For the first time in the history of the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project (NPIHP) since its founding five years ago, Africa was represented by PhD candidate in UKZN’s School of Politics, Mr Lucky Asuelime at its summer 2011 Nuclear Boot Camp after a rigorous selection process.  The summer 2011 Nuclear Boot Camp was held at a former Italian Air Force base recently.

‘The NPIHP is a project of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars whose mission is to provide the links between the world of ideas and the world of policy; and to foster research, study, discussion, and collaboration among a full spectrum of individuals concerned with policy and scholarship in national and world affairs,’ said Asuelime.

The Woodrow Wilson Center for Non-proliferation Studies selected 14 promising scholars from different universities around the globe. ‘My participation was [due to the fact] that, though Ghanaian, my research centres on South Africa’s development of six-and-a-half Hiroshima type bombs between 1974 and 1989,’ Asuelime explained.

The title of Asuelime’s thesis is “British Foreign Policy towards Apartheid South Africa’s Nuclear Legacy.”

Asuelime said his study deals with the dynamics and intricacies of British foreign policy vis-a-vis South Africa’s nuclear development from 1974 to 1989, and how this has shaped relations between Britain and South Africa in the post-apartheid and post-Cold War era.

The NPIHP aims to transcend the East versus West paradigm to work towards an integrated international history of nuclear weapon proliferation. It is a global network of individuals and institutions engaged in the study of international nuclear history through archival documents, oral history interviews and other empirical email :



The much anticipated 32nd Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) kicks-off on July 21 with the World Premiere of the South African film Otelo Burning, directed by Ms Sarah Blecher. The film is based on the real-life experiences of eThekwini Municipality life-guard and surfer, Mr Sihle Xaba who also stars in the film.  The DIFF runs from July 21-31.


At a media launch on June 28, Director of UKZN’s Centre for Creative Arts, Mr Peter Rorvik, announced that a total of 188 films will be screened during the Festival. ’South African representation has increased incrementally,  with new productions signalling positive industry growth … this year there are 11 feature films, 27 documentaries and 24 short films produced and directed by South Africans’, said Rorvik.


‘During the DIFF the objective will be to celebrate cinema ... thus this year’s selection is more current , it has a raw edge and is quite diverse ... We will be celebrating Indian cinema, Canadian cinema and there will be an African film focus’ , said Mr Nashen Moodley, DIFF Manager.


‘DIFF will also offer workshops centred around the various aspects of film ... Run by local and international film experts, these workshops are considered invaluable for both professional and aspirant filmmakers’, said Rorvik.


The DIFF is organised by the CCA with support from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, the National Film and Video Foundation, the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development and Tourism, the Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation (HIVOS), the City of Durban, the German Embassy of SA, the Goethe Institute of SA, the Industrial Development Corporation and a range of other partners.


Film screenings will take place at Nu Metro Cinecentre Suncoast, Ster Kinekor Musgrave, Cinema Nouveau Gateway, the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, Ekhaya KwaMashu, the Royal Hotel, Luthuli Museum in Groutville and other venues.


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Jubilation, happiness, and relief filled the room at the 50th Anniversary Reunion Banquet of the University College for Indians, Salisbury Island on June 25. Classmates, colleagues and friends met, some for the first time after 50 years to remember the good and tough times they had in their endeavour to get an education within the confines of apartheid South Africa.

The University College for Indians opened its doors in 1961 with 39 students. The first student to be registered, Dr Vinaychandra Bhagattjee, said that being on the Island was a learning experience and that the bad times they experienced had encouraged people to achieve. He added that being at the Reunion made him feel real happiness again, and he got to see some people he has not seen in a long time. ‘Not one student was a loser on the Island,’ he added.

The College was part of the plan of “Grand Apartheid” espoused by the ruling Nationalist Government which relentlessly pushed its policy of racial segregation. After 10 years of turbulent existence the College closed down and it was re-incarnated as the University of Durban-Westville in 1972.

The purpose of the Reunion, held at Sibaya, north of Durban,  was not only to celebrate the reuniting of old friends but also to remember the lives of people who have since passed on and to reflect on the trials and tribulation that students endured on the Island.

In a book Reflections, produced for the Reunion, the Chairperson of the Salisbury Island Committee 2011, Ms Jenny Maharaj, says: ‘The divergent and enriched contradictions of the Island as an institution, brought about  a strange spirit of unity and connection that permeated the campus and spoke out vociferously when it had to be confrontational.

‘The campus cafeteria served as the “parliament” and “nerve centre” for resistance … It was in the cafeteria and in the corridors of the hostels that all the secret planning took place, sometimes under the guise of fun, laughter and frolic,’ she added.

Passionate about collecting the best in African Literature, the Centre for African Literary Studies (CALS) on the Pietermaritzburg campus celebrated Short Story Day on June 21 by inviting staff and students to a vibrant display of literature at the Centre.

Short Story Day celebrates the most succinct form of fiction on the shortest day of the year in the southern hemisphere, June 21. ‘This day is celebrated annually in South Africa and is intended to re-ignite a passion in the region for this overlooked genre, and in so doing, stimulate new and existing southern African writing and publishing,’ said CALS’ Mrs Ashnee Peters. 

CALS mounted a display showcasing some of the short stories in its collection of African literature, inviting visitors to enjoy the unique library and reading space.

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The South African Association of Public Administration and Development Management (SAAPAM) is an independent, professional and non-profit association with the mission to encourage and promote good governance and effective service delivery through the advancement of professionalism, scholarship and practice in Public Administration and Management.


SAAPAM’s intention is to launch provincial chapters in all nine provinces to promote excellence in the theory and practice of public administration.  As a national board member and interim chairperson of the KZN Chapter, Professor Yogi Penceliah, Head of the School of Public Administration and Management at UKZN facilitated the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Chapter launch on June 3 at the University.  The launch was attended by national board members, academics from the other tertiary institutions in the province, practitioners and students.


In his welcome address, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Law and Management Studies, Professor John Mubangizi said UKZN was proud to be part of the partnership and encouraged the School to nurture and utilise it.


The President of SAAPAM, Mr Herbert Masermule said that the purpose of the launch was to ensure that the national activities of the association are replicated in KwaZulu-Natal. The MEC for Economic Development and Tourism (KZN), Mr Michael Mabuyakhulu suggested that it was time for everyone to embrace the principles of Batho Pele – putting people first. He added that he was grateful to the KZN Chapter of SAAPAM as the Province will interface with the Chapter for a better public service.


KZN SAAPAM executive members were duly elected and include academics from the four tertiary institutions in the province, provincial and local government practitioners and students.

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Director of the South African Research Ethics Training Initiative (SARETI), Professor Douglas Wassenaar’s Inaugural Lecture on the Pietermaritzburg campus on June 22 raised interesting questions about research ethics.


Wassenaar trained as a clinical psychologist at the former University of Natal and served as Senior Psychologist at Town Hill Hospital before accepting an academic position at the School of Psychology. He is also the first non-medical Chair of the UKZN Biomedical Research Ethics Committee and Chair of the Human Sciences Research Council’s Research Ethics Committee. In 2010 Wassenaar was appointed to serve on the World Health Organization’s Vaccines Advisory Committee.


‘His research interests include suicidology and eating disorders, but for the past years have focused largely on research ethics,’ said the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Development and Social Sciences (HDSS), Professor Nhlanhla Mkhize, whose academic grooming was also in Psychology.


The title of Wassenaar’s Inaugural Lecture wasResearch Ethics, Psychology, and the University’s Research Mission – to be The Premier University of African Scholarship.” He presented an insightful historical overview of research ethics, describing key elements of ethical research and set and reviewed a psychological/social science research agenda for each element. 


Wassenaar reminded his audience that universities are distinguished from other educational institutions by being producers and not just consumers of knowledge. Research is a key element of a university’s core business and subsequently drives innovation, development and economic growth. He highlighted the fact that academics are expected to spend at least 30 percent of their time on research and posed the question: ‘What is the role of ethics in research with human participants?’


Iqembu labafundi elivela e-African Leadership Academy (ALA), okuyisikole saphesheya kwezilwandle esisiza ukukhulisa sisekele abaholi abancane bakusasa abavela e-Afrika yonkana nasemhlabeni wonke abazimisele ekubeni ingxenye ekuthuthukiseni i-Afrika, aliwuvalanga umlomo emva kokuchitha izinsuku ezintathu eHIV Pathogenesis Programme (HPP) eNyuvesi yaKwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). IHPP izinze eDoris Duke Medical Research Institute (DDMRI) eseNelson R Mandela School of Medicine.


Igumbi locwaningo lakwaHPP elakhiwe endaweni engango 600m2 lugxile kucwaningo ngesandulela ngculazi nesifo sofuba, nendawo yokugcina izibonakaliso zocwaningo oselwenziwe.


USolwazi oqondene nocwaningo lwesifo sengculazi nesandulela ngculazi nothanda ukuthuthukisa abacwaningi abancane, uSolwazi Thumbi Ndung’u uthe loluhambo beluhlelelwe luzokwazisa abafundi ngezesayensi, ezempilo nezinto ezithinta imiphakathi ngesifo sengculazi nesandulela ngculazi ezenziwa iHPP. nophinde abe nguMqondisi weHPP uthe: ‘Besifuna ukubazisa ngocwaningo oluvelele olwenziwa iHPP, iCentre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) nabanye esisebenza nabo eThekwini,’


Abafundi bakujabulele ukuvakashela emtholampilo wesandulela ngculazi eVulindlela Clinic engaphansi kweCAPRISA okusanda kwenziwa kuyo ucwaningo oluvelele lwe-“Tenofovir Gel Microbicide” ngonyaka ophelile (2010). Lapha bathole ulwazi oluningi nokubenze bafisa ukungenelela ekusizeni imiphakathi mhla beqala ukusebenza.


‘Bekukhuthaza ukuchitha usuku egumbini locwaningo lweHPP siphinde sibe yindlenye yocwaningo,’ kusho uNksz Rose Mbaye we-ALA ovela eSenegal. ‘Ukuvakashela emtholampilo kusivule kakhulu amehlo kunalokhu esikufunda ekilasini, kusinikeza nemibono yabantu makuziwa ezindabeni zengculazi nesandulela ngculazi,’ kusho uMbaye.


Umphathi wezesayensi e-ALA UMnu David Scudder uthe kuyajabulisa ukukhombisa abafundi izinto eziphathelene nesandulela ngculazi kwezesayensi nasemiphakathini. ‘Iyona indlela engcono ekukhuthazeni abafundi ukuba bathathe izifundo sesayensi,’ kusho uScudder.


UNdung'u ukhulume ngokubaluleka kokuba nothando ngemisebenzi
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UKZN’s Dr Rosemary Awuorh-Hayangah was one of the panellists at the Inaugural Built Environment Seminar hosted by UKZN and the eThekwini Municipality’s Municipal Institute of Learning (MILE) on June 22. Awuorh-Hayangah is the Acting Head of School of Architecture, Planning and Housing and senior lecturer in Urban and Regional Planning in the School. MILE is in partnership with UKZN for knowledge sharing and collaboration which will build partnerships between academics and practicing professionals within the eThekwini Municipality.

The aim of the seminar was to reflect on the various discussions and debates on fostering urban integration under the theme “Reshaping Cities”. Central to this theme are perspectives drawn from academia as well as local government practitioners. 

Professor Ivan Turok, Deputy Executive Director of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), was the main speaker for the day. He presented a paper on “Reshaping Cities. What more can be done?”

The spatial form of South African cities is more fragmented, and the population distribution more imbalanced than other countries. The 2011 State of the Cities Report notes that Government has acknowledged that little or no progress has been made in transforming the geographic patterns inherited from the apartheid regime and to promote urban integration. President Jacob Zuma noted in his Freedom Day speech on April 27 that, ‘Many still live in areas once designated for Black people, away from economic opportunities and civic services’.  Turok pointed out that South Africa does not a have a set urban agenda to counter the effects of apartheid on population fragmentation and segregation. He added that the former regional inequalities have translated into urban inequalities with Bantustans turning into townships, and suburbs into urban areas.

‘Our cities have the lowest population densities, but are highly uneven. Townships are concentrated and can be isolated from the places of economic activity. A third of wages of people living in townships are used up by transpo
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UKZN’s Enhancing Care Initiative (ECI) Unit recently hosted an official dinner to commemorate the visit of representatives from the George Washington University (USA) to KwaZulu-Natal from June 27 to July 1. In 2010, the ECI received a Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) grant valued at $10 million over a period of five years for medical training and training in the management of HIV and Tuberculosis (TB). The George Washington University is MEPI’s co-ordinating centre.


Attending the dinner with the UKZN MEPI team were delegates from the US Consulate General’s Office, the US Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR), the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH), the US Embassy (Pretoria) and representatives from the South African Department of Health.


Dean of the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine (NRMSM), Professor Umesh Lalloo who also heads UKZN’s ECI Unit informed delegates that the MEPI project was presented to the National Minister of Health who was very pleased and inquired about the possibility of its expansion nationwide.


‘UKZN and the ECI are very privileged to have received the grant and it has opened up many opportunities including capacity building,’ said Lalloo. He added that the grant was an excellent platform to initiate good medical education programmes and other healthcare initiatives. ‘As UKZN we aim to use the grant to improve the lives of the people of KZN,’ he said.


Speaking on behalf of the United States government, Consul General Ms Jill Derderian, said she was particularly impressed by the strength of the partnerships evident in KwaZulu-Natal.


‘We are very impressed with what we see, especially the quality of the programme and the ambition and vision of the team to ensure the success of the project,’ said Professor of Medicine at the George Washington University Medical Centre, Dr Jordan Cohen.


Cohen said he was looking forward to their tour of Murchison hospital - a district hospital in the Ugu district, also serving as a pilot hospital for a MEPI Learning Centre. 

A group of approximately 60 high school learners spent a week on UKZN’s Pietermaritzburg and Westville campuses finding out if they have what it takes to be a scientist.  The learners were all participating in the Faculty of Science and Agriculture’s “Be a Scientist for a Week” Programme.

Designed to provide learners with a hands-on experience of science, the Programme was attended by top Grade 11 and 12 maths and science learners from a selection of the University’s key feeder schools.  They were all selected for their academic prowess and because of their desire to broaden their perspectives and find out what really happens beyond the classroom.

Nine of the Faculty’s Schools hosted the learners for three hours at a time, exposing them to the nuances of their disciplines via experiments, laboratory work, data collection, programming and other practical challenges.  The learners also spent time at the Electron Microscope Unit and received career guidance and advice from Schools Liaison and Student Counseling.

When questioned about giving up some of their holiday time to attend the “Be a Scientist for a Week” programme, the learners said it was a small sacrifice to make for what could change or direct their future.  One learner described the experience as being able to ‘go to your future and check it out.’ Another budding scientist said that at school they often hear about different science disciplines and areas of work but don’t really know what they entail.  This Programme helps to ‘put something behind the words’, she said.  

Russell High scholar, Ms Naledi Mntambo, expressed her pleasure at being recognised for her academic ability and said it was a worthwhile experience that only comes along once in a while. 

The Programme catered for all interests ranging from maths, physics and computer science to bioresources engineering, genetics and environmental sciences.  Each learner seemed to find a different aspect of the programme most appealing.  Some learners preferred finding out about geographic information systems while others found the maths section, which dealt with the use of equations to catch someone speeding, most challenging.  Programming robots in computer science was a popular choice and time spent learning about genetics was an eye-opening experience.

Project CARE is a collaborative research project by UKZN’s Department of Behavioural Medicine and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). CARE is an acronym for Community Assessment of Risk and Resilience. Project CARE, a pioneering study on the continent will span four to six years and will analyse risk and resilience amongst youth in Durban. It is the brain-child of Dr Wendy Kliewer, a Fulbright scholar and Head of the Department of Psychology at VCU and Professor Basil Pillay, Head of the Department of Behavioural Medicine at UKZN. The first of its kind undertaken in Africa, the project has received $64 509 in seed funding from VCU’s Global Education Office and the College of Humanities and Sciences.

The project will follow two age-groups of youth as well as their caregivers from low income families in the greater Durban municipality annually for four years. Equal numbers of families from across the various demographic groups will be included.

A grade 7 age-group will be followed to analyse the adjustment of the learner from primary into middle high school education. Concurrently, a grade 10 age-group would be followed to analyse the adjustment from high school into the post-matric years. Over the four years, the learner as well as the care-giver will be interviewed and assessed on how the youth adjust to risk factors in the environment. Some of the issues analysed would include social competence, aggressive behaviour, academic competence and substance abuse.

The second aim is to establish whether risk behaviours as coping mechanisms for stress, are attributed to physiological or psychological factors amongst the youth. Lastly, the project aims to establish what factors promote resilience to stress amongst families of youth that thrive, despite coming from a similar socio-economic background.

Interviews with the youth and caregivers will be conducted in the home environment. Within a month after the interviews, physiological school-based tests will be performed to establish whether there are any physiological changes in the body as a result of stress. Neuropsychological tests will also be conducted within the schools by clinical psychologists from UKZN.

Professor Pillay said, ‘Project CARE will provide a comprehensive understanding of the family, key information that is required to guide policy with regards to services provided in communities such as clinical, social, etc. The Department of Behavioural Medicine will analyse the data and assist various government departments to develop relevant services, according to the needs of the communities. Project CARE also provides the opportunity to build research capacity both at VCU and at UKZN. It is envisaged that many opportunities will exist for Masters and PhD training through the project as well as student exchange across the two continents.’

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