AMF activist Luvuyo Menziwa found guilty

Ditebogo Tshaka and Ntombi Mkandhla

Notable Afrikaans Must Fall activist and former UP SRC member, Luvuyo Menziwa, was found guilty of hate speech and incitement of violence on 9 March by the Equality Court Pretoria for his 2016 Facebook post. In it, he said, “F**k white people, just get me a bazooka or AK47 so I can do the right thing and kill these demon possed people [sic]”.

On 8 September 2016, Afriforum Youth Tukkies Branch submitted a memorandum of demands to UP regarding Menziwa’s Facebook post. Therein they demanded that Menziwa be expelled from UP with immediate effect, and that UP enforce it’s policies on hate speech among other things. Afriforum Youth also opened a case of intimidation against Menziwa at the Brooklyn SAPS. The case was then referred to the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks).

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The Fulbright Foreign Student Program

Alison Massey

The Fulbright Program is a scholarship program that awards funding to exceptional students of any field of study to complete research and further study in the USA. The program is focused towards prospective master’s and doctoral (Ph.D.) students and has helped students from 180 countries, including 35 from Africa, to gain placement and funding at over a thousand US graduate schools. Senator J. William Fulbright began the program shortly after World War II. On 8 March, Perdeby attended a conference and gathered some of the information prospective applicants may need before they consider applying to the program.

If you are currently studying towards an Honours degree or are in the fourth year of a degree equivalent to a US four-year degree, you are most likely eligible to apply for the master’s program. To apply for the doctorate program, you should already have completed or be in the final year of a master’s degree. The program offers two years of full funding for one degree (a master’s or doctorate), including living expenses on a “typical student budget” and in some cases textbooks. If your Ph.D. research runs over more than two years, you will have to fund your own studies from the third year onwards, although it was emphasised that many Fulbright students have received offers from their universities for further research funding.

Read more: The Fulbright Foreign Student Program

Firearm discharged at a popular student bar

Ditebogo Tshaka

In the early hours of 9 March, a firearm is believed to have been discharged inside a popular bar, The Jolly Rodger, on Lynnwood Road.

A video circulated on social media showing the outside of the establishment, when what sounds like a gunshot is heard. After the sound, shouts can be heard from The Jolly Rodger patrons, who then begin to run away from the entrance.

“One of the security guys shot one shot, after knocking out two guys with [a baton]” an eyewitness to the incident who wishes to remain anonymous, recalled.

According to a bartender of the clubhouse, who wishes to remain anonymous, “there was [an] unfortunate incident of violence last night where unknown clients attacked a security guard.”

Management of The Jolly Rodger confirmed the incident to Perdeby. “Scuffles ensued between the security company appointed by T.J.R and the unsavoury elements, when these elements tried to force their way into T.J.R. At this time, management cleared T.J.R via the emergency escape route and the police were summoned immediately. All clients were evacuated within 3 minutes. Police arrived on site without delay” said T.J.R. management. . “T.J.R is very grateful that nobody was injured in the process. Once the premises were entirely closed off, the situation was discussed with the SAPS and handed over to them.”

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The transformation of Pretoria’s heritage landscape

Mbali Mkhithi

The Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, gave feedback on the ministerial task team’s investigation into the transformation of the country’s heritage landscape. According to this feedback, Pretoria is to keep its name and the statue of Paul Kruger on Church Square. The response is a result of the national consultative meeting that was convened by the minister in 2015 following the #RhodesMustFall protests ignited by UCT students, where students destroyed statues of colonial figures which led to a wider movement to decolonise education. The process initiated by Mthethwa in 2015 was a reaction to the controversy surrounding statues in public spaces and the national debate over the transformation of the heritage landscape in order to foster a new national identity.

At the time of this movement and controversy, the statue of Paul Kruger on Church Square was fenced off as it was also under threat of being vandalised since it was considered to be a colonial and apartheid-era monument. The chairperson of the South African Geographic Names Council, Johnny Mohlala, told Pretoria News that the brass statue of Kruger and his burghers would remain as part of the redevelopment of Church Square and will be joined by Kgosi Mampuru II, whom the Pretoria central prison was named after. Pretoria residents should expect to see, as part of the plan, new statues in conversation. Among the resolutions taken by the ministerial task team was the need to create national consciousness and civic awareness using shared symbols such as the flag and national anthem, while offensive names and other "symbols of hate" should be removed. Where such symbols reflected separate histories, an idea was birthed to create public spaces where they may be retained but grouped with others to offer a narrative of our shared history. This compromise can be seen in Pretoria, where streets such as Hans Strijdom and Voortrekker have been renamed to Solomon Mahlangu and Steve Biko respectively. Pretoria also has Steve Biko Hospital and Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University and new monuments such as Freedom Park and the Living Women’s Monument.

Read more: The transformation of Pretoria’s heritage landscape

International students delayed in beginning the academic year


A number of international students raised complaints concerning their inability to return to South Africa to commence the academic year as their study VISAs had expired and they were awaiting their renewal by relevant international bodies.

Visa and Permit Faculty Centre (VFS) Global which is an organisation that is responsible for renewing students VISAs had started the VISA renewal procedure and as a result, students had to wait until their VISAs were ready for collection. Due to this process, international students did not start their academic programme on time.

The VFS worked on a first-come-first-serve basis which meant that the renewal of students’ VISAs was dependent on how early they submitted their applications.

The SRC raised this issue on social media to attract the attention of such students. According to the International Students Office on UP main campus, large numbers of students who were unable to come to South Africa were from Zimbabwe and Swaziland.

Read more: International students delayed in beginning the academic year

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