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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

Prof. Cynthia Miller-Naudé delivers inaugural lecture at the university
2012-07-03

 
Prof. Cynthia L Miller-Naudé
5 July 2012

Prof. Cynthia L Miller-Naudé recently delivered her inaugural lecture as senior professor at the University of the Free State.

The lecture also served as the opening key note address to the joint conference of the Linguistics Society of South Africa, the South African Applied Linguistics Association and the South African Association for Language Teaching.

In her lecture, Prof. Miller-Naudé focused on The Case of Ellipsis in Biblical Hebrew. She examined the interrelationship between poetic style and the grammatical rules of a language by describing the ways in which grammatical rules may be relaxed or even broken to achieve a particular style within poetry. She illustrated her lecture with examples from Biblical Hebrew, the language of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament).

In Biblical Hebrew, it is very common to find ellipsis (words that are missing) in poetry, but they are always “missing” in ways that create stylistic effects. Prof. Miller-Naudé concluded her lecture by demonstrating that the stylistic effects of ellipsis can be described and explained using the theoretical model of cognitive poetics.

Prof. Miller-Naude was born and educated in the United States and is a leading authority in the fields of Biblical Hebrew linguistics and Bible translation.

 

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