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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

UFS announces its Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year
2012-10-12

Here are, from the left: Raymond Rhule, Junior Sportsman of the year, Prof. Teuns Verschoor, Vice-Rector: Institutional Affairs, and Jamba Ulengo, Sportsman of the year. Izelle Lategan (Sportswoman of the year) and Tanya Brits (Junior Sportswoman of the year) was not present at the event.
Photo: Leonie Bolleurs
12 October 2012

The University of the Free State (UFS) honoured its top achievers at a glamorous gala dinner in the Centenary Complex on the Bloemfontein Campus on Thursday 11 October 2012. Jamba Ulengo and Izelle Lategan were named the Sportsman and Sportswoman of the year respectively.

The Junior Sportsman and Sportswoman for 2012 are Raymond Rhule and Tanya Brits.

This year the university’s sport stars were honoured in five categories. This includes:

- Sportsman and Sportswoman of the year (everyone that represented South Africa at a senior level, was eligible for the title). The winners each received a trophy and each sportsman and sportswomen in this category were honoured with a medal.
- Junior sportsman and sportswoman of the year. The winners each received a trophy.
- Sport stars that represented South Africa at senior and junior level. The achievers received certificates.
- Sport stars that represented the UFS in the national student teams. The sport stars also received certificates.
- Certificates were also awarded to the KovsieSport club sport stars.

The following students represented South Africa at senior level:

- Nardus Greyling. He represented the SA Athletics Team in the Confederation of African Athletics Senior Championship.
- Boy Soke. He represented the SA Athletics Team in the Confederation of African Cross-country Championship
- Izelle Lategan. She represented the Investec SA Women’s Hockey Team in the Champs Challenge in Dublin, Ireland, in Holland and Belgium and she played for the SA U/21 team against Spain and Belgium. She was also captain of the SA U/21-team during the senior interprovincial championships.
- JVA Steytler. He represented the SA Athletics Team in the Confederation of African Athletics Senior Championship.
- Johan Cronjé. He represented the SA Athletics Team as a 1 500 m finalist in the Confederation of African Athletics Senior Championship. He also participated in the Dessau International meeting in Germany and the Grand Prix meeting in Prague.
 

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