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21 May 2019 | Story Thabo Kessah | Photo Ian van Straaten
Dr Thandi Gumede
Dr Thandi Gumede graduated with a PhD in Polymer Science. She is from Intabazwe, Harrismith.

The Qwaqwa Campus of the University of the Free State was a hive of activity on 17 and 18 May 2019, when over 800 degrees, diplomas, and certificates were conferred on deserving achievers. These included six PhDs and 14 master’s degrees across the four faculties.

Congratulating the graduates on both days, was Africa’s youngest PhD and Industrial Psychology lecturer, Dr Musawenkosi Saurombe, and Prof Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor.

Be like heat

Dr Saurombe started her address by relating her school journey that saw her starting Grade 1 at age 5, thus later matriculating at the age of 15, having skipped Grades 3 and 10. She went on to emphasise the importance of building an honourable character.

“As a graduate, you will soon realise that your degree is useless if you do not have character,” she said to an attentive audience that continued to marvel at her remarkable school history. She encouraged graduates to be like heat that cannot be seen but can only be felt. “Noise can often be seen and heard, but it cannot be felt. However, while heat cannot always be seen, it is always felt. Be like heat and may your presence always be felt,” she said.

Do not focus on yourself

Prof Francis Petersen also encouraged graduates to look beyond their degrees by developing a set of critical values.
 
“For us as the university, this ceremony is not just about your degrees. It is about the values that you must live by,” he said. “As a graduate of the UFS, do not just believe what you are told. Ask questions and engage critically. Secondly, do not just focus on yourself. Remember that you are part of a community and it is your responsibility to make our world a better place for others. You need to be socially responsive to the needs of your community. Thirdly, remember that integrity plays a very important role. This will determine how others value you,” he said.

The two ceremonies also saw three current SRC members graduating. They are Lebohang Miya (BEd FET – Accounting and Business Studies), Duduzile Mhlongo (BA – Geography and isiZulu), and Mhlongo Sinemfundo (BA – Geography and isiZulu).

News Archive

Protecting women and children - top on the agenda for women in law
2015-02-24

Judge Soma Naidoo
Photo: Hanno Otto

The Faculty of Law in collaboration with the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ) hosted a gala dinner with the theme: ‘Protect a woman, protect a child’ on 14 February 2015 at the UFS Centenary Complex.

In attendance were leading South African women judges and members of the IAWJ’s Justices: Halima Sulduker of the Supreme Court of Appeal, Connie Mocumi of the Free State High Court, and Soma Naidoo of the Free State High Court . The UFS was represented by the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Prof Caroline Nicholson and other senior faculty members. The keynote address was presented by Prof Beatri Kruger.

The title of the keynote speech, ’Killing human trafficking in South Africa: chaos, challenges and celebrations’, was inspired by the extensive research which Prof Kruger has been doing over recent years on human trafficking. “Human trafficking is not just another crime; it is complex, multi-layered and extends over international borders and continents. It is often disguised and has many faces –from trafficking for labour to sexual exploitation; mutilation of body parts, forced marriages, drug couriering; the list is endless. New forms of human trafficking are revealed continuously,” she said.

‘Protect a woman, protect a child’ (read the full story)

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