to 4 July. Te tournament saw competition between
the likes of UCT, UJ, Tuks and Maties as well as Varsity
Shield and other university sides.
All 32 teams were divided into four pools based on last
year’s results. Pool A was made up of Varsity Cup sides,
while Pool B contained Varsity Shield teams and Rhodes.
Every pool had a contested fnal and ofered difering fates
for the winners and losers of each.
Due to the National Arts Festival taking over the Great
Field, the games had to be played on the far less glamorous
Prospect and Kings Fields. Some games had to be played on
St. Andrews’ Lower Field as well.
Tis did seem to be a result of poor planning on behalf of
the organisers of the festival. Despite this setback, the play-
ing surfaces were in excellent condition and did not hinder
the teams’ performances at all.
Rhodes was placed into Pool B which contained predomi-
nantly Varsity Shield teams. Tey came up against stalwarts
University of the Western Cape (UWC) and University of
Fort Hare (UFH).
Although they were narrowly defeated by UWC, it was
clear that their pre-festival preparations paid of when they
managed to pull up their socks two days later to produce a
win over UFH in a David versus Goliath scenario.
Rhodes certainly did not let their home fans down and
the future seems bright for the club with its Varsity Shield
ambitions. Many youngsters drafed into the team im-
pressed with their frst taste of this level of Varsity rugby
and structures are in place for the club to qualify for Varsity
Shield rugby at next year’s festival.
Rhodes University hosted a fantastic tournament and
provided local rugby supporters with an alternative to the
Arts Fest. Te teams provided fans with thrilling action that
made every day of play an enthralling spectacle.
Rhodes hosts highly successful USSA rugby week
Rhodes University’s 1st XV played in a pool made up of Varsity Shield side at the recent USSA tournament.

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