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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

Kovsie conquers Googlefest Zurich pitching competition
2014-07-29

  

Marlize Holtzhauzen
Photo: Supplied

Marlize Holtzhauzen, a final-year Business Management and Leadership student at the UFS Business School, was recently awarded the 1st prize at the Google pitching competition in Zurich, Switzerland.

Holtzhauzen’s winning entry, Rapid Response, is a mobile application for use in emergency situations. In an emergency the application allows the phone to be used as a panic button which contacts emergency services and notifies the family of the user. The app, co-founded by Gerrit Cloete, was selected as one of 10 South African technology start-ups. These were part of the Swiss South African Business Development Programme under the auspices of the Swiss South African Joint Research Programme.

Since its launch on 1 July 2014, the Rapid Response app has had over 400 downloads and is available on app stores. It has also stirred interest in Europe and the USA and is already in use in Southern and East Africa. Holtzhauzen says good team work and a great product will ensure the success of this start-up in the future.

Other South African entries included Drew van der Riet from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN): Advanced Prosthetics Engineering. Gavin Jones of the University of Cape Town (UCT) also entered. He is a Technology Commercialisation practitioner candidate working on the commercialisation of a UCT innovation for the rehabilitation of stroke patients.

For more information contact Marlize on +27(0)83 3270 177 or visit the website www.rapidresponse.co.za .


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