28 October, 2008
As I have been reading the comments by SASCO and YCL members based on Julias Malemas' matric results that has been going around lately. My research shows that the Department of Education confirmed that these are really the results of the ANC Youth League Leader.The Results are as follows:
Subjects Grade Symbol
Sepedi First Language H E
Afrikaans Second Language (I assume that this was on HG) E
English Second Language (I assume that this was on HG) C
Geography HG F
History SG D
Woodwork SG GG
Mathematics SG H
Now, the reason why these results have been circulating around is associated with his mental capabilities to be a leader. In many public talks Malema gave shocking statements and the most interesting answer that thrilled me to write this is the one he gave during the interview when "This little wanker, (born as recently as 1981) recently claimed in an interview that he had received military training back in 1994. When the interviewer did a quick mental sum and questioningly concluded that Juli-ass would have been a mere thirteen years old at the time, he oafishly shuffled his his feet, muttered "eish hau", rapidly blinked his close-set monkey eyes while intensely studying the gob of brown snot he'd just hauled out of one of his massively flaring simian nostrils and unceremoniously popped it onto his fleshy lower lip" Find this quote on http://zahell.blogspot.com/2008/10/all-hail-to-our-glorious-comrade.html
The first comment by one of SASCO read as follows "I would like to know why these results are sent arround?". If a child was by the door he was going to laugh hearing that at this stage there is some one who does not really know why do we need to know of these results.
Interestingly the second comment goes like this "I'm not sure. But, I can speculate, due to the effect this has had on me. It has helped put into perspective what comes out everytime he opens his mouth". Well, I think we all know why! If not I would suggest that you go back listen to all the speeches he delivered ever since he came to ANC Youth Leadership. If you ever worked in a group of people who are not good in communicating you group ideas and unfortunately have these people to represent the group. You sometimes feel like hiding somewhere when they are about to talk because you know that every word from their mouth destroys. In a nutshell, the same has been the case with MALEMA.
A very nice comment which is my last one here goes like " When you raise an issue at that level and nothing is done about it what is a person to? Go public and then only then are you taken seriously. People should be allowed to disagree with the party inside and outside the closed doors. The ruling party wants to turn itself into some sort of Stalin where people are not allowed to criticise them and when they do, they are purged - this is rediculous. I'm glad that the youth (us) are engaging on these issues because as ***** says, this country is our future and these old people are beginning to forget what they fought for for so long, maybe we need to remind them, batsofala clearly. With regards to Julius's results, I also wouldn't surprised if they were real - he has no respect. Its very unAfrican for a boy barely 30 to say the things he has been saying in public about people much older and more established than him"
Well now you know why, what do you have to say? Is education important for being in a leadership position? Maybe! bear in mind that, I have never seen a fight in South Africa for a very long time, then if you claim that education is not important but power maybe, where are you going to use that power. I think mental power would work well because the fight is of verbal kind not weapons. Unfortunately, it is not yet a time to kill, so MALEMA is not on time, I even doubt that he would succeed even in a war as a military trained soldier (as he claims to be). If really he could not do well in woodwork can a military work be that easy as he think it is.
In a case where you will be talking to the public you mental capabilities count. Some people just laugh when people who are educated than Malema say terrible things in public but when it comes to him everything must not be taken into considerations, since when? The country that has been hardly fought for? Kill? Mandela, the one who suffered the consequences never said that, he calmed down those who tried it and they listened because "RESPECT" is what they were taught not "KILL".
Looking at the main issues facing young people today the least he could mention were the obvious, HIV/AIDS, lack of jobs, poverty! We have been hearing of these ever since we were born, aren't there other challenges he could be dealing with. Maybe he is skilled enough to shoot and kill HIV/AIDS and lately eliminate poverty!If he can try that first maybe he can be granted a go ahead in killing Lekota and Shilowa.
You can have your say on this, but if this is what meant by the saying that goes like "young people are the future" I would assure you that future is frightening and ugly, if that is the case I rather stay to the present and not more into the future not unless we kidnap Malema and send him back to grade 12 again, maybe he will cope with this sickening education system we having at present, but he will have to start from Grade 9 - oh shame! poor MALEMASLIMA.He at least got to Matric, Mr. Zuma didn't.
Don't get me wrong here, I'm not arguing that to be a leader one must obtain the highest education, I lead while at high school and I was good. I mean when your leadership is unsatisfactory every aspect needs to be considered. All avenues have been exhausted, I wanted to believe that he only got the training but not a time to shoot while receiving military training, therefore, hungry to pull the trigger, to my amazement he is more skillful in spear - now the education sphere makes lot of sense as to why he acts like that. We are living in SA not ANC. God bless him shame! if education couldn't change his mind to view things in other ways God will definitely change him. Please Julias if you came across this article read Romans 12 verse 2 for your mental goodness and capabilities (Tell Pastor JZ to help you with this he knows the scripture very well. I lastly heard him quoting the scripture when he was saying that "love thy short skirted neighbour). Anyway God loves you Malema but you have to work on your stewardshipness...
18 July, 2008
By: Nqobile Buthelezi
As the trio walked into Dulce's Cafe on High Street, their electric ambiance filled the room. Director, Neville Engelbrecht (right), Actress, Lebo Mashile (center) and Playwright, Ashraf Johaardien (left)were more than happy to give a minute from their busy schedule and share the reason for their visit to Grahamstown.
Mashile, Engelbrecht and Johaardien were at the 2008 National Arts Festival for the debut of their play, The Quiet Violence of Dreams, which is an adaptation of the book (entitle so) by the celebrated late South African writer, Sello Duiker.
Paying tribute Duiker's acclaimed novel, Johaardien emphasised that the script adaptation remains true to Duiker's original work. "It was a challenge to unpack Sello's mind to script as the narratives are woven into each other, that nonlinearity capturing the complexities of our lives today" said Johaardien.
Duiker's novel deals with sensitive issues in post apartheid South Africa with an emphasis on homosexuality, ascending black middle class and love. So intense is Duiker's engagement with these relavant issues that Engelbrecht had to consider the responsiveness of the audience when decoding the meanings in the play. " Mine was a challenge of extracting these issues from a page to public space and allowing the audience to channel the issues represented in the play into their own lives and recognise who they are in the system, without creating a space for condemnation" said Engelbrecht.
Mashile, who plays Mmabatho, the only female character, felt at home with the cast. "They're all exceedingly warm, there was instant chemistry and a special ensemble we remain." On social complications addressed, she emphasised the importance of engagement in terms of openly speaking about such issues that affect societies. "We live in a hypocritical society, dealing with spirituality, class, recently xenophobia and interracial relationships; so this play is bound to make a stir in society." Mashile finds comfort in her role as she relates to the character's self and obstacles. "Mmabatho is powerful, well educated and faces hardships with love and a friend who suffers a mental breakdown. Yet similar to me, she becomes anchored and self assured" said Mashile.
The production's strength is its star cast, namely; Antonio Lyons, Jacques Bessenger, Duke Motlanthe, Garth Collins and Elton Landrew. "In those moments of deep emotion, we offer each other a good sense of parenting, as they say; there is beauty in vulnerability" said Johaardien,
Making it's debut in this year's festival, The Quiet Violence of Dreams is a must watch. Beautifully executed, the audience connects with the issues at hand and their relevance is society. Speaking of aspirations, both the director and cast had confidence for a success at the festival and beyond.
07 July, 2008
There’s been a lot of debate recently about Peter de Villiers team to play the All Blacks in the Tri-Nations opener. Some have argued that De Villiers has failed to select his best possible XV in order to beat New Zealand at home for the first time in a decade.
Generally people seem to be pretty happy with the forwards although there has been surprise at the inclusion of Joe van Niekerk above Pierre Spies and Ryan Kankowski.
I don’t understand why Van Niekerk’s selection has been a surprise. He had a good Super14, played very well when given a chance against Italy and has something like 47 caps.
Compare that to Spies who only played a handful of matches in the regional tournament, was ordinary against Wales and seems to stay in front of the pecking order even though he’s form has been pretty average.
Last but definitely not least is Ryan Kankowski. Kanko had a brilliant Super14 but unfortunately got injured in the Italy game. After seeing that knock he took it’s perplexing to think that he was considered for selection ahead of the Kiwi clash.
Apparently he didn’t suffer a concussion after being stretchered off the field but one would think that he should sit out this all important game. So when considering all this, the selection of Big Joe was really a no-brainer.
Now let’s move on to the backs. Ricky Januarie and Buth James pick themselves along with Jean de Villiers at inside centre. Adrian Jacobs’ selection isn’t a surprise either because he’s been backed all season by coach De Viliers and there was no indication that he would be replaced ahead of the Southern Hemisphere showpiece.
On the wing Bryan Habana picks himself even though he hasn’t scored a try since the semi-finals of the World Cup last year. Akona Ndungane’s inclusion, however, is a surprise seeing that he only made his debut two weeks ago against Italy. JP Petersen shouldn’t be an option either because he also is out of form and low on confidence.
What maybe should’ve happened was to move Conrad Jantjies to the wing to accommodate the experience of Percy Montgomery at fullback. Picking Jantjies ahead of Monty should not have happened because even though he has done nothing wrong to be axed, he has played on the wing before.
Add his prodigious boot to the mix and the Boks would’ve had a potent back three, especially in the wet conditions expected in Wellington. Frans Steyn was never an option to play wing because I don’t think we will ever see a white player starting at wing ever again. Besides, with Petersen and Ndungane there, De Villiers wouldn’t have been able to justify Steyn’s selection on the wing.
The bench looks strong with Luke Watson the right option as the replacement loose forward because he can cover both blindside flank as well as eight man, making sure that South Africa never lose their effectiveness at the breakdown.
In the end one of two things will happen. Either the Springboks will beat the All Blacks in New Zealand for the first time in ten years and thereby justify De Villiers’s selection policy. Or the Boks will lose and the coach will be wiser for the experience as it will open his eyes with regards to certain selections.
02 July, 2008
The Future Journalists Programme is at the 2008 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa.
See our festival coverage and latest stories on our other blog:
27 June, 2008
IMAGINE... for a moment, a woman whose face looks like a grotesque mask, emerging from the bushes, chanting something that no human language under the sun can make out. She is drapped in torn and dirty clothes. Her song awakens a spirit, an energy that moves somewhere between her and the audience, exerting a cold aura that keeps the ampitheatre chilled. The scene is like enchanted magic!
Composition Z: The house of Stone, enigmatic as it sounds, is an exhilirating production that takes one to a fantastical world where dreams are reality and the essense of reality itself questioned. This play certainly keeps audiences at the edge of their sit, tying to find meaning as they connect to the magical creatures that inhibit the realm.
With its layered complexities, Composition Z is a niche genre of theatre that combines the elements of drama, physical performance and visual imagery. A blend of three characters from different cultural folklores sees the the play resurrect magical beings and a hypnothising act that is certainly one of its kind. Extracted from a Venda folktale, Zwidutwane is a water spirit inhibiting the Phiphidi Falls in Limpopo. Alongside Nai Nai of Eeinaa and Dombo, which are both influencial female protaagonists in the play, the three characters are in constant search for validation and affirmation. Their fate entertwined, they feed into each other's aura becoming one in the eternal struggle to find identity. This characters surely represent those souls who feel lost, watching time pass them by. Intricate use of voice over storytelling and rythmic physical theatre elevate ones senses, weaving deeper the metaphorical representation of the constant batte humankind faces in everyday living.
Emerging writer, director and actor, Awelani Moyo, attained her BA Honours Degree in Directing, Creative Writing (under Reza De Wet) and Acting at Rhodes University. Currently doing her coursework Masters in Contemporary Perfomance, the young Zimbabwean is set to fly high in the industry as she collaborates with leading theatre practitioners.In Composition Z, Moyo represents well the issues of vulnerability, difference, socio-political status of Zim, conflict of identity and ultimately how mankind derive meaning from what they see and hear in their surroundings, most noticeably in situations of displacement.
On the Tittle:
The tittle misleads one to think of a musical theatre piece. More along the lines of Beathovan or Mozart type classical acts. However, Moyo, through her excellent tittle intentionally twists and entices our minds, the every act entwined with the craze in the tale itself. 'Composition Z' may be a derivative for all the meanings, conspiracies we contrive and conceptualise in our minds, trying to find an answer to destiny. We compose possible explanations for our current situations and our possible end. "The House of Stone" perhaps infers to humanity's numbed reaction towards issues that have affected our world, its people, deteriorationg the very essense of Ubuntu, we have come to learn.
25 June, 2008
As far as I see it, they(Vavi and Malema) have not said anything new, they are simply echoing what our potential president has always said,khawulethu mshini wam(bring my machine gun).The only difference with Malema and Vavi's statement is that they are specific about what they will do with their "machine gun".Zuma must be a very happy man, infact I would like to add that he is a very lucky man.
To have two leaders of the country's biggest union and the ruling parties political youth wing willing to put their lives down for you is flattering.I can imagine what the conversation was last weekend at some boere braais around the country, "I was right,those ANC people are terrorists.Sadly for Zuma he wont't be getting any Afrikaner vote until he stands up and condems what Malema and Vavi have said.
Do not get me wrong when I say I understand their statement,I am by no means saying I support it.I understand it but I do not condone it!There is one question on my mind though, will they be sending out youth militia to intimidate anyone who does not support Zuma like Zanu PF is doing to anyone anti Mugabe.Are they to be labelled martyrs or terrorists.
I hope their statement stays just that, a statement or threat,if not, then the predictions of many post apartheid emigrants are at hand - "This country is going to end up like Kenya,Zimbabwe or any former colonial African country!God forbid!
23 June, 2008
By.Mduduzi Justice Nyalunga (Highway Africa, FJP participant @University of Zululand.
Indeed, the standard of Journalism education in South Africa is developing in each and every year to a high level. Our writers and reporters are getting better. Many South African Universities teach journalism in different ways although, they have the similar idea of producing quality and awards winning journalists who will have the power to influence the public through their good writing and broadcasting skills. It is very significant to look at different aspects when discussing the standard of journalism education in South Africa.
Rich Universities like Rhodes teach journalism at a very high level. At this University they have all the basic journalism resources that Journalism students need in order to have enough knowledge about the different aspects of Journalism. At Rhodes University they also help their Journalism Students by forming partnerships with well known organisations such a High way Africa, an organisation that invites a number of great journalists across the African continent to come down to South Africa and help them with skills and more knowledge about Journalism, by doing so I believe that the University is helping to develop the Standard of Journalism in South Africa. They have also established a new programme called (FJP) Future Journalists Programme in order to help students from different Universities and from all sorts of backgrounds to acquire more valuable skills and knowledge in the field of Journalism by giving them more journalism trainings. Therefore Rhodes Journalism graduates are highly skilled and able to work in any fields of Journalim.Even myself being part of the High way Africa, FJP at Rhodes has helped me to learn to communicate, solve problems and think critical and analytical as a communication Science student. In my own opinion I do appreciate the progress of Journalism education in South Africa at this time.
Now as we are moving into a new century with rapidly changing head of governments, economies, and social issues. Where is journalism education in this mix? Is journalism education ahead of the citizenry or behind what citizens will need to know to make critical social, political and economic decisions for our world? Some journalism educators at South African Universities provided me with their opinions on how they see journalism education in South Africa, the United States of America, Slovenia and India. Most of them argue that journalism education in South Africa is education for democracy.
They also say journalism is a more or less independent field of study across South Africa and world-wide, yet the education and training of journalists is a subject much debated but only rarely researched. As a point of departure it is assumed that although media systems and journalistic cultures may differ widely, the changes and challenges facing journalism education around the world are largely similar. I am impressed with the fact that South African journalism is growing and many journalists are being re-warded for putting more efforts to their work.
20 June, 2008
The hip and the happenin will be gathered at grahamstown as from the 26th of June for the National Arts Festival. For those of us who are all for arts, it will truly be heaven. It's time to showcase the hottest talent in the country. Self expression is the latest fashion and for those who are still rigid, its time they move with the times. In the olden days, the 'arts' seemed an irrelevant field, undermined and severely under-payed. However, it is comforting to see our world recognising those with the 'rare' talents beyond maths, accounting, stats or health.
We now live in a world where we have to constantly make known what we feel, either through talking (spoken word, poetry) or through action (drama, dance) or with a splash of paint. Though, to change sceptics, this 'artistic' change is unnecessary, I say; if our world was allowed to shout more, talk more, and do more of soul searching, there would be less of killing, beating, raping and cursing. Think about it. We live in a changed world where everything that mattered doesn't anymore and everything that was of no essence is the center of our world. So, South Africa- get down to Grahamstown for a mind blowing experience... I know I'll be there!!!
28 May, 2008
The past few weeks have laid witness to xenophobic attacks in different parts of South Africa. Those who claim to be experts on the issue have given a few lousy explanations for the reasons of the attacks. Some argue that it’s because local people fear that foreigners (or should I use black foreigners) are taking their jobs. This is a lousy explanation. If this was the case the people who live in Musina, just a stone throw away from Zimbabwe, would not have managed to live and share their jobs with people from Zimbabwe.
Another explanation is that foreigners, particularly Nigerians, are taking South African women from their men. This is a sad but funny one. If these Nigerian men are taking other people's girlfriends, well good for them. They obviously give them the treatment that they deserve unlike their South African counterparts. People need to learn from these guys. In fact, it’s about time South African men learn to keep their women in their beds. Everyone has a right to love whoever they want to love. What happened to "may the best man win". Are we really that scared of competition? The answer is yes to those who are not certain, you will feel the pinch if you don’t treat your woman like a queen.
Back to the matter, although nothing is known about what might have sparked these attacks it is certain that they are here and spreading all over South Africa despite Ngqakula denial that it’s a crisis. It’s really embarrassing how instead on trying to counter the problem our Safety and Security Minister is busy arguing that it does not fit the definition of a crisis. First it was the denial that crime was and still is a problem in South Africa and now this. Why doesn't someone propose a motion of no confidence against this guy? I guess we'll have to wait for the next election
22 May, 2008
As violent xenophobic clashes that have claimed at least 42 lives spread from Gauteng to Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal, President Thabo Mbeki on Wednesday gave the go-ahead for the "involvement" of the military. It is claimed that the attack that took place in Kwa-Zulu Natal was not based on xenophobia but on politics and I really fail to distinguish between xenophobia and politics especially when the victim is not a South African. SA Catholic Bishops’Conference president Buti Tlhagale described the xenophobic attacks as “new apartheid mentality”.
Looking briefly in the history of South Africa, not so long ago we had our own refugees in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Angola to name but few. These people went to exile in order to ensure better future for South Africans. What is interesting is the way they were accepted in those countries, they were fed, given a place to stay, were educated and impowered. This was all done legally with great care and control.
Comparing this period to the crisis we facing in South Africa today I really see something different. Firstly, I want to say that I have been keeping the future of SA closer under my eyes and noted that South Africans are not happy with other people who are not South Africans,people such as Nigerians, Somalians, Chines and Parkistans. This is not something new in SA but started long time ago, we have seen them being burned in their houses, burning their businesses,killing them-shocking happening that took place in various parts of SA.
Now the issue is with our neighbours, I know there are many justifications around violating these people, they take our jobs-some will claim! they take our girlfriends, we do not have a place to stay because of these people, but is brutal killing really a solution? Well! I would like to put blame on the government for this crisis!It is esteemated to about 3 million refugees who are in South Africa today and the number is expected to increase. Only few - if any - of there people are legally allowed to be here, note that I do not mean that they must not be allowed but pointing that the government failed to properly control this immigration. In fact there's no crisis in South Africa!
Since I have been watching my this country closely I am really not amazed of what is happening and I really do not believe that military will do the job of managing refugees properly unless there will be a river of blood across South African streets. South Africa it-self is not well developed, it is very poor, amazingly the government says that refugees has to be given a space to live. where exactly? people lives in only three room RDP houses with family of more than 10 people while those living in suburbs finish moths without visiting other rooms in their houses because they are too many to count-why they do not take these people to their houses? With the little food that South Africans have they have to share with these brothers-what is the govenrment doing about that?
South Africans might be lazy, as some people expressed their views in the post by Thanda, that is one reason, but what about the exploitation of these refugees? I know of a farm owner who chased all those who were living in his farm because of the South African Labour Law based on wages and employed these refugees because he knew that they were not legally allowed to be in SA. After they harvest was done guess what happened? He did not want to pay them and when they were complaining he just called the police and said that those people invaded his farm that morning and they were taken by trucks to the borders where they were left to find their way home. Well this sounds good because the farmer was clever enough to rob people of their rights but how good it is for humanity, for the spirit of ubuntu that SA always boast off?
This reminds me of the Rwandan genicode! Again I do not think that the military would be a solution to this matter, you really can not put out fire by petrol. The Lawyer for Human Rights had this to say in a statement "Such use of the military risks exacerbating the situation and creating a security environment similar to that continuously used prior to 1994. In any event, investigation of crime, public safety and the prosecution of crimes committed against foreigners require members who are trained in those areas. The military is not equipped to bring to book perpetrators of crimes against xenophobia victims,".Defence Ministry spokesperson Sam Mkhwanazi said there would be a military presence in the strife-hit areas "as soon as all that needs to be done is complete". My question is: who knows what will take place when where?
It is really bad because if your skin is darker you'll be burned. South Africa is the youngest to get freedom but the laws that it passed shocked the world and things that are happening are just another shock to the world,what else? If Mbeki is fit enough to intervene in Zimbabwe I think it would be much better to first sort out what is happening in South Africa unless "there is no crisis in South Africa". Taking into considerations that in our country there are many other people from various countries not only Zimbabwe and we are all human, they deserve to be treated with respect and dignity as human beings as well and any justification around xenophobia is just meaningless. The government need to take formal control as soon as possible before we see another genocide.
Have your say.
13 May, 2008
Racism is a form of discrimination based on race, especially the belief that one race is superior to another. Racism generalizes and some racists humiliate others, which reinforces their superiority and the inferiority of the victim of such humiliation.
Race related incidents have had a great impact on South Africans. It reminds us of our worst traits as people, but speaking openly about it can enable South Africans to confront the and allow us to see how much common ground has been created since 1994.
The recent racist video produced by four white students at the University of Free State generated a lot of fury from many South Africans. The contents of the video are an indication of the lack of transformation in tertiary institutions and the shallowness of the reconciliation among youth born a few years before democracy. This, tthanks to the circulation of this contoversial video, is a disturbing truth that has now been exposed to the whole world.
A tourist visiting South Africa at the time the video surfaced might have thought that racism was dead in South Africa and that the four UFS students were awakening an unwelcome ghost. Unfortunately, the sad truth is that racism in South Africa is not dead. It still thrives in many places and the UFS scandal is just one incident.
The incidents shocked the higher education community, A a result about 2000 students, lectures and directors of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University's George campus marched against racism on in tertiary institutions. Campus principal Professor Fabricious expressed serious concern about the racial tension simmering below the surface in places of higher education.
Racial tensions are also running high at the University of Johannesburg's Kingsway campus after a string of violent incidents. Drunk white male students allegedly bursts into a womenʼs bathroom and beat up a black student and another black student was attacked and thrown down the stairs.
These are racially motivated incidents of violence and humiliation reported by UJʼs SRC in recent weeks. The SRC president, Mhlobowethu Hoyi, believes that the levels of racism on campus are unacceptable. The Star newspaper reported that the SRC has threatened the institution's management with mass protest action if urgent attention is not given to the problems.
Professor Grain Soudien, the chairperson of a committee set up by education Minister Naledi Pandor to address racism on campuses, said it was unavoidable that race related incidents were happening in South African universities.
As South Africans we are all part of the post apartheid South Africa and it is our responsibility to become catalysts for unity in our country.
11 May, 2008
By Kobus Pretorius (CPUT)
Joel Santana hasn’t even started his new job as head coach of Bafana Bafana but already high expectations are expected from him.
In an article that appeared in the Independent on Saturday’s May 10 issue, Fifa secretary-general Jerome Valcke said that Fifa expected the host nation of both the Confederations Cup in 2009 and the 2010 Soccer World Cup to reach the second round of both tournaments.
"We would like to see the host nation of major events such as the Confederations Cup and World Cup to get at least to the quarter-finals or semi-finals. That would help keep the interest going in the host country.
"It would not be good if Bafana were knocked out in the early rounds of either the Confederations Cup or World Cup. That is why we hope the new coach (Santana) will succeed with Bafana and make sure
Valcke also expressed the hope that Santana would continue the work Carlos
The draw for the Confederations Cup, which features eight leading countries, would be held in
These comments by Valcke will add more pressure to a man already expected to turn a steadily descending Bafana around and making them competitive for the two looming tournaments.
We’ll have to wait and see if it is enough time for Santana to overturn Bafana’s fortunes and make them serious title contenders.
07 May, 2008
We live in tried times in South Africa. With the rising fuel prices, everything else has gone up. Relative prices for food, transport and oil have hit and cracked the price ceiling. Goodness, even "some pumps can't handle it"- eTV said last night! Yet consumers haven't seen the end of this outrageous phenomenon as they are already experiencing a rise in rates costs and electricity bills as well, with every resident and company caught in this spiral web of an inflatory environment. As if the problems aren't enough, it should be expected that unions will demand an increase in wages to compensate for the erosion of pay by inflation. Thus, inevitably, educators like other workers and their education institutions will demand more pay in school fees from students. Bad as it sounds, nothing can be done. Our economy truly is detoriorating and one can only wonder how the devastating blow will be like in the much awaited 2010! Now let me hold that 2010 thought before it gets too depressing to the soccer lovers!
Basically, it feels like all odds are conspiring against South Africa's much dreamed of economic success. It is a sad fact and a burden to know our economic reality and to think that students will also bear this load. Some of them were struggling with their tuition fees even before this downhill trend began. This makes me think three weeks back when approximately five hundrend students from the University of KwaZulu Natal faced financial exclusions. This resulted from these students registration appeals deemed 'pending' based on their inability to pay tuition fees. The students were thus put on a sort of probationary phase until such outstanding fees were settled, however, still allowed to attend classes. "Those weeks were truly a confusing time as we did not know whether we are real students and it became a hustle to submitt our assignments as we would not reflect in the sytem anyway," says Xola, a third year media student who at the time sat outside the appeals office with a dozen other fellow students, "feeling as if the college was out to get [them]".
Talking to Dean of Students, Dr Ngcobo who assisted students on the issue from the beginning of the semester, I was better enlightened on what this Appeals process is. As chairperson of the Appeals Committee, Ngcobo and collegues "look at the student's needs versus those of the university" he explained. It does make sense that such institutions of higher learning should be paid for the world class services they offer students. "However, the truth is that South Africa has not reached the standard of economic freedom where R18 000 comes easy to ones pocket" I said, obviously in sympanty with the wailing students in the foyer. Dr. Ngcobo emphasised that "they are very progressive in terms of understanding students needs and deal with each case thoroughly". "We go through files and agree where we need to find out more information" Ngcobo laid down the procedure as he said he understood very well where the panic and confusion set in. The problem was apparently with the use of the word 'pending'.
"Pending does not mean that the student is now banned from entering the premises or attending lectures. It simply means there is some information still missing from the student's file, like how they are going to finance their debt, over how long a period and who will be responsible" said Ngcobo . "The university wants to know, with the money you owe, how and when are you going to pay it and also requires evidence. If you say two years, the answer is obviously no, because now you'll be setting a trend for a two year payment plan" Ngcobo said, making me understand the university''s protocol.
So, I got the sense that students basically misinterpreted the 'pending' for a dismissal of their plea, or a shatter to their education dream, when in actual fact it was there to assist them. At the end of it all, I also learnt that students were given ample time to sort out their documents, but being a student myself, I often have fallen victim to the procastination syndrome very well. Infact, the Appeals Committee was linient enough to grant the students extra time as the decision process was prolonged yet two weeks after the initial closing date. How kind can 0ne get. At the end of it all, it goes to show how youngsters generally do not take the initiative to ask what is going on with matters partaining their own future. This entails finding out information in time in order to promptly gather the required data and documents so that a timely processing of whatever the situation can be done.
As Dean of Students, Dr Ngcobo also alerted me of his concern towards student political parties who use such situations as a tool for their mass mobilization just prior the elections. That explains a lot why in the Shepston foyer was a display of one such party whose main agenda was coincidently the abolishment of financial exclusions.
True, we live in an opportunistic world! Get them when they're down and under and you'll be sure to get that vote. Hey, George W. Bush used the same tactic. When the Americans were vulnerable and shocked from the apparent terrorists attack, he mobilised them for a war- it is a tried and tested method! My worry though is that no matter how deeply capitalist minded we are, we have no control of the outcome of any situation. If your currency is strong in the morning, chances are that by sunset you'll sleep a very poor man.We live in a confusing world and time. I can only wonder if by nightfall the fuel price will be stable. We can only wait and prepare to hit rock bottom.
05 May, 2008
Andrew Heywood, the American author, defined constitution as “a set of rules that seek to establish the duties, powers and functions of the institutions of government and define the relationship between the state and the individual”. He also defined democracy as “the rule by the demos (many), thus the rule of the people for the people by the people”. The combination of these concepts makes what Charles W. Kegley JR refers to as “constitutional democracy”, which he defined as “government processes that allow people, through their elected representatives, to exercise power and influence the state’s polices”.
With the above vignette in mind, try to think about the succession process in the Republic of Botswana.
Botswana is a democratic territory that has a codified and inflexible constitution. Therefore, this country is bound by the democratic and constitutional polices. Democracy allows people to vote for the government and leaders of their choice. However, in the Republic of Botswana things seem not to go that way. The automatic succession of president in Botswana is a phenomenon that one would be curious about. Is the automatic succession appropriate for democracy? What does the Botswana constitution say about the automatic succession?
It is clearly stipulated in section 35 (1) of the Botswana constitution that “Whenever the President dies, resigns or ceases to hold office, the Vice-President shall assume office as President with effect from the date of the death, resignation or ceasing to be President”. The Botswana Constitution was amended in 1997 to ensure that the Vice President would automatically take over from the President in the event that the president either retires or can not serve as president. In 31 March 2008, Ian Khama (55), automatically succeeded Festus Mogae who was president of Botswana for the last decade.
As people have different in many various phenomena, so they do in this regard. Some think the automatic succession is inappropriate for a democracy. Whilst others think there is no problem with automatic succession. Some of the Botswana students at the University of Johannesburg who wanted to remain anonymous think the automatic succession is not a big issue as peace still remains within the country.
However, other South Africans, who also asked to remain anonymous, believe that the automatic succession is an absolute violation of democratic principles.
23 April, 2008
By Kobus Pretorius
So why this bold step by Parreira?
Instead of getting cynical and blaming a whole lot of people, not least of all Parreira, there is a simple explanation for the highly rated coach wanting to return to his native
It’s a word that most people embrace and protect because family is the most important thing in the world. And it seems that is exactly the way Parreira feels because he has just walked away from R1, 8 million a month to be with his wife who is reported to be suffering from cancer. Another reason, apparently, is that he wants to spend more time with his grandchildren.
For most people it would be a no-brainer. Others may take a little while longer to see the bigger picture. After all, we are talking about R1, 8 million tax-free every month for the next two years at least.
So you can’t really blame him for quitting can you? Of course not. Especially not at his age where any normal person would like to take life a bit easier and spend it with their family. I mean, at 65, wouldn’t you?
Nevertheless, it doesn’t make the SA Football Association’s dilemma any easier. They now have to search for a coach before Bafana play a host of qualify matches at the end of next month for the Confederations Cup in 2009.
Apparently Parreira has pointed out a few potential successors with quite a few Brazilians among them. These include current Flamengo coach Joel Santana and Internacional boss Abel Braga.
Other high profile coaches linked to the post is current
The bad news for Safa is that Scolari’s contract with
Another option can be to give the job, albeit temporarily, to Parreira’s assistants, Jairo Leal and Pitso Mosimane. This would insure a certain amount of consistency until a permanent replacement can be found.
It is therefore likely that Safa will again look at an international coach before they consider local talent.
At least we know they are not scared to throw a lot of money around to make sure the team is a success.
18 April, 2008
17 April, 2008
by Thandanani Mhlanga
Xenophobia is one of the foremost prejudices still prevalent in South Africa today. According to the deputy commissioner at the South African human rights commission, Zonke Majodina, there’s been growing hatred towards immigrants and asylum seekers.
One reason according to the National Labour and Economic Development institute is that contrary to popular belief 48.5% percent of South Africa’s population is still living in poverty.
Many South Africans expressed sentiments that they are losing their Jobs to foreigners.
Vanessa Tsogwane, a Journalism student had this to say: “South Africans are lazy and these foreigners come here to work. Most of them are small business owners and they work very hard. South Africans wait for jobs to be handed to them and when foreigners start making money they resent them.”
I sat down with a group of Spa cashiers who openly dislike foreigners. They said that they found foreigners to have violent tendencies and didn’t practice personal hygiene and that they even dislike the way they look.
They did not say how the above directly harmed them but were expressive in their distaste with such passion that I began to wonder. To what extent does xenophobia stem from cultural myths than economic scarcity?
I grew up in Mpumalanga where foreigners are few and are shrouded by rumour and mystery. I was often told of their supernatural powers, how they had the ability to harm others and make money through “muti”. I never got the opportunity to interact with a foreigner and for that reason I couldn’t associate human qualities with them. This is hard to admit because I now count foreigners as some of my best friends. If I had indeed continued to live under those impressions and didn’t get the opportunity to come to a place where I was exposed to them and got to know them, I would also feel like those women.
The tragedy in all this is while we’re burning their shops and chasing them away from our townships we’re doing the same thing that long gone comrades fought to liberate black people from. When they sought refuge they were welcomed with open arms into those African countries. We’ve failed to identify the real enemy which is a lackluster youth that has no initiative in finding ways to gain income. How can someone from another country come to an impoverished community and thrive financially? Vodoo aside clearly something is amiss.
Shouldn’t the focus then be on learning from our African brothers and sisters? Combine what entrepreneurial skills they offer with the resources of our thriving country and start a new movement for change.
Lonwabo Busakwe, an activist of the black consciousness movement said: “As Africans we have a common history of being separated by colonialism. During that time we lost our cultures, religions, freedom and somewhere in between we lost ourselves. I see a time for us to restore our unity and humanity.”
This struggle will not resolve itself overnight. Mainly because there is so much misinformation blurring the cultural lines. Maybe if we all made the commitment today to approach a foreigner and simply say hello…
09 April, 2008
I feel obliged to speak on the behalf of the team. Please people if you dont have anything nice to say dont say anything at all. We all need a bit of criticism once in a while, but such criticism should build and not break. As for dissing Sipho that was way out of line. Why do people always have to resort to personal attacks?
Being part of the Future Journalist Programme is a learning curve and it goes without saying that mistakes do happen.
Thank you Richard for taking and interest in our blog and posting a comment atleast something good came out of this. Now we know that there are people out there who actually take time to read our blog.
08 April, 2008
also, a spoof article i found online, does it amuse or offend you?
We live in an information society, the age where citizens have become aware of the need to communicate, share information, ideas, thoughts etc. Where they have taken the role as custodians and storytellers of their own history and social knowledge. Ndesanjo Macha, setting the keynote to the 2007 Digital Citizen Indaba, labeled this transformation as a move "From Rock Paintings to Mental Acrobatic". This being the era where citizens are enabled to report news aided by growing and converging technologies. Therefore citizens are not only partaking in the consumption, but also in the production and dissemination of information as well. The 'commoners' in the street have assumed a new position as dual players in the media sphere, thus citizen journalism has become the new agent speaking truth to power, Ndesanjo elaborated.
Though a recognisably fast emerging phenomenon, citizen journalism does not fall short of concern and scepticism from the conservative body of professional journalists. Gus Silber, in the article "Now, anyone can be a hack", may not be too convinced of the significance of this new form of evolutionary journalism. Gus clearly puts to perspective the dangers of citizen reporters. His prominent argument equated to the odd likes of a citizen pathologist/cardiologist, if one would gladly welcome their service. Maybe not, goodness not; and there we seem to agree. However, we live in tried times in South Africa, with the Polokwane ANC Conference in December setting a prehistoric moment that shook and sent tremors in the South African political landscape, with great repercussions and that certainly cannot be ignored, whether one is a professional journalist or not.
Recent media reports on the ANC succession battle have prompted South Africans to stop and think about the future of politics in our country and inevitably the overall fate of our political economy. Pre 1994, realised the growing strength of a party that was to become a democracy bearer and liberator of the oppressed South Africa, into a world renounced democratic country, blended with multicultural and multilingual citizens. Prehistoric was that moment when former president, Nelson Mandela, walked out of Robin Island to transform the state of our country to one that was respected throughout the world. Yet, just under two decades, every media prides itself with reports and articles of a battle of words and power, with constant finger pointing and alleged corruption involvement from the successors of the dream Mandela was imprisoned for. Focus has shifted from the party's collective purpose, policy and strategies to serve a unified freed nation to the likes of "Zuma vs Mbeki" articles flocking the media sphere.
The current state of our government calls for concern, alarm and awareness from the citizens who happen to be the masses that put those concerned into power. With the knowledge of the current state of political affairs, the burning question is "what are South Africans saying?" Is the succession issue primarily a problem for those in government and mainstream media? It is no secret that any information traded on the succession battle becomes a powerful weapon, bearing invaluable economic weight that can either make or break our nation. But in the midst of this knowledge, citizens must engage and raise their views on this issue, this action simply being their democratic right. It must also be remembered that, government exists in order to represent a state, which in turn constitutes amongst other things people, who's interests should be foremost and respected. So, South Africa, what are you saying about the Zuma/Mbeki saga? Oh, and not to forget the ANC Youth League's power struggle . Members vandalised chairs at the conference venue, disputing the election of their newly appointed president Firebrand Malema, suggesting corruption and fraudulent activities from their executive members ! Is this the kind of leadership and behaviour we are vouching for presidency in the long run? Certainly not.
If there's any platform to express one's fears, joy concern or whatever the case might be on the succession, it is through the much contested citizen journalism (blogs), and the timing couldn't be more perfect. Both Zuma and Mbeki camps have stated their case and judiciary has passed its judgement. Mainstream media has reported on the issue, keeping in mind the essence of gatekeeping and censorship. Now is the time for us citizens, to give our perceptions and individual thought about our government. This act giving birth to true democracy; a pluralism where diversity of voices of the essence.
Some South African have been vocal and label the ANC Undignified, some feel Zuma is a victim of a media witch hunt whilst others label Mbeki: an out of touch, bewildered, denialist to the end. No matter from what angle citizens and journalists are approaching the issue, what remains is that they are simply not passive viewers to current affairs that have rippling effects to their own lives, and that is commendable. Anton Harber "Is our media ready for the challenge of change?" emphasises that irrespective of the kind, "the crux of the matter is how the media shape their coverage, which in turn will determine the shape and nature of the democracy, either strengthening or weakening our democratic institutions and how the public participates in them". I couldn't agree more. If citizens take the initiative to publicise and vocalise the flaws they witness in their government, then this act surely should avail a level of understanding of the kind of leadership, policies and needs the government should uphold in order to satisfy its people. This informed take on the situation then ought to empower citizens to partake in the decision making process alongside their leaders. After all, "it is up to the media and judiciary to ensure that government functions in an accountable, open and honest manner and makes the effort to treat each and every South African with respect", these being the good words of Chief Justice Pius Langa at the Joint South African National Editors Forum. Langa endoses an independent media and judiciary which works to preserve the citizen's freedom of expression, which I believe is the aim of citizen journalism: not to hurt or jeopardise the journalism profession, but to enforce and play a mending role where mainstream media fails- and that is getting ample public voice. So South Africa must start talking.
28 March, 2008
This video was filmed at the Egazini Outreach Project in Joza Township in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Egazini is a place where children from the area can express and develop their different artistic talents. The video features a dance group made up of three young girls who create and perform their own dances as a way to express themselves.
Also shown in the video is the contrast between the apartheid history of the Egazini Otreach Project building, a building once occupied by riot police, and the positive role that the workshop now plays in the community.
Bongani Diko, the Director of the project, says that this project has had a positive impact on the community’s young people, through providing a recreational facility that keeps young people of the streets and out of trouble.
Since the project started, many youths have been kept from using drugs and being involved in crime.
The dance trio in this video will perform at this year’s National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. The arts festival takes place from 26 June to 5 July 2008.
27 March, 2008
Crew: Nqobile, Dinilohlanga,Simphiwe, Ukona, Justice
Egazini stands as a reminder of South Africa's cruel past, but today it represents hope, development and artistic expression for the artists of Grahamstown.
Egazini is located in extension six, Joza Location and it has been there since 2000. Once used as a place of torture for political activists during the apartheid regime, it is now a hub where young artists meet and explore their talents daily.
Some of the crafts produced by this project include printed fabric, t-shirt, bags, cushion covers, woodcuts, etchings and painting. All the artists which are part of the project are paid on commission basis. The project has also held exhibitions in Durban, Johannesburg, Cape Town, New York and London. A few of the artists working there participated in major art competitions like the FNB Craft and Brett Kebble Art Awards.
Linga Diko who is one of the members of Egazini Outreach Project says joining the club helped him grow his client base. Diko specialises in Batik art and painting. “My art reflects what goes on around my community and the country as a whole. In 2004 I was inspired by the rural woman of Limpopo who travel long distances to fetch water. I titled this particular piece –Amanzi awekho” says Diko.
The project finds a good time to expose their work during the Grahamstown Annual National Arts Festival, which draws thousands of people across the African continent.
Egazini which means “The place of blood” does not represent horror and death anymore, it now showcases the talent of the once under privileged youth of the country.
The Future Journalists Programme aims to create a new generation of journalists in Africa. Journalism students from various South African institutions gather to share ideas and experiences of the media industry.
This programme has enabled its participants to gain new knowledge and an experience that no one would like to miss. Programme Co-ordinator Moagisi Letlhaku says "the students have exceeded my expectation of their participation during this week's Reporting the Arts and TV production' workshop. They have proven that the potential for FJP to grow and succeed lies in the students themselves".
Facilitor, Alette Schoon says "I found an incredible enthusiasm and energy in the group. I'm really looking forward to regularly visting their blog."
Being part of the Future Journalists Programme is a great honour, since it offers unique opportunities for up and coming journos from all over South Africa. This slideshow specifically presents the various activities we (Future Journalists)have engaged in thus far. These include: camera training, editing, writing for broadcast. We learnt how to cover art stories, how to broadcast our videos using different mediums.
Nqobile Buthelezi, one of the participants says, "It's been an experiential transition from the classroom into the physical world of journalism. It's an appreciated opportunity and I'm thankfull to all the programme sponsors and our co-odinator for their faith in us, the future journalists".
Poetry project at Egazini Outreach poetry project
The Egazini Outreach project in Grahamstown was once a place of struggle and sadness under the tragic history of the Apartheid regime as it hosted the dreaded internal stability unit. Since 2001, however, the site has been transformed by the local community into a centre for creativity and expression.
The young people of this rural community have benefited most from their involvement in this initiative. Not only has it kept them off the streets but it has allowed them to channel their emotions into gripping works of art.
Through Dead Eyes is one such product of artistic expression. In this production, a group of young men reflect on their history and how it relates to their position in society today. The production revolves around the great Xhosa prophet, Makana , and his failed struggle for freedom. The poets facing their own struggles now draw inspiration from the predicaments Makana experienced and continue from Makana’s failure to strive for change and a better future.
Egazini heritage site, filmed by Mudiwa, Somikazi, Nadine, Azwi and Ernest.
"I am an African"- This is the famous speech delivered at the South African National Assembly in 1996 by the great, symbolic and charismatic South African President, Mr Thabo Mbeki, who was Deputy President of the country at the time.
I believe this to be the speech that changed many African people's perceptions towards the beautiful continet of Africa. It brought a sense of identity and pride to many people. The speech shows how Thabo Mbeki is proud to be part of the African continent.
"I owe my being to the hills and the valleys, the mountains and the glades, the rivers, the deserts, the trees, the flowers, the seas and the ever-changing seasons that define the face of our native land".
This speech is motivational in the sense that it highlights what Africans are made of, our struggle history and our experiences. Yes indeed, I am also proud to be an African. It gives me great pleasure to be part of the African continent and a part of its great the people.
Communication Science student, University of Zululand
Watch Nqobile direct
Nqobile Buthelezi, a University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) media graduate shows her directing skills on a shoot at the Egazini Outreach Project in Grahamstown. Nqobile is a participant in the Future Journalist Program (FJP), a project of Highway Africa which provides hands-on training and industry exposure for upcoming journalists. FJP is a vibrant and diverse programmein made up of fifteen students from tertiary institutions in South Africa.