THURSDAY 03 September 2009 | VOLUME 3 | ISSUE 15


Mr Ngila Michael Muendane.

The theme of this year’s John Dube Memorial Lecture, 'Pixley KaIsaka Seme and the Regeneration of Africa: A Challenge for Religious Communities,' explored the significant contribution made by Dr Seme and Dr Dube to the political emancipation of South Africa during the apartheid era.

Exploring this thought-provoking topic was Mr Ngila Michael Muendane, Executive Director of Soul Talk Consultancy and author of the book: I am an African: Embrace your identity, Escape victimization.

“Dr Seme is remembered for his pioneering work in the founding of the African National Congress in 1912 and also the award-winning speech he gave at Columbia University in 1906 on the Regeneration of Africa which is understood as the catalyst for the African Renaissance,” said Dr Simanga Raymond Kumalo, Director of the Religion and Governance Programme at UKZN.

The Memorial Lecture, the flagship lecture of the Religion and Governance Programme in the School of Religion and Theology, honours the legacy of South Africa’s great political and religious leaders and seeks to encourage synergies between religious thought and approaches to governance as well as to encourage religious leaders to engage with civic issues and democratic governance.

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The rubidium atoms are collected and cooled with
finely tuned and precisely aligned lasers, in
conjunction with gradient magnetic fields in
an Ultra-High Vacuum system.

UKZN’s Quantum Research Group has trapped and cooled rubidium atoms to a few millionths of a degree from absolute zero (-273 degrees Celsius) allowing them to conduct research in quantum computing.

This extremely low temperature has been achieved in the first realisation of a Magneto-Optical Trap (MOT) on the African continent. The rubidium atoms are collected and cooled with finely tuned and precisely aligned lasers, in conjunction with gradient magnetic fields in an Ultra-High Vacuum system.

Rubidium atoms belong to a group of elements in the periodic system of elements called alkali-metals.

Professor Francesco Petruccione, who leads the Quantum Research Group at UKZN, said the MOT will be an important tool in their research related to quantum information processing.

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Mrs Celia Snyman.

Research aimed at containing cancer cells to prohibit the spread of breast cancer has enabled a UKZN PhD student to receive a prestigious Department of Science and Technology Women in Science Award this August.

Mrs Celia Snyman, currently completing her research for a Doctorate in Biochemistry, was awarded in the category of Fellowship for Women Scientists after the University Dean of Research at UKZN, Professor Cheryl Potgieter, nominated her. She competed with other nominees. Her research titled: ‘Proteases in invasive breast cancer’ seeks to find a single therapeutic target that will stop the invasion and spread of malignant cancer cells through localised containment of tumours that will allow complete surgical removal.

Long hours of dedicated searching for answers to provide better treatment options for women with breast cancer has contributed to Mrs Snyman’s success together with the advice of several individuals.

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From left: The Ambassador of Oman, Mr Khalid
Baomar with Professor Dasarath Chetty,
Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Corporate Relations.

The Ambassador of Oman, Mr Khalid Baomar, visited UKZN on August 19 to explore opportunities for student and staff exchange programmes and to open the way for Omani and Gulf students to attend the University on a full-time basis.

The Ambassador met with Professor Dasarath Chetty, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Corporate Relations, staff of the International Relations Office, personnel at the UKZN Foundation Office and key academics.

The visit was as a result of the UKZN Foundation’s exploratory discussion with the South African Department of Foreign Affairs regarding development partnerships and closer ties with the Gulf States.

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Dr Andrew Collier who was involved in the design
of the UKZN experiment on SumbandilaSat.

SumbandilaSat, a R26 million low-orbit micro satellite that was due to be launched in mid-August from Baikonur in Russia, carries a Very Low Frequency (VLF) radio experiment initiated by UKZN’s School of Physics.

Sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the satellite Sumbandila, which means “lead the way” in the Venda language, was developed by Sunspace, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and the University of Stellenbosch.

It is the second satellite constructed on African soil following the launch in 1999 of SunSat 1 from an air force base in California.

SumbandilaSat, which was launched as a secondary payload on a Russian Soyuz launch vehicle, includes a number of experimental payloads, one of which is the UKZN Physics VLF experiment.

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Ms Nadine Talbot.
Mr Alistair Marais.

First attempt candidates at UKZN's School of Accounting excelled in the 2009 Qualifying Examination (Part 1) of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA).

Part 1 of the qualifying examination is the standard-setting exam which is written after completing the Certificate in the Theory of Accounting (CTA) and is an assessment of core competence.

Out of the 133 first attempt candidates from UKZN, 110 were successful, representing a pass rate of 83 percent. This compares favourably with an 82 percent pass rate achieved in 2008.

Of the 3 373 candidates who wrote the examination (first attempts and repeats) in South Africa this year, 1972 (58 percent) were successful, with only 28 achieving Honours passes.

Two of the honours achievers, Mr Alistair Marais and Ms Nadine Talbot, are from UKZN (To achieve Honours, a candidate must attain an aggregate of at least 75 percent).

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Dr Fatima Suleman, Head of the Department of
Pharmacy and Pharmacology with Mr Philani Madlala,
the first pharmacy student to benefit from the
Pravin Gordhan Pharmacy Student Trust Fund.

A new trust fund offering UKZN pharmacy students support in their studies was launched at the Joint Independent Pharmacy Conference in Durban.

The Pravin Gordhan Pharmacy Trust Fund, an initiative of South Africa’s independent pharmacists, aims to address problems which hamper the studies of pharmacy students at UKZN.

The fund was established in response to concerns raised by the Head of the School of Pharmacy, Dr Fatima Suleman, and the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Professor Sabiha Essack, about the numerous problems pharmacy students face, other than tuition fees.

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From left: Professor Dasarath Chetty, Mr Thulani Khuluse, Mrs Ina
Cronje, Mr Jeff Radebe, Professor Ben Turok and Mr Sihle Zikalala.

Frank but collegial debates were the order of the day during the 40 year celebration of the African National Congress (ANC) Strategy and Tactics document, adopted initially in Morogoro in 1969, at the Graduate School of Business on August 27.

The panellists consisted of the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development Jeff Radebe, political analyst from UKZN’s Department of History, Dr Jabulani Sithole and ANC parliamentarian and struggle veteran Professor Ben Turok. The proceedings were moderated by Pro-Vice-Chancellor: Corporate Relations, Professor Dasarath Chetty.

Minister Radebe noted that “It is important to align the current strategy and tactics document to current scenarios. That is why the ANC reviews the document every five years so that it does not fall behind what is taking place in society. The Document must be aligned to the realities that currently are being experienced by our communities.”

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Professor Michael Samuel, Dean of the Faculty of
Education interacts with a delegate at
the conference in Ghana.

Home-grown African educational theorists are needed to improve Africa’s education landscape, says Professor Michael Samuel, the Dean of the Faculty of Education.

Professor Samuel made the comments at the recent Distance Education and Teacher Training in Africa (DETA) Conference held at the University of Cape Coast in Ghana. The Conference aimed to establish African solutions for the continent’s education woes through inter-continental partnerships.

Presenting the keynote address titled: 'The Situated Teacher: Conceptualising a “New” Teacher,' before education academics from 16 countries, Professor Samuel said Africa needed to produce its own educational theorists created by Africa, for Africa, in Africa. He said contributions from Africa needed to recognise the specific situatedness of Africans living in the realities of present day Africa.

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Director of the Centre for Civil Society, Professor
Patrick Bond and former Minister in the Office of
the Presidency, Dr Essop Pahad.

“Let me say it upfront, I am not going to discuss Zimbabwe or the HIV and AIDS issue because that will come from the panel – I’d better answer your questions rather than respond to the so-called tarnished reputation of Mbeki…”.

The former Minister in the Office of the Presidency, Dr Essop Pahad, was the guest speaker at a recent seminar hosted by the Centre for Civil Society (CCS) on: ‘Thinking about the Legacy of Thabo Mbeki’s Politics.’

Dr Pahad opted to defend Mr Mbeki, noting that he was not keen to talk about the legacy of Thabo Mbeki’s politics or thinking about it, because in his view central and critical to Mbeki’s political evolution, development, growth and maturity was the ANC and to some extent the SACP.

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Professor Anna Coutsoudis.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has sought the expert knowledge of UKZN's Professor Anna Coutsoudis in training its researchers on maternal nutrition at the National Food Technology Research Centre in Botswana.

Professor Coutsoudis of the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine's Department of Paediatric and Child Health, has been invited by the IAEA to help researchers develop a research protocol on measuring breast milk output in young mothers and the association between breast milk output and maternal nutrition.

While in Botswana her goal will be to help finalise the research protocol for researchers working out of the Centre. At the conclusion of the three-day training programme, the IAEA will fund a fellowship programme that will see a principal researcher train for six weeks at UKZN's Department of Paediatric and Child Health under the supervision of Professor Coutsoudis.

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From left: Professor R Collins, Professor KG Tomaselli, Dr M
Caldwell, Dr L Kincaid, Ms L Dyll, Ms E Govender, and Dr M Eke.

Culture, Communication and Media Studies and our students hosted no less than five international visitors (from US, UK and Sweden) all of whom actively contributed to CCMS programmes.

Dr Maureen Ngozi Eke (Central Michigan) and Professor Richard Collins (Open University) got off their planes from the US and UK, and walked straight into the Visual Anthropology class.

Ms Eva Ekstrand and Dr Lars Ekstrand (Hogskolen I Gavle) discussed inter-departmental collaboration, and all participated in Dr Larry Kincaid's lectures on methodology and public health communication, where they moved from Newton and Einstein to a discussion on love. Who says that methods classes can't be fun?

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Back from left: Mr Mike O’Shea, BMW South Africa;
Dean, Faculty of Management Studies, Professor
Lesley Stainbank; Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Teaching
and Learning, Professor Renuka Vithal; Mrs Thabang
Mohlala, ABI; Mr Anele Daniels, SAP Consultant and
Mr Sizwe Ntuli, Ngubane & Co; seated from left:
overall achiever in the second year, Mr Mxolisi Zulu;
Miss Nomcebo Mkhize, Imbewu Capital Partners; highest
achiever in the third year, Miss Alina Mphatsi and EMS
Programme Director, Mr Jabulani Zikhali.

Twenty years of unsurpassed success for the Enriched Management Studies (EMS) Programme has resulted in the qualification of more than 40 Black chartered accountants in South Africa.

This was noted at the EMS annual awards ceremony which brought together alumni and current students to celebrate their own successes and achievements at an event held on the Westville campus.

More than 500 Black students have graduated through the Programme and now occupy senior positions in both the government and the private sector.

The Dean of the Faculty of Management Studies, Professor Lesley Stainbank, awarded certificates of recognition to EMS overall top achievers: Miss Sthandwa Ngubane (first year student), Mr Mxolisi Zulu (second year student) and Miss Alina Mphatsi (third year student). Students who received a distinction in a module were also awarded certificates.

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Dr Petra Brysiewicz.
Ms Donatilla Mukamana.

The publication of a research article capturing the horrors of rape survivors of the 1994 Rwandan genocide has earned a UKZN academic and a former Master’s student international recognition.

Dr Petra Brysiewicz, a Senior Lecturer at the School of Nursing, and Ms Donatilla Mukamana, a former Master in Nursing student, will be presented with the Best Journal of Nursing Scholarship Award at the Honour Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International’s 40th Biennial Convention in the United States this October.

The article titled: ‘The Lived Experience of Genocide Rape Survivors in Rwanda,’ depicts the experiences and suffering of women who survived rape during the atrocities of 1994.

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The UKZN team which finished top of the hops in
two of the categories at the Intervarsity Beer
Brewing competition from left: Professor Stefan
Schmidt, Mr Richard Burgdorf, Ms Reeh Tekane,
Ms Megan Gemmell, Mr Graham Ellis, Mr Charles
Hunter and Mr Matthew van Wyngaard.

A team of microbiology students from UKZN’s Pietermaritzburg campus featured among the prize winners at the recent Intervarsity Beer Brewing competition in Pretoria.

The students, who tested their beer brewing skills against seven other universities - including one from California, were declared the winners in two of the four categories.

Judged by a panel of experienced tasters from South African Breweries (SAB), the Institute of Brewing and Distilling (IBD) and the Wort Hog Brewers Association of South Africa, the UKZN brew took top honours in the Lager and Speciality beer classes.

UKZN microbiology Professor, Stefan Schmidt, was extremely proud of his team. “Hard work, creativity, passion, along with a sound understanding of the microbiology and biochemistry involved in the brewing process, are required to produce a beer of good quality.”

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Professor Deresh Ramjugernath.

Professor Deresh Ramjugernath, a member of UKZN’s School of Chemical Engineering, recently took time out from his busy schedule to act as one of two judges in the Telkom South African Educator of the Year Awards at Emperor’s Palace in Gauteng.

Over two days, the task of chief judge, Dr Kevin Kemm, Nuclear Physicists and Professor Ramjugernath was to find the country’s best maths, science and technology educators at both primary and secondary school level.

Professor Ramjugernath and Dr Kemm are both avid proponents of science and technology education in South Africa and believe that “developing the future engineers and scientists for our country is not a task that is only accomplished at tertiary institutes; the process begins with good maths, science and technology educators at the primary and secondary education level”.

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Mr Mjabu Ngidi.

UKZN PhD student in Food Security, Mr Mjabu Ngidi, has returned from Chicago where he presented a paper at the 17th International Farm Management Congress.

Mr Ngidi’s paper was titled: ‘Investigating Household Food Security Coping Strategies and the Impact of Crop Production on Food Security Using Coping Strategy Index (CSI).’ The congress - themed ‘Food, Fibre and Energy for the Future’ - was held at Illinois State University.

“I was very excited by the news that the paper got accepted especially because this was a peer-reviewed paper,” said Mr Ngidi

Mr Ngidi enjoyed the opportunity of networking with the more than 200 international experts in agricultural sciences, life sciences and agribusiness who attended the congress.

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BOMSA students with children from Tholuthando Home.

Giving to those less fortunate is the goal of the Botswana Medical Students Association (BOMSA) who donated 15 boxes of clothes and food to the Tholuthando home in KwaNyuswa, Botha's Hill.

BOMSA is a student association at UKZN's Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine made up of mainly of students from Botswana.

The students visited the home which houses 33 children as part of the Association’s annual outreach project. BOMSA started raising funds in February this year, receiving donations from PEP, J.A.M. and Queensmead SPAR as well as from students.

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Mr Lucky Ngwenya.
Mr Lusanda Mkwenkweni.

Initiatives by Statistics South Africa, in conjunction with UKZN’s School of Statistics and Actuarial Science, will ensure that thousands of South African pupils understand th at statistics is a part of everyday life.

The initiatives, Maths4stats and ISIbalo, are two of a series of activities initiated to encourage the development of mathematics education.

Maths4stats aims to restore numeracy and statistical literacy in South Africa and to ensure that pupils acquire sufficient skills in statistics and mathematics to enter into the fields of science and engineering.

Mr Lusanda Mkwenkweni, Maths4stats Project Manager in KwaZulu-Natal, said one of the goals of Maths4stats was to see pupils leave school with a better understanding of mathematics and science.

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September sees a full and varied jazz programme at UKZN:

September 2: HABIT TO featuring Michelle Stent (guitar and vocals) Colin Stent (bass) and Dale Wardell (drums).

September 9: SUSHEELA RAMAN (vocals) and SAM MILLS (UK) (guitar)with Rajasthani musicians - Nathoo Lal Solanki (Nagada) and Chugge Khan Khamaicha, Khartal and Morchang).

September 15: TWOSDAY featuring Pregalathan Singaram (mrdingam) and Sazi Dlamini (vocals and ugubhu, umakhweyane and umqangala Nguni musical bows; uqalo reed flutes; kalimba; seed-type percussion and indlamu drum, among other instruments.

September 16: ERIC ARELLANO (USA) (sax) with Neil Gonsalves (piano) Prince Bulo (double/electric bass) and Paki Peloeole (drums).

September 23: University Vacation (No performance).

September 30: JAZZ EXPERIENCE with Sylvester Mavimbela(piano) Thabane Gapara (sax) Siyanda Zulu (trumpet) Prince Bulo (bass) and Sidney Rash (drums).

Admission: R20 (students R10) Time: 17h30 - 19h00 - Cash Bar Tel: 031 2603385
NB: Programme subject to change

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