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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

Access meets quality in UFS-Varsity College partnership for law degree
2012-07-30

 
At the event were, from the left: Mr Frank Thompson, CEO of ADvTECH, Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS, and Prof. Johan Henning, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the UFS.
Photo: Johan Roux
30 July 2012

The University of the Free State (UFS) and Varsity College this week officially launched a partnership whereby the university’s Faculty of Law will offer a four-year Bachelor of Law qualification through the UFS School of Open Learning on eight Varsity College campuses nationwide. This new degree will be offered as early as 2013.

This is the fulfilment of a dream, said Prof. Johan Henning, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the university. He was one of the speakers at the event that was attended by staff members and management from the, Faculty of Law, the university’s South Campus, Varsity College and ADvTECH.

The UFS Faculty of Law is one of the oldest and most distinguished faculties of law in South Africa, and has a close association with several overseas universities which ensures that the institution is internationally recognised.

“I am very positive and enthusiastic about this new partnership. We want to make this an enriching experience for staff and students from both the university as well as Varsity College,” Prof. Henning said.

The CEO of ADvTECH, Mr Frank Thompson, said he is overjoyed about the project and its potential. Varsity College is a brand of the ADvTECH Group, a JSE listed company invested in human capital.

“This is a new beginning for Varsity College and the UFS. Learning together, the slogan for this project, is very appropriate. We are excited to add new students to the university and Varsity College’s line-up,” Mr Thompson said.

Varsity College is part of the Independent Institute of Education (IIE), the leading provider of private higher education in South Africa. According to Dr Felicity Coughlan, Director of the IIE, the partnership between the IIE and the university is an example of the potential that is inherent in public-private partnerships to increase the range of high quality options available to students.

Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS, who also was one of the speakers at this event, said with this partnership, students will get the best of both worlds in accessing higher education.

The Faculty of Law will ensure that students obtain both a thorough grounding in legal theory, as well as a solid practical foundation, and Varsity College, through a strong commitment to innovative teaching and learning, will empower more students to become legal graduates of the highest calibre. Thus, the innovative partnership between the UFS and Varsity College will produce a Bachelor of Law degree that is highly sought after in the legal profession.

This partnership is the first of its kind, paving the way for increased collaboration between public and private tertiary institutions to best serve the education sector and the future of graduates.

“This is what is possible when two dynamic partners like the university and Varsity College come together,” Prof. Jansen said.
 

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