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Fri, 21 Jul 2017
Zuma to speak at Albert Luthuli commemoration

The 50th anniversary of the death of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Albert Luthuli will be commemorated in Groutville, KwaZulu-Natal, on Friday.

President Jacob Zuma is expected to deliver a speech and lay a wreath at the grave, a national heritage site, and unveil the plaque at the newly-built Luthuli memorial.

The ceremony is scheduled to start on the Groutville sports ground at 10:00.

Chief Albert Luthuli died on July 21, 1967. He was struck by a goods train while on his way to his home in Groutville.

Before he was elected ANC president in 1952, the apartheid government stripped Luthuli of his chieftainship after he refused to either withdraw his ANC membership or forfeit his office as tribal chief.

In a statement, Zuma called Luthuli an inspiration in South Africans’ struggle for liberation.

He was one of the leaders who spearheaded several demonstrations and strikes against the white minority government, which led to his arrest in 1956 and being charged with treason.

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1960.


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Fri, 21 Jul 2017
KZN Heritage Ensemble to perform in Joburg Theatre

KZN Heritage Ensemble was formed by Mbuso Khoza; an award winning vocalist, songwriter and composer from Eshowe in 2016 after 6 years of critical research on the style of music known as Amahubo.

The ensemble will perform to a groundbreaking collaboration and for the first time in Johannesburg on 21st July 2017 at Joburg Theatre and consists of a 16 member group.The show will feature the acclaimed, legendary award-winning composer and musician Themba Mkhize who is also a great heritage custodian.

“I look forward to a pioneering, groundbreaking collaboration with young musicians who are part of the KZN Heritage Ensemble; particularly Mbuso Khoza on a special performance on Princess Magogo’s historical opera piece; Phefeni” says the maestro, Themba Mkhize.

The KZN Heritage Ensemble show will start at 7:30 pm and tickets are available at


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Thu, 20 Jul 2017
Durban at the forefront of DNA research

Durban is leading the way in DNA research, having attracted some of the brightest minds in the science field, in a new state-of-the-art lab in the city.

With cutting-edge technology, such as the next generation DNA sequencing machines, the scientists at the centre, called the KZN Research and Innovation Sequencing Platform (KRISP), are forging ahead in DNA research, with the data collated eventually being able to influence government health policies.

Based at the Nelson Mandela School of Medicine, the centre will be officially launched later this year but scientists are already hard at work analysing data.

Professor Tulio de Oliveira, of KRISP, an HIV genetic data and bioinformatics software development expert, said the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) and UKZN signed an agreement for the establishment of KRISP, paving the way for KZN to join a national group of state-of-the-art DNA centres.

“Right here in Durban, South Africa, we can now produce some of the best, high-quality data in DNA sequencing, without having to send it out of KZN or even out of the country for analysis,” he said.

DNA sequencing was important because it allowed scientists to see the makeup of a DNA molecule of, for example, HIV in a patient, which allowed them to see how it was transmitted.

DNA sequencing also gave scientists a better understanding of how a particular virus, or disease, was affecting a patient, so treatment could be “tailor-made” for the patient. The facility will allow DNA testing for diseases such as cancer, cases of paternity, and Alzheimer’s.

“The good thing about this centre is that it not only allows researchers and the academic field a space for research, but it can be contracted to businesses, which may use the facilities and technology and expertise here, for work in veterinary, agriculture, pharmaceutical, and food industries.

“The work we do here is very relevant to communities. As an example, there is a lot of work going into antibiotic resistance because, in 10 to 20 years’ time, we may not have any antibiotics,” said De Oliveira.

The centre has attracted academics, who left the country, to come back to SA, and specifically Durban, in what De Oliveira called a “reverse brain drain”.

One such scientist, Dr. Veron Ramsuran, an expert in genetics, was at Harvard in the US when he was lured to Durban.

“I’ve been looking at HIV from a host perspective and we found surprising results that will soon be published in a medical journal. In effect, we can analyse a host and analyse the virus and determine what kind of treatment would work, it allows us to be very specific in treatment,” he said.


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