31 May, 2013

Slain TUT Student Remembered

Dismayed family memmbers and friends during a memorial service  of slain TUT student Gopolang Ngobeni

 Alfred Makhubela
Hundreds of Tshwane University of Technology students and staff members paid tribute during a memorial service of slain student Gopolang Ngobeni who was allegedly shot and killed by police officials last Saturday at Caltex Garage in Randfontein.
Ngobeni’s campus life and times was described as the family of the deceased occupied the front row with sombre faces, weeping as the quivering voices of students recited poems and sang spiritual hymns.Speakers condemned  the police’s action which resulted with the  22 year old’s life being cut shot.
Emotional resident manager Willemina Mosomane said that Telkom residence where Ngobeni resided has lost not only a student but a family member and it took her time to accept the fact that he’s a victim of police killings. “It is very sad to lose a student and it was difficult to confirm that really he is gone. We built a strong bond together as I took him as my son and he called me mother. It took only minutes to take him away”, said the distraught manager.
Academic Department representative Professor MC Mashige said that the Department of Applied Languages and Language Practice is under serious attack as reports of sexual assaults and death rate escalate. He consoled the Ngobeni family and condemned the May 25th shooting. “Gopolang’s death was not a natural death, he was killed by police. Nevertheless to the Ngobeni family we will celebrate his life and cherish the good times we had while he was still with us.” he said.

It is alleged that on 25 May Ngobeni and his four friends were travelling to the funeral of their friend’s father in Mohlakeng, West Rand. According to a media statement released by the Department of Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) the five students did not know the direction and they got lost. They then followed a security vehicle which had come in front of them. After the security vehicle made a U-turn at a cul-de-sac, the students also made a U-turn.
 While driving towards a Caltex Garage with the intention of asking for directions, another security vehicle from the same company cut in front of them. Both security vehicles stopped next to a marked SAPS vehicle. The students drove on to the filling station. It is alleged that within a short space of time, the police vehicle (with its blue light on), as well as the security vehicles, followed the students to the filling station, which is near where they were.
The students were ordered to get out of their vehicle by the police. While trying to get out of the vehicle, Gopolang Ngobeni was shot by a policeman with an R5 rifle. The victim was declared dead at the scene. The vehicle in which the students were travelling was searched and nothing illegal was found, read the statement.
 Family spokesperson Michael Ngobeni said that the family wants answers of why Ngobeni was shot. The 30 year old constable will appear in court on the 3rd of June for a possible bill application.

14 May, 2013

Gutuza loved to tell african stories

Chris Gutuza
Born in District six, Chris Gutuza was an activist and journalist, Gutuza trained as a teacher before he joined the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) formally known as Peninsula Technology in 1985 as a journalism student.  Following his journalism studies, he joined the newspaper, The South. 

His passion for the Afrikaans language led him to join Die Suid Afrikaan, an Afrikaans magazine as a feature writer.  Concerned about the upliftment of society and also being an activist, he spent many years between the eighties and nineties working with poor communities helping set up community newspapers.  This was an attempt to give or help everybody to have a voice.  He helped set up a newspaper in Namakwaland, Die NamakwaNuus.  The latter was followed by SaamStaan; another community news paper in Oudtshoorn, SaamStaan was however banned in 1987 during the state of emergency.  

Gutuza later branched to film and television, with the aim and vision to tell real and true African stories through a different medium.  To do this, Gutuza opened his own production company, Stonehouse, where he had hoped to train young people in openly telling real stories of real South Africans.      

As an educator, Gutuza believed that education, information and the access to recourses were paramount.  “Chris was highly principled, honest, humble and compassionate.” said Davids.  As an activist journalist, Davids also believes that Gutuza would be turning in his grave as a result of the textbook saga, Nkandla, the high levels of corruption and wasteful and fruitless expenditure by government officials totaling millions of rands. 

According to wife Ayesha Ismail, he was unashamedly pro-poor and everything he did was in aid of the poor.  In addition, Davids says Gutuza used to say: What’s the use of having political freedom if we don’t have economic freedom? How can we say we are free when people still go to bed hungry, children don’t go to school and the rich are getting richer?  “Chris never referred to himself as a journalist but rather as a media activist, says Ismail.  However, his love for his family was also very evident, as such he always ensured to instill a sense of self and mental emancipation to his beloved daughters.   “He loved his girls, he made sure to teach them two things; the National anthem as well as Bob Marley’s Redemption song, not only to know the words, but to understand the true meaning.” Adds Ishmail.   Gutuza is remembered for many things by his family, amongst them, his love of music, dancing and braai.  He was a real family man

Chris Gutuza sadly lost his life in October 2001 in a car accident in Pinelands

Why May Day

Why May Day

Labour day is considered a day political demostration to commemorate workers solidarity and highlight the problems that workers encounter at the hands of their employers.

Canada and USA were the first countries to celebrate May Day in 1886. It was decided during that time that a legal working day would consist of eight working hours, to ensure that all workers balance their working lives with their personal lives. Sixty-four years later in 1950, the Communist Party of South Africa (CPSA) called for a protest against the Suppression of Communism Act, which declared the party an unlawful organisation. Eighteen people died during the protest. Nelson Mandela, who later became South Africa’s first democractically elected president, was part of this protest. 

Two months later the CPSA was disbanded. As a result the ANC called for national mourning on this day to celebrate the lives of the 18 people who died in the protest. On December 1985, the South African Labour Federation Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) was formed. The organisation demanded that May Day be recognised as a public holiday. 

More than 1.5 million people heeded the call by COSATU. Rallies were held in major cities, even though many of these were banned by the state.  Premier Foods, the largest food producer, was the first employer to declare this day a public holiday. Even with the immense struggles of liberation movements such as COSATU salaries desparitiy is still a problem. 

The gap between income groups is getting wider, the unemployment figures are getting higher and more people are becoming dependent on social grants. Thus, the country needs more than just a holiday to show appreciation to the workers, but also implement policies and structures which will ensure that the country enjoys a healthy and diverse workforce.

02 May, 2013

Charlie, an angel of the game

Charlie Masetla (middle) and the netball players during training at Soshanguve Block CC sports complex.


Netball has been seen as a female dominated sport but Charlie Pheagane Masetla’s passion has turned him into a renowned netball coach in Soshanguve.
Born in Walamstal, the former Jomo Cosmos development side player who is now a warrant officer was introduced to netball 13 years ago by local netball legend Elizabeth Mathibela who encouraged him to overcome the odds and be part of the female dominated sports.

“Mrs Mathibela introduced me to this sport, I fell in love with it and within a month time I was a netball player”, said Charlie.
The former TUT netball coach is currently the head coach of Charlie’s Angels, a netball team which he founded in the year 2000 and has coached them ever since.

“The love for the game and these kids has kept me going with this team for over a decade”, he added.  He is also the coach of Regional team, Cluster Team and Police netball team

Under the leadership of Masetla, Charlie’s Angels have become a renowned team winning prestigious tournaments including Soshanguve District Netball Association (SODINA) League a record 8 times, Tshwane Challenge 3 consecutive times and Love Life Games 3 times in succession.

 He is seen by his team as an influential figure in their lives. He uses netball to impose positive attitudes on girls, advising them to be responsible netball players. 

“Our coach is not just an ordinary coach, he’s a role model, a father who helps with problems such as abuse, teenage pregnancy and how to be responsible. He is one of the important people in our lives”, said 18 year old Nomphelo Ngcingwane, under 19 captain.

The ardent coach encourages boys to play netball despite being female dominated. “Boys should play netball, it is a wonderful sport. I have a boy’s netball team and I have seen potential in them.” he said.