Intervarsity News 24 July 2017

North West University (NWU-PUKKE)

NWU-Pukke has withdrawn its suspension on a student who was accused of contravening the university’s social media policy due to his response to being called a monkey on Facebook. On 17 July, News24 reported that Jeandré Goliath had been suspended over his reaction to being called an ape by Hanno Bisschoff and would face disciplinary charges over “social media abuses”.

On 18 July, Vice-Chancellor of NWU-Pukke, Prof. Dan Kgwadi, released a statement saying he had decided to withdraw the case against Goliath as “evidence to be presented [did] not clearly justify the continuation of the matter”.

According to the statement, on 30 May, Bisschoff was fined R5 000 and was given a two year suspended sentence.


Stellenbosch University (SU)

On 12 July, the three SU students who were linked to posting Nazi-like posters on the SU campus in May, were found guilty by the university’s central disciplinary committee. The posters which drew from Nazi propaganda were titled “the Anglo-Afrikaner student”, and called on students to “fight for Stellenbosch”.

According to Huffington Post, the guilty students are each required to perform 100 hours of community service by the end of the first semester of 2018. Sixty of those hours have to have been completed by the end of the 2017 academic calendar. Furthermore, they need to complete a “restorative assignment” to help them “constructively engage on campus and address different narratives”. The assignment has to be submitted by February 2018. The remaining 40 hours of their community service has to incorporate the ideas they would have highlighted in the assignment.


University of Cape Town (UCT)

Two UCT SRC members are facing charges following allegations of rape and sexual harassment. According to News 24, “over thirty cases of rape and sexual assault were reported at the University of Cape Town” in 2016. In a statement released by the UCT SRC, the two men, Sinawo Thambo and Masixole Mlandu, were allegedly “unanimously” suspended from the SRC in an “effort to advance the fight [against] gender-based violence”.

Tuks FM’s 67 hours for media freedom


From 15 to 18 July, Tuks FM had a non-stop 67 hour-long drive by three of its presenters – Caitlin Webb, Nathi Dlamini and Duane van Wyk – in celebration of Mandela Day. Mandela Day took place on 18 July.

Coined #TuksFm67HoursBroadcastForMediaFreedom, it was the station’s way of commemorating Mandela Day.

As Mandela was historically revered as being the voice of the oppressed, Patrick Maloyi, Station Manager at Tuks FM, said, “The broadcast will serve as a reminder that many, like Madiba, gave up their freedom so that we can enjoy ours.”

In a press release statement, Maloyi said “with concern” that freedom of expression has been under attack where South Africa has seen “recent events spotlighting the intimidation of journalists”. “Freedom of expression is entrenched in the constitution thus it should be protected,” he added.

Campus News Bites

Blind cricketer graduates 
On 3 May, Kenneth Mabelane, a national blind cricketer, graduated with a degree in Music. According to an article posted on UP’s website, Mabelane has already released a song called “Make it better”, which is available online. “He will not let anything stop him from pursuing his dream of becoming an established musician,” the article said. Like any other journey, Mabelane’s has not been short of challenges. “You will always have issues with yourself,” he is quoted as saying. He chooses to draw strength from the guru Sri Ravi Shankar, who says that it is important for people to never “lose [their] smile and equanimity even for a moment”. Apart from continuing to pursue a music and sporting career, he hopes to further his studies in law and sports journalism.

Alleged kidnapping 12 May


What seems to have been a domestic dispute in Hatfield, left students at UP fearing for their safety after a social media storm erupted spreading false information.
On 11 May around midnight, National Media Liaison of the Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command, Naledi Chirwa tweeted, “A woman was abducted at gunpoint at McDonald’s Hatfield. Please call your sisters, friends, daughters who attend UP, live in the area.” A student who witnessed the altercation said, “around 19:30 in McDonald’s I saw people running for their lives,” adding that “you can see that they were running from something and it looked really serious, most of them were dressed in their pajamas”. Lindokuhle Segage, a BA Law student at UP confirmed that she had seen “a commotion” (near the Fields) with a group of girls in their pajamas.The eyewitness said that they had seen two men running, who were perceived to have “a weapon to use it on the large group of people, who ran for their lives”. Danie Basson, CID Chief Operation Officer confirmed it was “a domestic dispute with a third party involved. No cases opened. No kidnapping…”

UP’s first PPE students graduate


On 9 May, UP students Ciaran Burks and Keah Challenor become UP’s first students to graduate with a triple major in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.

The BSocSci undergraduate degree, of the Humanities faculty, was established at UP in 2013. According to the official undergraduate handbook, the qualification is an internationally recognised ‘brand’ that allows its graduates entry into various career fields that include economic and political policy-making, journalism and diplomatic service.

Keah Chancellor said that although the degree “certainly was not easy”, she feels that she has a broad knowledge of several disciplines and believes that she has received a well-rounded education. She added that she has learnt more about the world and about herself and that she feels fortunate to have had the opportunity to study in a field so intellectually demanding.

The degree has become popular among some of the world’s global elite, with former British Prime Minister David Cameron and media mogul, Rupert Murdoch, having both studied the degree at Oxford.

Challenor is now completing her honours in Philosophy at UP, while Burks is in the process of completing his honours in Economics at Wits.

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