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20 October 2020 | Story Tom Ferreira and Jóhann Thormählen | Photo Blue Bulls Company
Pote Human.

The former Free State forward and coach, Pote Human, is coming back ‘home’. He has been appointed as the new FNB Shimlas head coach for the 2021 Varsity Cup competition and will be in charge of the rugby team for the second time.
According to Human, he has always had a ‘soft spot’ for the Free State, where he coached at club, university, and provincial level.

The experienced coach, who coached the Bulls Super Rugby team in 2019 and 2020, will already be at the University of the Free State (UFS) on 2 November 2020 to start preparing the FNB Shimlas for the Varsity Cup. He takes over from the former Springbok flank, Hendro Scholtz, who is no longer available as head coach due to work pressure. Scholtz will continue to be a FNB Shimlas assistant coach.

Free State ties 

Human, who has a long association with Free State rugby, has been involved as a coach with teams such as the Bulls, Griquas, Tuks, and the Ricoh Black Rams in Japan.

He says he is very excited about the new challenge. “Bloemfontein has wonderful people and the FNB Shimlas have a great management team. I have known Jaco (Swanepoel), who coached my son Gerhard at Grey College, since my years as Shimla coach.”

The former loose forward coached the Shimlas from 2000 to 2004. “I am particularly proud that the Shimlas won the FNB Super Bowl tournament (similar to the Varsity Cup), the Bloemfontein club championship trophy (Stadsbeker), and the National Club Championships in 2004.

“Several of the young men who played for Shimlas at the time, including Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis, Gurthrö Steenkamp, CJ van der Linde, Ruan Pienaar, and Wian du Preez, later became Springboks.”

Human was replaced by the former Bok coach Jake White as the Bulls head coach in May. The Bulls, under Human’s leadership, finished as the leading South African team on the log in Super Rugby in 2019, and advanced to the quarterfinals.

A seasoned coach

He will now give back where it all started. Human played two matches for the Free State senior team in 1979 as an U19 player, and again played for the province from 1989 to 1993 – a total of 82 matches, 64 of them as captain. He also played 116 games for Eastern Province.

His coaching career began in 1994 as forwards coach for the Free State under the late Nelie Smith.
The Free Staters reached the Currie Cup final that year, where they lost to the then Transvaal in Bloemfontein. Human then coached the Police Rugby Club in Bloemfontein before joining the Shimlas in 2000.

“Pote is a seasoned coach who will bring something new to the team,” says Swanepoel, Head of Rugby Coaching and High-Performance Sports at the UFS. “As a former Shimla coach, he also knows the culture of the team. The UFS FNB Young Guns was the leading team in the Varsity Cup for U20 teams this year, so there is ample talent for him to work with.”

An investment in the future 

Jerry Segwaba, President of the Free State Rugby Union, says Human’s appointment is an investment in the future. “The FNB Shimlas have always been an important link in the Free State rugby chain, which starts at schools and extends to university and club rugby to professional rugby.”

“Pote and his coaching team will play an important role in developing quality players for the Cheetahs’ senior teams. We welcome him back home and wish him all the best.”

Ryno Opperman, chairman of the board of the Free State Cheetahs, also has a high regard for him. Opperman played under Human as Free State captain.

“He is the right man at the right time for the job,” he says. “His appointment is a vote of confidence in the future of Free State rugby. The Free State Cheetahs are the Currie Cup champions and must keep on developing talent for the future.”
“It is encouraging to see players and coaches such as Pote, Ruan Pienaar, and Frans Steyn returning to their roots in the Free State.”

News Archive

Ivory Coast too dependent on UN to combat violence against women
2015-10-08

During the seminar presented by the Centre for
African Studies (CAS) at the University of the Free State
were, from the left: Thesipo Machabaphala, student in
Gender Studies; Prof Heidi Hudson, Head of CAS;
Dr Peace Medie from the University of Ghana,
guest speaker; and Sesi Mahlobogoane, student in
Gender Studies.

The Ivory Coast is still too dependent on the work of the United Nations (UN) to combat violence against women in the country. There is much talk about ways to address the problem, but the government is still not acting quickly and effectively enough to make a difference in the long term.

These were some of the findings by Dr Peace Medie from the University of Ghana, guest speaker during a seminar series held by the Centre for Africa Studies (CAS) on the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State on 1 October 2015.

Dr Medie presented a seminar for students in the Gender Studies programme entitled Women, Security, and Justice: a Study of the Ivorian State’s Response to Violence against Women. Prof Heidi Hudson, Head of CAS in the Faculty of the Humanities at the UFS, facilitated the seminar.

For the sake of internationalisation, the CAS often presents guest speakers from outside South Africa to address its students. In addition , Dr Medie is from Africa.

According to Dr Medie, who conducted some 150 interviews during her research over two years, there was a shortage of resources in the Ivory Coast. This is also the case in several other African countries previously involved in war.

She believes the Ivory Coast should do more to combat violence against women successfully.

She said the UN had a great influence on the way people, especially the police, were thinking about the problem - which included sexual violence against women.

“The UN will not be there forever,” Dr Medie said.

“If response depended only on the influence of an international organisation, what would happen when the UN leaves?”

According to Dr Medie, a shortage of active women’s organisations also had a role to play. She was of the opinion that these organisations should put more pressure on the government to ensure better treatment for women.

“Local organisations are needed because it is not sustainable to depend only on the work of the UN.”


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