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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

Karla’s name appears on match balls in 2016 again
2015-10-22

  

She was not destined to reach and win a third Varsity Netball title in 2015, but Karla Mostert still managed to end her last series on a high note.

The University of the Free State (UFS) Netball captain was named Player of the Tournament for the second consecutive year on Monday 19 October 2015.

Therefore, her name will still appear on the balls for the 2016 Varsity Netball series. Mostert, who due to her age will not be eligible to play in the series next year, was also Player of the Tournament last year, with her name appearing on the balls this year. All 31 games during 2015 were played with balls adorned with her name.

This is a consolation prize to Kovsies, as they lost unexpectedly against Pukke by 48-56 in the semi-finals played in the Callie Human Centre on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus on 12 October 2015. Pukke won the series for the first time on Monday 19 October 2015, when they thrashed Maties 50-37 in Stellenbosch.

The 25-year-old Mostert, whose nickname is Chits, has been a great stalwart for Kovsies over the years, and has had many successes with the team. She was also named as the Brutal Fruit Player of the Tournament earlier this year.

The Protea player, who was one of South Africa’s stars during the 2015 World Cup, will be playing netball for Bath in England next year, together with Lenize Potgieter.



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