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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

What if we put it to you that Barry Roux is to visit Kovsies?
2015-08-20


Advocate Barry Roux in action at Oscar Pistorius' trial.
Photo: Supplied

The SRC Legal and Constitutional Affairs office, in conjunction with the Law Faculty, are launching the Student Court this week.

 

Barry Roux, the renowned South African legal representative who served as the defence advocate in the trial of Oscar Pistorius, will be the keynote speaker.

 

Guest speakers include Judge Lebotsang Bosieloof the South African Supreme Court of Appeal. Prof Caroline Nicholson and Prof Teuns Verschoor are to represent our Law Faculty as Dean and Lecturer, respectively.

 

In 2014, when Lindokuhle Ntuli occupied the Legal and Constitutional Affairs office within the Student Representative Council (SRC), the concept of this Judicial Branch of Student Governance was conceived.

 

“I established the Student Court because I strongly believed that we needed a student forum, beyond the University’s Disciplinary Committee,” said Lindokuhle. He added that such a forum allows for dealing with disputes between students and testing the validity of the Student Court’s constitution and the regulations of the university.

 

The Student Court’s aim is to administer justice according to these documents. It intervenes in decision-making matters between students, associations, or any part of the student body, at a student level. Other functions of this legal body involve regulating irresponsibly behaviour among students in order to uphold the integrity of the University of the Free State.

 

You are invited to the launch event:

 

Friday 21 August 2015

17:00

Economic and Management Sciences Auditorium (EBW), Bloemfontein Campus

 

For more information contact Lindokuhle Ntuli on 051 401 2082 or ntuliL@ufs.ac.za

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