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Monday, November 29, 2021

Eighth UFS Chancellor Professor Bonang Mohale Inaugurated

PROFESSOR Bonang Francis Mohale was officially inaugurated as the eighth Chancellor of the University of the Free State (UFS) on Friday.

He took up his five-year term in June 2020 and has served in the role for the past 17 months. Prof Mohale takes over from Dr Khotso Mokhele, who served as Chancellor of the UFS from June 2010 until June 2020.

Prof Mohale is the President of Business Unity South Africa (Busa), Professor of Practice in the Johannesburg Business School’s College of Business and Economics, Chairman of both the Bidvest Group Limited and SBV Services.

According to the UFS he is a highly respected South African businessman, known as much for his patriotism as his active role in seeking to advance the country’s interests. He is the author of the best-selling book, Lift As You Rise, launched in November 2018. The book is a compilation of some of the spoken and written words in which Prof Mohale reveals the issues that he is passionate about – among them leadership, transformation, people development, constructive collaboration, and integrity.

Prof Mohale emphasised that the challenges facing higher education were linked to the broader challenges facing South Africa, namely, poor economic growth, high youth unemployment, and the paralysing effect of the “nine wasted years” of state capture.

“The student protests and service delivery protests are a symptom of many societal ills and failures. While government may have had the resources – financially and technically – to map a way forward for the higher education sector, its ability to implement is severely constrained by insufficient capacity,” said Prof Mohale.

“The fundamentals of future higher education institutions should be values such as respect, empathy, equality, and solidarity that support and prepare learners for life, to be better citizens, to be more aware of their societal and civic responsibilities and role in the environment and not only for livelihood.”

David Noko, Chairperson of the UFS Council, said that the council appointed the right person for the job, the right person for this university, in this country, at this particular time. “The values that Prof Mohale embodies, which he is known to advocate from various platforms – in written media and virtual spaces – and which he actively lives out, are the values that the UFS cherish and embrace. Values such as respect, empathy, equality, solidarity, diversity, and caring.”

In congratulating Prof Mohale, Prof Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS, acknowledged the contributions he made.

  • Compiled by Sazly Hartzenberg
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