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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

Prof Barney Pityana to deliver the inaugural Bram Fischer Memorial Lecture
2013-04-24

 

Prof Barney Pityana
Photo: Supplied
24 April 2013

Well-known academic and human rights lawyer Prof Barney Pityana will deliver the inaugural Bram Fischer Memorial Lecture on Friday 26 April 2013,honouring the life and legacy of the anti-apartheid stalwart. Prof Pityana will be joined by Fischer’s daughters Ruth Rice and Ilse Wilson and his nephew Peter in the President CR Swart Auditorium on the Bloemfontein Campus.

Prof Pityana has an impressive track record of accomplishments:

He is the current Rector of the College of the Transfiguration in Grahamstown; one of the founding members of the South African Students' Organisation; an important figure in the Black Consciousness Movement with Steve Biko; and an exponent of Black theology.

Prof Pityana is the former Principal and Vice-Chancellor at the University of South Africa (UNISA) and also a former chairperson of the South African Human Rights Commission.He has served on the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights at the Organization of African Unity in 1997. Prof Pityana’s work in human rights has been widely recognised and in December 2002 he was awarded an Honourable Mention of the 2002 UNESCO Prize for Human Rights Education.

In April 2006, Prof Pityana received the Award of the Order of the Grand Counsellor of the Baobab: Silver from former President Thabo Mbeki.

Prof Pityana will meet with students from the Faculty of Law during the day of the lecture. At 12:00 the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice will host a critical conversation discussing Bram Fischer as a father and Afrikaner communist lawyer. The conversation will feature the perspective of his daughters. The Bram Fischer Memorial Lecture will commence at 18:30.

Programme:

1. Critical Conversation: Bram Fischer as a father and Afrikaner communist lawyer

Date: Friday 26 April 2013

Venue: Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice

Time: 12:00 – 14:00

2. Inaugural Bram Fischer Memorial Lecture

Date: Friday 26 April 2013

Venue: President CR Swart Auditorium

Time: 18:30 – 20:00

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