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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

History book available from UFS Marketing
2007-02-01

The university’s history book, "From Grey to Gold", is available from UFS Marketing.

The book will soon be delivered to persons who have ordered copies of the book. UFS Marketing is in the process of distributing the books.

However, persons are also welcome to collect the book from Rinda Duraan or Ronél Meyer at the offices of UFS Marketing in the Wekkie Saayman Building.  

Additional copies in Afrikaans or English are also available from UFS Marketing at R380 per copy. Please contact Ronél Meyer at X2150 or Rinda Duraan at X2143 for inquiries.

A proud 100 years

The history of the University of the Free State is one of faith, hope, struggle and determination. In the course of a century, and from a poor Free State community, the UFS has developed into a strong and mature university. This book, richly illustrated with photographs, tells its fascinating story, including:

  • Its establishment
  • The role of the founding fathers
  • Black pioneers of transformation
  • The establishment and development of academic departments and faculties; student numbers
  • Pioneers and trends in research; academic entrepreneurs
  • Campus issues; campus politics
  • The UFS’s place in socio-political changes
  • Student life: Rag, intervarsity and cheerleaders; sport and Springboks; hostel traditions
  • The admission of black students; anguish about race, language and culture
  • The story of “digs” and hostels, of Tin Town and the “Vlei”, Darkest Africa and the Red Square
  • The development of the campus, of the Tickey and the Banana
  • Of hardships in the founding years, good times and turn-around strategies
  • Community service and regional involvement and a new focus on the African continent.

Some interesting reading:

  • More than 500 pages
  • Hundreds of photographs
  • Appendices on office-bearers; awards and achievements (including national sporting colours)
  • A time-line situating the UFS’s history in the context of the history of the Free State, of South Africa and of the world

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