CASA Western Cape Branch: Report by Chair of 2003-2004; (July 03-December 04)


Public meetings: In the 18-month period since the last report to the National AGM, three public meetings, comprising altogether seven illustrated lectures, were held: two at Stellenbosch and one at UCT. Various academic seminars were held at the three universities.


The practice of holding book sales was so successful that it was repeated at the two Stellenbosch meetings. CASA made some money in commission and useful books exchanged hands.


Lecture by the CASA Honorary President: At the CASA Conference of 2003 the honourable Judge Deon Van Zyl was elected Honorary President of CASA. An academic meeting for lawyers and academics was held on 13 October 2004. Dignitaries from the Cape Bench and Bar and from the three universities joined other guests at UCT to hear Judge Van Zyl speak on 'Classical Justice at the XXVIII Olympiad: Athens 2004'. He had been one of twelve legal arbiters at the Games and gave his audience fascinating insights into the intricacies of sports law. The function formed the final phase of the two-year-long WP membership drive, and it was hoped to draw in greater numbers of members of the legal profession, through our Hon. President's enthusiastic example.


Vir ’n kort samevatting van Regter Van Zyl se curriculum vitae en vir foto's van die geselligheid wat op sy lesing gevolg het, sien die KVSA webwerf by:



Latin in the schools has diminished in numbers, but not in enthusiasm, and the four Latin schools in the Cape area combine to hold an annual Roman cena. What was particularly exhilarating about the 2004 Roman cena was the lively use of Latin in little playlets and in 'pop' songs based on well-known tunes but with Latin wording. The natural exuberance of all participants showed that Latin is not a formidable dead language to these learners, but a medium for fun. The new governmental syllabus requirements expect Latin to be treated like any other South African language and the syllabus must contain a spoken aspect as well as written—that it should function fully as a means of communication.


A committee of CASA members led by Carina Malan developed a set of Outcomes for Latin learning that is in line with the principles laid down by the National Department of Education. It offers exciting challenges for worthwhile innovation in Latin teaching. The whole syllabus is to be ready in time for the new curriculum of 2006.


Dies Romanus at Stellenbosch: Over a hundred eager learners thronged three lecture rooms at Stellenbosch on 9 September 2004, for a display of their Classical Culture projects, which were generally of a very high standard. After two illustrated lectures they were taken on a guided tour of the University Museum,. A prizegiving for the best projects ended the day. Names and photographs of the prizewinners and pictures of some of the entries are to be viewed on the CASA website, at:


Schools' meeting for Grade 11 candidates: Over twenty learners from four schools met at Rustenburg High in October 2004 for a workshop on how to prepare for and how to do research for their final year Classical Culture projects. The three teachers who keep Latin alive in the Cape were commended for their dedication to the subject.


CASA Committee for 2005: Most of the members of the committee had been serving uninterruptedly for three years, the Treasurer for many more. A new committee was voted in in September 2004, and took over in January. The following persons stood down: John Atkinson UCT, Jo-Marie Claassen US (Chair), Maridien Schneider (Independent Scholar), Christoff Zietsman US (Treasurer). The new committee consists of: Mark Hermans, Annemare Kotze US (who continue their term), Carina Malan US, Samantha Masters UCT, Alta Schoeman US, David Wardle UCT (Chair). The Schools’ Subcommittee, Jo Slater, Ian Rutter, Minette Visagie (co-opted) continues as before.


Jo-Marie Claassen, Chair, CASA-WP 2003-4                                                   

2 November 2004