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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

Kovsies beat Pukke at USSA tennis tournament
2010-01-13

 The Kovsies women’s team that participated in last year’s USSA tennis tournament were, from the left, front: Elrien de Villiers and Nicola Dormehl; middle: Rensia Henning and Christine Keyser; back: Jeanne du Plessis and Elizna Barnard.

 

The men who participated in the tournament were, from the left: Willem Steenkamp, PW Holtzhausen, Duke Munro, Janine de Kock (manager), Marnus Kleinhans (coach), Divan Olivier, HB Steyn and Reon Henning.
 

Last year Kovsie tennis concluded on a highlight when the men’s tennis team of the University of the Free State (UFS) won the USSA tournament that was held in Grahamstown for the first time in twenty years. The UFS women’s team also excelled by going through to the final round, where they had to bow the knee before the team of Stellenbosch University.

The result of these excellent achievements was that two of the five players that were selected for the USSA women’s training group were Kovsies. They are Rensia Henning and Christine Keyser. Elrien de Villiers was selected as the player of the tournament but unfortunately she could not be included in the group because she is a Namibian citizen.

The men’s group existed of eight players, of which four are Kovsies. They are Reon Henning, Duke Munro, Willem Steenkamp and PW Holtzhausen.

Members of the USSA training group will participate in training camps, tournaments and trials to prepare for the Confederation of University and College Sport Association (CUCSA) games (where all the Southern Africa countries participate) in Botswana that will take place from 5-11 July 2010. The training group will also participate in the World Student Games in 2011.

The Kovsies men’s team kick-started last year’s USSA tournament by beating the team from the University of Cape Town with 6-1 and later on the same day beating the team from the University of Johannesburg with 5-1. The next day they beat the team from the Tshwane University of Technology with 7-0 and the team of the University of Pretoria with 5-1. According to Ms Janine de Kock from KovsieSport at the UFS this is an excellent achievement, taking into account that Tukkies had ended in second place at the 2008 tournament.

In the semi-finals Kovsies played against the North-West University and beat them with 4-1. After this triumph in the singles matches the organisers decided that the doubles would not be played.

The women’s team won their matches against the Universities of Pretoria, Cape Town, Rhodes, KwaZulu-Natal and the Tshwane University of Technology. The tournament ended with Kovsies and Maties as the only two unbeaten teams and Stellenbosch University walked away with the laurels. The North-West University did not have a women’s team at the tournament at all.
 

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