Remembering PAC anti-pass activist Philip Kgosana (1936-2017)

Former student leader and PAC activist Philip Kgosana has died. He was 81. Kgosana is best known for mobilising students in anti-pass protests in Cape Town during the '60s.  He was later imprisoned by the apartheid government. The Daily Vox interviewed Kgosana ahead of Human Rights Day in 2015 and spoke with him about his memories of Langa during the struggle. The story has been republished below. In March 1960 the Pan African Congress (PAC) mobilised for mass protests against the apartheid government’s pass laws, which…

At UCT management ignored workers’ #EndOutsourcing protest for years

On an ordinary Wednesday afternoon, a moment of history was made at the University of Cape Town. Workers and the university management signed a landmark agreement to end outsourcing on campus. But the battle for insourcing has been waged for many years, so why has UCT management only now changed its mind? RA’EESA PATHER offers her considered opinion. As a student, I sometimes saw workers protesting beneath the ivory pillars of Jameson Hall. In their red t-shirts and black slacks, they’d march down the iconic steps towards…

#EndOutsourcing: “I’m working in a university, but I can’t even afford to enrol my child there”

On Wednesday morning, students and outsourced workers from the University of Cape Town (UCT) picketed outside the Wynberg Magistrates Court in solidarity with #FeesMustFall students and workers arrested last week Tuesday. While they protested, UCT announced that it had agreed to "the principle of insourcing at UCT”. Workers told RA’EESA PATHER why insourcing means so much to them. Cathy Sepahela, 51, cleaner from Metro Cleaning Services, Gugulethu I am working for Metro Cleaning Services since 1999. Outsourcing affected my…

UWC: Free education at a historically black university

The #FeesMustFall protests have blazed through universities across the country. But not all universities were created equal. Protestors at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) have continued a campus shutdown, but can the university afford what they are demanding? RA’EESA PATHER reports. Management at UWC was determined that classes would continue Monday, after nearly a week of protests. But it was a lost cause. Student protestors marched door-to-door at the university and its residences, disrupting classes and study…

How UCT management fanned the flames of protest

What began as a protest against fee increases and outsourcing has now taken a new turn. While students involved in the UCT shutdown continue to fight for affordable education and insourcing, the actions of UCT’s management have added a new focus to the protest: the police. RA’EESA PATHER reports. When Alex Hotz, a student at UCT, was marched into a police van on Monday night, she went peacefully, shouting “Izwe lethu” (our land) and “Free education!” This is the crux of the student fight: the right to higher education and a…

Police use teargas and stun grenades to evict #UCTShutdown students from Bremner Building

Dramatic scenes erupted at the University of Cape Town in the late hours of Monday night when riot police stormed students out of Bremner Building, UCT’s administrative building. One student was injured after police fired teargas and stun grenades to disperse the peaceful protestors. RA’EESA PATHER reports. The police were acting on a court interdict on behalf of the University of Cape Town. Students had occupied Bremner Building to protest against fees increases and outsourcing at the university. Although students and staff…

#FeesMustFall: UCT slaps protestors with court interdict

The University of Cape Town was on Monday afternoon granted a court interdict preventing student protestors from "disrupting or otherwise interfering in any way with the normal activities of the university". RA'EESA PATHER reports. Ru Slayen, a student involved in the Rhodes Must Fall movement, read out the court order outside the university's administrative offices, Bremner building, around 5:30pm. The court order against #UCTShutdown #FeesMustFall pic.twitter.com/VhT2JpZdaV — raeesa pather (@raediology) October 19, 2015…

#FeesMustFall at UCT: “It’s about time the students spoke”

Classes at the University of Cape Town (UCT) were suspended on Monday as students blockade roads leading into campus. Students are demanding an emergency meeting with university management to discuss fees hikes and the outsourcing of workers at UCT. The university fees are set to increase by 10.3% in 2016. Workers and students at the university shared their reactions with RA’EESA PATHER. Sena Mazubane, 24, accounting postgraduate student, Observatory I’m for the protests completely. Some people become uncomfortable over the…

Nine ways to keep busy when the weather’s gloomy

The weather gods are going to be very unkind to South Africans over the next few days. As the temperature plummets, the Eastern Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal might even see some snowfall. While the snow can be exciting, the howling wind and pelting rain is a different story altogether. RA’EESA PATHER rounds up  nine ways to keep busy and not go crazy with cabin fever as the ice sets in. 1. Make a game of it Whether you’re cracking open the boardgames, or shooting down the baddies in Call of Duty, games are a fun way to pass time.…

Taverns and the search for nightlife among Khayelitsha’s youth

Taverns in Khayelitsha have come under scrutiny after a stampede at Osi’s Place, a tavern in the township, led to the deaths of eight people, the youngest aged just 15. But as tavern owners squirm under the spotlight, the question remains: is there anywhere else for Khayelitsha’s youth to find their fun? RA’EESA PATHER reports. In Cape Town’s city centre, young people get thrills from the bustle of clubs, concerts, and eateries. But in the city's townships, nightlife is scant and often reduced to ill-lit taverns. On one grim…

Osi’s Place: How a girls’ night out turned into the night a friend died

On Sunday 28 June, 17-year-old girl Khanyisile Siyengo* was caught in a stampede at Osi’s Place in Makhaza, Khayelitsha, after someone fired a shot in the crowded tavern. In the darkness, she heard her childhood friend, Vuyolwethu Mbono, also 17, cry out. Hours later, Mbono died. Siyengo told Ra’eesa Pather how their night of dancing turned into a tragedy. We had a party that night. My friends went out and bought brandy, cider and Smirnoff. We drank at home, and the ciders we had left we took to Osi’s Place. It was the first…

Ulcers, arthritis and hypertension but Yusuf Harrison is still fasting at 88

YUSUF HARRISON may be 88 years old, but he still has the strength to fast through the holy month of Ramadan. On a wintry afternoon at his residence in Haven Old Age Home in Woodstock, Harrison – who little family and has outlived most of his friends – shared his memories and experience of Ramadaan with Ra’eesa Pather. My earliest memories of fasting are during apartheid. During that time, fasting was all right, because we were always running around, keeping out of the police’s way. But when we got home, we’d be so hungry we…

The bright future of a university student living in a garage in Atlantis

MARILEE VAN DER MERWE thought that 2015 would be the year she would have to give up her education to find work. But things are look brighter than ever for the 22-year-old from Atlantis. She told Ra’eesa Pather what changed. I persevered all through high school and made it to university, to study for a BCom in finance, but I thought 2015 would be the year I’d have to give up my education to go work. There just isn’t enough money for studies, books, transport, and everything that goes with it. I live in a garage with my mother…

UCT queer community sets its sights on Pae

Students in the University of Cape Town’s queer community are demanding the resignation of Zizipho Pae from the Student Representative Council (SRC), after she made alleged homophobic comments on Facebook on Sunday. RA’EESA PATHER reports. The students have started a group on Facebook called UCT: Queer Revolution, in light of Pae’s comments, where, after the US legalised same-sex marriage in every state, she said: “We are institutionalizing and normalizing sin!” Pae currently holds the office of vice president, but was…

Cape Town refugees in limbo: “You can’t stay here without your paper”

Asylum seekers in Cape Town are struggling to obtain documentation, because they can only apply for refugee permits in Pretoria, Durban or Musina. With no jobs and no money to make their way to these centres, incoming refugees can find themselves stranded. Refugees who need to renew their permits are also affected. RA’EESA PATHER reports. Mangala Mbuwa* arrived in Cape Town a month ago, after fleeing his war-torn village in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Swallowed by the violent civil war, and forced to fight with a…

Acting UCT SRC president investigated for alleged homophobic comment: “We are institutionalizing and normalizing sin!”

The acting president of the University of Cape Town’s Student Representative Council (SRC) is under internal investigation after posting a status on Facebook which students believe is homophobic. RA’EESA PATHER reports. Zizipho Pae, the interim president of the SRC, UCT’s student governing body, posted the status to her Facebook page on Sunday, just two days after the US made its historic ruling to legalise same-sex marriage throughout the country. “We are institutionalizing and normalizing sin! Sin May God have mercy on…

Operation Fiela in the Cape Town CBD: “They carry those guns like it’s war here”

On Saturday, 86 African immigrants were arrested in a joint operation conducted by the SAPS, the SANDF, traffic officers, the metro police, brand specialists and immigration officers. The lockdown at Cape Town’s Station Deck – a taxi terminus and market above the inner-city train station – brought commuters to a halt. Counterfeit goods were confiscated, dagga was seized, and a taxi was impounded. In the chaos, authorities went store-by-store asking people for their documents. People at the station told RA’EESA PATHER how the…

Cape Town blogger disses fellow Muslims in Ramadan rant, and gets schooled

A blog post by fashion blogger Zahrah Perry has caused outrage in the South African Muslim community, after it attempted to criticise Muslims who cast judgement on Muslims who don’t observe Ramadan, but instead belittled an entire community who follow the traditions of the month. The post, titled “The Hunger Games- Ramadan Edition”, was published on Friday morning, and by Saturday, had gained more than 20,000 reads, crashed Perry’s website, and propelled her to Twitter infamy, trending status attached. “I have nothing to…

More than just a minibus: The combi turned mobile psychology clinic for Khayelitsha’s youth

A man in Khayelitsha has found an innovative way to help kids in the township deal with psychological trauma: he’s transforming his minibus into a mobile psychology clinic. RA’EESA PATHER reports. Last year, 28-year-old Andreas Banetsi Mphunga was struck by the urgent need for registered counsellors and psychologists in Khayelitsha when, in the course of a child-development programme, kids told him about their struggles at home. “Some of these children use substances to escape social ills. Their challenges are in-depth and…

Youth Day: The young achievers on the Cape Flats trying to make a difference

June 16 is celebrated as an iconic turning point in South Africa’s history. This year marks nearly 40 years since students in Soweto were gunned down by the apartheid police for protesting against Bantu Education and Afrikaans as the medium of instruction. About 176 students died that day, but has what they fought for become a reality? The Cape Flats has become synonymous with youth living in violent communities. While the class of ’76 took on a battle against the apartheid government, the class of 2015 has its own…