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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

Champion of human rights – Prof Martha Minow – to present the Third Annual Reconciliation Lecture
2014-02-14

 

 

Prof Martha Minow
"Forgiveness, Law and Justice"
Photo: Supplied

Prof Martha Minow, Dean of Harvard University’s Law School, will be delivering the highly-anticipated Third Annual Reconciliation Lecture on Monday 24 February 2014. Her lecture entitled “Forgiveness, Law and Justice” promises to evoke healthy debate and honest introspection.

In an interview, Pres Barack Obama has been quoted to say that, as a teacher at Harvard Law School, Martha Minow changed his life. He cited her as being instrumental in his decision to pursue community service instead of commercial law.

Prof Minow – a sheer force of nature – has established herself globally as an advocate of human rights and protector of minorities. The effects of her work are rippling across continents. Her passion for the law has resulted in legislative initiatives that opened access to curricular materials for individuals with disabilities in the United States. She serves as Vice-Chair for an organisation providing assistance to low-income Americans. In addition, Prof Minow has also helped launch a programme called Imagine Co-existence for the UNHigh Commissioner for Refugees. The aim of the programme is to promote peaceful development in post-conflict societies.

The Annual Reconciliation Lecture is organised from the office of Prof Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela. This yearly event was established by Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS. The main objective is to bring scholars to our university whose leadership and vision for social change and conflict transformation is reflected in their interaction within the academe and their teaching. This initiative supports the university’s drive to achieving excellence not only in the field of academics, but in human reconciliation as well.

The details of the event:
Date: Monday 24 February 2014
Time: 17:30 (please be seated by 17:15)
Venue: Centenary Complex, Reitz Hall, BloemfonteinCampus

The public is welcome to attend.
If you would like to attend the lecture, please confirm with Jo-Anne Naidoo at NaidooJA@ufs.ac.za

The lecture will be streamed live on:http://www.ufs.ac.za/ufslivestreaming/


 

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