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13 March 2018 Photo Edwin Mthimkhulu
Solomon Mahlangu inspires UFS alumnus first Sesotho book
Ace Moloi questions and delves into the concept of freedomin Tholwana Tsa Tokoloho

Tholwana Tsa Tokoloho is the title of Ace Moloi’s anthology of short stories and the name of one of the 14 stories in the book. The anthology is the first book in Sesotho published by the three-time author.

On Friday, 16 March 2018, Tholwana Tsa Tokoloho, an Art Fusion Literature product, will make its debut public appearance during a public reading at the University of the Free State’s Equitas Auditorium at 17:30.

Moloi’s first literary offering was In Her Fall Rose A Nation which was published in 2013 during his final-year as a Communication Science student at the university. In 2016, Moloi published Holding My Breath, which was praised widely for stirring emotions in readers who related to the heart-wrenching narrative of losing a mother. It was only this year that the author managed to achieve his teenage goal of establishing himself as a vernacular author.

Solomon Mahlangu, an African National Congress freedom fighter and Umkhonto we Sizwe militant who was convicted of murder and hanged in 1979, was the inspiration behind the anthology. Mahlangu inspired the Tholwana Tsa Tokoloho story, which is the story of the selflessness of a captured guerrilla hero in the face of police torture and his eventual death by hanging. It represents Mahlangu and those who suffered during the struggle for liberation. 

“My blood will nourish the tree that will bear the fruits of freedom,” are the supposed last words uttered by Mahlangu that inspired the book’s title. Tholwana Tsa Tokoloho means “the fruits of freedom” in Sesotho. For Moloi, writing in the vernacular symbolises the fruits of freedom. “I’m trying to write in a revolutionary spirit, in Sesotho, because we haven’t done that. We have not seriously interrogated political concepts in Sesotho or in any native language,” he said.

Graduate unemployment, violent crime, and sports are some of the other topics tackled in the book. These act as a catalyst for debates over the evidence of ‘the fruits of freedom’ in post-1994 South Africa. 

News Archive

Machinery and equipment to the value of R6 million acquired by UFS Instrumentation Division
2015-07-02

Photo: Supplied

At an information session held on the Bloemfontein Campus, the Instrumentation Division in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the University of the Free State (UFS) introduced its new Computer Numeral Control (CNC) machines to the value of R6 million.

Initially, the primary aim of the Instrumentation workshop was to design, produce, and maintain special research equipment which is unavailable on the market, mainly for academic departments. The small-scale production focused on producing support material and equipment for research work.

However, with new equipment and machinery the Division now also can deliver a service to corporate companies and external associates.
 
The CNC machines include a 5-axis Vertical Machining Centre from Haas imported from America. This is one of only four in South Africa, with two in Johannesburg and one in Cape Town.  The lathe makes it possible to produce sophisticated parts, which were previously cumbersome and difficult to make. The machines also cover a wide spectrum in the mechanical field such as the the FLOW Water Jet, which cuts a wide variety of material ranging from titanium to wood without utilising heat, thus saving electricity. This makes it possible to cut a wide variety of materials.

With the new machinery now available, the Instrumentation Division is able to perform high quality and quantity production with precision.

“The advantage of the machinery is that it stimulates production, and is much faster and more accurate than the conventional way of doing things,” said Pieter Botes, Head of the Division.

Botes explained that, by having students and professional artisans at the university design and manufacture equipment, costs are reduced when compared with the expensive nature of equipment and tools found in the market. In addition, “the machines broaden the scope of research conducted” said Botes. The technical dynamics of the machinery advances the scientific knowledge needed to operate it, so bridging the gap between theory and practice.

The Central University of Technology, Signs Division Bloemfontein, Product Development Technology Station (PDTS), Maizey’s, and Knottco Truckparts are some of the university’s trade partners.

The workshop collaborates with the Chemistry, Physics, Microbiology, Botany, Agriculture, and Electronics departments, as well as the Institute of Groundwater Studies at the UFS, and others. These departments receive services in the form of pipette stands, containers for test tubes, bottles, laboratory trolleys, stands for cadavers for Anatomy, pump repairs, stainless steel bailers, filaments, and heaters.

The Instrumentation Division is, therefore, a vital support unit for the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences as well as the university at large.

Companies, institutions, or individuals who need the Division’s expertise may contact Pieter Botes on botespds@ufs.ac.za.

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