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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

Faculty of Health Sciences celebrates various successes
2015-01-12

The Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Free State achieved a number of successes in the course of 2014. This included awards, presentations and keynote addresses at conferences, as well as publications in various journals.

Some of the highlights are:

• Dr Madelein Koning from the Department of Internal Medicine received the Vice-Chancellor’s award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning during November. Prof Alan St Claire Gibson said the award is richly deserved, given Dr Koning’s many years of high-quality teaching and input to particularly the fifth-year MB ChB students.

• Prof Schalk Wentzel, Head of the Department of Urology, was elected President of the South African College of Urology, and Prof Alicia Sherriff from the Department of Oncology was elected President of the South African College of Oncology.  Prof William Rae was appointed to the College of Radiologists. These are the highest and most prestigious offices an academic clinician can hold or be elected to in the specialty of their choice. Prof Rae also published an article in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. 

• Prof Nats Mofolo, Head of the Department of Family Medicine, gave a keynote address at the Free State Health Indaba hosted by the Free State Department of Health.

• Dr Holtzhausen from the Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine chaired and delivered a presentation at the 6th Clinical Sport and Exercise Medicine Conference of SA held in Cape Town from 22 to 24 October 2014. He was also the convener of the conference. His presentation was titled ‘Safer exercise in apparently healthy individuals and those with possible risk factors for chronic disease and injury’.

 

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