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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

Radboud University extends Institutional Agreement with UFS
2017-11-28

Description: 2017 International  Tags: internationalisation, Radboud University, Netherlands, institutional, Economic and Management Sciences, EU Erasmus+ programme, Business School  

Photo: Pixabay

The Office for International Affairs, in collaboration with the Business School, recently hosted delegates from Radboud University in the Netherlands to expand the existing partnership between the University of the Free State (UFS) and Radboud University.

Prof Joris Knoben and Charissa van Mourik visited the UFS to renew the Collaboration Agreement into an Institutional Agreement. The collaboration between the two universities was initially formalised as a Collaboration Agreement in August 2014. 

Zenzele Mdletshe, Senior Officer: North-South Cooperation: Internationalisation, says, “This partnership has been successful in implementing student exchange mobility, with about four students from Radboud University participating in student exchange programmes at the UFS for a period of six months.” The Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, Prof Hendri Kroukamp, has also been part of an International Week Programme at the Radboud University for the past three years.

Exploring student exchange mobility through funding
The negotiations focused on extending the collaboration, as well as exploring opportunities to have exchange mobility from the UFS to Radboud University. “The agreement is to look into opening cooperation through funding models such as the EU Erasmus+ programme in order to overcome the financial challenges which hinder mobility of UFS students,” Mdletshe says.

Postgraduate programmes considered for future development
Radboud University is said to consider the waiving of all costs related to the participation of three UFS students in a two-week summer school programme at their campus. In addition to this discussion, the development of the postgraduate exchange programme, research collaborations, and future exploration of joint master’s degree programmes are also a possibility. 
“The participants agreed that the universities would explore external funding opportunities, specifically with a view to developing reciprocal PhD mobility,” Mdletshe says.

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