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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

Odeion String Quartet nominated for KykNet Fiesta Award
2015-02-04

The members are, from the left: Jeanne-Louise Moolman; Sharon de Kock; Samson Diamond; and Anmari van der Westhuizen.
Photo: Supplied

The Odeion String Quartet at the University of the Free State has a chance of winning a KykNet Fiesta award for the ‘Best Achievement in Classical Music’.

The Odeion String Quartet was nominated for this category in January and the winners will be announced at a swanky gala night in Sea Point, Cape Town, on 5 March 2015. Other artists nominated in the same category, include Magdalena Minnaar (singer), Elizabeth Frandsen (singer) and the composer, Braam du Toit.

The latter were all part of the Poskantoor opera production at Aardklop. Artists are nominated on the basis of successful and award-winning performances at national arts festivals.

During the 2014 KKNK, the Odeion String Quartet won a Kanna award “for the best Classical Music production, Homage, where we honoured local classical composers in the light of South Africa’s 20-year celebrations,” says Prof Anmari van der Westhuizen Joubert of the Odeion String Quartet.

“We were requested to pay homage to a variety of composers in the production, namely Mokala Koapeng; Pieter de Villiers; Allan Stephenson and Hendrik Hofmeyr. The guest artist at the festival was the singer Zanne Stapelberg.”

Another event where the Odeion String Quartet was honoured, was last year’s Vryfees. They received the award as Best Classical Debut Artist for their production Bits and Pieces. The quartet also received the UFS Alumni Ambassador award last year.

 

For more information or enquiries contact news@ufs.ac.za

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