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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

Winter Graduation spreads a glow of pride
2014-07-03

 

The 2014 Winter Graduation spread a glow of pride across our Bloemfontein Campus.

During the first session on Wednesday 2 July, the School of Open Learning conferred 612 diplomas and certificates.

Hazel Motsoeneng, District Director of Motheo in the Department of Education in the Free State, offered a powerful message to the graduates. “Teaching today is about reaching learners. The world of the future will not be changed because of the money you made, or the car you drove. The world of the future will be changed because you touched a child’s life.”

She reminded the graduates that “teaching is still a labour of love.”

Stafford Masie, the former general manager of Google South Africa, addressed 473 graduands on day two of the graduation ceremony.

“If you want to grow as an individual, realise that there are more people outside your immediate environment than inside that can help make you a better person. Take the opportunity and get exposed,” Masie said.

He added a few bits of advice:
• Be unique, don’t just follow others’ creations.
• The focus is no longer on me, me, me, but on we, we, we.
• You have the opportunity and the skills set. Don't just do things, do great things.
• True innovation happens when people are having fun.
• Work on stuff that really matters.

Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS, conveyed a special message to the graduates. “Getting a higher degree comes with high expectations of who you are and how you conduct yourself. A higher degree at Kovsies means that you are a better person, not only because you received a qualification, but also because of your human capacity to love and embrace.” 




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