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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

Heinrich Brüssow named as Kovsie Alumnus of the Year
2010-08-19

Ms Jackie Ntshingila  Prof. Teuns Verschoor  Prof. Benito Khotseng  Heinrich Brüssow 

The Alumni of the University of the Free State (UFS) have named Heinrich Brüssow as the Kovsie Alumnus of the Year for 2009.

At the same time, Ms Jackie Ntshingila, the Provincial Manager of the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), will receive the Kovsie Alumni Cum Laude Award, while the Executive Management Award will be awarded to Prof. Teuns Verschoor, acting Senior Vice-Rector at the UFS, and Prof. Benito Khotseng. These awards, which are made annually to honour alumni of the UFS for their exceptional achievements and contributions to the university, will be awarded on Friday, 3 September 2010.

Heinrich is currently one of the most formidable Free State Cheetahs players. During the international Super 14 Competition he was a pillar of strength for his team in many respects. He was one of the outstanding players in the match between the Springboks and the Lions. He has established himself in the triumphant Springbok team as one of the definite choices. He received the Man-of-the-Match award in the Springboks’ victory over the All Blacks on 25 July 2009, as well as the awards as the Provincial Player of the Castle SA 2009 Tournament, the SA Rugby Young Player of the Year 2009 and the 2009 Sports24 Performer of the Month.

Ms Ntshingila will receive the Kovsie Alumni Cum Laude Award for her role in the business development sector in the Free State and particularly the empowerment of women in the business sector. Her constructive inputs on various committees have lead to the outstanding role that she has played to expand SEDA in the Free State from 1 to 56 members and five branches during a relatively short period.

Prof. Verschoor will receive an Executive Management Award for the tremendous role he has played in many student matters, research, transformation and other university matters. Recognition is also given to the role that he fulfilled as acting Rector of the university during 2008-2009. In this he has emphasised his passion and commitment towards the university. In 2004 he received a Centenary Medal for management, diversity and student transformation.

Prof. Khotseng will receive an Executive Management Award for his influential and leading role during the 1990s, when the UFS was established as an outstanding institution. Prof. Khotseng played a leading and influential role as Vice-Rector: Student Affairs. He has served on the UFS Council from 1993 and in 1994 he accepted the position as Senior Manager: Strategic Programmes at Kovsies. He managed transformation and the marketing of the university in the black community with distinction. In 1995 he helped to diffuse the conflict in residences and to create a culture of learning. With the help of the Multicultural and Transformation Committees he taught persons to respect and understand one another. In 2004 he also received a Centenary Medal. 

The coveted Kovsie Alumni Awards will be handed over at a Kovsie Alumni breakfast. All alumni are welcome at the breakfast which will take place in the Reitz Hall of the UFS Centenary Complex. The cost is R50 per person and includes a delicious breakfast. If you are interested in attending, please contact Annanda Calitz at 051 401 3382 or ficka@ufs.ac.za  
 
Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt@ufs.ac.za
19 August 2010

 

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