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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

Kovsies reaped the badminton medals
2006-07-07

STUDENTS of the University of the Free State reaped the badminton medals during the 4th FASU Games (organised every two years by the African University Sports Federation) currently held in the City of Tshwane.  Nearly 2000 students from about 22 countries participate in the 11 designated sports, which are, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Chess, Football, Judo, Karate, Netball, Table Tennis, Tennis, and Volleyball.  This makes FASU Games the second largest international athletic event in the continent after the All Africa Games.  The FASU Games is one of the most important
international multi-sports gatherings in the continent.

Chris Dednam, Olympic player of Kovsies, earned a hat-trick of three individual gold medals.  His team mates, Raymond Ronne (one gold and two silver) and Liansa Coetzee (one gold and two bronze) supported him well to show that the continent has no better badminton players than Kovsies.  Some of the Kovsies' strongest players have actually withdrawn from the games because students had to finance themselves.

The South African (SASSU) badminton team also conquered gold in the team competition.  They made a clean sweep with victories of 5-0 over the students of respectively Ghana, Uganda en Zambia.

Results of the finals in the individual badminton championships:
Men's-singles - Chris Dednam (SASSU) beat Raymond Ronne (SASSU) 21-8, 21-7; Women's-singles - Kerry-Lee Harrington (SASSU) b Christina English (SASSU) 21-14, 15-21, 21-18; Men's-doubles - Chris Dednam/Raymond Ronne (SASSU) b André van Schalkwyk/Benjamin Smith (SASSU) 21-8, 21-6; Women's-doubles - Liansa Coetzee/Sarah Rice (SASSU) b Kerry-Lee Harrington/Christina English (SASSU) 21-19, 12-21, 22-20; Mixed doubles - Chris Dednam/Christina English (SASSU) b Raymond Ronne/Kerry-Lee Harrington (SASSU) 24-22, 21-11.

       Chris Dednam

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