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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

Nobel Prize winner to deliver inaugural Reconciliation Lecture
2012-10-29

Nadine Gordimer
11 October 2012

Renowned writer and Nobel Prize winner Nadine Gordimer will deliver the inaugural Reconciliation Lecture at the university on Wednesday 7 November 2012.

Nadine Gordimer received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1991. Her latest book, No Time Like the Present, was published in March 2012.

Her writing deals with moral and racial issues during apartheid and books such as July's People were banned. She participated actively in the anti-apartheid movement and has recently been active in HIV/Aids causes.

She has received honorary degrees from Yale, Harvard, Columbia, and the New School for Social Research in the USA, the University of Leuven in Belgium, the University of York and Cambridge University, both in England, and the Universities of Cape Town and the Witwatersrand. France also honoured her with a Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

The lecture on Wednesday 7 November will start at 17:30 in the Kovsie Church.

The public is welcome to attend. Please RSVP to Rochelle Ferreira on 051 401 9808 or FerreiraR1@ufs.ac.za.
 

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