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07 May 2019 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo Charl Devenish
Noko Masalesa
Noko Masalesa, Director of Protection Services, in conversation with students and stakeholders to plan a safe way forward.

Safety and security are human rights that constitute social justice. At the centre of the agenda at the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Social Justice Week held on the Bloemfontein Campus from 17-22 April 2019 were discussions about off-campus safety. Stakeholders agreed on an upgrade to security measures in order to ensure the success and wellbeing of the student population.

A call to students

Prof John Mubangizi, Dean of the Faculty of Law, in his capacity as representative of the UFS Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, expressed his view on institutions of higher learning no longer functioning as ivory towers. “For any initiative to succeed, collaboration is necessary between key roleplayers,” he said.

He aptly pointed out that: “We cannot underscore the importance of safety and security, not only for the university but also for the communities around us. What the university does benefits the community and vice versa. I pledge the university’s commitment to play a leading part to ensure that the collaboration works,” said Prof Mubangizi.

Beefing up security: Who is involved?

In view of the collaborative effort Prof Mubangizi alluded to, the engagement was twofold. First was the roundtable discussion facilitated by Protection Services which then escalated into a public dialogue where students had the opportunity to interact with external delegates.

The South African Police Services, Community Police Forum, Private Security, Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, Provincial Commissioner, and Deputy Minister of Police were well represented in this critical conversation. Internally, members of Protection Services, Housing and Residence Affairs, Student Affairs, Institute for Social Justice and Reconciliation, Student Representative Council, and the Department of Criminology heard the plight of off-campus safety faced by students.

Changes in the horizon

The discussions culminated with recommendations which will see the future of student safety take a different direction. According to Skhululekile Luwaca, former SRC president, these include “the municipality’s commitment to immediately address issues such as street lights and enforcing by-laws, ensuring an integrated accreditation system, and drafting a policy for off-campus accommodation, running more crime awareness campaigns, and giving police patrols more visibility.”

In addition to resolving to set up a student safety forum with all the stakeholders, the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality has invited the UFS to join Reclaim the City – a safety forum where practical solutions to crime are devised and implemented on a weekly basis.


News Archive

UFS law alumni presents gala dinner
2004-11-05

The Law Alumni of the University of the Free State (UFS) will present a gala dinner on Wednesday 17 November 2004 in honor of the Appeal Court and the Free State Supreme Court.

According to the chairperson of the Law Alumni, Mr Nico Botha, the function will be attended by more than 200 guests from across the country. The main speaker is Mr Pius Langa, acting Chief Justice.

“Through the years the Faculty of Law at the UFS has produced students who have made their mark – not only in the law profession – but also in the trade and industry. In the same sense there are former Kovsies who have even advanced to the Appeal Court and who have produced leading sentences which have contributed to the development of the common law,” said Prof Johan Henning, Dean of the Faculty.

According to Prof Henning the Faculty of Law aims to present students with practical education. To bring this about, close links are maintained with members of the judicial bench and other practitioners – some of whom have been appointed as honorary or extraordinary professors. These professors are obliged to present lectures from time to time and act as a promotor or moderator for postgraduate students.

“It is a priviledge for this Faculty to be involved with the dinner, which forms part of the UFS’s centenary celebrations. The dinner is presented in honor of all members of the different judicial benches – whether they are former Kovsies or not,” said Prof Henning.

Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Media Representative
Tel: (051) 401-2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za
5 November 2004

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