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18 October 2019 | Story Ruan Bruwer | Photo Getty Images
Jaco Peyper
Jaco Peyper, former Kovsie, will handle a quarter-final match at the Rugby World Cup. It will also be his 50th test match.

With the appointment of Jaco Peyper as referee there will be Kovsie alumni among the referees, players and coaches in the quarter-finals of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan on 20 October.

Lappies Labuschagné will start on the flank for Japan in their clash against the Springboks on Sunday. Labuschagné, a former Shimla captain, is second on the list for tackles made in the tournament thus far.
In the Springbok camp there are former University of the Free State (UFS) students in Rassie Erasmus (head coach) and Jacques Nienaber (defence coach).

UFS alumnus Jaco Peyper has been entrusted with the whistle in Sunday’s other quarter-final between Wales and France. It will be a memorable match for Peyper as it will be his 50th test appearance as the 31st man on the field – making him only the third South African to achieve this feat.

Peyper, who is the only South African among the 12 referees at the tournament, made his World Cup debut in 2015 when he officiated the opening match. In total he has handled six World Cup encounters. 

His illustrious career has seen him become only the fourth referee in history to officiate in 100 Super Rugby matches earlier in the year, in which he also handled the final (his fourth Super Rugby final). Peyper scooped the SA Referee of the Year award in 2018 for a third time, a year in which he took charge of his fourth Currie Cup Final.

“The fact that he is only the third South African referee to take charge of 50 tests indicates what a special achievement this is. It takes years of hard work and dedication to reach this level as a referee, and to maintain this standard year-in and year-out is even more challenging as it requires one to produce effective performances consistently,” said Jurie Roux, the CEO of SA Rugby.

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Researcher in Otorhinolaryngology advocates education in deafness and hearing loss
2015-12-17

Description: Dr Magteld Smith  Tags: Dr Magteld Smith

Dr Magteld Smith

The annual International Day of Persons with Disabilities falls on 3 December. Statistics reveal that 7.5% of the South African population suffer from some form of physical disability.

More than 17 million people in South Africa are dealing with depression, substance abuse, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia - illnesses that round out the top five mental health diagnoses, according to the Mental Health Federation of South Africa. The South African Federation for Mental Health is the umbrella body for 17 mental health societies and numerous member organisations throughout the country.

On disability, world-renowned author Helen Keller, who was both deaf and blind, once said that the problems that come with being deaf are deeper and more complex than those of blindness, and is a much worse misfortune. For it means the loss of the most vital stimulus - the sound of the voice that brings language, sets thoughts astir, and keeps us in the intellectual company of man.

According to Dr Magteld Smith, lecturer and researcher in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology at the University of the Free State (UFS), hearing loss of any degree at any age can have far-reaching psychological and sociological implications which affect an individual’s day-to-day functioning, and might prevent him or her from reaching their full potential. She says that even though advancements have been made in aiding deaf persons, there’s still considerable room for improvement. She’s making it her mission to bring about changing the stigmatisation around deafness, and the different choices of rehabilitation.

Dr Smith was born with bilateral (both ears) severe hearing loss, and became profoundly deaf, receiving a cochlear implant in 2008. Not letting this hinder her quality of life, she matriculated in 1985 at a School for the Deaf in Worcester. Today she is the only deaf medical-social researcher in South Africa.

Her research focuses on all aspects of deafness and hearing loss. Through first-hand experience, she knows that a loss of hearing can be traumatic as it requires adjustments in many areas of life which affect a person’s entire development. However, she has not let her deafness become a stumbling block. She has become the first deaf South African to obtain two Master’s degrees and a PhD, together with various other achievements.

Her work is aimed at informing and educating people in the medical profession, parents with children, and persons with various degrees and types of hearing loss about the complexities of deafness and hearing loss. She believes that, with the technological advancements that have been made in the world, deaf people can become self-sufficient and independent world changers with much to contribute to humanity.

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