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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

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu visiting the UFS once again
2012-07-13

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu
13 July 2012

The University of the Free State (UFS) will once again be honoured by the presence of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu on Wednesday 18 July 2012.

Dr Tutu will be speaking at our Bloemfontein Campus for the first session of a two-day “In Conversation With …”event that is part of the Global Leadership Summit currently being held on the campus.

This sessions starts at 09:30 at the Centenary Complex. The media is invited to attend this session.

Dr Tutu will be in dialogue with Prof. Mark Solms, Head of the Department of Psychology at the University of Cape Town and owner of the Solms-Delta Wine Estate in Franschhoek.

The theme for this conversation, facilitated by Prof. Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, will be “Living Reconciliation: Winds of Change in Franschhoek and Transformation at Solms-Delta Wine Estate”. This is based on the transformation introduced by Solms on his farm in the Franschhoek Valley.

Prof. Gobodo-Madikizela is a Senior Research Professor on trauma, forgiveness and reconciliation at the UFS.

As owner of Solms-Delta Wine Estate in Franschhoek, Prof. Solms led an initiative to transform the lives of farm workers on the estate through the Wijn de Caab Trust. This initiative was extended to empower the wider community of farm dwellers when Prof. Solms co-founded the Delta Trust and the Franschhoek Valley Transformation Charter. This organisation aims to break trans-generational cycles of social division and inequality in the valley.

The dialogue with Dr Tutu will highlight the significance of these initiatives as examples of deepening the link between socially responsive scholarship, commitment to social justice and responsible citizenship in contemporary South Africa.

Last year, the UFS awarded Dr Tutu an honorary doctorate in Theology, marking a milestone in the history of the university.

At 12:30, Dr Tutu will visit the Red Square in front of the UFS Main Building, where he will join in the fundraising festivities for the university’s official Nelson Mandela Day event and deliver a short address.

Schools in the vicinity, UFS staff and students and the public are invited to take part in the R5 coin laying ceremony in front of the Main Building.

The money collected at this event will be used to benefit the No Student Hungry (NSH) campaign as well as Bloemfontein Child Welfare.
 

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