PRESS POWER: Human rights ‘defender’ and journalist Rafael Marques de Morais received a standing ovation for his address at Power Reporting’s third Carlos Cardoso memorial lecture. Photo: Zelmarie Goosen
Standing in solidarity with imprisoned Ethiopian journalists, Rafael Marques de Morais received a standing ovation from fellow journalists and other guests, at the Carlos Cardoso memorial lecture held this evening at Wits University.
Human rights activist and journalist, de Morais delivered the address for Power Reporting’s third Carlos Cardoso memorial lecture. He stressed the importance of investigative journalism in advancing democracy and defending the freedom of expression in the face of opposition and fear incited by government authorities.
Driven by “national and civic conscience”, de Morais says he is proud of his work in defending the rights of fellow Angolan citizens through the exposure of conflict diamonds and corruption. “Journalists should defend constitutional rights”, he said to a packed auditorium.
De Morais criticized the Ethiopian government as an enemy to journalism for arresting and imprisoning journalists. “Journalists and human rights campaigners must be embarrassed for doing little to support our peers in Ethiopia.”
He also called for a campaign to move the African Union, currently based in Ethiopia, to a country that respects human rights.
Although the challenges of investigative journalists have not changed since de Morais started practicing, he says the Internet has proven to be an advantage in publishing content and reaching wider audiences. De Morais has started his own watchdog website Maka Angola which exposes corruption through his investigations.
De Morais told Wits Vuvuzela that as the values in society have deteriorated, so has the quality of investigative journalism. He says investigative journalists can combat opposition if they realise “government officials are men and women like us”. He says we can limit their abuse of power because “the power comes from the people”.
De Morais said he corresponded with but never met Carlos Cardoso, in whose name the lecture was given. Cardoso, a journalist and a Witsie, was murdered in Maputo in 2000 while working on a investigation into fraud at a major bank.
This article was featured in the Wits Vuvuzela.
The unidentified body of a small child was discovered in a plastic bag outside Wits University residence Noswall Hall earlier this evening.
A homeless child picked up the bag on Empire Road after it was dropped off by someone in a passing car. The child picked up the packet thinking it contained “something nice,” according to Campus Control officer George Masilo. The child walked up Bertha street and only discovered the body in the packet when he opened it outside Noswall Hall.
The child is still being questioned by the police and was not able to speak to Wits Vuvuzela. His friends, while reluctant to answer other questions, said the car that dropped the packet off was a VW Polo. At the scene, the police cordoned off the body with barricade tape and cones, and a police car blocked off onlookers. The body, which bystanders say was wrapped in cello tape, was covered by an insulation blanket. The police were not able to make a statement.
“How dare they … how can you do this to a baby!” said Palesa Hlungwane, 1st year BA, who lives in Diamond House. “What about conscience? What about maternal attachments?”
“I feel bad, it’s so bad to have so many irresponsible mothers in this day and age,” says Nonkululeko Njilo, 1st year BA from Diamond House. “I feel like we’re a lost generation.”
This article was featured in the Wits Vuvuzela.
Solar cars are raced all over the world, but the South African race is unique in that it is based on distance, not speed, said team manager Kamil Midor. Midor is a visiting lecturer in the Wits School of Mechanical, Industrial and Aeronautical Engineering.
The cars will travel a distance of 2000km on the main route with campsites every 230km. Cars can expand the distance travelled up to 6000km by doing loops that vary between 58km and 132km. “The final winner is the car that travelled the longest distance during the period of eight days,” said Midor. Each day the cars must reach the designated finish line by 5.30pm. Cars unable to meet the daily deadline will be towed to the destination by a trailer and only the distance covered on the road will be counted.
Wits participated in the race for the first time in 2012 and came fourth. Learning from the previous competition, they built the new car with improvements. “It’s much lighter, much more energy efficient than before,” said Midor.
This is one of the cheapest cars in the competition, and it cost R130 000 to make it, said Midor. The car can convert 22% of the sun’s energy into electricity said Midor. This is an improvement from the previous race where they could only convert about 16%.
It’s like a bicycle, just with more energy.
The car uses less energy than a hairdryer. “It’s like a bicycle, just with more energy,” he said. The car can sustain high-way speeds up to 120km/h.
The amount of energy harnessed from the sun depends on its angle, which varies during the day. If it rains the session will be cancelled as the cars are not safe on slippery roads.
Up to 20 undergraduate mechanical, industrial and aeronautical engineering students were involved but only 11 students will accompany the trip. Five licenced drivers will take turns every 30 – 40 minutes driving the car because it gets very hot inside, like a greenhouse said Midor.
Second year, mechanical engineering student Nicholas Stiekema opted out of driving because he said it’s very uncomfortable inside the car. “It’s very hot, in midday sun, with very little cooling.”
One of the challenges Stiekema said was predicting how long things take. “Engineer’s rule for predicting time – how long you think it’s going to take times Pi,” he joked.
Third year mechanical engineering student, Alboricah Rathupetsane joined the team because she was intrigued by the solar concept. “It seemed like a good idea, futuristic almost.” She said it was a good way to see how environmentally friendly cars would be developed for the future.
Ahmed Lachporia, 3rd year Industrial engineering is one of the drivers. He is not sure of how well they’ll do in the competition, but believes the Wits Solar car is a “competitive car”, light with a powerful motor.
Besides other South African universities, Wits will also compete against international teams from India, Turkey, Iran and current world champion, Holland. The most competitive university teams are UKZN and UJ, said Midor.
This article was featured in the Wits Vuvuzela
By Roxanne Joseph and Lameez Omarjee
This year marks 10 years since Wits Vuvuzela was first published. The award-winning community newspaper first launched its website in 2005 and since then, has gone on to publish its content on other forms of social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
This infographic was featured in the Wits Vuvuzela
It is party season at Wits with res parties and the Engineer’s Breakfast still to hit campus. But with dangers of date rape, theft and drunken fights threatening festivities, Witsies have developed their own ways of safe-guarding their after-dark activities.
First year, BSc student Xiao Liang always makes sure to hold her drink in her hand at all times and when dancing, makes sure no one dumps anything inside. Wandile Ngwenya, 2nd year BAccSci said “I’m holding a bottle and if I’m not looking I put my thumb over it.” Melissa Kabanguka, 2nd year BA Psychology said it’s important to go out with friends you trust. “Don’t stay alone with someone you are not comfortable with”.
Witsies are encouraged to drink responsibility to avoid poor judgement and foolish decisions.
This infographic was featured in the Wits Vuvuzela.
By Lameez Omarjee and Bongiwe Tutu
Third year BCom Law student, Adam Gordon, was consistent in taking the lead over head tennis coach, Byron Werbeloff (23). He finished the first set with a score 6-1. Werbeloff fought hard to “come from behind” but the second set ended with 6-4 to Gordon.
Players were in good spirits before the match. Although nervous to be playing against his coach, Gordon was hoping to win. “I’m just going to enjoy myself and play my best”. He has been playing since the age of three and was coached by his father.
I would be happy if my best student won because it shows progress.
Werbeloff admitted there was pressure on him to win because he is the coach, but said: “I would be happy if my best student won because it shows progress.”
Spectators had different opinions about who would win. Ledimo Mello, 3rd year BAccSci was behind Werbeloff and Alexander Stawsell, 1st year BSc, thought Gordon had the “edge”, because he won a previous match, “the coach has been sick these past few days,” he said.
Gordon sweeped the first set but the tension of the second set was marked with more energy from both players. Although Gordon won, he felt he could have done better. “It feels good. I did what I could to win, it helped that I remained consistent.” He added: “I didn’t play my best tennis, I should have been more aggressive” . Werbeloff also felt he could have been more aggressive in the game.
Tennis club tournaments are open to all members and this is why Werbeloff could play in the championship. Werbeloff however gave his second place to student Rishay Bharath, 2nd year BSc mechanical engineering, saying “since I am the coach I would rather have one of my students take the win”. Witsie Mike Stephansen, 3rd year BAccSci, was placed third.
In another match Vladimer Makic, 2nd year BSc Applied Maths took fourth place when he beat Michael Wrathall, 1st year BSc aeronautical engineering. Makic said he won because “I served like a machine.”
The Wits tennis club has “raised record numbers of tennis players” and is one of the top five university clubs in the country, according to Werbeloff. A Wooden racket tournament will be hosted in October to raise funds for the team, possibly for bursaries. They hope to revive tennis and reach the number one spot in the country.
The Women’s finals will take place on Tuesday at 5pm, at the Bozzoli tennis courts.
This article was featured in the Wits Vuvuzela