What did Uncle Kathy mean to South African children?

Struggle stalwart, Ahmed Kathrada visited E.P. Baumann Primary School in 2015 and his impact was lasting. The kids were awed by his impact in the struggle, his relationship with Nelson Mandela and the time he spent in prison. The Daily Vox team spoke to some schoolkids about meeting Ahmed Kathrada, and the impact he had on their lives. Who was Ahmed Kathrada? He was a dearly good friend to Nelson Mandela, they met up in prison because they both fought for freedom in apartheid. - Laai’qah Bhula, 9 He was a very good person…

#TaxiRape is a reminder that women’s bodies are under constant attack

Even during the week of Human Rights Day, South Africans weren't free of human rights violations. The #TaxiRape story - of a white Quantum minibus taxi that reportedly picks up women in and around Soweto and then robs and rapes them - was just one of them. As horrific as #TaxiRape is - it will not stop women from taking the taxi on a daily basis. South Africans are reliant on taxis because they are a convenient and affordable means of transport. Women are no different, despite the additional safety threats they face on a…

Protesters demand jobs in a march on new Ballito mall

The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) was joined by hundreds of protesters on Thursday in a march ending at the new Ballito Junction Regional Mall in demand of jobs for the youth. The march was supposed to be peaceful, but altercations broke out between protesters, journalists, and the police. #BallitoJunction mass protest in full swing, the #ANCYL believe the economy should benefit the region as a whole. @TheMercurySA @DailyNewsSA pic.twitter.com/XP8fFbFwlL — Blue Security (@bluesecuritydbn) March 23, 2017 The march was led by…

Shoppers threaten to boycott Woolworths unless staff gets LGBTQI sensitivity training

LGBTQI groups have urged retailer Woolworths to implement LGBTQI sensitivity training for its staff after a gay man was mocked by employees at one of its Johannesburg branches. A marketing executive, Rico Zaaiman, was shopping at Woolworths in Strubens Valley when a staff member ridiculed him by pretending to walk like a woman and carrying a handbag. Zaaiman confronted the employee and manager of the store but left “insulted and humiliated” after receiving a lacklustre apology from the employee and half-hearted promise to…

10 things we learned from the presentation of the #FeesMustFallReport

Our understanding of #FeesMustFall demands nuance because the movement is not ubiquitous. The Daily Vox saw this when it attended the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) seminar on the student uprisings and the rise of fallism on Thursday. Researchers from nine of the 21 South African universities presented research into an analysis of the #FeesMustFall movement. The seminar revealed a number of dynamics that are at play in a movement that is presented as uniform but is, in fact, far from it. 1. Our…

Student groups condemn goose-step, Hitler salute at Wits

A Wits University student was filmed on Thursday performing a goose-step and Nazi strong-arm salute on campus. This comes at the end of the Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) activities on campus, which began on Monday, 6 March. The goose-step and Nazi salute are associated with the German army and the Holocaust - a period in German history in which Hitler and the Nazi regime displaced thousands of Jewish communities, and persecuted and killed over six million Jewish people. The goose-step and Nazi salute are deeply anti-Semitic.…

Xenophobia in South Africa shows a disconnect with ubuntu

Ubuntu is a southern African ethical concept that suggests that humanity is interdependent. Rooted in a sense of community, ‘ubuntu’ means that we are people through other people. South Africa pushes a strong rhetoric of ubuntu, for example the way Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu used it to substantiate rainbowism. While South Africans claim the concept of ubuntu, we also display disturbingly xenophobic undercurrents, which emerged in 2008. And they keep resurfacing. Over the last couple of weeks we have seen a resurgence in…

The DA should take responsibility for Cape Town’s water crisis

South Africans have been a little obsessed with the weather lately, and for good reason. We’ve been experiencing a drought for the past two years. But while Gauteng seems to be in the clear (for now) - the Vaal Dam is filled to capacity - following the abundance of rainfall over the past couple of weeks, the Western Cape - and the City of Cape Town in particular - remains thirsty. In the Western Cape, dam levels are sitting at 31%, having dropped by 1.6% in one week. With the rainy season far away and only 120 days of water…

Why are immigrants soft targets for local frustrations?

Over the past month, South Africa has experienced a recent resurgence in xenophobic violence. With the looting of shops and destruction of houses belonging to foreign nationals in Pretoria West, Atteridgeville and Rosettenville and a “march against immigrants” planned in Mamelodi it seems that our neighbours have turned into strangers once more. This #Atteridgeville resident says he recieved a pamphlet alerting the community about a march to Home Affairs offices against foreigners. pic.twitter.com/RdEiVevyLZ — Lirandzu…

Students find refuge in church as the #UPResCrisis continues

On Wednesday, relief organisation Gift of the Givers donated hygiene packs to the students without accommodation at the University of Pretoria (UP). Some students have found refuge at the Elim Church after they were chased away from the Student Centre by campus security and bouncers, where they had been sleeping earlier this week. All students who need residence placemet should go to the Piazza at 12, an NGO will be handing out basic hygiene packs #UpresCrisis — Caroline Letsoalo (@letsoalocarolin) February 15, 2017 “A few…

UPResCrisis: students struggling for accommodation, university claims it’s all staged

Students at the University of Pretoria (UP) were chased away and allegedly assaulted by campus security late on Monday night. The students were attempting to find refuge in the Student Centre because they had no place to sleep. The students brought the situation to attention under the hashtag #UPResCrisis, but management says it has reason to believe the incident was staged. Amla Monageng, chairperson of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Student Command, told The Daily Vox that students sleeping in the Student Centre were…

Outside #SONA17: What the Parliamentary channel won’t show you

It was evident that what transpired inside Parliament on Thursday night during the president’s state of the nation address (SONA) was nothing short of chaos. But if you thought what happened inside was messy, you should know what erupted outside, as told by people on the ground. The Daily Vox rounds up what happened beyond parliamentary walls, according to opposition parties and journalists. EFFing off from Parliament, onto the street As expected, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) were removed from the National Assembly…

Academic activities suspended at WSU, DUT over registration fees and accommodation issues Walter Sisulu University

Walter Sisulu University The East London and Mthatha campuses of Walter Sisulu University (WSU) have suspended academic activities and registration processes until further notice. Deputy president of the East London Buffalo City campus SRC, Malumgifa Toli, told The Daily Vox that students are “facing challenges with registration”. Students are concerned that those who went to no-fee paying schools and those with parents on social grants had been made to pay registration fees even though, as per Minister of Higher Education,…

Search continues for Shiraaz Mohamed, missing for three weeks

It's been almost a month since Johannesburg-based photojournalist, Shiraaz Mohamed disappeared while traveling with aid group Gift of the Givers in Syria. According to the group, Mohamed had been kidnapped on January 10 on his way to the Turkish border. But a series of contradictory statements from Gift of the Givers have set off a trail of confusion. First, the aid group said they knew where he was. Sooliman, founder of Gift of the Givers, said on January 23 that this organisation had an idea of where Mohamed was but that…

An ancient remnant from a lost continent has been found, and it’s pretty cool

Scientists have evidence that confirms the existence of a “lost continent” in the Indian Ocean, beneath the island of Mauritius. A piece of lava-covered crust found on the island appears to be a remnant from the break-up of the supercontinent, Gondwana, which began about 200 million years ago. The Daily Vox spoke to University of Witwatersrand’s Professor Lewis Ashwal, one of the leading scientists in the discovery, about what exactly was discovered and what it means for the world. Before we get into this groundbreaking…

Cultures are not disposable garments – or at your disposal

I prefer markets over malls. I like knowing the woman who hand-crafted my bracelet or the man who lovingly constructed that shwarma for me (with extra hummus). It’s more personal - and satisfying. So it’s no surprise that I found myself at a little market over the weekend. It was no different than any other market I had visited before. It’s a mish mash of cultures from all over the world, borrowing a little bit from everybody to create the new cool. What’s not to love? A little bit of Japanese zen, reiki healing and the…

We need national buy-in with the distribution of free sanitary pads

The Kwazulu Natal Department of Education is distributing free sanitary pads to poor menstruating learners as part of an initiative that it launched last year. While this is commendable, it is only the first step in ensuring that sanitary pads are accessible to all those who are menstruating. Lack of access to sanitary pads is not just a matter of education; it is a matter of health and dignity as well. The initiative to distribute sanitary pads in KwaZulu-Natal was launched in November last year but distribution only…

We need to talk about the ‘taboo’ of women’s health in SA

Women’s healthcare in South Africa is steeped in stigma and misinformation, and Donald Trump’s Global Gag Rule does nothing to clear the misunderstanding. There is a severe lack of education locally surrounding women’s health, particularly surrounding reproductive and family planning services. The problem has little to do with money and more to do with misinformation and strained healthcare workers. It seems that women who visit public clinics face worse stigma than those in private clinics. The Daily Vox spoke to South…

When men make decisions about women’s bodies, nobody wins

This week, eight rich white men took a decision that directly affects the lives of millions of women and girls in the developing world. US president Donald Trump signed the Mexico City Policy (or the Global Gag Rule, as it is referred to) cutting US funding for health clinics that provide reproductive health services worldwide. The Daily Vox spoke to Andrea Thompson of Marie Stopes South Africa - which is part of an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) that provides contraception and safe abortion services to 37…

Why does Trump hate women?

On his first Monday as President of the US, Donald Trump reinstated the Mexico City Policy, blocking US funding for health clinics that provide reproductive health services worldwide.  This was just two days after millions of women in the US and across the globe marched for women’s rights under Trump’s rule. 44 years ago, #RoevWade made reproductive freedom the law of the land. Yesterday, millions of us took to the streets to say: #WeWontGoBack. pic.twitter.com/y3fdcCZ0iX — Elizabeth Esty (@RepEsty) January 22, 2017 But what…