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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

Famous mineralogists visit UFS Geology
2017-04-25

Description: Famous mineralogists visits UFS Geology Tags: Famous mineralogists visits UFS Geology

From the left: Prof Marian Tredoux, Associate
Professor at the UFS Department of Geology;
Prof Giorgio Garuti; from the University of Leoben,
Dr Federica Zaccarini, also from the
University of Leoben and Dr Freddie Roelofse,
Head of the Department of Geology at the UFS.
Photo: Rulanzen Martin


Years of academic friendship and collaboration is what makes Prof Giorgio Garuti and Dr Federica Zaccarini return to the University of the Free State (UFS) every so often.

The world-renowned academic duo from the University of Leoben in Austria were guest lecturers at the UFS Department of Geology. “We are here because we have known Professor Marian Tredoux and the Geology Department, for a long time. We are really happy to be here, and to be given the opportunity to present talks,” said Dr Zaccarini. The two are experts in platinum-group element mineralogy and each has given their surname to minerals namely, the Garutiite and Zaccariniite minerals.

Visit great advantage for research

They are acclaimed experts on very small minerals (smaller than a hundredth of a millimetre) with emphasis on platinum group elements in chrome-rich rocks. “Their visit is a great advantage for us. We also conduct research on these minerals and can learn from them,” said Prof Marian Tredoux, affiliated researcher at the Department of Geology.

Dr Zaccarini gave a lecture on Chromitites, and associated platinum-group elements, in ophiolites on Wednesday 5 April 2017 and Dr Garuti presented a lecture on Uralian-Alaskan complexes: a puzzling source of platinum, on Thursday 6 April 2017. During the talks they examined the association of the platinum-group minerals with chromite, rather than sulphide, and how this association can lead to the formation of unusual platinum-group element ores.

Collaboration on various academic papers

They and Prof Tredoux have collaborated on various research articles over the past four years, which have been published in various important international scientific journals. “These journals play an important role in calculating the H-scale which measures how important a researcher’s work is on an international scale,” said Prof Tredoux.

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