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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

Global Leadership Summit takes a look at Higher Education in the South African context
2012-07-10

Since 1994 South Africa has achieved a lot in making higher education accessible to South Africans, but challenges still face us daily.

This was the message of a lecture by Dr Lis Lange, Senior Director at the Directorate for Institutional Research and Academic Planning (DIRAP) today at the Global Leadership Summit at the University of the Free State (UFS).

Dr Lange’s lecture focused on the Higher Education and Leadership for Change in South Africa.

In her lecture Dr Lange said in 1994 about 525 000 students, of which 47% were white students, enrolled in South African universities. White youth participation in South Africa was also far higher at 70% comparing to the 9% participation by African youth.

Dr Lange found that eighteen years into democracy, about 900 000 students enrol in South African universities of which the majority is African students. The number of female students also increased greatly.

“In general, youth participation in South Africa remains low. This is still more prevalent among African youth. We also experience a high drop-out rate in South African institutions of higher education.”

Dr Lange delivered this lecture on Monday as part of a series of conversations taking place at the UFS during the Global Leadership Summit. About 160 student and staff delegates are attending this summit and will take part in various critical dialogues. 

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