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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

Health Sciences dean’s term extended
2008-09-17

The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) has unanimously decided to extend the term of office of the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Prof Letticia Moja, by another five years.

Prof Moja became the first black woman to be appointed dean of a medical faculty in South Africa in 2003.

She has been at the helm of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the UFS for the past six years, first as the Acting Dean and then as the Dean. Under her leadership the faculty has achieved great successes and remains one of the leading Health Sciences faculties in South Africa.

However, she still faces many challenges that she hopes to overcome in the next five years to fully accomplish the mission of the faculty to promote the well-being of the community by means of education, research, community service and comprehensive health care delivery.

She hopes to achieve this by attracting and retaining dedicated and well-qualified staff to the faculty, supporting students in all aspects of their life, implementing regular assessment of the teaching and learning environment, mentoring young researchers and increasing the intake of students from previously disadvantaged communities.

Prof Moja is the current vice-president of the Health Professions Council of South Africa and the treasurer of the central region of the South African Association of Health Educationalists.

She is also the director of the UFS’s Grow Our Own Timber project which is aimed at developing black academics. She is a member of the Medical and Dental Council and also serves on its executive committee.

Her current term of office expires on 30 November 2008.

Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt.stg@ufs.ac.za  
17 September 2008
 

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