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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

UFS pays tribute to Nadine Gordimer
2014-07-15

 
Nadine Gordimer
Photo: Jullian Edelstein
The staff and students of the University of the Free State (UFS) are greatly saddened by the news of Nadine Gordimer’s passing. We extend our deepest condolences and heart-felt sympathy to Ms Gordimer’s family, friends and loved ones.

Nadine Gordimer – renowned South African author, political activist and recipient of the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature – passed away on Sunday evening, 13 July 2014 at the age of 90.

The university community had the great privilege of Ms Gordimer delivering the Inaugural Reconciliation Lecture on our Bloemfontein Campus on 7 November 2012. Lauded as one of the literary world’s most powerful voices against apartheid, Ms Gordimer hailed the university for doing things differently from what has been done in the past.

In reference to the transformation underway at the university, Ms Gordimer observed in the Annual Reconciliation Lecture that “The University of the Free State has begun a national culture in so many ways.”

The legacy of Nadine Gordimer will forever remain in the memory of the UFS, its staff and students.


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