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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

Prof Laura Mulvey – intellectual path-breaker in international film industry
2014-07-10

Prof Laura Mulvey – currently a professor at Film and Media Studies at Birkbeck, University of London, recently visited the Bloemfontein Campus. As a tribute to her achievements, the UFS bestowed an Honorary Doctorate on her during our 2014 Winter Graduation Ceremony. In addition, two events were scheduled during which the public could get to know Prof Mulvey and her films better.

Prof Mulvey is a hugely influential figure in the international arena of film and visual media. She is globally recognised as an eminent feminist film scholar and worked at the British Film Institute for many years. During the 1970s and ‘80s she exploded onto the scene as a prominent avant-garde filmmaker.

During her visit, she joined Prof Annie van den Oever (University of Groningen) in two discussions of films – which included some of her most renowned film material.

Under the Skin of the City (Iran, 2001), directed by Rakhshan Bani-E'temad, was screened in full on Thursday 3 July 2014. The film centres on the trials and tribulations faced by an Iranian family. This award-winning film resonated with the South Africans present because of the social issues it addresses. A thought-provoking discussion followed between Profs Mulvey, Van den Oever and the audience – delving deeper into the mechanisms of the film.

On Saturday 5 July 2014, Prof Van den Oever and Prof Mulvey had another discussion – this time round the audience was treated to snippets from Prof Mulvey’s prominent films.

Her work has impacted the cultural and social sciences and not only does her critical analysis scrutinise issues of gender, but also that of race and ethnicity.

Described as ‘a key intellectual path-breaker’, Prof Mulvey’s visit left a trail of inspiration throughout our Kovsie community.

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