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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

Honorary Professor delivers inaugural lecture in the Faculty of Theology
2010-10-27

Prof. Peter Lampe.

Prof. Peter Lampe recently delivered his inaugural lecture as an Honorary Professor in the Department of New Testament in the Faculty of Theology of the University of the Free State (UFS).

The title of Prof. Lampe’s inaugural lecture was Theology and rhetorics: how do "res" and "verba" relate to each other, in which he addressed the fundamental question of the role and importance of words and the issue/content in theology. Can content simply be conveyed in any manner? Also in theology, Martin Luther observed that some theologians’ works contain words (verba) and those of others the content (res). In his inaugural lecture, Prof. Lampe pointed out that our knowledge of God/reality specifically has to be construed through the use of words. Words and terminology therefore have to be selected with circumspection. Res and verba stand in close relation to each other.

Prof. Lampe declared that in the post-modern world, a “competition” exists for the best constructed worldview and theologians could make a significant contribution to the construction of a better reality through better judgement of the words they use. 

Prof. Lampe, currently the Chair of New Testament Theology at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, has a rich and varied history in the field of theology. Having attained degrees in theology, philosophy and archaeology in Gottingen, Rome and Berne, Prof. Lampe has enjoyed an illustrious professional career. After receiving his Ph.D. at the University of Berne and teaching New Testament Studies there, Prof. Lampe held the Chairs of New Testament Studies in Virginia (USA) and History and Archaeology of Early Christians in Kiel (Germany), before being appointed to the post he currently holds.

In 2003 he was awarded the German Ecumenical Preaching Award and in Turkey he was the leader of an expedition that discovered the long-lost Montanist headquarters of Pepouza and Tymion.

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