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POLL: What do you think is the most important step for political parties to take when dealing with members who use hate speech?

According to News24, the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) is taking legal action against suspended Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Renaldo Gouws after an old video of him using racial slurs resurfaced. Following public complaints, the SAHRC concluded that Gouws’ comments constituted hate speech and harassment under the Equality Act. The DA confirmed Gouws’ suspension and an internal investigation is underway. Gouws has apologized for previous racist remarks made in a 2009 video. His case has been referred to the DA’s Federal Legal Commission for a disciplinary hearing.

Image credit: X/Twitter

“Lives, freedoms, and opportunities are shaped by leaders we vote for” Alexandria Procter on importance of voting

BY Nkosazana Ngwadla

CEO and cofounder at DigsConnect; the largest student housing platform in Africa, Alexandria Procter, 30, is possibly one of the most influential young people in the world. She was appointed to the board of directors for the National Youth Development Agency by the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa in November 2021. Procter is a director at the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative – the youngest director on both boards.

The Fuse caught up with the young entrepreneur to discuss the importance of voting in the elections, especially for young people. But first, she shared her own experience of voting for the first time.

“I turned 18 in 2011, and the next national election was in 2014, and the local elections were in 2016. I’ve always been quite active in civic spaces, politics, and have a keen interest in public affairs, so I voted in both and rallied my peers to vote as well. I take voting very seriously, and it was incredible to participate and be a part of democracy,” Procter reminisced.

The Gqeberha-born woman stressed that young people must vote, because they are the ones inheriting this country and the world. “Our lives, freedoms, and opportunities are completely shaped by the leaders we vote in. Our future is our choice.”

She admits one of the reasons young people might not be keen on voting is the confusion of not knowing who to vote for. “Vote for a party first and foremost with clean audits in the areas where it governs. As a very basic starting point, you can’t have a government that steals from its citizens. Next, vote for a party that is actually delivering results, and not excuses, in the jurisdictions where it governs. Ask yourself: ‘Which party is creating jobs, bolstering the economy, investing in infrastructure? And which party is creating destruction and collapse where it governs?’ It’s pretty clear then,” she concluded.

WATCH more from Alexandria Procter:

Three Hearts, One Choice: Khaya’s Valentine’s Day Nightmare

BY Nkosazana Ngwadla

As Valentine’s Day casts its enchanting spell, love stories emerge from the depths of the human experience, some simple and sweet, others intricate and profound. In the midst of this celebration of love, one couple’s journey stands out as a testament to the complexity of the heart.

Solomzi takes a leap of faith and asks Nandi out on a Valentine’s picnic. Her husband Khaya hasn’t been the most pleasant person to live with since his vision became impaired, making it easier for Nandi to accept the invite.

Solomzi who is Nandi’s brother-in-law, has become her shoulder to cry on and more. At the picnic Solomzi poses a question to Nandi that rattles Khaya to the core. And at that very moment, we realize that this is Khaya’s nightmare.

But for the rest of us, here’s to a Valentine’s Day filled with good wine, good food, and especially good friends like you.

Watch #IsithaTheEnemy weeknights 8:30 PM.

Dr Motsamai Molefe scoops inaugural Vice-Chancellor’s Book Award

BY Nkosazana Ngwadla

Dr Motsamai Molefe, a senior researcher at the Centre for Leadership in Ethics [CLEA] at the University of Fort Hare walked away with the inaugural Vice-Chancellor’s Book Award for his book titled: Partiality and Impartiality in African Philosophy.

This new category was introduced during the VC’s Research and Excellence Awards held recently. The intention is to recognise and showcase excellent books published by UFH researchers as part of the University’s efforts to encourage researchers to write scholarly books.

Published by Lexington Books, an imprint of the prestigious US-based publisher Rowman and Littlefield, Dr Molefe’s book provides an innovative contribution to an enduring debate in the discipline of philosophy involving the tension between the requirements of fairness (or, impartiality/equality) and special obligations (or, partiality/reasonable favouritism).

According to him, the debate on which the book centres hangs on two moral intuitions that appear to pull in two different directions. “On the one hand, we have the moral intuition that we owe all human beings equal consideration. On the other, we sense that we owe ‘reasonable favouritism’ to family and friends with whom we enjoy special ties.”

The book is original in three crucial ways. Firstly, it is the first book-length effort that systematically reflects on the debate between impartiality (fairness) and partiality (reasonable favouritism) in African philosophy. Until now, books on this subject have tended to be authored by scholars located in the Western philosophical tradition.

Secondly, by drawing on the work of, amongst others, the Ghanaian philosophers Kwame Gyekye and Kwasi Wiredu, and the Nigerian philosopher Ifeanyi Menkiti, the book contributes to the debate on the tension between partiality and impartiality in a way that recognises scholars in Africa as intellectuals who can contribute to serious debates in philosophy. Until now, the work of these prominent African intellectuals has not been used to reflect on this particular debate.

Finally, the book also relies on the indigenous intellectual and values-driven resource of Ubuntu, or personhood, to reflect on, and possibly resolve the tension between partiality and impartiality in African philosophy. Until now, the concept of Ubuntu and/or personhood had not been deployed as resource to study values and value judgements in the debate on partiality and impartiality.

The maiden recipient, Dr Molefe, is a member of the African Liberation Heritage in Citizenship and Society Research Niche Area at the University of Fort Hare and is also a fellow of the prestigious Ubuntu Dialogues Exchange Fellowship Programme jointly hosted by Stellenbosch University and Michigan University. He is also the editor-in-chief of the South African Journal of Philosophy

He has published articles in highly regarded journals of philosophy and politics, such as the Journal of Value InquiryCulturaMonistPolitikon, and African Studies, and co-edited a collection entitled Human Dignity in an African Context, which appeared in 2023 and which was published by Palgrave Macmillan.

To date, he has written six monographs including African Ethics and Death: Moral Status and Human Dignity in Ubuntu Thinking, to be published shortly by Routledge, and Human Dignity in African Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction, published in 2022 by Springer. 

Commenting on his award Dr Molefe said: “This award is important to me. Writing is a lonely process and to win this award means that someone finds value in my ideas, it means I am writing things that matter to someone.”

Image: UFH

Vuyo Bongela cycles from London to Paris for good cause

BY Nkosazana Ngwadla

Hub and spokes mean more than bicycles for keen triathlete Vuyo Bongela, the Director of Madibaz Sports at Nelson Mandela University.

Bongela cycled from London to Paris to raise funds and help launch a new Sports, Arts, and Culture Hub within the Hubs of Convergence (HoC) in the University’s Engagement Office.

The existing Hubs of Convergence cover areas such as food sovereignty, genderbased violence and communitybased economic activities, and the new hub will take the University’s engagement further. This new hub will radiate out through the “spokes” of sports, arts and culture to help grow and develop communities in these areas.

“We’re a university that operates in service of society, foregrounds ubuntu and looks after each other,” said Bongela. “In my position at Madibaz Sports I am inundated by requests from athletes, coaches and parents requiring assistance, either for overseas sporting participation or community sport clubs equipment requests.

“Through this new hub we will identify which community sports club and individual we will support to help them reach their dreams.”

Image: LinkedIn

Woman goes from cleaning tables to an Admitted Attorney

BY Nkosazana Ngwadla

Meet Noluthando Sigudu, inspirational Admitted Attorney of the High Court of South Africa and Director of Noluthando Sigudu Attorneys. She started of working as a waiter at Spur while studying towards her LLB degree.

After obtaining a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the University of Limpopo and doing her Practical Legal Training at the University of Pretoria (UP), she continued working as a waiter and cashier, while busy applying to law firms, she even went on to work for Pick n Pay Clothing as a consultant, until she got her dream job that is related to her qualification.

“I did what I had to do to get to where I need to be. I’m forever grateful for where God has placed me before and where I am right now,” said Noluthando.

From cleaning tables at Spur and working at Pick n Pay Clothing, to an Admitted Attorney of the High Court of South Africa and Director of Noluthando Sigudu Attorneys.

Image: LinkedIn

Francis Herd returns to eNCA as primetime anchor

BY Nkosazana Ngwadla

eNCA’s primetime weeknight bulletin, South Africa Tonight, has a new face.
Francis Herd is a trusted television journalist who has featured on SA’s most popular news programs for nearly two decades, at top broadcasters including Radio 702 and eNCA. Since eMedia provided her first television role, it is something of a happy homecoming as Francis returns to eNCA as a news anchor.

After a brief stint in the corporate world as a communications manager, Francis re-entered broadcast media as a morning-show presenter on e.tv. And when SA’s first 24-hour news channel was launched, she was there on the first day as a late-night news anchor on eNCA. In 2010, she was promoted to business anchor on the channel’s flagship evening show, News Night.

Francis holds a BA and BA Honours degree from Wits University and an MBA from the University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS). She now brings her finely-honed acumen and experience to a bulletin with a growing reputation for authoritative stories and insightful guests.

Join Francis Herd on eNCA’s South Africa Tonight (DStv channel 403) at 6pm every weeknight, as she delivers a refreshed news bulletin guided by the channel’s motto, Question. Think. Act.

Image: Francis Herd LinkedIn

Young Gqeberha entrepreneur making strides abroad

BY Nkosazana Ngwadla

Funny, warm, hard-working and kind are just a few words that describe Gqeberha’s very own Alexandria Procter. She sat at a Walmer restaurant, smiling and laughing with the waitress as if she wasn’t exhausted from one of the many flights she takes in a week.

“I’m always all over the place, so it’s nice to be at home, take in the warm wind and just take a breather,” she giggled, though the break only lasted a day as she flew to Cape Town just a day later.

Procter is the CEO, co-founder and Head of Product of a tech start-up based in Cape Town, South Africa.

As a student, Procter, along with co-founder and friend, Greg Ramsay-Keal, created DigsConnect, the first and largest digital marketplace for student accommodation in South Africa.

DigsConnect raised R12 million in a seed round 13 months after starting, making Procter one of South Africa’s youngest self-made female millionaires.

At the time it was the largest seed round raised by a female founder in South Africa.

DigsConnect has connected 130 000 landlords and tenants to date, and generated more than R100 million in lease value for landlords in 2023 alone, while ensuring students in South Africa find a home. With their strategic partners, DigsConnect has a presence in more than 400 cities worldwide, listing more than 1.3 million beds.

The company is now headquartered in London and Cape Town, and Procter said they’re growing fast, and on track to generate R1 billion in lease value by 2024. Procter acknowledges the importance of collaboration and partnership, but said there comes a time in entrepreneurship where you have to fly solo. 

“It’s obviously a bit daunting striking out on our own terms in the global arena, but I do believe that in the long run, you have to grow a business on your own terms, staying true to your own vision and being in control of the ship you’re steering. It’s a very turbulent time in the startup and venture capital world right now, so I just had to keep a very tight control on the business. Part of that meant winding down partnerships that weren’t in our core focus,” she said. 

As if she doesn’t already have her hands full, Procter is also a Board Director for the National Youth Development Agency, as well as for the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative, and will share some of the lessons she has learned during her journey in a book dealing with African start-ups, which will be published by NB Publishers and is set to launch in 2024.

For the 29-year-old, the greatest pleasure of all the work she and her team does is the many lives that are actively changed.

When she’s not working, the bubbly Procter can be found horse riding, skiing, sailing, mountaineering, cycling, and anywhere near the ocean. She has summited Kilimanjaro, trekked the Inca Trail and Everest Base Camp, and is pursuing her private pilot’s licence at Stellenbosch Flying Club.

“I’ve travelled extensively, circumnavigating the globe when I was 17. I’m a member of Mensa South Africa and Mensa UK. I’m an advocate for meditation, mindfulness and conscious living and prioritise health, happiness and wellness,” she concluded before jetting off to her next adventure.

Images: Supplied

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