The Sky Is the Limit for Student Juggling Law and Aviation

The Sky Is the Limit for Student Juggling Law and Aviation
Second-year Law student and budding pilot, Mr Kyavand Gholizadeh Touchaei.

Sticking religiously to his timetable – which includes entries about his social life – has ensured budding pilot Mr Kyavand Gholizadeh Touchaei succeeds in both Law and aviation studies.

Second-year Law student, Touchaei has always been fascinated by aeroplanes and cars. It is this passion which led him to research about different aviation facilities and ultimately led him to take flight training at the Virginia Flight School.

Explaining why he chose to study to be a pilot, Touchaei says up in the sky is where he gets all his highs. ‘It is the thing to do, to get that adrenaline rush while at the same time it gives me a sense of calmness when I am high up in the sky alone enjoying the beautiful scene below, the peace and quiet.’

Coming across a module called Air Law for Private Pilots while doing his flight-training course triggered his hunger to study Law, which he believes governs every aspect of our lives.

‘From birth to death a person’s life is touched by hundreds of laws, so how better to educate oneself than knowing all the laws we have to live by. Hence, I was overjoyed when I was accepted to study at the prestigious UKZN Howard College. Thus far I have not looked back and I am thoroughly enjoying the course,’ said Touchaei.

His  two role models are former Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court, the late Justice Pius Langa, whom he adores for his dedication and hard work and Sir Richard Branson, the English business magnate and founder of the Virgin Group whom he idolises for being a pioneer in the aviation sector.

Touchaei is grateful to his parents – both doctors – for playing an integral role in his life. ‘Although both are working parents, one would always try to make themselves available to enable my extracurricular activities,’ he added.

Currently in the process of getting a Private Pilot License, his main aim is to study further towards a commercial license.

Sithembile Shabangu


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Tour of Lion Match Factory by UKZN Alumni Association

Tour of Lion Match Factory by UKZN Alumni Association
UKZN alumni on a tour of the Lion Match Office Park.

Members of the UKZN Durban Alumni Association enjoyed an interesting and informative tour of the iconic Lion Match factory in Umgeni Road, Durban.

The building, which underwent an extensive makeover, is one of the city’s architectural landmarks.

JT Ross, a property development and construction group, bought the 90-year-old premises more than a decade ago when Lion Match moved its manufacturing operations to Gauteng. It rejuvenated the former match factory, converting it into an office park.

The refurbishment created 24 000 m² of office space and introduced features such as a coffee shop, outside eating areas and on-site medical and health facilities as well as a three-storey parking garage.

JT Ross swept the board with top honours for the overhaul at the 2016 South African Property Owners’ Association awards in Gauteng. The architect involved was UKZN alumnus Mr Dean Jay.

The presentation and tour was followed by an enjoyable tea in The Boiler Room hosted by JT Ross.

Finn Christensen


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College of Health Sciences Welcomes New Dean

College of Health Sciences Welcomes New Dean
Professor Sinegugu Duma.

'It is both exciting and humbling to be joining UKZN after being away for more than 16 years – it feels like I am returning home', says the new Dean of Teaching and Learning at the College of Health Sciences (CHS), Professor Sinegugu Duma.

‘However, I am very much aware of the changes that have taken place over the years and the huge responsibility that comes with this position.’ 

Duma, who started her academic career at UKZN, says the University has always been her institution of choice.

‘My return to this prestigious University is my way of giving back and saying thank you UKZN for making me who I am today. I cannot think of a better way to show my gratitude and appreciation than to come back and be part of this Institution.’

She plans to work hard in co-operation with all those involved at CHS and at the University as a whole, to develop an appropriate response to the call for a reformed curriculum in health sciences.

‘My goal is to use this position as a vehicle to educate health practitioners and researchers in the areas of global excellence and local relevance because as health practitioners the communities we serve deserve the best care available,’ she said.

Duma’s desire to become an academic started early in her career as a professional nurse. ‘I was fortunate to have had people who believed in me, encouraged me to study further and directed me to academia.

‘My parents and my siblings remain the greatest source of support, applauding every achievement and pulling me up when I am down. Professionally, the list is too long to mention, but the late Professor Leana Uys was my mentor for academic leadership. Professor Jackie Campbell of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing introduced me to research in the field of violence against women and remains my mentor as a researcher.’   

Duma’s research interest is in the area of primary and secondary prevention of violence against women as a public health and a social problem, with a focus on university students to identify and address the risks and protective factors of violence against women.

‘As health professionals we always want to improve health outcomes for the communities we serve. When I started this research, I realised how little is done by the health sector and later the universities and the public to address violence against women as a public health and social problem.  My passion grew from the need to see this country developing an appropriate response to violence against women.’

In 1998, after receiving her master’s degree from UKZN majoring in Progress Education for Health Professionals, she was appointed by the Institute of Nursing as a lecturer and co-ordinator of a decentralised Bridging Programme for Registered Nurses.

She joined the University of Cape Town at the end of 2000 and now returns to fulfil her academic vision to serve and lead in teaching and learning at UKZN.  

Nombuso Dlamini


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UKZN Staffer Passionate about Forensic Investigations

UKZN Staffer Passionate about Forensic Investigations
Ms Suvanie Chetty.

Principal Academic Administrative Officer in the College of Health Sciences, Ms Suvanie Chetty, has been awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Law, specialising in Forensic Investigations and Criminal Justice.

Passionate about doing in depth investigations coupled with a desire to qualify as an industrial forensic investigator, Chetty says she has always been fascinated by forensics and that her favourite course during her studies was Forensic Psychology. ‘I’m intrigued by the manner in which we are taught to approach an alleged suspect and interpret their behaviour.’

After matriculating from Durban Girls Secondary School, Chetty enrolled for a Bachelor of Social Sciences degree in Industrial Organisational and Labour Studies, going on to graduate with an Honours degree.

Based on the Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine campus, Chetty is responsible for the management of UKZN examinations processes, admissions and selections, registration and Graduation.

With a love for nature, Chetty enjoys taking walks on the beach; travelling and baking. She says she is by no means a fitness fanatic. ‘I leave that to my mum who’s an avid sportswoman having run the Two Oceans marathon for charity. She is currently fundraising for the SA Guide Dogs Association for the Blind.

In recalling her own personal experiences over the last two years, when many allegations of fraud and corruption were levelled at Chetty and her team, she said, ‘It’s been an interesting time for us and certainly not an easy one. I remain steadfast in my commitment and dedication to upholding the policies of UKZN and ensuring good governance at all times. The KPMG investigation exonerated us from all the allegations but the reputational damage caused by the media reports will remain with us for many years to come. Working in the College of Health Sciences has definitely been a riveting experience and has aided my maturity. The College staff under the Directorship of Professor Fanie Botha, have been very supportive and we have a family orientated relationship which always comforts me during extremely stressful times,’ said Chetty.

‘Being brought up in a humble home, I have been taught that education is the key to success and hence my drive toward studying. Essentially I have learned to make the best of every situation and remain humble.’

Chetty’s manager, Mrs Ranitha Ramdeyal, congratulated her saying: ‘Suvanie’s achievement is definitely something to be proud of, especially in the light of all her experiences with both internal forensic and external forensic investigations and litigation. Her decision to study a diploma in this field bears testament to her belief in justice and the truth. I’m sure that the knowledge she has gained will assist her to continue managing her portfolio with integrity and dedication regardless of the associated challenges. I am privileged to have her as a member of my staff and have full confidence in her work ethic.’

MaryAnn Francis


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Public Health Medicine Hosts Interactive Qualitative Research Workshop

Public Health Medicine Hosts Interactive Qualitative Research Workshop
Participants at the Qualitative Research Workshop.

The Discipline of Public Health Medicine in UKZN’s College of Health Sciences recently hosted an interactive qualitative research workshop.

Facilitated by researchers and academics from the Disciplines of Rural Health, Education, and Public Health Medicine, the workshop aimed to build qualitative research capacity among staff and students in the School of Nursing and Public Health.

Funded by the College of Health Sciences Research Office, it also aimed to raise awareness about innovative and emerging qualitative methods and help build qualitative research capacity.

The seven-day programme consisted of a variety of sessions including an introduction to qualitative research; conceptual and theoretical framework; qualitative interviews; NVIVO software; participatory research; systematic scoping review and visual methodology.

Senior lecturer in Public Health Medicine, Dr Anna Voce, opened the workshop by encouraging those in attendance to participate fully. ‘Knowledge you gain in this workshop will be useful in your current research work,’ said Voce.

Public Health Medicine lecturer, Dr Khumbulani Hlongwana, spoke on the differentiation between a conceptual framework and a theoretical framework.

Rural Health Research Psychologists, Mrs Merridy Grant and Ms Ngcwalisa Jama, presented on qualitative interviews and NVIVO software, providing relevant examples.

Grant, spoke on participatory research, examining differences in types of participatory methodology and explaining how to conduct successful participatory research.

Programme organiser and senior lecturer in Public Health Medicine, Dr Tivani Mashamba-Thompson, presented on systematic scoping reviews.

The workshop ended with a presentation on visual methodology by the Dr JL Dube Chair in Rural Education, Professor Relebohile Moletsane of the Department of Education in the College of Humanities, assisted by her PhD candidate, Ms Lisa Wiebesiek.

The duo outlined the photo-voice and participatory approach and the provision of materials needed for the exercise.

Mashamba-Thompson said: ‘Based on the positive responses from participants, the workshop was a great success.’

Nombuso Dlamini


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Architecture Students Design Canopy Structures

Architecture Students Design Canopy Structures
First year Architecture students with canopy structures they built.

First year Architecture students recently designed and built canopy structures to accommodate three people – a task that was part of their first building project for the year.

The students were divided into seven teams with each team tasked to construct a canopy.

Materials used included masonite board, electrical trunking, glue, a waterproof membrane, nylon rope and fixings.

The students were required to build the structures on the Howard College campus lawns where they were tested for durability against weather conditions during a 24-hour period.

Architecture lecturer Mrs Bridget Horner said: ‘Through this process, the students learn about the nature of materials and what they can and cannot do. They worked individually to develop ideas, first with a 1:10 model and later co-designed a shelter and built it 1:1.

‘This is a build on from their previous project on creating an overnight stay in a termite mound or baobab tree. All the projects thus far have dealt with body proportions and designing for people with a survivalist twist!’

Student Ms Samukelisiwe Shezi said: ‘I was in a team of eight which at times was challenging because there were conflicting ideas on how to build the structure. But we managed to work together and the project really clarified how important it is to design and build correctly, especially since the canopy had to withstand the elements.’

Said student Mr Siyabonga Sibisi: ‘It took us two weeks to conceptualise the project and three hours to assemble the canopy on site. It was a great learning experience for all of us because we developed new skills.’

Interim Dean for the School of Built Environment and Development Studies Professor Ernest Khalema was impressed with the design of the canopy structures. ‘Each of these designs shows the hard work put into it by the students. They should consider linking with other Disciplines within the School to create collaborative projects.’

President of the KwaZulu-Natal Institute for Architecture (KZNIA) Mr Kevin Bingham also attended the canopy structure showcase. He commended the students on their designs and their choice of architecture as a career.

Advising the students, Bingham said: ‘It’s a long hard journey to become an architect but it is rewarding. The best architects come from UKZN because they are equipped with the necessary skills to conceptualise and design structures. Your limits will be tested but remember to keep that passion alive.’

Melissa Mungroo


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Academics Launch Book on Philanthropy in SA

Academics Launch Book on Philanthropy in SA
Dr Mvuselelo Ngcoya and Dr Shauna Mottiar with their new book: Philanthropy in South Africa: Horizontality, Ubuntu and Social Justice.

UKZN Academics Dr Shauna Mottiar and Dr Mvuselelo Ngcoya launched their book: Philanthropy in South Africa: Horizontality, Ubuntu and Social Justice, at Ikes Books and Collectables.

The book illuminates research on philanthropy in Africa by using case studies and ethnographic material to examine themes of cycles of reciprocity among Black professionals, social justice philanthropy, community foundations, Ubuntu, and giving in township and rural settings.

Leading thinkers on normative aspects of philanthropy in Africa, the authors also critically explore theories, perspectives and research on philanthropy.

Mottiar, who is the Director of the Centre for Civil Society (CCS) at UKZN, says the edited volume is a project that began a long time ago and emanated out of the Centre for Civil Society Philanthropy and Social Entrepreneurship Initiative funded by the CS Mott Foundation.

She said among the aims of the Initiative was to entrench philanthropy as an academic discipline by contributing to African and global scholarship through teaching, research and publishing.

While working on the volume, Ngcoya and Mottiar considered the idea of philanthropy and its impact on development trajectories and the rich forms of “giving” and “sharing” that form part of daily life in many African contexts.

‘We wanted to interrogate the idea of “social justice philanthropy” distinguishing between “charity” which risks disempowering and “philanthropy” which is better placed to consider the structural and systemic elements that contribute to disempowerment.

‘Regarding the latter, we wanted to trace the contours and characteristics of philanthropy in South Africa from a perspective beyond that of normative/ Eurocentric assumptions about philanthropy. In this sense we wanted to begin the process of drawing out the nuances of giving practices such as “ukusisa” and “ilimo”,’ said Mottiar.

The book is an invaluable resource to foundations, civil society organisations, researchers, policymakers and students of patterns of giving in South Africa.

Melissa Mungroo


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Team UKZN Competes in 56 km Two Oceans Marathon

Team UKZN Competes in 56 km Two Oceans Marathon
Part of Team UKZN who took on the mammoth Two Oceans race.

Team UKZN competed in the 56km Old Mutual Two Oceans marathon in Cape Town with several runners recording excellent times in one of Africa’s biggest road running events.

Notable performances included Howard College coach Mduduzi Khumalo who led by example winning his first silver medal in the excellent time of 03:53:30, while masters student Mr Gcinokwakhe Ngcobo just missed out on a silver finishing in 04:02:30.  Nhlanhla Nzama finished in 04:34:22 and Rendani Mudau in 04:34:22.

UKZN Council member Mr Tony Singarum, who is part of the University’s Forensic Services team, completed his ninth Two Oceans. He has also run Comrades 21 times.

Singarum said an official study done in 2016 on the economic impact of the Two Oceans Marathon showed the event brought in over R672-million for Cape Town, making it a huge driver of economic upliftment. ‘So as runners we are not only making our lives better by keeping fit but we are also contributing to the lives of others by creating jobs and future opportunities for our people,’ said Singarum.

Singarum, who feels blessed to have good health which gives him the strength to run the gruelling races, says it is challenging to balance a training programme and family and work commitments. ‘I just put one foot in front of the other and accept I am only competing with myself, rather than running to win the race,’ he quipped.  

‘I count it an honour and privilege to run in the colours of UKZN which is another way of branding our University not only locally but globally,’ said Singarum. ‘It gave me immense pride and joy to see students in the colours of UKZN run this race for the first time and complete it. Their coach worked hard in ensuring they did well and all signs indicate they will do well in Comrades.’

Speaking on behalf of the UKZN runners, Singarum commended accomplished runner and UKZN Sports Officer Mr Ayanda Ndlovu for doing a ‘splendid job’ in motivating Team UKZN. He also commended fellow Council members Mr Sammy Mashita and Ms Zinhle Sokhela for running the race, as well as other staff members who ran under their own club colours.

Ndlovu offered this advice to would-be marathon runners:

•   Train hard so you can enjoy the race

•   Don’t skip your weekend long runs

•   Do lots of speed and hill repeats

•   Train with a group/club

•   Get enough sleep

•   Start your race slow and finish strong.

Ndlovu acknowledged UKZN clubs and sports unions for assisting the runners with transport and accommodation.

‘UKZN Athletics has branches on all campuses so anyone wanting to join should inquire at the respective sport administration or sport union offices,’ said Ndlovu.

Benefits of joining UKZN AC include:

•   Access to professional coaching from leading coaches in road running, track and field, and cross country

•   Access to arguably the best facilities in the province

•   Transport to races

•   Being part of one of the fastest growing clubs in KwaZulu-Natal

•   Being part of a vibrant club culture.

Team UKZN included:

Students: Sanele Mbambo, Gcinokwakhe Ngcobo, Nhlanhla Nzama, Nina Grundlingh, Alex Nxumalo and Tebza Mbhele

Staff: Tony Singarum and Ayanda Ndlovu

Other members: Celia Mehou-Loko, Thembekile Simelane, Rendani Mudau and Sipho Evans

Coach: Mduduzi Khumalo

Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer


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I-UKZN Ibambe Uhlelo Lokugubha Usuku Lomhlaba Lwesifo Sofuba

I-UKZN Ibambe Uhlelo Lokugubha Usuku Lomhlaba Lwesifo Sofuba
Abafundi bezokwelapha balwa nesici sesifo se-TB.

click here for the English version

Inhlangano yabafundi bezokwelapha i-South African Medical Students Association (SAMSA) e-UKZN ibe nohlelo losuku lomhlaba lwesifo sofuba obelunesihloko esithi: "United to END TB".

Inhloso yalo mcimbi obubanjelwe e-Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, bekuwufundisa ngesifo sofuba nezinto eziphathelene naso. 

‘Ngokwe-World Health Organisation (WHO), abantu abayingxenye eyodwa kokuthathu emhlabeni banegciwane lofuba i-mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) futhi ngonyaka wezi-2015 uwodwa kulinganiselwa ezigidini ezingama-10.4 zezehlakalo ezintsha zokusuleleka ngaleli gciwane,‘ kusho inhloko yeze-Medical Microbiology e-UKZN kanye ne-National Health Laboratory Services, uSolwazi Koleka Mlisana.

‘Abantu abayisigidi nesigamu 1.8 babulewe yisifo sofuba ngonyaka wezi-2015 kulabo bantu abangama-400 000 babenegciwane le-HIV.’

UMlisana ukhulume ngokuguquka kwegciwane lofuba, ukuhlonzwa kwalo nokusulelana kwalo.

USolwazi wase-UKZN uPrakash Jeena wethule inkulumo ebikhuluma ngesifo sofuba emhlabeni jikelele ikakhulukazi ukubaluleka kwaso kubafundi bezokwelapha ikakhulukazi ngoba babhekana nengcuphe yokusuleleka ngaso.

UJeena ubalule izimo zenhlalompilo ezivuna ubuncuphe njengokungabi bikho komoya ohlanzekile, ukumpintshana kwabantu ezikhaleni ezincane, ukuntuleka kwelanga, ukubhema, ukuthintana negciwane isikhathi eside, ukusweleka kwamagumbi okukhwehlelela nobungcuphe obubhekene nabasebenzi abangabanakekeli bezempilo bokuthola igciwane lofuba.

Uthe kunesidingo esiphuthumayo sokubhekana nengxubekwelapha yesifo sofuba.

Umcimbi uqale ngomzuzu wokuthula lapho kukhanyiswe amakhandlela. Lokhu kulandelwe ukunikezelwa okokumboza amakhala nomlomo, okunamathiselwayo nama-flash drives aqukethe imihlahlandlela emisha yezempilo.

UMnu Siyabonga Sibusiso Shongwe ukhulume ngesihloko esithi : “Khetha ukuphila", kanti uMnu Masilo Sekhula ukhulume ngesithi: "Izifiso zesiguli seTB”.

Odokotela noSolwazi babambe amasimpoziyamu lapho abacwaningi bakwa-CAPRISA bathule izinkulumo. OyiNhloko yohlelo i- Treatment of Research Programme kulesisikhungo, uDkt Kogieleum Naidoo, ukhulume ngokuhlonzwa, ukwelashwa, ukulawulwa nokuvikelwa kwaso kanti iNhloko yophiko i- Pathogenesis and Vaccine Research, uSolwazi Koleka Mlisana, ukhulume ngokuguquka kwalesi sifo, ukuhlonzwa kwaso kanye nokwesulelana kwaso. 

Umcimbi uphethe ngokusikwa kwekhekhe lesikhumbuzo namazwi okubonga abethulwa ngu-Nkz Darsha Kistan.

NguZiphezinhle Silindile Biyela


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Computational Chemistry “Boffin” Invited to Serve on Editorial Board of Prestigious Journal

Computational Chemistry “Boffin” Invited to Serve on Editorial Board of Prestigious Journal
Professor Mahmoud Soliman.

UKZN’s Dean of the School of Health Sciences, Professor Mahmoud Soliman, has been invited to serve on the editorial board of the prestigious international journal: Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics (Springer Publisher).

The journal is one of the most reputable publications in the field of Biochemistry and Biophysics with an impact factor of 1.7, indicating its strong international standing in terms of peer-reviewed articles in the field.

Soliman, who joined UKZN in 2012, has been ranked twice in UKZN’s Top 30 Researchers’ list - fifth last year and 12th in 2015.  He is a C-rated NRF scientist as well as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Organic and Bimolecular Simulations (JOBS), and editor of several journals specialising in pharmaceutical chemistry and drug design. Since joining UKZN, Soliman has graduated seven PhD students and 10 master students. In the past five years, he has published more than 90 items in ISI-accredited journals.

At the relatively young age of 41, Soliman is a full Professor at UKZN after climbing the ranks swiftly through excellence in teaching and publishing a significant number of articles in peer-reviewed journals on an annual basis.

It is noteworthy that at the age of 39, he was promoted to Associate Professor level and appointed Dean of the School of Health Sciences.

He is an expert in the field of molecular modelling and drug design, focusing specifically on biomolecular systems at molecular level, bioinformatics and drug design approaches.

Soliman completed his postgraduate studies at the University of Bath in England in 2009, earning a MPhil/PhD.  He specialised in the field of molecular modelling, computational chemistry and drug design under the supervision of Professor Ian Williams.

He is a visiting professor at Florida A&M University in the United States and an academic visitor at the University of Bath.

Originally from Egypt, Soliman is married with two young sons. His wife is currently studying at UKZN for a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Soliman, who is regarded as a fun-loving Dean with a strong work ethic, is well known for grooming young scientists to succeed in their profession. He is currently supervising 10 PhD students and nine master’s students.

He enjoys reading, camping and is a sports fanatic, eating healthy and working out at the gym!

MaryAnn Francis


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UKZN Hosts Panel Discussion on State Capture

UKZN Hosts Panel Discussion on State Capture
At the panel discussion were (from left) Dr Lubna Nadvi, Mr Rajeshwar Maharaj, Mr Sihle Zikalala and Mr Lukhona Mnguni.

Unpacking state capture, White monopoly capital, radical socio-economic transformation and the emergence of civil society protests, were debated during a panel discussion at UKZN.

The College of Humanities and the Maurice Webb Race Relations Unit hosted the event as part of the Transformation and Leadership Lecture Series.

The panel included ANC’s Provincial Chairperson and KwaZulu-Natal’s MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mr Sihle Zikalala, Mr Rajeshwar Maharaj of the Active Citizens Movement, and UKZN academic and public commentator, Dr Lubna Nadvi

In his welcoming address, the Director of UKZN’s Maurice Webb Race Relations Unit, Professor Paulus Zulu, said: ‘These are topical issues. The role of a university is to be analytical and literally distil social thought. This lecture brings these issues to the fore, challenges ideas and lets them be articulated succinctly for everybody to know what is happening. This lecture encourages debate - because we are not all seeing things in the same way - and will possibly lead to a resolution.’

The panel discussion began with a set of questions posed to each of the participants by the facilitator, Mr Lukhona Mnguni. Answering on whether the ANC should adopt a clear ideological orientation away from viewing itself as a broad church, Zikalala replied that the ANC previously had to deal with the question around “the character of the organization”.

The party settled on defining itself as a multiclass and contested movement that would be ‘a disciplined force of the left’. He was emphatic in saying ‘leaders must not liberate the country for themselves, but for the people’.

Zikalala reflected on the competing social forces attempting to direct the governance of the state and how the ANC sees itself responding to some of the voices challenging the President and the direction he is taking in terms of governance.

‘The protests we have seen in recent weeks are not by people who have elected the ANC. These people never marched or voted for President Jacob Zuma. Opposition parties such as the DA and EFF led those marches. These protests don’t signify that the ANC is losing power.’

Of state capture, Zikalala said it was not a new phenomenon emphasising that ‘whether you talk of the Oppenheimers or the Guptas, they don’t represent what the ANC stands for. No member of the ANC should ever defend both because they are not in the interests of the ANC,’ he said.

Servant leadership in the context of pursuing radical socio-economic transformation was also discussed with Zikalala reflecting on the discussion document of the ANC on Economic Transformation and on some of the dynamics in KwaZulu-Natal’s economy in terms of economic transformation. ‘Radical economic transformation will be expedited through the Black industrialists’ programme,’ said Zikalala.

Maharaj spoke on the emergence of civil society participation relating to governance, especially in the form of protests. ‘Recent public protests should be viewed in a serious light because people are angry. Leadership is tied to the morality of the nation. The country needs deliverance.’

He lamented the invisibility of leaders such as members of Parliament and members of Provincial Legislature in their constituency offices and surrounding communities, saying ‘leaders must not only be visible in times of crisis’. Elaborating on how the Active Citizens Movement draws its list of priorities, Maharaj indicated that the agenda of the ACM came from the ground (grassroots) where the movement had branches.

He even called for a review of electoral laws, arguing that Whites were not the only ones who had captured the state saying there were Black people led establishments of state capture as well. 

Nadvi said the phenomenon of state capture in South Africa was not a new one; however, it had manifested itself in a very particular way over the last several years. ‘This has resulted in the ruling party losing support and the confidence of the people as it appears that it is largely ANC members who have been captured by business interests,’ she said.

The leadership of the ruling party and the government had to create an environment that would be conducive to enabling debate and discussion about what happens next in South Africa instead of shutting down spaces and voices that they did not agree with.

‘The succession/leadership race in the ANC will be watched closely by South Africans and how the ruling party conducts itself over the next few months will decide whether it sustains the support of the masses in the future. South Africa belongs to all its people and not certain groupings or elites. The country’s future cannot be gambled with or assumed to be for sale to the highest bidder,’ said Nadvi.

Melissa Mungroo


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Antibiotic Stewardship and Conservation Project Produces First Three Masters Graduates

Antibiotic Stewardship and Conservation Project Produces First Three Masters Graduates
From left, back: Professor Lars Småbrekke, Professor Wim Sturm, Professor Arnfinn Sundsfjord and Professor Gunnar Simonsen; and (front) Mr Lourenco Marcos Chirindze, Ms Calvina Estavela and Ms Sara Lino Faife, Professor Sabiha Essack and Dr Tomas Zimba.

UKZN’s College of Health Sciences’ Antibiotic Stewardship and Conservation Project has produced its first Masters graduates.

The three candidates - Mr Lourenco Chirindze, Ms Calvina Estavela and Sara Lino Faife - were capped at UKZN’s 2017 Graduation ceremonies.

The five-year project funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) seeks to strengthen health and Higher Education systems in the lower and middle income countries (LMICs) of Malawi and Mozambique with South Africa serving as the south partner and Norway the north partner.

‘The project has three phases,’ said the Principal Investigator (PI), UKZN’s Professor Sabiha Essack who is the South African Chair in Antibiotic Resistance and One Health.

‘Phase one involves a situational analysis on antibiotic resistance and One Health.  The analysis informs the curriculum for the online Masters in Antibiotic Stewardship which will develop human capacity in the optimal management of infections in Mozambique and Malawi in the context of antibiotic resistance and antibiotic stewardship,’ said Essack.

She said Antibiotic resistance was a global public health concern with substantial heath, economic and social consequences. 

‘It results from selection pressure because of the indiscriminate use of antibiotics in humans and food animals,’ said Essack.

The first three graduates in the programme conducted their research under the supervision of Essack, Dr Tomas Zimba, Professor Arnfinn Sundsfjord and Professor Gunnar Simonsen:

•   Chirindze investigated Faecal Carriage of Extended-Spectrum ß-Lactamase-Producing E.coli and Klebsiella spp. in Mozambican University Students

•   Estavela examined Extended-Spectrum ß-Lactamase and Plasmid-Mediated AmpC Resistance in Clinical Isolates of E. coli at the Central Hospital of Maputo

•   Lino Faife delineated Resistance to ß-Lactam and Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics in Enterobacteriaceae from Chicken Reared in Brazil, Mozambique and South Africa

The Graduation ceremony was preceded by a symposium at which Sundsfjord – the Norwegian Principal Investigator - presented a keynote address on Challenges and Solutions to Antimicrobial Resistance.

The events were attended by representatives from NORAD, the University of Tromsø in Norway, the University of Malawi and the Instituto Superior de Ciências de Saúde in Mozambique.

Nombuso Dlamini


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MMedSci Student Publishes Four Manuscripts within a Year

MMedSci Student Publishes Four Manuscripts within a Year
Mr John Mogaka.

Public Health Medicine MMedSci student in the College of Health Sciences, Mr John Mogaka, has published several systematic scoping review manuscripts within a year of registering for his studies.

Mogaka, who believes there is little documented evidence of medical tourism (MT) in Africa, said: ‘This knowledge gap motivated me to do a study of this aspect. The first component of my study comprised a systematic scoping review of literature on medical tourism in Africa. Findings from this study, done over a one-year period, formed the basis of six papers: four journal publications and two conference presentations.’

Mogaka, a Kenyan national who lives in Botswana, published his first paper: “The Role, Structure and Effect of Medical Tourism in Africa”, with Mr BMJ Open.

‘This paper presents a systematic scoping review as a methodology for painting a large picture of medical tourism in Africa through the synthesis of vast amounts of literature on the subject, as applied in my study,’ said Mogaka.

According to Mogaka, the paper promotes the suitability of the scoping review methodology as the ideal platform for synthesising literature which has individual and collective methodological approaches, settings, study populations and participants.

‘In addition, the paper offers a balanced and objective methodological analysis of the systematic scoping review as a methodology for synthesising extant literature, by identifying and discussing its inherent limitations.’

Supervised by Professor Joyce Tsoka- Gwegweni, he also published: “Effects of Medical Tourism on Health Systems in Africa”, in the African Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure (AJHTL).

‘This paper presents evidence of MT in Africa and critically discusses its role and effects on the region’s healthcare systems,’ said Mogaka.

The third paper: “Geo-Location and Range of Medical Tourism Services in Africa”, was also published in the AJHTL.

‘This paper explores the structure of MT in Africa in terms of medical procedures availed through MT and their geo-distribution in Africa, and identifies key medical tourism actors and players in the region.’

His fourth article: “Ethical Issues Associated with Medical Tourism in Africa”, was published in the Journal of Market Access and Health Policy (JMA&HP).

Mogaka presented papers titled: Medical Tourism in Africa: Human Rights and Medical Ethics Perspectives, and The Role and Effects of Medical Tourism on Health Systems in Africa at the annual South African Young Scientists’ Conference and the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health Research Day.

‘My supervisor has been of great assistance content wise and administratively. But, I also benefited greatly from Dr Tivani Mashamba-Thomson’s knowledge on systematic scoping reviews,’ said Mogaka.

He is currently working on the second component of the study for his PhD which will touch on challenges faced by MT stakeholders in southern Africa, including healthcare access through medical tourism, medical technologies and associated health ethics.

Mogaka is married to Lucia and they have three children.  ‘My family is so supportive, allowing me ample “writing space”.  My wife, who is also a PHD student, has been a source of cheer and inspiration,’ he added.

Nombuso Dlamini


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Nursing Students Take Part in Spirit of Adventure Event

Nursing Students Take Part in Spirit of Adventure Event
Bachelor of Nursing second-year students at the Spirit of Adventure.

Second-year Bachelor of Nursing students took part in a Spirit of Adventure team building exercise with professional service staff and academics.

The event involved the use of outdoor adventure to promote personal and interpersonal growth.

Lecturer Dr Mbali Mhlongo said: ‘The course was designed to emphasise leadership, teambuilding and personal development. The students spent a weekend at the campsite.

‘The programme is held annually to assist learners to cope with group work, which drives all the projects at second year level,’ said Mhlongo.

The students also got the chance to spend some time with staff in a more relaxed environment, participating in different kinds of outdoor activities, including team development theory, group dynamics, a mini assault course, snake pit adventures, abseilling, raft building and relay racing.

‘In addition, team building was strengthened by exposing groups to campfire cooking where they prepared a chicken potjie. The instructors were kind, helpful, friendly and caring,’ said class representative, Mr Clovis Dusabe.

‘We were able to learn from each other and to build team work dynamics.  Importantly, we managed to overcome any fear for many activities we have never performed before,’ added Dusabe.

Nombuso Dlamini


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Basic Ultrasound Training Workshop Facilitated by UKZN Technology a First in South Africa

Basic Ultrasound Training Workshop Facilitated by UKZN Technology a First in South Africa
Delegates at the Basic Ultrasound Training Workshop.

UKZN provided the network connectivity to support a first in South Africa - a Basic Ultrasound Training Workshop.

The event was held under the auspices of the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (ISUOG) and in conjunction with the South African Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (SASUOG).

Facilitated by Dr Logie Govender - an honorary lecturer at UKZN as well as the Head of Department: Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Lower Umfolozi War Memorial Hospital (LUWMH) - the workshop was a huge success!

Live streamed from the University of Cape Town, the event involved eight satellite centres on the African continent, including the LUWMH where there was about 30 delegates made up of medical specialists, medical officers and sonographers from the northern KwaZulu-Natal area.

ISUOG’s mission is to improve women’s health through the provision and broad dissemination of high quality education and scientific information in ultrasound in obstetrics and gynaecology to all health workers involved in the care of women, both pregnant and non-pregnant.  This course provided an introduction to the basic principles of ultrasound in obstetrics and gynaecology.

Delegates attended highly informative lectures presented by national and international experts in the field of ultrasound in obstetrics and gynaecology. Topics covered were the physical principles of ultrasound imaging including safety, knobology and the six-step approach to scanning. Gynaecology scanning included examining the cervix, uterus, ovaries and adnexa while obstetric scanning highlighted the correct techniques for assessment of the foetal biometry, measuring liquor volume and placental localisation. However, it was emphasised that ultrasound examination is an adjunct to clinical assessment and management.

All delegates were requested to complete a precourse test before the event and post course test at the end of the lectures. ISUOG’s intention is to gauge the learning experience of delegates attending these educational programmes. All delegates who attended this course have access to complimentary ISUOG core membership for a year. In addition to receiving a Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) accredited CPD Certificate of Attendance, delegates will be provided with a unique identifier link for online access to the Society’s official website and educational material, web lectures and webcasts from the ISUOG Congress, courses and other events.

Delegates will also have the benefit of reduced fees to ISUOG educational courses, the ISUOG Scientific Meeting and the World Congress for the duration of their membership.

Said Govender: ‘Responses from our delegates were very positive in terms of the knowledge gained. Many delegates indicated they want to attend more educational courses planned for the future. Live streaming and international events require a lot of behind the scenes preparation, including accurate timing. I want to acknowledge the UKZN team who assisted us, namely our Clinical Associate Dr Pia Smit and professional service’s staff Mr Sbonokuhle Cebekhule and Mr Patrick Hlombe, for the co-ordination and smooth running of this event.’

The Lower Umfolozi health district is the first area UKZN Medical students have been sent to for clinical training as part of the piloting and roll out of the  College of Health Sciences and the Department of Health’s Decentralised Clinical Training Platform (DCTP).

One year into the programme, all fifth year Medical students as well as Optometry and Dental Therapy students have rotated through the LUWMH and the Ngwelezane Hospital. The DCTP roll-out makes provision for the increase of the MBChB first year intake from 250 to 550 and the doubling of the first year intake for all other Health Sciences Programmes offered at UKZN, through a phased in approach. 

MaryAnn Francis


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UKZN Duo Scoops Bronze at Beach Volleyball Tournament

UKZN Duo Scoops Bronze at Beach Volleyball Tournament
From left: Mr Avikar Ramcharan, Dr Rose Laka-Mathebula, Mr Mark Bashe and Mr Lubabalo Siseko Mnguni.

Bachelor of Education students Mr Avikar Ramcharan and Mr Lubabalo Siseko Mnguni teamed up to compete at the recent Volleyball Beach Tournament in Port Elizabeth and won bronze medals.

Ramcharan, who has played volleyball since the age of eight, is a recent convert to the sport – his first game was this year!

He says he enjoys playing beach volleyball as it is challenging and tests skills and fitness. ‘Playing on the sand is not easy, however constant training does improve your game not only on the beach but indoors as well’.

Mnguni has been playing beach volleyball for about two years and has 13 years’ experience in indoor volleyball. ‘Beach volleyball was born out of indoor volleyball and that has made beach volleyball a very intellectual sport compared to the indoor power play. It’s very challenging from the sand to the shots.’

He was chuffed about winning bronze. ‘It feels amazing!  It was our first time as partners in beach volleyball. Team chemistry is vital and we had that.

‘When it comes to training, we don’t have a special coach or anything of that sort.  A couple of us who play club volleyball go down to the beachfront and practice our skills in areas of defending, attacking and working on game situation plans. We are constantly trying to learn new things and improve our game,’ said Ramcharan.

He enjoys playing soccer and cricket and balances his academic pursuits and love for sports. He plans to read for a PhD in Education and aims to tour the world playing volleyball. ‘A huge thank you to the University for assisting with funding which allowed us to participate in the tournament. I can proudly say I am honoured to be a student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.’

Mnguni, who coaches volleyball at Westville Boys' High in his spare time, acknowledged his volleyball club teams and all the sponsors including Volleyball South Africa and Supersport.

He praised the ‘phenomenal’ crowd support at the tournament which was held in Port Elizabeth – in spite of the rain!

The students thanked Executive Director: Student Services, Dr Rose Laka-Mathebula; UKZN Sports Management staff Mr Mark Bashe, Mr Ashraf Ganie and Ms Roshnee Naicker, and coaching staff, Lawrence Naidoo and Venai Naicker, for their support.

Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer


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Seborrhoeic Dermatitis Study - a First for South Africa

Seborrhoeic Dermatitis Study - a First for South Africa
Dr Nerissa Moodley.

A UKZN study, believed to be the first of its kind in South Africa, investigated the quality of life of KwaZulu-Natal patients suffering from seborrhoeic dermatitis.

The research was done by Dr Nerissa Moodley and earned her a Masters in Medical Science degree in Dermatology.

Moodley’s study was titled: “Quality of Life of Patients with Seborrhoeic Dermatitis in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa”. It aimed to assess the standard of life of patients suffering from the condition, corresponding with clinical severity and demographic parameters.

The study was published in the South African Medical Journal (SAMJ).

The 45 patients used for the research were aged 18 and older and had a clinical diagnosis of seborrhoeic dermatitis. Their quality of life (QOL) was calculated using the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI). However, the harshness of their condition was evaluated by a clinician. 

The median DLQI score was 17 and the median severity score equated to 24. This result showed there was a ‘very large affect on the quality of life’. Additionally, demographic elements were taken into account when comparing QOL between patients, including gender, educational level, home language, ethnic origin, residence, marital status, HIV status and site of involvement.

Limits in Moodley’s investigation included the number of patients involved in the study as well as the fact that the data was collected at one hospital.

Ultimately, her study highlighted that QOL tools are key in giving a patient’s own perspective concerning the severity of their skin condition.

Moodley observed that in South Africa skin diseases were a major occurrence, mainly because people didn’t understand their impact on QOL. The reason for this, she says, is that medical practitioners don’t prioritise dermatology when categorising services. ‘This void of consciousness leads to grave emotional/psychological worries. Even though the disease is not a disability like diabetes, it does affect physical appearance.’

Moodley studied part time for her master’s degree so had to strike a healthy balance between being a mom and working full time.

Currently a Medical Officer in the Department of Dermatology at the Stanger Provincial Hospital, she already holds a FC Derm Part 1 in the Discipline so being accepted into the registrar training programme will ensure her lifelong ambition of being a dermatologist becomes a reality. 

She expressed her sincere gratitude to her husband, Mr Avinash Dookhi, who encouraged her to pursue the study, and thanked her supervisors Professor Ncoza Dlova and Dr Koraisha Hoosen, who held her hand throughout the research journey.

Moodley was also grateful for the motivation and support she received from her proud parents and grandmother.

She believes UKZN as a world class learning institute has given her a head start in her field.

Ziphezinhle Biyela and Nombuso Dlamini


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First Post-Doctoral Student in UKZN Physiotherapy Discipline

First Post-Doctoral Student in UKZN Physiotherapy Discipline
Dr Kaka Bashir.

The College of Health Sciences’ Physiotherapy discipline has welcomed its first post-doctoral student - Dr Kaka Bashir of Nigeria.

Bashir will work on his project which is examining the effect of rebound exercise and circuit training on musculoskeletal symptoms and selected biochemical and psychosocial parameters among individuals with type 2 diabetic mellitus.

‘I chose to do my project at UKZN on the advice of colleagues; Dr Jibril M Nuhu and Dr Awotidebe Taofiq,’ said Bashir.

‘Nuhu, the first PhD graduate in UKZN’s Physiotherapy discipline, told me so much about the University in terms of research output and so on.’

Bashir’s research interest is in musculoskeletal pain among diabetic mellitus patients, prevention and management. ‘Diabetic mellitus is on the increase globally with so many complications and musculoskeletal disorders and is one of the neglected complications.

‘So this research focuses on the identification of causes, prevention and management.’

In the study, type 2 Diabetic mellitus patients with musculoskeletal pain will be randomised into three groups. The first group will receive rebound exercise, the second circuit training, and the third normal care.

Bashir said measurement would be carried out at the baseline and at the end of the programme, ‘The following parameters will be measured - pain level, blood glycaemic level including HbA1c and fasting blood sugar, the  lipid profile of each participant, serotonin levels and the quality of life. At the end of the trial we would be able to see whether the serotonin level is implicated in development of musculoskeletal pain and whether these particular exercises are effective in reducing the symptoms and improved the quality of life.’

Supervised by Dr Sonil Maharaj, Bashir believes his study is novel. ‘To the best of my knowledge it’s a first in Africa.’

Bashir enjoys meeting new people and sharing ideas. ‘Believing in myself, hard work and dedication keep me going.’

He is married with two young children.

Nombuso Dlamini


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UKZN Selected for Seeding Labs 2017 Instrumental Access Programme

UKZN Selected for Seeding Labs 2017 Instrumental Access Programme
A successful bid by Professor Annegret Stark led to UKZN being awarded equipment to advance scientific research and teaching through the Seeding Labs 2017 Instrumental Access programme.

UKZN is one of 15 global institutions awarded equipment to advance scientific research and teaching through the Seeding Labs 2017 Instrumental Access programme.

Seeding Labs is a United States-based non-profit organisation working to accelerate solutions to the world’s most pressing problems by catalysing the power of scientists. Its flagship programme, Instrumental Access, makes high-quality laboratory equipment and supplies available to university departments and research institutes in developing countries.

After a rigorous screening process, UKZN was one of 15 institutions chosen for Instrumental Access 2017 from a pool of 65 applications from 24 countries.

The application for instrumental access was made by Professor Annegret Stark of UKZN’s School of Engineering (Chemical Engineering).  Stark holds the Sugar Milling Research Institute Chair in Biorefinery. 

In her application, Stark outlined the ways that an infusion of scientific equipment would remove barriers to STEM education and research at UKZN, pave the way for new avenues of scientific inquiry and expand hands-on opportunities for students.

The equipment will be used by Stark’s Bioeconomy Research Group, in the Department of Chemical Engineering.  This interdisciplinary group is investigating opportunities to convert local biomass into chemicals and materials, and implement the biorefinery concept in industry. The group takes a holistic approach, covering fundamental investigations of biomass composition and properties, resource and market analysis, chemical and catalytic conversion and separation, as well as process development.

‘Equipment provides a foundation for other critical resources that allow scientists to generate new knowledge, leverage sustainable funding and better prepare university students for the scientific workforce and innovation economy,’ said Stark.  ‘We are extremely grateful for this award of laboratory equipment from Seeding Labs.’

Seeding Labs founder and CEO Dr Nina Dudnik commented:  ‘Science is a global endeavour and we are pleased to work with UKZN to strengthen scientific research and education around the world.  We believe that the global scientific community is strongest when everyone can fully and actively contribute to scientific progress.’

To date, Seeding Labs has shipped 137 tons of equipment to 47 institutions in 27 countries.

Sally Frost


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Agricultural Economics Students Society Hosts First Seminar

Agricultural Economics Students Society Hosts First Seminar
AESS Deputy President Ms Kate Mashikinya (left) presents a gift to Ms Zodwa Mazibuko of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The Agricultural Economics Students Society (AESS) has hosted its first seminar which was themed: “Raising Graduates for the Job Market”.

UKZN alumnus Ms Zodwa Mazibuko, who is the Deputy Director of Agricultural Economics and Marketing at the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (KZNDARD), presented at the seminar.

Mazibuko completed her Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics at UKZN in 2006 and has since furthered her studies at various institutions, including UKZN.

Agricultural economics staff and undergraduate and postgraduate students heard Mazibuko give an overview of the agricultural sector from a public sector perspective as well as discuss the role of agricultural economists in KZNDARD and opportunities for agricultural graduates.

After the presentation, staff and students interacted with Mazibuko in discussions about future collaboration between UKZN’s Agricultural Economics discipline and the Agricultural Economists Forum (AEF) - a forum consisting of agricultural economists in KZNDARD and chaired by Mazibuko.

A postgraduate student suggested that a relationship be initiated between AESS and AEF, aimed at exposing students to work with agricultural economists do on a daily basis and the challenges they face - essentially a job shadowing programme.

Reacting, AESS Founder Mr Lungelo Cele, said: ‘This experience would help students focus their research projects on challenges faced by a majority of smallholder farmers in KwaZulu-Natal, enabling them to better align themselves to workplace standards.’

Mazibuko welcomed the proposal and suggested the partnership should be formalised, which is now expected to happen before the end of the year.

The Head of the Agricultural Economics discipline at UKZN, Professor Gerald Ortmann, congratulated the AESS executive committee for organising the seminar and thanked Mazibuko for sharing her knowledge with the students.

‘The seminar was a learning curve for me and I know that the information provided has helped me to be better prepared to work for the public sector in future,’ said student, Ms Kate Mashikinya.

* AESS aims to link students with workplace opportunities and to equip them with skills to start their own businesses. The initiative was started to help get a better understanding of students’ goals and aspirations in the agricultural sector, particularly in agricultural economics. AESS shares scholarships and job opportunities on its Facebook page, and organises seminars and annual competitions for students.

Lungelo Cele


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Professor Albert Modi Receives International Alumni Award

Professor Albert Modi Receives International Alumni Award
Professor Albert T Modi.

Professor Albert Thembinkosi Modi, Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science, received the International Alumni Award from the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the Ohio State University  in the United States.

This award is presented annually to outstanding international agriculture alumni representing, supporting and promoting the College and the Ohio State University around the globe.

A crop scientist, Modi champions sustainable agriculture and the value of indigenous knowledge in informing scientific research. A graduate of the University of Fort Hare, he received his master’s degree from the former University of Natal going on to study at Ohio State University (OSU) for his PhD in 1999 under a US Government Fulbright scholarship.

‘OSU is a great university. I am proud to say that in me it produced an academic to serve the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, Africa and the world,’ said Modi.

Modi was recognised for his significant contributions to food security in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in South Africa, much of which took place while he was Dean and Head of the School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences (SAEES) from 2011.

Modi has dedicated his career to improving the lives of rural South Africans. He served as founding Chief Executive Officer of the Moses Kotane Institute, and was chairperson of the South African Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean’s Association (SAALSDA).

He was also an associate editor of the South African Journal of Plant and Soil (SAJPS), and has served in various leadership roles in the South African Society of Crop Production (SASCP), including being President from 2007-2008.

His principal research has been focused on indigenous-traditional crops as they relate to science and technology, crop physiology, agronomy and sustainable agriculture. He has published more than 90 peer-reviewed science articles in these areas and served as principal supervisor or co-supervisor for 28 MSc students and 13 PhD students.

‘We would like to honour Professor Modi’s significant contributions to food-security in sub-Saharan Africa and his passion of agricultural education by awarding him the International Alumni Award,’ presenter Ms Julie Louiso told 150 alumni, relatives, faculty members, staff and friends during a luncheon hosted by the College in March.

Christine Cuénod


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Academics to Serve on National Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education Forum

Academics to Serve on National Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education Forum
UKZN team members at the Lekgotla on Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education (from left) Ms Sindiswa Msomi, Ms Fezile Sikhakhane, Ms Malindi Kunene, Dr Thea van der Westhuizen and Mr John Nyamunda.

Two UKZN academics have been selected by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) to serve as conveners for the Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education’s (EDHE) Communities of Practice (CoP).

The academics, Dr Thea van der Westhuizen and Ms Malindi Kunene, are both from the School of Management, Information Technology and Governance.

Van der Westhuizen has been selected as a Deputy Convenor for Academic Entrepreneurship Development while Kunene is the Deputy Convenor for Student Entrepreneurship Development.

The forum focuses on Entrepreneurship in the Academic Space.

Elaborating on her role, Kunene said: ‘There is a need to accelerate entrepreneurship and innovative thinking in our society. This goes beyond simply creating business entities and includes the development of individuals who are enterprising and can also provide organisations they work for with a sustainable competitive advantage.

‘Through the adoption of this mind-shift, entrepreneurially trained individuals will use innovative thinking to solve problems and commercialise solutions.   We will begin to see real change in economic development paradigms of this nation within the context of our country, the continent and the world at large. That is why it is important to develop youth and students who think in this way.’

Highlighting changes that have taken place in teaching practices in entrepreneurship, van der Westhuizen said: ‘The pedagogy in the field of entrepreneurship is shifting from classroom teaching to action learning. Static and content-orientated teaching has become inappropriate in South Africa’s complex and change-driven society.

‘Traditional educational methods which focus on theory and an informative approach are inappropriate to the content and pedagogy for teaching entrepreneurship and don’t prepare learners successfully as leader-entrepreneurs for the future. The experience and requisite skills that are essential for entrepreneurs cannot be imparted through conventional teaching methods.’

According to EDHE, the purpose of the CoPs is to develop entrepreneurship at Higher Education Institutions nationally by sharing relevant knowledge, resources and best practice; transferring practical skills; influencing policy; collaborating with relevant stakeholders in the public, private and non-governmental sectors; supporting and promoting national EDHE projects regionally and locally, and determining success indicators for EDHE.           

Both top achievers in the entrepreneurship field, Kunene and van der Westhuizen contributed and presented innovative solutions to entrepreneurship development in Higher Education as applied and proposed by UKZN’s School of Management, Information Technology and Governance at the recent Lekgotla.

The Lekgotla was organised by the University Branch of the Department of Higher Education and Training on Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education.

The two academics were members of a UKZN team of five at the Lekgotla which debated academic entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial universities and student entrepreneurship. 

The Deputy Minister of Higher Education Mr Mduduzi Manana said at the Lekgotla that the aim was to get more young people to develop an interest in entrepreneurship and to involve universities to catalyse that vision of entrepreneurship.

‘Young people can become job creators and universities must be central in inculcating that culture of entrepreneurship in the minds of our young people.’

Manana said the growth of the country’s economy rested on the shoulders of small businesses as well as the skilled and the educated members of the South African society.

Sithembile Shabangu


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Nuclear Medicine’s Role in Cancer Diagnosis and Management Discussed at Seminar

Nuclear Medicine’s Role in Cancer Diagnosis and Management Discussed at Seminar
The Head of KwaZulu-Natal’s Health Department, Dr Sifiso Mtshali (second left), with Nuclear Medicine specialists at the update seminar.

New diagnostic approaches and treatments for cancer involving nuclear medicine were discussed by specialists in the field and Oncologists at a recent seminar in Durban.

The KwaZulu-Natal Nuclear Medicine fraternity, including representatives from UKZN’s School of Health Sciences, organised the inaugural update seminar titled: “Emerging Oncological Diagnostic and Therapeutical Radiopharmarceuticals in South Africa”. 

‘We appreciate the hard work and effort put in by our Oncology specialists in this province,’ said the Head of KwaZulu-Natal’s Health Department Dr Sifiso Mtshali, while welcoming the nuclear medicine specialists and oncologists at the inaugural Nuclear Medicine Update Seminar held at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital.

The seminar provided a platform to discuss the experiences of the specialists and allowed the KwaZulu-Natal Health Department to showcase its advances and improvements in the Discipline of Oncology.

Oncologist Dr Leon Marais of the Oncology Centre in Umhlanga spoke on the management of neuroendocrine tumours in Oncology and the challenges faced by conventional therapy.

The Head of Nuclear Medicine at the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital and the Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Johannesburg, Professor Willy Vangu, identified accurate tumour screening and the importance of frank clinical judgement as fundamentals in diagnosis and therapy for neuroendocrine tumours.

Vangu discussed the role nuclear medicine played in the treatment of tumours using radiopharmaceuticals such as Gallium-68 peptides and Lutetium-177 or Ytrium-90 labelled peptides.

The Head of the Nuclear Medicine Department at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria, Professor Mike Sathekge, and Dr Robert De Bruyne of the Oncology Department at Hopelands Cancer Centre in Durban, presented on the challenges faced in treating prostate cancer which remains an ongoing disease burden worldwide. They spoke about managing the disease and were unanimous in the impression that more could and should be done for patients using new treatment options available.

Sathekge gave an overview of new diagnostic and therapeutic agents used in the management of prostate cancer and outlined scientific and clinical work being done using radio-labelled prostate-membrane specific antigen (PSMA).

Head of Nuclear Medicine at Tygerberg Hospital in Stellenbosch, Professor Annare Ellman, said pain management was one of the most significant factors in the management of cancer patients. Ellman identified the radiopharmaceuticals used in treating bone pain, emphasising the important role they played, the impact on patient survival and disease control and how they worked physiologically in bone to reduce pain, a common presentation in most malignancies.

The Head of Nuclear Medicine at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital, Dr Nozipho Nyakale, gave a comprehensive overview of the role the Positron Emission Tomography (PET) radiotracer, Flourine-18 DOPA, played in the imaging of different types of tumours, including neuroendocrine tumours, medullary thyroid cancer and brain tumours.  She gave examples of how using this modality could result in a change in management of the disease as experienced with their patients locally. 

Representatives from Radiopharmaceutical companies, Mr Jannie van Zyl of Axim and Ms Mapula Letsoalo of AEC-Amersham gave brief talks on the availability of the products described nationally, the challenges they face with regard to distance from Durban and other compounding factors.  They said their aim was to ensure that South Africans were not disadvantaged and that state-of-the-art therapies were available to them.

The seminar was a collaboration between the state and the private sector emphasising the important role of Nuclear Medicine in Oncology.

Lihle Sosibo


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UKZN Anaesthesiologist Wins Prestigious Book Prize

UKZN Anaesthesiologist Wins Prestigious Book Prize
Dr Pooveshni Govender.

UKZN’s Dr Pooveshni Govender has been awarded the 2017 Tamara Burchard Book Prize by the South African Society of Anaesthesiologists (SASA) for the best original article published in the SA Journal of Anaesthesia and Analgesia (SAJAA).

‘This prize was totally unexpected. I didn’t know my work was even being considered,’ said Govender.

Govender (31), an Anaesthesiology Consultant in the Department of Anaesthetics at UKZN who is currently working at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital as a Specialist Anaesthesiologist, completed her Fellowship in Anaesthesiology FCA (SA) in October 2015 and her Masters in Medicine in April 2016.

Her winning article in the SAJAA - which receives submissions for publication from authors nationally and internationally - was titled: “Predictors of Peri-Operative Risk Acceptance by South African Vascular Surgery Patients at a Tertiary Level Hospital”.

Govender’s article is based on a prospective correlational study she conducted as part of her Masters in Medicine which she was awarded in April 2016 from UKZN.  She was supervised by Professor Bruce Biccard and Professor David Spurrett.

This is the first study of South African surgical patients to assess the proportional contribution of predicted risk, pain and impulsivity on a patient’s acceptance of peri-operative risk.  

The study examined predictors of peri-operative risk acceptance by South African vascular surgery patients at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central hospital in Durban.

It is well known that vascular surgical patients have an elevated cardiac risk following non-cardiac surgery.  The decision whether to proceed with surgery is multidimensional as decision-making is a cognitive process that requires reflection on the consequences of a choice and deliberation on alternatives and contemplation of future outcomes. Patient autonomy and readiness to give informed consent for surgery are affected by several factors.

Sixty patients were prospectively recruited by convenience sampling from the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital’s vascular surgery clinic in Durban between April 2014 and June 2014. Written informed consent was obtained.

Patients completed a questionnaire which documented demographics, pain assessment, impulsivity screen (Barratt Impulsiveness Scale 11), patients’ perception of surgery, predicted peri-operative risk (South African Vascular Surgical Cardiac Risk Index) and acceptance of peri-operative risk. The results demonstrated that the patients’ perception of the benefits of surgery (ß 0.36, 95% CI 0.14–0.70, p = 0.005) was the only predictor of peri-operative risk acceptance. The associations between the other potential predictors and the outcome were insignificant.

Discussing how to write a good article, Govender said it is important for writers to establish what they are passionate about and surround themselves with people equally enthusiastic and committed. ‘The rest should fall into place because all you can really do is to give of your best and aim to reach your potential’.

‘I had the privilege of working with two phenomenal supervisors and all credit goes to them as they were great mentors. This project helped me realise that collaborative research in perioperative medicine is pivotal to improving public health. It is also something that I’d like to pursue in the future.’

In her spare time Govender enjoys travelling and being with her family.

Lihle Sosibo


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SA has Potential to Rise Above Junk Status – Reserve Bank Governor

SA has Potential to Rise Above Junk Status – Reserve Bank Governor
South African Reserve Bank Governor, Mr Lesetja Kganyago.

South Africa has the potential to get rid of its newly-acquired junk status so long as it deals with all the concerns of the international rating agencies, according to the Governor of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), Mr Lesetja Kganyago.

Kganyago was speaking at a public lecture on Monetary Policy hosted by the Graduate School of Business and Leadership (GSB&L) on UKZN’s Westville campus.

Responding to a question on what junk status means for ordinary South Africans, Kganyago said: ‘Getting out of junk status is in our hands. It all depends on what we do to lift our credit standing as a country.’

He said there was no need to panic, reminding the audience that South Africa still had a good investment rating as far as domestic currency was concerned. 

‘The reason why our domestic currency rating is better than our foreign currency rating is because in terms of risk we are regarded as capable of honouring our debt in rands. There is confidence that we have the desire to protect the value of our currency.’

Elaborating on direct and indirect channels of how the rating could impact on people, Kganyago said: ‘The rise in the cost of capital could result in a situation where the cost of servicing your debt goes up and that begins to eat into your income.’

He said indirect channels involved the ‘cost of government borrowing going up. If it does, government must first pay for the cost of servicing the debt before it can pay the debit itself’. When that happens, the government’s flexibility in meeting its public service commitments was reduced because ‘the budget gets eaten’.

On South African monetary policy, Kganyago said what had paid off was the country’s aim to stabilise inflation and anchor expectations through an inflation-targeting framework while accumulating reserves to enhance its robustness to external shocks. ‘Within a few years, we closed the forward position and inflation expectations stabilised within the inflation target range. We have been benefiting from these policies ever since.’

However, he said the country had an unemployment problem which had persisted over the past two decades, justifying why it made sense to look for creative solutions to the problem.

‘The first reason for this is that almost all of South Africa’s unemployment is explained by structural factors, not the kind of cyclical factors that can be addressed by changes in interest rates. The second reason is that monetary policy is already sensitive to cyclical factors - the difference in approach between a dual-mandate central bank (like the Fed) and a more straightforward, single-mandate inflation targeter (like the SARB) is quite small,’ said Kganyago.

Dean and Head of GSB&L Professor Theuns Pelser thanked the Governor and the SARB for their efforts to protect the value of the currency. He also thanked UKZN Vice-Chancellor Dr Albert van Jaarsveld who presented the welcome; GSB&L academic Ms Nomfundo Kakaza for initiating the lecture; the director of proceedings and facilitator, Dr Joy Ndlovu, and staff and students who attended the event.  

Sithembile Shabangu


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