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18 April 2019 | Story Rulanzen Martin

The Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice IRSJ) has initiated a Social Justice Week at the University of the Free State (UFS), which started on Friday 12 April  until Wednesday 17 April 2019. 

Ten key events took place during the week. It ranged from dialogues, workshops, talk shows, debates, and interactive displays and events on issues of multilingualism and diversity, social innovation, engaged scholarship, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, gender sensitisation, sexual consent, sexual preparedness, universal access, disability, anti-discrimination, and security.

There was also a round-table discussion on 17 April 2019 with various UFS stakeholders on off-campus student security as well as an inter-institutional discussion on the same topic. The UFS Debating Society will take on the topic of the UFS Language Policy, while Olga Barends from the Free State Centre for Human Rights will host a dialogue on sexual consent.

The IRSJ has also designed and implemented SOJO-VATION: Social Innovation/ Social Change, which strives to create a foundational platform where ideas of social justice, innovation, and engaged scholarship at the UFS and in society can be hosted. SOJO-VATION partners with the Office for Student Leadership, Development, and Community Engagement.

The collaborating partners for the Social Justice Week includes various UFS stakeholders such as the Sasol library, the Gender and Sexual Equity Office, UFS Protection Services, the Free State Centre for Human Rights, the Student Representative Council (SRC), the Office for Student Leadership Development, Kovsie Innovation, GALA, the FFree State Centre for Human Rights, SRC Associations, the Office for Student Governance, Kovsie Innovate, Start-Up-Grind, EVC, EBL, Community Engagement, the Institutional Transformation Plan (ITP) Dialogues Office, Residence Dialogues, UFS Debating Society, Debate Afrika!, the Center for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS), and the Gateway Office. 

News Archive

UFS Council unanimously reappoints Dr Khotso Mokhele as Chancellor
2015-04-02

 

Dr Khotso Mokhele, Chancellor of the University of the Free State

The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) unanimously reappointed Dr Khotso Mokhele as Chancellor during its quarterly meeting held on 13 March 2015. He was first appointed in this portfolio by the Council on 4 June 2010.

“It is an honour for the Council to reappoint someone of this stature as Chancellor of the UFS. With his solid academic background and high profile in the business world, Dr Mokhele has been a great asset to the UFS. On behalf of the Council and the university community, I extend a word of appreciation for the work he has done during his first term as Chancellor of the UFS. He is an exceptional leader, and the university community is looking forward to have him as Chancellor for a second term,” said Judge Ian van der Merwe, Chairperson of the UFS Council.

Dr Mokhele was awarded a BSc Agriculture from Fort Hare University, and continued his studies at the University of California Davis (USA) on the Fulbright-Hays Scholarship Programme, completing his MSc (Food Science) and PhD (Microbiology). He was subsequently a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (USA) and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (USA). Dr Mokhele is the recipient of honorary doctorates from nine South African universities including the UFS, and from Rutgers University in the USA.

He was Chairman of the Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee for Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland (2007-2011), and served on the South Africa at Large Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee for more than 10 years. As President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Foundation for Research Development (1996-1999) and the NRF from 1999 to 2006, Dr Mokhele played a central role in providing visionary and strategic direction to the South African science system. He was the Founder President of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), Founder President and CEO of the National Research Foundation (NRF), Chairperson of the Economic Advisory Council to the Premier of the Free State (2001-2004), and a member of the Advisory Council on Innovation to the Minister of Science and Technology (2003-2007). His role in securing government and international support for the Southern African Large Telescope Project (SALT) is evidence of his dedication to science in South Africa. The success of this project laid the basis for South Africa being selected to host more than 70% of the Square Kilometre Array, an international mega telescope for radio astronomy.

In recognition of his contribution to the development of science, he was the recipient of the Technology Top 100 Lifetime Achievers Award in 2009 and the National Science and Technology Forum Award in 2005. His role in science is recognised internationally. He was an elected Vice-President: Scientific Planning and Review of the International Council for Science and Chairperson of its Committee for Scientific Planning and Review (2005-2008) as well as a member of the Committee on Developing and Transition Economy Countries of the International Social Science Council (2008-2010). He also represented South Africa on the executive board of UNESCO, and was awarded the Member Legion of Honour of the Republic of France for his work in strengthening scientific ties between South Africa and France.

Dr Mokhele currently serves as Special Advisor to the Minister of Science and Technology, the Honourable Naledi Pandor. His current corporate positions include: Non-Executive Chairman: Board of Directors, Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd (Implats); Lead Independent Non-Executive Director: African Oxygen Ltd (Afrox); Non-Executive Director of Zimbabwe Platinum Holdings Ltd (Zimplats); Hans Merensky Holdings Ltd; and Tiger Brands Ltd. He is the President of the Hans Merensky Foundation (South Africa) and a Trustee of SciDev.Net (a web-based scientific magazine based in London, UK) and Start International Inc (USA).

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