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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

Odeion String Quartet nominated for KykNet Fiesta Award
2015-02-04

The members are, from the left: Jeanne-Louise Moolman; Sharon de Kock; Samson Diamond; and Anmari van der Westhuizen.
Photo: Supplied

The Odeion String Quartet at the University of the Free State has a chance of winning a KykNet Fiesta award for the ‘Best Achievement in Classical Music’.

The Odeion String Quartet was nominated for this category in January and the winners will be announced at a swanky gala night in Sea Point, Cape Town, on 5 March 2015. Other artists nominated in the same category, include Magdalena Minnaar (singer), Elizabeth Frandsen (singer) and the composer, Braam du Toit.

The latter were all part of the Poskantoor opera production at Aardklop. Artists are nominated on the basis of successful and award-winning performances at national arts festivals.

During the 2014 KKNK, the Odeion String Quartet won a Kanna award “for the best Classical Music production, Homage, where we honoured local classical composers in the light of South Africa’s 20-year celebrations,” says Prof Anmari van der Westhuizen Joubert of the Odeion String Quartet.

“We were requested to pay homage to a variety of composers in the production, namely Mokala Koapeng; Pieter de Villiers; Allan Stephenson and Hendrik Hofmeyr. The guest artist at the festival was the singer Zanne Stapelberg.”

Another event where the Odeion String Quartet was honoured, was last year’s Vryfees. They received the award as Best Classical Debut Artist for their production Bits and Pieces. The quartet also received the UFS Alumni Ambassador award last year.

 

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

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