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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

Prof. Strauss' book is launched
2010-08-18

 
At the launch were, from the left: Prof. Francois Tolmie, Dean of the Faculty of Theology at the UFS; Prof. Pieter Strauss; and Wikus van Zyl, Manager: SUN MeDIA Bloemfontein.

Kerk en orde vandag: Met die klem op die NG Kerk was recently launched at a function in the Faculty of Theology at the University of the Free State (UFS). Prof. Pieter Strauss, Head of the Department of Church History and Polity at the UFS is the author of this book that is published by SUN MeDIA Bloemfontein.

The objective of the book is to provide the reader with an introductory view on the reformed church law. Therefore it concentrates on themes that are spread across the entire spectrum of the reformed church law.

The book endeavours to provide relevant background information for all the articles of the Church Order of the Dutch Reformed Church, but is not exhaustive in this regard. Prof. Strauss refrained from only writing about existing articles as positivist church law on purpose. He wanted to make more of the background, introductory questions and particularly a normative church law.

According to Prof. Andries le Roux du Plooy from the Faculty of Theology at the North-West University, Prof. Strauss gave evidence that he was experienced and excellently informed about all the themes and topics, had personal experience thereof, and that he could write critically and apologetically about it.

“I want to congratulate Prof. Strauss on the publication. To my mind, there are few other theologians that will be able to write about the topic in such a way with emphasis on the DR Church,” said Prof. Du Plooy.



 

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