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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

Statement from Prof Jonathan Jansen regarding a misquote about Madiba
2013-04-10

08 April 2013

Comments made by learners who attended the Leadership Summit (pdf)

Prof Jonathan Jansen: Presentation about Great Leaders (pdf)

The news article that first appeared in Volksblad of Monday 8 April 2013 claiming that I wanted Madiba to die, refers.

This is a complete misrepresentation of what I said. My argument was that Madiba had done so much for South Africa, that he had served South Africa well, and that sometimes you just wish that people would leave him alone so that he can pass his final days quietly.

Like all South Africans, I want Madiba to live as long as possible, but without the constant glare and speculation of the media and others. He needs to be left alone to rest and die in peace. That was the content and context of what I said.

To misrepresent a lengthy statement on a talk which was entirely devoted to extolling Madiba’s leadership — alongside that of Luthuli, Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr (this was the main photograph on the screen) — is mischievous. The seven characteristics of leadership of Mandela, and the other three, were what the one hour and ten minute talk was about — something completely ignored in the misrepresentation.

It is true that I depicted the crises from Marikana to the Catholic Church as crises of leadership and not primarily military or religious blunders.

It is also true that I argued that the official representation of the hospital visits as ‘routine checkups’ was inaccurate for aged people, since at the age of 94 no hospital visit is ‘routine.’ That is what I said.

- Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector, University of the Free State

Media Release
08 April 2013
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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