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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

Johan Cronjé and Lesley-Ann George; UFS Sports Stars of the Year
2010-10-22

Johan Cronjé and Lesley-Ann George, the UFS’s Sportsman and Sportswoman of 2010.
Photo: Leonie Bolleurs
 Junior sport stars: Prof. Teuns Verschoor (middle), Acting Senior Vice-Rector with the UFS's,Junior Sport Stars of the Year: Philip van der Walt (Rugby) and Fikile Mkhuzangwe (Netball).
Photo: Kabelo Tlhabanelo
 
Kovsie Sports Woman of the Year candidates are from the left: Nelmaré Loubser (Triathlon and Duathlon), Lesley-Ann George (Hockey) and Tanya Basson (Judo). 
Photo: Kabelo Tlhabanelo
 
Kovsie Sportman of the Year candidates are from the left: Thuso Mpuang (Athletics), Philip van der Walt (Rugby), Boom Prinsloo (Rugby), Bruno Schwalbach (Karate), Johan Cronjé (Athletics), and Windy Jonas (Athletics).
Photo: Kabelo Tlhabanelo

KovsieSport at the University of the Free State (UFS) honoured its top sports achievers during a prestige dinner in die Centenary Complex on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein last night. The Kovsie Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year were also announced at this event.

Johan Cronjé was named the Sportsman of the Year. He represented South Africa at the Africa Athletics Championships. He was also invited to participate in the Grand Prix Athletics Championships in Europe. Currently Johan also holds the 38th position on the world-ranking list for the best achievement in the 1 500 m.

Lesley Ann George was named as the Sportswoman of the Year. She is a member of the South African Women’s Hockey Team which participated in the Hockey World Cup and Commonwealth Games. At the last event this team came fourth. She is also a member of the South African Women’s Hockey Team that participated in China. Lesley-Ann is also the Vice-Captain of the South African Women’s Hockey Team.

Lesley Ann furthermore made history; she is the first black UFS athlete who has been named as a Kovsie Sportswoman of the Year.

Philip van der Walt (rugby) and Fikile Mkhuzangwe (netball) was named as the Junior Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year.

According to Mr Frans van der Watt from KovsieSport at the UFS, this was the largest attendance of supporters ever who attended this event during which the UFS honoured its international sports stars.

Sport stars and supporters alike were all inspired by the guest speaker of the evening, Mr Bruce Walsh, a victim of a bomb explosion in Planet Hollywood in 1998, to be winners at a physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual level.

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

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