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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 blossom with potential
2010-02-04

Pictured with Prof Jansen are, from the left: Marike Botha, Sibusiso Tshabalala, Cumine de Villiers, Portia Lehasa and Meyer Joubert.
Photo: Hannes Pieterse


The Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State (UFS), Prof. Jonathan Jansen, recently made closer acquaintance with five top Grade 12 achievers who are currently first-year students at the UFS.

The five students all achieved exceptional results in their final exams.

Cumine de Villiers from the Volkskool Secondary School in Potchefstroom obtained seven distinctions. She is an MBChB I student and resides in Roosmaryn Residence on the Main Campus. People are her passion, which makes a career as a doctor ideal for her. “I can help people physically, as well as emotionally. And save lives!” Her advice to learners is to work hard from Grade 11 already. According to her a balanced life is also very important: “The more you do, the better you can do.” One of her goals is to learn Sesotho while she is studying.

Marike Botha attended Potchefstroom Gymnasium. She obtained seven distinctions. She is also studying MBChB I and plans to become a paediatric surgeon. “I know one is going to lose patients, but one will also save lives.”

She resides in Roosmaryn Residence and plans to enjoy her student life to the full: “I am going to attend everything! Every dance, rugby match and serenade – there are some things in life that one can only experience once, and one’s first year is one of those.” According to her, the Grade 12 work is not that difficult; it is only a lot. She advises matriculants to always to their best and never to leave anything till later.

Sibusiso Tshabalala from HTS Welkom obtained three distinctions. He is studying BCom Law. He chose that degree because it perfectly integrates law and commerce. “In that way I am keeping my career options open”. He chose Kovsies for the opportunity to be part of one of the best Faculties of Law in South Africa. He resides in JBM Hertzog Residence. His advice to matriculants is to fully make use of every opportunity. “There will be setbacks – it is not supposed to be easy. All of that makes you a stronger person. Strive after your own goals – don’t measure them against others’ goals.”

Portia Lehasa from Eunice High School obtained five distinctions. She is studying BA Accounting and resides in Roosmaryn Residence. She chose Kovsies in order to be part of the transformation.

“Transformation leads to growth – and growth is essential for all persons.” She chose accounting because she enjoys challenges. “It is also a skill that will enable me to empower the economic status of South Africa.”

She also wants to become involved in everything on campus and make a difference. “You are going to see me a lot – I am going to change the world!” She also has some advice for matriculants: “It is very important to have a goal. In that way one still has something to strive for. It helps incredibly.”

Meyer Joubert attended the Ferdinand Postma Secondary School in Potchefstroom. He obtained seven distinctions. He is an MBChB I student and resides in Abraham Fischer Residence. “One’s life only becomes meaningful once one does something for someone else; that is why I want to become a doctor. By means of medicine one can make a difference to someone else’s life.” He plans to become the best doctor possible. According to him learners can take it leisurely up to Grade 10. “The requirements for many fields of study, like medicine, already apply from Grade 10. Therefore it is important to start to focus and work hard from then onwards. However, don’t only study! Balance is very important; therefore participate in sports, cultural activities and, of course, socialise.”

Prof. Jansen was, rightly so, impressed by all the talent that have settled at Kovsies this year: “This is only the beginning. With so much potential Kovsies can blossom!”

Media Release:
Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt@ufs.ac.za  
4 February 2010
 

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