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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

Delegates encouraged to ‘walk the talk’ on fraud prevention
2017-11-27

Description: Fraud Tags: fraud, corruption, crime, business, Free State, MEC of Finance, Elzabe Rockman, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Standard Bank, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, Monte Bello 

Representatives from the UFS Business School with Nick Olivier, Certified
Fraud Examiner (right), at the International Fraud Awareness Week’s
Free State Conference.
Photo: Lerato Sebe


‘Walking the Talk on Fraud Prevention’ was this year’s theme during the annual International Fraud Awareness Week’s Free State Conference held at Monte Bello, Bloemfontein, on 16 and 17 November.

The conference was hosted by the Business School of the University of the Free State (UFS), in collaboration with the Free State Provincial Treasury, Standard Bank, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Detecting and taking action against corruption
The Free State MEC of Finance, Honourable Elzabe Rockman, says corruption is not only a provincial or national issue, but rather a global issue. “Through this interaction with the International Fraud Awareness Week, we reach a much broader audience, both inside and outside government.” She says this should make a direct contribution to increasing awareness of what constitutes fraud, and improving our ability to detect it and to take action.

Implications caused by fraud
One of the speakers at the seminar, Nick Olivier, a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), did a presentation labelled, ‘WTF – Where to focus in the corruption noise’, highlighting the impact which fraudulent crime has on companies. “With the private sector, the impact is huge because the company will have to spend money on investigations or lawyers to get their money back.” He mentions that in government, various things are affected by fraud, such as the economy, the country’s resources, the lives of citizens and the society. 
“We need to start obeying the regulations which were implemented in our environments so that we do not need to do investigations, because every citizen has a duty to do the right thing,” says Olivier.

Tender procurement and bribery were listed as the top corruption crimes in both the private and government sectors.

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