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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

Central SRC constitution for UFS approved by Council
2005-07-20

University of the Free State Fact Sheet

1. The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) on 10 June 2005 unanimously approved the establishment of a Central Student Representative Council (CSRC)  to constitute a legitimate basis for the democratic participation of students of all three of its campuses in the governance of the university.

2. In a major breakthrough and transformation step for student governance, the Central SRC will include representatives of the main campus in Bloemfontein, the Vista Bloemfontein campus and the Qwaqwa campus of the UFS.

3. The need to establish the Central SRC follows the incorporation of the Qwaqwa campus into the UFS in January 2003 and the incorporation of the Vista campus in Bloemfontein into the UFS in January 2004.

4. The constitution of the Central SRC is the outcome of a consensus reached during a lengthy process of negotiation between the SRCs of the three UFS campuses, indirectly involving diverse student formations such as Sasco, ANCYL, YCL, Pasma, SASO, SADESMO, AZASCO, SCO, HEREXVII, KovsieAlliance, ACDP, etc. Independent constitutional and political experts facilitated key parts of the negotiation process.

5. In this process, the UFS management went out of its way to ensure the participation of all student formations, especially Sasco and the ANC Youth League, as well as the duly elected SRC officials of the three campuses.

6. With the establishment of a Central SRC, the UFS has adopted a federal student governance model whereby the CSRC is the highest representative student body on matters of common concern for all students. The three campuses of the UFS will retain SRC structures for each campus with powers and responsibilities for matters affecting the particular campus.

7. The central SRC will have 12 members made up of delegates of the different campus SRCs, including the presidents of these three SRCs. In total, the main campus will have 5 representatives, the Qwaqwa campus will have 4 representatives and the Vista campus will have 3 representatives. This ratio ensures a strong voice for the smaller campuses in the central SRC.

8. This arrangement will be reviewed after a year to make allowance for the phasing out of undergraduate (pipeline) students at the Vista campus, as was agreed in the negotiations preceding the incorporation of that campus into the UFS.

9. From these 12 members a central SRC president will be chosen on a quarterly basis to represent the general student body at Executive Management, Senate and Council.

10. The historic official inauguration of the first Central SRC is scheduled to take place in early August 2005.

11. This event, like the adoption of a broadly negotiated new constitution for the main campus SRC, represents a  breakthrough in that all three campus SRCs delegations and all relevant student organizations have been part of the process and have accepted the outcome of the process.

20 July 2005

 

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