Citizen. Speak. Amplify.

This ex-convict needs help to keep vulnerable young people out of jail

Bennett Mahlangu is a 41-year-old ex-convict from Vlakfontein, in the south of Johannesburg. Mahlangu was arrested when he was 18 for murder and housebreaking and released in 2014 on parole. He is currently volunteering and hosting dialogues at local primary and high schools in the south, to help young people stay away from crime. I am an ex-convict. I got arrested in 1995, and I was sentenced to life in prison in 1996. I served 18 years of that life sentence, and was released in January 2014. I was arrested for murder and…

“My brother would still be around if Life Esidimeni didn’t close down”

The Life Esidimeni arbitrations are currently taking place in Parktown, following the deaths of mentally ill patients in government care. Many relatives expressed their pain for the death of their loved ones. The psychiatric hospital closed down in May 2016, relocating and discharging its patients to several NGOs to cut down costs. The arbitration was called after more than 100 deaths were found. The figure has now increased to 143. Some families whose relatives were discharged from the hospital faced the huge responsibility…

A new study looks at the causes of higher HIV risk amongst gay men in SA and Namibia

A new study by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) shows that men who have sex with men (MSM) have a low use of HIV prevention interventions and high levels of sexual risk behaviour. The Together Tomorrow study, the first of its kind in Southern Africa, explores HIV prevention needs for MSM couples in South Africa and Namibia, an attempt to try better understand the sexual behaviours that lead to an increased risk of HIV within this group. Heidi Van Rooyen, the lead investigator of the study, presented the findings at…

Young Joburgers say it is time for Mugabe to resign

Zimbabwe’s ongoing crisis has deepened following a televised, national address on Sunday night by President Robert Mugabe where he failed to announce his resignation as many had speculated. The Daily Vox team asked young people living in Johannesburg about what they think will be best for the country moving forward. Thami Phili, 22, student, Soweto I was surprised by Mugabe's speech. I knew that he wasn’t going to go down without a fight. Mugabe has been the president of Zimbabwe for 37 years, he won’t just get removed…

Inequality of yesteryear breeds inequality in SA’s future job markets

South Africa’s education system is considered to be one of the worst in the world. A 2015 study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development ranks South Africa 75th out of 76 countries in terms of mathematics and science. With Africa projected to experience an upsurge in its youth population over the coming decade, there are growing fears that the country is not doing enough to prepare scholars for the jobs of the future. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), Africa’s growing child…

Coup in Zimbabwe: Confusion and consternation online

On 15 November, Zimbabwean soldiers were deployed on the streets of Harare and seized control of the state broadcaster and several other institutions. This came after President Robert Mugabe sacked his vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, and accused the head of the military, General Constantino Chiwenga, of "treasonable conduct". Harare right now... pic.twitter.com/HusHKik1sX — Trends SADC ™ (@Trends_SADC) November 15, 2017 Army vehicles were seen patrolling Harare and reportedly caused three explosions. The country’s…

We did not ask for loans, that is not free education – student leaders

Student Representative Councils (SRCs) from some universities across the country are rejecting the recommendations made by the Fees Commission report on the funding of higher education. On Monday, 13th November, President Jacob Zuma released the official Fees Commission report, which recommended that students can make use of income contingent loans (ICL), through public/private partnerships with financial institutions (i.e. bank loans) which would be underwritten by the government to fund higher education. Mangosuthu…

Here’s how the Fees Commission wants to use BBBEE to fund higher education

The recently proposed Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme (ISFAP) by the higher education ministerial task team aims at using the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) scheme as one of its sources to fund higher education and training. According to the recommendations of the Fees Commission, released on the 13th of November, ISFAP is a continuation of the current National Student Financial Aid Scheme. It aims to provide more loans and grants for students deemed as poor and those who fall under the “missing…

University of Pretoria maintenance worker killed in wood chipper incident

An outsourced maintenance worker at the University of Pretoria (UP) was found dead after he was allegedly pulled into a powerful chipper machine. Mokhiti Johannes Moeti died on the morning of November 6, while was he on duty at the university. A colleague discovered his body. The 25-year-old was employed by maintenance management group Servest, as part of the maintenance team at the university. The university’s spokesperson, Rikus Delport, told The Daily Vox that an investigative team has been launched to look into the…

The President’s Keepers and apartheid-era silencing tactics

Following the publication of Jacques Pauw’s The President’s Keepers, the State Security Agency (SSA) sent a cease-and-desist letter to the publishers of the book to get it pulled off the shelves. The book exposes President Jacob Zuma’s ties to gangsters, as well as his income and tax affairs. It also reveals that a top-secret state intelligence programme used as much as R1-billion of taxpayers’ money to acquit Jacob Zuma of his corruption charges. The South African Revenue Services has threatened to bring criminal charges…

UCT management: Students must protest legally to avoid criminal records

On Thursday morning, students from the University of Cape Town allegedly discarded faeces in one of the university’s science buildings. The UCT Computer Sci Building has been found covered in human faeces Kuchithwe ilindle kwisakhiwo seComputer Science e-UCT#UCTShutDown pic.twitter.com/nAA26pAvcO — VERNAC NEWS (@VernacNews) November 2, 2017 It makes no sense to advocate for the dignity of workers at UCT then proceed to discard human faeces in their working space. #UCTshutdown — DASO UCT (@DASOUCT) November 2, 2017 This left…

#JustAnotherTransJoke: UCKAR students speak up against transphobic invigilator

This week students from the University Currently Known As Rhodes (UCKAR) started a hashtag #JustAnotherTransJoke after an invigilator allegedly made a transphobic joke during an exam session. The hashtag, #JustAnotherTransJoke, was started by a black trans student. Mishka Wazar, one of the students who was at the lecture venue said the invigilator who was facilitating an exam from the university’s extended studies department told the students in the venue to ensure that men strictly used the men’s bathroom while women used…

“Health and education must become a concern for Africa,” says UNICEF

The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) released its latest report looking at the population growth of young people in Africa and what implications this may have on the continent and the world. The launch of the report, named Generation 2030 Africa 2.0: Prioritising Investment in Children to Reap the Demographic Dividend was held at the Pop Art Theatre in Maboneng, facilitated by UNICEF’s chief of policy and writer of the report, David Anthony. According to the report, Africa’s child population is projected to increase…

38 UFS students arrested last week to reappear in court in 2018

Thirty-eight students who were arrested by South African Police Services (SAPS) at the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Bloemfontein campus last week are expected to reappear in court on 9 February 2018. Lacea Loader, the university’s communications director, told The Daily Vox that the students were released on bail on Sunday 22 October. Bloemfontein campus SRC president, Asive Ndanjwa, told The Daily Vox that the students were released on R500 bail each. The arrested students appeared at the Bloemfontein Magistrate's…

UCT confirms death of student, police still investigating

The University of Cape Town has confirmed the death of a student at residence on campus on Tuesday morning. Twenty-one-year-old Luthendo Prudence Nwedo was found dead in her room in Forest Hill, Mowbray, on Tuesday. Nwedo was a third year Bachelor of Commerce student majoring in Economics and Finance. The South African Police Service in the Western Cape said the incident occurred at 1:30am on Tuesday morning. The circumstances surrounding Nwedo’s death are currently under investigation, sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana told The…

SACP: #FeesCommission part of the reason why Blade Nzimande was removed

The South African Communist Party’s (SACP) second deputy secretary general, Solly Mapaila, said on Tuesday the #FeesCommission report is partially the reason why former Higher Education minister Blade Nzimande was axed from his position by President Jacob Zuma. The political party held a press conference on Tuesday afternoon following the announcement of a Cabinet reshuffle by President Jacob Zuma and the removal of SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande as minister of Higher Education and Training. Mapaila said that they…

How the hypermasculinity of Model C schools entrenches homophobia

Ours is one of the few African countries that acknowledges different gender and sexual identities, but we’re still far from an accepting society. Schools, especially former Model C schools, continue to enforce heteronormative behaviours, and alienate queer students. This needs to change. According to research conducted by Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action (Gala), a queer civil rights movement, schools in South Africa continue to be unsafe spaces for LGBTQIA+ folks, who were victimised, bullied and harrased. Many queer…

#LifeEsidimeni arbitration should hold health department accountable

Led by former deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke, an arbitration process to help resolve the deaths of over 100 mentally ill patients after they were removed from Gauteng’s Life Esidimeni Hospital and placed at unlicensed NGOs for care, began on Monday, 9 October. The Daily Vox spoke to some Joburgers to find out what they hope the outcome of the arbitration will be. Liyabona Manyaliso,18, student, Johannesburg CBD This whole Life Esidimeni saga shows that the government does not care about the people and also says there…

Mbalula disputes claims of paid trip but Twitter was not here for it

Police Minister, Fikila Mbalula took to Twitter last night to dismiss claims made by Eye Witness News (EWN) senior reporter Barry Bateman, that a South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) sporting good supplier, Sedgars, paid possibly as much as R680 000 for a trip to Dubai by Minister Fikile Mbalula last year. I went to 702 to answer and speak on policing. I was to be asked Ministerial issues but the interview was hijacked. — RSA Police Minister (@MbalulaFikile) October 9, 2017 I’m accused of…

The DA marched to the Guptas’ Saxonwold compound and Twitter had some questions

The Democratic Alliance (DA) marched to the Gupta compound in Saxonwold, Johannesburg, on Thursday morning to protest against state capture and corruption, which was kind of surprising given their previous views on this issue of marching to people’s homes. Leadership! 🇿🇦 Today, we protest #StateCapture. We must free our country from this corrupt system that continues to oppress our people. pic.twitter.com/sciygMC2fz — Democratic Alliance (@Our_DA) October 5, 2017 The DA said it was marching to the Gupta compound because it…