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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

Dare we hope?
2014-07-01

 
Prof Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela has done it again. She has succeeded in writing yet another book that critics herald as “lucid and compelling”, “of striking moral intelligence” and “as fresh as ever.” Her book, Dare we Hope? Facing our Past to find a New Future, rekindles our hope as South Africans and will be released on 7 July 2014.

In this book, Prof Gobodo-Madikizela explores what she calls the “unfinished business,” Afrikaner rage, why apologies are not enough, and the crisis of moral leadership in politics. Yet, in the face of all this, she shows the way to healing a wounded South African nation.

Prof Gobodo-Madikizela is a Senior Research Professor in Trauma, Forgiveness and Reconciliation Studies at the UFS. Her research has made huge inroads into the reparative elements of victims-perpetrator dialogue in the aftermath of mass trauma and violence. She has served on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and spent an extended period at Harvard University.

Her latest book follows on her hugely-successful title, A Human Being Died that Night: A South African Story of Forgiveness. For that book, she won the Alan Paton Award in South Africa, and the prestigious Christopher Award in the United States.


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