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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

Media: Moshoeshoe-lesing waardevol
2006-05-29



Hoofartikel
29 Mei 2006

 

Waardevolle lesing

DIE eerste koning Moshoeshoe-gedenklesing van die Universiteit van die Vrystaat het sommer met die intrapslag prikkelende gedagtes opgelewer en wys dat dit ’n paslike en nuttige manier is om ook die bydraes van swart leiers in Afrika te eer.

Terselfdertyd verskaf die eerste gedenklesing wat deur prof. Njabulo Ndebele, vise-kanselier van die Universiteit van Kaapstad gelewer is, diep stof tot nadenke en debat.

Die gedenklesing kom juis terwyl al hoe meer wenkbroue gelig word oor die skepping van ’n ander forum, die Native Club, waarvan wit Afrikane uitgesluit word.

Dis die geesteskind van mnr. Titus Mafolo, politieke raadgewer van pres. Thabo Mbeki, en die doel daarvan is om ’n forum te verskaf vir Afrika-intelligentsia.

In teenstelling met die ras-eksklusiewe Native Club wat ’n ongelukkige teruggryp is na rasgegronde instellings onder die apartheidsbewind, het prof. Ndebele in die gees van die inklusiewe leierskap van koning Moshoeshoe van Lesotho die gedenklesing opgedra aan al dié mense in Suid-Afrika en elders wat die moed het om hul oorwoë mening uit te druk oor belangrike sake wat die samelewing in die gestig staar.

Hy het tereg bygevoeg dié lesing kom op ’n kritieke punt in Suid-Afrika se nuwe demokrasie.
Prof. Ndebele het daarop gewys dat koning Moshoeshoe – Lesotho het onder sy leierskap mense van verskeie dele van die subkontinent gelok – kon bewys dat verskeidenheid ’n bindende eienskap kan wees.
Jy bereik die grootste eenheid tussen onderskeidende entiteite waar jy relatief vrye ruimte aan hulle gee om hul eiesoortige kenmerke na vore te bring.

Prof. Ndebele het ook opgemerk ’n toenemende aantal hoogs intelligente, sensitiewe en toegewyde Suid-Afrikaners oor die klas-, ras- en kulturele spektrum heen, bely dat hulle soos nooit tevore nie, onseker en kwesbaar voel sedert 1994.

Hierdie koerant spreek ter aansluiting hierby die wens uit dat die ANC-regeringsalliansie sal toesien dat wie ook al die leiding vorentoe in dié alliansie oorneem, ook daardie saambindende eienskappe moet besit wat koning Moshoeshoe gehad het. En wat hy gebruik het om sy land uit te bou en te verenig.

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