When intersectionality fails among student leaders


A discussion on the future of student movements across the country resulted in a walkout of almost all the participants at a Jozi Book Fair event at the Wits’ Science Stadium yesterday evening.

The panel discussion about where the student movement is heading after #FeesMustFall hosted a number of representatives from tertiary institutions across the country. The discussion ended in the walkout after panellists ignored the rules to allow each other to speak without interruption. Ncedisa Mpemnyama (Black First Land First) and Shaeera Kalla (Wits PYA) ended up in an argument over the interruptions while Fallist Thenjiwe Mswane expressed her fury at the behaviour of the panel and some members of the audience which seemed to spark the walkout.

Sparks flew right at the beginning of the debate when Mpemnyama proposed that white people should leave the venue “because of the symbolic and historical nature of the issue of financial exclusion on higher education”.  Oupa Lehulere, the moderator, objected to his  request saying that the issue permeates all the levels of society.  A number of other members in the half-filled auditorium also rejected the idea, despite one white individual leaving almost immediately as a result.

Kalla, one of the leaders of the 2015 Fees Must Fall protests, said students need to be introspective about their hypocrisy and move past party politics in order to make a progress in their cause.  “We need to chart a new path and we need to be changing power structures,” said Kalla.

Palesa Mcophela of UWC EFF Student Command, said last year’s 0% fee increment came through blood, sweat and tears.  “When 0% increase was announced, we had been shot,” she said. She then called for all student leaders to be self-less in the struggle for free education.

Mpemnyama said he doesn’t take seriously people who have betrayed the student struggle.  He spoke of how some students claimed an undeserved victory on Fees Must Fall while they went against the mandate given to them by students.  “If we don’t speak the politics of truth, this country will be a failed banana republic,” he said.

Nthabiseng Nooe from the University of Pretoria told the audience of her disappointment on how the government reacted to the Fees Must Fall movement last year, saying the government reacted as if “we were forty years back”.

“My expectation was that the minister of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET, Blade Nzimande) would discourage us from protesting because of the implications a protest would have on our future or psychological state, but his fear was about what his (Nzimande’s) government would do to us,” said Nooe.  She said although political ideology is important, there is a need for students and the broader community to unite.

There is still uncertainty about the potential increase in higher education fees in 2016 with reports circulating this weekend that university councils are likely to propose an 8% fee increment for next year.


Missing UJ student found in Cape Town


University of Johannesburg (UJ) student, Ronewa Mamburu, who has been missing for over two weeks was found last Thursday in “a place of safety”, in Cape Town, according to his uncle.   Justice Mamburu said he personally followed a lead to Cape Town and found Mamburu without the assistance of South Africa Police Service (SAPS) officials.

“I did my own investigation without any assistance from the police or anybody else”, Ronewa’s uncle.

According to the family, Mamburu, 19, was unharmed when he was found. Justice Mamburu said the family are allowing him time to settle down but he will be examined by a psychologist to check on his mental state.

Mamburu’s mother, Mkhumeleni Mamburu, said she is happy and relieved that her son has been found him safe.  “I am very happy that we found him.  I spoke to him over the phone yesterday and he sounds alright”, she said.

Mamburu is currently with his uncle in Welkom and the family say they have no explanation for his disappearance. “I didn’t want to ask him a lot of things at this point.  I think he will speak when he’s ready and tell us what led him to leave without saying anything”, said Mkhumeleni Mamburu.

Mamburu, a second year mechanical engineering student, went missing on his way from his home in Limpopo to UJ’s Robin Crest residence at the Doornfontein Campus during the weekend of July 30.

ANC loses support in student areas


Results from wards heavily subscribed by Johannesburg students show a decrease in support for the ruling ANC (African National Congress).  The governing party lost support by over 18 percent in Braamfontein with areas like Parktown and Melville also seeing a comparative decline.

At Wits University’s Old Mutual Sports Hall, 848 people voted out of 2 513 that were registered, a significantly low voter turnout.  Of those 848 votes, the ANC secured 47.08%, EFF 32.78% and the DA 16.75%.

Braamfontein itself saw extremely low voter turnout with a mere 5 624 voters making their mark out of over fifteen thousand registered voters. The ANC won Braamfontein followed by the EFF with 21.78% and the DA at 16.90%.

At Wits’ Education Campus in Parktown, the ANC slipped by over 11 percent to 29.09%, with the DA (Democratic Alliance), securing the majority of the votes at 50.56%.  Overall, the ANC won Parktown by 53.32% losing some 9% of the votes they had secured in the same area in 2011. The DA followed by 30, while the EFF secured 12.62%.  Melville was won outright by the DA with 79.63%.

While it may appear that the EFF has made a dent in the solid supporter base of the ANC, independent political analyst, Dr Somadoda Fikeni feels others reasons are at play. “The party’s (ANC) leader was limping from one crisis to another and that posed a reputational risk especially among urban workers and middle-class voters”, said Fikeni.  Fikeni added that the party failed to read the mood in order re-package itself.  “During the electioneering, they were still using the old messages of liberation”, he said.

Ward Councillors

The ANC’s Nokuthula Xaba is now the ward councillor of Braamfontein while  Martha Mazibuko of the ANC will be the councillor for Parktown while Bridget Steer of the DA will lead Melville.

Over 2 million voters cast their votes in the City of Johannesburg area on August, 3.  There were 270 municipal seats for parties to occupy.  The ANC got 121 seats with over a million votes, the DA received 104 seats with just under a million votes, whereas the EFF had 30 seats.


  Wits’ Old Mutual Sport Hall  Wits’ Education Campus, Parktown Parktown Melville
ANC 396 47.08 313 29.09 2 596 53.32 235 13.19
EFF 278 32.78 173 16.00 613 12.59 83 4.66
DA 141 16.75 544 50.56 1 491 30.62 1 419 79.63
ACDP 8 0.95 6 0.56 13 0.27 7 0.39
COPE 8 0.95 8 0.74 27 0.55    
UDM 4 0.48         7 0.39
AIC 3 0.36 6 0.56 65 1.33
IFP 8 0.74 28 0.58
ALJAMA 11 0.62
VF Plus 8 0.45

Wits ladies shine on home turf


Wits University’s two ladies’ basketball teams got off to a flying start in this year’s Wits Lady Bucks tournament winning all their matches against visiting teams from around southern Africa.

Playing at home, Wits Buck Ladies (WBL) opened their account with a close 27-20 victory over The Glen High School in court A.  The Bucks then brushed aside neighbours Deutsche Schule Johannesburg (DSJ), 45-22.

A second Wits team, the Wits Lady Bucks (WLB) followed suit with another impressive start defeating Soweto Raptors 54-32 in the opening game. They will play their second game tomorrow evening.

21 matches were scheduled on Women’s Day but only 20 took place as the Mozambique versus Phoenix Flames game was postponed to Saturday, August 13.

The tournament, held in honour of women’s month, includes teams from different parts of the southern Africa including Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland along with local campus teams.

  • ATown Ladies 56-14 Deutsche Schule Johannesburg (DSJ)
  • Jozi Nuggets 34-40 North-West University (Vaal Campus)
  • Griffinz 36-30 Katlehong Pelicans
  • Michael Mount Waldorf 65-22 Monash SA
  • Deutsche Internationa le Schule 30-49 Lakers Basketball Club Jnr
  • ATown Ladies 53-31 The Glen High School
  • Chisz Basketball Team 21-24 Katlehong Pelicans
  • Katlehong Pelicans 49-11 Monash SA
  • Lakers Basketball Club Snr 41-49 VandJ Women’s Basketball
  • North-West University 23-30 VandJ Women’s Basketball
  • Jozi Nuggets 43-47 Lakers Basketball Club Snr

Family speaks about missing UJ student


The mother of missing University of Johannesburg (UJ) student, Ronewa Mamburu says she is devastated by her 19-year-old son’s disappearance. Speaking to Wits Vuvuzelaearlier today, Mkhumeleni Mamburu says ongoing rumours about the case are makes things worse.  “I can’t explain how I am feeling … I  didn’t even wake up today, something I am not used to”, says Mkhumeleni.

Mamburu, a second year mechanical engineering student, went missing on his way from  his home in Limpopo to UJ’s Robin Crest residence at the Doornfontein campus during the weekend of July 30. He was last seen near the Gautrain train station in Johannesburg soon after disembarking the bus he was travelling in.  According to reports given to the family, Mamburu apparently waited at the station for a friend while other passengers dispersed.

Mamburu’s uncle, Justice Mamburu, says the investigating officer has now received the relevant authorisation to access Mamburu’s phone and banking records to allow police to widen their investigation. Justice says he called Mamburu on July 30 and 31, but found that the missing man’s phone was off. “I called his mom to double-check if indeed he left home on Saturday.  They told me he did and they couldn’t get him on his phone,” said Justice.

The family say they also followed up information from one of Mamburu’s friends that the young man had travelled to Pretoria to visit a friend. According to his uncle, Mamburu never visited his girlfriend and the friend later confessed to lying.

The case is being handled by the Hillbrow Police Station and the investigation into the phone and bank records, according to Justice Mamburu, is expected to last about a week.

South Africans at the gates of greatness in Rio


With the scene beautifully set at the renowned Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro this morning, the opening ceremony signalled the official start of an intense excitement of 42 Olympic sport disciplines in one place.

The vivid ceremony celebrated not only Brazil’s multi-ethnic history, but global diversity as well.  Samba music, with a bit of cat walk by supermodel Gisele set the scene before fireworks were shot from the Olympics rings.

Carlos Nuzman, president of the Rio 2016 Committee welcomed the world to the city. “I am talking to the whole planet.  We welcome you to Rio, the Olympic city. We stand to deliver history. The Olympic dream is now a wonderful reality” said Nuzman in his address.

The South African team was led by the sprinter, Wayde van Niekerk, as the flag bearer for the first time. Our team stood out because they were wearing tracksuits whereas many other athletes turned out in formal wear. This received a mixed reaction back home, but Fox Sports gave the South African outfit top marks.

However, the mood is one of adrenaline-filled anticipation. South Africa has sent 137 athletes to carry the country’s flag in the Olympics for the 19th time in the history of the games. The country has 76 medals, of which 23 are gold, 26 silver and 27 bronze.

These records may not speak well for a country of South Africa’s standard in resources, yet in Wayde van Niekerk, Caster Simenya, Daryl Impey, SA Sevens, Banyana Banyana, Amaglug-glug, and many others, the country has all it takes to achieve the 10 medal target and upset the best-laid plans of countries who have dominated the Olympics over the years.

South African schedule of athletes who will be participating this weekend till Monday is as follows:

Date Event Participants
Sat, 06 August(2:30PM) Cycling(Men’s Road Race) Daryl Impey and Louis Meintjes
Sat, 06 August(3:30PM) Rowing(Men’s coxless pair) Shaun Keeling and Lawrence Brittain
Sat, 06 August Swimming(400m individual medley) Michael Julian Meyer (heat 2) and Sebastian Rousseau (heat 4)
Sat, 06 August(6:02PM) Swimming(400m freestyle)  Myles Brown (heat 5)
Sat, 06 August(8:04PM) Swimming(100m breaststroke) Cameron van der Burgh (heat 5)
Sun, 07 August(12:00AM) Football(Women’s tournament) Banyana Banyana vs China
Sun, 07 August(3:10PM) Rowing(Women’s coxless pair) Lee-Ann Persse and Kate Christowitz
Sun, 07 August(3:40PM) Rowing(Women’s lightweight double sculls) Ursula Grobler and Kirsten McCann
Sun, 07 August(4:20PM) Rowing(Men’s lightweight double sculls) James Thompson and John Smith
Sun, 07 August(5:00PM) Rowing(Men’s coxless four) SA four
Sun, 07 August(6:19PM) Swimming(Men’s 200m freestyle) Chad le Clos (heat 5) and Myles Brown (heat 5)
Sun, 07 August(7:16PM) Swimming(Men’s 100m backstroke) Christopher Reid (heat 4)
Mon, 08 August(12:00AM) Football(Men’s u/23 tournament) SA under 23 vs Denmark
Mon, 08 August(6:34PM) Swimming(Men’s 200m butterfly) Chad le Clos (heat 2) and Sebastian Rousseau (heat 4)


Please note: Gymnastics are not included because for the first few days it will only be qualifying.