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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

Esteemed Tutu family honorary guests at first intercontinental symposium
2013-10-08

 

08 October 2013
Photo: Karina Turok

The University of the Free State (UFS) will be hosting a visit by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Mrs Leah Tutu. The occasion is to launch the Annual Intercontinental Leah Tutu Symposium on rape and violence against women in honour of Mrs Tutu, who has been an outspoken advocate of women’s rights and the sanctity of family life.

The Inaugural Intercontinental Leah Tutu Symposium will take place on:

Thursday 17 October 2013
12:00-14:00
Scaena Theatre


The launch of the Annual Intercontinental Leah Tutu Symposium is organised by Profs Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela (who hosts the Dialogue between Science and Society lecture series) and Heidi Hudson (Director of the Centre for Africa Studies). The Inaugural Intercontinental Leah Tutu Symposium will feature gender and policy analyst Nomboniso Gasa as keynote speaker and Sheila Meintjes, Wits University professor with expertise in gender politics, violence and conflict transformation. The event will also feature voices of survivors of rape and sexual violence, including Johannesburg businesswoman and social entrepreneur, Andy Kawa, who is a survivor of rape and started the organisation Enuf is Enuf to campaign for an end to rape and sexual violence.

On Mrs Tutu’s 80th birthday, during the family’s visit to the UFS, Archbishop Desmond Tutu will also be in conversation with the Vice-Chancellor and Rector, Prof Jonathan Jansen, at a public event: Celebration of a partnership: Archbishop Tutu pays tribute to his wife, on the topic: Man to Man: The Meaning of Leah in My Life.

Thursday 17 October 2013
16:30-18:00
Centenary Complex


The public event is part of the Dialogue between Science and Society lecture series, in collaboration with Mrs Grace Jansen and the Tutu Legacy Foundation.

Please RSVP to Anja Pienaar at pienaaran@ufs.ac.za or +27(0)51 401 7330 or Jo-Anne Naidoo at naidooja@ufs.ac.za or +27(0)51 401 7160.

Two of their daughters, Rev Mpho Tutu and Dr Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe, will accompany Archbishop Desmond and Mrs Leah Tutu.

Short Bio of Mrs Leah Tutu

Nomalizo Leah Tutu is an outspoken advocate for the rights of women and the sanctity of family life. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in 2000 by the National Louis University in Atlanta for her commitment to human rights and support of her husband’s work. She is patron of the Phelophepa Train, a health project that brings medical care to people living in remote areas of South Africa. She is also a patron of the Tshwaranang Centre that provides legal advocacy to end violence against women. With Archbishop Tutu, Mrs Tutu is a patron of the Tygerberg Children’s Hospital in Cape Town. She, Archbishop Tutu, and family established the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation in 2012.

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