The University of the Free State says its decision to cancel the local release of the Gangster State by author Pieter-Louis Myburgh was prompted by risk and threat assessments.
UFS spokesperson Lacea Loader says that this was to ensure the protection of students, staff and infrastructure.
Loader was responding to a statement by the publishers of Gangster State – Penguin Random House South Africa that they are stunned that the university cancelled the event.
“All risk and threat assessments are based on the evaluation of all information collected in respect of the specific event, as well as on environmental scanning in the community the university operates in. The assessment on the discussion of Gangster State, the book by Pieter-Louis Myburgh, was based on a similar exercise that indicates that the event could be disrupted, putting the UFS, its staff, and students at risk.”
“Although the event has been postponed to the second semester of this year, the university emphasizes its commitment to upholding freedom of expression and its need to assess the latter within a specific context,” added Loader.
The controversial book makes allegations of corruption against African National Congress (ANC) Secretary General Ace Magashule and others.