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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

UCT scholar in Philosophical Psychology of Black Existence to join Judge Albie Sachs on stage
2015-03-23

Dr Buhle Zuma, listed as one of the 2011 Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans, is coming to the Bloemfontein Campus. He will share a stage with civil rights activist and former Constitutional Court, Judge Albie Sachs, on Thursday 26 March 2015 in the Albert Wessels Auditorium at 12:30.

Respondent to Judge Sachs

A former Mandela Rhodes scholar, and currently a young lecturer at the University of Cape Town's Psychology Department, Dr Zuma is particularly interested in issues at the heart of our rainbow nation . His research asks the question: What does it mean to be human for black people after centuries of dehumanisation? Dr Zuma also looks at the role of desire and fantasy in the political imagination of post-apartheid South Africa. He describes his developing thought and work as the Philosophical Psychology of Black Existence.

Dr Zuma will act as respondent to Judge Sachs’ public lecture, ‘Sites of memory, sites of conscience’ [Hannes, please link to the article on the main website]. This lecture will form part of a series that focuses on how the creative arts represent trauma and memory – and how these representations may ultimately pave the way to healing historical wounds.

Vice-Chancellor’s Lecture Series on Trauma, Memory, and Representations of the Past

This lecture will launch of the Vice-Chancellor’s Lecture Series on Trauma, Memory, and Representations of the Past. It forms part of a five-year research project led by Prof Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela [], funded by the Mellon Foundation []. The event is hosted by the UFS Trauma, Forgiveness and Reconciliation Studies [].

Dr Zuma lives by the belief that, if he imparts what he learns and knows lovingly and creatively, the world will be the better for it.

Details of the event:

Date: Thursday 26 March 2015
Time: 12:30
Venue: Albert Wessels Auditorium, Bloemfontein Campus
RSVP: Jo-Anne Naidoo at Naidooja@ufs.ac.za

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