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UFS unveils portrait of Ms Winkie Direko
2005-11-28

During the unveiling ceremony were from the left Prof Frederick Fourie (Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS), Mrs Direko, Judge Faan Hancke (Chairperson of the UFS Council) and Dr Charles Nwaila (Director-General of the Free State Provincial Government and Vice-Chairperson of the UFS Council). The blue background of the portrait depicts Ms Direko's philosophy of "the sky is the limit".  She also wore the same outfit as what she has on in the portrait. Photo:  Stephen Collett

UFS unveils portrait of Ms Winkie Direko  
A portrait of Ms Winkie Direko, former Chancellor of the University of the Free State (UFS) and Premier of the Free State Province and currently a Member of Parliament, was unveiled today during the last session of the UFS Council for this year on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein.

The portrait, painted by the gifted artist Ms Reshada Crouse, now hangs in the Council Chambers of the UFS.

Ms Direko was sworn in as Chancellor of the UFS in August 1999.  She was the first black person and first woman in this position at the UFS. She was succeeded by Dr Franklin Sonn.

“Ms Direko had an exceptional legitimacy in the black community because of her role in black education in the Free State (as principal) and community leader in the difficult ‘struggle’ period.  This former principal’s simultaneous insistence on transformation as well as discipline and order at an educational institution was exactly what the UFS needed at that stage,” said Prof Frederick Fourie, Rector and Vice-Chancellor, during the unveiling ceremony.

“She also played a special role to bring the UFS and the Free State Provincial Government closer to each other.  Her comprehension for the own nature of a university helped in times when difficult decisions had to be made.  She also realised the value of the university’s expertise for her government.  The Premier’s Economic Advisory Council, with the UFS rector and academics like Lucius Botes and James Moses in leading roles, was formed to undertake important research on economic development strategies in the Free State,” said Prof Fourie.

In her speech Ms Direko said that it is an unique experience for her to be catalogued in the history of the UFS.  “I am humbled and proud to be associated with the UFS,” she said.

Ms Direko said that the UFS is on the right track with its transformation process.  “I will continue to convince people that the UFS is for everyone and will fight for that until the end.  But, it is important to see a visible change concerning transformation.  The UFS must bring its side and speed up the transformation process.  I know that it is a difficult road, but we cannot hide from the realities of our time,” she said.
 

Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Media Representative
Tel:  (051) 401-2584
Cell:  083 645 2454
E-mail:  loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za
25 November 2005

 

 

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