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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

Two Rhodes scholars are doing the UFS proud
2010-12-09

 
Sannah Mokone and DW Bester

Sannah Mokone and DW Bester were selected as Rhodes Scholars for 2011. It is the first time that the UFS has two students who have been awarded this sought-after scholarship in the same year.

Sannah is currently completing her B.Pub.Hons degree at the UFS and will read for an M.Sc. in Africa Studies at Oxford.  DW is completing his honours degree in Actuarial Science and will read for a D.Phil.

The UFS is honoured to have not only one but two students who will join the ranks of past Rhodes Scholars such as Justice Edwin Cameron, Dr David Woods, Adv. Bram Fisher, Dr Loyiso Nongxa, Mr Isaac Shongwe and Mr Kumi Naidoo, who was recently appointed as the Executive Director of Greenpeace International.

The Rhodes Scholarships, arguably one of the most prestigious scholarships in the world, were founded in 1903 in the will of Cecil John Rhodes and cover the full costs of study at Oxford University.

While academic excellence is a pre-condition for consideration for the Rhodes Scholarship, these scholarships are unique in that Rhodes Scholars are outstanding young students who excel academically, but very importantly, demonstrate leadership, are committed to making a difference in the world, and have the energy to fulfil their ambitions.

In the Southern African region four scholarships are available for South African residents in general; as well as one for KwaZulu-Natal; and one each for the alumni of Diocesan College, Paul Roos Gymnasium, St Andrew’s College and the South African College Schools (SACS). There is a further scholarship available for residents of Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia and Swaziland.  

DW and Sannah were each awarded one of the South Africa-at-large scholarships.

Media Release
9 December 2010
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication (actg)
Tel: 051  401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za 

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