Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2017 2018 2019 2020
Previous Archive
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

Student rights revived
2015-03-30

Lindokuhle Ntuli fulfils his promises.

“I can assure you that each and every promise that I’ve made to the students will be fulfilled.”

That is a promise that Lindokuhle Ntuli, SRC Legal and Constitutional Affairs (Bloemfontein Campus) gave to Kovsie students. The fourth-year LLB student and founder of the UFS Legal Behemoth describes himself as an ambitious person with a passion for law, order, and formality.

He explains the duties of his portfolio as “the office that will really ensure that the interests of all students are catered for. That student’s consumer rights are respected and not violated.” Through his portfolio, he aims to make sure that students are aware of what their rights are.

As part of his portfolio, Ntuli has re-introduced the Student Court, which will be fully functional during the second semester. The portfolio also introduced the Student Engagement Forum.  The purpose of the forum is for students to share their grievances with regards to student rights violations. These discussions will take place twice a semester.

“The student engagement forum is the means by which we are able to really assess what kind of rights of the students are being violated,” Ntuli added.

Together with Louzanne Coetzee, SRC Accessibility and Student Support, Ntuli aims to establish the Student Rights Desk. The desk will deal directly with student rights on campus without recourse to the student court or external courts.

When asked about what his vision for the SRC is, Ntuli responded:

“My vision for the SRC is to see the SRC really attending to each and every need of students. We must advocate for students in the best way we can.”

And the words Lindokuhle lives by?

“Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice, and when they fail in this purpose, they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of progress” (Martin Luther King Jnr).

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept