Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Previous Archive
13 October 2020 | Story Prof John Mubangizi | Photo Sonia du Toit
Prof John C Mubangizi is Dean: Faculty of Law, University of the Free State.

South Africans are sick and tired of corruption. They are angry, frustrated and despondent. And they have every reason to be. South Africa has many problems: crime, unemployment, poverty, gender-based violence, inequality, low economic growth and now – in common with many other countries – COVID-19. The list goes on and on. What makes corruption the biggest threat among all these is that it cuts across all of them and impacts on their gravity in different ways. 

The South African Constitution envisages a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights. The way things are going, that society is never likely to happen. That is because corruption has been, and continues to be, the greatest threat to any possibility of realising that constitutional dream. In South Africa, like everywhere else where corruption is rampant, it occurs both in the public and private sectors, where it affects democracy and human rights by deteriorating institutions and diminishing public trust in government. It impairs the ability of government to fulfil its obligations and ensure accountability in the delivery of economic and social services like healthcare, education, clean water, housing, and social security. This is because corruption diverts funds into private pockets – which impedes delivery of services – thereby perpetuating poverty, inequality, injustice and unfairness. The problem is aggravated when government is the main culprit. “Government” here, of course, refers to the dictionary meaning of the term, namely, “the group of people with the authority to govern a country or state”.

Corruption existed in ancient Egypt, China and Greece

There are those who argue that corruption is as old as mankind and, therefore, it is here to stay. Indeed, corruption is known to have existed in ancient Egypt, ancient China and ancient Greece. In Robert Bolt’s 16th Century play A Man for All Seasons, Richard Rich’s opening remark is “But every man has his price.” In the 1836 play The Government Inspector, Nikolai Gogol cleverly satirised the human greed, stupidity and extensive political corruption in Imperial Russia at the time. And in a recent article in The Conversation (28 August 2020), Steven Friedman wonders why South Africans express shock at corruption when “it is perhaps the country’s oldest tradition.” He locates the advent of corruption in South Africa at the arrival of Jan van Riebeeck in 1652, through to the ensuing colonialism and apartheid. He argues that in reality, “corruption has been a constant feature of South African political life for much of the past 350 years. It is deeply embedded and it will take a concerted effort, over years, not days, to defeat it”. 

Agreed, but does it have to be that way? At the time of Jan van Riebeeck and during the 350 years of colonialism and apartheid, we did not have the legal framework that we have now. Here is a brief overview of that framework.

Read full article here

Opinion article by Professor John C Mubangizi, Dean: Faculty of Law, University of the Free State


News Archive

Prof Danie Vermeulen appointed as dean of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences
2016-03-18

Description: Prof Danie Vermeulen Tags: Prof Danie Vermeulen

As the new dean of the UFS Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, Prof Danie Vermeulen is resolute to place this faculty on the world map.
Photo: Anja Aucamp

The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) approved the appointment of Prof Danie Vermeulen as dean of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences during its meeting on 11 March 2016.

“Prof Vermeulen brings to the position of dean a set of formidable research and leadership achievements and a track-record of commitment to equity and diversity in the sciences," said Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS.

“It is a great honour that was bestowed on me to lead the faculty and it makes me feel very humble," said Prof Vermeulen.

Fifteen years ago, Prof Vermeulen joined the UFS as a researcher and lecturer. From 2007-2009 he filled the role of acting director of the UFS Institute for Groundwater Studies to subsequently be appointed as not only the director of this institute, but also associate Professor in Geohydrology.

As an alumnus, Prof Vermeulen has strong ties to the UFS. He acquired a BSc Honours, MSc, and PhD Cum Laude in Geohydrology here.This pursuit of excellence also transpires in his aspirations for the faculty’s future. “My vision is that the faculty becomes the best in South Africa in various departments – and recognised throughout Africa, especially in the applied sciences. In addition, the faculty will actively interact with world-leading universities, particularly in the hard sciences.”

Prof Vermeulen is a member of the Executive Committee of the Free State branch of the Groundwater Division of South Africa, member of the Executive Council of the International Mine Water Association, as well as council member at the Fossil Fuel Foundation of South Africa. In the past, he has held membership at the International Association of Hydrogeologists, South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions, Ground Water Division of the Geological Society of South Africa, Water Institute of South Africa, FETWATER Groundwater Initiative, and Editorial Board member of the scientific journal, Water SA.

Prof Vermeulen served as the acting dean for six months prior to his appointment. His appointment commences on 1 April 2016 for a period of five year.

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept