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

Out of the ordinary lunch with Prof Jansen
2015-08-17

Prof Jansen and the twins pose for pictures after enjoying a laugh and chat at the lunch event.

Numerous sets of twins and a set of triplets were entertained by, and enjoyed lunch with, the Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the university, Prof Jonathan Jansen.  Wednesday 12 August 2015 marked an extraordinary day in the Kovsie history book.

The Reitz Hall in the Centenary complex was filled with echoes of laughter as Prof Jansen told “twin jokes” he had Googled earlier for the occasion. Save for the humour, he said that twins and triplets represent a unique bond.  “After all, we should be striving for a way of being together,” he said, speaking about the quest for national solidarity.

Sitting in groups of six, and after the introductions, the duos and trio were soon engaged in conversation.

Anita and Mikita Miza, who were sharing a table with Marike and Ilna Marais, told stories from their childhood.

“We did not realise that we were twins until we were in grade one,” said Anita, who is studying the same course as her sister. Mikita is in the second year of her BSoc Science degree, while her twin is a year ahead. She had to remain in Mtata, their hometown, for a year while Anita began her first year. “It was the longest year of my life,” said Mikita.

Marike and Ilna are first years in Physiotherapy and Optometry, respectively. When asked by Prof Jansen what they never share, the non-identical twins were quick to reply: “clothes,” although they still share a room. When they were in high school, fellow learners struggled to believe that Marike and Ilna are twins, because of their distinctly different looks.

The lunch united strangers, who have a unique common bond, and acted as a platform to tell interesting stories that are seldom heard.

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