witsreview april 2016 vol 34

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The magazine for ALUMNI and friends of the University of the Witwatersrand

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    WITSReviewApril 2016 Volume 34

    The magazine for ALUMNI and friends of the University of the Witwatersrand

    April 2016 Volum

    e 34

    Carl & Emily Fuchs Foundation Top Achiever Award 2015 (MACE)Best External Magazine 2015 (MACE)

    WITSMATTERS

    www.wits.ac.za/annualfund

    Enquiries: Purvi Purohit, Senior Liaison Ofcer, purvi.purohit@wits.ac.zaTel +27 (11) 717 1093 or annualfund@wits.ac.za

    ANNUALWITS

    FUND

  • Wits improves in World Rankings

    QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2016

    Wits University has been ranked

    Performance indicators forQS subject rankings

    Academic reputation 40%

    Student-to-faculty ratio 20%

    Citations per faculty 20%

    Employer reputation 10%

    International faculty ratio 5%

    International student ratio 5%

    The QS World University Rankings by Subject for 2015/16 were announced on 22 March 2016. Wits has improved in 10 subjects that the QS World University Rankings measure according to a universitys six performance indicators: Academic reputation; student-to-faculty ratio; citations per faculty; employer reputation; international faculty ratio; and international student ratio.

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    Wits ranks internationally

    Geography

    EngineeringMinerals & Mining Anthropology

    TOP 100

    TOP 150English Language & Literature

    Earth & Marine Sciences

    TOP 200

    Communication & Media Studies

    History

    Medicine

    Pharmacy & Pharmacology

    Politics & International Studies

    TOP300 Physics & Astronomy

    TOP

    5014thDevelopment Studies

    26thArchaeology

    Archaeology

    Engineering(Mineral & Mining)

    Dentistry

    Materials Science

    Anthropology

    number onein South Africa

    in Alumni Outcomes** QS considered the educational background of over 20 000 highly influential employers, sector leaders, and award-winning professionals, as well as individual professionals to rank which universities are proving themselves as sources of successful employees and employers, and can claim to have positively influenced their alumnis development.

    33rd in the world

  • April 2016 | WITSReview | 1

    EDITORIAL

    There was great concern therefore when a new round

    of increasingly violent protest action erupted on many

    university campuses early in the new year. Wits was

    spared from any disruption, but some universities

    experienced such violent and destructive behaviour

    that some campuses had to close for a period of time.

    In an opinion piece published in the Sunday Times on

    21 February 2016, Vice-Chancellors Professor Adam

    Habib and Rhodes Universitys Dr Sizwe Mabizela

    observed: The current student protests on campuses

    across our country are distinctly different from those

    that we saw last year. The protesting communities no

    longer represent the non-racial, multi-class alliance

    that united the entire student community and

    mobilised the support of multiple stakeholders in our

    society. Instead, the protest movements have been

    hijacked by small groups that are using increasingly

    violent methods of protest The modus operandi

    of these groups has clearly changed from the broad

    and diverse movement that united across race,

    class, culture and gender lines, to one that is highly

    politicised, downright violent and even racist.

    While it appears that extremist offshoots from

    #FeesMustFall have since been isolated and that

    safety and security measures have now stabilised the

    university sector, there remain many unresolved issues

    that need to be addressed. Foremost among these is

    the issue of affordability of a university education.

    Fundraising initiatives such as the Wits SRCs #Access

    campaign and generous support from corporates

    and individual alumni have helped ameliorate the

    immediate plight of especially those students who

    do not qualify for financial aid based on the means

    test, but who nonetheless cannot afford a university

    education.

    An exciting new fundraising campaign aimed at

    providing sustainable financial support for students

    has also been initiated by the Forum of former

    Wits SRC and Black Student Society Presidents. The

    Forum recently launched the South African Student

    Solidarity Foundation for Education, a public benefit

    organisation that will raise funds for the holistic

    support of students in need.

    Perhaps one outcome of the #FeesMustFall campaign

    is that South Africa will learn from the example of

    many of the most successful universities in the world

    by increasingly relying on philanthropy rather than

    state funds to ensure both access and quality. One

    example is Harvard University, which has grown

    significant endowment funds over many decades

    and has now been able to announce that families

    with annual incomes of $65 000 or less will not pay

    anything towards the cost of a Harvard education.

    Peter Maher

    Director: Alumni Relations

    In our last issue we reported on the #FeesMustFall campaign and the various agreements that were reached with students as a result of their protest action. While there was an awareness that not all the demands had been met and that not all students were satisfied, there was general agreement in society that students at a national level had secured a victory for greater and more affordable access to university.

    Investing in our universities

  • 2 | WITSReview | April 2016

    18

    CONTENTS1 EDITORIAL

    4 LETTERS

    6 SOCIAL

    10 KOOS BEKKER: A FUTURE FOR A VERY

    DIFFERENT WORLD

    18 SYLVIA GLASSER: MOVING BODIES,

    CHANGING LIVES

    24 PHILANTHROPY: THINKING ABOUT

    GIFTING IN AFRICA

    26 DR EVAN STEIN: ROGUE GENES

    & HEART ATTACKS

    30 NIC KOHLER: CLIMBING MOUNTAINS,

    CHANGING CAPITALISM

    36 Q&A WITH WITH GIDEON KHOBANE

    38 DR CYRIL MAZANSKY :

    THE PHOTOGRAPHER RADIOLOGIST

    45 PLACES TO VISIT AT WITS

    Sylvia Glassers Threads, Fana Tshabalala, 2008

  • April 2016 | WITSReview | 3

    46 SIR JACK ZUNZ: ENGINEERING AN OPERA HOUSE

    48 MANY HAPPY RETURNS: PART ONE

    51 WITSIES WITH THE WRITING EDGE

    54 BOOK REVIEWS

    58 OBITUARIES

    63 WITS END

    38

    30

    Carl & Emily Fuchs Foundation Top Achiever Award 2015 (MACE)

    Best External Magazine 2015, 2012 & 2010 (MACE)

    Best External Magazine 2014, 2013, 2012 & 2011 (SA Publication Forum)

    Cover: Three in Green, Venice Carnival Photo by Dr Cyril Mazansky

    Editor:

    Peter Maher peter.maher@wits.ac.za

    Contributors:

    Heather Dugmore heather@icon.co.za

    Deborah Minors deborah.minors@wits.ac.za

    Kathy Munro katherine.munro@wits.ac.za

    Keyan G Tomaselli keyant@uj.ac.za

    Gail Gordon, Lana Jacobson & Lynda Murray

    Design & Layout:

    Nicole Sterling nicole.sterling@wits.ac.za

    Printing: Remata

    Published by the Office of Alumni Relations, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Address: Private Bag 3, Wits, 2050, South Africa. Tel: +27 (0)11 717 1090 | Fax: 0864 064 146. E-mail: alumni@wits.ac.za Website: www.wits.ac.za/alumni Update contact details: www.wits.ac.za/alumni/updateyourdetails

    SUBSCRIPTIONS: International subscribers: R180 per annum Local subscribers: R100 per annum

    PAYMENT OPTIONS: Online payment using a Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Diners Club credit card at: www.wits.ac.za/alumni/payment or by electronic transfer or bank deposit to: First National Bank, Account No. 62077141580, Branch Code 255-005, Ref.No.1142 (+ your name) or by cash or credit card payment at the Alumni Office.

    WITSReview is published three times a year. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the editor, the Office of Alumni Relations or of the University of the Witwatersrand. Copyright of all material in this publication is vested in the authors thereof. Requests to reproduce any of the material should be directed to the editor.

    Saint Martin Swamps, Louisiana

  • 4 | WITSReview | April 2016

    LETTERS

    Universities role in Animal Farm society

    Dear Editor,

    Congratulations on another

    outstanding issue of WITSReview

    (December 2015). Although I did not

    find the new digital layout particularly

    user-friendly, I thoroughly enjoyed

    reading it.

    Ive been thinking back to what

    the University gave me, 60 years

    ago; although I was a sports-mad,

    immature and an appalling student.

    Thinking of characters from literature

    that I most resemble, I settle on

    Winnie the Pooh, an amiable bear of

    little brain, and Boxer from Animal

    Farm, whose answer to any challenge

    was, I must work harder. I now

    realise that, without being aware of

    it, I was greatly enriched by Wits.

    I most enjoyed your editorial. A

    widely published photograph of the

    Vice-Chancellor kneeling at the feet

    of protesting students disturbed me;

    not only because