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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

Center for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS) produces 22 graduates
2016-04-26

Description: Lutho Xintolo and mom Tags: Lutho Xintolo and mom

Lutho Xintolo (right) is one of the Centre for Universal Access and Disability Support 2016 graduates. She is currently pursuing her Honours in Psychology.
Photo: Supplied

Once again, the University of the Free State (UFS) hosted a successful series of graduations from 12-15 April 2016 where 3681 students were conferred qualifications at the Bloemfontein Campus. Among those graduating were 22 students who are affiliated with the university’s Center for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS).

Some of these students included Zingisa Ngwenya, who is currently busy with her second degree; Grant Lombaard, Zanele Morerwa, and Lutho Xintolo, all of whom are pursuing their Honours degrees. Louzanne Coetzee, a visually-impaired international champion athlete, was awarded a Communication: Corporate Marketing Honours degree this autumn. “We have five athletes and a cyclist with disabilities, amongst our students who are of world-class standard,” said Martie Miranda, Head of the Center.

The Center assists students to gain access to study courses, buildings, and lecture venues, learning material such as Braille, audio, enlarged print, and E-text, computer facilities with assistive technology and software and adapted hardware, and a specialised examination and test venue for alternative test and exam procedures,” Miranda added.

Students with disabilities who enrol with CUADS receive support according to their individual needs from registration through to graduation.  “During this process we identify challenges experienced in their administrative, academic, support, student life, and physical environments, and then address these challenges,” Miranda said.

Support provided by the Center includes amanuenses and extra time during tests and exams according to the student’s specific needs, (as determined through evaluation by the Extra Time Panel), together with Student Counselling and Development, academic tutors provided by the New Academic Tutor programme in collaboration with the UFS Centre for Teaching and Learning, and Sign Language interpreters or lip-speakers as well as real-time captioning.

Students with specific learning difficulties, mobility, visual, or hearing impairments, psychological, or other chronic conditions that might have a disabling effect on them, as well as those with temporary impairments, are fully supported by the CUADS. The Center strives to ensure that students achieve their full potential throughout their journey with our university.

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