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EDITION 1 • 28 FEBRUARY 2012 • SINCE 1947



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Edition 1 . 28 February 2012


Page 7:

Street parade kicks off Project 200

Page 9:

SRC faces multiple resignations

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: Eric Kudzanai Chakonda Environment Editor Shirley Erasmus Advertising Manager Lethukuthula Tembe Distribution Manager: Bulali Dyakopu

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Sharing the wealth A stitch in time Rhodes: a hub for cancer research

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Page 22:

Grahamstown is turning 200 years old this year, and residents kicked off the year-long bicentenary events with a R120, 000 street parade on Saturday 18 February in Church Square. This parade, which featured stilt-walkers, costumed performers, local dance acts, food stalls and speeches, is only the beginning of the range of activities and events that will form part of Project 200. Turn to page 7 to read the full story. Above pic: Anton Scholtz. Front page pic: Sara Garrun

Community Engagement: Victoria Hlubi Editorial Consultant: Craig Wynn


From the Editor

his year seems to be one of milestones! 2012 marks the 200th year of Grahamstown’s existence. Ubom!, Rhodes University’s resident theatre company, is turning 10. Even Activate has justed turned 65 years old. In a reflective mood, I was tempted to write this editorial about Activate’s history and our plans for the upcoming year. Established in 1947, we are one of South Africa’s oldest independent student newspapers and the stories that the walls of this office could tell are definitely worth listening to. The theme that has emerged in this edition, however, is one of history and heritage that encompasses so many different areas that it would be a shame to limit the discussion to our paper’s past alone. Celebrations and commemorations this year aren’t only limited to Rhodes, but are also being celebrated all over Grahamstown. J. Chan Henry, a general dealer that sells everything from Christmas cards to hair conditioner, is situated on Dr Jacob Zuma Drive in Fingo Village and has been around for 80 years. Owner Yat Ming Chan Henry has seen Grahamstown change and grow over the years and in the photo feature of this edition we see a glimpse of his world. Even though he has a Chinese heritage, he was born here and celebrates South Africa as his home. If Rhodes is our home for at least three years of our lives, and often more, the Student Representative Council is a body we should take interest in and employ to our advantage as the students it is supposed to be representing. Two years ago, the SRC celebrated its 100-year anniversary. They are almost as old as the university itself and have – for the most part – played a vital role in the student body. Judging by the number of voters in recent years and the number of times we have not reached quorum, however, there is a definite air of disinterest in the SRC and

what they are doing among students. There are many things that we can blame this on, but I would like to pose the question: has the media covered enough of what the SRC is doing and what is going on to ensure responsible and conscientious administration? This question is especially pertinent in the upcoming by-elections, which have to be held because several positions on the SRC need to be filled due to the sudden resignation of four student councillors. The SRC states their mission as “[striving] to develop an informed student body that is able to participate in institutional co-governance and transformation in a scholarly and progressive manner”. This kind of rhetoric can only become an implementable reality if we take an active interest in student politics and abandon our usual apathetic attitude. In many students, this attitude stems from an unsatisfactory performance on the part of the SRC – but this is in turn aggravated by the disinterest of students in their representation. In last year’s elections, eight out of 15 portfolios on the SRC went uncontested. That means that the best candidate did not necessarily get the job – but rather the only person that applied. If you don’t care enough to vote, you won’t be represented – it’s as simple as that. If enough students took an interest in the SRC and voiced their concerns, this would encourage more possible council candidates and in turn ensure a competitive environment when it comes to election time. In this scenario, the chances are a lot more likely that the best possible candidate for each portfolio will get it. I challenge you to take an interest, take part and make your years at Rhodes something that you helped created rather than something that you just watched happen.

Contacts: Editor: activate.editor@gmail. com Deputy Editor: activate.deputy@gmail. com

Activate falls under a creative commons licence. Printed by Paarlcoldset, Port Elizabeth

Edition 1

News [in briefs]

outh African Breweries Limited (SAB) along with two other companies has entered into a partnership that will ultimately be in aid of promoting responsible trade and consumption of alcohol among Eastern Cape locals. SAB launched the campaign in partnership with the Responsible Trader Programme (RTP) as well as the Eastern Cape Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism on Tuesday 21 of February, endorsing responsible alcohol trade. The campaign aims to create awareness around the issue of responsible drinking and educated around 1 000 liquor store owners in the Eastern Cape about alcohol A plane flies in the polluted air above the airport fences in Beijing, 22 February, 2012. Pic: Reuters abuse. Taking place at the NMMU Missionvale campus, the campaign launch showcased drama productions and hosted liquor store owners from Jeffrey’s Bay, Port Elizabeth, Grahamstown, Kenton-on-Sea, Alexandria and Port Alfred.


EC tackles alcohol abuse

By Sibulele Mabusela and Kayla Roux

Mandela in hospital for ‘diagnostic procedure’ N

elson Mandela spent a night in hospital last weekend for tests regarding an undisclosed stomach ailment, triggering a new bout of anxiety across the country over the state of his health. According to reports, the 93-year-old former SA president is “in no danger” and was set to be discharged from the hospital by Monday, 27 February. He “has had a long-standing abdominal complaint and doctors feel it needs proper specialist medical attention,” President Jacob Zuma said in a statement on Saturday morning, requesting the media and public to respect Mandela’s privacy. Mandela “is fine and fully conscious and the doctors are satisfied with his condition, which they say is consistent with his age,” Zuma continued. “We are happy that he is not in any danger.” Worries about Mandela’s health reached a peak last year when he was hospitalised with an acute respiratory infection and retreated from the public sphere, even failing to appear or send a message on the eve of the centenary celebrations of the ANC. To avoid a similar situation, Zuma has offered to keep the public updated about the former president’s health.

Mine workers listen to Cosatu General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, during his address at the Impala Platinum mine in Rustenburg 21 February, 2012. Pic: Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters

Statues of Buddhist monks are lined near a temple in Payathonzu, near the Burmese border with Thailand, 20 February, 2012. Pic: Reuters

A toll gantry on the N17, Germiston. Gauteng toll fees are set to become a fact of life, and the government will tolerate no disobedience, government spokesman Jimmy Manyi said on Thursday. Pic: Simon Mathebula

triking season has hit South Africa yet again, and has resulted in widespread protest action on the part of students, union members and municipal workers. Those striking include workers and park rangers from the Kruger National Park, who have engaged in a three-week strike over wage increases. UKZN students have been engaged in a week-long protest demanding additional financial aid as well as addressing the issue of inadequate residential facilities. Cosatu mine workers, 17 000 of which were fired after they had refused to return to work, have been on an unprotected strike for five weeks. It is evident that the season has only just begun as Cosatu has threatened to strike again next month over labour legislations changes. Sadtu may be joining them in protest over docked wages from the 2010 strike.

Strike season! S

7576 students in 2012

Source: Vice-Chancellor’s Annual Briefing

1500 first-years.

Rhodes has been reaching its post-grad growth target of 8.2%, with 2204 post-grads this year.

59% of Rhodes students are women.

Number of black students ( currently 58%) is likely to increase, but this depends on the availability of state funding as well as donor funds. 26% Natural Sciences/Pharmacy

20% are international students.

56% Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences and Law

12% Commerce

6% Education

28 February 2012

05 News

TEDx at RU
By Kayla Roux any students will at some point in their university careers come across a TED (Technology, Education and Design) talk and in August, Rhodes is hosting its very own independent conference inspired by the concept. TED talks are a set of global conferences that aim to inform, inspire and disseminate ideas ‘worth sharing’. “TEDxRhodesU offers an opportunity to connect with proven and successful visionaries who have propelled ideas into action, and will feature presentations by local thought leaders focusing on the theme ‘Africa Inspired,’” said official TEDxRhodesU spokesperson Morgan Hunter, in a statement. The conference will happen on 12 August this year. TEDx refers to programmes of “local, self-organised events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.” Founded in Monterey, California in 1984 as a once-off event, the talks are now recorded and made available for viewing all over the world. “We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world,” reads their mission statement. “So we’re building here a clearing house that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.” TED talks range an incredibly wide spectrum of different ideas and concepts: you can jump from a talk by Antonio Damasio on “The quest to understand consciousness” to a touch screen tutorial, from Paul Conneally on “Digital Humanitarianism” to Jenna McCarthy’s humorous insights into “What most people don’t know about marriage”. “TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Benoit Mandelbrot, Philippe Starck, Ngozi OkonjoIweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown,” added Hunter.


Brazilian electronic/instrumental group Napalma perform at the Arms in Bathurst on 25 February 2012. The group describe their sound as a ‘multicultural crossover’ involving ‘electro percussive beats’. The group played in Bathurst as part of their South African Carnaval Tour. The other venues for the tour also included DNE in Port Elizabeth and Barmuda in Port Alfred. Pic: Nina Grindlay

SRC by-elections in progress
By Neo Koza


he SRC by-elections are underway following the resignation of four committee members who were elected last year. “All of the members resigned due to personal reasons,” SRC President Internal Martin Forsyth said. This statement is made amid speculations around campus that the SRC is ‘falling apart’, especially after allegations in The Oppidan Press stated that former Treasurer Pedro Mzileni had made a racist remark with regards to the Dean of Students, Dr Vivian de Klerk. These vacancies have given current members an extra share of responsibility, as the Student Constitution states that on

forfeiture of office, the SRC Executive will re-assign portfolios among themselves. Rory Abrahams has assumed the role of SRC Project Manager, while Bradley Bense, a candidate who came second in voting for the position in last year’s elections, has now been appointed Media Councillor. Simone Starkey, who heads the Students Benefits portfolio, has now replaced Mzileni as Treasurer. In an interview with Activate, Mzileni addressed his concern with what he perceived as the lack of equal representation of students within the SRC. “Around 60% of our students this year are black Africans, but somehow our Dean of Students is white and there are no black Africans in the SRC executive today,” said Mzileni.

Forsyth however has pointed out that five out of six members of the SRC Executive are classified as black under the terms of the Employment Equity Act. Furthermore, he adds that since the SRC is elected by the students, it is the students’ choice as to who stands on the SRC. He asserts that the SRC is committed to transformation, not only with regards to race, but also gender. Despite his comments and resignation, Mzileni has encouraged students to apply for the vacant posts. “These positions are key [to] making a revolution possible and I pray to God that they may be occupied by passionate and socialist individuals who have been Rhodents for a long time,” he said. A secret ballot will be held in all dining halls on Tuesday, 28 February.

Open letter
From Pedro Mzileni – Former SRC Treasurer “Dr. Viv De Klerk, colleagues, comrades and fellow Rhodents. From the bottom of my heart, I’m very sorry for my comments on Facebook last month. I was trying to make a point but I ended up being racist and I apologise for that. I know Rhodes rejects racism and for me to say that, [while] being a student leader at the eve of first years arriving was wrong and it would paint a bad image on the face of the university. I should’ve been punished if it was someone else, but you didn’t and that hurt me even more. I’m sorry once again; it will never happen again. I also apologise for dragging the name of my political party, the Democratic Alliance Student Organisation (DASO), into the mud and also the SRC. From now on I will make sure that all my arguments, statements and questions remain faithful to the Constitution of South Africa. Thank You.”

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06 News

Edition 1

Child rape continues to rise in EC
By Megan Ellis


By Yonela Zondani and Brenda Sekgota

Gone but never forgotten

hile the fight against sexual violence continues to rage on in South Africa, a disturbing trend continues to rise, especially in the Eastern Cape. According to EC police spokesperson Brigadier Marinda Mills, child rape is becoming more frequent in the province. Earlier this month, the Daily Dispatch reported a series of child rapes which occurred over one weekend, involving six children aged between seven months and 15 years. While child rape exists in other countries, South Africa especially has seen a rise in these incidents. Legally, a ‘child’ refers to anyone under the age of 18 years, but many of the victims are far younger. According to UNICEF,

doctors at the Thuthuzela Care Centres have reported seeing an increase in the number of child rape victims – some as young as three months old. Javu Baloyi, Spokesperson for the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) says that one of the reasons for the crime of child rape in South Africa could be linked to the practise of Ukuthwala. “One could call this the Ukuthwala Phenomenon,” says Baloyi. He notes that this practice, which is derived from Xhosa customs of arranged marriages, has been distorted. He also identifies myths regarding HIV as a major contributor to child rape - specifically that “by sleeping with a virgin one can be cured of HIV.” Baloyi adds that some people are exploiting the vulnerability of children due to absent parents, with alcohol abuse also

often playing a role in rapes. “What we at the CGE understand is that these rogue elements have no regard for the law,” says Baloyi. He adds that this genderbased violence is conducted without thought of the repercussions. The prevalence of child rape has also been criticised as having a destructive effect on South African society. In a statement issued to government, Baloyi said that “This alarming trend needs to be promptly addressed as a matter of urgency, before we have a total eroding of moral decay in the province.” Furthermore, he says that the youth affected by sexual violence will be stripped of hope for the future. “Some will be HIV-positive, young mothers or worse still, traumatised for the rest of their lives.” Baloyi adds that this

has the potential of “robbing society of future leaders and gender activists”. In a speech addressed to the National Council of Provinces during 16 Days of Activism, MP Masefako Dikgale announced that the Department of Social Development has adopted strategies for early intervention, where children are identified as being vulnerable or at risk of harm and removed into alternate care. Baloyi says that the CGE and other institutions should speak frankly and honestly regarding these issues. “Advocacy and sensitising society [should be aimed at] raising awareness around these ills,” he says. “We also need to ensure that all the perpetrators of gender-based violence and sexual harassment are brought to book justice must be done.”


eing accepted into university after high school is a dream that comes true for many young South Africans, but when it comes to the crunch, obtaining the actual degree may prove to be a bit trickier. For a percentage of the 2011 first-years, and many others who were meant to be returning to Rhodes, this was the case. Although most returned to continue their studies, many others won’t be setting foot on campus again. Everyone had different reasons, but the biggest contributing factor to the number of non-returning students was exclusion. As per Rhodes University’s general rules, section G7, “The Senate may refuse students permission to renew registration in any Faculty if they are deemed to be unable to profit from further study, or if they have failed.” The Dean of Humanities, Professor Hendricks, says that if a student is not dedicated to their work and they do not show a certain level of hard work and commitment, they will find it hard to cope academically. Hendricks adds that even if you are, there is no guarantee that you will be accepted back into the institution. “Students need to start taking responsibility of their actions and realise that the University has strict rules when it comes to exclusion,” he says.

Rhodes receives R2.5 million in Research Chairs
By Neo Koza

Silvanus Welcome, the VicePresident External of the SRC, says that students were excluded for two possible reasons: because of financial issues or because they had not performed well enough academically. He added that the SRC helps excluded students motivate their case to the Dean of Students so that the student can stand the chance of having their exclusion reviewed. In cases of financial exclusion, they can organise financial assistance where possible. “This year we plan to work with Residence House Committees and locate mentors for first-year students in order to help cope better with academic challenges that they are facing,” Welcome says. “Students should know that they are not alone: there is help, but they just need to talk to the right people.” Fourth-year student Desiree Rapula, who is currently studying a BMus, says that first-year students party too much and forget that they have school work to do. “University is more work and less play,” she adds. While other students are still appealing to return, others have decided to study elsewhere. Siphelo Dyongman, a former BSc student at Rhodes, failed his second year – he says, however, that he realised it was not the end of the world and went to Walter Sisulu University. Dyongman is completing his degree this year.


ive out of 60 prestigious research chairs have been awarded to Rhodes in open competition that was held across the SA university system.  The results of the latest round of awards in the South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI) programme were announced by Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor on Monday 13 February. The initiative was established with the aim of supporting scientific research leadership and capacity in South African

universities and sustaining a knowledge-based economy in South Africa. To receive an award for their research, the host university must make available a scholarly environment in which the research can successfully take place. “Rhodes is the smallest university in South Africa,” says ViceChancellor Dr Saleem Badat in recent reports. “It has only 0.8% of South Africa’s university students and 1.9% of all full-time academic staff.” He adds that the chairs are “a testimony to Rhodes’ commitment to knowledge and its outstanding track record in research”.

By Matthew Kynaston

Outcry over Kota trial

The five new chairs at Rhodes are in Intellectualisation of African Languages, Multilingualism and Education; Insects in Sustainable Agricultural Ecosystems; Interdisciplinary Science in Land and Natural Resource Use for Sustainable Livelihoods; Critical Studies in Sexualities and Reproduction: Human and Social Dynamics; and Marine Natural Products Research. These supplement five other chairs mainly in the field of science. The research grant of R2.5 million will go towards the funding of staff salaries, post-doctoral fellowships, post-graduate bursaries and equipment.


Ayanda Kota of the UPM speaks to supporters outside the Town Hall during the ‘Occupy Garhamstown’ March, 15 October 2011. Pic: Anton Scholtz

public protest has been planned for Wednesday, 29 February when Ayanda Kota, Chairperson of the UPM (Unemployed People’s Movement), is due to appear in court for charges of assaulting police officers. Many believe that Kota was a victim of police brutality, and have organised the gathering to protest what they identify as state oppression. The protest will take place outside the Magistrates’ Office on High Street and has been approved by the Makana municipality. According to a press statement by Paul Hjul, the convenor of the event, “The great message of hope in South Africa is that as a nation, we have opportunities to defy nefarious tendencies of the abuse of power and corruption.” The statement goes on to say that sometimes organisations which are designed to combat misuse of power, such as the Public Protector, the media, the courts and the police, can themselves become instruments of abuse. This protest is therefore seen as an integral part of upholding democracy. Hjul invites “everybody who believes in a just society free of the abuse of state power” to join the protest, which starts at 08h30.

28 February 2012

07 News

Street parade kicks off Project 200
By Kayla Roux


rahamstown is turning 200 years old this year, and residents kicked off the year-long bicentenary events with a R120, 000 street parade on Saturday 18 February in Church Square. Even though stilt-walkers, music and dance acts gave the day a celebratory air, many Grahamstonians still harbour reservations about the town’s chequered history and the notion of ‘celebrating’ a town that has its roots in violence and war. Grahamstown was founded in 1812 as a military outpost on the frontier of the Cape Colony by Lieutenant Colonel John Graham and housed the headquarters of the Cape Regiment. For this reason, organisers have avoided the term ‘celebration’ when describing Project 200 events and activities, since for many there is nothing to celebrate

about the blood-steeped beginnings of Grahamstown. “In our launch event, we did try to be inclusive,” said Professor Julia Wells, Project 200 coordinator, Makana municipal councillor and historian. “Part of the idea of the launch was to have it in spaces that everybody shares and we felt that the only space we could say that about would be right smack in the middle of town.” In addition, every one of the twelve months of the year will carry a different theme so that each month, “a different group or organisation – or several groups or organisations – around town might say, ‘Now it’s our turn’,” Wells continued. The municipality is encouraging these groups – as well as members of the public – to tell their own stories and become involved in the process of remembering. “It’s the story of a town that was clearly started in conflict – it wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the wars, if it weren’t for the British

colonial army investing a lot in the early decades of the town,” Wells said. She did, however, stress the importance of our positive growth as a town over the 200 years we are looking back on today. “For me, it’s a town that’s outgrown that, and I think that’s really important to say: we do so many other things that are so much more positive.” She added that one of the aims of Project 200 was to encourage people to find ways to share and develop these aspects of the town. One of the ways organisers and coordinators are trying to do this is by asking Grahamstown residents to send their stories about the town, comments, opinions and ideas to Grocott’s Mail. “People should be thinking about their past and what it is all the time,” Wells said. As a heritage and history practitioner, she is interested in finding ways to “assist people to think about the past…in a way that will be informative and interesting and get them engaged”.

Splashy Fen - the ONLY place to be this Easter!
ctivate will be giving away two sets of double tickets to Splashy Fen Music Festival. Look out for competition details in out next edition The giveaway is for festival entry only, including camping. Winners will be responsible for their own transport and need to bring their own camping gear etc. Tickets are not transferable and may not be redeemed for cash. Persons under the age of 18 must be under parental supervision. The 23rd Splashy Fen Music Festival is coming up over the Easter long weekend and is once again set to rock the southern Drakensberg mountains with an awesome line-up of more than 80 top live acts on two stages, which takes place on a farm near Underberg in KwaZulu-Natal from April 5 to 9. Tickets cost R500 at Computicket and include camping for the entire festival from Thursday, April 5 to Monday, April 9. Established in 1990, Splashy Fen is South Africa’s longestrunning annual music festival, which every year brings thousands of people from around the country and abroad together for what is regarded by many as the ultimate outdoor experience. With its breathtaking mountain vistas and unique vibe and character, there is simply nothing else quite like it! For more information and the full programme, visit

Shadowclub, to play at Splashy
Who is the band made up of, and what do each of you play? Isaac - Drums, Jacques - Gtr/Vox, Louis - Bass How would you best describe yourself as a band- in terms of sound and personality? Sexy, Dirty, Rock n Roll What can fans expect from you and Splashy as a whole? Expect a tight, explosive, in your face, energetic set from us. Expect one of the best SA festival experiences of the year from Splashy Fen. Favourite Splashy Memory? Splashy 2009. We played the outside stage. The kids were going crazy for the show, and halfway through the set they broke through the security barriers, knocked over the bouncers, and stormed the stage! A pure moment in rock n roll. Tell us about your history as a band and where you feel you are now? We have been a band for four and a half years now. We started in an old garage in Roosevelt Park. We tour, write and record music constantly. What are your future plans? Lots of touring, lots of recording, lots of fun, lots of money. Is Grahamstown on the horizon? April 2012 will see Shadowclub storm through Grahamstown for the first time, alongside our legendary friends Southern Gypsy Queen. If the band had a super power, what would it be? X-ray vision, to see through your clothes. Favourite venue to play at? As long as there are people to entertain, the venue is irrelevant. Who are your greatest influences? Mitch Mitchells, John Lee Hooker, Flea Cats or Dogs? Both Left or Right? Left Anything else you want to add? Balls of Steel, and nothing else!

08 Politics

Edition 1

Our rainbow is missing a colour
By Megan Ellis he land reform debate has been sparked once again by Pieter Mulder’s comments on who has claim to what land in SA. And while online and social media are being flooded by outrage, I find myself asking: “Where are the San?” It seems that in the land reform debate, this minority often gets ignored by the media and the general public. Yes, they are a minority – but I somehow feel they’ve got the rawest deal of SA’s ethnic groups. While the Khoi and the San were two different groups, in modern SA they fall under the same title of San. San territory extended over a large portion of SA, but they relocated due to the migration of tribes from Central Africa. Later, from the south came the Dutch and the British, and those who were not used for slave labour, or shipped off to Europe to be studied and exhibited, were forced into smaller areas. The industrialisation of South Africa did not help their cause. The development of cities and industrial areas has limited their territory to dry, arid regions where many South Africans would never choose to live. And while some may think this group of nomadic hunter-gatherers should be content in these areas, the San isolation has lead to the involuntary loss of language and the crumbling of their culture. A search for ‘San’ online in South Africa yields more results for SANSA than the indigenous people. On all the forms I had to fill in at school, there was no race category reserved for San, even though their socio-economic history is far different from that of other black South Africans. Some may say the San are content in their nomadic ways and therefore integration and transformation which takes into consideration their unique history is not needed. But many descendents of the Khoi and the San have integrated into South African society – what else is there to do when this society continues to encroach on your home? The loss of San culture and identity will be a tragedy. The beauty in their legends, ceremonies and practices is humbling. The first time I saw a San hunter praying for the giraffe he and his fellow hunters had just killed, and thanking it for the food it had provided, I was speechless. Without resources, how can this culture flourish? Despite being the first group to set foot in South Africa, their languages aren’t even recognised as official. And while I am not implying that San individuals should be obligated to remain in their traditional groups, I would like them to have the choice to integrate without it threatening the survival of their culture. After all, haven’t Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho and other African cultures and practises been able to thrive despite urbanisation of large portions of their population? Obviously the land debate is fraught with complex arguments and emotions. Personally, I think that socio-economic status as well as race should be taken into consideration for it to be effective in terms of alleviating poverty. But I think it is time for our ‘rainbow nation’ to properly recognise the San and their descendents, as none of our ancestors are innocent when it comes to them. We cannot proclaim to be a rainbow nation if those who were the first addition to the spectrum are excluded.


By Marc Davies

Masithethe: Let us talk
had no historical claim to a large portion of South Africa’s land in North West and Western Cape. Addressing the sensitive issue of land ownership in South Africa, Mulder refuted President Zuma’s statistics that white people possessed 87% of the nation’s land and that only 8% of the 30% land reform target had been achieved. The Deputy Minister instead referred to 2011 statistics from the Development Bank of South Africa, that

ieter Mulder’s name has flooded headlines and social media with his recent remarks regarding land reform. “Africans, in particular, never in the past lived in the whole of South Africa… these areas formed 40% of the country’s land surface.” Freedom Front Plus leader and Deputy Agriculture Minister, Pieter Mulder, suggested that “Bantu-speaking people”


states only 44% of SA’s land is owned by Whites. The ANC and the DA both criticised Mulder, accusing him of distorting history. The Youth Communist League said his comments were an example of “archaic white denialism” and called for his resignation. Shortly after Mulder softened his statements, saying that he was referring to the historic claim of San tribes, who arrived in SA before the ‘Bantu’ tribes and colonialists.

Pieter Mulder, leader of the Freedom Front Plus and Deputy Agriculture Minister, has been highly criticised for his remarks regarding land claims. Pic: Wikicommons

According to President Zuma’s statistics, white people own 87% of South African land, something which Mulder declined to accept in favour of Development Bank statistics. Pic: Wikicommons

Send your response to and it may be published in print or online! Activate invites interested people to respond and share their attitudes on the complex issue of land redistribution and how (or if ) this should be conducted. We want to hear your perspectives. If your response is substantiated and fair, Activate may publish your response in the next edition. Responses in isiXhosa, Afrikaans and English will be accepted. Activate does not tolerate hate speech, racist, sexist or discrimantory content.

By Kayla Roux

Autumn school in Hogsback

he Friedrich Ebert Stiftung/Fort Hare Autumn School on Democracy and Political Economy will take place in the third week of April 2012 in Hogsback in the Eastern Cape. The event, which is funded by German political foundation Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, will host students from 3rd year to Masters level from across the country. Five Rhodes students, who are still to be selected, will be amongst the participants. “This Autumn school plans to address the question of what social democracy means in the twenty-first century,” read a statement by the Director of the Rhodes Research Office, Jaine Roberts. Social democracy, a concept usually employed to denote advocacy for some sort of economic regulation, support of the welfare state and working class benefits. The course will encourage students to explore ideas surrounding the core values, aims and worth of social democracy, and to develop practical solutions surrounding its implementation. “Social democracy is not predetermined or set in stone for all time, but must rather be constantly renegotiated and subject to democratic


contestation,” Roberts continued. For this reason, the general aim of the Autumn school is to facilitate and develop constructive study, discussion and reflection. Students who “realise the important role that they can play in developing our democracy” are the ideal candidates for the programme. The students who are chosen will come together to discuss the issues above, facilitated by leaders and experts in the field.

28 February 2012

09 Politics

SRC faces multiple resignations
By Marc Davies


hodes’ SRC is set to commence by-elections for three council portfolios after the controversial resignations of four council members in a single week. The resignation of the SRC’s Liaison has also intensified the current difficulties faced by the SRC. Pedro Mzileni, Babalwa Nyembezi, Nokwanda Shabangu and Lihle Ngcobozi, whose respective portfolios were Treasurer, Media, Activism and Transformation, and Societies, resigned from the SRC before Orientation Week this year. President Matthieu Maralack described the situation as “unfortunate and regrettable”, adding that the councillors resigned for different reasons. On the resignation of Nyembezi and Ngcobozi, President Maralack said the pair had wanted to resign from as early as last year. “There was a clash between what the SRC actually is and what they wanted to do with SRC. Lihle, in particular, was not happy with the highly administrative role of Societies Councillor. Her expectations of the portfolio and what it actually entails clashed,” he said. When asked about her decision to resign, Ngcobozi cited that she was “constructively dismissed”, to which Maralack responded that serious allegations of sabotage by Vice-President Internal, Martin Forsyth, had been raised. Digital documents on her SRC workstation computer along with other physical duplicates in the office had gone missing simultaneously. Ngcobozi said that former SRC Executive member, Pedro Mzileni, alleges to have witnessed the disposal of her documents. “It is hard for me to believe that one of my councillors would have done this,” Maralack says. “We’ve moved offices and I’m unsure whether [the documents] were lost or destroyed.” He added that the information had been left over the December holidays and that anything could have happened over this long period. “These remain allegations at this point,” Maralack said. In an interview with Activate, Forsyth denied the allegations against

him, saying that he never had access to Ngcobozi’s computer password and that he had no knowledge of which box or documents had been disposed of. Forsyth ran with several other SRC councillor winners, including Ngcobozi, in the MySRC campaign in 2011, which was supported by the Democratic Alliance Student Organisation (DASO). Forsyth dismissed claims of “constructive dismissal”, saying that he had no motive to attempt to remove anybody from office, especially a councillor that was a part of the same election campaign as him. The Vice-President Internal says that mediation was attempted with help from the Counselling Centre after the resignation issues surfaced. However, the SRC councillors cited “personal reasons” for leaving the SRC. Forsyth says that before this, he had never been approached by the resigned councillors regarding their grievances. “Had they followed protocol and gone to their cluster heads, they would have seen that we are addressing the issues,” he states. Former Treasurer Pedro Mzileni recently featured in the student press after posting about the Dean of Students, Dr Vivian de Klerk, on Facebook. The post stated, “How can we solve a problem like Viv de Klerk?” and went on to say “her white ass can get off that seat”. The SRC distanced itself from Mzileni’s comments which were made after his resignation. “We do not condone the statement that Pedro made,” Maralack said, adding that he was nevertheless in a ‘difficult situation’ at the time. Mzileni was reportedly passionate about students supported by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme of South Africa (NSFAS) and those that are “disadvantaged” at Rhodes. “He was vocal about his ideologies and wanted to improve things for these students in particular,” Maralack commented. When asked if the topic of NSFAS created any tension in the SRC, Maralack said that Mzileni, along with Nyembezi and Ngcobozi, had expressed that the SRC wasn’t making enough decisions in the interest of such students. “SRC is not hunkydory, individuals come with various ideas and ideologies,” he added. Forsyth, in response to this, said that the Oppidan Councillor has been

handling matters concerning NSFAS and that the SRC is committed to all students. In an interview with Activate, Pedro Mzileni commented that none of the councillors who resigned did so because they wanted to, but rather because they were forced to. Mzileni does not regret his comments regarding the Dean of Students, however he has written an open letter to the students and staff of Rhodes University [printed on page 5]. Mzileni mentioned that close to 60% of students at Rhodes are Black this year, but that there is not a single Black person on the SRC Executive. He further questioned how “a student on Financial Aid, which they claim to represent, will have [their] concerns understood by a person who never experienced [that] before”. The former Treasurer said that he had not read the article published about his statements in The Oppidan Press. Reflecting on the timing of the resignations, Maralack said it was a “crisis” and “huge to handle”. The resignations of Mzileni and Shabangu were, in his opinion, “unavoidable”. He said that the situation with Nyembezi and Ngcobozi, however, could have been avoided and added that in reflection, he could’ve done more in this regard. Despite the difficult start to the 2012 term, Maralack said that he is proud of the councillors in light of the difficulties adding that, “It is unfortunate that we’ve had such a rough time, but we appreciate the support and solidarity of students.” He appealed to all students seeking help, those with questions or grievances to come forward to SRC, emphasising the ‘open-door’ policy of the councillors. Maralack stressed that regardless of the difficulties faced, the SRC has managed to fulfil its duties and contribute to a successful orientation programme. The position of Media Councillor has recently been filled by Bradley Bense, who came second to Nyembezi in the SRC elections last year. The position of Treasurer has been filled by Simone Starkey, as this executive position is filled internally. The vacant portfolios are Activism and Transformation, Societies, and Simone’s former portfolio Student Benefits. Maralack expects a full council within the next two weeks.

Zuma challenges power of ConCourt
By Matthew Kynaston


resident acob Zuma has proposed a review on the Constitutional Court and the power it exerts over government. This comes after a decision was taken by the Cabinet last year to assess the impact court rulings have on South African society. Of particular concern to the President is the way in which judges are influenced by the media in their rulings, which results in a disparity in the way he feels cases should be resolved. Zuma said that if the decisions made by Parliament, which is the government’s legislative arm, could be challenged (SA’s democratic system allows the Constitutional Court to review them) then there is no reason why the judiciary could not be similarly challenged. The proposal has been met with widespread criticism. Advocate Craig Renaud, senior lecturer at the Rhodes University Faculty of Law, suggests that there has been a “fundamental misunderstanding” of the role of the courts in South Africa. “The government and the President, like the courts themselves, are subject to the Constitution. If the President or the government act in a way which is contrary to the Constitution, it is the job of the courts to declare those actions unlawful and invalid. In doing so, the courts are not changing the government’s power. They are holding the government to account in terms of the Constitution – which is precisely what the courts are supposed to do.” According to the Black Lawyer’s Association, “The executive and the legislature do not have the power to amend or review the Constitutional Court’s powers”. Advocate Renaud agrees, saying that “Either the President and his advisers have simply failed to understand that they do not, in

The Constitutional Court situated in the city precinct of Constitution Hill in Johannnesburg. Pic: Flickr terms of the Constitution, have the power to review the Constitutional Court’s powers, or they have understood that they lack the power in terms of the Constitution, but have decided to ignore the Constitution”. Dr Rosaan Kruger, also a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Law, says that “the suggestion of the President regarding reviewing the Constitutional Court’s power is alarming for the simple reason that the system of governance provided in the Constitution is based on constitutional supremacy.  A supreme Constitution requires some way of enforcement – someone or some institution must ensure that the Constitution is complied with, and that is the judiciary.  That is how the system is intended to work and even though it inevitably gives rise to tension between the elected branches and the judiciary, this is normal.” She added that the alternative – parliamentary sovereignty – is not an attractive option for South Africa. Julius Malema has also commented on the power of the judiciary at the recent ANC Youth League lekgotla. Talking about court cases in which he is involved, he said, “There’s nothing I can do because the judiciary is controlled by these white minorities.” Malema described them as “mafia” and said that they controlled every state organ. Warren Freedman, Associate Professor at the University of Kwazulu-Natal’s School of Law warns that “This is how our democracy was founded in 1994 and how we have been operating since we adopted the new Constitution in 1996 - any changes to that would signify a radical change in the way our Constitutional democracy works.” “All role-players in the drafting process agreed to the rules that we have in place – now all roleplayers must stick to the rules,” Kruger agrees saying, “Changing the rules if the result of the game does not suit you is not the way to go.” Renaud added that “One cannot help but suspect that it is the beginning of a process of undermining the independence of the judiciary.”

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African languages on the cards for schools
By Marc Davies ompulsory African language learning is set to become compulsory in all South African schools for students grade 1 through 12. The Department of Basic Education is expected to implement a new language policy as soon as next year in an attempt to “break language barriers”, according to departmental spokesperson Panyaza Lesufi. Implementing African language education in teaching and learning will, however, pose numerous logistical difficulties. The nine official ‘indigenous’ African languages are mostly concentrated in terms of their usage across South Africa’s provinces. IsiXhosa is commonly used in the Eastern and Western Cape, whereas languages such as Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Northern Sotho and Tswana are mostly used in more northern provinces such as North-West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga. Languages in the country’s metropolitan areas vary, possibly as a result of urbanisation and migration to more economically prosperous cities. Professor Russell H Kaschula, Head of Rhodes’ School of Languages, says that the challenge of implementing this proposed policy is one that “should not be seen as a logistically non-viable

Power shifts in the ANC

By Megan Ellis

Kgalema Motlanthe SA’s deputy president has been treading lightly with regards to issues between the ANC and ANCYL and has actually emerged as the ANCYL’s preferred candidate for the ANC presidency. Motlanthe, however, has not declared whether he intends to challenge Zuma. His credentials make him a significant potential opponent, having stood in as SA acting president after Mbeki’s resignation as well as still having the support of the ANCYL (which proved influential in Zuma’s appointment as president after Mbeki).

Thabo Mbeki While SA’s former president seems to have disappeared from the radar since his resignation, some publications have suggested that he is making a comeback. Julius Malema has called Mbeki’s ‘exile’ self-imposed and has called for him to become involved in local politics again. Mbeki has been vocal over certain issues, especially regarding African politics. He criticised NATO intervention in Libya and has also called Mugabe unreliable. Some have entertained the possibility of Mbeki returning to the party.

Tokyo Sexwale Now a cabinet member, former businessman Tokyo Sexwale, seems to have set his goals even higher. The Human Settlements Minister was approached in 2007 as a possible candidate for ANC presidency, and this possibility has been raised again. Sexwale has been identified as a possible challenger to Zuma.

Jacob Zuma Zuma remains ‘top dog’ in the ANC; however, this does not mean he is immune to controversy. The President still faces resistance from the ANCYL, culminating in a mob storming the stage during Zuma’s lecture at the Good Hope Centre in Cape Town. Zuma has also garnered criticism from media and various organisations for his controversial statements regarding the Constitutional Court’s power and his support for the Information Bill. However he remains the favourite for the ANC presidency in upcoming elections.

Gwede Mantashe The ANC’s Secretary General continues to ally himself with Zuma, calling for the ANCYL to follow orders and attempting to bring the ANC branch back in line, as well as defending the President’s centenary speech. However, the ANCYL has also called for his replacement as secretary general. Mantashe, also chairperson of the South African Communist Party (SACP), holds the continued support of the ANC.

Julius Malema The controversial leader has taken a great fall after his suspension but is still supported by the ANCYL to the point of defiance, who have declared Malema as their only leader. Malema’s resistance to his suspension and criticism of top ANC leaders has not furthered his cause as he now faces expulsion from the party.


problem… there are creative ways in which to do this.” Kaschula said language audits would be required for each school to determine majority languages. He also suggested opportunities that could be made possible through mother-tongue multilingual or bilingual education programmes where more than one language can be used in the classroom. According to Kaschula, ABSA has used a system which localises ATMs in relation to the languages that are spoken in specific areas, suggesting that a similar method could be used for schools as well. A research paper for the Centre of Development and Enterprise in 2011 revealed that South Africa produces far too few teachers, especially in mathematics and science. Sarah Murray of Rhodes’ Education Department said that the University is currently not producing enough teachers who can teach in isiXhosa. “It is very important that we produce teachers who can teach in this language,” she said. “The challenge is to recruit the m and ensure they have funds for their studies, and to design appropriate teacher education programmes.” Professor Jean Baxen – an Associate Professor in Education – is currently the Principal Investigator for the Cape Consortium Foundation Phase Research Programme which aims to address these issues. The Consortium is a joint initiative between Rhodes, NMMU,

Walter Sisulu University and the University of the Western Cape. The universities were awarded a R20.6m grant over three years to assist with the development and implementation of the ‘Quality teaching and teacher education research programme’ in the Eastern and Western Cape. Reflecting on the necessity of encouraging African language teaching and learning, Professor Kaschula said, “Our linguistic heritage – which is part of our natural resources just like the Rhino – needs to be protected.” He further stated that we need to ask ourselves what kind of South Africa we want a hundred years from now – a homogenised, English South Africa, or a rich multilingual nation in which all languages are used as languages of instruction. Both the Department of Higher Education and the Department of Basic Education have an enormous contribution to make in feeding back into the schooling system according to Kaschula. He nevertheless believes the “pendulum is beginning to swing back” towards language teaching, with 42 Honours students and 4 Masters students in mother-tongue isiXhosa having graduated in 2011 at Rhodes. Kaschula says about half of these students will continue as educators and emphasised the need for graduates to work in environments that are not exclusively English, as well as the need for multicultural awareness amongst students.

28 February 2012

11 Photo Feature

J Chan Henry General dealer, situated on Jacob Zuma Drive, in Fingo Village, has been serving the community for 80 years.

Left: Yat Ming Chan Henry (79), owner of general dealers J Chan Henry in Fingo Village, is affectionately addressed by the Xhosa name ‘Basayi’ by customers of the local community, a name given to him many years ago. Chan Henry has worked in the shop since 1946 when he left school to help his mother with the family business after his father’s death. Right: Charisse Evans, daughter of shop owner Chan Henry, is one of five children and is the only one who works for the family business in Fingo Village. She herself has two children. Grahamstown, 24 February, 2012. Pic: Anton Scholtz

Little shop, big history
By Anton Scholtz

Chan Henry, a general dealer, stands on Dr Jacob Zuma Drive in Fingo Village. Its 80 years of service to the surrounding community shows in its aging walls, which are plastered with peeling stickers and advertisements, a faded Sasko Sam caricature smiling down on patrons. The shop, which has been open for over 100 years in Grahamstown, is now run by Yat Ming Chan Henry and his daughter Charisse Evans. It has passed through the management of three successive generations of the Chan Henry family, and started in the building in which the Hi-Tec Security


premises are in New Street today. The shop moved to its current location in 1933 due to financial difficulties brought on by the Great Depression. The Chan Henry family immigrated to South Africa from Canton (known today as Guangzhou) in China during the AngloBoer War at the turn of the century. Ming says he left school at 15 to help his mother, Ellen, run the shop after his father’s death. His life and work have revolved around the shop ever since. At the age of 79, he still drives to PE every Thursday to collect stock for the store, and Charisse is the day-to-day manager, spending every day of the week (including Sundays) behind the counter.

Ming was born in South Africa and only went to China in recent years to investigate his family history. He said he enjoyed seeing the places his parents spoke of when he was young, but is adamant that South Africa is home. His Xhosa name, ‘Basayi’, was affectionately given to him years ago by locals and is testament to the fact that he is a well-loved and respected member of his community. Ming feels that it is imperative for everyone, no matter where they may come from, to do the best that they can to integrate into the community in which they find themself. Otherwise, people will remain divided and unfeeling towards each other.

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Edition 1

2 [1] Ming Chan Henry sits in the shop office, which overlooks
the entire store. The computer monitor on the desk displays CCTV footage of the shop so that theft – which has proven a problem – can be monitored and prevented. Grahamstown, 22 February 2012. [2] A man who came into the shop to buy prepaid electricity tells Evans how his best friend was stabbed to death the day before. The owners of J. Chan Henry have built up personal relationships with their customers over their years of service. Grahamstown, 14 Fabruary 2012. [3] Evans’ dog, Fudgy, cools down behind one of the shop counters on a hot afternoon. Evans says that the nine-yearold dog goes with her wherever she goes. Grahamstown, 14 February 2012. [4] Bottles of various traditional medicines are displayed in a glass cabinet in the shop. Evans says that they are extremely popular amongst patrons of the shop at a cost of R10 each. Grahamstown, 14 February 2012. [5] The view of the shop floor from the office, of which the desk is visible in the foreground. The black and yellow spikes are for security reasons, especially considering that the shop has already been broken into three times this year. Grahamstown, 17 February 2012. Pics: Anton Scholtz





28 February 2012

13 Photo Feature







[6] One of the shop customers, a traditional healer from nearby, wears the white beads sold in the shop. Grahamstown, 22 February 2012. Pic: Anton Scholtz [7] Xolisile ‘Lee’ Ntlanjeni, one of the shop assistants, pours paraffin out of a an old petrol pump, which is located in the back of the store. Grahamstown, 26 February 2012. Pic: Lauren Rawlins [8] A man looks out of the window of the
building behind the shop. Originally, the Chan Henry family lived in the building due to racial segregation under apartheid but have since moved into the suburbs and now let rooms to members of the community. Grahamstown, 17 February 2012. [9] Charisse Evans is reflected in a mirror while working behind the counter of J. Chan Henry. The shop has been open since her grandfather opened it in 1908. Grahamstown, 14 February 2011. [10] A customer leaves the shop after buying electricity for his prepaid meter. Grahamstown, 14 February 2012. [11] Lee threads string through white beads in the back of the shop. The white beads are sold for various uses in traditional isiXhosa ceremonies. Grahamstown, 17. February 2012. Pics: Anton Scholtz [12] A panaramic view of the outside of J. Chan Henry on Dr Jacob Zuma Drive showing the 1820s Settler’s Monument in the background. Grahamstown, 24 February 2012. Pic: Lauren Rawlins

14 Business

Edition 1

Sharing the wealth: A viable solution?
By Megan Ellis


ast year, the global community stood up against the elite and demanded that wealth be more fairly distributed. While awareness about the unequal balance of wealth increases, people look to those with political and financial power to help alleviate the global crisis. One answer to this is ‘philanthrocapitalism’ – a form of philanthropy where wealthy individuals redistribute their money through investments in projects and causes they are interested in to tackle problems facing poorer communities. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation continues to be at the forefront of the philanthrocapitalism movement. It is especially famous for the Warren Buffett donation – where Buffett, one of the world’s wealthiest men, has pledged 83% of his fortune to the foundation. This donation amounts to billions of dollars. However, the movement has also come under scrutiny – especially for its potential to be just another form of paternalism. While wealthy capitalists do give funding to projects and aid, it is done so at their own discretion and on their own terms. David Fryer, a senior lecturer in the Department of Economics and Economics History, does not think that philanthrocapitalism is a viable option in the alleviation of global poverty. He says the movement is undemocratic as decisions regarding aid are made solely by the organisations and therefore issues tackled are not necessarily

proportional to the scale or degree of the problem. According to Fryer, these organisations “tend to implement their own particular models, regardless of the country’s model”. He adds that because these organisations do not collaborate with governments, they weaken the incentive for states to develop. This is a common criticism of aid, which often does not engage with communities and make them self-sustainable, but rather implements its own notions of charity. Fryer does however think philanthrocapitalism would be more effective if it worked with legitimate governments to develop aims. But this is especially difficult to do in weak democracies and collapsed states. Fryer does not dismiss the idea of aid altogether – he feels that NGOs have a place in pushing forward global issues such as environmentalism, rather than national issues. This is because in a national context, “With development projects, there is a gap between what the state is doing and what the donor community is doing.” He adds that countries can become ‘infested’ with NGOs, all of which have different agendas. Fryer says that while redistribution is important, it should not be dealt with by charities. “Change must come from a democratic route,” says Fryer. While philanthropy may have good intentions, often aid organisations “treat only the symptoms – without getting to the cause of the problem”. However Fryer adds that if philanthropic organisations engage more with communities and states as well as ensuring self-sustainability, their intervention becomes more beneficial to the people.

Do so-called ‘philanthrocapitalists’ such as Bill Gates really offer potential workable solutions to issues of the global distribution of wealth? Pic: Rotary International

The Telkom Effect
By Njabulo Nkosi

Carbon tax weighs in
By Njabulo Nkosi carbon tax is an environmental tax attached to the burning of fossil fuels. The tax is meant to discourage the production of greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide and fund green initiatives. This is in effect a levy on the production of fuels such as natural gas, coal, and petroleum - thus encouraging non-carbon fuels and technologies to emerge in the market and better compete against large carbon-emitting corporations. In economic terms, carbon tax is an indirect tax – a tax on transactions – aiming to lessen the negative impact of pollution. The tax can also raise awareness about pollution and can decrease the demand for fuel supplies. In addition to creating incentives for energy conservation, a carbon tax would put renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal on a more competitive footing, stimulating their growth in a largely fossil fuel-based economy. Despite these positive prospects, this tax may also have stifling effects on the economy – especially in South Africa. South Africa has the ambitious economic objective of creating 5 million jobs in the next eight years by sustaining GDP growth at 7 % per year. It also aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 34% over the same period. However, studies conducted by the Industry Task Team on Climate Change (ITTCC), which represents SA’s largest industries in mining and mineral sectors, says the National Treasury may have to revise these objectives. The Treasury initially preferred a carbon tax to be imposed directly on all measured emissions of carbon dioxide. According to director at BDO Consulting Services Shaun Nel, the problem is that “Eskom accounts for almost 50% of SA’s emissions compared to only 11% by the rest of the industry.” A carbon tax on emissions would thus increase the cost of electricity since Eskom is entitled, by nature of their operations, to pass additional costs onto consumers. The ITTCC conducted a study that found that the carbon tax combined with electricity tariffs would cause a 63% weighted average reduction in operating profits across the sample. One relatively large energy-intensive firm would lose over 90% of its operating profits. ITTCC also reports that some firms’ operations will no longer be viable after such a reduction in their profits. A R100 per ton carbon tax


here was little respite for Telkom amid the scandal of their recent Competition Tribunal hearings. The Competition Commission proposed a potentially crippling fine on the telecommunications company for “abusing its monopoly power by charging excessive prices, engaging in prohibited price discrimination and withholding services to rival companies”. If the Competition Tribunal agrees with the commission, the imposed fine would equal 10% of Telkom’s 2003 annual revenue. The fine will amount to R3.5 billion. This case dates back almost a decade, when 21 complaints were brought forwards from the South African VANS (value-added network services) Association, the Internet Service Providers Association, AT&T Global Network Services SA, Internet Solutions and Omnilink. The Competition Commission’s logic in imposing such a fine is that the fine will act as a deterrent from future acts of larceny, thus protecting competition in the telecommunications industry and the SA economy. Telkom maintains that it is innocent and undeserving of the proposed fine, stating that the fine should be lessened considerably. It claims that if the maximum fine were to be imposed – the tribunal has not done so in other cases – it would plunge the “struggling company” into the red. It even suggests that it could put key services at banks, government departments, the defence force and police services at risk. Telkom warns that the fine will “irretrievably jeopardise its viability”, resulting in disastrous consequences for the economy and the SA government – a 40% shareholder in the company. Owen Skae, Director of Rhodes Business School, says “The quantum of the fine, if imposed, will be extremely detrimental to Telkom, as they would probably have to sell off its assets and in all likelihood not be able

to raise prices.” These statements have merit as Telkom would have to raise R4.5 billion to pay the fine and stay afloat: money it does not have. In addition, the market structure has since changed and it is highly unlikely that Telkom could ever engage in such behaviour again. The alleged anti-competitive behaviour took place eight years ago, when Telkom believed it was acting within exclusivity rights granted to it by the government in return for providing infrastructure to underserviced parts of the country. Telkom took telecommunication to rural areas through its wireless network, which was unaffordable. Telkom hiked local call prices during its five-year state-sanctioned monopoly. “Many commentators believe that the final penalty (if imposed) will not be as high as [R3.5 billion],” Skae notes. “After all, one has to balance the public interest, and a severely weakened Telkom will not help South Africa’s competitiveness.” Regarding the benefits of imposing a large fine on Telkom, Duncan MacLeod, an independent online publisher, says that the beneficial effect will be negligible. This is due to Telkom’s diminished monopoly power and the notion that “it can’t afford to institute big price increases because consumers will switch to mobile options.” “In the short term, the impact [of the fine] is likely to be minimal,” says Skae. “But in the long term, it could play itself out in different ways - [for example] possible cutbacks on infrastructure spending, reduced services and uncertainty about its future,” he adds. The imposition of the fine will have little effect on correcting Telkom’s past excesses and the SA economy. But the question remains as to what the correct action should be and whether the government should move quickly to finalise another fixed line operator coming into the market to create more competition? The next few days should prove decisive in the matter.


could eliminate R23 billion of tax contributions, R54 billion of exports and 63 000 jobs. The South African ferrochrome industry would disappear by 2014 under the weight of R100/t carbon tax, higher electricity prices and other existing government levies. This means that SA may lose its share of the ferrochrome market to China. The ITTCC reports “that firms have a limited scope to reduce emissions and would... be heavily impacted financially.” “Carbon tax is a good idea and principle when raising awareness about carbon emissions,” says Chris Upfold, an Information Systems lecturer whose research interest is in virtual teams and collaboration technologies. “It is [however] a first world idea which is not very practical. A regulatory body is necessary to ensure that the tax is imposed properly, as excessively charging firms, like Eskom, will end up widening the wealth gap in the country,” he adds. The Treasury is operating under the assumption that any demise in emission-intensive industries and output can be countered by the emergence of new, green industries. “This idea of perfect alignment is unrealistic and improbable,” says Nel. “SA can’t risk shutting down productive industries and hoping that less energy-intensive industries will develop.” The stunted growth of the solar panel industry, which relies on silicon, is due to the high SA electricity prices. In 2008, SA was among the cheapest countries in the world for silicon production, but by 2011 the electricity prices drove SA well above the world average. SA’s electricity prices are higher than Russia’s and Brazil’s. By 2013, SA could outstrip countries that are currently more expensive if the proposed tariff is reached by Eskom. The elevated electricity costs will affect all electricity-dependent industries, increase overall prices and inflation and hurt the country’s economic, educational and industrial objectives. Mike Rossouw, an executive director of Xstrata and Chairperson of the ITTCC, asserts that “It does not make sense to introduce carbon tax in light of very rapidly rising electricity prices.” From an economic viewpoint, a regulatory body must be installed to oversee the imposition of the carbon tax: it must be intensely revised in order to avoid crushing vital industries and financially impairing consumers.

28 February 2012

15 Comment & Analysis

Houston, we have a problem
By Alexa Sedgwick hile no one likes to say bad things about people who have passed away, it would seem that celebrities get a whole lot of extra attention fuelled through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. The deaths of celebrities like Steve Jobs, Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, and more recently Whitney Houston, have spread like wildfire through internet memes that juxtapose the passing of a single celebrity against the deaths of the impoverished masses which seem to go unnoticed. Musicians and actors seem to get their belated Jess Van Tonder, BJourn 1 glory after their passing, when their movies and albums are I think people glamorise celebrities more than anything else suddenly hot property once again: iTunes even increased the A recent poster which comments on the public reaction to celebrity deaths and because that is how the media portrays them. It is easier to price of Houston’s Ultimate Collection album just days after her the difference between the reactions to issues of global poverty. Pic: Flckr make a fuss of them, and find good points to emphasise, than it death. Is the glorification of celebrities after death just fickle, or is is to glamorise other ordinary people who are dying every day. Siyamthanda Stone, BA 3 it really okay to look past their flaws and instead appreciate their After death, it is common to forget the bad things about people, You want to glorify celebrities, because you feel you know them. I contribution to the entertainment world when their time comes? don’t know why people wouldn’t want to make a fuss about those who and over-exaggerate the good. Entertainment industries especially, Activate sought your views. tend to glamorise the good. For example, they will emphasise really need the attention - those in poverty - but I guess it’s because what an excellent musician Amy Winehouse was, and how many people just don’t know them. If you’re not known, people don’t Brian Garman, Journalism and Media Studies lecturer Grammys she won, instead of the story behind the person; the fact generally care about you. A lot of this attention spreads via social Glorifying celebrities after death can be linked to a whole lot that she abused drugs. media like Facebook: if one person has a cause, thousands of others of things. Whitney Houston may have been a significant part of are soon joining them. It’s what they taught us in first-year Sociology: somebody’s life ten years ago, and even though she hasn’t been if one person starts doing something, a whole lot will follow. Everyone Charlie O’Donoghue, BSC 2 as present in the media since then, I think her death may have Surely it’s an act of politeness to pick up on a person’s good just follows everyone else, so as to not be excluded from the trend. triggered the memory of her significance back then. Hearing points after their death? There might be hundreds and hundreds about the death of someone whom you once thought was fantastic of people in the world who do stupid things like take drugs or Sally-Anne Beard, BA 2 just takes you back to that time. There is nostalgia, so now people go on binges or fiddle with children, but not everyone who does It’s all about the craze. Once someone like Whitney Houston has are buying her albums as if it was going out of fashion. Looking at these things can also make great music or do something amazing died, she cannot obviously be around to enjoy the fame. Why does the cynical side of this, the record companies see celebrity deaths besides those negative aspects. If it was any average person who that have to wait until she is gone? This to me is a clear indicator of as a way of making money. But I think for most people, there is a died, not many people would care - whereas if a celebrity dies, how shallow people are: those who might not have bothered to listen certain reverence for those who have died, and many are reluctant of course there will be those millions who marvel at what they to Houston’s music before are now rushing to see what the fuss is to talk ill of the dead. Talking about more current singers, Amy achieved in their life. This is really great, because through social about. Facebook memes, such as the images “One die, a million cry: Winehouse would be seen more as a tragedy, a loss of potential. A million die, no one cares”, are perfect examples of how people today networking, we are enabled to spread the news and inspire an This young woman with a wonderful voice and ability to perform interest in the celebrity. Young people can then hopefully learn pretend to be so self-righteous and sympathetic to those in need, dies, and now everyone is upset because they have lost the from their mistakes, and admire them for their achievements. when in fact posting on Facebook is really only as far as they go. potential for more music.


Elizabeth Karamura, LLB 4 It’s not fair, but it is unrealistic to expect people to care about the poor people. They don’t really ‘know’ them, whereas most people are familiar with popular celebrities and listen to their music and interviews. We should worry about those who live in poverty; my heart goes out to them; but people feel more connected to celebrities. This attitude will probably continue unless the media adapts itself and broadcasts more stories about those who are suffering, so that their causes can be on a par with [those of] celebrities.

Everybody loves a holiday
By Mikhaila Steenkamp


alentines Day- You either love it or hate it. In the middle of February, life gets a whole lot more red when the roses, hearts and hugging teddy bears start to clutter your line of vision. You may or may not be a believer in the sentiments behind Valentine’s Day or even know what it is supposed to be about. But whether you turn into a cloud of loneliness indulging in singles’ vices, or borrow ideas from the cheesiest romantic comedy to impress your special someone, chances are it will get to you. In March, red turns to green as leprechauntinted puke runs through the streets. On St Patrick’s Day, crazy Rhodents without the slightest connection to Ireland rush out painted in green to get catatonic on green drinks specials in the name of the saint. The Christmas frenzy, which hijacks even the most secular shopping centres and media vehicles, is another example of a religious holiday gone haywire. What is it about these holidays which capture our imaginations and set our spending habits into overdrive? Why do we let them dominate our conversations and actions, when we do not understand them, and they do not necessarily have anything to do with our cultures or backgrounds? Should we celebrate them at all? Some Rhodents shared their opinions with Activate - decide for yourself.

Jeanne du Toit, JMS Radio Lecturer and PhD candidate  I would say that in contemporary society, commercial culture is very much part of our identity. Also, in the age of globalisation, people are constantly appropriating cultural practices from all over the world into their localised cultural identities. Culture is not static, it never has been – and traditional culture is not distinct from cultural practices that are generated through marketing strategies. I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day, but I think the fact that Rhodes students get quite involved in these days is perfectly understandable. As long as they also take part in other, less commercialised forms of cultural expression, such as the Zombie games! That seems to me more interesting, anyway. I celebrate Christmas, because it is part of my culture. Not because I am Christian, but because my husband’s family is Christian, and I honour them. When I was little, the build-up to Christmas was accompanied by all the German paraphernalia. And Father Christmas was Sinterklaas, which is quite different from the commercial Coca-Cola image. So yes, it is about my culture! Murray Coumbis, BSC 2 I was brought up in a Christian home, but I am atheist now. I need holidays like everyone else because I am human. I do have Christmas with my family which is also a great time to go out and do stuff together that we otherwise would not have time for. I think it’s simple to see that certain holidays are celebrated by people they don’t necessarily apply to, because it’s convenient, especially in South Africa where settlers brought all these cultures that have become significant.  Janet Chisaka, Sociology lecturer and PhD candidate A key response to this question is that culture is fluid, and people bring different meanings to particular holidays, even nonChristians [in the case of Christmas], regardless of their beliefs. 

Godwin Pangel, BSS 2 I don’t celebrate holidays which don’t apply to me. I think that those holidays are just excuses to get drunk and party. It doesn’t apply to them – why can’t they celebrate love, or be thankful for whatever it is, everyday? Mary Chidanyika, BPharm 4 If you look at this generation, teenagers and young adults no longer say: “I’m unique to African culture; I’m unique to this culture.” We’ve now sort of adopted one culture, and everything is globalised, so at the end of the day we’re exposed to Valentine’s Day, we grow up knowing about it, we become that group of people who just celebrate it without bothering about where it has come from or what its meaning is. Like Halloween, I found myself celebrating it last year but in Zimbabwe, where I’m from, no-one has even heard of it. I go to Rhodes University; I meet different kinds of people here, so at the end of the day I end up becoming a person who’s a mixture of bits and pieces of everything that the world has to offer. Mildith Bosch, BSS 1 It’s about globalisation. Like everyone, through Facebook and Twitter, knows what everyone else’s culture is, and they try to accommodate people. Also, it’s a holiday – and everyone likes a holiday. It’s a lot of fun. As with a lot of these holidays, no-one even knows where it comes from in South Africa, but there are people who celebrate it because they know about it and they know someone, somewhere out there who does celebrate it. Theo Ledwaba, BA 1 The truth of the matter is, everyone likes to be loved, and on these holidays, all we perpetuate is love. St Paddy’s may be about drinking, but Christmas, even New Years – you know, that whole midnight kiss and everything – is about connecting. Even though we might not want to admit it, all we want is love.

Olivia Higgins, BSC 2  I think it’s just because of the atmosphere, because it’s nice to be involved with everyone. I mean, I’m not part of a specific culture, but our family has very traditional values, and family is really important, so on those holidays you can get involved with your family. It doesn’t necessarily have to be about St. Paddy’s Day drinking or anything like that, it just has to be being together. I think that’s why people do it- it’s about being a part of something.

16 Features

Edition 1

Tackling dining hall division
By Nina McFall e would like to think that South Africa is a fully integrated rainbow nation where diversity is not only accepted, but celebrated. The same goes for the cultural microcosm that is Rhodes University, which boasts students from a wide variety of countries, cultures and ethnicities who converge here to further their education. However, in line with Rhodes’ stringent efforts towards transformation, integration seems to be one of those things that need to be nudged along every now and then. The first week of a sub-warden or house committee member’s term in office is spent in the lecture theatres of Barratt, where they undergo a training schedule aimed at readying them for the year ahead. The training, which is facilitated by the Dean of Students, Dr Vivian de Klerk, has a strong emphasis on how to deal with things like race, gender and various forms of prejudice in res. One of the most troubling phenomena on campus is the seemingly subconscious division of dining halls along racial lines. “At one of our training workshops, students were shown the results of a Psychology Honours project, published by Kate Reddick and Jeffery Yen, which researched ‘racism’ in the dining halls, [and] the actual words of students interviewed in this study were quoted in order to get our students thinking about why racist divisions persist in the


Res offences and discipline
By Tristan de Robillard ouis XVI was publicly beheaded, Blackbeard’s severed head was tied to the mast of his ship and William Wallace was publicly tortured before he was executed – by decapitation. There is a recurring theme here. When somebody is to be made an example of, people tend to get rather zealous with the punishment they deal out. Rhodes University exists in a time when public execution is no longer the norm, but the old pattern still applies: when it comes to setting an example, bigger is considered better. Consider the following scenario. In 2011, two first-year students, one studying a BSc, the other a BA, got into trouble for what is categorised as theft according to hall rules. One of them had not booked a meal and was keeping the other company in the dining hall. The former went to the kitchen to fetch some bread as her friend did not want hers. The kitchen staff realised that the student hadn’t booked her meal and reported this to the Hall Warden, who called the two students to a hearing. It was determined that the student without the mealbooking had committed theft and her warden decided to make an example of her by giving her 20 hours of community service. It is understandable that the university would take something like theft very seriously, and to stamp it out would require a fairly big

dining halls,” says de Klerk. “Lasting social ties and patterns are established during Orientation Week, so house committees were asked to devise strategies to encourage students to meet people who are ‘different’ from them by allocating seating in dining halls … based on academic faculty or on the letter of the first name, for example.” During Orientation Week, dining halls all around campus organised first-years and house committee members according to a different category each day. “We weren’t specifically targeting race. It was about breaking norms and stereotypes, and challenging ideas of dominance,” says Sikho Mgweba, Senior Student of New House. “Race just happened to be one of the things we combatted.” Mgweba says that the idea was not merely to create friendships, but rather to create an atmosphere of ‘openness’ to the other. “If we force integration, it defeats the objective,” she explains. According to Mgweba, friendships would be forged not by means of encouraged integration, but by teaching students how to be open enough to go up to someone and just say hello. “We create opportunities to make friendships,” says Mgweba. She also highlights the importance of inter-res comradery, which is why O-Week activities such as serenades are so important. According to de Klerk, the same kind of exercise has been shown to be effective in other higher education contexts around South Africa. “At

Resident sub-wardens and house committee members underwent special training before O-Week so as to combat racial divisions in residences and dining halls. The training emphasised the need to encourage first years to meet new people and break down barriers. Pic: Niamh Walsh-Vorster

Rhodes, the same principle has been the driving force behind the practice of serenading and sharing coffee with an allocated ‘partner’ during orientation,” she says. “It, too, seeks to break down barriers and build friendships in a positive way.” Students come to university not only to gain more knowledge, but also to grow as people. This happens when students mix with a wide variety of different people, and overcome any preconceived ideas about certain groups of people. “We are thinking long term,” says Mgweba. “We are thinking about the work place. Students need to be able to converse with people and live with other people communally.” Mgweba says that there are no specific plans to encourage integration for the rest of the year.

“You don’t have to go out of your way and form new things to facilitate integration,” she says. She plans to continue with usual res functions, such as house braais and movie evenings. According to her, ice-breakers before events will encourage students to mingle, even if it is only for 10 minutes. “This is how students get to know each other,” Mgweba says. “It is the only way lasting friendships can be made.” It is imperative that the older years set a good example for first-years with regard to integration. Mgweba says “It is difficult [to tell students to] be integrated in the dining hall if the res is not integrated. It starts in res. It is a matter of spirit in residence. How the house spirit is groomed determines [whether the res will be] integrated


statement. However, when one considers for a moment that this person not only received twelve hours more than one would usually receive for smoking in res (a health and safety risk, and a breach of a national law), but also a criminal record and a suspended exclusion, it seems an inappropriate punishment for what amounted to a misunderstanding. There are some answers, however. John McNeill, senior lecturer in the Information Systems Department and Hall Warden of Alan Webb Hall, believes that there are a number of circumstances, not all of them desirable, that influence how punishment is meted out in situations such as the one above. “Every case is meant to be judged on its merits,” McNeill says. “What will usually happen is that the authorities concerned will determine what offense has been committed. They will then go through a formal process to ascertain how guilty the parties concerned are. Either the warden or sub-warden may determine the sanction necessary – for sub-wardens the maximum number of hours they can give is 25, for wardens it is a little bit more – and then the disciplinary authority determines whether this sanction is fair.” Part of this process, McNeill explains, will be to check the Residence Administration System, which details any past offences which the student may have committed. These are taken into account and then, depending on these past offences or lack thereof, the punishment may

be increased or reduced. “Now obviously we are not looking to give out the highest punishment possible,” McNeill explains. “We are looking for fairness. Does punishment always get meted out fairly? Not always. Some wardens are overly zealous in certain situations and others are too soft on the individuals concerned.” When told about the incident regarding toast theft McNeill said. “That does seem to be a bit high. What you should probably ask those students is whether they were told that they had the right to ask for a review of the decision. Those giving out the punishment have to tell the students about this option. It is mandatory. Students often make the mistake of not doing so because either they do not know about the option or because they feel afraid to do so.” The review system, if successful in discovering that the punishment is excessive, will reduce the sentence or, in some more extreme cases, have the decisions overturned. The three situations in which a review may be requested are if the facts of the case do not show guilt, if the right procedures haven’t been followed or (crucially in this case) if the punishment is unreasonable. Students are urged to contact the SRC or apply for a review if they feel their punishment is unfair. However, students need to also familiarise themselves with res and campus rules, as pleading ignorance is not an accepted defense.

What you can do

Galela Amanzi
This society is geared mainly towards the installation of rainwater tanks in water scarce areas around Grahamstown. The name means ‘pour the water’ in isiXhosa. Considering the trouble our town has had with erratic and at times poor municipal services, some areas are vulnerable to cut-offs and water shortages. The society seeks to empower community members by increasing access to clean drinking water and working with them to bring about sustainable change. In September last year this society erected its 20th tank in five years. According to Diana Hornby, the Director of Rhodes Community Engagement (RUCE), this society is so successful because of its strategic partnerships with like-minded societies and organisations. Galela Amanzi works with other societies and various community partners in order to raise awareness of the water shortage and install rainwater tanks around town.

This society focuses on early childhood education and aims to bridge the gap between Rhodes and Grahamstown by tutoring local children. Inkwenkwezi was renamed from ‘Shine’ in 2011 and translates to ‘shining star’ in English. The society aims at increasing the literacy rates amongst students in grade one through three, through a paired reading programme. Students are allocated to two pupils and work on their numeracy and literacy skills for an hour each week by reading, writing and playing educational games. The society also provides libraries and reading rooms with age-appropriate books through various fundraisers throughout the academic year, and tries to make reading fun for pupils.

Student society Masincedane started up a soup kitchen in 2006 with the aim of providing local school children with regular afternoon meals. The society formed a partnership with Cynthia Belwana, a local Grahamstown philanthropist, who had already been running a small, informal soup kitchen. Presently, Masincedane’s interests have expanded to a vegetable garden and bread-making, with the aim of providing healthy and nutritious organic food. The soup kitchen runs for three days of the week and feeds over 100 people. Student members help out at the soup kitchen once a week and tend to the vegetable garden that sustains the operation. They also organise various fundraising activities that help keep the initiative going. The overall aim is to develop the soup kitchen to the point where it is an independent community project.

By Karlien van der Wielen

28 February 2012

17 Features

A stitch in time
By Karlien van der Wielen “A hundred years ago, four scholarly, moustached gentlemen in stiff white collars, all distinguished in their chosen professions, walked down the hill from St Andrew’s College, where they taught, to start Rhodes University College in Grahamstown in the Cape Colony.” These distinguished gentlemen bore names that Rhodes students may hear on a daily basis: Professors Arthur Matthews, George Cory, A. Stanley Kidd and D.F. Dingemans. Despite being the founding professors of Rhodes, very few students are aware of the significance their names carry. 1902 – 1904: A town meeting was called by Josiah Slater, Editor of The Grahamstown Journal, in order to revive a project to establish the first higher education institution in the Eastern Cape. The advocates of this project vested their hopes in the Rhodes Trust for financing, but it was turned down. However, after Dr. Leander Jameson became Prime Minister of the Cape Colony in 1904, and after a direct appeal by Dr Selmar Schönland (one of the foremost advocates for starting the university), £50 000 was granted. By the end of 1904, Rhodes University College moved to the Drostdy Barracks and the surrounding buildings. The university was ready to receive its first students. 1905: Classes started with a total of 50 students all men from various schools around the Eastern Cape. Since there was no student accommodation, students stayed on at the schools they had come from. The first students paid fees of £5.5 per term, and most of them received bursaries of £21 for the year. Early 1900s at Rhodes: First-year students were collectively called ‘Inks’ (later ‘Inkettes’ was used to distinguish female students), which was claimed by older students to come from the ‘Greek’ word inkos, which does not exist. Thus, the word literally meant nothing, thereby implying that the first-years were themselves nothing. Inks walked around with placards around their necks, with their names, houses and degrees for the whole of first term. Doorways into the main building were segregated along gender lines – women could only use the door on the left of the central entrance to the main building, while men may only enter through the door on the right. Students were required to wear gowns to lectures and public functions. 1912: The lack of student accommodation reached crisis point, and 20 female students were housed in the military hospital. The charge for board and in 1974 after a campaign to build a ‘living’ monument to honour British Settlers. In 1977 Rhodes decided to segregate races with the permission of its African students in 1978. In 1979 however, under Vice-Chancellor Derek Henderson, Rhodes became the first South African university to integrate races in student residences. 1971: Campus saw its first big student revolt. It was well-covered by the media and started with a list of 22 proposals concerning dress and residence rules. SRC chairman John Whitehead told Vice-Chancellor Hyslop that if the proposals were not accepted by noon the next day, the SRC would lead the students in a civil disobedience revolt. The ultimatum was not complied with as a meeting to review the disciplinary code already been scheduled, and students mobilised for the revolt, feeling that years of patient negotiation had done nothing to stem the ‘Sunday school’ governance of the University. For three days students gathered in the quad and set about breaking residence rules. After the original meeting, during which the proposals and the student disciplinary code were reviewed and changed, resistance was called off. Intervisiting was allowed in male residences, but not in female residences. Fines issued during these days of protest amounted to R17 000, and what money was collected was donated to the library for Coloured residents. This would just be the start of Rhodes’s protest history. 1980s: The first Faculty of Pharmacy in South Africa was started at Rhodes in 1980. In 1985 the top floor of Graham House was destroyed by a fire. 1990s: The age of transformation – or at least attempts at it – dawned. Rhodes started attracting more students of different races. Vice-Chancellor David Woods, whose appointment was attended by Nelson Mandela, spoke about changing curricula to take students’ backgrounds into account. In 1997, SciFest was started by the Grahamstown Foundation. 2000s: In 2002 Nelson Mandela accepted an Honorary Doctorate from Rhodes University. Student accommodation once again become an issue as Oppidans started outnumbering students in residence. 2011 – 2012: While Rhodes’ more recent history is still being made and written, Rhodes recently celebrated its entire history along with that of Grahamstown’s by installing a new tapestry in the Council Chambers to replace the portraits of previous V.C.s. This tapestry, made by the Keiskamma Art Project, spans from the Frontier Wars to the present.

The founding fathers of Rhodes University College and members of the senate, 1904. Standing (L to R): Prof. GF Dingemans; David Williams. Seated (L to R): Prof. A Stanley-Kidd; Prof. A Matthews (first chairman of the senate); Prof. (later Sir) G. Cory. Pic: The Story of Rhodes, 1904 - 2004

lodging was £1 and 15 shillings per term, and female wardens received a salary of £100 a year. 1913: The college colours changed from red and white on a green background to dark purple and white. Because the South African sun bleached dark colours so quickly, the background colour was changed to the lighter purple we know today. Student numbers rose to 141. 1914: College House started being used as a dormitory, and the first female hostel was erected as well. The impending war delayed plans for building, and Oriel House was only built in 1915. Rhodes University College was 15 years old when WW1 started. 1920: The University expanded westward with the arts block and a dining hall for College House. Botha and Jameson Houses were built along with the first dining hall for women. Students from Zimbabwe (then known as Rhodesia) each received a special grant for a year’s study from the University. 1925: Edward VIII – the Prince of Wales – visited Rhodes. Students dressed as Zulu warriors pushed the prince into a cab to take him to a ceremony at the war memorial in town. He was persuaded by the students to perform the official opening of the Drostdy lavatories.

1930s: The Great Depression caused government grants to be cut severely. All staff had to accept a reduction of 8% or hand in their notice, and dining halls suffered a seemingly endless span of “jam yesterday, jam tomorrow, but never jam today”. When South Africa went off the gold standard in 1933, the hard times were over just as suddenly as they had started. Grants and salaries returned and the University expanded once again. The main block of today’s Clock Tower was finished in 1937. The War Memorial, which now stands in front of the Great Hall, first found its home in front of Beit House. On 12 September each year, students would lay wreaths in front of the memorial for their fallen peers and Old Rhodians who had died in service. This day ended with the Founders Ball. 1940s: In 1947, the issue of race made its debut at Rhodes. The college senate grudgingly agreed to accept the eligibility of ‘non-European’ graduates – and so, the long battle for transformation at Rhodes began. In 1948, new University Master, Dr Thomas Alty, realised that Rhodes University College was bankrupt. A donation by the Grocott brothers saved the University from the worst of its financial troubles. 1950s: Rhodes University was inaugurated as an autonomous university on 10 March 1951, and a massive building program was launched. Rhodes

formed a close association with Fort Hare, which ensured that multi-racial gatherings became the norm. Dr Alty lead protest marches against the government’s apartheid laws, and his wife, Dr. Stella Alty, started the Rhodes Women’s Association. This couple was actively involved in fighting apartheid laws with the help of the greater Grahamstown community. In 1959 the Extension of University Education Act was passed, which forbade universities from accepting students from ‘non-European’ races. Fort Hare was disaffiliated from Rhodes. 1960s: Grahamstown’s municipality celebrated its centenary year in 1962 and President C.R. Swart was invited. Swart was responsible for the act banning universities from accepting other races. Despite this, Rhodes University was expected to award an honorary Doctorate degree to Swart. A petition against this action was presented to the authorities, and students held a protest during the President’s visit. In 1969, the student power movement which swept across the world arrived at Rhodes. 1970s: In 1972 the Rhodes Union was built along with new sports fields, several houses and two dining halls. The Departments of Journalism, Linguistics, Speech and Drama, Mathematical Studies, Social Work and Political Studies stake their first claims in this era. The 1820 Settlers National Monument was opened

18 Arts & Entertainment

Edition 1

Fleeting moments
By Brendan Ward


he smoke from her hand-rolled cigarette defies the damp weather as she waits for me. Her vintage sunglasses reflect the bustle of the students at the Kaif. She seems to be soaking in the Friday atmosphere. “I like to immerse myself in the world around me,” says Fine Art Photography Honours student Nina Grindlay. “Art is very experiential; you’ve got to go out there and that experience will evolve into art.” It is this experience of the world translated through photography that has turned her into a sensation. Shortlisted for the Sony World Photo Awards student section, Grindlay is preparing for a trip to London. “My lecturer told me to enter. He actually helped me upload my photographs, and then phoned and told me I’d placed,” says Grindlay. The prestigious competition includes entrants from across the world and she is the only person from Africa who has placed in the competition. The instructions for the entries were to emulate a haiku, visually recording a ‘fleeting moment’. “My photograph was taken for my exhibition at the end of last year of Fine Art. It highlights the subtle, in-between moments people don’t really notice without a camera pointing it out.” She says that the photograph only tells a moment of the story that the viewer can interpret. “It’s almost floating, in a sense,” says Grindlay. “You don’t see the unnecessary information that detracts from the moment.” Her first camera was a disposable Kodak, but she says that since then she was amazed with photography. “Press a shutter

and it would capture a moment in time, and that would bring back the memory and emotion, even down to the scents you smelt.” By now she’s upgraded to a Nikon D700, a “proamateur camera,” she remarks. Alongside Fine Art, Grindlay also majored in Psychology. “It helps in photography as it helps me understand people and human interactions.” This is reflected in her love for portrait photography. “It’s so unexpected: you’ve got to get a moment, get a feeling and make the person comfortable with the camera.” She has a month to put together a range of photographs under the title My World in Colour. After this, she will set off to London to display her work alongside nine other student photographers at the Hilton Hotel. The winner will win €45 000 worth of photographic equipment for their university. “If I win, I get nothing,” she says with a loud laugh and broad smile. She emphasises the amount of pressure she faces, saying, “My lecturer, Brent Meistre, always wants to see what I’ve shot. He says I’m shooting what I think they want me to shoot. ‘Forget about the competition and focus on the images,’ he always says.” With competition coming from various prestigious universities it is clear why Grindlay feels a lot of anxiety. Despite this, she is very excited about the opportunity to showcase her work in London and to receive the free course hosted by world-renowned photographers. She hopes to use these influences to craft her own style. “Diversity is key to me. There are so many different ways of capturing people on camera, I have to boil it down to my own style.”

The photograph which got fourth-year Fine Art student Nina Grindlay onto the shortlist for the student category of the Sony World Photo Awards.

One of the other photographs from Nina’s series which she produced for her thirdyear exhibition. Pics: Nina Grindlay

Events Guide
9in1 Silent protest
23 March Sign up online

Heartbeat theatre for 2012
By Elna Schütz jubilant cry rang out: “Our hearts beat Ubom! Ubom!” This came from the Ubom! Eastern Cape Drama Company, as they celebrated ten years as a theatre company last week. The company, located in the Rhodes Drama Department, held the launch in honor of a decade of theatrical excellence and community engagement that has made Ubom! such a special part of Grahamstown and the rest of the province. The independent company’s ongoing focus on quality theatre has earned them various awards, including several Standard Bank Ovation Awards. They charge into the new year with many new performances to look out for, such as the quirky


CANSA shavathon/ spin-athon
3 March Rhodes Aerobics Hall

GTown favourites Shackles and Bones, Lu-fuki, Counting Backwards
3 March Slipstream Sports Bar

political satire The Dogs Must Be Crazy and various contributions to the National Arts Festival. Ubom! has over 30 original plays under their belt, such as the controversial HIV and AIDS awareness production Hush, which is performed in the community, at schools and at Rhodes. Their work addresses a wide array of critical issues spanning from the environment to discrimination, and handles these topics with humour and thought-provoking care. Ubom!’s other clear strength is their commitment to the use of drama as a form of community engagement. The company has built up a relationship with schools, prisons and old age homes, reaching all the “nooks and crannies of the Eastern Cape,” says Dean of Humanities, Professor Fred Hendricks. “In the smallest village there is a presence of Ubom!”

Whether it be through their plays, workshops or community arts programs, the company has connected with over 280 000 people, reaching far beyond Makana to the rest of Southern Africa. The Ubom! cast is made up of a diverse group of performers hailing from across the country, including the new resident director Rob Murray. Apart from the crew’s vigor and love for drama, they show clear compassion in all they do. For instance, as research for performances, the company staff has been tested for HIV, and volunteered at the local SPCA. Murray calls Ubom! “theatrical warriors” who see everything as a challenge and an opportunity. Considering all the great things the last 10 years have yielded for Ubom!, it is clear that 2012 is a challenge they are more than ready for.

10 March Slipstream Sportsbar

Buckland’s comic mystery
By Elna Schütz hen a naughty little boy named Jesus Christ and a fashion-obsessed Pope can bring a crowd to roaring laughter, it’s no wonder that there’s a theatre legend behind it. Renowned actor and director Andrew Buckland gave two exclusive performances of Mistero Buffo this weekend, adapting Dario Fo’s controversial 1969 play to fit a Grahamstown audience. The poignant satire of politics and religion is constantly wrapped in comedy, making the performance magically funny, yet deeply thought-provoking. Buckland explains that the comedy of the play is key, since it gives us a way to access and address deeper issues, such critiques of religion, more naturally. Although he is aware that his provocative satire might offend some, especially some Christians, Buckland accepts this. “If I believed in God I think he would have a sense of humour!” Buckland developed the piece from various translations and adaptions of the original worked towards his own interpretation. “I tried to go for the spirit of the play,” he says. This one-man show definitely has spirit, with Buckland expertly embodying about 20 characters, many of which had a


2 March: Port Elizabeth 3 March: Bloemfontein 9 March: Durban 10 March: Johannesburg 11 March: Cape Town

Andrew Buckland performs in the one man show Mistero Buffo by political playwright Dario Fo on Friday the 24th of February. The funds from the performance went to aiding Drama student scholarships. Pic: Lauren Rawlins

distinctly South African edge. The play was surprising and refreshing, with Buckland in a partial headstand at one point as a comment on the purpose of physical theatre, which was met with lots of laughter. Proceeds of both performances went towards bursaries for Drama students. Buckland, also the Head of the Drama Department, says this is the first time this has been done. He hopes that the department’s initiative will encourage more fund-raising to allow promising students better opportunities.

28 February 2012 Pisces
better. You should be with a person that will buy you French champagne just because it’s Tuesday and you’re pretty. To find him, you need to buy a bigger blow-up dolphin from Checkers.

19 Horoscope
to buy a fan and fly paper planes made from your philosophy notes is on the 16th.



Most enticing ability: batting your eyelids It’s your birthday month! You can finally show people the truth behind the saying: ‘you drink like a fish’. The best time for bubble baths is the 16th. A sexy Virgo surfer will profess their true love for you. They mean it, even when they give you an apron and a goldfish. Let them shower you with love because life is going to get really rough for you next month, especially as you keep having to replace the gold fish. By the way, Pick n Pay now stocks whipped cream in Grahamstown – you can finally have those waffles you’ve always wanted.

Most enticing ability: moving your ears independently Your hot-headed temperament is going to get the best of you on the 3rd. Your washing will be stolen on the 18th and on the 22nd you will trip in front of your crush. A happy tutling will give you Oreos as a gift. You will find a lipstick smudge on your pillow on the 24th, and only if you wake up at 3:15 on the 25th and wear your lumo jumpsuit, will you be able to get that A!


Most enticing ability: your flirty, flirty phone texting The recent sin tax hike is ruining your happy vibe, but a sweet old lady will Cancer introduce you to the joy of special ‘tea’. Most enticing ability: your You will find yourself hopelessly flirting singing Be wary of the full moon! A hook up will with your tutor (the stoner one). However, the furthest it will ever get you is a lift continue to surprise you until you return from town to the hill. And, if you actually her clothing and give back the pictures study this term and put more effort into you took of them and you drinking your your outfits that you wear to lectures, you housemate’s milk. The 17th will pose a will get a couple of distinctions and land a problem to your general health as you long term relationship with someone sexy, walk into a pole while texting your mom. sweet and your age. Most enticing ability: you can juggle seven full wine glasses You will find that you miss your plumber back home: he used to smell the best! The 14th is the best time to go perfume shopping. You will start helping your friend study Pig Latin while eating cookies and doing ‘stop, drop and roll’ drills. Remember kids, drugs are bad.

Most enticing ability: you know how to work a gun Just because you are two-faced doesn’t mean that both faces need a separate lover. This month might start happily, but by the 14th you’ll be without any shoes, lover, or home. The Botanical gardens is a good place to make new friends and will provide some entertainment if you give them a bit of your precious shampoo.


Most enticing ability: you can predict the wine sales Your Pisces lover will continue to feature in your life as long as you sing to her, fetch her honey from the tall tree in the bot gardens and make up her bed with rose petals. The best time to buy roses is on the 15th. And the best time to buy bee sting ointment is from the 19 - 25th. Believe in her love and you will have beer in your fridge and a song in your heart forever.


Most enticing ability: wearing a low cut dress You will find love – embrace it. Though you might have to fix your room door (the last person chewed on it), because it scares people away. Your lecturer will stare at your breasts: at least he knows you’re attending lectures. Honey-scented shower gel will get you some insect attention. Buy Doom on the 27th and new shower gel on the 30th.


Most enticing ability: your cooking skills You will forget to eat, and your room mate will start sticking post-its onto your door and on your forehead when you are sleeping. Lay off the sleeping pills and attend your meals – you need to balance time spent with your pet rock and time spent on the stuff you really have to do.



Most enticing ability: You can always find parking A cute guy named Keaton will whisper words of love into your broken car window – it is time you fix that thing and it’s time you stop letting drunken guys into your car! You and your car deserve to be treated


Most enticing ability: you can write love poems in picture format A friend will push you to paint your toenails green and finally get some vampire studs. You will find a fly in your jam. The best time to go for a Wimpy breakfast is on the 28th and the best time


Most enticing ability: your imagination You spend a sober weekend learning about what you can do when you are bored in Grahamstown – you could go to Kenton, Port Alfred or Port Elizabeth. You can also wander into a pool of vomit because your friend chose to take her chance and just chunder everywhere. You forgive her after she gives you a cookie the size of your face.


By Sarisha Dhaya

20 Lifestyle

Edition 1

Club etiquette
By Simone Loxton


here is something about Grahamstown that automatically justifies unbelievable behaviour on a night out. People’s actions are excused by merely saying, “Well, it’s Grahamstown”. When we return home our behaviour changes, just like our dress code. But these acceptances come at a price, which can often be your reputation. Here are a few guidelines to ensure your smooth passage through Grahamstown’s nightlife. Firstly, and this one probably affects us all: do not drop your glass on the floor. The satisfying sound of the flat pop of a glass breaking as it smashes after its second bounce (can be the coolest way to make your point). People hate it when you do this, as having glass attached to the sole of your shoe (or foot) not only ruins it but makes you uncomfortable and really annoyed. Girls, on the subject of shoes: welcome to Grahamstown – no heels required. Heels are undoubtably sexy, but not when you’re stumbling about, grabbing onto anyone around you for support. The rule is: if you are not able

to walk in them sober or if you have a natural tendency to be clumsy, it’s best to leave them packed away when you leave. Save your feet the pain and yourself some dignity, too. Respect is a big thing on a night out. Show respect to your fellow party patrons, bartenders, doormen and cleaners by not hugging every single person you meet on the way up the Prime staircase and blocking the way. “Tip the bartenders, especially if you want respect and quick service,” advises Mike Moodie, a bartender at Prime. The calmer you are, the better your service will be. Don’t wave money in bartenders’ faces - it is presumed that you are at the bar because you have money. It works both ways: doormen and bartenders can scare partygoers from their spot if they treat them in a condescending manner. Don’t take advantage of the drunken person of your dreams. The next morning, when they wake up next to you wondering how they got there, it could make for an awkward breakfast with the digsmates. That being said, if you have to make the call, rather take them home than feel them up in the middle of the dance floor. When it comes to bathrooms, keep in mind

Having a good idea of the behaviour considered appropriate on a night out in Grahamstown ensures that everyone has a good time. Pic: Niamh Walsch-Worster that someone else has to use them too. “The female bathrooms are some of the most disgusting places to be imagined,” says Carla Littleton, a first-year BCom student who is doing her second degree after studying at UCT. “The girls on this campus are crazy and it shows in the bathrooms,” she says. If you’re going to throw up, aim for the toilet bowl. If you’re going to kiss another girl, don’t do it where other people are relieving themselves. If you’re going to block the basin, well, I actually have no idea how and why you would want to do that. When you are finished, leave. There is no space for the whole club to be in the toilets. While it might be said that there is a ‘drinking tradition’ at Rhodes, there are more people than you might consider who don’t drink – but who party just as hard. Drinker or non-drinker, there is no excuse for disrespect and negligent behaviour.

By Bronwyn Slater

The morning after the night before
the morning. “This will replenish electrolytes lost through dehydration – as will sports drinks.” Third-year Jess Rayment finds that Energade is the best thing to drink after a night out. “It puts life back into me!” Brown also recommends taking vitamin B and C before and after your night out, as they protect your body’s cells against damage caused by alcohol and are inexpensive. Vitamin B is a natural pick-me-up and will help ease the inevitable pain. Vitamin B shots are available at the Health Care Centre and can be charged to your student account. Third-year Shannon Brushfield-Smith says, “It gives me energy and allows me to rebound quickly in the morning”. ‘Lining your stomach’ with a greasy meal is not just an old housewives’ tale. “Fats line the stomach and slow down the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream,” Brown confirms. She adds that if you are too hurried before going out, swallowing a spoon of olive oil will do the same thing. For


fter calling it a night, you find your way to your room and fall into a state of deep sleep. When you wake up, you feel fine – for about two seconds. Then the hangover picks itself up off of the floor, climbs into bed next to you and gets comfortable. Real comfortable. Welcome to the best nights of your life – and the worst mornings. Depending on how you like your brandy and coke, getting rid of a hangover can be quite a challenge. Rather than rolling around in bed, groaning and vowing that you will never drink again, here is some advice to consider. Hangovers are caused by intense dehydration. “This is because alcohol is a diuretic,” says nutritional therapist Lynne Brown. “It draws water from all parts of your body and flushes it out.” She also says that you should alternate your drinks with water and add some salt and sugar to your water in

second-year Lindsay Purdon, food fixes a hangover. “Bread, bacon, cheese-grillers or lemon juice. Not all at once though, just one should do the trick.” Helping your liver clean up toxins will also kick a hangover faster. Brown explains how food can do this: “Eggs contain cysteine, the substance that breaks down the hangover-causing toxin, acetaldehyde,” she says. “Bananas will replace the potassium and other electrolytes lost due to alcohol’s diuretic effect.” Coffee is not recommended unless your hangover is tame, as coffee, like alcohol, is a diuretic. Medical or home remedies – whichever you choose - good luck with the morning after. Remember that hangovers should not be daily occurrences: if you or a friend have a problem, speak to your warden or the Rhodes Counselling Centre. E-mail them at for help or to make an appointment.

Unpacking NY Fashion Week
By Bronte Moeti his season at the New York Fashion Week, the action revolved around six main trends. As Rhodents, we find ourselves in quite a predicament: we are in a town in the middle of nowhere, in which shops are severely lacking when it comes to stylish fashion options. However, as students we are able to think, adapt and reinvent trends as it suits us. The fashions gracing international and national shores for Spring and Summer 2012 are both easy to manipulate on a student budget and versatile when it comes to mixing and matching. In many of the outfits, designers built on previous trends such as safari and tribal wear, which makes ample use of the wild prints so many of us have nestled in the backs of our closets. Floral prints have prolonged their shelf life, as has the bandage dress, now in the form of the ‘body con’. Florals: Designers such as Peter Sam have steered away from the softer, feminine floral of last season and have placed an emphasis on bolder, more striking colours and prints. Island-inspired colours and prints were very popular, not only for dresses


One of the models for Tommy hilfiger’s collection on the runway during New York Fashion Week 2012. Pic: Flicker

but for accessories such as shoes and handbags. Safari: Both Oscar de le Renta and Michael Kors’ collections revolved around the safari theme this season. Michael Kors’ inspiration stemmed from a recent trip to the Kruger National Park: earth tones and structured clothes were the collection’s main attributes. The simplicity of the outfits and the style in general make it a perfect trend for students. Tribal: Donna Karan’s collection made use of tribal-inspired designs and colours. Her collection showed off an impressive array of fitted and flared dresses and skirts, making use of colours such as black, brown, off-white and burnt orange. This trend closely resembles the Afrocentric trend some South Africans are accustomed to, making it easy to manipulate and follow in our own way. Colour blocking: Colour blocking is the process wherein complementary colours are placed together in striking, bright solids, as illustrated by Tommy Hilfiger’s collection. This trend in all its simplicity is effective and easy to duplicate, so it works well for layering, mixing and matching. Sorbet colours: Diane von Furstenberg made great use of sorbet colours: particularly this season’s

trending colour; mint green. Sorbet colours bring a feminine feel to any outfit and can be made more masculine by wearing structured pants and tailored jackets. It’s not only the clothes and designers which have grabbed fashionistas’ attention: hair and make-up also had a big place in the spotlight. They are, after all, elements that can make or break an outfit. Hair and make-up: Soft waves pulled back from the face were one of the really popular hairstyles at NY Fashion Week. This look is easy to pull off, especially for busy students. For those with long hair, Ralph Lauren showed off the easiest way to stay cool this summer and spring: long flowing pony-tails are making a comeback. It seems messy buns have taken a back seat this season, but messy bed hair is still very fashionable, as demonstrated by Isabel Marant. This hairstyle still has a bit of body and breaks completely from the pin-straight hair we’ve seen in seasons before. Minimal maintenance is required and this style is optimised when paired with very little make-up or none at all.

28 February 2012

21 Science & Technology

Rhodes: a hub for cancer research
By Kyle O’Hagan f you had to ask any student about what Rhodes is academically acclaimed for, you’ll get the responses: Journalism, Dramatic Arts and Pharmacy. What many students don’t know is that nestled away in the Biological Sciences building is a hub of activity focused around cancer research. This hub, formally known as the Biomedical Biotechnology Research Unit (BioBRU), is home to approximately 25 postgraduate students, of which half have dedicated their studies to a better understanding of the mechanisms of cancer survival and progression. As a student within this laboratory, I am fortunate enough to work with some of the most passionate researchers who have inspired me to understand that what we accomplish at our lab bench is more than a Masters or Doctoral degree, but rather a rung in the ladder towards understanding and treating a global disease. With work being carried out on a wide range of cancer cell types (including breast, colon, lung, cervical and leukemic lines) and facilities with state-of-the-art equipment, I strongly believe that cancer research is slowly finding its niche as one of the hallmark programmes of Rhodes. Research within BioBRU focuses predominantly on molecular chaperones, or a group of proteins that are responsible for maintaining the stability, activity and conformation of a wide subset of proteins overexpressed in cancer cells. Work is underway to characterise the role of these


chaperones in cancer cell migration and metastasis, protein quality control, the evasion of programmed cell death (or apoptosis) as well as their importance in the development and differentiation of cancer stem cells. Alongside these projects, collaborative research with the Faculty of Pharmacy allows us to study the effect of novel algal compounds (found off the coast of the Eastern Cape) on cancer cell survival. While the majority of our time is spent behind the lab bench performing numerous cutting edge experiments, our passion for the research we do extends further than our degrees. This saw the start of the Cancer Awareness Initiative at Rhodes (CAIR) at the beginning of 2011, whose aim is to provide both awareness about cancer and an opportunity for Rhodes students to contribute financially to national research and local community outreach projects. We have worked closely with the Grahamstown Hospice and the Eastern Cape division of the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), as well as numerous Grahamstown businesses to reach this goal. In our first year as a running society, we managed to raise over R5,000 for cancer research and outreach projects through events such as the CAIR Raffle, Cuppa for CANSA and numerous donation collections. Furthermore, over 1800 Easter eggs were collected for the CAIR Easter Egg Drive in aid of the palliative and cancer home-based care associated with the Grahamstown Hospice. Awareness about cancer and cancer research has also been advanced through our monthly columns in The Oppidan Press as well as seminars, specifically

A laser scanning Confocal Microscope image depicting a HS57T breast cancer cell. Pic: Kyle O’Hagan related to self-breast examinations for the early diagnosis of breast cancer. Our hope for this year is to extend our reach further into the heart of campus and the Grahamstown community and declare that we do, in fact, CAIR.

ICTs in SA is still lagging
By Megan Ellis en years ago we were on par with Brazil in terms of Internet connectivity – but in only a decade they have overtaken us, along with many other developing nations. Telkom has been named a major contributor to South Africa’s ‘lag’ in the development of Internet and communication technologies (ICTs) due to its high pricing and monopoly over telecommunications in South Africa. With the huge fine Telkom is currently facing, a debate about the potential repercussions has been set off. This has highlighted the discussion regarding the need for ICTs and greater Internet access in South Africa. Ingrid Siebörger, Project Co-ordinator for the Telkom Centre of Excellence, says that the blame cannot be pinned on one single cause, since a combination of factors – from the legacy of apartheid through to the current government – has contributed to SA’s situation. “Access to ICT requires firstly the physical infrastructure being in place and secondly that making use of that infrastructure is not prohibitively expensive,” says Siebörger. Large sections of the country still lack the infrastructure needed to make access to ICTs available to more people. Siebörger believes that, “This would require a large investment from either government or telecoms businesses in order to reach the currently unreached.” But the problems are not only infrastructural: “The unreached in South Africa typically cannot afford to pay for that investment and the services offered by telecom providers,” she says. While government taxation on upper economic classes could provide cheaper services, this solution would not be a viable option.


“When South Africa has 50 million citizens and only about 4 million tax payers it becomes painfully obvious that that is not sustainable,” Siebörger adds. “With all the other shortfalls in the country that also need to be considered and invested in, it’s not an easy task for a government to build the required infrastructure either.” Martin Czernowalow, Online Editor for and Editor of iWeek, says that the government has played a large role in the lack of development in ICTs in the country. “Historically, the statecontrolled monopoly created via Telkom did much harm to the telecoms and subsequent ICT environment, and this is still being felt,” he says. “The current administration has done little to advance the state of ICT in SA - government has no clear ICT policy, even though it admits that ICT is a growth enabler.” Siebörger says that while most of the country is too poor to have access to ICTs, the lack of access to ICTs and expensive Internet costs have a negative impact on business, and therefore the economy. “ICTs enable local businesses to access a wider audience and sell their services and products online – with the generated income potentially creating jobs and stimulating the economy,” she says. “The high cost of accessing ICTs in South Africa could also act as a deterrent to foreign investment.” However, Siebörger adds that ICTs would be able to help those in poverty in supporting their education, but the costs make them inaccessible. “At the moment access to ICTs is more of a luxury than a necessity, even though it should be seen as a necessity,” she says. “The high costs involved make it prohibitive for the majority of people.” Czernowalow says that high costs are “hampering SA from achieving government’s goal of developing a knowledge economy,”

as large amounts of online information are unavailable to poorer communities. Telkom’s continued monopoly “prevents the development of healthy competition, which deprives the average citizen of choice in terms of better deals, better Internet speeds, and better pricing.” But the situation may also affect SA’s own locally-produced technology. Siebörger says that SA’s lack of local technology may be due to financial costs, and adds that South Africa’s telecommunication fees are drastically overpriced. “The Genesis Analytics report of 2007 which compared SA versus best practices telecoms in the world and peer group telecoms showed that SA’s charges for ADSL were at least 97% more on average than the other countries in the comparison.” Due to this radical difference, Siebörger says that it’s not surprising that South Africa is not on par with technological innovation in other developing countries. “I think it’s hard to be innovative when it’s so expensive to be innovative, places like India have such significantly lower costs when it comes to ICT access.” Czernowalow adds that the government may play a role in stifling development: “Lack of government support means that tech start-up and tech incubation programmes have only recently started gaining decent momentum.” While ICT and technology development isn’t the main issue facing South Africa, it plays an important role in stimulating growth. However there are many other issues which also need to be addressed. “Lack of access to affordable ICTs has a wide range of negative impacts on the economy of South Africa,” says Siebörger. “But just fixing that alone will not solve our problems.”

SciTech Round-Up


By Megan Ellis

aylor Wilson (16) recently became the youngest person to ever build a nuclear reactor. At the age of 14 Wilson had already become the youngest person to create nuclear fusion. The boy’s interest started as a hobby, but the prodigy has since been contacted by military contractors and the US Department of Homeland Security and the US Department of Energy.

Scientists have created the world’s first geneticallyengineered monkeys. Three healthy male rhesus monkeys were born, named Roku, Hex and Chimero. The monkeys, known as chimeric monkeys due to their engineering, contain a variety of genetic material.

Researchers at the University of Vermont have discovered that there are two more blood types than previously known. The researchers discovered two new proteins on red blood cells, bringing the total to 32 different blood types. This discovery is important in preventing incompatible blood transfusions.

NASA’s Hubble telescope has discovered a waterworld 40 lightyears away from Earth. The planet named GJ 1214 b is enshrouded by a thick, steamy atmosphere and is a new type of planet never before discovered.

The scientist who discovered Hepatitis C says he has now discovered a vaccine. Michael Houghton, who discovered the virus in 1989, says that his vaccine could treat and prevent all strains of Hepatitis.

AT&T has started using Intucell’s self-optimizing network (SON) technology. Reminiscent of AI fiction, the technology is aware - having the networking equivalent of an organism. AT&T’s 4G cells will be aware of the network as a whole, expanding and contracting in accordance with the capacity needs of its subscribers.

22 Environment

Edition 1

Battery Cages Finally Banned
By Tania Pehl
he European Union has taken a giant step in promoting and protecting animal rights by implementing a ban on battery cages in chicken farming. This ban was adopted in 1999, but as a result of the significant eradication of confined spaces that would have been required, the ban was only implemented on 1 January, 2012. In the fight for animal rights and welfare, this heartening development is a blow against society’s general apathy towards the humane treatment of animals, especially those we use for meat, because they are not seen as ‘exotic’ or ‘wild’ – they are hardly seen as animals at all. Apathy often stems from insufficient knowledge about what really happens in factory farms – but some people just don’t care: this is especially the case with chickens. The usual joke is cracked: “Are chickens even meat?” You might laugh, but this is indicative of a sad reality. This ban, which requires chicken farmers to allow for more space in cages, has been implemented in all 27 EU countries. In the past in the United Kingdom, four chickens were forced into a cage made for one, leaving no room for a nest box or scratching posts. Often, confined spaces can cause chickens to attack one another. It is incidents like this that should force us to think about our own existence and the consequences of our actions. Factory farming has made the language of automation so nonchalant that we have separated the animal products we eat from the actual animals they come from. Consumers and supermarkets across the EU have even stopped buying and stocking eggs from battery hens. Furthermore, a scientific committee has been formed to investigate animal welfare issues on farms: these include the confinement of pigs and the treatment of young calves. These moves are finally bringing farm animals to the foreground and giving them the voice they so desperately need. So, let this be a great motivation for greater things to come – no matter how small they start. Peter Singer, a well-known moral philosopher, quotes anthropologist Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has”.

A look at carbon neutrality
By Jemima Parker



n the push to create environmental awareness and to fight climate change, more events are trying to achieve carbon neutrality. In doing so, some event organisers try to ensure the reduction of carbon emissions, as well as compensating for emissions that can’t be reduced with reforestation and investment in renewable energy sources. As it stands, South Africa is ranked in the top 20 carbon emitters worldwide; is the fourth-largest exporter of coal, and alarmingly, sits in 128th place out of the 132 countries surveyed on a recent global environmental performance listing. Despite much rhetoric during the COP17 climate summit in Durban last year, the situation remains worrisome. The predicament is how to move away from the cheap but ultimately unustainable resources provided by fossil fuels (not to mention the embedded interests of the companies involved, namely Sasol, whose plant in Secunda produces more carbon dioxide emissions than any other single source in the world) without compromising SA’s focus on alleviating poverty. Rhodes Masters student Alex Lenferna is the founder and chairperson of the South East Africa Climate Consortium Student Forum (SEACC SF). In an interview, he described this dilemma as the “juxtaposition between the right to develop and the need for greener energy”. He maintains that the two issues cannot be seen as separate and should be tackled simultaneously. He has written extensively about climate change and its impacts, as well as what our (hopefully sustainable) future will look like. To quote from one of his articles, “The green economy is not a disposable luxury we can return to at a later stage.” Luckily, there are many initiatives underway

One of the dormitories at Terra-Khaya eco-backpackers in Hogsback. The backpackers is completely selfsufficient and eco-friendly in all respects, including the generation of its power. Pic: Supplied to address these issues. Jadon Schmidt, Senior Environmental Consultant at the Coastal and Environmental Services (CES) in Grahamstown, detailed the multiple projects in motion in SA and here in the Eastern Cape. As well as solar energy, there are a number of wind farm proposals in various stages of progress and authorisation – some of which are set to be built right in our vicinity. These will create a power source that can be effectively ‘sold’ to the Eskom grid, generating an economically viable way to sustain investment in clean energy. Additionally, of course, there’s always the grassroots level: the simple things we as individuals can do to play our part. Hogsback resident Shane Eades took this to new heights with the establishment of his eco-backpackers, Terra-Khaya, or ‘Earth Home’. Completely off the grid, Terra-Khaya generates its power from wattle fires and solar. “Living off the grid is not necessarily more uncomfortable,” he says. He believes that guests leave with a greater sense of appreciation of what sustainability can really mean in practice.

Economy vs ecology
By Kayla Roux any feel that business and the ‘green fight’ can never be consolidated. Capitalism has as its foundation a mindset of ever-increasing, ceaseless expansion and conquest at all costs, and the cost to our environment is a dear one in the form of limited resources such as water and coal, excessive pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. There is, however, a growing group of people who believe that a carefully orchestrated marriage between these two seemingly conflicting spheres can mean an increase in job creation and sufficient environmental protection and development – at the same time. According to the World Resources Institute,


Reminder: Recycled paper
By Jane Berg

environmental business or a ‘green economy’ can be thought of as “an alternative vision for growth and development; one that can generate growth and improvements in people’s lives in ways consistent with sustainable development.” This kind of economic system will have the triple bottom line of sustaining and advancing economic, environmental, and social well-being. Many people view this concept with scepticism, and rightly so. Our only experience with economics has been one of a plundering race towards greater GDPs and growth without a thought of the consequences. Experts in both the environmental and business fields, however, have projected that environmentally friendly initiatives and regulations

could create more jobs and that the competitive and development-driven nature of economic activities can be shifted towards the creation of sustainable energy infrastructures and the efficient management of waste and pollution. Investment in clean energy projects and sustainability will stimulate the economy in much the same way as more traditional business investment. The really cool thing is that the more companies do it, the more companies will do it, because the public is starting to evaluate them from an informed perspective and making more conscientious decisions about where their money goes. With the proper systems in place, economic competition might even save our environment!


t the Jac labs, being ‘green’ could save you money. This may not be the most conscientious incentive, but no student can deny the appeal of being able to conserve over a third of their printing costs by using the clearly labelled ‘Recycle Printers’. Usually situated right next to the ordinary printers, these thrifty printers do their bit to decrease the environmental impact of the paper production process: for each kilogram of paper, 2.13kgs of CO2 is released into the atmosphere.

There is some additional work involved, however, as students are often required to bring their own one-sided paper to print on – yet you rarely find paper that has been abandoned in the printing area. “A lot of students use this option because it is cheaper, especially for notes and work that they don’t have to hand in,” says Zanele Silala, the public lab administrator. You can also choose to print double-sided paper, which drops the cost per page to a mere 11c: just pick the ‘Duplex’ option when you print. There are recycle printers at Eden Grove, Jacaranda and Guthrie

Labs, but not the Union, Fountain or Commerce labs. Rhodes Library, on the other hand, has a different system for recycling. There is no financial incentive for students: instead, what they waste is put to good use. Head Librarian Vivian Botha, who is in charge of user services, explained that adjacent to most printing stations is a large wooden drawer filled with discarded pages, these are taken to the printing unit, cut into quarters and made into the note paper you find neatly stacked next to the library computers. The staff also has a box for scrap paper in

their offices and this, along with paper students throw in the bins, is also recycled. “Libraries generate a lot of paper, [so] it saves on expenses if we can reuse it,” Botha says. “I think we have a very good system for recycling paper”. Another staff member dedicated to reuse is Eileen Shepherd, Principal Librarian for Science and Pharmacy, who laughs as she gestures to an enormous heap on her shelf. “When my husband retired I asked him to save all the one-sided paper he had, which was about thirty years’ (worth of) paper!”

28 February 2012

23 Sport

Defending Luis Suarez
By Bridgette Hall hile I concede that this will be an unpopular opinion of the Uruguayan football star, Luis Suarez’s winning spirit cannot be ignored. The 2010 Soccer World Cup saw Suarez clearly put up a hand that stopped what would have been a match-winning goal for Ghana. I am not in denial about the fact that it was a hand ball or that it was not a particularly good show of sportsmanship. I do, however, see it as best the ‘defence’ of the tournament. This is a man who did what he needed to do to win for his country. Had this happened in the 20th minute, not nearly the same amount of fuss would have been made. Every country in the World Cup arrived with the goal of winning the tournament, and you cannot persecute a person for doing just that. Had it been a South African player in a similar situation we would be singing a different tune. In more recent controversy, Suarez received an eight-match ban for alleged racist comments towards Manchester United player Patrice Evra. Let me first state that I do not condone any form of racism, but what has been missed in this case was a large degree of cultural context. “Luis himself is of a mixed race family background as his grandfather was black,” a statement released by Liverpool at the height of the controversy read. “It seems incredible to us that a player of mixed heritage should be accused and found guilty in the way he has based on the evidence presented.” In addition, they remarked that Evra had released a written statement which stated: “I don’t think that Luis Suarez is racist.” According the UK newspaper The Independent, Evra says he heard Suarez use the word ‘negrito’. In Uruguay and Argentina, the use of the word ‘negro’ and ‘negrito’ is commonplace. The cultural context of the utterance was unfairly overlooked by the FA – especially seeing as Evra himself admitted to insulting Suarez. “I called him something his team-mates at Manchester call him, and even they were surprised by his reaction,” Suarez said in a statement. In fact, Javier Hernandez was quoted as using the same word in an interview given in 2007 with previous club Chivas. Finally, the code of ethics Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson employs for footballers is a curious one. “Suarez is a disgrace to Liverpool Football Club. He should not be allowed to play for Liverpool again,” he said in a statement. Sir Alex, need we not remind you of the case in which Eric Cantona attacked a Crystal palace fan, or that of Roy Keane deliberately trying to break opponent Alfe Inge’s leg in a vengeful tackle? But to propose a lifelong ban for a player who refused to shake an opponent’s hand? Seriously, Fergie? Luis Saurez has admittedly made a fair amount of mistakes, but as his former boss Frank de Boer said to “He’s a guy from the streets of Uruguay. He always wants to win and does a lot to achieve just that. Sometimes he does some stupid things. But he’s a real winner.”

Gtown comes out to play at night
By Bridgette Hall



South African athletes need a dollar
By Bridgette Hall hile the world is finalising preparations for the London Olympics 2012, South African athletes are struggling to retain the funding they need to be able to compete alongside the world’s best at one of the most prestigious tournaments. Earlier this month, it was reported that Athletics South Africa (ASA) could be facing liquidation if they did not meet their obligations to repay the R7 million debt they owed to the sports promotion company, Accelerate Sport. “We came to an agreement on several occasions, but ASA never keeps its word,” Director of Accelerate Sport Rian Oberholzer says. Independent Online reported, “Our legal representatives are in discussions with the ASA’s legal team.” ASA reportedly owes Accelerate Sport a commission for sponsorships from Nedbank and the Yellow Pages, as well as for television broadcasting rights. However, ASA Chairperson James Evans has said that contractual obligations

awn bowls often conjures up images of grandparents dressed in white on a pleasant Sunday afternoon at the country club. But move the game to the evening and add some flood lights and you have a whole new ball game. The Night Bowls League in Grahamstown was started in 1995 when a group of Friday night socialisers went on a mission to revitalise the sport. Their light bulb moment (so to speak) came with the idea of introducing floodlights to the game – much like day/night cricket. When a member mentioned that a similar inter-business league had been held successfully in Gauteng, he offered to research the format and find a sponsor. After enquiries were made with various floodlight companies about what would best suit their idea, one company donated several floodlights and the rest were purchased by the Bowls Club. Club members arranged for the donations of the poles and members with electrical knowledge offered their services for the installation and cabling. While at first some committee members of the club were quite reluctant about the idea, they eventually agreed to send out a letter to determine the interest of businesses around Grahamstown. The Bowls Club had 36 teams interested in their first Night League in 1995. This was sponsored by Grants Whisky and later by Bells Whisky. It was a resounding success and thus the Inter-Company

One of the participants in the weekly Night Bowls League, held at the bowls club on African Street. The league has been running since 1995 and now has a total of 54 teams contending for the title. Pic: Anton Scholtz Night Bowls League was started. Pick n Pay began sponsoring of the event in 2004. The league is amongst the largest sporting events in Grahamstown and the Eastern Cape. Teams play Monday through Thursday from the end of January until early March each year (5 weeks of team playoffs and the 6th week for section playoffs and finals). There are currently 54 teams entered into the league, and a number of them have been playing for the full 18 years - some with their original team names, and team members. “It is a fun social get-together where people meet from all walks of life,” said June McDougall, one of the organisers of the event. “Competition is fierce: they play hard and party hard.”


with Accelerate Sport were suspended in 2008 and denied owing any money to the company. At a time when other sporting codes are battling financially, SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee president Gideon Sam stresses the importance of financial security at this time. “I cannot emphasise strongly enough how much we need to keep our resources from drying up now when we need it most,” he said. The Sowetan reported that the situation at SSA) is so bad that staff members have already started looking for jobs after being told about the federation’s dire lack of funding. “Some of our major codes are battling financially, and SSA may need to retrench people at this crucial time,” Sam said in a statement. “The hockey federation is also hobbling badly, and this at a time when our national women’s and men’s teams are about to embark on their final qualifying bid for the Games.” This begs the question as to whether SA will be able to compete.With the Olympics set to begin on 27 July, only time will tell.

Staff smashes their VW celebrates 35 years of GTI way to victory T A
By Ruan Scheepers By Bridgette Hall s part of the Live Smart Week 2012, the Dean of Students division challenged staff and students alike to a tennis tournament in a bid to get people thinking about ways to have fun without alcohol. While not quite Wimbledon, the event went spectacularly – students and staff brought their A-game to the court, and the weather even played its part on the day. The format of the tournament was a mixed doubles round robin, where participants played 11 games in a match. At the end of the day it was experience that triumphed youthful vitality, and the staff beat the students 51-48. The winning team comprised of staff members from across campus, including Rod Walker (Dean of Pharmacy), Jonathan Campbell (Dean of Law), Dave Sewry (Dean of Commerce), Viv de Klerk (Dean of Students), Di Hornby (Director of Community Engagement), and Sandy Stephenson (Director of Academic Planning). he Mk1 Golf GTi first appeared in 1976, kicking off the so-called ‘hot hatch’ era which is still flourishing all over the world. The current Golf 6 GTi is by no means your average 1.4 city run-about. In the same breath, it has a hard time keeping up with its sister, the Audi S3. Last year, VW launched the staggeringly amazing Golf R. This was, bluntly stated, the ‘hot Golf ’ of hot Golfs – now boasting quite a bit more power than the S3 - this car was going to be a serious contender in its segment. German precision and quality engineering makes it hard for one to find any sort of fault with the Golf R. It’s spacious, comfortable and with its new 19 inch alloys and twin chrome exhausts, it is without a doubt one of the bestlooking hatches around. It doesn’t just look the part; it also performs excellently! Its 188km/h sends it to 100kph in a blistering 5.5 seconds. But with basic prices starting at R419 000 for the manual and a R433 800 for the DSG, you

have to ask yourself what you are actually getting for your money. The answer? Still just a quick Golf. However there is now a compromise, and a rather special one at that. In between the everyday GTi and the ballistic R, the Golf 6 GTi 35-Year Anniversary Edition now finds its place. The 35 Edition develops 173kw, 18kw more than the standard GTi but using the same 2.0l TSi engine. This has been achieved by upping the boost on the turbo to 0.9 bar. As a result, the 35 Edition will get itself to 100km/h in around 6.6 seconds and reaches a max speed of 246km/h. As for the R, if you can afford it, don’t allow yourself to think twice; it’s fantastic. For those that have to think again, however, the 35 Edition is only a fraction faster than the standard GTi and won’t outrun the Audi, but with its fantastic dynamics and its attention to detail, you will own something rather special – something that will potentially become a highly sought-after future classic.

A sport

The Running of the Rhodents T
By Tommie Gilbert

Participants in the recent inter-house athletics competition are watched by a supportive crowd. Pic: Niamh Walsh-Vorster

Duzi duo defend title
By Bridgette Hall

he blast of music, the anticipation of the crowd, the nerves of the runners as they take their marks, and then the roar of the crowd as they are off. The noise builds like a symphony as they approach the finish line and reaches a crescendo as the runners cross the line and the race is either won or lost. Last Friday night saw Rhodents turn out in

droves to the athletics track for the Dean of Students and Sports Admin-inspired Live Smart Track and Field night. The initiative is aimed to try to get Rhodents out of the local bars and onto the sports fields. Sean Swanepoel, Chairperson of the Rhodes Athletics Club, voiced his support for the project, “The event did indeed boost up sport and healthy living at Rhodes as it was Friday night and students were running instead of spending their time at the Rat.” He called it a “great way forward for

Rhodes sport”. But what of the athletes themselves? Swanepoel is excited by what he sees: “Rhodes students showing some promising athletes which will hopefully join the Athletics Club and show us some more of their talent.” This was evident in the impressive times students achieved: Guy Butler’s 100m representative ran the race in an impressive 11.01 seconds, and Jameson’s did the same in 14.32 seconds.


ndy Birkett and Jason Graham became the first pair in 22 years to claim back-to-back K2 titles with a superb performance of running and paddling the 36km final stage of the race from Inanda Dam to Blue Lagoon in Durban to clinch the 61st edition of The Unlimited Dusi Canoe Marathon title. The team, known as ‘Team Fun’, extended their overnight lead of four minutes to a nine-minute victory margin on the final day as the pair crossed the finish line and celebrated victory by standing up in their kayak and diving into the waters of Blue Lagoon. While the duo completed an almost flawless three days of racing, they were still chased by Hank McGregor and Len Jenkins and the dream-team of Thulani Mbanjwa and Sbonelo Zondi, who followed closely on their heels with a second and third place respectively. “Huge thanks must go to the rest of the

guys who gave us such a tough time throughout the race,” Brikett said after the race on the Dusi Canoe marathon website. “Day One was one of the toughest days of racing I have ever experienced with the lead changing hands seven times – which just goes to show how tough it really was out there. It was awesome to be able to race against guys like this and it definitely makes the win that much sweeter.” The women’s race was won by Abbey Ulansky and Robyn Kime in a record time of 8:41:59, shattering the previous record of 8:46:03 set in 2008 by Ulansky and former partner Alexa Lombard. In addition, Ulansky also equalled the record of most wins by a woman in the race’s history, moving to eight alongside Marlene Loewenstein in both singles and doubles categories. “Knowledge of the course is really important and that helped us over the three days,” Ulansky said. Second place was claimed by the Adie twins, Alex and Abby from Howick.

Humans were Zombiefied
There were 300 participants that took part in this year’s Human’s vs Zombies game endorsed by the Dean of Students Office as part of the Live Smart initiative for 2012. Only 3 humans survived and the administrative team that organised the event unanimously declared the zombies winners of the week-long tournament. Moderator of the event, William Walters, said the event was a success and that the moderator team is pushing for it to happen again in the third term.