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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

Kovsies blossom with potential
2010-02-04

Pictured with Prof Jansen are, from the left: Marike Botha, Sibusiso Tshabalala, Cumine de Villiers, Portia Lehasa and Meyer Joubert.
Photo: Hannes Pieterse


The Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State (UFS), Prof. Jonathan Jansen, recently made closer acquaintance with five top Grade 12 achievers who are currently first-year students at the UFS.

The five students all achieved exceptional results in their final exams.

Cumine de Villiers from the Volkskool Secondary School in Potchefstroom obtained seven distinctions. She is an MBChB I student and resides in Roosmaryn Residence on the Main Campus. People are her passion, which makes a career as a doctor ideal for her. “I can help people physically, as well as emotionally. And save lives!” Her advice to learners is to work hard from Grade 11 already. According to her a balanced life is also very important: “The more you do, the better you can do.” One of her goals is to learn Sesotho while she is studying.

Marike Botha attended Potchefstroom Gymnasium. She obtained seven distinctions. She is also studying MBChB I and plans to become a paediatric surgeon. “I know one is going to lose patients, but one will also save lives.”

She resides in Roosmaryn Residence and plans to enjoy her student life to the full: “I am going to attend everything! Every dance, rugby match and serenade – there are some things in life that one can only experience once, and one’s first year is one of those.” According to her, the Grade 12 work is not that difficult; it is only a lot. She advises matriculants to always to their best and never to leave anything till later.

Sibusiso Tshabalala from HTS Welkom obtained three distinctions. He is studying BCom Law. He chose that degree because it perfectly integrates law and commerce. “In that way I am keeping my career options open”. He chose Kovsies for the opportunity to be part of one of the best Faculties of Law in South Africa. He resides in JBM Hertzog Residence. His advice to matriculants is to fully make use of every opportunity. “There will be setbacks – it is not supposed to be easy. All of that makes you a stronger person. Strive after your own goals – don’t measure them against others’ goals.”

Portia Lehasa from Eunice High School obtained five distinctions. She is studying BA Accounting and resides in Roosmaryn Residence. She chose Kovsies in order to be part of the transformation.

“Transformation leads to growth – and growth is essential for all persons.” She chose accounting because she enjoys challenges. “It is also a skill that will enable me to empower the economic status of South Africa.”

She also wants to become involved in everything on campus and make a difference. “You are going to see me a lot – I am going to change the world!” She also has some advice for matriculants: “It is very important to have a goal. In that way one still has something to strive for. It helps incredibly.”

Meyer Joubert attended the Ferdinand Postma Secondary School in Potchefstroom. He obtained seven distinctions. He is an MBChB I student and resides in Abraham Fischer Residence. “One’s life only becomes meaningful once one does something for someone else; that is why I want to become a doctor. By means of medicine one can make a difference to someone else’s life.” He plans to become the best doctor possible. According to him learners can take it leisurely up to Grade 10. “The requirements for many fields of study, like medicine, already apply from Grade 10. Therefore it is important to start to focus and work hard from then onwards. However, don’t only study! Balance is very important; therefore participate in sports, cultural activities and, of course, socialise.”

Prof. Jansen was, rightly so, impressed by all the talent that have settled at Kovsies this year: “This is only the beginning. With so much potential Kovsies can blossom!”

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

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