22 August, 2014

What's in a title?

By Siyamtanda Capa

According to his CV-  Dr Zwelidinga Pallo Jordan studied at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and attended the London school of Economics, perhaps the intellectual and ANC stalwart believed it himself , however a single Sunday Times article took it all away from him.

Pallo Jordan- the daily dispatch online
The article which revealed that Pallo Jordan did not possess a Doctorate and in fact had no formal qualification came as a shock to many and social media was abuzz. It is no doubt that many lost a great deal of respect for him and called him a liar. A respectable man was brutally exposed and South Africans watched as the reputation of a man who contributed greatly to the struggle disappeared.

Under the title Mr. Jordan served as the minister of environmental affairs and the minister of tourism. In Lady Grey a small town in the Eastern Cape, a school is known as “Dr Pallo Jordan Primary school” the revelation probably shocked the teachers at the school and left them with the question of where to from here?

Lying about your qualifications seems to be a trend among public figures. Other prominent people with fake qualification include:
Thandi Modise, Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces lied about studying towards a masters degree in economics and attending a leadership course at the “University of Jordan”

The late Sicelo Shiceka, former minister of cooperative governance and Traditional affairs lied about having a masters degree in Political economy from the University of Free state. SABC COO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng also lied about having a grade 12 certificate.
a cartoon by Zapiro
Pallo Jordan lied about his qualifications and got caught. We are yet to get an explanation as to why he felt the need to lie when in fact in South Africa with no formal education and qualifications one may even become president of the republic.

With everything said, one cannot forget the work that Pallo Jordan has written and his analysis on South African politics. If a man without a doctorate and any formal qualification can write the works that this man has written and be a man of valued opinion, what then is in a title?

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