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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

Out@Kovsies addresses LBTI concerns on campus
2015-02-27

A new office, which will in future be concerned with the human rights issues of the LGBTI community on our campuses, was recently established on our Bloemfontein Campus. Out@Kovsies seeks to address issues of the LGBTI community.
Photo: René-Jean van der Berg

A new office, which will in future be concerned with the human rights issues of the LGBTI community on the campuses of the University of the Free State (UFS), was recently established on the Bloemfontein Campus.

This office, Out@Kovsies, is a collaborative initiative between the Centre for Health and Wellness and the Human Rights Desk of the UFS’s Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice. They also enjoy the support of the non-governmental organisation Networking Aids Community of South Africa (Nacosa).

“There is a great need on our campus for an environment or office where the Kovsie LGBTI community can feel safe and, for various reasons, can call on for help,” says Zanele Thela, coordinator of the LGBTI programme.

Thela says their first goal is to establish a balanced and LGBTI-friendly environment on the UFS campuses through capacity building, dialogue and the programmes which will be presented throughout the year.

The office provides services to both students and staff.

“The Centre for Health and Wellness and Nacosa will work closely together to resolve social concerns on LGBTI issues,” says Thela.

For more information about Out@Kovsies and their services, contact Ms Zanele Thela at ThelaZ@ufs.ac.za

 

 

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