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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 gets equipment worth R3,9 million to do doping tests for the World Cup
2010-05-18

One of the new state-of-the-art machines to be used for dope testing.
Photo: Mangaliso Radebe


The South African Doping Control Laboratory (SADoCoL) at the University of the Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein boasts new state-of-the-art equipment worth R3,9 million with which doping tests for next month’s 2010 FIFA World Cup will be done.

“Our new instruments are some of the best in the world,” said a proud Dr Pieter van der Merwe, Head of the laboratory.

SADoCoL, housed in the Department of Pharmacology at the UFS, has done doping analyses for many international sport events in South Africa and elsewhere in the world, including the 1995 Rugby World Cup and the Sevens Rugby World Cup in Dubai.

“Because of our international recognition and accreditation by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) the laboratory was selected to be the official doping control facility of the 2010 FIFA World Cup,” he said.

“FIFA has entered into a contract with us and they will send all the urine and blood samples for the World Cup to this laboratory. I must hasten to say that it is not only for the World Cup. We will continue with the work that we have been doing all these years regarding doping analysis in South Africa.”

“It is an honour for the Department and the UFS to offer a world-class service to a world-class association like FIFA and to be associated with a tournament of this magnitude.”

Being the only one of its kind in South Africa, and one of only two in Africa (the other being in Tunisia), it is not surprising that FIFA has entered into this partnership with SADoCoL.

“It is a well-known fact that we have been, and still are, the official doping control testing facility in South Africa for many years now. So there is also a lot of African involvement in our laboratory where African countries send samples to us for analysis,” he said.

It is not for the first time, though, that SADoCoL is involved with FIFA. The laboratory did all the testing for the Confederations Cup that was held in South Africa in June 2009.

It had just been extended to accommodate the new equipment. An official viewing session of the new facility was held last week.

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

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