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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.


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Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development to deliver prestige lecture at the UFS
2013-10-08

Minister Jeff Radebe, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, will deliver a lecture in the Prestige Series of the Dean in the Faculty of Law at the UFS on Access to Justice.

Thursday 17 October 2013
18:00
CR Swart Auditorium, Bloemfontein Campus
 

Please RSVP before or on Monday 14 October 2013 to Aldi Lombard, +27(0)51 401 2319 or lombarda1@ufs.ac.za.

We kindly refer you to the short CV of Jeffrey Thamsanqa Radebe.

Radebe holds a BIuris degree from the University of Zululand obtained in 1976; LLM in International Law from Leipzig University obtained in 1981. He also studied at the Lenin International School, Moscow, in 1985.

Radebe became a student activist and joined the underground structures of the African National Congress (ANC) during the student uprisings in 1976. He was active in the organisation and was arrested and convicted under the Terrorism Act. He served his jail sentence on Robben Island. After his release in 1990, he held several leadership positions within the ANC and the South African Communist Party.

Following the democratic elections in 1994, Radebe held ministerial positions in the Departments of Public Works, Public Enterprises and Transport. In 2009 Radebe was appointed as Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, a position that he currently still holds. Among his many achievements, Radebe received an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters from the Chicago State University in 1996.

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