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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

UFS’s Vishuis best residence rugby team in the country
2010-03-30

 
Steinhoff Vishuis, the Steinhoff Koshuis Rugby Champions for 2010.
Photo: Varsity Cup
 
Beyers Louw (with ball), left wing from Vishuis, is taken down in the finals of the Steinhoff Koshuis League agaisnt Dagbreek from Stellenbosch. Left are team mates Gerhard Meyer (No 8) and on the right is captain Jos de Klerk (flanker).
Photo: Varsity Cup

 
Boom Prinsloo from Shimlas.
Photo: Varsity Cup

 

On Monday, 29 March 2010, the University of the Free State’s (UFS) residence team in the Steinhoff Koshuis League, Steinhoff Vishuis, showed that they were the best university residence team in the country when they were crowned as the Steinhoff Koshuis Rugby Champions. Steinhoff Vishuis triumphed with 22-7 over the University of Stellenbosch’s Dagbreek. This match took place on the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch.

The hero of the match was left wing Beyers Louw, who scored two of his team's tries and kicked two conversions as well as a penalty. That left him with 97 points, the player who scored the most points in the tournament.

Shimlas’s Boom Prinsloo was also named player of the Varsity Cup. In three of Shimlas’s eight matches he was named player of the match. With the seven tries that Boom scored during the tournament, he and Lola Waka from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) were also jointly named as the top scorers in the tournament.

This is the second consecutive year that a Kovsie team wins the residence competition of the Varsity Cup. Last year Armentum carried the crown as the best residence rugby team in the country.

Well done. The UFS is proud of you!

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