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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

Protest actions on the Main Campus
2008-03-12

Staff and students are kindly requested to take note of the following protest actions that will take place on the Main Campus.

As a result of a dispute over the status of roads on campus, permission was granted by the municipality and the court, in the presence of the university lawyer for the three actions. Strict conditions have been set for these protest actions.

a.) On Wednesday, 12 March 2008, Satawu and Nehawu will picket in front of the Main Building from 09:00 to 12:00. Three hundred persons will possibly attend this event. Marchers are not allowed within 10 meters from the Main Building and there will be 45 marshals present. This is not a march and no memorandum will be handed over. There may be no speeches.

b.) On Thursday, 13 March Nehawu will again picket in front of the Main Building from 13:00 to 14:00. This event must be peaceful. Only 125 Nehawu members may participate and protesters may not break away from the big group. They may not come within 10 meters of the Main Building. Twenty five of the protesters will be marshals. This is not a march and no memorandum will be handed over. No speeches may be made.

c.) On Friday, 14 March a march of Cosatu and Nehawu will take place. This march will probably be joined by a big number of people.

The march will continue through the Nelson Mandela Gate and will enter the campus grounds, but will be limited to the incoming lane of Chancellors Avenue from the Main Gate to the crossing with Alumni Avenue (in front of the Odeion). Speeches will be made and a memorandum will be handed over.

The march will reach the campus at 10:00 and from then the Nelson Mandela Gate will be closed for all traffic. The march must be finished by 14:00. The marchers will return to the city centre and could cause a traffic problem in Nelson Mandela Avenue.

The South African Police Service and the UFS’s Protection Service will monitor all these actions. Staff are kindly requested to use alternative gates to the Nelson Mandela entrance on Friday. Academic activities continue as normal.

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