Pallo Jordan resigning from Parliament after reports that his qualifications are false was a show of humility, the African National Congress Youth League said on Monday.
“He remains our comrade. Our teacher and our mentor, regardless of his human defects,” the ANCYL said in a statement.
“As the ANC Youth League, we always took his contribution to any and all discussions seriously and we shall continue to do so. For when we engage as comrades we do not engage with the qualifications of the speaker or presenter, but with the content presented or advanced.”
The ANCYL said it would engage its structures in tertiary institutions to start a process of ensuring that South African universities conferred honorary doctorates on Jordan for his “immense contribution” in the promotion of literary work and the development of democracy.
ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Monday that Jordan had resigned from Parliament and apologised to the ruling party.
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 ANC 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.
The ANCYL said it appreciated that Jordan explained himself to the ANC leadership and welcomed his resignation from Parliament.
Jordan should, however, remain a member of the ruling party and serve in the ANC NEC, it said.
“We are of the firm view that he is an integral part of the ANC and he should not be permitted to age outside of what he has been all his life,” it said. - Sapa