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LUTHO MTONGANA: A proposal to change the names of campus buildings by political new kids in the block, Wits Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), was welcomed with backlashes at the SRC General Elections Great Debate today.

Wits EFF chairperson, Vuyani Pambo, said they  aim to change the names of buildings on campus to honour those of “Africa’s heroes” including the Great Hall which served as the venue for the debate.

“I think it’s important that we locate ourselves so that we know where we are sitting, we are in Africa by the way but the buildings around us do not signify that … You would think in a university where [Robert] Sobukwe lectured, that hall will bear that powerful man’s name on it,” said Pambo.

Published in Vuvuzela News

DYLAN FLOWERDAY: SRC member for transformation and student success Nthabiseng Nooe hosted a forum last Wednesday which discussed the role of student governance.

The discussion focused on why student governance exists, ways to tackle student apathy, ways the SRC can be more effective, and what services the SRC should provide.

Students who attended the forum pointed out that there is a lack of communication between the SRC and students, and said that the SRC does not seem to be taken seriously by either students or UP management.

Published in Perdeby News

BOIPELO BOIKHUTSO: The EFF Tuks branch was officially launched on 6 August at the Graduate Centre. At the launch, new executive committee members were elected. Each member introduced themselves to the crowd with a unique EFF chant.

EFF Tuks secretary Jaco Oelofse said that three candidates affiliated with the EFF will contest the SRC elections. He added that the party has an alliance with the Young Socialist Student Society.

“Due to our new presence on campus, we are still finding our place. However, we are deeply committed to deal with the issues of the working class student,” Oelofse said. He said that although the EFF will focus on “the struggles of black working class students”, they will not alienate other students.

Published in Perdeby News

QUENTIN COETZEE: A decision has been taken to establish an ad-hoc committee to investigate the President's response to the Public Protector's Nkandla report. That report was released five months ago, and the fact that Zuma keeps delaying his response makes it seem like he is just trying to avoid punishment, if his previous actions in this matter haven’t already rung alarm bells.

While there have been a fair share of distractions from the whole Nkandla issue, there are a few questions about who is at fault for letting this get out of hand: the Parliamentarians or the people? That is more 'chicken or the egg' logic speaking when the real problem is how the rooster, who is now known to steal almost all the food, has been allowed to remain.

Thuli Madonsela's report on Nkandla, where she found that Zuma unduly benefited from the upgrades, was released in March and she had recommended that he repay some of the costs for non-security features. Considering his defence of Nkandla and its costs, including the ‘I didn’t ask for this, so why should I pay’ line, that action is as likely to be taken as him resigning from office on ethical grounds.

Published in Varsity Opinion

DEAN HORWITZ: Just two months after winning the Golden Ball at the FIFA World Cup, Lionel Messi is back in the headlines, except this time it’s for all the wrong reasons. Messi and his father, Jorge, stand accused of tax evasion to the tune of 5.3 million dollars, an allegation both of them deny. If found guilty, the player and his father could face up to six years in prison and a hefty fine of up to 32 million dollars. 

Messi and his father were officially charged with tax evasion by the Spanish government in September last year. They, together with Messi’s former agent, were all charged with creating an elaborate scheme to conceal his finances using banks and shell companies in the UK, Uruguay, Switzerland and Belize. The charges allege that false tax returns were submitted in an attempt to defraud the Spanish Government of more than three million dollars between 2006 and 2009.

Published in Varsity Sport

VUYELWA MFEKA:  recent discussion about the current Gaza crisis revealed that the issue has generated much concern within the Rhodes University community. The discussion, hosted by the Rhodes University Palestinian Solidarity Forum, drew a large audience interested in finding ways in which South African citizens can show their support for the people of Gaza.

Shawan Jabarin, general director of the Palestinian human rights organization Al Haq, joined the discussion via Skype from Ramallah in the Palestinian West Bank. Jabarin spoke about the humanitarian situation in Gaza. He also stressed the need for South Africa, as a formerly segregated country, to support Palestine’s struggle for independence. “You have experienced the suffering,” he said in reference to South Africa’s apartheid past.

Published in Oppidan Press News

MICHAL-MARÉ LINDEN AND MAXINE TWADDLE: UP will not make a decision on splitting residences this year. Instead, the proposal to make Olienhout, Inca and Jasmyn exclusively first-year residences, and Boekenhout, Asterhof and Lillium exclusively senior residences has been postponed for further discussion on the proposed model or an alternative model.

The decision to split the residences was initially announced on 26 June and was opposed by the university’s residences, who felt that they had not been properly consulted.

Published in Perdeby News

ELMARIE KRUGER: For nearly 20 years, Zelda La Grange dedicated her life to former president Nelson Mandela as his personal assistant. In her personal memoir Good Morning, Mr Mandela, La Grange recounts both her life before working for Mandela as well as the years she spent by his side. The book is well-organised in a chronological sense, beginning with La Grange’s childhood.

In the first section of the book La Grange speaks of her formative years, which were spent in a conservative Afrikaans household in the midst of the apartheid regime. Here she admits that at the tender age of 13 she had already been conditioned to think like a racist without ever questioning the reason for the apartheid government’s existence or its actions.

Published in Perdeby Entertainment

MAXINE TWADDLE: Students at the North-West University (NWU)’s Potchefstroom campus held the first protest in the campus’s history yesterday.

The protest formed part of the SalJyOpstaan campaign, which aims to fight for the continued use of Afrikaans on campus, transformation, and human rights. The campaign also seeks to eradicate the negative views of the Potchefstroom campus following media reports on residence traditions.

Published in Perdeby News

MAXINE TWADDLE: The Centre for Human Rights, linked to UP’s Faculty of Law, has called for the South African government to exert pressure on its Swaziland counterpart to release UP alumni Thulani Maseko.

Maseko was convicted with contempt of court on 27 July. He has been sentenced to two years in prison. The prosecution had asked for the harshest possible sentence, which was three years in prison.

Published in Perdeby News
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