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24 May 2019 | Story Eloise Calitz | Photo Charl Devenish
Gangster book Discussion
From left: Jacques van Wyk from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) Cathy Dlodlo, news editor from OFM; Pieter Roux from the UFS Business School; Alta Vermeulen from the UFS Department of Political Studies and Governance and Pieter-Louis Myburgh, author

A packed Odeion Auditorium at the University of the Free State was welcomed by Professor Helena van Zyl, Head of the UFS Business School. The reason being, a panel discussion with award-winning investigative reporter and author, Pieter-Louis Myburgh, on his much-publicised book Gangster State: Unravelling Ace Magashule's Web of Capture. The programme took the form of a panel discussion. The panellists included Pieter-Louis Myburgh, author; Jacques van Wyk from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE); Cathy Dlodlo, news editor from OFM; Alta Vermeulen from the UFS Department of Political Studies and Governance; and Pieter Roux from the UFS Business School.

In his introduction, Myburgh said he was happy that he was able to come to Bloemfontein and have the discussion, since South Africans should cherish freedom of speech and a free press.

The research for the book took 13 months to conclude, and during this time he spent a lot of time in the Free State and Bloemfontein. He mentioned that the book gave him the opportunity to present a condensed account of what he discovered; he could therefore share more, as opposed to just reporting on a story in the newspaper. For him, investigative reporting should always be fact based and open to scrutiny.

Some of the topics raised by the panel was concern about the perception that investigative journalists are focusing more on corruption in the public sector and less on the private sector. This was, however, discarded as a myth, as Myburgh pointed out that he exposed both private and public sector dealings in order to provide the full scope of involved parties.

Focusing on whistle blowers, the panel challenged the verification of whistle-blower information. Myburgh responded that journalists never use only one whistle-blower’s evidence, since that is merely the start of the investigation. Further investigation was necessary, and facts had to be verified. With that said, there is still a lot to be done with regard to the protection of whistle-blowers, he concluded.

The floor was opened to the audience, which provided the opportunity to ask questions and raise concerns about what was mentioned during the panel discussion. The audience eagerly participated in the discussion. In conclusion, Myburgh reiterated that society plays a vital role in keeping those in power to the promises they make.

After the discussion, the audience had the opportunity to have their books signed by the author.

News Archive

UFS to accredit providers of Off-Campus Accommodation to students in Bloemfontein
2017-06-30

The University of the Free State (UFS) has embarked on a process to accredit off-campus accommodation service providers in Bloemfontein who provide accommodation to its students.

“The decision to accredit off-campus accommodation service providers comes from a concern from the university management about the safety of students and the conditions under which some of our students live in off-campus accommodation. Student accommodation is a significant aspect of the success of the UFS and consequently good quality accommodation is important for each individual student to be successful in his/her studies,” says Mr Quintin Koetaan, Senior Director: Housing and Residence Affairs at the UFS.

The accreditation process entails a list of primary requirements, drafted with the cognisance of the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, in terms of off-campus accommodation to which private providers must adhere in order to be accredited by the university. The requirements are in line with the Policy on the Minimum Norms and Standards for Student Housing at Public Universities (Government Gazette 39238, dated 29 September 2015).

According to Koetaan, the norms and standards as set out in the policy establish the foundation and assessment criteria for such accreditation of service providers by the UFS. “It has become necessary for the UFS to have a policy on off-campus accommodation, in order to protect the rights and interests of our students and that of the university,” says Koetaan.

Some of the primary requirements for accreditation by the UFS include the number of students that may be accommodated in each room, the quality of kitchens and kitchenettes, the number of ablution facilities, the existence of common rooms and house rules, general maintenance and cleaning, compliance with  relevant national, regional, and municipal legislative requirements regulating health and safety, provision for adequate access to the facility/establishment in case of medical and/or psychological emergency assistance being required by students, and the provision for access to emergency electricity and water facilities. Off-campus private accommodation service providers must also be in possession of approved Municipal building plans of their student accommodation facilities, as well as evidence confirming their compliance with these plans.

“Landlords and agents are also advised to become more involved in their student homes and to ensure that their properties are in good condition and secure enough for students to live in,” says Koetaan.

Off-campus private accommodation service providers have until 31 July 2017 to apply for accreditation. More information and application documentation for accreditation can be obtained by sending an email to housing@ufs.ac.za

Released by:
Lacea Loader (Director: Communication and Brand Management)
Telephone: +27 51 401 2584 | +27 83 645 2454
Email: news@ufs.ac.za | loaderl@ufs.ac.za
Fax: +27 51 444 6393

 

 

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