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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

Nine Kovsie students awarded NAC bursaries
2015-02-19

The UFS is proud to announce that nine of our Drama and Theatre Arts undergraduate students have been awarded National Arts Council (NAC) bursaries for their studies in 2015.

From the left in the photograph, these students are:

• Mbuyiselo Nqodi (first year)
• Marike Jonker (second year)
• Monique de Klerk (second year)
• Aldine van der Merwe (third year)
• Kado Cloete (third year)
• Rondo Mpiti (third year)
• Magnus McPhail (third year)
• Olivia Wyngaard (third year)
• Marica Laing (second year)

This year the amount awarded for the NAC busaries is R70 000.

Since 2005, the NAC has given bursaries to the UFS for the last 10 years. The amount varies from year to year.

“The number of undergraduate students who benefit varies depending on the amount allocated each year,” said Prof Nico Luwes, Head of the Drama and Theatre Arts Department at the UFS.

“Some years, the NAC prescribes how many students will be awarded a bursary and provides a profile of gender and academic prerequisites. Other years, such as the present one, there is no prescription and the UFS was able to cater for the applications submitted, and the number of students who will benefit, within the amount awarded. Normally, it is divided between successful candidates.”

The criteria according to which NAC bursaries are awarded to students every year include academic merit and, of course, their financial situation.”

“The full information of applicants from the Department of Drama and Theatre Arts is checked by the selection committee – all permanent members of staff in the department. The names are then sent to the NAC for approval.
UFS Finances ensures further that the bursary money is paid into the student’s class fees account. During the year and at the end, I report to the NAC on the progress shown by bursary holders. This, in turn, contributes to the excellent co-operation with the NAC so that the following year’s application is then generally successful,” says Luwes.

Bursary monies cover mainly registration and class fees for some or all modules, depending on the amount awarded.

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