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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

Four Kovsies play in the Chile/Belgium series
2015-02-10

Nicole Walraven, Lethabo Maebana (SRC: Media and Marketing), Tanya Britz, Kerry-beth Berry (SRC: Day- and Commuting Students), Cornelle Botha, Liné Malan, and Dominique De Gouveia (SRC: Sport)

Tanya Britz, Nicole Walraven, Cormelle Botha, and Liné Malan turned out for the Protea hockey team in the two series against Chile and Belgium in Cape Town from 22 January to 2 February.

Britz has been playing for the senior Protea team since her matric year at Sentraal High School, but for Walraven, Botha, and Malan this series marked their debut for the senior national hockey team. The series against Chile and Belgium both ended in draws for the Protea women’s team.

Shortly before the end of the series against Belgium, the three Kovsies making their debut for the senior national hockey team had the following to say to the Volksblad:

“It was unbelievably inspiring to stand next to these incredible players wearing the Green and Gold and to sing the national anthem in front of a home crowd. It was worth all the hard work and dedication. The support and acceptance of my team mates helped calm my nerves when the whistle blew. It was such an honour – it still feels like a dream. (Nicole Walraven)

“It is an indescribable feeling, something that I dreamt about for years. The nerves niggled before the game, but it was such a huge privilege and honour to play in the Protea colours.” (Cornelle Botha)

“It’s difficult to describe the feeling a person experiences when you sing the national anthem wearing the Green and Gold. It was a feeling of pride; the accompanying excitement felt as if I had a thousand butterflies in my stomach. It’s a moment I shall never forget and a dream come true.” (Liné Malan)

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