Stellenbosch University celebrates 20 years of democracy

This week Stellenbosch University celebrates and commemorates 20 years of democracy and freedom, with interactive art, amongst other things.
A potentially colourful wire construction has been erected on the Rooiplein, but they need your help.
All you need to do is take a piece of material from one of the provided containers and weave it to the wire. Each colour signifies a different response to the question: “How do we spread freedom and cultivate belonging?”
Red: By acting on great ideas
Yellow: By living unashamedly ethical
Green: By fostering diverse relationships
Black: By giving credit where credit is due
Blue: By looking on the bright side
The fittingly titled 20 years of Democracy (20YD): the story continues takes place between 12 and 16 May. Besides the interactive art, it will also include a film festival and a special Mandela/Parks exhibition at the Sasol Arts Museum.
Ms Monica du Toit of the Centre for Inclusivity and co-coordinator of the celebrations, says “The programme aims to emphasize multiple discourses in the stories of democracy at Stellenbosch University, showcase engagement with 20 years of democracy in the teaching and learning space and create strong visual experiences and student engagement with art works.”
For more information: check out this website http://www.20yearsoffreedom.org.za/ or follow @20yofstellies on Twitter.

Despite Nkandla, long live ANC!

“The ANC will be in power for the next 50 years!”

So says Ntombende Landingwe, African National Congress’ provincial executive committee member. She was speaking at the ANC Constituency Office in Stellenbosch.

When asked who would come in to power after the “estimated 50 years”, Landingwe responded, without pause: “still the ANC”.

“Because of where we come from, the struggle of the comrades, those who were forced to leave the country and those we died, that is why people still believe in the ANC.”

Jacobus Davids, wearing his black, green and yellow shirt, believes that “the ANC has consistently delivered to the poorest of the poor. Nkandla has been used as a tool by the opposition to portray the ANC as a corrupt organisation, a view upheld by the white minority of this country.”

Welile Dimon, also clad in ANC attire, feels that “the ANC is the only organisation that cares about the interest of all people in South-Africa. It is also the only party that has experience in delivering services to the people.”

When asked if the Nkandla scandal swayed his opinion of the ruling party he said “not at all, also it is as ongoing matter. This has nothing to do with the elections or what the ANC has achieved over the past 20 years.”

Anastacia Slamat, political analyst, says that “the ANC is a liberation movement turned political party. Loyalty to the ANC is thus not something that would just change”.

“Party loyalty and affiliation can be attributed to much more than rational choice. Instead it is usually engrained in what can be called ‘emotional knowledge’”.

“That is what one generation passes on to the next generation, what they believe to be true about the world around them, how they are socialised and what values and beliefs they hold true. These beliefs about themselves form the basis of their identity.”

 

Mynhardt Kruger, Democratic Alliance Students’ Organisation (DASO)chair, said that he will not vote DA if they were to be associated with corruption. The DA has a mantra: “If we don’t do our work, vote us out. I am waiting for the day the ANC will say such a thing.”

Public Protector Thuli Mandonsela released her report into security upgrade at President Nacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead earlier this year. It is “conservatively” estimated that the upgrades amounted to R246 Million.

During the first democratic South-African elections in1994, the ANC received 62% of the votes. They are expected to win again this year, by a similar margin.

Secrecy Bill: blessing in disguise?

“The Secrecy Bill was a real gift,” said activist Mark Weinberg from Right2Know, a campaign which formed in reaction to The Protection of State and Information Bill.

He was speaking at a seminar at the Stellenbosch Journalism Department, to commemorate World Press Freedom day, on Friday 2 May.

“This bill was so outrageous and remains so outrageous. It really fired up the South African population and made them realise how central transparency and freedom of expression is to our democracy.”

Yet the bill is not the problem, it is “simply a symptom of a deep-rooted one”. Weinberg thanks securocrats for this “gift”: “People from the ruling party, who look for undemocratic solutions to our problems, people who have a vested interest in power that is not transparent.”

The other guest speakers who formed part of the esteemed panel were Jo van Eeden, editor of Volksblad and Tim du Plesis, Media24’s head of Afrikaans media.

Media Freedom after 20 years of democracy was the topic being discussed.

Van Eeden stated that “press freedom did not come cheap and should not be taken for granted. It is the right that protects all other rights.”

“We have more press freedom now then 20 years ago, yet if we don’t nurture it we won’t have it in the future.”

Du Plesis maintained Van Eeden’s sentiments, yet went on to say that “the digital revolution will make it difficult to control information.”

Doing so or even attempting to do so is “unjust, immoral, and unsustainable, it will wither and die like the Apartheid regime. Government is too inept to suppress media freedom.”

Rego Mamogale, a journalism student who was in attendance, asked what these opponents plan to do should the ill be passed.   

Weinberg responded: “The bill is ready for signing on the president’s desk. Yet we are armed with the best legal team in South Africa and are prepared to take this issue to the constitutional court.”

Doctor Simphiwe Sesanti who also attended the seminar was not impressed that The Protection of State and Information Bill was frequently referred to as The Secrecy Bill.

“We are entitled to our interpretations, comments and opinions, but to rename and misname things is arrogant and wrong. We claim to be journalists who strive for accuracy.”

The South-African government persists to defend this controversial bill. In a press release they claim that The Protection of State and Information Bill is “aimed at protecting and promoting the national security of the Republic.”

“This Bill is not regulating the media. There is no single mention of the media in this Bill.”

Stem Stellenbosch se haweloses?

Hierdie jaar vier Suid-Afrika 20 jaar van demokrasie. Die groot vraag is of die land se haweloses ook deel sal hê aan die feesvieringe en of hulle sal toustaan om hul kruisies op 7 Mei te maak.

Sherlin Barends

Katrina Horn, Ashley Essau, Mary-Ann Khan, Raymond Landers, Pharrel Heart en David Philander…

Die bogenoemdes is maar net ʼn paar haweloses (wit, bruin en swart; manlik en vroulik; jonk en oud) wie se stemme nie by vanjaar se verkiesing getel gaan word nie. ʼn Druppel in die see van die wat alweer nie gehoor gaan word nie.

Hulle sal nie toustaan op 7 Mei nie, tensy dit vir ʼn stukkie brood en warm sop is nie, of vir ʼn tweedehandse broek en ʼn hemp.

Dit is in juis so ʼn lyn waar ek die klomp gewaar, waar hulle ongeduldig (ander meer as die res) op hul beurt wag om gehelp te word. ʼn Groep Matie-studente in samewerking met ander organisasies (Streetstore en Straatlig) het hierdie week saamgewerk om Stellenbosch se haweloses te klee en te voed, voor die koue Bolandse winter kom.

Gertruida Booysen is werkloos en woon nou al agt jaar op die straat. Haar tingerige lyfie is met verskeie lae bont klere bedek. Sy hou haar kaal onversorgde hande warm deur hulle tussen haar beentjies vas te knyp.

ʼn Denkbeeldige 2 by 2 meter afskorting tussen die taxistaanplek en Aandklas (ʼn gewilde kuierplek in Stellenbosch) is haar tuiste, wat sy met haar boyfriend deel. Hier word daar op kratte gesit, op karton geslaap en dit ruik of hierdie stukkie grond ook as badkamer dien.

Booysen kan nie stem nie: “Die law het twee jaar terug ons klere en ander goed gelaai, my ID ook. Ek het nie geld vir ʼn nuwe ID nie”.

Samanthea Bunta, administratiewe klerk by binnelandse sake se Stellenbosch tak sê dit kos R140 om ʼn identiteitsdokument te vervang. Natuurlik kan ʼn nuwe identiteitsdokument nie uitgereik word indien jy nie die departement met jou identiteitsnommer kan voorsien nie.

“Dit is baie moeilik vir ons om te stem. Baie straatmense gaan nie stem nie, want ons kry nie bystand hier buite nie”, sê Booysen.

Skielik verhef sy haar eens huiwerige en heserige stem en sê dat “die law baklei liewer met ons en druk ons af, as wat hulle ons help!”

“So jy het nie nog lus om te stem nie, want wat baat dit? Die mense met mag sit aan tafel, maar niks kom daarvan nie”.

“Hulle verwilder jou net soos ʼn hond, jy word heeltyd weggejaag. Dit is nie lekker nie, that’s why, ek dink nie die straatmense gaan stem nie”.

“Tog cope ons”, sê sy weer sag. Mens kan nie help om haar maar te glo nie.

Soos Booysen bly Magdalena Plaatjies, of Voëltjie soos huller haar noem, ook op die straat. Sy lyk bietjie soos ʼn af-vlerk waar sy half besope op die straathoek sit.

“Vir wie moet ek stem? Vir wat moet ek stem? Ek stem nie meer nie!”

“Ek en my man het al jare gelede aansoek gedoen vir ʼn huis. My man is al onder die grond en daar het nog niks van die huis gekom nie! Julle moet vir my begin kop toe vat!”

Nie alle haweloses is so pessimisties oor die opkomende verkiesing nie. Granvill Esau noem ook die strate van Stellenbosch sy tuiste. Hy werk wel, maar “pay te min” om ʼn plekkie van sy eie te kan bekostig.

“Ek doen so 10 soorte werke: paint, karre was, matte was, enigiets”.

“Jy word sleg behandel, soos ʼn gemors”.

“ʼn Groot man van Macassar, hy is nou al dood, het vir my gesê ek moet stem, want as ek nie gaan stem nie gaan ek swaarkry”.

“Die jaar stem ek vir die wit man, want ja, die wit man staan dan vir my by. Laas keer het die ANC vir my gedisappoint”.

Anastasia Slamat, politieke ontleder, voer aan dat haweloses, soos talle ander in laer klasse van die samelewing, nie rêrig belangstel in politiek nie”.

Hulle is so besig om aan hul primêre behoeftes aandag te skenk, dat daar nie veel ruimte is om oor ‘luukshede’ soos die verkiesing te tob nie. Die stygende prys van ʼn brood is vir hulle belangriker”.

Tracy-lee Arendse, kliniese sielkundige by 2 Military Hospital glo dat daar verskeie redes is waarom haweloses nie stem nie. “Praktiese redes sluit in dat hulle nie altyd genoegsame toegang tot verkiesingsinligting het nie. Hulle het ook heel moontlik nie identiteitsdokumente nie”.

 “Hierdie politieke apatie kan ook ʼn produk van ʼn swak selfbeeld wees. Hulle glo nie hul stem of opinie tel nie”. Om te stem bevredig nie onmiddellik haweloses se gebrek aan basiese behoeftes nie en dit is dus nie hoog aan hulle prioriteitslys nie”.

Denise Paulse, Maatskaplike werker by die Stellenbosch nagskuiling sê dat politieke kwessies nie ʼn afdeling is waaraan hulle aandag skenk nie. Tog sê sy “dit is elkeen se demokratiese reg om te besluit of hy of sy wil registreer om te stem”.

“Jare terug het daar een politieke party die nagskuiling kom besoek en gevra of hulle bietjie met die haweloses kan gesels. Na dit het geen ander politieke organisasie, -party of raadslid op so ʼn manier uitgereik nie”.

“Niemand kom om met hulle te praat nie, om hulle bietjie te motiveer, of hulle in te lig oor die opkomende verkiesing nie”

Voor sy antwoord waarom sy dink talle haweloses nie stem nie, val sy haarself in die rede en sê: “dit is slegs my opinie, dit wil nie sê dit is so nie of dat hulle werklik so dink nie”.

“Hulle stem nie omdat hulle sien hulle lewensomstandighede verbeter nie: hulle het steeds nie werk en blyplek nie. Mens stem mos om by te dra dat sekere goed verander.”

Soos by die verkiesing is ʼn Identiteitsdokument is ʼn voorvereiste vir toegang tot die Stellenbosch nagskuiling. Dit is hier te Tennantstraat 3, waar haweloses daagliks tussen 5:30 en 6:30 groenboekie gereed toustaan vir ʼn tydelike hawe.

Ons sal maar wag en kyk of hierdie mense en ander soos hulle ook tou gaan staan op 7 Mei 2014.

Dit laat my dink aan die ou hawelose omie, met die grysbaard en goedkoop plastiek bottel alkohol wat sinies Frank Sinatra sing: “What a wonderful world”.

Wat is sy naam nou weer? Wat maak dit saak? Sy stem tel nie.

 

 

 

The three worlds of Third World Spectator’s, Louis Kühn

Sherlin Barends talks to musician, engineering student and radio presenter, Louise Kühn, about his jam-packed life.

He “loves” Bohemia, one of Stellenbosch’s busiest waterholes, because of the “nice pizzas, cheap beer” and since there are always people that he knows. Yet today we are off to Café Art, where nobody needs to shout in order to be heard.

“I grew up listening to Radio Head, Lincoln Park, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Jack White, The White Stripes, Jack Johnson, Muse, 30 Seconds To Mars, Lincoln Park (I’m a big Lincoln Park fan, it is the first album I ever bought). I love pop and I love soul as well, but alternative rock is more or less the foundation of my music taste”

“At high school I was part of a band that opened for Third World Spectator. I was in awe of them. I was a fan. Then I was hired to play for the theatre production of fame….I want to live forever!” he goes on to sing in his husky voice. Justin Versfeld (guitar) played in the same show and they became friends. In 2011 Third World Spectator’s bassist left. Louis got a call to audition and the rest is history.

Peter Crafford (vocals) notes how, “when Louis joined the band we had already had six bassists in and out of the band in the course of six years, and when he joined the band everything just changed”.

Louis’ timing was perfect, as he joined before the music label Universal signed the band, the first album, -tour and -music video. The label has since dropped them: collateral damage after a merger.

Louise Kühn (22) was born into an Afrikaans family.  He says however, “I struggle to express myself artistically in my mother tongue”. He blames words and phrases like “bokkie” and “bietjie-bokkie-liefie” which are used in one too many Afrikaanse treffers.  Though while flashing his “Colgate smile”, as Third World Spectator’s lead vocalist, Peter, affectionately refers to his pearly whites, this rocker admits, “I like Theuns Jordaan, it is a little guilty pleasure”. While other Afrikaans artists like Moses Metro Man, Straatligkinders, Glaskas and Polisiekar are seemingly enjoyed, void of any guilt. Like the Black Label he just ordered.

He pours it skilfully into the glass, creating a thin layer of foam so that with only the first sip, a beer moustache is barely visible above his lips and three day stubble.

“If Third World Spectator was a beer, Justin (guitarist) would definitely be the beer itself, just because he is the most rock & roll person on the planet. Peter (lead) is the label, the shiny outside and the attention whore. His vocals are 90% of our sound. I would say Andrè Wentzel (DrumsWentzel (drums)is the bottle, because he is the solid foundation that keeps the band structured. Ilan and I would be the foam. Without us, the beer would not be the beer. You don’t always notice it (the base and keys), but if it is not there you will miss it.” He raises his glass, takes a satisfactory sip of the golden liquid and adds: “You can’t have the beer without the foam”.

“I’m not trying to be arrogant”, he says and continues with the beer analogy. If Third World Spectator was a beer we would “taste a bit bitter, like aGrolsch, so not everyone will enjoy it. Our sound is dark, alternative rock. Peter likes to accentuate his falsettos, Justin rips solos on the guitar and André goes ballistic on the drums”. He compliments his band mates with such grace and ease, but forgets to comment on the “foam” that he brings to the table: the subtle background sounds, complementary vocals, foot tapping, head banging and hip swinging motions which are present in every music video and during each stage performances.

He is aware that, “not everyone likes hard rock & roll. Yet, everyone likes a little folksy music that you can dance to.”

Fortunately Peter says his “musical brother has the ability to adapt to so many styles”. Louis “can switch from a piano to a base, to the acoustic guitar and he can sing”. Moreover, “he is extremely versatile and well versed in musical theory”.

Therefore Louis has an additional venture called El Keen, which has a distinct folksy, acoustic sound.  The other half of El Keen, Lloyd Mali says Louis is “very pleasant to work with, but sometimes he can be stubborn, because he always wants the best”.

Because of the amazing chemistry between Louis and Lloyd, the 2013 Maties got Talent runners up, are often mistaken for a couple. This doesn’t stop girls from throwing themselves at Louis. “He kind of likes the attention though”, says Lloyd. She has had to pretend to be his girlfriend when things got too rough though.

Dalene Kühn, Louis’ younger sister, is fan of whatever her brother does. “I think he is going to be famous. Everyone that listens to him loves him.”

“I prefer El Keen. It is not too intense. You can listen to it while you are chilling. Third World Spectator’s music can be a bit overwhelming at times”.

Besides his music projects Louis is also an engineering student and argues that “when you don’t do a lot, when you do just one thing in life, you just sit around and do nothing but watch rubbish on TV”

“But when your life is jam packed, you don’t have time for rubbish and you end up having time for everything important.”

Important things like getting up before 2am every Sunday morning for the graveyard shift on community radio station, MFM92.6. He has the voice you would want to wake you.

One of Louis’ favourite lyrical phrases comes from Third World Spectator’s Extraordinary: “I don’t want anyone to tell you, you not extraordinary”.  It’s strange “someone will think the moon is shining out of your ass, but you will not see yourself in that light.”

It is ironic that he quotes this, as it seems he cannot see what everyone else sees when they look at him.

If you ask me he is more than just the foam. He is the bottle cap of that Third World Spectator beer, the thing that keeps the beer fresh and tasting good.

But talking foam, Peter says Louis is the “king of fomo (fear of missing out)”.  His “inability to say no and the fact that he us open to absolutely everything is his best and his worst trait”.

“If you tell Louis that we are going to skinny dip at 3am in the morning he would be like, ‘cool, let’s go for it’”.

Justin tells of a new years eve, “probably one of the most fun things Louis and I did together. We played at an event and at about six in the morning Louis and I jumped naked off the bridge in the Busman’s River”.

Third World Spectator is currently preparing for a huge show at Aandklas, fittingly dubbed the Frat Party, on Saturday the third of May. The band will be performing a brand new set of songs, all from their upcoming album.

 

DA: “guaranteed access to tertiary education”

Many students from Stellenbosch University do not view protests as a viable means to solve issues on campus.

Nghifikepunye Shaetonhodi thinks “protests just lead to more conflict”.

Odelia Mills reasons that social media is a more suited and powerful tool to inform and mobilise students.  

Emmanuel Munjeri would rather “take the issue to student parliament”.

Claudette Mills argues that “mass petitions might be the way to go; it’s just more…civil than throwing rocks at cars”.

Yet when students found out about the shortage in National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funds at the start of this year, it sparked countrywide student protests.

One of the most significant of these protests was led by the DA Youth Chairperson, which took place outside Higher Education and Training Minister Dr Blade Nzimande’s office in Tshwane.

This very DA Youth Chairperson said on Wednesday that “under a DA government every qualifying matriculant will have guaranteed access to tertiary education”.

Yusuf Cassim (23) addressed students at Stellenbosch University’s Tienie Louw hall on the DA’s Higher Education offer. He stated that a DA government will provide adequate financial support to ensure that no matriculants that meet the requirements to study after grade 12 are prevented from studying, because they cannot afford it.

“Research has shown that the best investment a country can make is in its students.”

“For every one rand put into higher education, government gets back almost double that in revenue and the economy grows by R11.”

Currently about R9.8 billion is injected into NSFAS scheme, where “the supply is heavily outweighed by the demand”.

The shortage in financial aid for further studies shows that “the ANC no longer cares about the future of young people in South-Africa”. It also shows that “the government is incapable of planning and allocating”.   

 “Once we get into power the DA will inject R16 billion into the NSFAS scheme”, Cassim said.

“By cutting corruption and wasteful expenditure we will already be saving R30 billion”

He went on to say that “the DA is the only viable alternative for South African students, as a vote for the DA is an investment in the future of all students.”

Seth Motswaledi, chairperson of the South African Student Congress (SASCO) branch in Stellenbosch, “the biggest student movement in Africa, which seeks to ensure access and success in these institutions”, says that our universities are already filled to capacity.

“This shows that this is pure hogwash from the DA. Pure lies, they are just trying to get votes.” 

Sherine Barends, vice-principle at Lückhoff Senior Secondary School, stated that though “funding is made available, students need to be supported holistically to ensure their success”.

Koebaai met koerante!

Al hoe meer Stellenbosch-studente vermy koerante en verkies om eerder inligting op virtuele platforms te kry.

Toe ʼn groep studente gevra is hoe hulle die eerste keer van groot nuusstories gehoor het, het daar verskillende antwoorde opgekom. Vir talle is die nuus op Twitter, Facebook en radio gebreek. Tog het nie een van die studente die nuus vir die eerste keer in die koerant gelees nie.

Ulrich Hurbert (22), ʼn B.Com – student voel dat die nuus in koerante “ou nuus” is.

“Koerante is groot, hulle lees ongemaklik en dan is daar ook nog die moontlikheid van ink op jou vingers”, verduidelik Annill Seale (20), ʼn regsstudent. Daarom koop hy nooit koerante nie.

Shannon Veldsman (20), ’n onderwysstudent sê weer dat koerante te duur is. Sy sê dat daar veel beter goed is om met mens se geld te koop.

“Hoekom koerante koop as jy al die nuus op die internet kan kry?”, se-vra Annika Pienaar (18), ʼn Somatologie-student.

Haar vriendin en medestudent, Elmarie Schoonwinkel (18), knik instemmend saam.
“Ons het nie altyd tyd om koerant te lees nie”, voer ʼn besige Caroline Hosking (21), ʼn B-Rek student, aan.

Andrew Schwabe (21), ʼn Geesteswetenskap-student sê dat dit moeite is om in hierdie “era van die internet” ʼn koerant op te tel. Tog maak hy dit duidelik dat net omdat hy en ander studente nie tradisionele koerante koop en lees nie, beteken dit nie dat studente nie ingelig is nie.

Schwabe bly op hoogte van sake deur die aanlyn nuuswebtuistes CNN en SkyNews te besoek.

Terwyl ander studente weer baie tyd op Twitter, Facebook en YouTube spandeer.