Editorial: Talk to us, Pallo Jordan

Pallo Jordan. (Gallo)

Pallo Jordan. (Gallo)

The scandal of Pallo Jordan’s fake doctorate continues to roll on, with many seeing his lack of formal qualifications as no impediment to his intellectual eminence, even as they bemoan the fact of his fraud and lies in this respect.

Others, such as South African Communist Party leader and Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande, are lashing out at such frauds as akin to corruption and calling on the police to investigate such claims.

Jordan has since resigned as an MP and offered to leave the ANC – an offer that was, understandably, declined by the president. If he and the ANC accepted his resignation, they would have to expect more such resignations from the party by others caught with fake qualifications – names that spring immediately to mind are those of National Council of Provinces chairperson Thandi Modise and the SABC’s chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

If it were simply about lying, many in Parliament and the government would have to fall on their swords too. Jordan has been hailed for doing the decent thing and resigning; for some, this redeems him entirely. For others it is small compensation for three decades of lying. It is indeed impressive, though, in a country where very few office bearers resign even when found guilty of sins far greater than Jordan’s. To take but one instance, the Travelgate scandal – in which MPs made fraudulent travel claims – provides a long list of names.

Jordan lied, disappointing many who hold him in high esteem. He has fallen on his parliamentary sword, but is that enough? Otherwise, he has been utterly silent. To those who have supported him through this crisis and praised him for his swift resignation from Parliament, this too must be a disappointment. Jordan is valued for his intellectual contribution to South Africa’s struggle and, later, for being sometimes the only ANC bigwig to express any dissent from official positions or propaganda.

He owes his supporters some explanation. Resigning is not coming clean. We still don’t know his side of the story, his narrative of whatever happened 30 years ago, at the starting point of this saga. Come on, Pallo – talk to us.

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