POETRY AFRICA 2012 CAPTIVATES AUDIENCES The Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre on the Howard College campus was packed for the much anticipated opening night of the 16th edition of Poetry Africa.
The evening introduced festival goers to the poets and the highlights of the week-long festival organised by UKZN’s Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) and made possible through principal funding from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund.
Included in the line-up was Saul Williams, whose innovative work as an actor, poet and musician continues to break new ground on arts stages around the world.
‘Local audiences were also introduced to the avant garde approach of dynamic Jamaican dub poet, prolific playwright, monodramatist and educator D’bi Young,’ said CCA publicist Ms Sharlene Versfeld.
‘Another popular participant was Ewok, one of South Africa’s sharpest wordsmiths but who is also a Brutus Scholar at the University’s Centre for Civil Society and this year's Brutus poet.’
Festival book launches included Rustum Kozain’s new release Groundwork (Kwela Books/ SnailPress); two books by Allan Kolski Horwitz,  Two Birds at My Window and Meditations of a Non-White (both Dye Hard Press); the Zulu version of Oswald Mtshali’s Sounds of a Cowhide Dru; Imisindo Yesighubu Sesikhumba Senkomo (Jacana), and the Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Anthology Volume 2 (Jacana).
CCA Director Mr Peter Rorvik said Poetry Africa provided a space for intercultural exchange and dialogue in wide-reaching activities.  ‘These included seminars, workshops and poetry performances at tertiary institutions and community centres, engagement with local poetry groups, open mic opportunities and visits by the poets to 30 schools in Durban and surrounding areas to exchange poetry and ideas about poetry with young learners.’
Rorvik said the world needed poets and artists who spoke and acted according to their convictions.
‘We commend the bravery and the adventurous spirit of poetry pioneers and Poetry Africa is proud to be a platform for such innovators.’ 

author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za



World renowned Durban scientist and researcher, Professor Salim Abdool Karim, has been elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) as a foreign associate in recognition of his pioneering contributions to research into HIV prevention and treatment.

Election to the IOM is considered to be one of the highest international honours in the fields of medical sciences, health care and public health

Abdool Karim is the Director of the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research of South Africa (CAPRISA), Pro Vice-Chancellor of Research at UKZN and was this year appointed president of the South African Medical Research Council.

He holds several academic positions including Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at Columbia University, New York; Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Cornell University, New York, and is an Associate of the Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University.

‘I am humbled by this honour,’ said Abdool Karim, ‘It’s wonderful to know that South African science on AIDS is being recognised in this way.’

During his 30-year career in medical science, Abdool Karim has made several ground-breaking contributions in the control of infectious diseases, particularly AIDS and tuberculosis. Together with his wife, Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim, herself an internationally respected researcher and scientist, he reported the first HIV prevention technology for women.

This research on tenofovir gel, presented at the 2010 International AIDS Conference in Vienna, was ranked as one of the Top 10 Scientific Breakthroughs of 2010, by the journal, Science.

His research on HIV vaccines includes the testing and development, as patent co-inventor, of vaccines specifically developed for the type of HIV found in South Africa. His clinical research on TB-HIV treatment has shaped international World Health Organization guidelines on the clinical management of co-infected patients.

‘Dr Abdool Karim is an exceptional scientist whose work at the epicentre of the HIV and TB epidemics is transforming the way we treat and prevent these infections,’ said esteemed Harvard University immunologist, Professor Bruce Walker. ‘The CAPRISA 004 tenofovir gel trial is a landmark study on preventing HIV transmission to women. This microbicide is a game-changing advance for women.’

author email : gregory.dardagan@inl.co.za



Young health scientists completing their undergraduate studies at UKZN were lauded for presenting outstanding research at a symposium organised by the College of Health Sciences (CHS) and funded by Pfizer, the world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical company.

Adjudicators listened to stimulating presentations from student groups who had previously competed with their peers at the discipline level and progressed through to the symposium. The winning groups will now compete against colleagues from other institutions of higher learning at the National Pfizer Research Symposium at UKZN.

Miss Nqobile Manzini, a fifth-year student in the MBChB programme, impressed adjudicators with her clinically-based study, Traumatic Retroperitoneal Hematoma: Factors Affecting the Outcome, which was a category winner.

Manzini’s study was conducted at King Edward VIII Hospital and focused on the factors influencing outcome in the management of retroperitoneal hematomas (RPH) - an accumulation of blood found in the retroperitoneal space; the anatomical space in the abdominal cavity behind the peritoneum.

Manzini said RPH occurred in 6 to 44 percent of patients with abdominal trauma. In the study, RPH occurred in 30 percent of patients with abdominal trauma, with a mortality rate of 18 percent.

Ms Leigh Zaca and Ms Karuli Schoeman, final-year students in the Discipline of Biokinetics, Exercise and Leisure Sciences, scooped first prize in the category for community-based research for their study examining the prevalence and nature of musculoskeletal injuries among high school learners.

The group said netball was a popular school team sport played by girls of all ages. However, the sport involved various multi-directional, high speed and acceleration movements which increased the risk of injury. The study recommended practitioners needed to educate coaches, parents and the players on how to minimize risk. They were also advised to follow an appropriate rehabilitation path in the event of injury.

The prize for laboratory-based research went to Ms Samantha Anderson and Ms Shakti Dookie of the Discipline of Medical Biochemistry, who presented a study titled: “Characterisation of Fumonisin B1 Toxicity in Hepg2 Liver Cells – Induction of Tissue Transglutaminase (Tg2) and Apoptosis”.

The study found that FB1 disrupted membrane-bound sphingolipids as a mechanism of toxicity, therefore disrupting the cell plasma membrane which could result in cellular stress, leading to apoptosis. The group said: ‘FB1 may be a possible substrate for TG2 crosslinking activity due to its primary amine group, since this mycotoxin has the potential to induce TG2 expression and activation.’

In a keynote address, Professor Kovin Naidoo, Associate Professor of Optometry at UKZN and Director for Global Programme at the Brien Holden Vision Institute, stressed that research was a powerful tool for creating positive change in the lives of others.

A firm believer in the continent’s intellectual wealth, Naidoo said researchers were at the coalface helping Africa meet its objectives.

Ms Leigh Gunkel-Keuler, Director of Pfizer’s Public Affairs and Communications Division, challenged students to become agents of change through research.

Professor Johan van Heerden, Academic Leader for Research in the School of Health Sciences, said students should not underestimate the value of their work and encouraged them to enrol for masters qualifications in 2013. He said it was important for students to publish and present their hard work at national and international forums.

author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za



‘Attaining full professorship brings with it a responsibility to activate the development of the next generation of scholars. It is a time to reflect on what contribution one would like to make to the world of academia for the future,’ said Professor Michael Samuel.

He recently delivered his first inaugural lecture as a fully-fledged Professor on the Edgewood campus to a packed lecture hall that included both his close family and friends.

His lecture, which was based on his paper, explores the interest in doctoral graduate career path studies as a research enterprise.

It focuses on five key doctoral education studies across international contexts in the United States of America, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Kingdom and France.

Samuel plans on dedicating his time and effort to providing research leadership amongst the growing doctoral education programmes within the School of Education and the College of Humanities.

He also sees it as an opportunity to look at how members of academia, as leaders of programmes and as an institution position themselves continentally and internationally in terms of knowledge expansion and development.

‘This development is about how we engender amongst our doctoral graduands and in our prospective research agendas the roles and responsibilities of expanding conceptions of freedoms: of intellectual, moral, social, cultural, spiritual, economic and epistemological growth.’

‘We cannot simply be takers of the standards of quality education borrowing from so-called more advanced contexts. We must become also Makers of significant and relevant new knowledge,’ said Samuel.

He presently serves on the Advisory Council for the Commonwealth Secretariat on Teacher Mobility, Recruitment and Migration which is the custodian of an international Protocol guiding the movement of teachers across national borders.

He has participated in international studies supported by the Department for International Development (UK) involving researching teacher education reform in Ghana, Malawi, Lesotho, Trinidad & Tobago, and South Africa (1998-2003) culminating in his book Changing Patterns in Teacher Education: Policy, Practice and Prospects (2003).

In 2011 he was awarded the Turquoise Harmony Institute’s national Ubuntu Award for Contribution to Education in South Africa. He has published in the following international and national journals: Perspectives in Education (PIE); South African Journal of Higher Education (SAJHE); The South African Journal of Communication Disorders (SAJCD); TESOL Quarterly; Institute of Development Studies Bulletin; International Journal of Educational Development (IJED); and International Journal for Educational Research (IJER).

author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za



Law graduate Ms Kimera Chetty (23) has been selected as one of 60 independent adjudicators at the 33rd World Universities Debating Championships (WUDC) in Berlin in December and January.

This will be the third time Chetty will be a judge at the championship - the largest international debate tournament in the world.

She adjudicated at the championships in Botswana in 2011 where she judged the Grand Final under the English as a Foreign Language stream and also at the tournament held in the Manila, Philippines in January 2012 where she was the only member from the South African delegation to judge the semi-final of the Open Break stream.

‘I have been very lucky to have attended the WUDCs twice before and to have the costs subsidised by the tournaments for both events as it is very expensive to attend for the average student. This year I have also been asked to serve as a trainer for new speakers and judges at the competition, which I am excited about,’ said Chetty.

Chetty assumed the Presidency position of the Howard College Debating Union in 2010. Through her participation in the Union, Chetty has acted as Deputy Chief Adjudicator at both the South African Universities National Debating Championships and the Pan-African Universities Debating Championships, as well as Chief Adjudicator at UKZN's first invitational tournament.

Chetty uses the wealth of experience gained from the union to propel her debating career. ‘I joined the Howard College Debating Union in my first year and it was one of the best life decisions I have ever made. Debating affords you the platform to hypothesize about solving the world’s biggest and most enduring problems and forces you to be more aware of the broader community and its circumstance,’ she said.

Since graduating with her LLB in 2010, Chetty served her articles with Durban firm, Govender, Pather & Morgan, where she is still doing her articles of clerkship. She continues to gain invaluable experience in civil and criminal law matters with the hope of broadening her career to human rights law and public interest law.

author email : jumo@ukzn.ac.za



A case study on the rare but potentially life threatening disease, galactosaemia, was recently presented by Ms Nareshni Pillay, a Registrar of Chemical Pathology at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital (IALCH).

The Department of Chemical Pathology, a joint Department of UKZN and the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS), actively participates in hospital teaching activities at the undergraduate (MBChB) and postgraduate levels, providing training for laboratory technicians, technologists and medical scientists.

It also provides diagnostic laboratory services for the IALCH and the King Edward VIII Hospital as well as several peripheral hospitals. The Department has a long and illustrious history having trained and been associated with a number of nationally and internationally prominent academic chemical pathologists.

Pillay reported on a case of a baby referred to IALCH from a district hospital after presenting with hyperglycaemia on a point of care testing (POCT) glucometer along with prolonged jaundice which lasted up to eight months with galactosemia going undiagnosed.

If galactosemia is untreated, high levels of galactose causes vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, low blood sugar, brain damage, jaundice, liver enlargement, cataracts, susceptibility to infection, and death.

The uncommon condition only presents in a ratio of one in 50 000 in Europe and has a predicted incidence in African patients in South Africa of about one per 15 000. Furthermore, there was an erroneous diagnosis of hyperglycaemia due to chemical interference.

Dr Magdalena Turzyniecka, an academic and acting HOD at the Department, said there was a weekly schedule of seminars and journal club meetings which alternated with case presentations specific to registrars in the programme.

Registrars were required to present on interesting findings and abnormal conditions they came across during their experiences in the programme and Pillay’s was one such presentation.

Chemical pathology, which is also known as clinical biochemistry or clinical chemistry, is a unique specialty that brings together science and all medical specialties, applying biochemical and molecular techniques in the diagnosis of a disease. It is the branch of pathology dealing with the biochemical basis of disease and the use of biochemical tests for diagnosis and management.

It is the only specialty that interfaces with all clinical disciplines. More than 70 percent of clinical decision making in the modern hospital requires the input of chemical pathology

Turzyniecka said the Department of Chemical Pathology was affiliated to the South African Association for Clinical Biochemistry and the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine. She said the Department was proud to have a fully automated analytical system which facilitated, accelerated, and improved the laboratory’s efficiency and effectiveness in research by servicing approximately 160 000 tests per month.

Turzyniecka said registrars coming into the programme entered a fascinating and fast-paced world of new laboratory methods, quality management, interpreting findings, turnaround times and extensive hours spent using state-of-the-art facilities, as well as clinical interaction with medical colleagues without the pressure of huge clinical loads.

‘The specialty is one of the few that can bridge the gap between the bedside and the laboratory, on a daily basis and has the potential to provide the future clinician-scientist required in South Africa.’

‘Registrars have to be very self-motivated to do well. Qualification as a Specialist Chemical Pathologist and admission to the Specialist Register of the Health Professions Council of South Africa requires the candidate to obtain the degree of Master of Medicine and the Fellowship of the College of Pathologists of South Africa,’ said Turzyniecka.

author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za



Members of the College of Health Sciences who received Department of Science and Technology (DST) Women in Science awards were honoured at a lunch hosted by Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College, Professor Rob Slotow.

Dr Sengeziwe Sibeko, Ms Prudy Seepe and Ms Bongiwe Ndlovu received special recognition at the event where Slotow encouraged other College members to aspire to the same standards of research excellence achieved by the three.

Currently registered for PhDs in their respective fields, Slotow said the recipients were developing South Africa’s research capacity and had the College’s full support which included ‘best knowledge, best practices and best technology.’

‘Moving forward, you are going to be role models for younger scientists. You should have ambitions and set yourselves lofty goals.’

Receiving awards from Slotow, Ndlovu and Seepe said they were humbled by the recognition and thanked colleagues for their continued support.

Seepe was awarded a DST Fellowship for her doctoral studies conducted in the Traditional Medicine Laboratory of UKZN’s Discipline of Occupational and Environmental Health.

Soon to resume her studies at the newly-opened KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV (K-RITH) on the Medical School campus, she obtained her Masters degree in medical biochemistry at the Centre of Excellence for Tuberculosis Research at the University of Stellenbosch.

Seepe says she believes it will be useful to use science to evaluate traditional medicines which could help in the fight against tuberculosis.

Ndlovu, also a recipient of the DST Fellowships for Doctoral Studies, is currently enrolled for a PhD in medical virology in the HIV Pathogenesis Programme at the Doris Duke Medical Research Institute on the Medical School campus. Her research is on halting the spread of HIV among South African adults and mother-infant pairs using both innate and adaptive immune mechanisms.

Ndlovu’s current focus is on the evolution of humoral immune responses in acute and early HIV-1 subtype C infections with the aim of determining the timing of emergence, patterns of breadth and specificity of the disease and to characterise the evolution of anti-HIV binding antibody subclasses, from the time of infection to three years post-infection. This information is required to develop novel strategies for HIV vaccine development which exploits mechanisms of broadly neutralising antibodies.

Congratulated in absentia, Sibeko is a Nuffield Medical Fellow currently based at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital at the University of Oxford in England where she is registered for a PhD in HIV mucosal immunology of the female reproductive tract.

Sibeko was the first runner-up in the DST awards category for Emerging Researchers for the Development of Rural Women. Before going to Oxford, she was employed as a consultant Gynaecologist at Mahatma Gandhi Hospital and also worked as a clinician scientist based at the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) where she was the study gynaecologist on the landmark tenofovir gel trial.

author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za



Dr Luvuyo Lumkile Lalendle, Director of Quality Promotion and Assurance at UKZN, has been appointed to serve a three-year term on the National Heritage Council (NHC).

The NHC has been given the mandate to develop policy and conduct research on the cultural heritage of South Africans and its board comprises a panel of experts well-placed to advise in that field.

Lalendle said he was excited by the appointment as having been an academic in this sphere, specifically music, had prepared him for the role. ‘I am looking forward to how my interaction with the Heritage Council can shape policy in the country.’

He believes one of the major challenges in preserving heritage is getting people to engage with the tensions that exist in terms of past, present and future discourses. ‘We need to celebrate the diversities that exist, and tell the story using different lenses,’ he said.

His appointment to the board will benefit the University. ‘My appointment gives us a platform as a university to be players on a national scale in terms of influencing national policy and the thinking around culture and heritage.’

Lalendle feels humbled that the nation has entrusted him with serving on the Council. ‘I feel really blessed to serve on the NHC, and also to be associated with an institution that has a lot of potential and the ability to shape culture and thinking on the continent.’

Lalendle has a four-year degree in Music Education from the University of Fort Hare, and a Masters in Music Education from the University of Iowa. He also has a B Ed from the University of Venda and a PhD in Higher Education from Michigan State University.

He is currently conducting research in the Eastern Cape on Bushman Caves.

author email : captainr@ukzn.ac.za



The graduation ceremony for UKZN’s 2012 Applied Population Studies Training and Research (APSTAR) programme took place at the Simbithi Golf and Country Club in Ballito near Durban.

The main purpose of APSTAR is to build the capacity of government officials in understanding population issues in relation to the broader sphere of development.

APSTAR Director Ms Nompumelelo Nzimande applauded the 20 graduates for their hard work and commitment to the programme.

Professor Thokozani Xaba, Dean and Head of School of Built Environment and Development Studies, affirmed the School’s necessary and continued commitment to ensuring training in Population Studies in South Africa.

Professor Joseph Ayee, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Humanities, presented graduates with their certificates, while Xaba awarded prizes for outstanding performances.

Representatives of partners of the APSTAR programme, Ms Linda Naidoo, of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Mr Jacques Van Zuydam of the Department of Social Development (DSD), paid tribute to the graduates and the success of the APSTAR programme.

APSTAR is a short course-training programme implemented as part of the Population Studies Programme of the School of Built Environment and Development Studies at UKZN. It is initiated and implemented jointly by the DSD, UNFPA and UKZN.

Applications for the next cycle of APSTAR have opened and those interested are welcome to apply. For more information related to the programme and the application process, contact Ms Shaughnnessa Govender at e-mail:apstar2@ukzn.ac.za

author email : apstar2@ukzn.ac.za



Higher Education in an Era of Reconstruction, Internationalisation and Competition and Co-operation were the themes for discussion at the 6th Teaching and Learning Conference held on the Howard College campus.

The Conference provided a platform to enable delegates, academics and researchers to discuss changes the university landscape has undergone and to reflect on the implications this has had on curricula in trying to create “world class universities”.

author email : shabangus@ukzn.ac.za



UKZN’s Edgewood campus Soccer Team has qualified for the finals of the University Sport South Africa (USSA) National Championships to be hosted by the University of Western Cape in December.

Mr Teboho Hlao, Captain of the Edgewood team, says soccer brings students together. ‘We are striving for inclusivity and equality through sport. We want to have happy students on our campus, and sport is one of the routes we can use to achieve this,’ said Hlao.

He believes soccer can be used as a tool to promote diversity, student interaction on campus and improve the student experience. ‘One of our objectives is to get students out of their rooms and to the grounds to watch their teams play.’

The Edgewood team is made up of students from first year to Masters level.

Hlao’s wish list includes adequate lighting on the soccer field and sponsorship to help with the trip to the National Championships in Cape Town. ‘We have good grounds at Edgewood, but the only problem is our lights are not bright enough to allow us to play night games.’

Coached by Mr Zweli Sapula, the Edgewood team is currently on a fundraising drive to help cover the costs of the Cape Town trip as the league does not have a sponsor. USSA has tournaments for universities in South Africa in all sporting codes.

University soccer teams in KwaZulu-Natal include UKZN - Edgewood campus; UKZN – PMB campus; UKZN - Westville campus; UKZN - Howard College campus; UNIZULU; DUT (Midlands); DUT (Durban); Mangosuthu University of Technology, and Berea College.

author email : captain@ukzn.ac.za



UKZN’s Media and Cultural Studies Discipline on the Pietermaritzburg campus - in collaboration with the Centre for Visual Arts - hosted its annual Assegai Student Film Awards evening to honour students involved in producing film and animation at the Hexagon Theatre.

The 10 films screened showcased the emerging talent UKZN has to offer the film industry.

A judge, Ms Sarah Dawson, said she looked for creative ideas in the films. ‘The students showed that they have original ideas and displayed diversity in terms of what they produce. The calibre of their films can rival any out there,’ she said.

This year’s awards evening was distinguished by “tighter and slicker” programming along with a buzzing atmosphere assisted by the smooth harmonies of the singers from Platform Society. The audience also had opportunities to win prizes from lucky draws and for the best dressed guests.

Mr Stuart Nixon was showered with awards including best cinematography, best visual direction and best editing. Mr Karel Schmidt received the award for best dramatic direction as well as the coveted Best Film award.

Best Script went to Ms Lona Mkhize and Best Sound Design to Ms Navikiran Babulal.

The Best 2011 second semester Honours Film award was won by Mr Donavan Orr, the Best Summer Film School award by Mr Josh Martin, and the most committed actor by Mr Kline Smith.

Academic awards were also presented to students doing exceptionally well in their media studies from first year through to honours level.

author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za


Abafundi abenza izifundo zobummeli baqwashise ngezimo ezibandakanywa ukuhlukumezwa nodlame lobulili olubhekene nabafundi abalwenza ngaphansi komcimbi obizwa ngeGender Awareness Programme obubanjelwe esikhungweni saseHowardCollege.

Lomcimbi obuhlelwe ngabafundi abangaphansi komkhakha weLaw and Social Justice (SLSJ) bagqugquzele abafundi ukuthi bakhulume ngokuhlukumezwa.

I-SLSJ bazinikele ekuvikeleni amalungelo abantu, ukuvikela abantu ekuhlukumezeni nokuthuthukisa ukulingana emphakathini. Isekelwa abaluleki besikole sobummeli nabeKolishi lakwaLaw and Management.

Loluhlelo luhehe abafundi abaningi ababe yingxenye yezindlela ezahlukile ekubalwa kuzo abezinkondlo, abaculi nabezokudansa.

Ohola lelithimba uNksz Zia Maharaj uthe isizathu esigqugquzele loluhlelo ukuthi abafundi abaningi babhekana nalezizinkinga zodlame mihla yonke emakhaya nasesikoleni kodwa bayasaba ukuthola usizo.

‘Ngalesikha senza uhlelo lweStreet Law ezikoleni sathola ukuthi iyadingeka indawo lapho abahlumezekile bezokwazi ukukhuluma ngokukhululeka. Inhloso yaloluhle kwakukuthi kube nendawo ephephile yabantu abahlukumezekile nabacwaswayo ukuze bathole jusizo lokuphuma kulesimo ababhekene naso,’ kusho uMaharaj.

Abafundi baphinde bathola ithuba lokukhuluma nokuthola ulwazi kwabamele abanobudlelwano nobulili obufanayo (iDurban Lesbian and Gay Community) nabaveli emnyangweni wabahlukumezekile (iAdvice Desk for the Abused), abebeyindlenye yohlelo.
Udokotela wenqondo ovela eKolishini uNksz Ishara Maharaj uncome abafundi ngokugqugquzela ngaloludaba oluyindaba mlonyeni.

‘Sibonile ukuthi siyankuka isibalo sodlame kubantu abathandanayo kakhulukazi abantu besifazane abancane bayadinga ukukhuthazwa nokuzwelwa ngalezizimo. Bayadinga abafundi ukuthi bafundiswe ngobudlelwano obunempilo nokuthi bazi ukuthi bangaluthola kuphi usizo uma belidinga,’ kusho Ishara Maharaj.

Click here for English version
author email : jumo@ukzn.ac.za



Students completing the MBChB programme or relevant qualifications in Health Sciences at UKZN have an option to train as virologists at a joint UKZN and National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) Department at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital.

A growing centre for research excellence in virology – the study of viruses and viral diseases – the Department of Virology at the hospital provides cost-effective and professional laboratory medicine through competent, qualified professionals and state-of-the-art technology supported by academic and internationally recognised research, training and product development which aims to maximise health care delivery in the province.

Dr Pravi Moodley, Acting Head of the Department of Virology, said students accepted into the Department’s programme had opportunities to conduct basic, clinical, operational and scientific research.

‘We are the only department in the province which teaches and trains medical students, scientists and technologists leading to registration with the Health Professions Council of South Africa. We also teach postgraduate students from various health sciences disciplines.

‘As part of the NHLS, the Department’s virology laboratory is the only one used by the Department of Health to provide a clinical diagnostic service in KwaZulu-Natal.’

Moodley said the number of HIV PCR tests had increased considerably due to the expansion of the National Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission Programme and an increase uptake of infant HIV testing.

The Department conducts Enzyme Linked Immuno-Assay (ELISA) for various viruses such as HIV, HAV, HBV, HCV, Rubella, Cytomegalovirus, Epstein - Barr virus, HSV 1/2 and Toxoplasma serological markers. ‘The number of viral ELISA's has increased due to the increase in requests for HBV, CMV and Toxoplasma from the clinics in the Comprehensive Care Management and Treatment Programme (CCMTP).’

Moodley said there had also been an increase in the number of viral PCR assays done for CMV, VZV, HSV and Parvovirus using optimized in-house real-time techniques based on published methods. ‘This technique improves the Turn-around-Time and is more accurate than conventional viral isolation techniques. The number of viral isolation assays done for various viruses in cell culture has thus decreased.’

Moodley believes the Department’s input is benefiting society in facilitating clinical and scientific decision making in the DoH’s CCMT Programme.

Moodley said they looked for quality graduates who showed initiative, a good attitude and the ability to work independently. ‘No matter how much knowledge we impart, it does not work efficiently if students do not have these qualities.

‘We value students we train and make every effort to retain them by providing job opportunities.’

Mrs Savy Pillay, a Supervisor in the Department’s Serology Laboratory, said they received high volumes of samples for testing. The Department is also home to the Molecular and the Virus Isolation and Cell Culture laboratories.

Pillay said students were excited to be part of the only Department which conducted the annual National Antenatal Sentinel HIV and Syphilis Prevalence Survey in KwaZulu-Natal.

author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za



“Linguistic and Cultural Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity” was the title of a seminar presented at UKZN by two visiting ASSAf academics,

The expansion of English worldwide as a “global” “lingua franca” has dire consequences for other languages, particularly indigenous/tribal/minority/minoritized languages. This is the view of Tove Skutnabb-Kangas and Robert Phillipson who have studied language policy issues worldwide, and written extensively on language policy, linguistic imperialism, linguicism, and critical applied linguistics; combining micro and macro level analysis, as well as following developments in Africa.

Phillipson & Kangas argue that the norm in language acquisition is the assimilationist subtractive submersion programmes through the medium of dominant languages which are maintained, despite scientific evidence of the harm done by monolingualism. Submersion education can be seen as genocide according to the definitions in the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Linguistically, psychologically, sociologically, educationally, economically it can also be seen as a crime against humanity.

Phillipson & Kangas contend that assimilationist subtractive submersion programmes are maintained, despite scientific evidence of the harm done and of viable alternatives.

Phillipson is a Research Professor at the Copenhagen Business School’s Department of English and is perhaps best known for writing Linguistic Imperialism and English-Only Europe? Challenging Language Policy.

Skutnabb-Kangas is a guest researcher at the Department of Languages and Culture, University of Roskilde in Denmark and visiting professor at Åbo Akademi University in Finland. She has been actively involved with minorities’ struggle for language rights for more than five decades.

Skutnabb-Kangas and Phillipson have studied language policy issues worldwide and written extensively on language policy, linguistic imperialism, linguicism, and critical applied linguistics; combining micro and macro level analysis as well as following developments in Africa.

They have been consultants on language policy formation for, among others, the United Nations, UNESCO, OSCE, and the European Union, and are deeply involved in language maintenance and revitalisation at all levels from ‘grassroots’ to universities to national and international policy formation and implementation.

Skutnabb-Kangas was awarded the UNESCO Linguapax prize in 2003 while Phillipson received it in 2010.

The highly respected scholars said that despite the universal tendency for assimilationist subtractive submersion programmes, UKZN had made significant progress in giving substance to its bilingual language policy through strategic implementation of its language plan.

For details, and publications and presentations for downloading, see www.tove-skutnabb-kangas.org and www.cbs.dk/staff/phillipson

author email : Dhunpath@ukzn.ac.za



The University’s HIV/AIDS Centre recently held the Graduate Alive programme on the Howard College campus in an effort to reduce stigmatisation and raise awareness about the disease among students by fostering openness.

The campaign’s goals are to reduce the quadruple disease burden, create economic independence, create a link between the public and private sector with Higher Education Institutions and increase retention of skills.

In his welcome address, Executive Director: Student Services, Dr Sibusiso Chalufu, highlighted the importance of having a link between the University and the private sector.

The campaign supports the three zero target of the National Strategic Plan 2012 to 2016 - zero discrimination, zero infections, zero deaths. To achieve its objective the project has multi-faceted innovative strategies driven by the UKZN Peer Education Programme to reach the University community.

Research presented by Dr Ramneel Aluwalia of the Higher Education HIV/AIDS Programme shows that multiple partnerships are the driving force of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in South Africa.

Aluwalia advised students against substance abuse, multiple partners, having unprotected sex and young women dating older men.

He encouraged the audience of students, staff, visitors and guests to work hard to change the current negative statistics surrounding the epidemic and to educate others to fight stigmatisation.

South Africa’s first lady, Ms Nompumelelo MaNtuli-Zuma, told students to make the best of every situation no matter where they come from, never to compare themselves to others and to make wise and mature decisions about their lives. She spoke about her upbringing and her current work with the Mantuli Foundation.

Mr Thembani Khumalo, Central Student Representative Council President, told the audience the high dropout rate should concern everyone as the exact reasons for it were not known. He spoke briefly about the First Things First campaign which is targeted at raising awareness about HIV and AIDS among first year students.

Other activities included the HCT – HIV and AIDS Counselling and Testing, recruitment for voluntary medical male circumcision, exhibition stalls, music and entertainment, and drama and dance.

author email : shabangus@ukzn.ac.za



A group of 50 young learners from Clifton School in Durban visited the School of Engineering to get an early look at engineering as a possible future career.

The youngsters were kitted out with hard hats and reflective vests before going on a tour of UKZN’s Engineering facilities.

Professor Cristina Trois, Dean and Head of the School of Engineering, joked that she was confident the visit would ensure the School met its enrolment target 10 years hence.

author email : nathooa@ukzn.ac.za