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EDITION 3 • 24 APRIL 2012 • SINCE 1947


Powers at play in the ANC

Should weed be legal? Your views

SWOT week stress
Pirate Bay lifts off

The positive power of ‘phuck’

Edition 3 . 24 April 2012


SRC address students about SWOT Week Eastern Cape education a “holy mess”

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Editor-in-chief: Lauren Kate Rawlins Deputy Editor: Isabelle Anne Abraham Content Editor: Kayla Roux Managing Editor Palesa Mashigo Online Editor: Alexander Venturas Chief Media Supervisor: Megan Ellis Chief Sub-Editor: Matthew Kynaston Chief Designer Simone Loxton Assistant Designer: Mignon van Zyl Chief Pics Editor: Anton Scholtz Assistant Pics Editor: Niamh Walsh-Vorster Illustrator: Katja Schreiber News Editor: Sibulele Mabusela Deputy News Editor: Neo Koza Politics Editor: Marc Davies Business Editor: Njabulo Nkosi C&A Editor: Alexa Sedgwick Features Editor: Karlien van der Wielen Features Assistant Editor: Nina McFall Lifestyle Editor: Sarisha Dhaya A & E Editor: Elna Schütz Sports Editor: Bridgette Hall Science & Tech Editor: Brad de Klerk Environment Editor Shirley Erasmus Advertising Manager Lethukuthula Tembe Advertising Assistants Justine Pearce Adrienne Weidner Advertisement Designer: Alex Bernatzky Distribution Manager: Bulali Dyakopu Community Engagement: Victoria Hlubi Editorial Consultant: Craig Wynn Contacts: Editor: activate.editor@gmail. com Deputy Editor: activate.deputy@gmail. com

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UPM to lead own struggle

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Legalising pot: Hot or Not?

Stem cells could fight HIV

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Above: An unusually large crowd of Rhodes students and other Grahamstownians gather in a large circle at the Botanical Gardens on 20 April 2012. Pic: Anton Scholtz Front page: President Jacob Zuma and Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe cut the President’s birthday cake during his 70th birthday celebrations at Luthuli House in Johannesburg, 12 April 2012. Relations between the two have become increasingly strained, especially since some of Motlanthe’s allies have asserted that he will be running for President of the ANC at the Mangaung elective conference in December. For a more in-depth analysis, see page 9. Pic: Stephanie Lloyd

econd term has begun and it seems as though everyone has hit the ground running.  Events are happening every week and groans about all the work to come can be heard in all corridors around campus.  Six weeks to go until exams and the prospect of no SWOT Week has stirred up some passionate responses from the student body. Some even took some of their precious swotting time to mix a song about the situation and others planned a protest. What are your feelings about this? Write to Activate and we will gladly publish your views. In this edition, you will see that we have two letters. One is from the Dean of Students and the other is an apology from a local comedian. We welcome both, but would like to address the complaint from the Dean specifically.  Dr Viv de Klerk sent us a complaint about an article we published in the features section of our latest edition. This article, which was entitled “Dagga couple for the ‘relegalisation’ of weed”, was about a couple who has taken the issue of marijuana legalisation to the Constitutional Court of South Africa. We would like to note that the article was not “airing the views” of journalist Karlien van der Wielen. She was the interviewer in a profile about the couple and their specific views on the subject – a job she did without letting her own opinion on the matter influence her work. Activate does not advocate legalising cannabis, but we do advocate serious and thoughtful debate on the matter, as with any other issue of its kind. We have sought various other opinions on the subject in an attempt to open up the debate, which you can read in the Comment & Analysis section. The story, “Legalising pot: Hot or Not?” presents the views of a few students and


From the Editor
lecturers about decriminalising the drug. On that note, we encourage anyone with comments, suggestions or criticisms about our articles to send your response on this or any other matter for publication. In a few past editions, stories of the Unemployed People’s Movement (UPM) have featured often. In this issue, Ayanda Kota provides an account of what exactly the UPM is, and what it stands for. In a country where the government is under intense scrutiny and criticism, movements like the UPM are crucial representatives of SA’s poor communities. At this year’s graduation weekend, Raymond Louw, a veteran journalist and media activist, received an honorary doctorate. In his speech he connected all the dots that make up our complicated society. I recommend that you go read it on our website. He urged people to keep a close eye on the government and their relationship to the judiciary. “If there is a hint of unconstitutional conduct people must protest loudly and long,” he said. “The Constitution Court is the last line of defence to preserve press freedom – indeed all our freedoms. We must prevent South African being rated ‘not free’.” This, he felt, would mark the beginning of our journey to becoming an authoritarian state. Editor-in-Chief, Lauren Kate Rawlins 

Printed by Paarlcoldset, Port Elizabeth

04 News [in Briefs]

Edition 3

Telkom’s cables to increase speeds
By Brad de Klerk Telkom has started deploying 3 700 new access nodes on its network to offer faster ADSL, as well as fibre-to-the-home services. These access nodes promise speeds of up to 1Gbps using a fibre optic cable. This will be achieved by using the copper cable infrastructure Telkom already has. Having made plans in July 2011 to trial 20Mbps and 40Mbps DSL services, Telkom is now ready for the next stage. With this new investment, Telkom, working with Delta Partners Project, hopes to roll out services such as video-on-demand to customers. This involves providing video content via Broadband directly to audiences’ TVs. While this was previously unfeasible in South Africa, customers can expect these upgrades to make it a reality.

COSATU strike against e-toll
By Nikho Mageza At the time of print, COSATU has planned several marches, rallies, night vigils and demonstrations at the headquarters of South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) and transport departments. These will take place across the country from 23 April. “COSATU is mobilising its two million members for the mother of all

News [in briefs]
Video leads to rescue
By Nikho Mageza

protests against the act of highway robbery set to be committed from 30 April 2012 – the Gauteng e-tolls,” said spokesperson Patrick Craven in a statement. According to News24, Craven explained that there would be a national stay-away, or socio-economic strike, on 30 April 2012. Due to the vast number of public concerns, Business Unity South Africa and the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry suggest that the launch be delayed until all public concerns are clarified.

The mentally handicapped 17-year-old girl from Soweto who went missing on 25 March has been found. A video of her being gang-raped by several male youths, which was made by one of the perpetrators, went viral. The video was used to identify the seven males, two of whom were high school students, who have been arrested and appeared in court last week. Talk of the video spread on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. There has been nationwide outrage from various groups in South Africa, including the national police force and the Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Lulu Xingwana, who aim to stop the distribution of the video. For commenting on how this issue speaks to other issues in South African society, see the column on page 9.

Fans carry English musician Charlie Winston through the audience during his Hamburg concert. April 16, 2012. Pic: Reuters

A baby sleeps in a hammock inside a temporary house built after the 2004 Tsunami at Lok Kruet village, in Aceh Besar, Indonesia, April 16, 2012. Pic: Reuters

An Occupy Wall Street protester is arrested in front of Federal Hall, across the street from the New York Stock Exchange, in New York. April 16, 2012. Pic: Reuters

Palestinians hold portraits of relatives detained in Israeli prisons during a rally to mark Prisoners’ Day outside Damascus gate, in Jerusalem’s old city. April 17, 2012. Pic: Reuters

24 April 2012

05 News

The cost of Zuma’s wives
By Nikho Mageza
aving wed wife number four this past weekend at a traditional ceremony in Nkandla, the South African president denies allegations that his wives are supported by the state and taxpayers’ money. According to Media 24, Jacob Zuma funded all expenditures for the wedding himself and did not use any state funds. Presidential Spokesperson Mac Maharaj explained that allegations made by the media that the state supports Zuma’s various households are incorrect. He further said that each wife had their own household and thus they support each house individually. The presidency does, however, provide logistical and administrative support for the wives, including 60 domestic flights for each of the president’s children and child-minders if they are under the age of 18. They also provide private transportation for the children to and from school. Zuma has a number of other expenses paid by the state for him and his family: he has a 10% allowance of his salary for housing and 25% of his annual salary goes to a private car allowance, despite his access to official presidential cars. The state will also provide 17% of his salary to a pension fund which will cover medical aid for himself and his family. If an accident were to occur, Zuma is insured by the state. When travelling on business the president is permitted to take his spouse – or spouses, in his


case – and their children are to have accommodation and minders provided by the state while they are away. Zuma and his wives are still required to pay tax. The Presidency’s Annual Report with Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) was held on 18 April. It was found that the president had overspent by R24.8 million in the 2011/12 financial year. The total unauthorised expenditure is R45.5 million - this amount includes the debt of the financial year 2010/11. The unauthorised expenditures of 2010/11 are made up of legal President Jacob Zuma with his new wife, Gloria Bongi Ngema. Pic: Flickr fees of R5.3 million, travelling order to avoid unauthorised costs. George explains that the budget and sustenance for R7.3 million and transfers to households of does not specify the amount given to Zuma’s households in total, R279 000. The main consensus in the room was for reducing the thus making it unclear how they can save in terms of the wives president’s budget in order to refund the state. and the children. The National Treasury is yet to appear before Democratic Alliance SCOPA Spokesperson, Dion George, SCOPA for final recommendations. suggested that constraints be placed on the president’s expenses in

Krejcir case postponed
By Bridgette Hall


harges against Czech businessmen Radovan Krejcir were withdrawn last week in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court after he was accused of falsifying a life insurance claim to receive a R4.5 million payout. The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) temporarily withdrew charges pending the outcome of an application brought to the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg last week by Tupy, the state’s main witness in the matter. Krejicir fled to South Africa in 2008 after he had been

convicted of fraud and corruption in his home country. He is now fighting attempts by the Czech government to extradite him by filing for refugee status in South Africa. Krejcir’s urologist, Marian Tupy, admitted to falsifying documents so Krejcir could be paid out for bladder cancer from his insurance company. According to News24, the NPA said that the charges had been provisionally withdrawn pending the finalisation of the application for a review of Tupy’s plea and sentence agreement. “We can’t have two legal processes underway and parallel to each other,” said Mthunzi Mhaga, spokesperson for the NPA. “The outcome of the

review application will have a bearing on the prosecution of the case against Mr Krejcir.” According to The Independent Online, police exchanged information with Krejcir last year during their investigation into the murder of Teazers strip club owner Lolly Jackson, who also lived in Bedfordview in Johannesburg. Krejcir and Jackson’s business partner Mark Andrews had claims against Jackson’s estate, which was being handled by lawyer Ian Jordaan. A charred body believed to be Jordaan’s was found on top of his bakkie next to the R59 in Alberton last September.

SRC address students about SWOT week
By Sibulele Mabusela


n response to the recent student uproar over the timetable change and the resulting miscommunication between the SRC and the student body, the SRC held a press conference last week Thursday to address these concerns. The conference was held following complaints about the outcome of a recent poll asking students whether or not they wanted exams on Saturdays. The results were apparently disregarded, resulting in the loss of SWOT Week before the June exams. In his opening statement at the conference, SRC president Matthieu Maralack expressed his disappointment that students would believe the SRC would go out of their way to inconvenience them. “We wouldn’t make a decision like this without taking students into consideration,” he said, explaining how the academic administration of the University had approached them halfway during the first term about removing Saturday exams. This was put to the student body for the vote. Out of the 5 000 undergraduates, only 1 750 voted. There were 817 votes for Saturday exams and 810 against,

with 135 voting either way. The final outcome proved to be inconclusive, because this voting segment did not represent enough of the student body. Consequently, two days were taken out of SWOT Week and added to the exam timetable, on which exams are organised into a blocking system. According to the Registrar, Dr Stephen Fourie, this was to allow for the best possible timetable layout for the students. Maralack feels that the SRC acted in the interest of the students. He explained the voting process and confirmed that the SRC had no control over the final decision regarding the current timetable. “We are not a bunch of ogres trying to inconvenience students,” said Fourie when explaining exactly how the decision was made. He said that in constructing a timetable, the administration is faced with 3 000 subject combinations and that they had attempted to make it as convenient as possible for students so that their examinations could run as smoothly as possible. The SRC admitted to a lack of communication with students regarding the decision and apologised. “In terms of the event, what has happened has happened. We can’t change it; we can only move forward,” said Maralack.

Tears of joy and sadness at Grad
By Yonela Zondani


his year’s Graduation was not as happy an occasion as it should have been, as Rhodes lost two students who were due to graduate. Makabongwe Ndzwayiba, a BCom student, passed away after a prolonged battle with cancer, before he was to receive his degree. Rhodes also mourns the death of Lelona Fufu, who was to receive her BSc Honours, but was stabbed on her day of graduation while hitchhiking to Grahamstown. This year more than 2 200 students graduated, with 62% of

them being women, wrote Azwi Mufamadi on Rhodes’ official website. The three-day event was joined by former President Thabo Mbeki’s 96-year-old mother, Epainette Mbeki, who received an Honorary Doctorate. In her speech, she said that the government needs to focus on empowering the youth. “While I acknowledge some effort is man-made in this regard, our government needs to double its effort,” she said. According to the Graduation Press Release, “the Honorary Doctorate recognises individuals who have shown leadership

and made contributions to various sectors in society such as educational advancement, social development, business and science. Other individuals who were honoured in this year’s graduation were Geoffrey de Jager, Professor Mike Bruton, Leymah Gbowee and Raymond Louw. “This leadership must be exercised and your knowledge and expertise must be put to work not only for your private benefit but also for the benefit of society at large, to advance the general public good,” said Vice-Chancellor Dr Saleem Badat on the Rhodes website.

06 News

Edition 3

RU Green keeps it local
By Shirley Erasmus U Green has launched their latest initiative in recognition of the Makana District Bicentennial. The project brings together resources from the community, the environment and the University, and plays an active role in reintroducing indigenous isiXhosa practices to the community. The first aspect of the project, in partnership with the Makana and Rural Eastern Cape Regional Centre of Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development (RCE), involves the creation of ‘hotbags’ for slow-cooking food. A hotbag is two circular material bags filled with Styrofoam balls. The idea is that once a person has brought their food to the boil, the pot can be placed between the two bags which serves as insulation and thereby allows the food to continue to cook slowly. Alex Lenferna, Chairperson of SEACC SF, says that the project employs women from the St Mary’s Community Centre to sew the bags, thereby providing some employment and income which he hopes will eventually become stable. Additionally, all the Styrofoam used in the hotbags is donated to RU Green from the Masihlule Recycling Project, which forms part of the Makana Municipality’s Integrated


Waste Management Plan. According to Lenferna, “new innovations that remain simple” will be the ones that can hopefully become a continuous facet of innovation and sustainability in municipal projects. The second aspect of the project is the creation and distribution of composters. The composters are created out of corrugated iron sheets, most of which are offcuts donated by Penny Pinchers. The composters are made in Ward Seven and then placed in various local communities. The compost created is then used in a veggie garden as well as to feed trees planted nearby. The compost that is then generated is used to grow food which can be cooked using hotbags. This initiative provides the community with a sustainable food source as well as a project they can work on in the long-term. Lenferna says that aspirations for the project include it becoming a part of the extended public works programme in conjunction with the municipality, eventually spreading across Grahamstown and the greater Eastern Cape. However, this will involve a complicated process and Lenferna says that the team have had to come up with many creative ideas due to financial constraints. The project is an exciting endeavour for RU Green which embraces the Grahamstown community, Makana District and the environment in a well-balanced undertaking.

R6 billion housing plan
By Kayla Roux ccording to The Herald, Nu-Way Housing Developments of Johannesburg is going ahead with a R6 billion “city-within-acity” plan near Motherwell just outside Nelson Mandela Bay. A plan of this magnitude has not been carried out in this country before and it is reported that, if successful, it will cut the country’s backlog for housing by 40% and create up to 5000 jobs. The 3 200ha of land which was purchased by the company in the late 1990s will be developed in three phases over the course of 15 years, and the expected value of additional surrounding developments could be double the initial R6bn investment. These


include schools, universities, clinics, spaza shops, a hospital and a mall, as well as a multi-billion rand PetroSA oil refinery that will help to create even more jobs with what Nu-Way has called “the knock-on demand” for more housing. Before starting the housing project, developers are awaiting a decision from authorities, which is expected in the next six months. When it has been received, an application will need to be submitted to the municipality for the rezoning of certain areas and service delivery for things like water and delivery. If they do not receive a response from government, however, Nu-Way Managing Director Laki Constantinides has told The Herald that they will approach businesses who are interested in applying for the job.

70 High Street

046 622 3115

To the Editor
Apology from Lincoln Van der Westhuizen to Atherstone House residents Let me fall on my sword here. I’d like to unconditionally admit that comments I made in my comedy act at the RU Jamming event relating to members of the Atherstone House were sexist, discriminatory and insulting towards women in general, and were in direct conflict with the Rhodes University policy. I have decided to remove the particular joke from my act as I realize that it hurt the women from Atherstone House. I apologize to the members of Atherstone House and realize the hurtful nature of the joke. Unfortunately, I can’t promise that I won’t offend anyone in the future: that’s the nature of comedy. As a comedian you don’t always know how an audience will respond to a joke until you actually do it. Every joke has a victim and it’s a risk you take hoping the audience can suspend their own feelings of shock and that victim can laugh at themselves. However, there comes a point in time when it becomes really difficult to justify a statement made in an act artistically - a line that was crossed on that Wednesday evening. One of my comedy heroes, Ricky Gervais, always states that there isn’t anything you can’t joke about. It depends on the joke. It’s a comedic philosophy that I’ve taken to heart. There is, however, a qualifier. Comedy isn’t your conscience taking a day off. Jokes can come from a good or a bad place. They can be used to educate or it can hurt. At RUJamming it was used to hurt. Lincoln Van der Westhuizen Dear Editor, I write in response to the article in Activate (20 March 2012): “Dagga couple for the ‘re-legalisation’ of weed”, which is an alarming example of an insidious advocacy group making irresponsible claims. The issue of drugs, and specifically marijuana usage is of grave concern to my Office, given its attendant risks, and I therefore seek to set the record straight through the medium of the same paper which was so generous in airing the views of Ms van der Wielen. In her article, she makes little attempt to provide a balanced view of dagga and its effects, and implies that there is no empirical evidence regarding dagga’s negative effects. This is biased, misleading and dishonest. The article is a mischievous blend of some facts and half-truths mixed with a few wild claims, resulting in conclusions that any competent Philosophy 1 student could dispose of without difficulty (assuming, of course, that they weren’t high on dagga). But the danger is that such an article could be very affirming for any (uncritical) student who seeks to justify why they use cannabis. Indeed, the article provides the uninitiated and adventurous student with grounds to try it. To ensure that our students do indeed get a balanced view about cannabis, hopefully before they try it themselves, I have therefore asked a few local professional experts to supply our campus newspapers with the kind of empirical evidence that Activate apparently could not locate. I’d also like to ask that Activate take a more responsible and balanced editorial line in future. From my side, I wish to emphasise only three points that every student needs to consider before trying cannabis: firstly, it is impossible to predict who will get addicted or who is prone to psychosis, and just taking it to see “how it goes” is a huge risk (my source: Counselling Centre and local psychiatrists’ reports). Secondly, dagga is an entry level drug; the real danger is that once a student gets hooked onto the "high" and finds they cannot repeat it, they often move to the next level of dangerous hard drugs (my source: local medical practitioners). Thirdly, dagga usage is of particular concern in a learning environment, because it impairs cognitive skills related to attention, reasoning and memory (evidence: the academic records of known users). I ask all students to consider their own wellbeing and academic future very carefully before they take this risk. Kind regards Dr Vivian de Klerk

Refer to Page 3 for the editor’s response to this letter.

24 April 2012

07 Politics

Zille: EC education an “unholy mess”
By Marc Davies


mphatically denouncing the Eastern Cape administration, DA leader Helen Zille described education in the province as a “holy mess” at the party’s recent elective conference in Grahamstown. The event, attended by approximately 500 party members, heard Zille’s commentary on local schools only two weeks after her inflammatory comments on “education refugees” fleeing to Western Cape schools from the Eastern Cape. The Western Cape Premiere and DA leader said the average school pupil in the Eastern Cape is likely to receive “a worse education than she would in parts of war-ravaged Congo”. She subsequently claimed that “tough minister” of Basic Education Angie Motshekga has attempted to rectify the issue of severely overcrowded and failing schools, but has been deterred by the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU). According to Zille, President Jacob Zuma has been subtly sacrificing Eastern Cape children to ensure support from COSATU and SADTU in the pivotal ANC Mangaung presidential election in December this year. ANC Provincial Spokesperson, Mlibo Qoboshiyane, denied Zille’s statements about Zuma, calling them “vitriol, myopic and uninformed”. He accused the opposition leader of “worshipping at the altar of populism”, according to Dispatch Online. Qoboshiyane alluded to the Western Cape’s historical advantages under apartheid in the construction of white-only schools while the Eastern Cape’s rural communities suffered.

He said that due process must be granted to allow for quality construction of Eastern Cape schools. Qoboshiyane attacked Zille’s comments on Zuma, but did not directly refute claims of the “unholy mess”. Zille has also been labelled racist for relating comments on education in which she claimed “education refugees” have been forced to move to Western Cape schools because of horrid conditions in the province. Minister Angie Motshekga said that attempts to place the Eastern Cape Education Department under administration have failed as a result of internal resistance in an interview with TimesLive. Motshekga says the province has resisted attempts to overhaul the embattled department using legal obstacles. Motshekga also said the state of education in the province is a “horror story”, which is why she has presented the matter to cabinet again for further assistance. Zille, in her weekly newsletter, stated: “We treat children as full, legitimate South Africans and we respect their rights to education… the ANC does not.” DA Youth Leader of the Eastern Cape, Andrew Whitfield, told Activate that the party’s elected provincial leadership are “experienced politicians with the capacity to deliver on their mandate both for the party and public at large”. Whitfield also said the combination of the diverse set of skills in the DA’s provincial leadership places the party in a strong position in the run up to the 2014 national elections and beyond. He added that “thousands of young South Africans are being held hostage by SADTU and the governing party” in the province, suggesting that the DA would work

Helen Zille thinks at length before answering a question during a press conference at the Democratic Alliance Eastern Cape Congress in Grahamstown. 31 March 2012. Pic: Catherine Pennels rapidly to turn the situation around if elected into provincial government. Whitfield concluded by saying that anybody who claims that education in the province is not in crisis is in denial.

E-tolling debate intensifies
By Kayla Roux n what some have called an ‘insult’ to the public consultation process, it seems as though authorities are going ahead with the contentious electronic tolling system on Gauteng inter-provincial highways despite heavy opposition from various groups. Despite facing three court applications attempting to stop the implementation of e-tolls, the SA National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) and government have not shown any sign of changing in their plans, which are to be launched 30 April. SANRAL laid out different types of e-toll users and the tariffs they will face in a recent edition of the Government Gazette. The first type of user has an e-tag and is registered for e-tolling, while


the second has an e-tag, but has not registered for the system. The third is a vehicle licence number user who registers for the system, but does not have an e-tag, while the fourth type of user does not qualify for any other category. The fifth type is a day-pass user. The tariffs for the day pass are R30 for motorcycles, R50 for standard vehicles, R125 for class B medium vehicles and R250 for heavy vehicles. What SANRAL describes as “alternative users” – those who are not registered for e-toll and have not installed an e-tag, or those who do not have enough funds in their accounts – are not legally obligated to comply with e-tolling requirements, but will have to pay tariffs that are three times higher than those paid by registered users. DA Gauteng Transport spokesperson, Neil Campbell calls

the manner in which transport minister Sibusiso Ndebele and SANRAL introduced this tariff “underhanded”. A group called the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) has joined others such as AfriForum and various businesses in rejecting the e-tolls, lodging an application in the Gauteng North High Court for an interdict to prevent the tolling of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP). According to IOL News, the reasons for their complaints included that the planned e-toll system was “grossly expensive, inefficient and a waste of citizens’ money; it was fundamentally wrong to apply an additional toll against citizens along their daily commuter routes [and] the e-toll project was unfairly punitive to Gauteng citizens who contributed much more in taxes than the value and spending they received in return.”

World politics round-up

RUSSIA: A recently instated ban on LGBTI ‘propaganda’ emanating from St Petersburg has resulted in the first arrests of two gay men in April. The city’s parliament is the latest to enact this law, which imposes fines of up to US$17,000 for spreading “propaganda of sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality or transgenderism among minors”. Lawmakers behind the ban cite preservation of traditional Russian values as the reason for the ban. Russian gay rights group ‘Coming Out’ said “the homophobic mood is growing in society and minorities are getting more and more afraid”.

ZIMBABWE: Following false reports of poor health and failing organs emanating from Australian press, a ‘healthy’ 88-year-old Robert Mugabe was greeted by cheering crowds in Harare at the country’s 32nd anniversary of independence from British rule, joking that he has died and been resurrected more times than Jesus Christ. Mugabe called for upcoming elections to be peaceful and for voters to select their party of choice. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai inversely labelled the celebration’s theme of ‘indigenisation’ of whiteowned businesses as “repugnant”. Tsvangirai said that government should instead focus on creating jobs and investment and less on indigenising existing businesses.

SYRIA: A UN-backed peace plan to avert civil war in the Middle East nation after continued civil unrest in that country may be a “last hope”, according to French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe. According to the Syrian government, political in-fighting, which began at the inception of the Arab Spring in 2011, has resulted in thousands of deaths. The UN has established a deal with the government with rules for deploying observers to keep watch on the situation and the agreed ceasefire.

SOUTH SUDAN: Unrest between Sudan and Africa’s newest nation, South Sudan, erupted in April after contestation for oil-rich areas along the countries’ shared border ensued. Chief mediator Thabo Mbeki is reported to be assisting in talks between

UNITED STATES: According to a new survey, Democrat President Barack Obama has lost massive support abroad. Approval ratings for the White House are currently lower than 10% in Iran and Serbia, with similarly low approval in India, Egypt and Belarus. Ratings leaders in Khartoum and Juba remain strongest in Africa due (the respective capitals). Both to significant enthusiasm about nations have denied initiating the US President in sub-Saharan attacks, each accusing the other Africa. Meanwhile, Obama for ‘waging war’. South Sudan faces strong opposition from officially separated from its multimillionaire businessman northern counterpart in July 2011 and Republican candidate Mitt following years of war between Romney as support for Obama ‘north’ and ‘south’ that ended in wanes in certain parts of the US. 2005.

NORWAY: In a shocking series of admissions to an Oslo court, Norwegian nationalist killer Anders Behring Breivik says he would gladly repeat the murder of the 77 people in Norway in July last year. Breivik revealed to the court the plans of his killing spree, which he believed would ultimately become a suicide mission. He claimed that he wanted to kill many more people aligned with the left in order to protect Europe from multiculturalism. Breivik reportedly used anabolic steroids and injected testosterone on the day of the attack. He has been charged with “acts of terror” but pleaded not guilty, justifying his actions as “necessary”.

08 Politics

Edition 3

Resuscitating Mogadishu
By Fezekile Cokile


ecades of devastating political turmoil and civil war in Somalia’s capital city may finally be coming to an end. Mogadishu, ranked as one of the world’s most dangerous cities, is showing signs of progress towards revival. In past years, certain social activities such as basketball could subject Somalians to torture or death during the reign of the al-Shabaab militant Islamist group. Increased presence of citizens engaging in public recreational activities and the reopening of the central market may signify the beginning of rejuvenation for the embattled city. Somalia has been ravaged by civil war since rebel forces overtook the capital Mogadishu in the early 1990s and ousted the then president Mohamed Siad Barre, who subsequently fled to Kenya. Battles for control of the city between rival groups ensued. UN intervention in Somalia in 1994 was deemed a failure after it resulted in thousands of deaths, deteriorating relations with the United States and very little improvement in the safety and sustainability of life in Somalia. “Year after year, Somalia has been ranked as one of the world’s poorest, most violent countries plagued by warring militias, bandits, warlords and pirates,” said The New York Times in April. Recent AU and emergency aid interventions in Somalia have assisted the war-torn nation, notably the efforts of the AU, which managed to pull the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamic rebels, Al-Shabaab, out of Mogadishu in 2011. However, the group remains a threat to citizens and the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia. Al-Shabaab was resposible for a suicide blast which killed the head of Somalia’s Olympic Committee and eight others during a speech by Somali’s Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohammed Ali. The bomb went off at the newly reopened national theatre, where a victorious celebration of the first anniversary of the launch of the country’s national television channel was in session. Despite peace being frequently threatened in Mogadishu, hopes of recovery still glimmer. “School, shops and markets have reopened. The city government has repaired and installed streetlights,” reported The News Tribune article on

A helicopter flies over the Somalian capital of Mogadishu. The city, which has historically been known as one of the most dangerous in the world due to persistent civil war, is in the process of rejuvenation. Pic: Wikicommons 8 April. Turkish Airlines have instated international flights to Mogadishu, small restaurants are opening and “men and women swim together without fear of punishment from militants” in Mogadishu’s beachfront. Civilians have also noticed the resuscitation of their city, as citizens Abdiaziz Nur remarked in the article: “I see so much difference as a longtime resident in Mogadishu. I had never dreamed that I would either walk through Mogadishu’s streets or drive my car at night, but now we feel glorified and proud.” Sport has become a significant means to rebuilding the devastated nation, much like the symbolic victory of South Africa hosting the 1995 Rugby World Cup, although on a smaller scale. Hundreds of men and women have claimed that they engage in basketball without fear of being punished, as was the norm during the reign of Al-Shabaab’s strict sharia laws. “The grim days are over,” said one former basketball player as supporters arrived at the stadium which once was filled with bloodstains. Despite gradual recovery, millions in Mogadishu and greater Somalia continue to face threats of war, malnutrition and starvation, a condition exacerbated by widespread famine in 2011. East African journalist Keishamaza Rukikaire agrees, saying that, “The whole country has been through far too much” and “needs to recover.” Graziano de Silva, Director General of the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations, said in The New York Times that the world “must not turn its back on Somalia,” saying the gains made so far could be reversed if the conflict worsens.

Banks strangling immigrants lifeline
By Tegan Phillips


efugee human rights organisation PASSOP (People Against Suffering Oppression and Poverty) recently reported that remittances from South Africa to Zimbabwe are “amongst the highest in the world”. PASSOP Programme Coordinator David von Burgsdorff compiled the report, which includes new statistics and suggestions that directly challenge and criticise current government policy. Remittances, or transfers of local money to a foreign national’s home country, have increased in South Africa over recent years. According to the report, the amount remitted to Zimbabwe alone is an estimated US$ 600-900 million annually. This accounts for an average of one-third of the total income of Zimbabwean migrants in South Africa, and 23 to 30% of Zimbabwe’s GDP. While there are formal channels through which the money can be sent, bank charges for sending funds across borders are generally between 10 and 15%, making South Africa one of the most expensive places in the world from which to send formal remittances. Furthermore, banks require a multitude of identification documents in order to accept an application to send remittances, many of which are difficult for asylum seekers and refugees to attain. The report states that a “shocking” 82% of migrants elect to send money through informal channels. As von Burgsdorff

says, “They put [the money] in the back of a bakkie and actually drive it to the doorstep in Zimbabwe,” in an effort to avoid unaffordable transactions. The costs are often not nearly as high as those incurred through formal channels, but the chances of the money or goods arriving without interference are also greatly decreased. “People are forced to use [informal passages] because there is no other option,” says von Burgsdorff. His findings indicated that it was “in South Africa’s interests” to change current remittance policies, which he called “excessive, unclear, unsystematic and ineffective,” so that formal channels become more accessible to migrants sending remittances. He said this would not only allow the South African government to keep track of outgoing funds but also “increase income to poor Zimbabwean families by about 70 – 90 million US dollars a year”, decreasing the need for as many Zimbabweans to leave their own country in search of financial support. He stressed that the ‘know your customer’ approach adopted by banks is not appropriate in the context of refugees, and refers to a system implemented in Mexico in which migrants, although not necessarily in possession of official documentation, were given a “special ID card” which allowed them to send portions of their income out of the country without question or hassle. While the South African government is purportedly weary of policies that ‘encourage’ money leaving South Africa, von Burgsdorff believes that a system like this would be ‘unlikely to

increase cash flow’ out of the country, as migrants are already sending as much as they can afford. Present at the conference was Professor Brian Raftopoulos, a prominent Zimbabwean scholar who is noted for his extensive involvement in Zimbabwean human rights in South Africa. He commented that von Burgsdorff had compiled a “very comprehensible report [containing] some very valuable suggestions” which should be used to “advise policy-makers”. He emphasised that the suggestions need to be “followed up and lobbied on” as soon as possible as to begin to develop the economies of both Zimbabwe and South Africa, and ultimately contribute to establishing conditions in Zimbabwe under which “free and fair elections can take place”. He stated that he believed all interactions with Zimbabwe should have a final aim of creating democracy, and that “substantive development assistance can’t wait ... if we wait it will only weaken democratic forces further”. This statement was corroborated by the founder of PASSOP, Braam Hanekom, who praised the report and announced that PASSOP would “make sure that this remittances document gets government officials to compel them to consider it”. He expressed that he hoped the suggestions made in the report could be adopted to begin to counter injustice and corruption with regards to remittances, concluding that “there is no reason why the profits of refugees should be intercepted by businessmen”.

Do you ever get the feeling that the only reason we have elections is to find out if the polls were right?  - Robert Orben (American Comedy Writer)

24 April 2012

09 Politics

Political Perspectives
By Megan Ellis Social networks and news sites were taken by storm this week when the story of a gang rape video went viral. People expressed disgust, shock and concern about South African society. However, the reality is that while this incident caught international attention, rape and gang rape occurs on a daily basis in South Africa. Some were shocked at the fact that people watched the video, and while I, too, find this disturbing, the truth is that many people have a morbid fascination with taboo and violence. Many of us are unsettled by pictures of the Holocaust and Vietnam, and news media often spreads scenes of violence to shock their viewers. We are fascinated by what is shocking, but I feel that it goes deeper than this. What I found most disturbing is that the rapists felt the need to record and distribute the girl’s pain and terror for the world to see. It’s reported they laughed at her and taunted her, offering her R2 for her silence. The thought of this scene makes me nauseous, but it also brings to the fore that this is happening – unrecorded and unheard of – to countless others. I think that once this case is over and the perpetrators have been prosecuted, the issue will slip under the radar once again, only to be dug up again in the occasional feature on the prevalence of rape in our country or for an exceptionally shocking or violent case. What saddens me most is that these incidents are nowhere close to ending. It is no coincidence that South Africa is both the most unequal society in the world and also considered the rape capital of the world. While it is inexcusable to rape anyone, poverty plays a massive role in violent crime. People are forced to live in terrible conditions on a mass scale where a cycle of violence, cruelty and anger is perpetuated and alcohol and drugs are used as an escape. Rape is often about power, and in a patriarchal society women and children (and men who are perceived as ‘weaker’) bear the brunt of this anger and frustration. This is where I look to the government in anger – because of corruption and fiscal irresponsibility, people continue to live in poverty. The government doesn’t do much to dispel myths in rape culture either. Remember Malema’s comment about rape? “When a woman didn’t enjoy it, she leaves early in the morning,” he joked. “Those who had a nice time will wait until the sun comes out, request breakfast and ask for taxi money.” With ideas like this being spouted by those whom we are supposed to respect and follow, is it so shocking that the rapists in the video taunted the girl with an offer of R2 for her silence? If we want to see a real change in South African society, our government needs to fulfil its promises and help alleviate the poverty which perpetuates crimes like these, so that these horrific scenes no longer constitute ‘just another day’ in South Africa.

Bucket system still a reality
By Kayla Roux esidents in Joe Slovo informal settlement in Uitenhage are angered and displeased with the local government because their ablution buckets have not been emptied all month. The ‘bucket system’, a system whereby a single bucket serves as a toilet for a household, is a reality for many in the Eastern Cape. The residents are threatening to empty their buckets into Ward Councillor Kenneth Kohl’s office if they are not collected and emptied by the municipality. The bucket system was first reported on in Grahamstown two years ago, but many see the municipality’s ‘sudden commitment’ to get rid of this degrading and unsanitary system as a response to coverage on the national TV programme Cutting Edge. In a submission to the SA Human Rights Commission’s (SAHRC) hearings on the right to sanitation and basic services, the Unemployed People’s Movement (UPM) expressed their concern about the superficial nature of reparations made by the municipality to eradicate the Buckets are collected twice a week and emptied into a tank on the back of a truck. Pic: Anton bucket system in KwaNdancama in Grahamstown. The Scholtz system is still being used in surrounding areas, such as to cooperate and negotiate a situation in which people’s basic rights to Port Elizabeth, where there have been no moves towards a safer, more proper, safe sanitation will be protected. “How are we expected to fight dignified and sustainable waste management system. for the restoration of our dignity if both the government and the police Protest action against the bucket system has been taking place since repress us?” they asked. “When we organised a speak-out campaign last year, with the UPM leading a march culminating in the emptying against water crisis and scarcity, both the ANC and ANC Youth League of buckets of waste in the hallway of the Makana municipal building. disrupted our meeting, calling us names,” they continued. They feel that According to The Herald, residents in Motherwell, just outside PE, dumped their buckets’ contents at Missionvale Ward 32 Councillor Sandra their right to organise against inadequate service delivery is under threat by local police. Fillis’s office. The bucket system is particularly prevalent in areas such as Phaphamani, The bucket system is not the only problem for many residents in the parts of Extension 6, and Kwandancama in Fingo Village in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape. According to the UPM, Grahamstown residents are still and is most prevalent in the Eastern Cape in comparison to the rest of the using the pit-latrine system, especially in Extension 6, in Phaphamani, country. Buckets are usually placed outside the home in makeshift shelters, eThembeni, eHlanani, Zolani and eTuthwini. “This is the system in which and are supposed to be emptied on a bi-weekly basis by the municipality people dig their own pits and once they are full they have to dig new ones – but this often doesn’t happen. When the municipality fails to arrive – somewhere else,” they explained. They called this system an undignified sometimes for two-week stretches at a time – residents are forced to empty health hazard that was ultimately unsustainable. They also pointed out the contents in their own backyards and in local rivers and streams. various problems concerning access to water for the poor in this droughtThere are alternative toilet systems available which could be ridden province. “In eThembeni, a couple died in a fire while the water implemented, given some infrastructural change and upgrades. From an was off – something that often happens,” they said. “In Joza, two couples environmental standpoint, a waterborne flushing toilet is an unfeasible died. They could not be saved from the fire because there was no water in option in a drought-ridden province like the Eastern Cape. Therefore, the taps.” They highlighted further cases of water contamination and areas flushing toilets in all households is not necessarily the answer. Systems in which water can only be accessed in the early hours of the morning – such as the waterless loo work similarly to flushing toilets, except that no before 7am – and others without any water at all. water is used in the process. In their statement, the UPM points to government’s unwillingness


ANC Powers at Play (again)
By Anton Scholtz resident Jacob Zuma’s main competitor for the presidency is most likely to come in the form of Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe at the ANC’s elective conference at Mangaung in December. While Motlanthe has not publicly announced his intentions to compete against Zuma yet, the Mail & Guardian recently reported that his personal allies have confirmed that he will stand for the position when nominations open in October. According to Richard Pithouse, a senior lecturer in the Rhodes Department of Political and International Studies, President Jacob Zuma, “has certainly not met the expectations of the people that brought him to power in a struggle within the ANC”. Pithouse believes that any hope of Zuma returning the party to its origins as a “mass-based movement for emancipation” has been disproved during his first term as president. Motlanthe is often described as the most qualified alternative for the position specifically because of his noted ability to unify divisions in the ruling party in the past through effective conflict resolution. Former ANC spokesperson


Smuts Ngonyama said Motlanthe’s approach to leadership had earned him much respect in Parliament from both ANC members and opposition parties alike. However, due to the covert nature of the majority of the ANC’s succession battles, Pithouse argues that the public has been “excluded from any full and open sense of who Kgalema Motlanthe’s backers are, what their commitments are and, of course, what sort of president Motlanthe himself would aim to be.” Recent comments made by Motlanthe regarding the state of the South African mines have sparked much discussion in one of the central debates pertaining to the economy. While Motlanthe has openly stated that he does not support the proposed nationalisation of the mines, as called for by the ANC Youth League, he does think that more state intervention is needed in the mineral sector. This, he believes, would lead to greater socio-economic benefits for all South Africans. A recent report in The Times states that Motlanthe proposes a “competitive regulatory framework”, which involves a soon-to-be-established state-owned mining company which will aim to ensure that the mineral industry and the economy as a whole

benefit more from locally-mined commodities. While Motlanthe has been praised as a worthy contender for the leadership of the nation, his political career is not without controversy. He has been intimately connected to ANC front company Chancellor House, which was first investigated by the Mail & Guardian in 2006 for its questionable relationship with the government through which it was awarded several lucrative tenders. The most notable of these was its partnership with Hitachi Power Africa, which was awarded a contract from Eskom in the construction of the massive Medupi power station near Lephalale in Limpopo. He was also allegedly instrumental in securing oil allocations from Saddam Hussein for ANC donor Sandi Majali. At this stage it is difficult to determine whether Motlanthe enjoys enough support to contend for the position of president. Given the dominance of the ANC in South African politics, it is, according to Pithouse, “essential that the ruling party move towards an open and democratic mode of engagement around contestation for positions in the party. What we do know is that if there will be an open battle in Mangaung, it will be bruising”.

UPM to feed own struggle
The UPM, a social movement that has branches in Durban, Grahamstown and the Northern Province, is strongly critical of the ruling party and modern-day apartheid that leads to the oppression and exploitation of the poor by those in power. Locally, the UPM has been instrumental in the fight against the bucket system and has put Grahamstown on the global #Occupy map with its protests demanding service delivery. The current chairperson of the UPM in Grahamstown is Asanda Ncwadi. Ayanda Kota, ex-chairperson of the UPM in Grahamstown and the current publicity secretary, outlines the movement’s aims and goals and its role in the continued struggle of the poor for access to basic services and resources. By Ayanda Kota, publicity secretary of UPM


he Unemployed People’s Movement (UPM) was formed in August 2009 to respond to the crisis of unemployment and the commodification of essential services in a society dominated by corruption and greed. As Steve Biko said, “The blacks are tired of standing at the touchlines to witness a game that they should be playing.” We want to do things for ourselves and all by ourselves. The UPM was born out of a realisation that we are the protagonists of our lives and nobody will free us but ourselves. We – the unemployed – will have to be our own liberators. Despite celebrations of freedom on 27 April every year, severe and widespread poverty persists. Our education system is in tatters; the futures of many black children look irrevocably bleak. Unemployment is skyrocketing, wasting the talents of many young people who are condemned to a life of permanent poverty. Many black people still lack access to electricity, clean water and proper sanitation. Many are terminally undernourished. All these things are happening while the elite and the government are living affluent, comfortable lives. President Jacob Zuma has just built a mansion in Enkandla to the tune of more than R400 million, and Julius Malema has also built a house worth R16 million. Every weekend the elite host parties and weddings which cost taxpayers millions while the people they claim to represent go to bed on an empty stomach and live in absolute poverty. They do not find this morally troubling. UPM stands against this thoughtless, unfeeling attitude – the lack of conscience in our rulers is reflected in the killing of Andries Tatane and other activists. We are shot with rubber bullets when we protest because they have neglected us. The prophetic Biko was once again spot on when he said, “Tradition has it that whenever a group of people has tasted the lovely fruits of wealth, security and prestige, it begins to find it more comfortable to believe in the obvious lie and accept that it alone is entitled to privilege.” It is this prestige and wealth that forms a hard shell around their consciences, blinding them from the poverty around them. Karl Marx said, “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.” Apartheid was a tragedy, but our current economic apartheid is a farce. Indeed, history repeating itself: we are repeating the disaster of the post-colonial regimes that Fanon attacked 50 years ago. We live in a society where the unemployment rate is said to be 23%, while the truth is different: the real unemployment rate is closer to 40%. We live in a society where to be black and unemployed is held to mean only one thing – laziness and expecting too much from the government. We live in a society where to speak out against government injustice means that you are ungrateful. We live in a society where people who speak out against injustice, which we live with every day, are told that we are being used by someone else. We live in a society where the poor are denied basic healthcare because of our inability to pay. Every time we go to the clinics we are certain of getting Panados, regardless of our illness. We live in a society where the affluent elite live in their fortresses and bubbles and see nothing wrong with the excessive poverty and inequality surrounding them. They see the poor majority as a threat to society. Yes – we live in a society where slavery, colonialism and apartheid have all been abolished. Yet the majority of

Ayanda Kota, former chairperson of the UPM, pauses during a motivational speech at the UPM offices in Bathurst Street before the March against ‘state repression’ on 29 February 2012. Pic: Anton Scholtz black people live below the poverty line! Apartheid was only abolished on paper. In real life, it is so vivid it cannot be overlooked. What is the difference between the Secrecy Act of apartheid and the current Protection of State Information Bill? And between the apartheid homeland leaders and chiefs and the current Traditional Courts bill? What is the difference between the death of Hector Pieterson in the 1976 uprising and the recent murder of Andries Tatane? What is the difference between the corrupt apartheid government and the current government, which seems to be just as – if not more - corrupt? One doesn’t have to look they make their journey through life.” This whole society needs to be transformed. It needs to be opened up to the participation of the people. Political power and control over resources must be shared. We need revolutionary change. This is what UPM stands for. Our unity has never been as necessary as it is today. The students and the youth, the rural and the poor, the Unemployed People’s Movement and other movements such as Abahlali base Mjondolo and Ilizwi Lamafama need to unite and form a constructive progressive bloc. We are the agents of change, not the new elite that has betrayed the struggle. We need to unite outside their movements because they have privatised our struggle and have taken it out of our hands. Like the formation of the Black Consciousness Movement did in the 1970s, we need to unite in our own space, define our own struggle and politics and shake the barricades of neo-liberalism. Forging a real unity of poor people’s movements and struggles with the progressive intelligentsia is of paramount importance.

We - the unemployed will have to be our own liberators

far - the arms deal, the Travelgate scandal, Richard Mdluli, Shabir Schaik, Bret Kebble, Tony Yengeni, tenderpreneurs, local municipalities that have become milking cows for the leadership of the ruling party are but a few examples. Think of Zuma’s mansion in Enkandla, paid by taxpayers’ money. Now think of the mud houses surrounding it, mud houses that are crumbling down. Our leaders have become the nuts and bolts of the machine that is oppressing us today. They have become stooges of capital. They have not confronted white racism seriously in all the various forms it takes today. We are important to them on election day, but all they see us as is voting cattle. Our new elite have taken the old masks of the colonialist and are proudly wearing them. As Fanon puts it, the mission of the new elite has “nothing to do with transforming the nation; it consists, prosaically, of being the transmission line between the nation and a capitalism, rampant though camouflaged, which today puts on the masque of neocolonialism.” Martin Luther King once declared, “A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. We are called to play the Good Samaritan on life’s roadside; but... one day the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be beaten and robbed as

Ayanda Kota holds one of the infamous buckets, used in the bucket system, outside the Grahamstown Town Hall during the ‘Occupy Grahamstown’ March. 15 October 2011. Pic: Anton Scholtz

Edition 3 . 24 April 2012

11 Photo Feature

Splishy Splashy
Top: A view of the river that runs alongside the Splashy Fen Festival venue. Pic: Lauren Rawlins Above: Tight-rope walking in one of the campsites at Splashy Fen Music Festival, 2012. Pic: Anton Scholtz
By Simone Loxton

plashy Fen is a sneaky festival. It is advertised as an alternative Easter weekend getaway for the family and although elements of this are present, it sure is one hell of a party. Imagine five dirty days without showers, constantly changing camping arrangements and beverage consumption that will ensure that even the most seasoned party goer’s insides rot, and you get the uncensored version. Now in its 23rd year, the festival has grown into one that is nationally recognised, attracting people who want to escape a


congested Easter in the city. We arrived the night before the festival started and were able to watch the increase in festival-goers over the four days which followed. It allowed for many amusing times, such as the regular appearance of semi-lost visitors looking for a friendly place to rest before setting off on more unknown adventures. The venue, Splashy Fen farm, is fairly small which makes for short, yet eventful trips to nearby attractions, there are even helicopter rides available. Even finding fellow Rhodents was pretty easy. The Underberg area is the perfect host in bringing thousands of people to the farm. The beautiful surroundings play an important role in the hospitality and escape offered by the event. One is able to

adventure to places such as the famous river and the far side of the campsite, untouched by anyone, which can provide the peace and quiet which is sometimes required when an overdose of booze, dust and noise begins to take its toll. Splashy Fen is South Africa’s oldest music festival and has grown to now offer a line-up of some of South Africa’s hottest acts such as Lark, Van Coke Cartel and Hog Hogidy Hog. There was a huge amount of Durban and Pietermaritzburg based music along with their loyal supporters. Lesser-known bands from other areas in South Africa also held their ground after proving themselves to the welcoming audience.

12 Photo Feature

Edition 3

Top L-R: Shadrack “Charlie” Mathopa, Tidal Waves bassist. Inge Beckmann, Lark vocalist. Pics: Lauren Rawlins Above: Former Rhodes student, Glenn Groenewald, dressed for the festivities. Right: Festival-goers enjoy the music at the main stage. Pics: Anton Scholtz

24 April 2012

13 Photo Feature

Top: PH Fat in action on the main stage. Left: Ross Terblanche of Durban-based Celtic punk band, The Trees. Pics: Anton Scholtz Above: Graeme Watkins, vocalist of The Graeme Watkins Project. Pic: Lauren Rawlins

24 April 2012

13 Photo Feature

Top: PH Fat in action on the main stage. Left: Ross Terblanche of Durban-based Celtic punk band, The Trees. Pics: Anton Scholtz Above: Graeme Watkins, vocalist of The Graeme Watkins Project. Pic: Lauren Rawlins

14 Business

Edition 3

Exchange rates:

R7,83 / 1 USD R10,37 / 1 EUR R12,65 / 1 GBP

There is no crisis in the banking system. The banking system in South Africa has withstood the Lehman crisis. That crisis has tested our regulatory system to the ultimate extent.

- SA Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan

Gordhan: tackle unemployment
By Njabulo Nkosi


inance Minister Pravin Gordhan has said that SA is not doing enough to create jobs in government, business and civil society sectors. “The real issue is not the target, the real issue is can we mobilise all of the South African resources... in order that all of us do what we can to put people into some kind of job,” said Pravin Gordhan while addressing the Foreign Correspondents Association on 16 April. The government set the creation of five million jobs by 2020 as one of its key Millenium Development Goals. According to Gordhan, however, this is not what policy should be focusing on. “It is more important to get everyone into some sort of job,” he said. This is a pertinent assertion in the wake of recent university graduates ready to take on the working world, in which 600,000 out of 12.5 million unemployed South Africans have degrees. “In respect of our younger people, to have the basic experience of working, that is the objective at this point in time,” said Gordhan. He feels that job creation is not solely a government

responsibility, however. “You can’t just look at government, because 70% of those jobs must come from the private sector; it’s the private sector that must create jobs. For them to do this, they must invest.” Businesses have about R500 billion in unused profit surplus in the bank, which could be used for investing in the creating of stable employment. Most businesses are risk averse, and the risks of this plan of action are high in the short run, but many have called for a less short-sighted view. “Businesses need to take medium or long term view, not just react to short term risks,” FNB CEO Michael Jordaan argued. Thanks to South Africa’s BRICS (Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa) membership, there are opportunities open for all sectors in Africa, because our fellow members are economically strong enough to provide channels, infrastructure and resources to spur job creation in SA. This is seen by some as a way of combatting the financial difficulties plaguing the world economy. “The globe is not going to collapse,” assured Gordhan. “We are in a period of recovery, just a very uncertain one.” In response to the concerns of the country’s labour laws

restricting job creation, Gordhan noted that there are efficient structures in South Africa to deal with these concerns. “Whichever side has concerns should use those forums and create a climate for dialogue...and resolution so that we can move ahead.” Gordhan says international organisations had different views on whether South Africa’s labour legislation was rigid, explaining that “by and large the view would be that we are not an overly rigid economy”. He said anyone with concerns about the proposed labour law amendments should approach Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant, as she has an open door policy. The South African Chamber of Commerce survey indicates that the biggest reasons SA is failing to create jobs are economic conditions, burdensome dismissal processes in the current labour legislation, a shortage of skills and high wage demands. Mobilising all sectors of the country and reaching the 2020 job creation target will be hard, but there are incentives for businesses to create jobs. It is clear, however, that urgent discussion is necessary in this regard.

World Bank elects new leader
By Nicolan Reddy orean-born health expert Jim Yong Kim was chosen by the board of the World Bank as its new leader. The 52-year-old won in a decision that, for the first time in World Bank history, was not unanimous. “The final nominees received support from different member countries, which reflected the high calibre of the candidates,” said the World Bank in a statement announcing the board’s decision. Kim will assume his post on 1 July when the resigned president Robert Zoellick’s term ends in June, and will serve for five years. There is speculation and debate as to whether or not the appointment of Kim will lead to the reforms that many global financial leaders are calling for. Among these leaders is South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who has long criticised the voting structure and transparency of the World Bank. The US has traditionally appointed the World Bank president who takes a European deputy and vice versa at the International Monetary Fund. In previous elections, a very limited global demographic has been represented in the voting process, and this is something that emerging markets have motioned to change. “From what I’m hearing there’s serious concerns about transparency,” said


Gordhan, with regards to the voting process. He also linked this to whether the process had been a merit-based one. “The world will be waiting to see whether the World Bank has improved its legitimacy [and] has broadened its base of participation in the terms of the kinds of candidates it will entertain.” Many believe that the voting process was more fair and transparent this time. Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who had the backing of the African continent, was the only other candidate for the job after Brazilian nominated professor at Columbia University Jose Jim Yong Kim, the recently elected leader of the World Bank. Pic: Flickr Antonio Ocampo pulled out of the race. Okonjolweala, who lost the election, is happy with the the needs of its diverse clients and donors, delivers more powerful decision and that a much broader demographic had participated results to support sustained growth, prioritises evidence-based in the election. She believes Kim is an excellent choice despite solutions over ideology, amplifies the voices of developing criticism of him being a medical doctor and not a development countries, and draws on the expertise and experience of the economist like herself. people we serve,” said Kim. These are promises the world is “As President, I will seek a new alignment of the World Bank waiting for him to deliver in the wake of both a financially volatile Group with a rapidly changing world. Together, with partners old global economy and Africa experiencing global economic growth. and new, we will foster an institution that responds effectively to

Taxes forcing businesses into ‘shadow economy’
By Ziyanda Magazi rowth in the informal sector is encouraged by heavy regulation, rising labour costs, corruption and declining ‘tax morality’ according to Friedrich Schneider and Dominik Enste, two German experts on the international underground or ‘shadow’ economy. All these factors are present in South Africa, and experts attribute the recent shocking statistics regarding the informal sector and start-up enterprises to them. A 76% decline in start-up businesses in the national economy in the last five years is due to budding entrepreneurs doing business in the unrecorded informal sector. The drop from 250,000 to 58,000 small businesses in 2011 could be harmful to the South African economy, because small businesses hold a very real prospect of sustainable, large-scale job creation in the long run. According to an official estimate by Stats SA, 2.1 million people are


informally employed. Adcorp estimates the number to be closer to 6.5 million. With unemployment at a desperate level and the 2020 job creation goal set at five million jobs, these numbers are starting to draw attention. According to Adcorp labour economist Loane Sharp, the fact that so many small start-up companies have moved to the shadow economy indicates that the conditions for starting a legitimate small business have deteriorated. He believes that this is due to two primary factors. Firstly, between 2003 and 2010, SARS offered a tax amnesty that helped many new taxpayers, including a large number of small businesses. This period is now over and the additional burden of taxes has fallen on small businesses. Starting up underground is a way to avoid them. Secondly, labour laws and regulations for small businesses have become particularly onerous. For instance, between 2004 and 2011 the number of cases dealt with by the Council for Conciliation,

Mediation and Arbitration increased by 22% from 128 000 to 156 000 a year. Sharp said the industry-wide extension of bargaining council wage agreements, typically decided on between a handful of large employers and trade unions, also forced small businesses to pay higher wages. Assuming that more small businesses in South Africa are starting up illegitimately, the disadvantages for society are that employees are paid in cash, do not pay tax other than VAT, and are not protected by statutory benefits. The growth of the shadow economy is set to increase even further, especially since more restrictive labour laws may be implemented soon. “Such laws eventually have the opposite effect... resulting in less protection for labour and less unionisation, because informal workers have neither,” said Sharp. “The laws also encouraged lawlessness and undermined the ability to gain accurate statistics, which meant discrepancies would increase.”

24 April 2012
By Alexa Sedgwick and Kate Sedgwick

15 Comment & Analysis


he cannabis sativa plant, otherwise known as marijuana, weed, pot, dagga or hemp, has had its fair share of media attention in the past few years. Discussions regarding its decriminalisation have grown across the world and whether or not you agree with it, there is no denying that it has sparked some interesting debates. Commonly associated with alternative groups or stereotyped as a ‘hippie’ drug, cannabis has been criminalised in many countries and is considered a ‘gateway drug’ to hard substance abuse. Even though the movement for its sanction was effectively spear-headed by alternative groups in the past, it has now become a mainstream discussion. The reason for the conflict of interest is mostly due to studies that allege that the drug is not addictive or harmful to humans, and that it also has medical benefits that relieve pain for cancer and multiple sclerosis patients. However, nothing concrete has been proven in this regard. Campaigns around the world are advocating for both sides of the cause: the Netherlands and North Africa are commonly known for their legalisation of cannabis, and other countries have also allowed controlled use of the drug for medical purposes. It is currently still illegal in South Africa. Is cannabis really a medical miracle and a harmless way to relax, or is it a dangerous gateway drug that needs to stay illegal? Activate sought your views. Nicky Reid, BSC 2 I don’t think legalising weed would be a good idea because it would then be taxed and

Hot or Not?

Legalising pot:

because in today’s society weed is actually seen as the ‘not so harmful’ drug so it isn’t actually that bad that people are taking it. The fact that people do weed is largely due to the fact that it is illegal anyway and if it became legal, it wouldn’t be as much fun actually going to a shop to buy it than it is getting it from a dealer. Dr Alan Kirkaldy, History lecturer I think marijuana should be decriminalised – meaning that people will not be prosecuted for having it – but not legalised, so that large companies will not be able to deal in it. That way, large businesses will not gain a monopoly over it. Ash Ketchum, BPharm 1 I think that idealistically weed should be legalised and by doing this it would decrease the crime levels. However, legalising weed isn’t going to influence the number of people using it, because it is something which a lot of people do and many people are addicted so they are not going to just stop because it becomes legal. Tshegofatso Monare, BA 3 and sub-warden of Rosa Parks I think it should be legalised. Even though it is harmful and does affect people in different ways, I just feel that people simply do it because it is illegal. It also doesn’t make sense that people are going to jail for things such as smoking weed, because smoking weed doesn’t affect anyone else but the person smoking it, which makes it rather stupid as there are so many other things happening in the world which people should be arrested for.

The debate on the legalisation of marijuana is one which many students feel particularly strong about. Pic: Anton Scholtz

corrupt. I also think that it would take away the fun element, because things are always a lot more fun when you are not allowed to do them.  Michael Naidoo, Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology lecturer and Pharmacologist I am in favour of decriminalising marijuana because the arguments against it are flawed pharmacologically. Firstly, there is no

evidence that marijuana is a ‘gateway drug’. Secondly, it is a non-addictive drug and creates no physical dependency, unlike alcohol, which does quite quickly. The biggest factor in the criminalisation of marijuana is really that governments haven’t found a way to tax it yet. Damian Dillineer, BSC 1 I don’t think weed should be legalized,

By Luke Cadden


he thick-framed glasses, eye-popping performance and the extortionist ticket prices are all factors that make up the popular 3D movie experience. The technology of creating the illusion of depth perception, however, is certainly no stranger to the big screen, with the earliest 3D movie being recorded in 1922. It experienced a revival in the late 1980s, finally culminating with the releases of various high-end 3D films like the highly successful Avatar in 2009, which remains the highest-grossing film of all time. On the other hand, older films are now being re-screened with the addition of 3D, such as the Disney classic The Lion King and more recently Titanic, which is currently in cinemas to mark the 100th anniversary of the ship’s sinking. Some argue that this is a money-making racket, leavings customers unimpressed by the higher ticket prices and sheer arrogance of the movie industry to occasionally screen films in ‘3D-only viewings’, but it appears that many moviegoers continue to support the new movie dimension. The 3D movie industry has a considerable (if not permanent) impact on our cinematic experience, but will consumers continue to buy into Hollywood’s re-release antics or will they demand the experience of newer and better budgetdefying epics like Avatar? Should the classic films be left as they are, or is 3D a better movie experience in general? Activate sought the views of moviegoers across campus. Kevin Wang, Diploma of Multimedia 3 I think 3D is just the enhancement of depth, as 2D in normal movies only has height and length. I’m studying 3D moulding and 2D animation. Some people would say they can ‘touch’ it more and that’s true, but the experience is the same – as in the same story line... But the 3D movie experience will make it more fun. They still need to fix the fact that putting the 3D glasses on might make you feel a bit ‘grey’, but fixing it might be difficult and they have gone wrong a few times due to the nature of 3D. But 3D is the next step to 4D, so I say it is here to stay, but they must leave old movies behind and make new ones for the future. Ananda Paver, BA 2 3D movies are greatly exciting and a little headache-inducing,

Hollywood’s newest dimension
but I think that the technology is only truly successful when used for animation. Otherwise it’s just a little blurry and too quick to follow. The glasses might be uncomfortable but 3D really brings cartoons alive - it’s magical. I always feel like a little kid again. I usually avoid ‘real people’ films in 3D but if it were a movie that I really liked I might give it a watch – it’s just super expensive. Kirsten Wagner, BA Law 2 I just think 3D movies aren’t for everyone. I generally have quite bad eyesight so it messes with my sight. The last two 3D movies I saw were Alice in Wonderland and Avatar. After that I couldn’t stand to see another 3D movie so I opted to either wait for the DVD or I’d watch the original. I also find that 3D movies are exuberant [sic] in price and as a student I can’t afford that kind of cash for a movie! That’s why I feel it is a money-making scheme. They should leave movies as they are – the storyline is the same and the graphics are pretty much the same too with some added ‘depth’. I do understand though why 3D movies are so popular, I suppose technology changes everything and as we move forward technologically, we have to embrace such change. Natalie Austin, BJourn 2 The 3D movie experience is one that requires a certain set of circumstances. If you are not positioned at the very back or centre, it is a waste of a good ticket. What is the point of watching a great action flick when suddenly the sword is bent out at an angle because you got the last seats right under the big screen?

Natasha van Blerk, BSS 2 Personally I don’t like 3D movies. The reason being is because I like to believe the illusion of reality within the movie. The illusion itself is the attraction, being the ‘ideal’ girl, the ‘ideal’ boy… 3D blurs that perception. 2D allows us to differentiate between reality and the illusion of reality. In addition, the idea of introducing classics into the 3D world is sad. The reason the movie is a classic is mainly based on the time it was made. Why would you want to ruin a classic by trying to shape it into the believed new era of movies? There are too many classics that became that way without 3D. We live in 3D – we do not need the illusions of entertainment to become like everyday life. Lucille Moleko, BCom 3 Remaking Titanic was a money-making gimmick because the movie already had so many supporters and was a success without 3D effects. Movie-making has evolved though, so I do think in the future 3D movies will be the norm. They are quite cool to watch but producers should stay away from remaking classics because audiences will probably stick to what they know. Tshego Monare, BA Law 2 I think 3D movies are great! They make the experience of watching a movie even better than it is. As for remaking classics like Titanic, I haven’t seen the 3D version yet but I think it’s going to be even better than it already is. Well the glasses are quite a schlep but I don’t mind wearing them – a small price to pay for the experience I guess! I think 3D movies are the future; it makes the whole experience more real. Nicolas Dias, LLB 3 A movie is art, so the purpose of the art depends on who is making the movie. If the person who is making the movie intends it to be as realistic and immersive as possible, I think 3D is a good way to go. We all have depth perception, and we don’t see the world as a 2D picture. But current 3D technology is analogous to the earliest use of colour in movies; it reflects better our reality than black and white movies, but it has a far way to go before it reaches its potential.

16 Features

Edition 3

Festival of Chariots
By Youlendree Appasamy


he thousands of Hare Krishna devotees streaming to the Chariot Festival grounds in central Durban this past Easter had an air of serenity and peace. The rhythmic chant “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Hare Ram, Hare Ram, Hare Hare” by musicians on stage was a fitting soundtrack for the weekend. The Festival of Chariots, or Ratha-Yatra, has been an annual event in Durban since 1980 and has the dual purpose of showcasing Hare Krishna consciousness to the public and drawing three religiously significant chariots through Durban. The chariots are a highlight of the festival as the public is invited to pull them along their path. At the end of their journey, devotees cluster around the chariots to receive holy fruits and garlands of flowers. “I really feel blessed when garlands and other goods are thrown down from the chariots,” said Samandrie Govender of Shallcross. “It gives one a sense of peace and I’ve come back for the chariots the past seven years.” The festival is held annually in India in the city of Jagannatha Puri. As in Durban, the chariots are drawn through the city to the ancient temple in which Hare Khrishna is worshipped. The festival is based on the legend that Hare Krishna was inspired by the spontaneous love of his followers to leave his castle and visit them in an ecstatic state. “The esoteric meaning of the Ratha-Yatra parade is that we

pull the Lord back into our hearts and rekindle the loving relationship we have with Him,” says Champakalata Dasi on her blog about the festival. Since 1988, the festival has been an attraction for both local and international worshippers and tourists. It is one of the main events on the Durban calendar and draws over 200 000 people every year. Various celebrities and presidents, including President Jacob Zuma and former president Thabo Mbeki, have attended the festival to show national support. Hare Krishna devotees are practising vegetarians and, initially, the lack of meat A Lord Krishna figurine is surrounded by Hare Krishna devotees at the Festival of Chariots in options can be a concern for Durban on the Easter weekend. Pic: Youlendree Appasamy some. However, the various degradable,” said Janardana Daas of Phoenix. “[The] eating of vegetarian food stalls catered for many different tastes and flesh serves to degrade the body faster so it is not done. This is our appetites. original state of being.” “Hare Krishnas worship the soul solely, as the body is

The positive power of ‘phuck’
Nina McFall


wearing in a professional context could impact your job – positively. According to a Forbes online article, the use of expletives has the potential to make those in power seem more approachable, which can be a powerful tool for lecturers and politicians alike. According to Sean Stonefield’s article, the taboos against swearing in public might not be well-founded. In the article, Robert Sutton, author of Good Boss, Bad Boss and a professor at Stanford Engineering School, argues that “taboo words have an emotional impact that replacements cannot equal, and [they] suggest that when public figures like Barack Obama and Donald Trump throw about an expletive (or several, in Trump’s case) it only helps them to appear more relatable.” Sutton adds, “There are times when cursing adds emphasis and does not necessarily hurt your image.” Dr Alan Kirkaldy, a History lecturer at Rhodes admits, “I do swear in lectures, but I never actually swear at students. I like to think I don’t swear gratuitously, but to make points. Swearing is a normal part of language.” Kirkaldy explains the motivation behind his relaxed lecturing style: “The public pay your salary, so they should be able to read what you write if they want to. I write and speak as the general public can understand. Academic production should be accessible. I put things as simply as I can.” Kirkaldy adds that this technique helps students to remember what has been said in lectures.  Cory Scherer, an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Penn State University, who conducted a related study, agrees: “If you use swearing in a humorous way, it can be a great tool for relieving stress in a situation and bringing the group closer.” Kirkaldy explains that he does not set out to offend anyone, and stresses that he never utters racist, sexist or homophobic remarks. “You have to be able to interact on another level [besides academia], as a human,” he says. “You have got to be provocative in a way that doesn’t offend.” The Forbes article cites a 2006 study by Scherer and Brad J. Sagarin from Northern Illinois University which backs the above claims. The 88 students who took part in the study were randomly assigned to listen to one of three speeches on high tuition rates. The speeches were all of a similar length containing similar material, with one key difference: in the first speech the speaker swore at the start, the second speaker

Illustration: Katja Schreiber swore at the end, and the third not at all. Results showed that the speakers who cursed during their lecture scored higher in ‘persuasion and perceived passion’ than the one who didn’t. Furthermore, the swearing did not impact the students’ perception of the speaker’s credibility. “Swearing is a way of communicating that you are the most important person in the room,” says Scherer. Swearing has also been proven to have other effects. A 2009 report by researchers at Keele University in Staffordshire, England, found that swearing can ease physical pain. Volunteers for the experiment held their hands in ice water, first while repeating a curse and then while using a less offensive phrase. It was discovered that those who swore were able to keep their hands in the ice water for longer. Interestingly, the effect was particularly strong amongst volunteers who said they did not usually curse. US President Barack Obama, Vice-President Joe Biden, Donald Trump and Steve Jobs have all been known to use swearwords during public appearances. President Obama went on The Today Show following the BP oil spill to tell NBC host Matt Lauer that he was consulting experts about the spill “so I know whose ass to kick”. In this case, perhaps President Obama should have selected a stronger word, as he was criticised for his ‘lack of passion’ in reaction to the spill.

24 April 2012

17 Features

More than ink on skin
By Kerstin Hall t’s an overcast day. The small side street that leads to the tattoo parlour is difficult to find and overgrown with ivy. Irritable dogs bark from the backyards of adjoining houses, but there aren’t any other people around. On the gate a monochrome sign leers, depicting a skull and daggers. It’s an intimidating scene. One tattoo artist has tattoos covering almost every part of exposed skin, from his hands to his face. They vary in subject matter: he has a clover on his forehead and an incredibly intricate design of flowers, chains and faces writhing across his forearm. He says that most of them don’t have any special meaning. After a short foray into the tattoo subculture, that’s hard to believe. Rhodents themselves have more tattoos than most people would suspect. Some of them, like the tattoo artist, have big, bold, colourful designs proudly on display. Liam Rabitte, for instance, has the entire Van Morrison song ‘Sweet Thing’ tattooed in black ink down the side of his chest. Apparently, he has another tattoo as well.


“Yeah, but he can’t show you that one,” sniggers a friend. Other students have smaller tattoos, often hidden from the public eye. Bridget White has a small peace sign tattooed on her back. It’s something she truly believes in. “Other people often bring me down about it,” she says. “They think peace is a stupid notion and that I must be a hippy.” She recently got the tattoo because she wanted to do something exciting and permanent to represent a part of who she is. Zintle Dolweni also has uplifting, positive tattoos. Zintle had always wanted a tattoo, so she went to a tattoo parlour in Durban two years ago and had a phoenix etched onto her ankle without telling anyone. She laughs and adds, “My mom didn’t freak out. She just asked how much it had cost when she saw it.” Zintle also knew exactly what image she wanted: it had to be a phoenix. “No matter what situations I go through, I can rise from the ashes like a phoenix and start over,” she says. Hilary Kane’s tattoo is well-hidden on her side. “It’s the perfect spot,” she says. “I can keep it private.” The beautiful purple orchid is her own design, a gesture of self-expression. Orchids are her

favourite flowers and symbolise femininity and individuality to her. She, like Zintle, had also always known she was going to get inked. Other students have different, sadder significances behind their tattoos. Louise Fuller had always wanted a tattoo, but it was only after her brother passed away that she went out and got one. The tattoo on her lower back is a stylised butterfly alongside his initials. “I wanted it to be meaningful,” she says. “I saw the butterfly design on the Internet and I knew I had to get that one.” Milly Wilkinson had her tattoo done just a few weeks ago. The design on her foot is of a daisy, alongside the name “Wilkinson” in a pretty, curving font. “My grandfather passed away. It’s a dedication to him,” she says. Milly’s grandfather had always liked daisies, and often wore one behind his ear. “He wrote a poem called I Pick More Daisies, about living life to the fullest.” Tattoos, in their varied shapes, sizes and significances, are not arbitrary symbols, and do not always signify an attempt at being ‘cool’. They mean something to the person on whose body they are imprinted. They leave a mark on the skin and can often reveal a little of a person’s soul.

Hilary Kane (left) and Liam Rabitte (right) show off their tattoos. Many students who have been inked say that their tattoos are deeply personal and significant and are not necessarily just for show and tell. Pics: Kerstin Hall.

Enough to make you sick
By Youlendree Appasamy and Gabriela Masson


onstant stomach aches, looking and feeling like a corpse and running to the bathroom every three minutes – these are some of the symptoms students have been complaining about after eating res food. As 50% of Rhodes students live in res, it is a complaint that should not be taken lightly. First-years Luyanda Mahlinza and Brian Mabe have first-hand experience of residence kitchens. Both were serving hours in the last week of first term in the Kimberley West dining hall and were shocked by the lack of general hygiene standards with regards to the washing of dishes, trays and cups. “They only clean the countertops around the dirty dishes properly,” said Mabe. Mahlinza agrees, saying that both she and Mabe were reprimanded for spending more time attempting to clean the dishes and trays thoroughly. “We were hurried up and told to leave them. It seems like they [the kitchen staff] were rushing to get home,” said Mahlinza. Dirty dishes are known to be a contributing factor towards

diarrhoea, vomiting, salmonella and E. coli infections. Melvin Pascal, a food scientist at Ohio State University, explained that bacteria which cause ill health to humans multiplies faster in utensils such as forks and plastic trays. Worryingly, dirty dishes are not the worst of it. Describing the beef used in the dining hall, Mahlinza said that it was “mostly red but some parts were black or grey, and two flies flew out of the beef when I picked up the packet”. In the last week of the first term, the mince used in the Halaal meal (in Kimberley West dining hall) was described by the students of the dining hall as being green. According to Mavis Mnyungula, the Senior Caterer at Kimberly West dining hall, the allegations made by students are not true. Mnyungula stated that dishes are washed through a dishwasher, which uses Diner Wash and Diner Rinse (cleaning chemicals), and are dried with paper towels instead of dishcloths. According to her, this is because cloths can harbour potentially dangerous bacteria. Myungula stated that kitchens have set regulations that have been implemented in the interest of health and safety. She also

asserts that, to her knowledge, the meat served in the dining hall is not compromised. Correspondence between food representatives and catering administration ultimately proved to be fruitless, as stool or vomit samples had to be given at the Health Care Centre to verify if it was indeed gastro-enteritis or food-borne contamination. Avril Kivitts, a nurse at the Health Care Centre, commented on the increase in stomach complaints on campus. “The incidences have been quite random, and about 98% of the students who come in complaining of stomach aches have then requested LOAs.” Kivitts went on to say that not all students complaining of an upset stomach were actually sufferers of gastro-enteritis, and there were “big questions on the legitimacy of the complaints”. Without evidence directly linking residence food to ill health, the Health Care Centre cannot verify the food poisoning claims. The Health Care Centre and the Catering Department urge students to come forward and report incidences of gastro-enteritis immediately, so that this can be put to bed and students can eat meat dishes without doubts of its freshness.

Edition 3

Zebra & Giraffe
8pm on Wednesday 25 April Prime R30

Zebra and Giraffe come under The Knife
By David Mann ndie rock band and popular favourites of the local music scene, Zebra and Giraffe are hitting Grahamstown this week on Wednesday 25 April. The band has been on a winning streak lately, walking away with a South African Music Award for ‘Best Rock Album’ with their debut album Collected Memories, as well as a MTV Africa Music Award in Kenya for the category ‘Best Alternative’, beating both Coldplay and Green Day for the award. Greg Carlin, the band’s vocalist, called the experience a career highlight. “It’s always great to receive recognition from the industry,” he said. Zebra and Giraffe has gone international for the first time with their EP The Knife, which Zebra & Giraffe are set to rock Grahamstown this week. Pic: Wesley Vinay contains songs from their is currently working on their third album to be released in July and will be debut album. The EP was mixed and mastered by famed producer Cenzo touring SA shortly after that to promote it. Townshend, who has worked with bands such as Snow Patrol, Editors and They are now well-known favourites in SA music with their experimental U2. “It was crazy going to London and working with Cenzo, it was a great songs and captivating lyrics. Carlin, who writes the songs, is inspired experience,” says Carlin. The band also plans to tour internationally near from his experiences, giving the songs a very personal feel with powerful the end of the year to promote the release of their third album. emotion. “Writing music is very cathartic and is a great way for me to deal Since starting out in about 2008, they have only gone from strength to with things,” he says. “It’s like my therapy.” strength, shown by their follow-up album The Inside and the international The last gig Zebra and Giraffe held in Grahamstown drew the biggest launch of their latest EP. Zebra and Giraffe is a band to be reckoned with. The band has made a name for themselves by frequently touring around SA crowd on their album launch tour. Carlin says “it was an insane show and also a highlight. We can’t wait to come back.” Be sure to to catch their show and building up a strong fan base. They have said that despite piracy and at Prime on Wednesday, 25 April. “turmoil in the local music scene”, it’s getting better all the time. The band

Acoustic Soul
Wednesday 25 April Makhaya’s Lounge


The Dogs Must Be Crazy
Wednesday 25 April and Thursday 26 April (7pm) Rhodes Box Theatre

Ladies Night
8pm on Thursday 26 April Prime R60

MYOWNMUSIC: It came from the mountains?!
Friday 4 May Slipstream Sports Bar

Richard the Third
Friday 11 May The Union

Anything but the tip of the iceberg
By Gemma Barkhuizen Title: Titanic (3D re-release) Director: James Cameron Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet. Running time: Too damn long. Rating: Only okay to watch if you have just been dumped and feel the need to bask in self pity by watching a romantic film that is clichéd enough to correlate with this mode of dealing with a break-up to death. However, aside from this aesthetic element of excitement (the cinematography is actually quite remarkable), there is little that can be said to justify Titanic’s cult following. While it may be worth watching out of curiosity as to why a film that is so obviously mediocre in every way should have attracted such devout and widespread adoration, it is inevitable that this curiosity will not be satisfied by this monotonous, gratuitously drawn-out piece of overrated cinema that is Cameron’s classic. The iconic music score – if you can hear it over the sobbing middle-aged women who will no doubt comprise the majority of the audience – is admittedly near-perfect; but only because it complements the repulsive soppiness that pervades the movie, ensuring that it is unable to resist its extravagant sentimentality. Furthermore, the cast is enjoyable, but only because it is an amusing novelty to see that Leonardo DiCaprio could not always act all that well – and also to marvel at the spectacularly over-plucked eyebrows of Rose’s fiancé (Billy Zane). If you are planning to revisit Titanic because you cherished it as a child and are thus seeking validation for that childhood appreciation – a surprisingly and consolingly commendable film that escapes its own clichés and thus makes you feel less ashamed of having loved it so much –

The Graeme Watkins Project
Friday 18 May The Union


Alive! at the Monument
7.30pm on Sunday 12 May R50 tickets available at various shops in town If you would like your event to appear in the gig guide or have a story suggestion, email artsandentertainment.activate@gmail. com

itanic – the pseudo-historical tale of the forbidden and unlikely love that develops between an upper-class, engaged girl (Winslet) and a poor young nomadic artist (DiCaprio) aboard a supposedly unsinkable ship. Everyone knows the plot, even those who are lucky enough never to have spent three mind-numbing hours of their lives watching it. Upon its original release, Titanic was the highest grossing film of all time. It is a film that everyone is expected to have seen, yet nobody is expected to admit having enjoyed. The motivation behind its re-release is thus questionable (it was purportedly to commemorate the centenary of the ship’s sinking), although the fact that it was in 3D undoubtedly made viewing it more bearable: after all, nearly any film can be exciting when it is in three dimensions… even one that has been done

Pic: Flickr abandon that plan. However, if you are one of the rare individuals who have yet to watch this questionable classic and feel foolishly deprived as a result, at least now you can watch it in 3D. Nude scenes are much cooler in 3D.

24 April 2012
Writing these can’t be that hard … Libra You are a pretty airhead and nothing more. You are terrible at making decisions and can never stick to them once they’re made. And would it kill you to use a little less perfume? Your skirts are always too short and you flirt too much! To find some decorum and dignity this month, try the 27th. Scorpio You’re just weird. You like death and have strange sex fantasies. You only make friends with dumb people so that you can always feel important - hence your fascination with dominatrices. You are too demanding and super secretive! You should be living on another planet. Space trips are coming up soon… Get yourself on a rocket on 4 May! Sagittarius Your only skill is making tea. You pretend to be busy, but you really never are, your days are spent sleeping and nights drinking in a quiet corner. Is it so hard to stick to a system or commit to a relationship? Stop trying to tell people that you have skills – you really don’t. Capricorn Someone likes to talk about themselves! You love your drink and pretend to be the nonjudgemental and jealous type but you are a jealous monster and everyone can see through your act. Buy a huge bear jacket – try hunting on 17 May. Aquarius You’re a Jack of all trades, but master of none. Nothing is really ever done properly – you would be the perfect robot because you walk around with no visible feelings, and you’re tactless! Try some community engagement; you might earn yourself some heart eventually. Pisces You live in your own delusional world and you’re a cry-baby. You tear up at anything, and you probably had your first cry for the day already – you’re far too sensitive and lack real drive for life. Reality check: LIFE IS NOT A FAIRYTALE! Stop listening to Taylor Swift. It’s definitely not helping your situation. Aries You are so super competitive it’s ridiculous! You go about life making up little competitions for yourself so that you can be the winner all the time. You are a loud, annoying bossypants with whom no-one wants to play. Tone it down – try meditation on the edge of a cliff tomorrow! Taurus Micro-manager alert! Could you just focus on fixing your own life? People are getting rather irritated with you trying to manage theirs and you are becoming quite unpopular. You’re such a prude, even when it comes to clothing! If you find the courage this month, try shopping on the 26th.

19 Horoscope
Gemini You don’t plan on growing up and you’re a two-faced monster. Newsflash: all but one must grow up, and that one’s name is Peter Pan! You never stop talking and you never say anything interesting. Haven’t you noticed the looks your friends give you? Cancer Damn, you are one moody person – it’s like PMS for life with you. Actually, it’s the guys who are the most annoying whiny creatures – you know the type. They cry in toilet paper commercials. Especially that really moving one with the puppy. Leo You are lazy! You expect the world to bow down to you as if you are Mufasa – you’re not. Get a move on and get something done because sooner rather than later someone will knock you off your high pedestal. It will hurt and leave a scar on your beloved face – you vain thing. You probably think this horoscope is about you, don’t you? Virgo You’re too picky – someone should pick you apart. Life isn’t clean. It’s messy and nothing is going to change that. No matter how many times you try to order your pencils they will never stay that way in order and neither will your life!

HOROSCOPES Horrible horoscopes
By Sarisha Dhaya

Daring dreadlocks
By Rhea Macdonald with Elna Schütz omehow, I find that you always notice the person with dreadlocks. Perhaps you wonder how they got their hair to do that, or if they ever even take a shower? My friend and I had been talking about getting dreads for a while, and we decided it was time we made it a reality in the summer of 2007. We enlisted the help of my mother, her friend, and a few YouTube videos explaining how to make them. Six hours later, after much scalp abuse, our dreads were born. Making a dreadlock in the beginning involves backcombing your hair into a massive tease, then twisting and rolling sections between the palms. Luckily my mother and her friend had done this part for me; unluckily for me and my friend, the pulling and teasing hurts. This combination, repeated again and again, tangles the hairs and eventually they become matted and dread-like. But this is only the initial process. After this, the first few months involve substantial maintenance in the form of backcombing, rolling, waxing, and even crocheting dreads through themselves to tighten them up. This I had to do myself, though friends

20 Lifestyle

Edition 3


were always willing to give a hand. It became a daily ritual to sit in front of the mirror and work on my dreads. Once they were settled in though, it was a breeze. Except for occasional fixings, they did not require any styling. Now for the big question: do dreadheads shower? Once the dreads have compressed and meshed up, they can be washed regularly. Just because they can, however, does not mean they will be. Rachel Garbary, a first-year Community Development student at St Francis Xavier University, explains that people always ask her if she can wash them, “followed by a look of absolute disgust and confusion when I voluntarily disclose that yes you can, but I haven’t in 3 months”. For Emma Harris, a first-year Rhodes student, dreadlocks invoke a feeling of, well, dread, calling them disgusting and unhygienic. “No one should ever subject their hair to that,” she says. People of any and every ethnicity have purposefully backcombed, teased, twisted, and rolled their hair into this historic style. There are many opinions on dreadlocks. Dreadlocks for me though, will always emanate a certain love and respect. They are a part of my history I will never regret.

Ixora-Li Nash, a third-year BA student at Rhodes, is proud of her dreadlocks. She saya that it is hard work maintaining them, but worthwhile in the end. Pic: Anton Scholtz

Thank you for not staring
By Inga Sibiya


or those who scrape themselves together in time to go to the health suite at 05h30, their size is the starting point with which their day is based – whether they like it or not. “Enter weight”- the number, so despicably displayed on the screen of your machine, taunts you throughout your entire workout. No longer a living, breathing person with feelings but an imperfect collection of muscle, bone and fat. The gym is a place where the weight you’re packing (whether

it’s on your derriere or the dumbbells in your hands) is fundamental. Time is anything but just a number. Don’t deny it – at one time or another, even you have looked at a fellow gym-goer and seen nothing but their body. It may have been in envious longing of the flat stomach stretching on the yoga mats or the long legs leaning against the wall in a 90-degree angle. We have all stared longingly at someone at the gym. “It’s cool, I get to check chicks out and bulk up at the same time,” says Joshua Brennan. Not everyone enjoys this though. “I don’t feel comfortable. I literally left the one time,” complained

Siyamthanda Stone. Kyle Tate, a Rhodes Health Suite staff member says,“You do look around, but 99% of the guys come with a mate to work out together so there’s really no picking up here.” The Rhodes Health Suite could be replacing the swimming pool as the new ‘meat market’, whether it is just a breeding ground for sexual objectification and judgement, or still has working out as its main function is debatable. I guess it would all depend on your point of view - the view of the hottie on the treadmill that is.

Kia Rio: from the ashes
By Ruan Scheepers


n the not-so-distant past it was unthinkable for a Kia to have any kind of appeal whatsoever, with the exception of the Picanto – and then only because nothing else was available and you really didn’t want to walk. As a competitor against the likes of the Ford Fiesta, VW Polo and Toyota Yaris, this new car is under a lot of pressure to make a good first impression on the global market. Its competitors are established icons in the small car division and although the Yaris is now more than past its expiry date, it remains a good seller because of its reputation to perform when needed. The new Rio has no real legacy to rely on. It was a case of here and now, make or break. At first glance it isn’t quite clear that you are looking at a Kia and not an Opel or Audi. Then again, it was sketched by Peter Schreyer, the former designer for Audi and VW. He was responsible for the Audi TT, A3 and A6 and the VW Golf, and

he has continued in a similar vein with the Rio. Its aggressive looks and sporty 17" rims give it the appearance of having a hidden agenda, like a naughty kid plotting their next prank. It’s a strikingly good-looking car, and inside is no different. A beautifully designed cabin with Bluetooth, iPod and AUX connections for your audio system are standard features. There really is a genuine sense that this is a quality product. The 1.4l motor needs to be thrashed if you want any sort of rapid movement, so with the 1.2l option, overtaking a truck on a hill would be better dealt with using an angry mule and cart. Although it feels solid and well put-together, it must be said that the plastic used on the dash and door panels seems cheap. But you could look past that - these issues are mentioned purely to find something to criticise. Apart from these glitches, this is a sorted car. Its price and overall package will put a genuine smile on your face and bank balance. One could talk for hours about how it compares to the Fiesta

The new Kia Rio is said to be a fit competitor for the likes of the Ford Fiesta, VW Polo and Toyota Yaris. Pic: AutoMotor und Sport and the Polo technically and performance-wise, and tell you about its value for money. The Rio doesn’t feel like a small city runabout. On a long distance drive it is so spacious and comfortable, so quiet and pleasant that it feels like a car worth three times the price. The genius of this car is just that: at R154 000 there is nothing in the segment that can match it. This is a grown-up car for people who still want a touch of fun.

24 April 2012

21 Science & Technology

Facebook buys Instagram for $1 billion
By Brad de Klerk


onday 9 April 2012 will be remembered as the day that Facebook took its first steps towards becoming a web conglomerate. Their purchase of popular photo-sharing application Instagram, which recently became available on Android, cost them a cool 10 figure sum, competing with Google’s acquisition of YouTube back in 2006 for $1.65 billion. This move is unusual for the social-networking giant, whose previous dealings have been in purchasing start-up businesses for their engineering talent. In a post on the social network, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that this is an important milestone for the company because it is the first time they have acquired a product and company with so many users. He added that this was a rare dealing and the company does not plan for many more of the sort if any at all. Zuckerberg says that Facebook users upload 250 million

pictures daily and the purchase of Instagram is crucial for Facebook to retain their large mobile audience. He admitted that Facebook’s own in-house mobile application was slow and cumbersome to navigate. The company hopes to learn through Instagram’s mobile expertise to increase their own knowledge. However, some users have questioned whether Instagram will retain its unique appeal after its integration with Facebook. Many users on Twitter say they plan to uninstall the app as a form of protest. The CEO of Instagram, Kevin Systrom, has posted a blog article in an attempt to quell fears. “The Instagram app will still be the same one you know and love,” he says. “You’ll still have all the same people you follow and that follow you. You’ll still be able to share to other social networks. And you’ll still have all the other features that make the app so fun and unique.” With the integration still in its early period, only time will tell whether users’ fears will be realised.

A photo of the bicycle sculpture taken using the photo-sharing application Instagram. Pic: Sarisha Dhaya

Stem cells could fight HIV
By Megan Ellis breakthrough has been made in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles have found that stem cells can help battle HIV cells in living tissue, suppressing the virus’ damage to the immune system. The study was published on 12 April in the journal PLos Pathogen. It involved the genetic alteration of stem cells to form immune cells, which in turn will be capable of destroying HIVinfected cells. These cells were placed in human tissue implanted in mice so that scientists could see their reaction in living tissue. While the human body is able to produce the T cells which are capable of destroying HIV-infected cells, there are not enough of them. Therefore, the use of altered stem cells could be a viable way to contain the virus’ damage to infected individuals’


Pirate Bay to go airborne
By Brad de Klerk and Megan Ellis

immune systems. Microbiology Honours student David Penkler, says that the treatment would be comparable to viral immunisation. “HIV targets our immune system, weakening our defences and thus AIDS develops,” he explained. “Introducing a cell that is not affected by HIV and is capable of carrying out an immune response against the virus can be compared to any other viral immunisation. Instead of antibodies being introduced, a genetically altered cell is the means of defence.” According to the Daily Mail, the study’s lead researcher Scott Kitchen believes that this is “the first step in developing a more aggressive approach in correcting the defects in the human T cell responses that allow HIV to persist in infected people”. However, the research does not guarantee a cure as its results in mice may be different to its results in humans.

The researchers’ next step will be to begin making T cell receptors that are able to target different parts of the virus. Also, since it was found that stem cells need to match the patient, much like in organ transplants, the researchers now plan to find T cells that could be used in more genetically-matched individuals. Penkler says that while the discovery has extraordinary implications, it may prove unaffordable as a treatment in the future. “Due to the nature of the treatment, close monitoring will be required to ensure that inserted stem cells do not start dividing uncontrollably and thus cause collateral disease such as cancer,” he said. “The cost of such a treatment will more than likely be too high for the average South African citizen.” He adds that these findings “open a door for the development of many other immunological cures”.

he Pirate Bay, the world’s largest torrent website, recently announced plans to launch ‘Low Orbit Server Stations’ in an attempt to avoid shutdown and censorship. After numerous takedown attempts by authorities, the site’s owners hope this will be the answer to their run-ins with the law. This proposal comes in light of the recent push for copyright laws and Internet censorship legislation from the US and the EU. Other sites have been shut down, including the file-hosting site Megaupload, whose founder was arrested in January. “With the development of GPS-controlled drones, far-reaching cheap radio equipment and tiny new computers like the Raspberry Pi, we’re going to experiment with sending out some small drones that will float some kilometres up in the air,” The Pirate Bay said in a recent blog post. They added that they are always trying to optimise the positions of their front-end machines which redirect users’ traffic requests to a secret location. The site is also looking to implement modern radio transmitters which can transfer at speeds of 100Mbps per node up to 50km away, but these are yet to be confirmed. These Low Orbit Server Stations will act as a proxy system – one which establishes connections between computers – that will redirect traffic. This will replace their front end machines, which are more vulnerable to being shut down. However the launch of these server stations could be problematic: there are issues concerning the required height as well as low-flying aircraft occupying the same airspace. Others do not even believe the site’s owners are serious about the endeavour. According to The Hacker News, The Pirate Bay claims to have bought Greek airspace for the launch of their drones. Flying in international airspace will make it harder for governments to shut down the servers. “Political power in Athens, Greece today signed an agreement with representatives for The Pirate Bay about exclusive usage of the Greek airspace at 8000-9000ft,” said the site’s owners. While The Pirate Bay and many downloading hopefuls are positive about the plan, it has yet to be Illustrator: Katja Schreiber seen whether it will be a sustainable solution.


22 Environment

Edition 3

HOW TO save a rhino
By Shirley Erasmus For obvious reasons, the poaching of South Africa’s rhino for their horns has caused an uproar. The majority of poached rhino horns are smuggled to countries such as China and Vietnam. Poaching is perpetuated by beliefs that rhino horns contain magical medicinal properties, curing everything from pus-filled boils to demon possession. This year, 181 rhinos have already been butchered for their horns. Shocking images of brutalised rhinos have been posted on news sites and social media, stirring up feelings of deep sorrow and anger as well as an overwhelming helplessness in many. We are not all able, like Dr William Fowlds (see ‘A new light for rhinos’), to have an active impact on the situation. Perhaps your initial reaction, like mine, was dumbfounded horror and shock at the gruesome photographs and videos followed by a melancholic apathy as I gradually became desensitised to the images. Yes, it is awful, but what can I really do to help? Harry Owen, a local Grahamstown poet, said in his call for contributions to his next poetry anthology, that one may feel “the problem is so overwhelming there can’t be anything we can do as individuals to help - but there is.” My hope in this edition of Activate is not to shock you, scare you or guilt you into caring about the plight of the rhino with horrifying images or gruesome descriptions, but rather to celebrate this beautiful animal and show you what you can do to make a positive difference in this situation and for the environment as a whole. The first, most obvious, thing you can do is simply to spread the word. Join groups, share articles online, educate others and get the word out there. The second thing you can do is to write a personal letter to the Chinese Embassy in the hopes that with an overwhelming outcry demanding attention to this injustice, authorities will pay more attention to education and there will be some kind of response from those involved in this trade. To do this, address your letters to: The Ambassador Chinese Embassy 972, Pretorius Street Arcadia 0083 PRETORIA   Letters copied to: Dr Nicola Brewer British High Commissioner 255 Hill Street Arcadia 0002 PRETORIA It is easy to feel insignificant in the face of such huge tragedies, but every single effort to change this situation makes a difference – no matter how small.

Earth Day, Beached whale an endangered species every day
By Isabelle Anne Abraham


arth Day 2012, held on Sunday 22 April, has come and gone without garnering much attention or action. The theme was ‘Mobilize the Earth’: a movement to encourage people from all corners of the planet to take part in environmental deeds. The first Earth Day was held more than 40 years ago in America. Today it has achieved global participation of one billion people. For a country that needs plenty of environmental attention, South Africa does not host enough programmes or activities to support this event. The 2012 Environmental Performance Index ranked South Africa 128 out of 132 countries. SA is one of the weakest performers with a worrying rate of environmental decline. The Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa attributes this decline to: the nation’s compromised water systems, an energy system driven by fossil fuels, loss of biodiversity, and the widening gap between social upliftment and environmental management. Since government policy and involvement is lacking, individuals have to affect change whenever and wherever they can. For Rhodes students, there are many effective campus organisations to get involved in: SEACC SF, Galela Amanzi, Masincedane and ROAR are just a few of them. The point is that action has to occur immediately and as often as possible. One single day is not enough to appreciate the earth. The current environmental crisis means that the concept of Earth Day should be implemented every day.

On 12 April, a 14-metre Bryde’s Whale was discovered washed up on the shores of Buffalo Beach in Knysna. The Bryde’s Whale is seriously depleted in some areas due to the threat of whaling practices, and as a result of the 1986 moratorium on whaling, they are now a globally protected species. Nearby residents noticed the smell of the whale carcass when it started decomposing, and spotted it floating near the shore. Once the carcass had washed on shore, residents were warned to exercise caution when swimming in the sea because the carcass was attracting sharks into the nearby waters. According to the Knysna-Plett Herald, rescue teams spent the whole evening attempting to tow the carcass back into the sea and were unsuccessful as the carcass was firmly anchored on the rocks. It has subsequently been disposed of on a local farm. Pic: John de Bryn

A new light for rhinos
By David Peek


t’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the constant deluge of images of butchered wildlife, and particularly the rhino. It is easy to slip into a sense of apathy as yet another image of a dehorned rhino is flung at you. Currently, the future of the rhino seems bleak and there doesn’t seem to be any real hope of resolving the situation. There is seemingly little that the individual can do beyond sharing the odd Facebook status or donating money to conservation organisations. Harry Owen, a local poet and author of The Music of Ourselves and Non Dog, has dedicated himself to making a positive contribution towards the current crisis through the medium he knows best – poetry. After attending a talk given by Dr William Fowlds on the plight of our rhinos, Owen speaks of that “overwhelming horror” at the realities he heard about in the nearby Kariega Game Reserve. After the lecture, Owen says that he took to heart Fowlds’ plea of, “making an effort to do something, no matter the size of the action”, and considered the idea of making a difference to the situation through poetry. “I’m not an activist, I’m a poet,” says Owen. Owen adds that he knows many poets who would be just as deeply affected, and thus hopes to have as many poets as possible on board with the project. He is planning to compile an anthology of poetry, the proceeds of which would go towards Kariega Game Reserve in an effort to contribute to the stop of Rhino poaching. He says he has received an overwhelmingly positive response from poets worldwide.

By Harry Owen They shriek and whistle like Bedlam inmates, startling swatches of primary dyeings against a destitution of cement, wood and wire – alien and outlandish in their crazy, squawking belligerence, visions entirely stripped of a context. See them, imagine them in tropical forest, where the sun unbends amongst fronds and flowers, where the universe dazzles and they vanish into hot, moist screechings, into joy, into pure feeling and air – see them, imagine, then bleed for them here. Opposites, yes. Where the whole world’s frantic with colour, only the dullest stand out.

The anthology will possibly contain works from some of the leading names in the field of environmentally-oriented poetry. For example, Professor Dan Wylie of the Rhodes Department of English is on board, as is Chris Mann, Professor of Poetry; UK poet Pascale Petit; Zimbabwean-based John Eppel and PE poet Sonwabo Meyi. Owen encourages everyone to submit their own poetry to the project, and there is the

potential for illustrations too. The aim of the anthology is not to showcase all the big names in poetry, but rather a collection of “brilliant poems” that will make an impact on readers. The poems can relate to anything environmental. Submissions will be chosen at Owen’s discretion with the final deadline being 15 June 2012. Owen hopes that the proceeds from the anthology can go towards increasing the physical protection of the rhino, improving education about the crisis amongst local communities, and raising general awareness. One of the goals of the project is to create awareness beyond the borders of South Africa, and possibly even in China and Vietnam – the two greatest global consumers of rhino horn. Owen has said he sees his work as “putting a Band-Aid on a gaping wound – it won’t do much, but it will do something until proper surgery can take place.” With the positive response the project has attracted as well as the large amounts of material Owen has already received, the biggest obstacle concerning the project is funding. The printing costs will make up the majority of the expenditures and as such, Owen will be grateful for any who may want to contribute financially. The proposed work provides something positive instead of relying on the power of shock to get its point across. This initiative is attempting to make a deeper impact on the current environmental crisis through demonstrating the dire situation in another light, a way that every person can relate to on a personal level. Anyone who wishes to contribute to the anthology or has an enquiry can contact Harry Owen at

24 April 2012

23 Sport

On the ball
By Bridgette Hall Debate over goal-line technology has once again come under the spotlight after Chelsea was awarded a goal that did cross the line in their 5-1 FA Cup semi-final win against Tottenham Hotspur. Manager Harry Redknapp called the goal “an honest mistake by the referee,” but with ever-rising stakes in professional sports, can we afford these kinds of mistakes? To add salt to Tottenham’s wounds, Petr Cech was not sent off for a foul committed against Emmanuel Adebayor. When it comes to technology and sport, some purists feel that the introduction of technology did a lot to undermine the authority and integrity of the official on the field. Many a cricketer observed something similar when the same debate overshadowed the gentlemen’s game. Sometimes you get a wicket when there isn’t a nick and sometimes you’re the one standing at the crease and you get lucky. Similarly, I find the idea of ‘challenging’ the umpire in tennis a ludicrous one which took authenticity away from the sport, diluted the integrity of the officials in charge and was really just an ‘audience’ pleaser. With the boundaries of the sport constantly being pushed and the sheer amount of money professional sport is now worth, ‘lady luck’s choice’ is no longer going to cut it, and I have to admit – the introduction of technology has become essential in today’s sporting world. Why FIFA has failed to catch on to this trend for so long is beyond me. Football is one of the mostwatched sports worldwide. It took the misfortune of Frank Lampard in 2010 to change FIFA president Sep Blatter’s mind. According to the BBC, Blatter said that “it is obvious after the experiences at the 2010 World Cup it would be a nonsense not to reopen the file on goal-line technology”. UEFA president Michel Platini remains opposed to the idea and favours the use of additional assistant referees, which is currently being trialled in the Champions League and Europa League. According to BBC Sport, a final decision on whether to introduce goal-line technology will be made in an International Football Association Board (IFAB) meeting on 2 July. Any rule changes by IFAB requires a 75% majority vote. Should the vote go the way of the technology, we may see its introduction as early as next season or at the very least, the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. With goals starting to be “guessed” and the inconsistency in the reffing becoming ever more blatant, even I have been converted to let hawk-eye have the final say - not as a challenge on the integrity of the ref, but as a means of making sure they have some.

By Morgan Collins

RU athletes to take on NZ
and windy swim, cycle and run during the South African Triathlon champs in Port Elizabeth. Competing against over 400 other athletes, both Ross and van Huyssteen took third place in their respective races, with fellow provincial athlete Leah Sloman finishing fourth in the 20-24 age groups. Ross completed the swim in 00:37:10, the cycle in 01:19:45 and the run in 00:43:31, while van Huyssteen completed his swim in 00:26:48, the cycle in 01:07:36 and run in 00:42:56. “I’m counting down the weeks to the race and

Countdown to gold
By Kendra Dykman

ctober marks the annual Triathlon World Championships, and this year two Rhodents will be adding a splash of purple to the South African team. Natalie Ross and Darryn van Huyssteen were recently selected for the South African team that will travel to New Zealand later this year to participate in the World Triathlon Championships. This achievement is the result of them gunning their way through a demanding


training at 100 percent to do as well as possible,” said Van Huyssteen, who is new to the sport, having only started doing triathlons this year. For this reason his success came as a shock, but he is nonetheless delighted at the results and sees World Championships as an opportunity “to gain valuable experience”. The World Champs mark one of the most prestigious events in the Triathlon calendar but if van Huyssteens’ attitude is anything to go by, the windy Port Elizabeth race seems to have been only the beginning for these Rhodes athletes.


Easter for athletes: The Two Oceans
By Morgan Collins

here are fewer than 100 days until the 2012 Olympics being held in London and final qualifying for the events is underway. To celebrate the 100 days countdown last week, the event’s motto was unveiled by Sebastian Coe, London 2012 chairperson: “Inspire a generation.” South Africa’s celebration of the 100-day milestone, held at Gold Reef City in Johannesburg, was aptly themed as ‘Going for Gold’. The South African theme is one of optimism, particularly because at the last Olympic games in Beijing in 2008, the 136-member team only managed to procure a single medal. This was their worst performance in 70 years. This year the goal is 12 medals. Qualifying is open until 30 June, and many athletes remain confident that they will comfortably meet the deadline. Caster Semenya and Mbulaeni Mulaudzi took part in the South African Championships on Friday night. Semenya qualified by coming first in the 800m event. Tuesday night saw many South African swimmers qualifying in Johannesburg, including Cameron Van Den Bergh, who completed his 100m breaststroke in a time of 59.90s, just under one second faster than the qualifying time. Other qualifiers include Wendy Trott, Michelle Weber,

A computer-generated image of the Olympic Stadium in London which will be the main stadium during the 2012 Olympics. Pic: Olympics 2012 Jessica Pengelly, Chad le Clos and Charl Crous. South African men’s hockey team, ranked 12th worldwide, aims to do well in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament being held from 26 April to 6 May and claims the last qualifying ticket in its sporting code. The women’s team already secured its place earlier in the year. Princess Anne paid a three-day visit to South Africa to mark Queen Elizabeth’s 60th year on the throne. The Princess is on the International Olympic Committee and is President of the British Olympic Association. She participated in the celebrations for the start of the 100-day countdown at Puplilsat Khayelitsha's Kwamfundo Senior Secondary school. The event’s Opening Ceremony will take place on Friday 27 July, and it should be a big one, based on their performance at the closing ceremony in Beijing. The budget has grown to more than three times what the estimated cost was when London won the bid in 2005. This is the third time they are hosting the event. In anticipation for the Olympics, South Africans are encouraged to don the national colours of green and gold. In lieu of the success of football Fridays, we now have Team SA Fridays.


aster Weekend is commercially defined by chocolate bunnies, eggs, chickens and all other suitable farmyard creatures which are hidden in back gardens for little kids to find. Grow up, and it becomes four days of free time and parties. Grow up as a runner, however, and it’s the four days for which you have been training for ages, and an excuse to go to Cape Town. This is of course the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon, one of the most scenic 21km or 56km ordeals of torture you can think of. This year marked the 43rd self-proclaimed “world’s most beautiful marathon” with a record 16 000 half marathon (21km) entries. The Two Oceans has become more than just a race. It has grown and expanded over the years to become a celebration of all that is running, including expos and

even fun runs and kiddy runs, all of which contribute to its increasing popularity amongst local and international racers. The influx of entries showcases this popularity and, along with requests from previous runners, has caused the organisers to alter the route to avoid human traffic jams. They did this by keeping the ultra route (56km) the same and changing the first 10km of the half marathon. Despite rainy conditions, some Rhodents managed to get to Cape Town and pioneer their way with some impressive results. Some of the faster times came from Natalie Ross, who finished 21km in 1:33:27 and Warrick Smith, who finished in 1:18:53. So while some hunted for Easter eggs over the weekend, thousands of others crammed Cape Town streets to hunt for Participants in the 2012 Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon. The a medal, or even just the satisfaction of Marathon has been described as one of the most scenic in the saying “I ran the Two Oceans”. world. Pic: Flickr

A sport

The Founders Knights (in red) face off against the Young Guns in a Rhodes Internal Premier League match on 21 April 2012. Pic: Bridgette Hall

40 overs of entertainment
By Matthew Hirsch he Indian Premier League is now one of the world’s biggest cricketing tournaments with the world’s best showcasing their talents on a daily basis in the fast-paced, action-packed 20/20 tournament. The fifth season is now underway with nine teams made up of some of the world’s best cricketing stars including Jacques Kallis, Sachin Tendulkar and Brett Lee. The rules state at least seven Indian players making up the starting 11, allowing India’s up-and-coming players the chance to showcase what they have to offer. Each team has now played around five or six games each with the Dehli Daredevils and Rajasthan Royals at the top of the log. In what has been an extremely closely contested season, only the Decan Chargers have failed to win any points.


South African youngster Faf du Plessis has scored the second-most runs in the competition so far, scoring 229 runs in six matches and smashing 12 sixes. Morne Morkel has taken the most wickets in the competition for the Dehli Daredevils, taking twelve wickets in five matches with an average of 9.33 so far. And if you can’t get enough of the excitement from India, Rhodes University RIPL league started this week. The Awkward Turtles will be looking to defend the title that they won last season as the tournament starts to get into full swing. Bad weather has meant that only a few games have been played so far. The Pink Platypuses beat the Prime Super Tigers by 4 wickets. Sean McCulloch top scoring with 41 runs. The Awkward Turtles were awarded three points when the Twing Belmount Bashers were unable to field a team. Expect sixes and switch hits as teams battle it out for the title of RIPL champions in 2012.

RU rugby to compete with the best
By Siyavuya Makubalo he open season for Rhodes Rugby will kick off soon, after the opening match between the first XV and Kwaru was delayed last week. It will be rescheduled for later this season. This is one of four games that will determine the first XV squad that will travel to Johannesburg to compete in the annual USSA (University Sports South Africa) tournament to take place at Wits University from 2 to 6 July. They will face the exciting and daunting task of competing for a spot in the Varsity Shield for 2013. They will need to win three matches at the tournament, a quarter final, a semi-final and a final in order to be promoted to the Varsity Shield for next year. The Varsity Cup and Varsity Shield aim to showcase rugby talent among students across the country and have

RISL kicks off
By Tommie Gilbert onday night saw the return of the Rhodes Internal Soccer League with a flurry of games taking place. With both top and bottom leagues in action and all teams having the chance to shake the rust off, there was a definite chance for an upset or two. The league has changed slightly this year with a two-tier system being put in place, which is similar to most leagues world-wide. In this system, bottom teams in the top tier will be relegated to the lower tier and the top teams in the lower tier will be promoted. There will also be a cup-style competition where teams from both tiers will be pitted against each other in a straight knock-out format. In the most anticipated fixture of the opening round, the Titans narrowly squeezed past defending champions Abu Dhabi 2-1. Sembene Hamilton, an Abu Dhabi player, sums up his team’s chances: “It’s going be a tough season with the new league set-up, but we are the defending champions and have to be up there. [The] Titans need to be watched too.” Other fixtures on Monday saw Cullen Bowles and the Retief Rangers share the spoils at 0-0, and the Rhodes Staff team narrowly beat Allan Webb 3-2. Dark horses Phoenix Knights thrashed F11 4-0 and Joe Slovo and Cosmos FC drew 2-2, while Goldfields dominated Hilltop FC 3-0. Buckle up and get set – it looks like this season is going to get interesting.



produced many young stars to keep your eye on, such as Clayton Blommetjies. He was the 2012 Varsity Cup “Back that Rocks” and a member of the Varsity Cup-winning FNB UP-Tuks side. He has also been called up to the South African Sevens squad, along with five other Varsity Rugby stars. It also allowed each university to come together and show their support and spirit on ‘Rugby Monday’. While Rhodes was excluded from the competition this year, the Rugby Committee has been hard at work to change that next year, said Chairperson of the committee, Chase Le Roux. “2012 has been a promising year for Rhodes rugby with a committed team working to improve Rhodes rugby,” he says, urging both students and staff members to “get together and create an atmosphere that will be felt throughout Grahamstown” to show their support and Rhodent spirit for the team.