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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

New coach for Shimlas
2012-05-24

The University of the Free State (UFS) will soon fill a newly created position, namely that of Director of Rugby.

The successful candidate will, amongst others, be the head coach for the Shimla rugby team and will also be involved in the recruitment of young talent, the contracting of rugby players and certain obligations at the UFS/Cheetahs Rugby Academy.
 
This decision was taken during a joint brainstorming session between the university and the UFS Rugby Club about rugby at the university on Friday 18 May 2012. The performances of the Shimla team during the past Varsity Cup Series was also discussed. “The meeting took place in a good spirit and it is a hopeful sign to observe that the university is prepared to go out of its way to ensure that the Shimlas perform, particularly in the Varsity Cup”, said Mr Marius van Rensburg, Chairperson of the UFS Rugby Cup.
 
Mr Jaco Swanepoel, current Shimla coach, retains his position as Head Coach of Rugby at the UFS, as well as certain commitments to function more strongly within the junior rugby structures and to train coaches.
 
According to Mr Van Rensburg, the position will be advertised as quickly as possible. The successful candidate will also have to assume duty soon, because preparations for next year’s Varsity Cup have to commence around September this year.
 
“Shimlas is a high-profile is team with a proud history and a major role player in SA rugby; therefore we expect to receive good applications. The panel that has to make the appointment will, amongst others, consist of two former Shimla Springboks, a former Shimla/Cheetah player and a former Springbok conditioning trainer.
 
The restructuring of the management model of the UFS Rugby Club is also envisaged, which will also bring about certain changes to the club’s constitution.


Media Release
24 May 2012
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication
Tel: +27(0)51 401 2584
Cell: +27(0)83 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za

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