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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

Prof Naomi Morgan knighted by French Government
2015-02-02

Prof Naomi Morgan

Prof Naomi Morgan, lecturer at the UFS Department of Afrikaans and Dutch; German and French, received the prestigious Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres award at the French Embassy in Pretoria on Monday 26 January 2015.

The Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters) is an Order of France, established on 2 May 1957 by the Minister of Culture, and its supplementary status to the Ordre national du Mérite was confirmed by President Charles de Gaulle in 1963. Its purpose is the recognition of significant contributions to the arts, literature, or the propagation of these fields.

Prof Morgan is being recognised for her translation work of plays such as ‘Oskar en die Pienk Tannies’, as well as translations of Afrikaans songs to French for the popular Afri-Frans compilation. The fact that the French Government gives such a highly-acclaimed award in recognition to the ‘art of translation’ is even more of an overwhelming honour to her than the personal achievement in itself.

The Chevalier (the Knighting) awarded to Prof Morgan is the third highest grade in the Order.

Prof Morgan now joins world-renowned individuals such as William Kentridge and Johnny Clegg on the list of foreign luminaries who have received this honour. Only two Literature Professors from South Africa – JM Coetzee and André P Brink – received this award in the past. During 1992, Brink received a Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and Coetzee was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

“I feel that an award like this is not only significant for me, but also to students who are busy with their studies and wondering: is there going to be recognition, what can one do with translation?” Prof Morgan said. “This is the biggest gift, the biggest gift anyone could ever give me. Now I ask for nothing more!”

For more information or enquiries contact news@ufs.ac.za .

 

 

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