UKZN’s Enhancing Care Initiative Unit successfully applied for the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) grant and has been awarded $10 million over the next five years for medical training and training in the management of HIV and TB. The official announcement was made at a function at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine (NRMSM).


The Unit, headed by Professor Umesh Lalloo has been involved in the training of health care workers and the general public in HIV and TB management over many years. Last year the Province of KwaZulu-Natal recorded 122 000 cases of TB and is the epicenter of the disease in South Africa. Columbia University in New York will partner with NRMSM on this grant with collaborative activities between both institutions.


Professor Lalloo said, “There was huge competition for the award from other medical institutions in sub-Saharan Africa. Our grant received an exceptionally high rating and the University is proud to be a recipient of this grant. The grant will be used to increase health care capacity development and the particular attraction is that it will support the training of the next generation of medical academics. If successfully implemented this award will produce medical academics, with about 50 doctors, nurses and pharmacists in PhD programmes over the five-year life cycle of the award. This will place the University in a commanding position to attract research funding. Further it is an acknowledgement of the crisis in health in the region imposed by the collision of two epidemics, HIV and TB.”

Professor Lalloo added: “The novel components of the application by the NRMSM projects, which we believe made our application attractive and invited such a high rating are:

The College of Law and Management Studies and the College of Health Sciences at UKZN co-hosted a Symposium on the Medico-Legal and Ethical Implications of Human Tissue Use on October 13 and 14. The Symposium was addressed by international human tissue experts from Scotland and New Zealand, and was attended by delegates from the leading university schools of anatomy in South Africa.

The timing of the Symposium is appropriate given the recent indictment of a number of prominent medical practitioners allegedly involved in contravening the Human Tissue Act 65 of 1983, and the concerns that have arisen regarding the use of human tissue from both the living and the dead for teaching and research – particularly concerning the medical, legal and ethical consequences of such use.  The public display of human cadavers in Bodyworld and its spin-off plastinate exhibitions, the Saartjie Baartman repatriation, and the exhumation findings of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission have also caused controversy.

The Symposium is the first of its kind since South Africa attained democracy and the deliberations of the participants and the recommendations of the commissions will be fed into the on-going consultation process regarding amendments to the National Health Act and its regulations.

The donation of human tissue is presently governed by the Human Tissue Act 65 of 1983, as amended, but will be replaced by Chapter 8 of the National Health Act 61 of 2003 when the Chapter is brought into effect. There is general agreement that the provisions of the Human Tissue Act, and those presently in the National Health Act, are inadequate to meet the challenges of modern medicine in respect of the use of human tissue. As a result a number of proposed amendments to the National Health Act have been submitted to the Department of Health and these, together with other suggestions, were discussed at the Symposium.

Some of the factors that emerged were that there has been a significant reduction in the available cadaveric organs and tissue for clinical and research use from several of the state mortuaries since they were taken over from the police by the provincial departments of health in 2006. This seems to be in part due to perceived, (but not necessarily correct), perceptions regarding the constitutional and ethical limitations on the use of human tissue from deceased persons, and in part because in some provinces it appears that the police no longer see it as their duty to assist in taking ‘reasonable steps’ to locate persons who may be able to consent to unclaimed bodies in state mortuaries being used for tissue donation. In terms of the Human Tissue Act the Director-General of Health or other authorized person may only consent to the donation of an unclaimed body or tissue from such a body after they are ‘satisfied that all reasonable steps have been taken to locate the persons required to give email :



The Faculty of Law hosted a Law Alumni Reunion Weekend on October 22 and 23.

The teaching of law in KwaZulu-Natal began in 1910 in Pietermaritzburg. To mark the centenary of Higher Education in province, Law centenary celebrations have been held throughout this year. These celebrations culminated in a Tree Planting Ceremony and Book Launch on October 22 and the Law Centenary Reunion Dinner on October 23. 

Twelve indigenous trees were planted by prominent South African judges, academics, alumni and community members including: the Honourable Judges of the KwaZulu-Natal High Court Judge Trevor Gorven; Judge Piet Koen; Judge Kevin Swain from the class of 1974; Judge Achmat Jappie; and Judge Chiman Patel. Other representatives present from the class of 1974 included Judge Eric Leach of the Supreme Court of Appeal; and Advocate Spiko Dickson who is a Senior Counsel based in Pietermaritzburg.

Law academics participating in the tree planting ceremony included Professor Jonathan Burchell and his mother Mrs Sheila Burchell, the grandson and daughter of the late Professor Frank Bruce Burchell, affectionately known as ‘Binkie’ who taught law during the 1920s; and Professor James Lund, a law graduate from the late 1960s and retired Professor of Law.

Ms Ela Gandhi, granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi and law graduate of Salisbury Island in 1965; Ms Liz Beach and her son Mr Robert Beach, daughter and grandson of Advocate Selke who lectured in the Law Faculty from 1915 to 1919; and Mr Nigel Tatham from Tatham Wilkes Attorneys in Pietermaritzburg whose forefathers were part of the first class of the Law Faculty in 1910 also took part in the tree planting ceremony.

Stella Iuris – Celebrating 100 Years of Teaching Law in Pietermaritzburg was edited by UKZN Law academics Professors Michael Kidd and Shannon Hoctor and it is published by Juta Law. This commemorative book details the history of the teaching of law in Pietermaritzburg, and gathers contributions from top academics connected in various ways with the Facu
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The Law Faculty hosted the prestigious Ellie Newman Moot Court Final at the Howard College campus on October 7. This is the 39th Year that the competition has been held and it is widely regarded as one of the premier moot competitions in the country.  The Presiding judge, the Honourable Mr Justice Jappie in his concluding remarks complimented the students on the quality of their arguments and on their professionalism. 

The students argued their cases before a bench comprising Judge A  Jappie, the Honourable Mr Justice P Koen and the Honourable Madam Justice E Steyn.  The students were given two complicated legal cases to argue and had to submit their heads of argument to the judges prior to the case being presented in court.

The overall winner of the competition was Ms Tamryn Viljoen who according to the judges had a technically difficult case to argue but impressed the judges with the manner in which she handled the questions. They added that she knew the law and presented her argument persuasively.  The runner-up prize went Mr Kamiel Rajah, who impressed the judges with his calm presentation and analysis of the law.  The two finalists were Mr Rhee Molefe and Mr Clinton Slogrove. All four participants dealt well with questions and were able finalists.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of College of Law and Management Studies Professor John Mubangizi said: “This year’s Moot Court Final takes on added significance as it comes at a time when we are celebrating 100 years of academia in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal. With its roots going as far back as 1910, the Faculty of Law at UKZN is one of the oldest in the country – and certainly one of the best. In a way, therefore, this Moot Court Final forms part of the centenary celebrations of legal academic excellence in this province.”

The first case dealt with the proposed Protection of Information Bill and whether it was constitutional. Ms Viljoen represented the South African National Editors’ Forum and Mr Molefe appeared for the Speaker of the National Assembly.  The second case dealt with the issue of whether lawful duress would permit a party to resile from a contract. Mr Rajah represented the applicants, the Local Organising Committee and Mr Slogrove represented the respondent.  

Dean of the Faculty of Law, Professor Managay Reddi, said that mooting is regarded by the Faculty as an essential component of a well-rounded legal education and an important stepping stone for entry into the legal profession. “This is why mooting is compulsory for all final year LLB students. The four finalists that argued before the court were chosen from a number of semi-finalists who argued in the competition rounds,” added Professor Reddi.

“As young students entering the Health Sciences discipline, there is nothing quite as encouraging as getting advice from experts already in the field and hearing about other students’ learning experiences nationally.” This was the opportunity provided for students by the College of Health Sciences-Pfizer South Africa National Young Health Scientists Research Symposium held at UKZN on October 20.


This annual Symposium is designed to showcase and highlight recent scientific and clinical research conducted by young health scientists. Research groups of students from five South African universities presented their projects at the Symposium.


In his keynote address, renowned researcher, Professor William Bishai, the Director of the KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV (K-RITH), said that the students presenting at the Symposium are evidence of the sustaining power of scientific investigation. He spoke about the importance of equipping more South Africans with PhDs, and gave students advice on how ‘to stay on top of the research game’.

Reflecting on his personal experiences as a health sciences researcher, Professor Bishai encouraged students to read newspapers which will inspire them to do research on the world’s common diseases, and to look around themselves to see that “science is sustaining”.

Professor Bishai also outlined some of K-RITH’s short-term and long-term research goals (strengthening national and international intellectual partnerships) and physical infrastructural plans which are due to be completed in July 2012. These will position the province of KwaZulu-Natal, and notably UKZN, as one of the best sites for research output in Tuberculosis and HIV, and enhance quality teaching and learning in health science disciplines.

Professor Bishai left the students with the words: “The best preparation for tomorrow is to do today’s work superbly well,” a quote by Professor William Osler, one of Johns Hopkins University’s four founding doctors.

Adjudicators at the Symposium reported that this year’s standard of presentations was world-class. “Overall, the delivery of presentations was very good and we had an array of equally relevant topics,” said the group of adjudicators.

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Professor Andrew McKune, an Associate Professor at UKZN’s School of Physiotherapy, Sport Science and Optometry, has been appointed to serve as a panel member of Strength and Conditioning Experts at an upcoming South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) Conference.

SASCOC is hosting an Inaugural Coaching Conference 2010 with the theme, Forging the Sporting Future through Coaching, from November 19 to 21 in Johannesburg.


SASCOC is the controlling body for all high performance sport in South Africa and was formed as a Section 21 Company by representatives of sports bodies at a general meeting held on November 27, 2004. Professor McKune will be involved in discussions with coaches from different sporting federations in the country.


In terms of its Memorandum of Association, SASCOC’s main objective is to promote and develop high performance sport in South Africa as well as to act as the controlling body for the preparation and delivery of Team South Africa at all multi-sport international games including but not limited to the Olympics, Paralympics, Commonwealth Games, World Games and All Africa Games.


“In the Discipline of Sport Science at UKZN we prepare our Exercise Science Honours students to write the National Strength and Conditioning Exam (NSCA) to become Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists (CSCSs),” said Professor McKune. “This is an internationally recognised qualification that improves their marketability when applying for Sport/Exercise Science jobs,” he said. In future, SASCOC will be recommending that all Sports Federations must employ individuals who have the CSCS qualification.


Passionate about sport and exercise science, Professor McKune is in the process of developing the first Masters Degree in Exercise Science in South Africa with a specific focus on Strength and Conditioning. “This together with various research projects that I have received funding for from UKZN and the NRF will
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“The conception and introduction of developmental programmes and initiatives serve only to complete the embryonic image of the new baby: the Democratic South Africa. Just like the delicate internal parts of the body, so was the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) set up. While much still remains to be done upon that heart belief in reconciliation; the expressive parts (internal and external) of the body have grown.”

These were some of the concerns raised by Mr Benjamin Khutsoane, founder of the South African National Reconciliation Rehabilitation Act (SANRRA), when he presented a lecture organised by the School of Language, Literacies, Media and Drama Education at UKZN on October 18.

The lecture titled The Missing Link: Healing the Wounds of South Africa (How did we get here? Where to from now?) looked at how far the ‘democratic’ South Africa has come and the obstacles we still need to face as a country. Mr Khutsoane said that South Africa is a wounded nation that still needs time to heal. “As the periodic peeling of the scab from the wound that is supposed to heal, so have the news headlines been in the last 15 years”. He pointed to the current media tribunal controversy and said: “What we need is more than just the media tribunal. We need a media conscience that is rehabilitative in contribution to the quickening of the national conscience and healing from a healed and rehabilitated place.  Identifying the wounds of our nation is the only way to break the cycle of denial and bring true closure, if not justice,” said Mr Khutsoane. 

He said that the work done by the TRC is unfinished business. “To many, it may seem like all these areas have been addressed through the TRC. While the efforts of the TRC remain invaluably commendable for our political record and aspirations, the cyclic resurgence of national scandals and tensions are contra-proof to any sense of complacency. Such complacency is commonly characterised by expressions like: ‘People must just get over it and leave the past in the past’. This is easier said than done,” he added.

Mr Khutsoane said that what the TRC accomplished was to help us identify and expose the wounded state of the nation. “Healing is a process that demands some form of in-depth national rehabilitation. The process has to start from the top (Government, leadership officials) to the bottom (that faceless, bitter and vengeful individual who struggles to find any reason for hope and resorts to suicidal means such as anger or crime),” said Mr Khutsoane.

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The 19th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition witnessed a gathering of 55 law schools from 25 African countries speaking three languages (English, French, and Portuguese).  This year’s competition was held in Cotonou, Benin from October 4-9 and the Law Faculty on the Howard College campus was represented by Ms Cherese Thakur and Ms Toni Palmer, along with Ms Lee Stone in her capacity as the Faculty Representative. 

The problem to be argued concerned the competence of a non-governmental organisation to lodge a complaint with the African Court on Human and People’s Rights and the requirement of exhaustion of domestic remedies prior to approaching an international tribunal; rape perpetrated against young girls as a form of initiation; criminal prosecution for negligently exposing another person to HIV and AIDS; and the question of whether or not polygamy should be recognized.

UKZN obtained 9th place overall in the Order of Merit, with Rhodes University in 1st place, narrowly followed by UCT and Wits.  There was a mere two percentage points separating UKZN from Rhodes University.  UKZN won all four of the preliminary rounds that were argued against the University of the Free State; the University of The Gambia; Moi University, Kenya; and UNISA.  The standard of this year’s competition was exceptionally high.

The competition took the form of two full days of arguments made by the students at the University d’Abomey-Calavi, followed by an excursion to Ouidah, where the teams visited a former Portuguese slave-trading port, aptly named “The Port of No Return” and came face to face with the shackles that bound human beings as they marched away from freedom. 

For seven days the UKZN delegation witnessed Africans of all backgrounds talking about human rights and how to improve notions of fundamental human dignity on their continent. The African Moot Competition is the perfect platform for students to engage with human rights principles and start making a difference.

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The International Office at the UKZN had the pleasure of hosting a delegation of women in Higher Education from the United States of America at a workshop which was aimed at sharing ideas and address common issues faced by women around the world.

The delegation of 17 professionals with expertise, experience and interest in Higher Education led by Dr Arnetha Ball, President-Elect, American Education Research Association interacted with professional counterparts in South Africa, under the auspices of People to People Ambassador Programs. One of the primary aims of the delegation was to seek a better understanding of women’s place in Higher Education in South Africa.

In her presentation about the issues concerning women in Higher Education in South Africa, Senior Lecturer in Gender and Education, Dr Shakila Reddy said that South Africa is a diverse society and that gender equality has been high on the transformation agenda of the country and of Higher Education Institutions.

Some of the discussions in the workshop included an acknowledgement that even though Higher Education continues to be a white, male-dominated environment, trends show that more women are entering Higher Education. It also found that the challenges faced by South African women are similar to those faced by women in the United States.

Dr Reddy said that although women comprise more than half the number of university staff and students, 2003 national figures reveal that of the 23 universities in the country, only three had female Vice-Chancellors. She added that currently UKZN women comprise 29 percent of the executive, 21 percent are professors and 29 percent are associate professors. She added: “So while there are concerted efforts towards gender equity, the leadership and senior positions of the Institution are still male-dominated.”

The USA delegation said that most research grants are still not going to women of colour. They and their South African counterparts shared their stories and the struggles that they had to go through to get to where they are today. Some of the women said that they had to work twice as hard to prove to their male counterparts that they were capable of doing the work.

There are still very few women in the Engineering fields and most women are in the education and health sciences fields, particularly medicine. All the participants agreed that there is still a long way to go for women and that crucial issues such as gender-based violence at Higher Education Institutions need urgent attention.

Every Monday on average 20-30 people from the University community and beyond get glued to the big screen in the Media Room of the German Programme. For years Dr Marion Pape has been showing German movies as part of her contribution to bring the two countries – Germany and South Africa – closer together. "I see the German Monday Film Shows as having both an entertaining and an educational function - a wonderful opportunity to convey a more contemporary image of Germany," the lecturer in German said. Supplied with new and classical German films by the Goethe-Institute, and financed by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) she has screened more than 150 films (all with English subtitles) in the past 10 years.

As part of the Celebration of 100 years of Academia in KwaZulu-Natal, this semester the German Programme has screened Edgar Reitz's monumental 11-part cinematic recreation of German rural life between 1919 and 1982. HEIMAT – Eine deutsche Chronik (Heimat – A German Chronicle) is the first cycle of a trilogy, which includes DIE ZWEITE HEIMAT (HEIMAT 2), and HEIMAT 3.

Five years in the making, HEIMAT 1 is one of the most compelling and highly praised dramas in cinematic history. This epic tale of a family and their rural life in a small German village is told against the changing backdrop of the country's turbulent history from 1919 to 1982. From the aftermath of the First World War, through economic hardship, the rise and fall of Nazism, the Second World War and the decades that followed, life in the village goes on and the values and aspirations of the people at its heart are wonderfully brought to life in this gripping saga of an ordinary family living through extraordinary times.

Edgar Reitz's astonishing 15-hour masterpiece ranked in 6th place when BBC2 ran a 40th birthday poll celebrating the station's greatest programmes and was rated 10th in Channel 4's '50 Greatest TV Dramas.' It has captivated audiences all over the world and will continue to be hailed as one of television's most rewarding and unforgettable experiences (

HEIMAT, which roughly translates into native land, or home, is also a moving story about the various meanings of these terms. The 11 episodes of HEIMAT 1 were shown from August 16 until October 25.

Masters students at UKZN’s School of Physiotherapy, Sport Science and Optometry continue to do their discipline proud with outstanding research presentations at Sport Science conferences on a national level.

The Head of School, Professor Johan van Heerden and the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Professor Sabiha Essack have extended their congratulations to Miss Sumaya Abrahams and Mr Senthil Narsigan, who presented and carried themselves exceptionally well at the 4th Clinical Sports Medicine Conference in Cape Town from October 13 to 15.

These students and their supervisor, Dr Terry Ellapen were sponsored by Professor van Heerden to attend the Conference which focused on Injury Prevention and Protection of the Health of the Athlete. They each presented research papers, impressing the session Chairs “and fielded the questions posed to them afterwards with ease and confidence”.

Along with Ms Farzanah Desai who is also a Masters student at the School, this research group has presented at the renowned Sports and Science Recreation Department of South Africa Conference (SASReCon) 2010, the Pfizer Health Science College Conference and the Fédération Internationale de Médecine du Sport (FIMS)/International Federation of Sports Medicine (FIMS) 2010 Conference.

Passionate about their profession, some of their highlights thus far have been working with the Golden Arrows soccer team, the South African hockey team and the Shotokan Karate-do International South Africa (SKISA). They also share a common dream of becoming world-class experts in Biokinetics, and enjoy imparting the skills and knowledge they have with younger students coming into the University.

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The Centre for Critical Research on Race and Identity (CCRRI) on the Howard College campus hosted a seminar on October 19 by Mr Thando Mgqolozana, the author of A Man Who is Not A Man – a book which recounts the personal trauma of a young Xhosa initiate after a rite-of-passage circumcision has gone wrong.


A Man Who is Not A Man was 'book of the year' for the Sunday Independent, The Witness, and the Mail & Guardian (2009) and South African writers, Zakes Mda and Nadine Gordimer chose it as one of the best books they read in 2009.


Through an exploration of the book, the seminar provided a suitable platform to engage in discussions around of one of South Africa’s most controversial subjects, ‘traditional male circumcision’ as conducted in the Eastern Cape, and male circumcision in the context of HIV and AIDS prevention.


What surfaced from the discussions in support of the author’s viewpoint was that the recent focus in the media on male circumcision as a prevention method for HIV and AIDS was premature and dangerous in terms of the long-term masculinity and patriarchal consequences society risks enduring.


It was also stated that the current trend of ‘boys losing their penises’ and getting admitted to hospitals from initiation schools in the Eastern Cape is unacceptable and something needs to be done to address this issue. Other possible means, if at all, of facilitating the transition from boyhood to ‘manhood’ were considered at the seminar.


In the book, which the author writes with frankness and courage, issues of masculinity and patriarchy rage in a young Xhosa boy’s perspective. He said that he chose to write in the ‘first person past tense prose’ because it gave him the liberty to have access to the emotions and psyches of his characters.


UKZN’s School of Economics and Finance recently hosted the second NETRIS seminar. The seminar Prospects for Trade and Economic Integration in ACP countries: Challenges Facing Regionalism and Regional Integration Arrangements fostered much discussion and the exchange of experience (theoretical, empirical and policy relevance) on the key benefits, challenges and prospects of regionalism and regional integration arrangements, from a trading and economic integration perspective.

The first Network for Regional Integration Studies (NETRIS) seminar Researching and Advancing the Good Governance Dimension of Regional Integration took place at the University of the West Indies (UWI) in March 2010. The UKZN representative at the UWI, Miss Vanessa Tang, Lecturer in the School of Economics and Finance gave a presentation on developmental challenges within the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

The seminar was opened by Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Law and Management Studies, Professor John Mubangizi; Mr Eric Maertens, Senior Supervisor of NETRIS and representative of the College of Europe and the United Nations University; and Professor Trevor Jones, Head of the School of Economics and Finance.

Academic contributions from the UKZN School of Economics and Finance to the second NETRIS seminar covered a number of important issues. UKZN Emeritus Professor Merle Holden and Ms Tang gave a presentation on Competitive Bilateralism or Regionalism: A South African Perspective.  Dr Richard Simson gave two presentations: the first on behalf of Professor Darma Mahadea on Development challenges in African Countries and a second presentation on Perfect Competition, Monopoly, Derived Demand and Free Trade. Ms Pamela Koch, a Masters student in the School of Economics together with Ms Tang and Professor Tennassie Nichola gave a presentation on the Supply Side of Food Security in the East African Community.

International contributions from Europe and the African Caribbean and Pacific Group (ACP) included: From the College of Europe and United Nations University Ms Maria Macovei, Mr Eric Maertens and Dr Stephen Kingah on Regional Integration and Labour Policies in Western Southern Africa, Trade Openness and its Impact on Employment and Inequality and the EU and Economic Partnerhip Agreements respectively; From the European Centre for Development Policy Ms Kathleen Van Hove spoke on the Challenges of Translating Regional Integration Commitments at National Level.

From the Université Cheikh Anta Diop Dr Seydi Dieng looked at the Impact of Regional integration in West African States and Professor Saidou Tall discussed the Participation of non-state actors in integration policies: challenges and constraints at the ECOWAS and UEMOA
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UKZN’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmacology is very grateful for a generous donation of food parcels to students who are in need, made by Mr Dilip Popat who owns the Central Pharmacy situated next to the Royal Hotel in the city centre.


Central Pharmacy usually welcomes Pharmacy and Pharmacology students doing their practical assignments, and this is how Mr Popat learnt of a way to help. He said that currently the economy is very bad in the country, and that he believes in human kindness.


He donated 25 food hampers to the School and would like to also donate clothes. He encouraged manufacturers to emulate his generosity.

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