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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 discontinues one Masters programme
2006-07-26

As from next year, the University of the Free State (UFS) will no longer offer one of its specialist master’s degrees in education – the M Ed in Education Management.

 The other six M Ed programmes that are currently being offered at the UFS will continue as normal.

 The decision to discontinue one of the M Ed programmes follows a national review of M Ed programmes in Educational Management and Leadership by the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) of the Council on Higher Education (CHE).

 Of the 23 tertiary institutions whose M Ed programmes in Educational Management and Leadership were reviewed by the HEQC, only 7 received full accreditation.   

 “The findings of the HEQC affect only one of our M Ed degree programmes, namely the M Ed in Educational Management,” said Prof Magda Fourie, Vice-Rector: Academic Planning at the UFS

 “We will be paying full attention to the findings of the HEQC with a view to correcting some of the shortcomings that have been identified by the HEQC and will consider submitting a reviewed proposal for such a qualification in two years time,” she said.

 According to Prof Fourie, the programme currently has 30 students enrolled.  “These students – spread across their first and second years of the degree programme – will be allowed to complete their studies with the full support of the UFS and the School of Education,” said Prof Fourie.

 “The qualification that has been awarded to students who have already completed their studies for this specific M Ed in Education Management degree programme remains a valid qualification and is not affected by the HEQC review,” said Prof Fourie.

 She said the UFS welcomed the efforts of the HEQC to ensure that all academic programmes offered by higher education institutions meet certain standards.

“One of the primary problem areas in the M Ed in Educational Management offered by the UFS identified by the HEQC, was that the programme is too practice orientated and must be more theoretical to comply with the academic requirements of a master’s degree.  This was a result of the fact that the programme was initially compiled in consultation with principals and the provincial Department of Education to address their needs,” said Prof Fourie.

“The UFS will in the mean time offer an advanced certificate in Educational Management and Leadership from next year.  This is a new course that will stretch over a period of two years and will ensure that we can still address the needs of teachers and principals,” said Prof Fourie.

 “The UFS remains committed to providing top quality degree programmes in all its six faculties and will continue to work with the HEQC in ensuring that this actually happens,” said Prof Fourie.

Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Media Representative
Tel:   (051) 401-2584
Cell:  083 645 2454
E-mail:  loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za 
25 July 2006

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