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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

KovsieSport celebrates three varsity tournaments' titles
2015-04-21

Both staff and students celebrated the Shimlas, KovsieTennis, and KovsieNetball’s achievements.
Photos: Hannes Pieterse

 

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In this week of graduation ceremonies, the University of the Free State had more than its academic achievements to celebrate. The Shimlas’ brilliant triumph in the Varsity Cup as well as the achievements by KovsieTennis and Kovsie Netball was celebrated at a colourful event on the Bloemfontein Campus.

At the celebrations, which were well supported by the campus community, the Vice-Chancellor and Rector, Prof Jonathan Jansen, congratulated all three teams on their outstanding achievements. Not only did the Shimlas walk off with the Varsity Cup, they also won every game they played. AJ Coertzen, the Shimlas’ captain, said: “Although we were well prepared and physically fit, the fact that we played for one another contributed much to our success. As a team, we have grown from friends to brothers.”

KovsieTennis was congratulated on wearing the USSA tennis crown for the fourth consecutive year. In addition, they have the following triumphs to their name: 2007 – SASSU (South African Students Sports Union) (Ladies); 2008 – USSA (University Sport South Africa) (Ladies) and 2009 USSA (Men). Duke Munroe, captain of the KovsieTennis team took the opportunity to thank the team personnel. He believes that hard work behind the scenes by the coach, Marnus Kleinhans, and the team manager, Janine de Kock, contributed greatly to the team’s success.

KovsieNetball was also praised for their successes. In 2014, under the captaincy of Karla Mostert, they won gold at the Varsity Netball championships. They also won the National Premier League. The UFS is also proud of its netball players in various national teams: SA Under 19-23, the Protea groups, and the SA University team.

At the celebrations, Karla said: “The environment and the people you surround yourself with dictate how easily you achieve success. Our achievements and successes are evidence of the quality of the coaches, supporters, and facilities available to us.

After the event on the Red Square, the teams made an appearance in the Callie Human Centre, where they were enthusiastically congratulated by graduands, their families and the university management. Dr Khotso Mokhele, Chancellor of the UFS, also praised the teams for their achievements. “You are a team without individual stars. That is the sort of team I want to be part of.”

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