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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

International scholars discuss Higher Education and Human Development
2012-07-05

 

World-leading scholars. From the left are: Profs. Elaine Unterhalter, Monica Mclean, Alejandra Boni and Enrica Chiappero-Martinetti.
Photo: Stephen Collett.
5 July 2012

The new research area on Higher Education and Human Development, led by Prof. Melanie Walker, recently hosted an international workshop and an innovative one day research seminar with world-leading scholars in the field.

At the research seminar, papers were presented by Prof. Alejandra Boni (Technical University of Valencia, Spain) on the human development university; Prof. Enrica Chiappero-Martinetti (University of Pavia, Italy) on human capital and human capabilities; Prof. Monica McLean (University of Nottingham, United Kingdom) on pedagogical rights and equality and Prof. Elaine Unterhalter (Institute of Education, United Kingdom) on gender and human development trade-offs.

Those present were invited to consider human development purposes for public universities in the 21st century and the implications that would follow for human capabilities development, curriculum and pedagogies, and diversity and inclusion.

Copies of the presentations can be obtained from Dr Sonja Loots at lootss@ufs.ac.za

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