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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

Alexander Ramm Cello Recital with Pieter Jacobs (piano)
2016-04-15

Description: Ramm Tags: Ramm

Alexander Ramm

“Ramm plays with enormous musical authority. Unlike many young instrumentalists, he is not intimidated by the reflective or the elegiac; nor is he nervous about the length of pauses, or the creation of inter-phrase silence. He has a phenomenal technique and he demonstrated it to full effect in this captivating performance.” (Cape Times)

Alexander Ramm belongs to the new generation of cellists recognised for his appealing artistic creativity and unprecedented technical skills. Alexander started his musical education at the age of seven at the Glier music school (Kaliningrad) with Svetlana Ivanova. Her extremely serious attitude to music studies and pedagogical talent revealed the rare musical capabilities of this young cellist.

After moving to Moscow at the age of ten, he was accepted to the class of Maria Zhuravleva at the Chopin Moscow College of Music Performance. From 2007, he continued his professional education at the Moscow Conservatory in the class of the renowned musician and the People’s Artist of the USSR, Natalia Shakhovskaya, an outstanding performer and pedagogue who taught most prominent Russian cellists. Since 2012, he has become a postgraduate student at the Hanns-Eisler Hochschule fur Musik under the guidance of the famous cellist, Frans Helmerson.

From the age of nine, when he made his debut as a soloist with the Kaliningrad Chamber Orchestra, Alexander brilliantly performs with solo programmes and as a soloist with leading orchestras in Russia and worldwide.

He is prizewinner at several international competitions:
1st prize: 4th Moscow Competition for young cellists (2003)
1st prize: 1st Cambridge International Boston Competition (Massachusetts, 2005)
Grand-Prix: Moscow Festival of Romantic Music (Moscow, 2006)
4th prize: 5th UNISA International String Competition (South Africa, 2010)
1st prize: 3rd Beijing International Music Competition (Beijing 2010)
1st prize: 1st All-Russia Music Competition (Russia, 2010)
Prizewinner: Janigro Cello Competition (Croatia, 2012)
Prizewinners: Swedish Duo Competition with duo partner Anna Odintsova (2012)
3rd prize: Paulo Cello Competition (2013) – becoming the first Russian prizewinner in the history of this prestigious contest
2nd prize: XV International Tchaikovsky Competition (2015)

Alexander participated in masterclass festivals at Courchevel Academy and Holland Music Sessions, where he took lessons from the famous musicians such as F. Muller, R. Latzko, M. Kliegel and U. Wiesel. In 2011, he took part in the well-known Verbier festival, where he studied with H. Hoffmann, F. Helmerson, M. Suzuki, L. Power and F. Radosh. At the end of the festival, he was awarded the Neva Foundation top-level prize for gifted students.

Alexander cooperates with such outstanding conductors as V. Gergiev, V. Spivakov, A. Levin, K. Orbelyan, V. Polyansky, S. Kochanovsky, M. Fedotov, A. Slutsky, A. Sladkovsky.

He will be accompanied by Pieter Jacobs, a graduate of the University of Pretoria, who then furthered his studies at Yale in the United States, where he pursued his performing career with considerable success as a soloist and chamber musician in Boston, Cambridge and New Haven before returning to South Africa to perform and teach at the University of Pretoria. Pieter is regarded as one of SA’s foremost pianists and chamber musicians.

Programme:

Grieg: Cello Sonata, Op. 36 in A minor (1883)
Barber: Cello Sonata, Op. 6 in C minor (1932)
Prokofiev: Cello Sonata, Op. 119 (1949)
Piazzolla: Le Grand Tango for cello and piano

Date: 22 April 2016
Time: 19:30
Venue: Odeion
Costs: R130 (adults), R90 (pensioners), R70 (UFS staff members), R50 (students and learners), R50 (group booking of 10+). Tickets available at Computicket.

More information: Ninette Pretorius +27(0)51 401 2504.

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