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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

Mandela Day celebrated with R5 coin laying
2012-07-09

On 18 July 2012, the University of the Free State (UFS), in partnership with Pick n Pay Hyper in Bloemfontein, will celebrate Nelson Mandela Day with a special R5 coin laying ceremony.

The festivities kick off at 12:00 on the Red Square at the Bloemfontein Campus.

Emeritus Archbishop Desmond Tutu will make a special appearance at this event and also deliver a short message.

Schools in the vicinity, UFS staff and students and the public are invited to take part in the coin laying ceremony.

Ms Marissa van Jaarsveld, the coordinator of the Nelson Mandela Day celebrations at the UFS, says the money collected at the event will be used to benefit the No Student Hungry (NSH) campaign, as well as Bloemfontein Child Welfare. NSH is an organisation on the Bloemfontein Campus that provides food bursaries to hungry students with good academic records.

Requests have been sent to schools to collect R5 coins for the event and representatives from the schools will attend the coin-laying.

These schools will be acknowledged for their contributions and there are prizes up for grabs for the primary and high schools that collect the most money.

Learners will deposit their coin contributions during the 67 Minute programme of giving back to the community and they will take part in fun activities. Participating schools are encouraged to be as creative as possible when handing over their R5 contributions.

On the day, there will also will be people with tins at the main entrances to the university for those who want to make a contribution.

The NSH-campaign will also show its support for eradicating world hunger on this day by helping Pick n Pay Hyper in Bloemfontein to package food parcels for the Stop Hunger Now campaign. The packaging of the food parcels will also take place at the UFS.

Members of the public and the media are invited to attend the festivities.
 

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