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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

Kesa and Wayde biggest stars at KovsieSport Awards
2017-10-03

Description: 'Awards KovsieSport 2017 Tags: Awards KovsieSport 2017

Wayde van Niekerk was unable to attend the KovsieSport Awards.
Steven Swarts, his stepfather, received the award for KovsieSport
Senior Sportsman of the Year from Prof Francis Petersen (left),
Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State,
on his behalf.
Photo: Mlungisi Louw/Volksblad


It took Kesa Molotsane seven years of hard work and patience to excel, and all this time she has been a Kovsie. Unlike some other sporting greats, success didn’t come overnight for her. 

The star athlete had an amazing year and was crowned KovsieSport Senior Sportswoman of the Year, while Wayde van Niekerk is the KovsieSport Senior Sportsman of the Year for a fifth consecutive time. The 400 m Olympic Champion surpassed the record held by himself and Franz Kruger for most successive sports awards for men (four), and equalled Kruger’s record (five) for the most men’s titles overall.

Blose and Chawane top juniors

The cream of the crop was honoured at the KovsieSport Awards, held in collaboration with the Volksblad Free State Sport Stars Awards, at Monte Bello in Bloemfontein on 27 September 2017.

Kwenzo Blose, who represented the South African U20 rugby team at the Junior World Cup, was named Junior Sportsman for a second consecutive year. The netball player Khanyisa Chawane is the KovsieSport Junior Sportswoman of the Year. She captained the South African U21 netball team at the World Youth Netball Champs.

The blind athlete Louzanne Coetzee and her guide Khothatso Mokone received a Special Award for Disabled Sport. Coetzee took part in the Paralympic Games and has set many records, such as in the 5 000 m (T11).

Hard work over many years

Molotsane competed at the World Cross-country Championships in Kampala, is the leader of the Spar Women’s Grand Prix 10 km series, and represented South Africa at the World Student Games. The Assistant Officer at KovsieSport says being the best female athlete is humbling. 

“It took me long enough to get here and it needed a lot of work from my side over many years. I have been with Kovsies for, like, seven years and I am only getting this after so long.”
She also commended Karla and Tanya Mostert who was nominated with her. “Karla has been a motivation for little kids from primary school up until high school learners. She has always been there and knows what it means to really be a sport star. 

“And her younger sister Tanya is the upcoming one. It is amazing to be on stage with both of them.”

KovsieSport Awards:
Participants in World Student Games in Tapei: Arné Nel (tennis), Hendrik Maartens (athletics), Janke van der Vyver (badminton), Kesa Molotsane (athletics), Lienke de Kock (tennis), Maryke Brits (athletics), Rynardt van Rensburg (athletics), Tsepang Sello (athletics).
Special Award for Disabled Sport: Louzanne Coetzee and Khothatso Mokone
Special Awards: Maryka Holtzhausen (netball), Janine de Kock, Marnus Kleinhans (tennis), Ans Botha, Rufus Botha (both athletics), Nicole Walraven (hockey) and Godfrey Tenoff (soccer)
Junior Sportswoman of the Year: Khanyisa Chawane (netball)
Junior Sportsman of the Year: Kwenzo Blose (rugby)
Senior Sportswoman of the Year: Kesa Molotsane (athletics)
Senior Sportsman of the Year: Wayde van Niekerk (athletics)

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