Safe and legal abortions via SMS


Fem is a new service that assists South Africans with legal and safe abortions. The service was created by the organisation, safe2choose, and launched on 24 February 2017. The project is currently in its pilot phase and being used only in Gauteng. Safe2choose is a social enterprise that offers counselling and information on safe abortions.

In a media statement, Fem’s Associate Programme Officer, Phephisile Mathizerd, said that 21.6 million unsafe abortions occur globally, with 18.5 million of those unsafe abortions occuring in developing countries like South Africa. Mathizerd said, “Unsafe abortions have a massive impact on young women – the members of local society most impacted by poverty and unemployment. Young women have huge potential when it comes to contributing positively to national development. It's imperative that we find a way to make the vision of the constitution real, and that we evolve into a society where all citizens have comprehensive access to sexual health services and information.” Mathizerd added, “Women who determine their pregnancy status within the first 12 weeks have many options, but the longer they wait to test, the fewer choices there are. Therefore, Fem by safe2choose places a strong emphasis on the speedy and efficient delivery of vital information.”

Read more: Safe and legal abortions via SMS

Campus News Bites 13 March 2017

Faculty of Theology celebrates centenary

UP’s Faculty of Theology held an event celebrating its centenary on Monday, 6 March. The faculty’s centenary message was that of an open gate, symbolising the invitation for those who are seeking to enter. “The original wooden gates of the University are symbollically fixed in an open position, never again to be closed, confessing to past exclusions and signifying our orientation towards the future,” stated the event’s programme.

At the end of the ceremony, a plaque was unveiled at the Theology Building by UP Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Cheryl de la Rey, during the Reinstating of the Gates Ceremony and Academic Opening of the Faculty in celebration of 100 years of academic excellence.


TuksLaw Moot best in South Africa

On 25 February, UP Faculty of Law’s TuksLaw Moot team beat University of the Witwatersrand in the final round of the South African leg of the 58th Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Competition. The event, hosted at White and Case LLP International Law Firm offices, saw UP win all categories of the competition – best memorials, best oralist and best overall team. UP will represent South Africa at the international rounds of the competition which will take place in April this year on Capitol Hill in Washington DC.


UP’s EMS faculty tops the 2017 QS World University Rankings

On 8 March, the 2017 QS World University Rankings by Subject were published. UP was ranked first in South Africa for Accounting and Finance, placing UP in the top 4% of all institutions ranked in the subject. UP came second in South Africa in the ranking for Economics and Econometrics, placing UP in the top 6% for all participating institutions. Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences Prof Elsabé Loots was quoted on the UP website saying “These rankings are a testament to the effort put in by the faculty to ensure that the programmes offered remain globally relevant and that our graduates can confidently compete in the job market.”


UP student receives scholarship to study in Amsterdam

UP Masters student in Old Testament Studies, Tshepiso Mashele was awarded a scholarship to study at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. According to the UP website, Mashele’s research focuses on prophetic literature combined with trauma theory. The scholarship covers travel and living expenses and provides for supervision by professors.


Olympus holds Around the World social

On 9 March, Olympus residence held their annual “Around the World” social at Die Windpomp, north of Pretoria. According to the Olympus Internal Culture HK Jaco Potgieter, their theme, “Netflix and Punch” was chosen because “movies and series [have] become such a big part of any young person” and included over a dozen punch

Scam artists at UP


According to a security alert e-mail circulated to staff members of the University of Pretoria, two male scam artists have been identified on campus.

The Department of Security Services said the men approached UP personnel members and pretended to be workers from Hewlett Packard. The alleged scam artists provided a fake but convincing Hewlett Packard document. They informed a personnel member that they needed to replace an outdated ink cartridge in their office, and thereafter removed the ink cartridges without returning with a replacement cartridge. Security Services Investigations Manager, Rowan Watson, could not comment on the situation as the incident has already been reported to the SAPS and was said to be “sub judice” (under judicial consideration, thus banned from public discussion). University of Pretoria Spokesperson, Candice Jooste, has however confirmed that “the safety of all students and employees is important to [the University] and [they have] put measures in place to ensure this”.

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Intervarsity News 13 March 2017

University of Johannesburg

On 2 March, the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Perskor Building was renamed Qoboza/Klaaste Building after prominent anti-apartheid journalists Percy Qoboza and Aggrey Klaaste.

In a statement released by the institution on 1 March, VC Prof. Ihron Rensburg describes the late journalists as leaders in the black consciousness movement through their news contributions.

According to News24, Qoboza’s editorial steering of The World led to it becoming the most widely circulated black newspaper in South Africa in 1974. The newspaper was banned in 1977. In 2000, the International Press Institute included Qoboza in its list of 50 World Press Freedom Heroes in the past 50 years.

Read more: Intervarsity News 13 March 2017

Halaal food petition to UP


Since 8 March, a petition to the University of Pretoria has been circulating on Twitter based on the issue of the lack of accessible Halaal food on Hatfield campus.

Hatfield campus contains the majority of UP’s Muslim student population as well as the Muslim Students Association (MSA).

According to the petition, a student who would like to remain anonymous wishes for the University to relocate the Halaal food outlet, “The Jaffel Lady,” on South campus to Hatfield campus. This outlet caters for Muslim students on South and Hatfield Campuses.

Read more: Halaal food petition to UP

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