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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

Rare tumour removed in groundbreaking surgery
2011-08-06

 

Mr Carel Botes and Prof. Francis Smit with a model of the human heart
Photo: Earl Coetzee

A team of surgeons, headed by Prof Francis Smit, Head of our Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at our Faculty of Health Sciences, performed open heart surgery on a male patient with a malignant tumour.

What makes this operation unique, is that the suspicious mass that was identified in the heart was a rapidly growing and a highly invasive cardiac tumour, which has only been seen in a small number of patients worldwide.

Without the necessary surgery or heart transplant, the prognosis of the patient would have been zero.

The patient, Mr Carl Botes, a 51-year-old farmer from Hoopstad, opted for the tumour to be removed rather than having a heart transplant.  Although both options would involve major risks and challenges, the transplant was the least feasible due to logistics, the waiting list for recipients and the lack of donors.

In the, highly complex, 10-hour operation, performed in the Universitas Academic Hospital in Bloemfontein, the entire right heart chamber had to be removed and the heart reconstructed.

After prolonged hospitalisation of five weeks, Mr Botes was discharged.

Currently he is fully functional and continuing with his active lifestyle.  After three months, all investigations and scans indicate that he is doing very well and has no complaints of fatigue, shortness of breath and palpitations – symptoms which occurred before the removal of the tumour.

For further information contact:
Prof Francis Smit
051-4053861
smitfe@ufs.ac.za
 

Media Release
6 August 2011
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za

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