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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

Eminent Chinese musicians perform at Odeion
2011-03-08

Hing fat-Wong

A renowned and well-known award-winning Chinese musician from Hong Kong, Hing fat-Wong, enchanted music lovers of the classical genre, after joining forces with Frankie Feng, Music Director of Free State Orchestra of Chinese Music (FSOCM), live on stage at our university’s Odeion for the first time in 30 years. Wong and Feng lit up the stage, to a full house, with an outstanding orchestral performance at the FSOCM’s first concert for the year, called Ancient Chinese Classical Music. Wong was invited by the FSOCM in January 2011 to play solo pieces on the traditional Chinese instruments, the pipa and guqin.

Wong conducted two works, Shanbei Suite and Variations on Yang Guan. Both were arranged by Feng and are based on Chinese folk songs and ancient melodies, respectively. According to Wong, ancient melodies refer to all music before the 1911 Chinese Revolution. However, Wong stated that Feng’s arrangement gave new life to these melodies, as played by the FSOCM.
 
Wong proved to the audience that his talent goes beyond the conductor's baton, and includes his ability to play instruments such as the pipa and guqin masterfully, by performing several solo pieces using these two traditional Chinese instruments.
 
During his stay in Bloemfontein, Wong was invited by Prof. Nicole Viljoen from our Department of Music to host a successful seminar on the appreciation of Chinese music. Attendees had the opportunity to listen to a lecture by Wong and gain first-hand experience of classic traditional Chinese instruments being played. The FSOCM is a multi-cultural orchestra and looks forward to hosting more high-quality performances with soloists of the calibre of Wong throughout the year.

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