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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.


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First lecture in Law Dean's series presented
2010-10-22

Prof. Johan Henning, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the UFS and Prof. Johan Farrar, a well respected Corporate Law Specialist, at the recent first lecture in the Law Dean’s Prestige Lecture Series.
Photo: Lize du Plessis
Prof. John Farrar, a well respected Corporate Law Specialist of high international repute, delivered the first lecture in the Law Dean’s Prestige Lecture Series at the University of the Free State (UFS). The theme of his paper was Directors’ duties of care – Issues of classification, solvency and business judgement and the dangers of legal transplants.

The topic is of the utmost importance to South African lawyers in view of the very contentious provisions of the new Companies Act 71 of 2008 endeavouring to introduce the business judgement rule into South African Company Law if and thus reforming company directors’ common law duties of care and skill, if when this legislation at long last becomes operative.

Prof. Farrar is a professor of Corporate Governance at the University of Auckland Business School, and joint director of the New Zealand Governance Centre. These are part-time roles and the remainder of his time is spent as emeritus professor of Law at Bond University, Queensland.

Prof. Farrar has extensive experience in Commercial Law Reform, having, for example, acted as a consultant to the New Zealand Treasury, the Law Commission, the Business Council of Australia and the UK Department of Trade and Industry.

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