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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

Curtains fall on Darwin lecture series
2010-02-03

The University of the Free State (UFS), in collaboration with the Central University of Technology and the National Museum in Bloemfontein, will host the final lecture of the Charles Darwin lecture series entitled "The story of life and survival" as part of the 200-years celebration of Charles Darwin’s birthday on Thursday, 11 February 2010.

The lecture titled Trends in evolution and their bearing on the future of humankind will be presented by Prof. Bruce Rubidge and Prof. Terence McCarthy from the University of the Witwatersrand and co-authors of the book The Story of Earth and Life.

Last year, when the year-long lecture series started, several lectures were presented by academics from various departments at the UFS.
Prof. Marian Tredoux and Mr Johan Loock from the Department of Geology presented lectures on The origin of our solar system and The geological evolution of our planet: the first billion years, respectively.

"Transitions and extinctions" was the topic of another lecture presented by Dr Jennifer Botha-Brink, a paleontologist at the National Museum and affiliated to the Department of Zoology and Entomology at the UFS. She discussed the causes of mass extinctions and their effects on the world's organisms.

The Department of Genetics also made their contribution to this lecture series in the form of two lectures on the genetic foundation of evolution presented by the Head of the Department, Prof. Johan Spies and Prof. Paul Grobler, an Associate Professor in the Department.

Next followed lectures on the evolution of the information and communication technology that were presented by the Departments of Communication Science, Chemistry, Physics, and Computer Science and Informatics, which focused on communication in a manufacturing environment, the knowledge explosion and the broadband universe.

This final lecture of the series will be presented in the CR Swart Auditorium on the UFS Main Campus at 18:00. Limited seats are available and bookings can be made by contacting Ms Isabel Human at humanci@ufs.ac.za or 051 401 2427 before or on Monday, 8 February 2010.

Media Release:
Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt@ufs.ac.za  
2 February 2010

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