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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

More accolades for Golden Key Chapter
2012-07-26

 
The Golden Key UFS Chapter Executive Committee during one of their community projects. Here are, from the left back: Billy Tshanjane, Mitz Dames and Lehlohonolo Mofekeng; middle: Keneiloe Kgnare and Siphe Mahlaba; front: Kim Drude.
26 July 2012

The world’s largest academic honour society, Golden Key International Honour Society, has again recognised excellence at the university, awarding the University of the Free State (UFS) chapter an International Chapter Service Award.

It is the third consecutive year that the chapter has received the award which is awarded to ten of the more than 375 chapters worldwide. Based on the society’s values of academic excellence, leadership and community service, the chapter was awarded 1000 US dollars (about R8400).

In March this year, the chapter received another accolade when Dr Derek Swemmer, Registrar and co-advisor of the chapter, was appointed chairperson of the governing body of the society. Dr Swemmer became the first South African to serve in this position of this prestige academic society.

Kim Drude, Golden Key UFS Chapter President, says the chapter will continue making a difference in the community. “We may now go out there and make the changes at our current major community service project, the Talita Cumi Orphanage Home and School.

"Commitment and dedication will always be rewarded and this award is an indication that our hard work has, without a doubt, paid off.”
 

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