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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

Inaugural lecture focuses on the Apostle Paul’s recognition of the divinity of Christ
2005-02-16

Prof Pieter Verster from the Department of Missiology at the University of the Free State (UFS) will deliver his inaugural lecture on Wednesday 23 February 2005 at 19:00 in the CR Swart Auditorium on campus.

The topic of the lecture is Die begronding van die sending by Paulus in die lig van sy erkenning van die godheid van Christus.

Pieter Verster started his theological training in 1973 at the UFS and continued it at the University of Pretoria (UP). He obtained the degrees BA (cl) from the UFS in 1976; BA Hons (Greek cl) from the UP in 1979; MA (Greek) from the UFS in 2000;

a BD (cl) from the UP in 1979; a Post-graduate Diploma in Theology (cl) from the UP in 1980; a DD (Missiology and Religion Studies) from the UP in 1985 and a DD (Dogmatics and Ethics) from the UP in 1989.

He was honoured for academic excellence (UFS 1975), overall excellence (UP 1979) and research excellence (UFS 2004). He has visited various overseas universities and institutions in the Netherlands , Switzerland , Germany and the USA ,.

Prof Verster has also published various articles in academic journals and his books include Wie het die waarheid beet? for which he received the CUM/RSG writers’ competition prize in 1996. He has also published short stories in Tydskrif vir Letterkunde and Dolos and poems in inter alia Literator and Litnet.

Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Media Representative
Tel: (051) 401-2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za
16 February 2005

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