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18 October 2019 | Story Ruan Bruwer | Photo Getty Images
Jaco Peyper
Jaco Peyper, former Kovsie, will handle a quarter-final match at the Rugby World Cup. It will also be his 50th test match.

With the appointment of Jaco Peyper as referee there will be Kovsie alumni among the referees, players and coaches in the quarter-finals of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan on 20 October.

Lappies Labuschagné will start on the flank for Japan in their clash against the Springboks on Sunday. Labuschagné, a former Shimla captain, is second on the list for tackles made in the tournament thus far.
In the Springbok camp there are former University of the Free State (UFS) students in Rassie Erasmus (head coach) and Jacques Nienaber (defence coach).

UFS alumnus Jaco Peyper has been entrusted with the whistle in Sunday’s other quarter-final between Wales and France. It will be a memorable match for Peyper as it will be his 50th test appearance as the 31st man on the field – making him only the third South African to achieve this feat.

Peyper, who is the only South African among the 12 referees at the tournament, made his World Cup debut in 2015 when he officiated the opening match. In total he has handled six World Cup encounters. 

His illustrious career has seen him become only the fourth referee in history to officiate in 100 Super Rugby matches earlier in the year, in which he also handled the final (his fourth Super Rugby final). Peyper scooped the SA Referee of the Year award in 2018 for a third time, a year in which he took charge of his fourth Currie Cup Final.

“The fact that he is only the third South African referee to take charge of 50 tests indicates what a special achievement this is. It takes years of hard work and dedication to reach this level as a referee, and to maintain this standard year-in and year-out is even more challenging as it requires one to produce effective performances consistently,” said Jurie Roux, the CEO of SA Rugby.

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Graduates challenged to fulfil their leadership obligations
2015-12-14



Procession frontline: seen making their way to the graduation ceremony are from left: Dr Khotso Mokhele (Chancellor of the UFS), Prof Busisiwe Bhengu (Chairperson of the South African Nursing Council), and Prof Jonathan Jansen (Vice-Chancellor of the UFS).
Photo: Johan Roux

The time for one-dimensional discourse was over, said Professor Busisiwe Bhengu, the guest speaker at this year’s Summer Graduation. Practical implementation of change was the step forward in forging the path into a brighter South Africa future.

During both the morning and afternoon ceremonies held at the University of the Free State (UFS) Bloemfontein Campus on 10 December 2015, the Chairperson of the South African Nursing Council, and Associate Professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, challenged the newly-graduated alumni to rise to the occasion, and be a part of the solution to our country’s diverse challenges.

Some of the pervasive hardships she highlighted were human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and tuberculosis (TB), the escalating number of orphans and child-headed households, and the human resource shortages resulting from an ageing generation which is exiting the employment system through retirement.

Prior to dissolving the congregations, Dr Khotso Mokhele, the Chancellor of the UFS, said: “I was caught by the leadership challenge she [Prof Bhengu] threw out at the graduates because we indeed need courageous, creative and innovative leaders moving forward,” he said.

Dr Mokhele touched on South Africa’s dwindling economy, the leadership issues engulfing the government currently, the #FeesMustFall movement, and how students led a difficult dialogue and dictated the country’s trajectory as regards education, as well as the water scarcity we are facing. In closing, he warned that the graduates had lost the luxury of feeling led because of the fact that they now have a leadership obligation to fulfil.

Highlights of the day

Amongst 102 graduates from the UFS School of Medicine were two brothers from the Free State, Johann and Rudi Westraad who followed each other’s passion to become doctors.

Deputy Registrar at the UFS, Elna Van Pletzen, graduated with a Master’s in Higher Education Studies. Her thesis titled ”The implications of current legislative changes for academic freedom and institutional autonomy of South African higher education institutions”, focused on the amendment of Higher Education and Training Laws Amendment Act of 2012. In it, she tackled the subjects of academic freedom and the relationship between government and higher education institutions. Coincidently, her research was produced at a time when the subject of university autonomy was on the national agenda.

The occasion was not only a celebration of the students; teachers were also recognised for their dedication to quality education. Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS congratulated Dr Louise van den Berg (Faculty of Health Sciences) as well as Naquita Fernandes and Salomien Boshoff (both from the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences) for their outstanding achievements. At a recent ceremony, Dr Van den Berg received the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for an individual teacher, and the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for the best teaching team was presented to Fernandes and Boshoff.

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