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29 January 2019 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa | Photo Anja Aucamp
Prof Francis Petersen speech
“We can create an institution that operates and lives in the times of embracing and celebrating diversity, inclusivity, and academic excellence by ensuring that students own their time at university,” said Prof Francis Petersen.

25 January 2019 marked the official welcoming of the University of the Free State’s (UFS) first-year students, as they moved into their respective residences and were warmly welcomed on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus. This day also marked the start of the registration process for first-year students.

According to first-year Psychology student Keisha Claasen, who moved into her residence earlier on 25 January, her first experience of the UFS was daunting but exciting, as she had never been in a similar environment. According to Given Gwerera, who dropped his son off at the Karee residence earlier the day, “the UFS is an institution with great culture and an overall good academic record.” He further explained that he trusts his son to make full use of the opportunities presented to him, as he has a cool head on his shoulders.

On the evening of 25 January, an eager group of millennials, joined by their parents, took the first sip from their cup of varsity life as they assembled on the Red Square of the Bloemfontein Campus to meet the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, members of Rectorate, the deans of all faculties, and the Student Representative Council (SRC) of the UFS.

“2019 will be a year of continued change; the UFS is thrilled about the prospect of bringing about opportunities for adaptation and realignment to the future,” said Prof Francis Petersen.

He further explained that the university prides itself in moulding its students into well-rounded individuals who will develop into globally competitive graduates as required in a diversity of landscapes. Prof Petersen urged first-years to remain open to the technological developments that go with globalisation, because of its permanent effects on society today.

First-years were further advised to take advantage of the rich pool of academic research and knowledge that is characteristic of the university and is piloted by UFS scholars, by engaging with and learning from them.

The inspiring night concluded on a colourful note, as the audience enjoyed an artistic laser show in front of the Main Building. Caption:

“UFS academics conduct research that forces the world to take note,” said Prof Francis Petersen at the official first-year welcoming ceremony on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus.

News Archive

The mysterious origins and problematic significance of the Postamble
2014-10-20



Prof André du Toit (UCT) and Prof Pieter Duvenhage (UFS)
Emeritus professor from UCT’s Department of Political Studies, Prof André du Toit, delivered a presentation at the Bloemfontein Campus on 14, 15 and 16 October 2014 respectively. His presentations gave an in-depth exploration of the Postamble as founding text of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

This event was hosted by the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice, in collaboration with the Department of Philosophy.

Prof Du Toit’s papers were entitled:
•    A Need for Truth: Amnesty and the Origins and Consequences of the TRC Process.
•    Tracking down a belated and inconclusive amnesty pact: The obscure origins and problematic significance of the 'Postamble' as founding text of the TRC process (Part 1 and 2).

In his presentations he explored how the text of the Postamble came to be written. He also scrutinised the respective contributions of those who were involved in drafting the text. The significance of the Postamble – as it is understood in its historical context – was also a point of discussion.

Prof Du Toit raised some thought-provoking questions during the three days. What is the relation of the amnesty provision of the Postamble with the subsequent TRC amnesty process? How did a text without any particular reference to a truth commission come to function as founding text and discursive framework for the TRC?

He also investigated some of the main problems with the history and significance of the Postamble, as well as its mysterious origins. In addition, Prof Du Toit conducted a critical analysis of a set of newly-identified drafts of the text.

One of Prof Du Toit’s most substantive inquiries, though, was into the question: Was the amnesty provision of the Postamble the product of an underlying amnesty ‘pact’ between the NP government and the ANC?


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