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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

Kovsie student trailblazing to literary stardom
2013-10-24

 

Ace Moloi with a copy of his book In Her Fall Rose a Nation
Photo: Jerry Mokoroane
24 October 2013

Ace Moloi proves that ambition and self-belief are key ingredients in achieving your dreams. At merely 21-years of age, this Kovsie student made his entrance onto the literary scene with the launch of his first novel. In Her Fall Rose a Nation tells the story of a young girl who leaves her rural home to further her studies in the city. Loosing herself in the excitement of student life, she gets kicked out of university. As a result she has to find refuge in the streets that devour her last bit of hope of rising again. The novel, published by New Voices Publishing, was introduced to an eager audience at the Bloemfontein Campus.

Moloi, a third-year Communications student and prime of House Tswelopele, says his book is a unique offering that will inspire and intrigue.

"The inspiration behind this project emanates mainly from the realisation that as much as we bemoan the lack of reading among young people – particularly in the townships and rural areas – we haven’t taken the initiative to write books that will speak to them and their day-to-day circumstances."

The talented writer, who is also a content contributor for News24 and a former IRAWA Post news editor, says he has been influenced by the writings of extraordinary individuals such as Kwasi Koranteng, Steve Biko and Dr KPD Maphalla. It took him three years to write the book, Ace says, mentioning that it first started as a Sesotho novel, that was later turned into English.

Already working on his second manuscript, Prey and Predators, Ace’s message to fellow students is to never underestimate the power of dreams. "By nature, dreams are unique, and so is yours. Own it up. Defend it. Realise it. Most importantly, never allow anyone to make you feel guilty for having great ambitions, for without ambition there is no meaning at all to life."

* In Her Fall Rose a Nation sells for R100 and can ordered from Ace at ace.moloi@gmail.com. The book can also be ordered online for R150 from New Voice Publishing online bookstore at www.newvoices.co.za.

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