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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

UFS joined EduRoam project
2011-03-13

Photo: Gerda-Marié Viviers

The ICT Services of the UFS presented the recent conference of the Association of South African University Directors of Information Technology (ASAUDIT) on home turf. Here from the left are: Prof. Janse Tolmie, senior director of the UFS’s ICT Services, Mr Sakkie Janse van Rensburg, executive director of the University of Cape Town’s ICT services, Mr Louis Marais, deputy director of the UFS’s ICT services and Mr Christiaan Kühn of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

Travelling academics should soon gain access to free internet more easily. This is after three South African universities, of which the University of the Free State (UFS) is one, joined the EduRoam project. Several academics were briefed on this concept at the last conference of ASAUDIT (Association of South African University Directors of Information Technology) which was held in the CR Swart Auditorium on the Main Campus of the UFS. EduRoam, which is available worldwide at participating universities and airports, enables users to gain access to the internet via their home universities. Prof. Janse Tolmie, senior director of the UFS’s ICT services explains that, should a colleague sign in at an “EduRoam university” the staff member’s information would be verified at the UFS’s IT systems in order to determine the legitimacy of the EduRoam user. After this internet access would be granted. The UFS, University of Cape Town and Rhodes University are the first three universities that have taken on the EduRoam project. The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) also plays a central role in the project in South Africa. More information regarding the UFS’s utilisation of EduRoam will soon be announced.

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