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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

SA women’s Hockey players give a recount of Hockey World League
2015-07-02

Nicole Walraven and Liné Malan
Photo: Hatsu Mphatsoe

Three of the star players of Kovsies Hockey formed part of the South African Women’s Hockey team, which competed at the Hockey World League (HWL) tournament in Spain.

Hatsu Mphatsoe, student assistant at the Department of Communication and Brand Management, spoke to Nicole Walraven and Liné Malan. Tanya Britz will be returning only at a later stage to South Africa.

As key players in the Kovsies women’s team, Malan and Walraven (along with Britz) have a new wealth of knowledge that could assist the team in their forthcoming USSA tournament. Here are some of the sentiments they had to share:

What was your reaction when you first received the news that you’d be representing the country in Spain?

Liné: “It was a shock to me, I honestly didn’t expect it. At the same time, I was extremely excited to be granted the opportunity to represent my country, and prove my worth to the team.”

Nicole: “I was so excited and felt honoured! To represent my country at such a big tournament is amazing. I was very nervous, but excited.”

How has playing at an international level improved your personal performance and mentality of the game/sport?

Nicole: “Playing at such a high level has helped my hockey immensely. It has helped me read the game better, it has upped my self-confidence, and it has also improved my ability to deal with pressure.”

Liné: “Playing at an international level looks much easier than it is. It is a much faster game, the pressure on the ball is much higher, and the individual skills are on a different level. It has helped me to lift my game, and make decisions much quicker. It has honestly benefitted me as an individual, and I’ve learnt so much from the experience.”

Now that you’ll be going to play at the USSA tournament, what new perspectives do you wish to bring to the team in order to improve its overall performance there?

Nicole: “The importance of teamwork as well as adapting the game plan according to the situation and the opposition. Constant hard work and a never-give-up attitude are vital. One quote that stood out from the tournament is ‘1MT, 1MT’ which stands for ‘1 More Thing, 1 More Time’.

Liné: “Going to USSA, I now have a better understanding of what pressure is, and how to make better decisions. We will still make use of our Kovsies brand of Hockey, which is our passing game, and apply all aspects to the best of our ability.”

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