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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

Rag spreads the spirit of Ubuntu in Dinaweng informal settlement
2015-08-25

 

The Rag Committee teamed up with Prowess to create the first pop-up Street Store in Bloemfontein, as part of the Ubuntu Community Store Project. On 22 August 2015, the residents of Dinaweng had the opportunity to get hold of new and second-hand clothing free of charge. Soup and bread were also served to the children and the elders of the area, which is all too familiar to the media for its high unemployment, crime, and prostitution rates.

How do clothes represent Ubuntu?

From Tubatsi Moloi’s perspective, this is the team’s way of demonstrating that Ubuntu does not exist merely as a philosophy. The Rag Committee shows compassion to communities that lack resources essential to leading a dignified life.

“Ubuntu basically means uniting with the community by giving back and also thinking for those who are in need,” says the RAG Committee Executive.

Prowess, a Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) run by Kovsie students, initiated the concept which targets homeless and needy individuals unable to purchase clothing. Students from all 26 Kovsie residences and personnel have since supported the initiative by donating to the inaugural Street Store through representatives of Rag in residences.

The Street Store will continue to empower impoverished communities within the Mangaung Metro, and champion these human projects in collaboration with external stakeholders.
“We will also be working with Twee-Toring Church, although it has not yet been confirmed when we will pay them a visit,” said Tubatsi.

Providing basic needs such as clothing has the power to reinstate the dignity of people. Rag and Prowess have taken it upon themselves to practice the ideals of Ubuntu in an attempt to ensure that the less fortunate lead dignified lives.

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