Pallo Jordan and his PhD still missing

Johannesburg - ANC stalwart Pallo Jordan appears to have gone to ground following revelations that he does not hold a PhD as claimed on his CV.

According to the Sunday Times, Jordan, who has long gone by the title "Dr", is nowhere to be found following revelations last Sunday that he does not hold any degree.

The newspaper reports that Business Day has also dropped him as a columnist after he failed to meet his deadline and that close friends, comrades and neighbours have not seen nor heard from him these past few days.

No comment from ANC

When asked by the newspaper to respond, ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said the party was not ready to comment.

News of Jordan's fake qualifications broke last weekend when the Sunday Times reported that no evidence could be found that Jordan had any degrees despite his CV claiming he has degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the London School of Economics (LSE).

The office of the registrar at LSE told the publication: "We can find no record of Zwelidinga Pallo Jordan having been awarded a PhD from the school."

The newspaper said it had tried to get Jordan to confirm his qualifications but to no avail.

The office of the student services registrar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison confirmed that Jordan did study there, but he obtained only 97 credits between 16 September 1963 and 24 February 1964 and never completed his degree, according to the newspaper.

Jordan is a former minister of arts and culture, minister of environmental affairs, and minister of posts, telecommunications and broadcasting.

Mixed reactions to Jordan claims

Following last week's report questioning Jordan's qualifications, a number of prominent South Africans have come out in support of him. According to a report on Politicsweb, former Gauteng Education MEC Professor Mary Metcalfe came to his defence on Facebook, citing the fact that CVs sometimes contain abbreviated information. She also praised the intellectual contribution made by Jordan: "Pallo performs way ahead of the pack. It should not be the case that we value him (and others in a similar position) less because of the absence of formal qualifications."

Politicsweb also quoted Professor Steven Friedman, director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy at the University of Johannesburg as having said on Facebook that formal qualifications are not necessarily a good test of a person's intellectual abilities.

Jordan is known to be outspoken, a quality that may have contributed to his being removed from his role as a cabinet minister in 1998. According to the Christian Science Monitor, Jordan allegedly objected to policies around the use of the public broadcaster, citing the importance of press freedom from government interference.