12 August 2014

South Africa: Jordan Resigns

Pallo Jordan has resigned from Parliament and apologised to the ruling party after reports that his qualifications are false, secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Monday.

Jordan had also offered to resign from the national executive committee (NEC) of the ANC and from the ANC.

"True to his character, he has apologised to the ANC, its membership and South Africa as a whole," Mantashe said in a statement.

"A man of comrade Pallo Jordan's intellect does not need to perpetuate deceit; he must be given time to deal with his guilt. As the ANC, we have accepted his public apology; to apologise was not an action of the faint-hearted."

Mantashe said the African National Congress received a detailed explanation from Jordan on Monday on claims that his qualifications were false.

The ANC national officials had accepted his resignation from Parliament, but his resignation from membership of the NEC and the ANC have been referred to the structures of the organisation, he said.

The Sunday Times reported last week that no evidence could be found that Jordan, who goes by the title 'Dr' has ever had an honorary doctorate bestowed on him.

Jordan has no degrees or diplomas from the University of Wisconsin-Madison or the London School of Economics (LSE), the two institutions cited on his CV.

He has no formal tertiary academic qualifications whatsoever, the publication reported.

Earlier, the party's Chief Whip in Parliament Stone Sizani said that with or without academic qualifications Jordan remains a source of pride for the party.

"He is one of the movement's greatest products, a public intellectual par excellence and a consummate historian," Sizani said in a statement.

"While academic achievements are important, they can never truly define one's wisdom, intelligence or intellectual depth."

He said reports that Jordan, an African National Congress MP and stalwart, did not have the academic qualifications he has long been associated with was a "publicity gimmick".

There was no violation of parliamentary ethics code or misrepresentation, Sizani said.

On Sunday, the Sunday Times reported that Jordan had not been heard from since its earlier report and was dumped this week as a Business Day columnist because he failed to submit his weekly column for the publication.

Close friends, comrades and neighbours have reportedly also not seen or heard from Jordan. Some said they were worried.

The ANC on Sunday could not immediately shed light on his whereabouts.

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