DA lays charges against Cosatu

AFTER the violent clash between the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Cosatu in Braamfontein on Tuesday, the DA has laid an official charge of intimidation, inciting violence, and holding an illegal gathering against Cosatu at the Hillbrow police station.

Both sides have ­­accused each other of starting the violence by throwing rocks and stones after meeting on Jorissen Street. Several protesters and journalists were injured, including a Wits student, Dikeledi Selowa.

The march to  Cosatu House was to hand over a memorandum in support of youth wage subsidies, a proposal, that according to the DA would create 420 000 jobs for youths.

Cosatu had warned the DA against marching for the subsidy, as they directly oppose it and likened it to labour brokering which will encourage exploitation of workers.

Since the clash, a hailstorm of ‘he-said she-said’ comments flared across various media platforms.

DA leader Helen Zille took to Twitter to vehemently deny that DA supporters were involved in the violence, saying, “I was standing on a truck with a good 360 deg. view. I saw two rolled newspaper pages thrown by DA but no rocks or stones.”

DA leadership urged their supporters not retaliate to the Cosatu aggression, and started a chant of “We are peaceful”.

However, Star journalist Ihsaan Haffejee was quick to point out that he had taken photographs of marchers in DA shirts throwing rocks and other projectiles. Vuvuzela has similar photographs.

Patrick Craven, spokesperson for Cosatu said in a statement “COSATU, as it always does, condemns these acts of violence unreservedly, but stresses that the vast majority of its members conducted themselves with exemplary discipline and restraint, despite the provocative nature of the demands being made by the DA.”

DA Gauteng leader John Moodey accused the metro police at the march of bias. Supporters continually called out to the police to arrest Cosatu supporters who were “openly throwing rocks” in their direction.

One Cosatu supporter in an ANC Youth League t-shirt brandished a stun-gun and managed to stun some DA supporters. No attempt was made by the police to restrain or arrest him.

The police have come under further criticism, because of their initially weak presence and their inability to control the violence on both sides.

jay@witsvuvuzela.com

lisa@witsvuvuzela.com

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DA protest comes out red, black and blue

Published online on Wits Vuvuzela May 15 2012, the day of the protest

Tang Soo Do walks away with a 20 medal haul

Wits Tang Soo Do club brought home 20 medals from competing in the Free State Championships held in Bloemfontein last weekend.

The Korean martial arts club participated in the tournament alongside four other clubs from Bloemfontein, Johannesburg, Nelspruit and Randfontein.

“If you don’t train hard it’s not going to become muscle memory,” said Ané van der Merwe, co-chairperson of Tang Soo Do (TSD) club, at the team’s fitness session on Tuesday evening.

“Core stabilisation is essential for the [Tang Soo Do] fighting form, so we need to do as much of this sort of fitness as we can. That’s where all the power in our kicks comes from.”

Kathrijn Thys, the other co-chair said: “We try to participate in as many competitions as we can. It’s really important to participate in these events. At Bloem, five of our students won 20 medals together.”

There were two categories  the students could compete in.  The first was TSD, which involves sparring as well as tests of form. The second involves a separate fighting style using a Korean sword called Haedong Kumdo (HK).

Van der Merwe won five medals (two for HK and three for TSD) and walked away with the award for HK senior participant of the day.

Other Witsies who were part of the club’s trophy haul were Zama Mbambo (two medals for HK and three for TSD), Titus Masike (three medals  for TSD), Ngwato Kekana (two medals  for TSD).

Ranking with a medal position in this tournament also meets one of the requirements for students hoping to compete in the World Tang Soo Do Championships to be held next year. Thys, Van der Merwe and Masike could qualify since they won additional medals at the SA Champs in March.

Commenting on the club’s success, Thys, who was awarded  five medals (two for HK and three for TSD), said: “We have done very well this year with us competing well and having a large number of members join.

“Just last Tuesday and Thursday we had our club’s grading when a number of our white belts advanced to purple. Hopefully we can compete for Club of the Year again, which we won in 2010.”

DA protest comes out red, black and blue

STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY: JAN BORNMAN, JAY CABOZ AND LISA GOLDEN

Published online on Wits Vuvuzela May 15 2012, the day of the protest

Protesters and journalists were tear-gassed by police after Democratic Alliance (DA) and Cosatu supporters clashed in Braamfontein today over proposed youth wage subsidies.

The march turned violent after blue-shirted members of the DA and red-shirted Cosatu supporters met on Jorissen Street. The Johannesburg Metro Police made a human chain to keep the two groups separated as they shouted insults at each other. This did not stop supporters from both sides throwing rocks, bottles, bricks and placards at each other across the police chain.

Fighting also broke out on Stiemens Street after police used tear gas to disperse the crowd. A 30-minute stand-off ensued while the DA leadership urged their supporters to maintain a non-violent stance, shouting “we want peace”, amid renditions of the national anthem.

Rocks and bricks were hurled from both sides injuring protestors and journalists alike, among them Nickolaus Bauer from the Mail and Guardian, who was photographed with a bloodied face. A number of injuries have been reported in the media.

DA national leader Helen Zille, parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko, youth leader Makashule Gana and national spokesperson Mmusi Maimane led the march which was in support of the implementation of youth wage subsidies; a proposal rejected by Cosatu.

Mazibuko and Zille addressed the crowds calling for Cosatu to “join the DA” and saying “that they were stealing jobs from the youth.”

The two groups clashed repeatedly on several Braamfontein streets with the police, who appeared largely disorganised, responding with tear gas and water cannons.

For more photographs go to Vuvuzela, Lisa’s blog and Jan’s blog

Photographers in Action

Someone asked me yesterday after the clashes: “Were you really in there?”

I thought the best way to illustrate the closeness journalists go was to create this small section. I will post another link on my projects page later today.

Competing for top 100 spot requires upgrading

To achieve the proposed top 100 ranking in the next 10 years Wits needs to address issues that other more established European and American institutions do not face, according to the university’s Strategic Planning Division (SPD).

On its website, the SPD said the university needs to address these specifically African complications in order to reach the prestigious spot and compared the challenge of maintaining league table rankings to “operating on shifting sand”.

Reaching the top 100 spot will require continuous improvement of the quality of Wits’ teaching and research outputs according to the SPD’s Vision 2022 strategic framework.

One of the ways the university hopes to achieve this is by upgrading and building more facilities that are capable of generating a higher standard of research projects.

This in turn will attract highly talented students from around the world and provide an exceptional student-centred and research-driven experience.

Wits also plans to increase improve postgraduate enrolment said Prof Loyiso Nongxa, Vice Chancellor. Nongxa said all the planned improvements require greater financial investment and the university had set aside R1.2-billion for infrastructure development. Nongxa said the programme is starting to show results.

The Wits Art Museum, located at University Corner is set to open on May 19. The urban regeneration project cost the university R40 million and will showcase some of the 9 000 African artworks collected over the university’s 90 years.

The student residence in Parktown, Wits Junction, cost R511 million and is expected to raise the residence capacity of Wits campus by 25%.

Wits has also completed the FNB Building, the New Science Stadium and the upgrade to the Chamber of Mines Building since the project’s introduction by the vice chancellor when it began in 2007.

The implementation of these building projects is aimed at consolidating the university’s status as an intellectual powerhouse by 2015, according to an SPD statement.

Wits is currently ranked 251-275, alongside Stellenbosch university, according to the Times Higher Education World Rankings (THES).

On its website the SPD outlines some of the challenges African countries encounter when competing for ranking in systems such as THES.

These ranking systems can be ignorant of social and economical contexts; tend to focus on research in hard sciences rather than other subjects; rank universities on general rather than specific institutional performances and rely heavily on public perception.

Related Articles

Wits 90 Years for Freedom – Read about the Vuvuzelas front page image.

Wits winners – Read about the achivements of Witsies

Witsies over the edge – Read about those Witsies that have gone bad

Senior executives hand over baton -It has been confirmed that the vice-chancellor and deputy vice-chancellor (DVC) of finance and operations will leave Wits by May next year.

Visit Jays Blog for more articles and for more Projects by Jay Caboz

Visit the Wits Vuvuzela page for even of campus news!

90 Years for Freedom

The 13th edition of the Vuvuzela has a new design!

The image is a photographic composite of an image from the Wits Archives of political activity on campus, right, and life at Wits now, left. In this edition, we took a look back at how the university has evolved to its present state, and what it is doing to become one of the top 100 universities in the world.

Image by Jay Caboz

2012 May Week 1 Images

Study time, Jose Caboz and Peter Magubane.

jaycabozphotography2012
Peter Mogubane with the Wits Journalism team

jaycabozphotography2012
Jose Caboz walking around on his garden route with Rico. Every now and then we try to get a photo of him.

jaycabozphotography2012
Sunset in my room, guess who was studying? Caryn Upton thats who. I loved the colour of the sunset offset with the silhouette of the burglar bars.