Professor Malegapuru Makgoba with
Minister of Education, Mrs Naledi Pandor.
UKZN received high praise from the Minister of Education,
Mrs Naledi Pandor, during her address at the official
opening of the R90-million School of Biological and
Conservation Sciences building at the Westville campus
on March 20.
Spanning 12 000 square metres over five levels,
the new building features a triple volume atrium
leading to four glass-fronted seminar rooms, and
a common room.
Mrs Pandor also visited other new facilities on
the campus including the new student residences
- a R110 million project comprising 885 rooms -
and the upgraded Science facilities which include
four new laboratories.
In her opening address, the Minister said the new
and refurbished buildings indicated that funds allocated
towards infrastructure development were being used
“efficiently and effectively".
“New buildings are usually a sign of growth
and prosperity. They are usually a sign of an investment
in the future. I hope that is the case here.”
With the new facilities at its disposal Mrs Pandor
trusted that the University community would produce
more scientists to address the challenges in Biology.
The minister congratulated Vice-Chancellor, Professor
Malegapuru Makgoba, on the manner in which he and
his team had handled the merger challenges. “The
leadership of UKZN has executed their mandate very
well,” she added.
According to Professor Jenny Lamb, Deputy Head
of the School of Biological and Conservation Sciences,
the new state-of-the-art facility aims to promote
“science in action through research taking
place through glass-fronted labs and interaction
between staff and students”.
Andrew Kindness, Head of the School of Chemistry
said "At the first year laboratories
used by 1000 students per week, the Minister of
Education expressed her delight in the design concept
and was impressed by the standard of the laboratories.
She also visited the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
(NMR) spectrometers and instrument. facilities where
she was "surprised" by the level of infrastructure
in terms of analytical instrumentation."
than 500 people attended a special UKZN forum on March
19 which put the spotlight on racism – a scourge
still bedevilling South Africa.
left: Mr Sanele Shabalala, Professor
Gerhard Maré and
Mr Mac Maharaj
The forum was organised in the aftermath of the shocking
incident at the University of the Free State which
has been widely condemned in all quarters.
A capacity audience included students from all the
UKZN campuses, academics, prominent members of the
KZN Provincial Government, and representatives from
other South African Universities.
The forum was addressed by struggle stalwart, Mr Mac
Maharaj; UKZN Central Student Representative Council
President, Mr Sanele Shabalala; and Professor Gerhard
Maré, Professor in Sociology and Director of
the Centre for Critical Research on Race and Identity.
Chairing the forum, Dr Debby Bonnin, Head of the School
of Sociology and Social Sciences at Howard College,
said: “In the past two weeks the news has been
loaded with stories about issues around racism. We
need to ask ourselves what is our role in eradicating
Referring to the University of the Free State incident,
Mr Maharaj said: “There is a sense of shock
that such things are happening in South Africa 14
years after democracy.” He said it was important
to recognise South Africa had a racial problem. “We
cannot deny that the issue of racism is still prevalent
in this country and the harsh reality is that democracy
on its own cannot eradicate racism; it requires us
to make an active effort towards eradicating it.”
Mr Shabalala began his address by
taking the audience through the history of apartheid
in this country. “Racism is alive and well.
Students still face issues of racism and they just
keep quiet about them. In order for us to engage
in the debate of how we will eradicate racism, we
need to be open, honest and practical.”
Maré said that a topic such as this one needs
people to sit and engage in intense conversations
so that conclusions can be established about the
issue at hand. He said that racism is something
that we think, we experience and we construct. He
said racists are not constructed through our own
doing, but they exist through heritage.
the Sake of Silence, Professor Michael Green's
latest novel, will be launched at the 2008 Time of
the Writer festival which runs at the Elizabeth Sneddon
Theatre from March 25-30. Set against the history
of the Mariannhill Monastery outside Durban, the work
is of great local and general interest.
Professor JM Coetzee, winner of the 2003 Nobel Prize
in Literature writes, “Of the Trappist enterprise
in nineteenth-century South Africa, with all its passionate
personal rivalries and Byzantine internal politics,
Michael Cawood Green has made a work of history cum
fiction that will grip and sometimes amaze the reader.”
Green of the English Department was recently appointed
Head of the School of Literary Studies, Media and
Creative Arts. He was given his second Distinguished
Teaching Award last year on the basis of the undergraduate
and postgraduate Creative Writing courses he introduced
and developed at UKZN.
the Sake of Silence is based upon the founding
of the Trappist monastery of Mariannhill. Deeply
researched, it follows the monastery's inexorable
slide into the missionary work forbidden to Trappists,
and the storm that breaks as the monks' silent life
drifts into the world of words.
is a book developed out of travel as much as of
time. The journeys necessary for its writing took
in some of the more obscure corners of southern
Africa and include equally obscure corners in Germany,
Austria, Italy, the Czech Republic, Ireland, and
Green's previous publications include a book-length
study on the uses of history in fiction, Novel
Histories, and his own first work of historical
fiction, Sinking, both published in 1997.
launch of For the Sake of Silence will
take place at 18h45 on Wednesday March 26 at the
Wellington Tavern Deck of the Elizabeth Sneddon
human rights and foreign policy were the cornerstones
of the 15th Alan Paton Lecture delivered by the University
of Pretoria’s Professor John Dugard at UKZN.
The Lecture was organised by the Alan Paton Centre
and Struggle Archives, and sponsored by the Liberal
John Dugard and Colin Gardner at
the Alan Paton Centre.
Professor Dugard was introduced by Professor Colin
Gardner, who had read the laudation in 1990 when
Professor Dugard received an Honorary Doctorate
from the University of Natal. Professor Dugard,
an eminent academic, is currently Professor of Law
at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria.
he was Professor of International Law at the University
of Leiden in the Netherlands and from 1978 to 1990
he was Director of the Centre for Applied Legal
Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand.
He is a member of the UN International Law Commission
and a Judge ad hoc of the International
Court of Justice.
Professor Dugard, who started his academic career
in 1961 as lecturer in Law at the University of
Natal, has been given honorary doctorates by five
South African universities.
School of Music presented an electrifying concert
titled Remembering Kenya on March 10 at the
Howard College Theatre.
Music Ensemble at the Remembering
Remembering Kenya, a tribute
to the displaced people and victims of violence
in Kenya, was conceived and produced by Dr Patricia
Opondo, Director of the African Music & Dance
The concert featured staff and students
of the African Music and Dance Programme and showcased
compositions by Shiyani Ngcobo (Guitar), Perminus
Matiure (Mbira), Brother Clement Sithole (Umakhweyana
bow) and the UKZN African Music Ensemble led by
In her opening remarks Dr Opondo
expressed her grief about incidents in Kenya. “Being
from Kenya, and having been home during the elections,
and also having witnessed the beginnings of the
unfortunate turn of events, made my return to Durban
Muthoni Njenga, a Masters student in Applied Ethnomusicology
and a part-time lecturer in the African Music and
Dance Programme, said the aim had been to highlight
the beautiful things about Kenya. “We wanted
to remember Kenya in a positive light, using music
and songs. Let’s see Kenya the way it was,
not what it has just become.”
and presenters of the
five-day course on disabilities.
five-day course highlighting the needs and challenges
of the disabled was held on the Pietermaritzburg
campus from March 10-14. Towards an Inclusive
Society for People with Disabilities was an
initiative of the Disability Unit, Student Counselling
and the Careers Centre in conjunction with the Disability
Action Research Team (DART) and Community Rehabilitation
for Training and Empowerment (CREATE).
aimed to create awareness among the University community
about disability issues with the intention of promoting
an “inclusive barrier-free society”.
Twelve support staff members and an international
PhD student registered for the course. An interesting
aspect was that most presentations were made by
people with disabilities – they included PhD
students from UKZN, staff working at CREATE, and
of the course, Ms Nafisa Mayat, said: “The
knowledge within the University community about
disability issues is limited. As a result many stereotypes
and myths exist. One of the aims of the course was
to focus on non-disabled people’s prejudices
against people with disabilities.”
programme addressed issues of labelling and stereotypes
associated with disability, models of disability,
disability policy and the barriers that people with
disabilities encountered and its impact on their
lives. According to Ms Mayat there are about 200
students with disabilities studying at UKZN.
of the Professor Elma Nel Award, Mr
with Professors Elma Nel (left) and
Eleni Maunder (right).
Discipline of Dietetics and Human Nutrition presented
several awards to their best students at their annual
Discipline Cocktail Party and Awards Ceremony on
the Pietermaritzburg campus.
by African Medical Catering & Allied Equipment
(AMCA), the Food Systems Africa Scholarship for
the best first-year BSc Dietetics student was awarded
to Miss Ursula Wittig.
The Roussel Floating Trophy awarded to the best
second-year BSc Dietetics student went to Miss Natalie
Harrison, and Mr Reno Gordon received the Professor
Elma Nel Award for the most improved second-year
Nutrition student. Director of AMCA, Mr Vincent
Meagher, and the former Head of the Discipline of
Dietetics and Human Nutrition, Professor Elma Nel
were on hand to present the prizes.
Nel said it was very “gratifying” to
see so many students studying Dietetics and Human
Nutrition and said that only five students registered
for the programme when it first started in the 1970s.
management of water was the focus of a series of 10
seminars presented in Australia by Dr Mark Dent, Senior
Lecturer at the Centre for Environment, Agriculture
and Development (CEAD).
Left: Mr Jeff Camkin of CSIRO, Mr Peter
Addison the Western Australian Branch
President, Dr Mark Dent and Mr Ed Hauck
from the Department of Water, Australia.
Dent visited Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Townsville,
Brisbane and Canberra during his two-week stay.
seminars concentrated on integrated, multi-stakeholder
water resource allocation and management processes,
and included lessons from South Africa’s experiences
in water reform.
key objective of Dr Dent’s visit was to promote
cross-country dialogue and learning, as well as to
explore potential future collaboration around water
invitation was in recognition of Dr Dent’s leadership
and work in South Africa on water issues. He has recently
been appointed to co-ordinate a national network project
on Catchment Management Agency expertise development
for the Framework for Research, Education and Training
in Water (FETWater).
of the Western Australian Branch of the Australian
Water Association, Mr Peter Addison said, “I
was impressed by Mark’s insights into the complexities
and challenges of massive resource shortages in a
developing country, and the way they are tackling
them with great commitment”.
Dent’s visit to Australia was hosted and sponsored
by: the International Centre of Excellence in Water
Management, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial
Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Co-operative Centre
for Irrigation Futures, the Natural Resources Commission
(New South Wales) and the Australian government.
into the history of Durban’s McCord Hospital
carried out by UKZN’s Historical Studies Department
inspired one of its students to conduct her own study
on the hospital for her Honours Degree in History.
Miss Michelle Floyd
is researching the contributions made by three women
who were the wives of Superintendents at the McCord
Hospital. Her research will look at the lives of
Margaret McCord, Mary Taylor and Mavis Orchard who
she believes made significant contributions to the
hospital between 1909 and 1986.
Floyd was first exposed to the McCord Project while
completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Politics
and History between 2005 and 2007. The McCord Project
- being conducted by researchers Associate Professor
Catherine E Burns, Dr Vanessa Noble and Dr Julie
Parle aims to provide a critical history of the
McCord Hospital since its inception in 1909.
her interest in the history of McCord Hospital developed,
Miss Floyd decided the important role of the wives
of the Superintendents needed to be highlighted.
“The wives made a significant contribution
to history, yet they are under represented. They
were important figures who did so much for the hospital
in terms of fundraising, administration, nursing
and the general running of the establishment but
have not received recognition.”
her research Miss Floyd, who was recently awarded
the Pat Merrit Prize for academic excellence in
History, hopes to give the missionary wives the
acknowledgement they deserve for their contribution
to the McCord Hospital as well as providing background
material for researchers of the McCord Project.
22nd Annual Conference of the South African Association
of Hospital and Institutional Pharmacists (SAAHIP)
was held from March 6-9, at the Champagne Sports Resort
in the Drakensberg, KwaZulu-Natal.
left: Professor Sabiha Essack, Dean:
Faculty of Health Sciences and Dr Fatima
Suleman, Discipline Chair of Pharmacy
South African Hospital and Institutional
Pharmacy not only spans the gap between the public
and private sectors, but encompasses many different
practice settings. There is thus much scope for
innovation, and also the best possible opportunity
to apply the precepts of pharmaceutical care.
A paper by Professor Sabiha Essack
and Dr Fatima Suleman from the School of Pharmacy
and Pharmacology was the winner of the Sandoz Best
Presentation of an Academic Award. The presentation
was titled “Treatment guidelines and Nosocomial
infections – the KwaZulu-Natal experience”.
This study evaluated nationally-devised
standard treatment guidelines (STGs) for nosocomial
infections in the context of antibiotic resistance
within the public health care system in Kwazulu-Natal.
Nosocomial infections are hospital acquired infections
(a patient enters the hospital for one condition
and ends up getting ill with a condition caused
by organisms in a hospital, and unrelated to the
study showed that resistance profiles amongst bacteria
vary too much to allow a national antibiotic policy
as proposed in the STGs. Rather such guidelines
should be directed to specific profiles found in
different hospitals and at different levels of health
care. Regular surveillance to adjust such guidelines
in combination with stringent infection control
is essential to the containment of nosocomial infections.
Alan Whiteside, Director of the Health Economics and
HIV and AIDS Research Division (HEARD), has launched
his latest book: HIV/AIDS: A very Short Introduction.
book includes sections on the science, politics
and socio-economics of HIV and AIDS. The far-reaching
impacts of HIV and AIDS on individuals, communities
and societies globally are explored in this work,
as are potential positive and effective responses
to its effects.
Whiteside believes that strong leadership is needed
in South Africa in order to deal with the pandemic.
During the launch he pointed out that gender equality
played an important role as women were more likely
to be affected and more involved in care for people
with HIV and AIDS.
book will be beneficial to researchers and librarians
as it has an extensive reference section on the
best publications in the field. It is available
at most leading bookstores.
To read a selection of reviews and obtain purchasing
details, go to: http://www.heard.org.za/whatsnew/whatsnewIndex.htm
left: Mr Piet le Roux, The Witness;
Professor Anesh Singh, Graduate School
of Business; Mr Sandile Zungu, Guest
Speaker and Ms Helet Byron, Sanlam.
various crises being experienced in South Africa
begged for solutions thus presenting business opportunities
for enterprising entrepreneurs. This was the gist
of the message delivered by guest speaker, Mr Sandile
Zungu, Chair of Zungu Investments, at the first
business breakfast of this year hosted by UKZN’s
Graduate School of Business.
Zungu highlighted the negativity in South Africa
at present mentioning issues such as the energy
crisis, crime, unemployment and racism. Rather than
complaining, he encouraged guests to think about
what needed to be done to correct the situation.
“For South Africa to prosper, we need to have
transformational leaders,” said Mr Zungu,
who challenged the corporate sector and other entrepreneurs
to familiarise themselves with transformational
mentioned Employment Equity as one of the laws some
corporate organisations were not willing to adopt.
Mr Zungu acknowledged there was a shortage of specialists
in fields such as Information Technology and Accounting
but he criticised businessmen who used the ‘lack
of skilled workers’ as an excuse not to transform
when thousands of graduates were without jobs.
Zungu ended his talk by motivating guests to become
agents for effective and meaningful change which
would lead to prosperity.
Graduate School of Business hosts regular business
presentations and seminars. For information on upcoming
events telephone Ms Debbie Main on 031-260 1627
or visit www.gsb.ukzn.ac.za or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
consulting with patients at the Happy
Happy Valley Clinic at KwaNqetho in the Hillcrest
area was established in the early 1960s by a group
of students from the Medical School under the supervision
of qualified medical doctors.
students realised that there was a lack of medical
care in disadvantaged communities where many people
suffered from serious illnesses.
50 years later the clinic is still providing a vital
service - primary health care which involves treating
minor illnesses, providing health education and
conducting HIV and AIDS campaigns in different communities.
addition to these services, medical students participate
in a project called Khayalethu ‘(Our
Home)’ in conjunction with the Community Committee.
Students provide support by buying school uniforms
and food and providing medical services to those
students also run HIV and AIDS community intervention
programmes. “In our most recent workshop,
we had an interactive session where community members
could ask questions related to the condition,”
said Mr Frans Maruma, who is the Medical School
SRC President and former Chairperson of the Happy
Valley Clinic. “This is all part of our attempt
to help stop the spread of HIV and AIDS.”
is an emphasis on child care education. Topics covered
include growth monitoring, oral rehydration, the
importance of breastfeeding and family planning.
addition to all of these services the students also
do home visits to disabled patients who cannot make
their way to the clinic and to bedridden community
students at the lunch braai held by
UKZN Diving Club.
International Student Support Offices (ISSO) have
been hard at work in recent weeks ensuring that
the large number of foreign students attending the
university have settled in and been welcomed with
ISSO offices on the different campuses have worked
in co-operation with the International Students
Association (ISA) to assist students from countries
such as Africa, Australia, Germany, Korea, the United
States, Canada, France, the Czech Republic, Norway
and the Netherlands.
Pietermaritzburg campus team assisted their international
students settle into accommodation and helped them
shop! A campus tour was followed by a city bus tour
and, for the first time, the young folk were included
in the main stream orientation.
joint Howard and Westville campus Orientation programme
was a great success with foreign students being
welcomed by Professor Dasarath Chetty, Pro-Vice-Chancellor
Corporate Relations, and Dr Bheki Ngcobo, Deputy
Dean of Students at Howard College. The UKZN Diving
Club hosted everyone at a lunch braai at the Howard
College swimming pool. The students' week-long itinerary
included a Ricksha bus tour and community outreach
Westville and Edgewood Meet-and-Greet Orientation
Programme,held at the Asoka Theatre on the Westville
campus, was co-ordinated by ISA Vice-Chairperson,
Mr Sikhanyiso Ndlovu. The programme was aimed at
helping students learn more about the services available
on the campus.
results of DNA Ancestory Testing done on 98 people
at UKZN’s Pietermaritzburg campus last year
were released this month. The participants were from
15 different countries - South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana,
Zimbabwe, Eritrea, Kenya, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi,
Namibia, Rwanda, New Zealand, United States, Cuba
Himla Soodyall of the Wits Human Genomic
and Disease Research Unit explaining
the results to the participants.
The results showed participants
where their ancestors of 17 000 to 100 000 years
ago had probably originated. Data gained through
the testing will be added to the African Genome
Education Institute (AGEI) database.
The project began in October last
year when the Alan Paton Centre & Struggle Archives
liaised with the AGEI and Ancestry 24.com to conduct
DNA Ancestry Testing on the Pietermaritzburg campus.
Wilmot James, Chief Executive of AGEI, Cape Town
and Mr Heeran Makkan of the Wits Human Genomic Diversity
and Disease Research Unit (HGDDRU) visited the campus
to take cheek swab samples from the participants.
The results were presented this month by Professor
Himla Soodyall of the Wits HGDDRU. Mitochondrial
DNA (mtDNA) test results were given to both men
and women, and Y chromosome test results were given
to men. The mtDNA is inherited through the matriline,
and is passed on through the mothers. The Y chromosome
is passed down through the fathers.
website www.ancestry24.co.za contains an article
about similar Ancestry Testing which took place
in Cape Town. For more information about the Alan
Paton Centre, visit: www.ukzn.ac.za/paton
Westville campus branch of the National Education
Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU) has
been relaunched with a new committee at the helm.
The branch was shut down in 2005 due to a “leadership
on the relaunch, the newly-elected Chairperson,
Mr Zola Saphetha, said it was a constitutional requirement
of NEHAWU to have a functioning and operating branch
to serve its members and engage seriously on the
transformational issues at UKZN.
relaunch event was attended by two prominent members
from the Regional Office of NEHAWU - the Regional
Secretary, Mr Alpheus Myeza, and the Provincial
Tertiary Organiser, Mr Eric Cele.
new committee comprises Chairperson, Mr Saphetha;
Deputy Chairperson, Mr Derek Buchler; Secretary,
Mr Silas Mpungose and Treasurer, Miss Phindiwe Rasmeni.
Saphetha said the priority “is to conduct
an audit on the transformation processes which have
taken place at this University since its inception”.
added that the vision for 2008 was to assist in
building UKZN as the Premier University of African
Scholarship where great value is placed on the sweat
and toil of workers as well as their intellectual
of the participants at the Indoor Air
workshop at a testing site.
than 30 Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs)
from municipalities around South Africa received
training on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) at the St Philomena’s
Hospitality Centre in Sydenham.
training was done by the Department of Occupational
and Environmental Health at the Nelson R Mandela
School of Medicine. Environmental Health Practitioners
from Northern Cape, North West Province and Eastern
Cape municipalities attended the five-day workshop
which was a capacity building exercise aimed at
equipping EHPs with the necessary skills to address
the issue of Indoor Air Quality within their municipalities.
Since last year a total of 92 EHPs have been trained
by this Department.
of the workshop, Professor Nceba Gqaleni, said there
were many programmes to assist EHPs in addressing
outdoor pollution problems but none pertaining to
IAQ which was the cause of many health problems.
identified poor ventilation in certain buildings,
dust mites, emissions from paraffin and second-hand
tobacco smoke as contributing factors to poor indoor
air quality. He said this caused health problems
such as asthma, tuberculosis, allergies and other
the training we have offered, the EHPs can go back
home to their own provinces and apply the training
we have facilitated to develop their own programmes
to overcome IAQ problems,” said Professor
institutions can play a vital role in the economic
upliftment of communities in KwaZulu-Natal. This is
what delegates heard at a summit hosted by the UMngeni
Municipality on the participation of tertiary institutions
in local economic development.
of UKZN's Faculty of Management Studies addressed
delegates at the three-day Regional Economic Development
and Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE)
aim of the Summit was to bring together representatives
from the three spheres of government, the business
sector, NGOs and the local community to form an
action plan on developing the economy and implementing
B-BBEE in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
his address, Mr Jabulani Zikhali, Director of the
Enriched Management Studies Programme, highlighted
the challenges faced by local municipalities and
unpacked the role of local tertiary institutions,
citing UKZN as a good example.
institutions are located within communities to offer
skills and services that can be used to improve
socio-economic conditions. Local municipalities
will, therefore, benefit a great deal by linking
up with these tertiary institutions to jointly devise
strategies for local economic development initiatives,"
said Mr Zikhali.
Centre for Entrepreneurship and Graduate School
of Business, both attached to the Faculty of Management
Studies, are involved in skills training for local
Durban music fans are in for a double treat when
musicians from Switzerland, Mozambique and Turkey
take the stage on two consecutive days at UKZN's
Tuesday April 1, the percussion band, Beat Bag Bohemia,
will present a programme of rhythmic influences
from Rock to Contemporary Jazz. The band comprises
South African drummer, Kesivan Naidoo, djembe/mbira
player Rolando Lamussene from Mozambique and two
Swiss percussionists, Peter Conradin Zumthor and
all have performance credits with numerous experimental
bands and, in Mr Naidoo's case, top jazz ensembles.
Wedesday April 2, the ever innovative Jazz Centre
showcases an unusual duo from Turkey, which features
Kamil Erdem on bass and Sibel Kose on vocals. Based
in Istanbul these artists are extremely popular
in Turkey and present mainly mainstream jazz in
a unique format.
blends in the rhythms of the Balkans, Anatolia and
the Middle East while Kose has flavoured her jazz
singing with pop and modern big-band styles.
Erdem, she has played with the top jazz stars in
Turkey and many visiting artists. Recently Darius
Brubeck, who initiated their South African tour,
joined them on stage at Istanbul's famous Nardis
Club and he will also appear as a guest artist for
a few numbers at the Jazz Centre.
shows start at 5.30pm with admission R20 (students
Glynis on 031-260-3385 for further information.