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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 honours its top sport achievers
2010-10-21

KovsieSport at the University of the Free State (UFS) will honour its top sport achievers at a glamorous ceremony at the Centenary Complex on the UFS campus on Thursday, 21 October 2010.

The Kovsie Sport Stars 2010 awards are divided into two categories, one for the top men’s sportsman at the university and one for the top women’s counterpart.

The nominees for this year are:

Women’s category:

  • Lesley-Ann George – Vice-Captain of the South African Hockey team that took part in the recent Commonwealth Games in India.
  • Tanya Basson – The current African Judo champion in the under 52 kg division and Member of the South African Judo teams that took part in the Kata and Kurash World Championships as well as the Commonwealth Games.
  • Nelmaré Loubser – Represented South Africa at the Triathlon and Duathlon World Championships and a member of the South African Prestige Biathle team.

Male category:

  • Thuso Mpuang – Represented South Africa at the Africa Athletics Championship and the World Continental Games as part of the SA relay team.
  • Boy Soke – Represented South Africa at the Southern African Half-marathon Championships and a member of the South African Half-marathon team competing at the World Championships.
  • Bruno Schwalbach – Gold-medal winner for South Africa at the Southern African Karate Championships in the senior Kata division.
  • Windy Jonas – Represented South Africa at the Africa Athletics Championships.
  • Wiaan Viljoen – Represented South Africa in Badminton at the Thomas and Uber Cup, the All African Championships where he won a silver and a bronze medal, as well as the World Badminton Championships, reaching the 32nd round.
  • Boom Prinsloo – A member of the South African Sevens rugby team that competed in the Commonwealth Games.
  • Johan Cronjé – Currently ranked 38th in the world 1500 m rankings and represented South Africa at the Africa Athletics Championships.
  • Philip van der Walt – Member of the Vodacom Cheetahs rugby team as well as of the South African Sevens team that competed at the Commonwealth Games.

 
Media Release
Issued by:  Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication (acting)
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl@ufs.ac.za
21 October 2010

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