Condemning Wits anti-Semitism isn’t enough – there must be consequences

The response to the open display of anti-Semitism at Wits on Thursday severely lacked conviction. http://www.thedailyvox.co.za/student-groups-condemn-goose-step-hitler-salute-wits/ While the Wits Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC), Amnesty International Wits, and the Wits Muslim Students’ Association (MSA) released a joint statement “unequivocally and unconditionally” condemning the incident - this is not enough. Even the promise of hauling the student in front of an MSA disciplinary committee next week is not enough. And…

Charges withdrawn against Philippi High learners who protested against learning in ‘shipping containers’

Eight learners from Phillippi High in the Western Cape were released without charge on Wednesday after being detained overnight at Nyanga police station. They and seven other learners were arrested on Tuesday evening on charges of public violence. “Fifteen learners were arrested for public violence in Heinz Park after a protest in their school. Seven of them were juveniles and were dealt with in terms of Child Justice Act,” sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana from the SAPS Western Cape media centre told the Daily Vox. On Tuesday…

Judaism and Zionism: What is the difference?

A central point of contention during #IsraeliApartheidWeek is the allegation that being anti-Zionist means one is necessarily anti-Semitic. While there are no doubt examples where one may be both, it’s unclear whether, and how, the two are necessarily linked. In order to get clarity on this, The Daily Vox spoke to Professor Antony Arkin, chairperson of the KwaZulu-Natal Zionist Council and the Treasurer of the South African Zionist Federation, and Allan Kolski Horwitz, an activist for National Coalition for Palestine, trade…

Should Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o have asked white people to leave his UCT public lecture?

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o is one of Africa’s most influential and celebrated scholars of decolonialism. His series of public lectures taking place at universities around South Africa comes at a time when the topics of Afrocentrism, decolonialism, language, and the role of public institutions is of immediate concern to many - especially fallists. It is perhaps for this reason that a group of students at the University of Cape Town (UCT) felt inclined to orchestrate an intervention at his talk on the campus on Friday. Kolosa Ntombini…

Watch this talented Durban chef spice up Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud

A video that’s gone viral locally has us all wanting to hear more - wondering whether her cooking is as good as her vocals. It features Anasia Govender, AKA Annalakshmi, the chef at Chilli Kadhai Restaurant and Take Away in Durban promoting her restaurant with her own parody of Ed Sheeran’s hit song “Thinking Out Loud”. While her singing talent is blowing people away, her witty lyrics are just as spicy: “Darling I will be cooking you food till I’m 70. And baby my food will be tasting as good at 83. And I’m thinking about how…

NSFAS head Sizwe Nxasana accounts for this year’s funding delays

Following weeks of uncertainty and frustration at many universities, which students and academics have attributed to National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) delays, The Daily Vox was finally able hold a private interview with the chairperson of NSFAS, Sizwe Nxasana. He spoke to us about the reasons for the delays, the new student-centred model and accountability. How has the progress of NSFAS been this year? This year has been a transition year, so we’re migrating from the old way of how students applied for financial…

In defence of fallism: A response to #FeesMustFall critics

In an article published recently on The Daily Vox, Ebrahim Fakir and Ayesha Soni posed some serious challenges to the #FeesMustFall (FMF) movement, and members of the fallist movement. This contentious engagement is welcome, as it draws attention to a number of issues that have been - continually - leveled against the student movement over the years. In hopes of taking the discussion forward, The Daily Vox has unpacked some of the key claims raised by the authors which speak to general concerns many in the public have…

The 10 cliques you’ll meet on South African campuses

So you’re a first year on and trying to navigate the weird and wonderful social scene of your university life. Maybe you’re coming from a small town, rural village, the inner city or leafy suburbs. Maybe you partied a lot in high school, or never really went out much because of financial constraints or a conservative home. Perhaps you, just like most young adults, are trying to find yourself and where you feel you belong. Along the way, here are some of the groupings you’ll likely meet on your journey. These are, of course,…

Five things that should be in place before we endorse the national minimum wage

The national minimum wage debate has been hotly contested over the years. On 8 February, after decades of campaigning and negotiation, all but one of the constituents of the National Economic Development Labour Advisory Council (Nedlac) signed an agreement to implement a national minimum wage in South Africa. The signing of this agreement is a groundbreaking development. But for many, the signing of the agreement is only the start - and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has not yet signed. The Daily Vox…

NSFAS delays leave students uncertain and unfunded

Delays regarding National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funding have left prospective university students in limbo, and some institutions in chaos. The knock-on effect of the slowed process is being felt as the first semester of university begins for 2017. As of 8 February, 175, 348 students have received confirmation of financial aid from NSFAS to further their studies at any of the 26 public universities. Just under 10,000 applications were rejected for not meeting the NSFAS financial eligibility criteria. While the…

Immigrants standing against illegal activity in Rosettenville face hostility from community

Monday in Rosettenville was an odd day. A delegation of government officials, including Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, were doing the rounds visiting suburbs around Johannesburg with a blue light brigade. Rosettenville was one of their stops; their final and arguably most important one. The situation in Rosettenville is now an issue of national discussion, touching on concerns of police inadequacy, corruption, poverty, crime, and xenophobia. It’s a mess that echoes the struggles faced in many other urban areas in…

#MashabaInAction: Making Rosettenville Great Again

On Wednesday evening Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba swooped in on Rosettenville with SAPS in tow, and began raiding residences. I'm raiding in Rosettenvile with @MichaelSun168 and @FunzelaZA #MashabaInAction pic.twitter.com/kG09NZ5tpf — Herman Mashaba (@HermanMashaba) February 8, 2017 In a series of tweets, the mayor broadcasted his findings and declarations that crime would not rule under his watch. Many residents seemed thankful for the intervention and #MashabaInAction was soon trending. It's the criminals that must…

Rosettenville’s mob justice against illegal activities isn’t as simple as it seems

On Sunday, 5 February, a group of over 100 residents from in and around Rosettenville, Johannesburg, gathered on Verona Street in protest against drug dealers and brothel owners harming their community. In the early hours of Sunday morning, the protesters enacted mob justice on a local nightclub and at least three private residences. Each place was looted and at least partially set on fire. All of the sites that were targeted were owned by Nigerian immigrants. Not as simple as vigilante justice On Monday, The Daily Vox…

Other than politicians, these are the snakes you may find in SA’s biggest cities

Living in the most populated city in South Africa, you’d expect being exposed to potentially dangerous wildlife is something you’d only hear from Americans who think South Africans keep pet lions and use elephants for transport. But last week, a person living in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg discovered a surprise visitor in his backward. Uninvited guests are bad enough, but when they’re severely venomous reptilians, it’s a whole other story. A 1.5-metre long snouted cobra. The Daily Vox took a look at some of the…

Here’s what students need to know about the law when protesting

Last year, the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) commissioned the Socio-Economic Rights Institute (SERI) for a legal opinion on the restraint of protest in or near university spaces. The request came in light of the often ambiguous conflict that arises between protesters and the legal means that university management use to contain these protests - particularly in the form of interdicts and use of force.  The Daily Vox summarised some of the key points to come out of the opinion. Lawson…

#BlackoutClifton: what happens when an event is organically organised?

#BlackoutClifton took place on Saturday 28 January, and there seem to be mixed feelings about how successful it was. Much of this seems to have been in relation to how the event was coordinated by those who planned it - in that the “planners” did not want the event to be coordinated by them at all. “Perhaps it could have been better planned and coordinated so that more people knew what was happening,” said Portia Mbotho, a sales manager from Cape Town, who attended the event. But, she said, it’s also important for black…

#BlackoutClifton: disrupting Cape Town’s whitest spaces

Over the past two weeks, posters titled “Blackout Cape Town” have been circulating on social media, calling for an occupation of Clifton Beach and other areas around Cape Town. The poster reads: “Black people reconnecting with their land, occupying parts of the city designed to exclude and keep them out of sight” If you cannot attend but would like to support others that want to, please use #BlackoutClifton to sponsor rides or share transport. pic.twitter.com/gGoMUP3LK9 — Mntwana we Langa (@KumkaniSiwisa) January 23, 2017…

Ten examples of homosexual behaviour in the animal kingdom

Dear Bishop Dag Heward-Mills (and all those living under rocks believing that homosexuality is “unnatural” because other animals don’t partake in it): We respond simply: You’re wrong, fam. But, just for control, here are 10 examples - of the over 450 documented cases - of queer behaviour in the animal kingdom. 1. Dolphins, orcas and other porpoises Let’s begin with some majestic mammals of the seas and rivers. Male bottlenose dolphins in particular move in all-male groups and sometimes form lifelong bonds with other male…

How much power should government have to intervene in universities?

On Tuesday 17 January, President Zuma officially signed the Higher Education Amendment Act. The Act gives Minister of Higher Education and Training, Blade Nzimande, increased powers to intervene in institutions of higher education. When the Bill was initially submitted in 2015, it sparked a robust conversation on state intervention to achieve social justice outcomes - and whether this “top-down” intervention harmfully compromised institutional autonomy in higher education. So what does the Amendment actually say? The…

Five ways people are trying to subvert Trump’s inauguration

US president-elect, Donald Trump, is set to be inaugurated on 20 January 2017. No, you’re not having a nightmare. It’s real. But, while presidential inaugurations are usually celebratory events, the great malaise associated with Trump’s term - and the rise in bigotry associated with it - has meant that some aren’t willing to be complicit in what unfolds. Here are five ways people are planning to disrupt, subvert, or boycott Trump’s inauguration as the 45th President of the USA. 1. Protests and marches during and around the…