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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

UFS management praise dean for achievement
2004-08-17

 

 

Prof Letticia Moja was praised by Prof Frederick Fourie, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State (UFS), and other members of management today for winning the education category of this year’s Shoprite Checkers/SABC2 Woman of the Year Award.

“We are extremely proud of Prof Moja with this prestigious achievement. It is also a feather in the cap for the UFS that our leaders are being recognised on a national level,” said Prof Fourie.

Prof Moja was appointed as Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the end of last year, becoming the first woman to be appointed in this position at any medical faculty in the country.

“Prof Moja was nominated by her colleagues at the faculty. It is heart-warming to me that she made such an impact in the faculty in the short period since she was appointed as dean to be nominated for this prestigious award,” said Prof Fourie.

“On the nomination form, her colleagues wrote: ‘Prof Moja is not only a remarkable woman, but also a person with gifted qualities of leadership, dedication and compassion. She is blessed with the ability to listen to others, is an extremely reliable person and a competent leader’ – this makes her, in my view, a true winner”, said Prof Fourie.

Prof Moja was recently chosen as vice-president of the Health Professions Council and also serves on the Medical and Dental Board. Her involvement in these councils and committees enables her to represent women in general, as well as previous minority groups.

Prof Moja headed the Gynaecologic Oncology Unit at the Ga-Rankuwa Hospital in Pretoria from 1997 to February 2002, where after she was appointed as Vice-Dean at the UFS’s Faculty of Health Sciences and at the end of 2003 she was appointed in her current position. During her career, she has attended four international and eight local congresses, presented eight oral papers and four posters, was an author to one publication, co-authored four publications, was a guest editor to one publication and supervised three postgraduate publications.

MEDIA RELEASE
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Media Representative
Tel: (051) 401-2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za

 

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