UFS postpones ‘Gangster State’ discussion amid safety concerns, but the truth is already out there
17 May 2019
The DA is concerned by the decision taken to postpone the Bloemfontein leg of the much anticipated discussion of the book titled “Gangster State: Unravelling Magashule’s web of capture” by author Pieter-Louis Myburgh which would have taken place yesterday.
The decision comes after the University of the Free State undertook a risk assessment, in terms of which it was held that the event would pose a significant safety and security risk to those concerned. "I understand that the UFS security department was threatened by a faction of the ANC or people who claim to be part of the ANC that they would disrupt the event with violence" Pieter-Louis Myburgh told News 24 on Wednesday.
While we understand the concerns of the UFS, the DA is appalled by the unwillingness of the university to stand firm on issues of academic freedom and freedom of speech in terms of our constitutional dispensation. It is unacceptable that a small group of people who seek to conceal corruption exposed in the book are able to comprise, and hold hostage, fundamental values enshrined within our Constitution. The book and the truth regarding state capture in the Free State are already in the public domain.
The DA is of the opinion, that greater lengths could have been explored towards ensuring that an event of this nature, be undertaken with minimal interference from unknown individuals. If sufficient planning had been put into organising an event, which has been known to ruffle a few feathers within the ANC, then an interdict and the appointment of additional security from law enforcement agencies, would have encapsulated an adequate safeguard towards preserving academic freedom and freedom of speech.
The people have had enough. The DA will continue to advocate for academic freedom and freedom of speech, not only to serve the citizens of South Africa, but to take the necessary action steps towards ensuring that corrupt politicians are held accountable for their transgressions, in our Free State province.
Issued by Roy Jankielsohn, DA MPL and Leader of the Official Opposition, 17 May 2019