Pallo Jordan

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Zweledinga Pallo Jordan
Pallo Jordan.jpg
Minister of Arts and Culture
In office
Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism
In office
Preceded byDawie de Villiers
Succeeded byValli Moosa
Minister of Communications, Telecommunications and Postal Services.
In office
Personal details
Zweledinga Pallo Jordan

(1942-05-22) 22 May 1942 (age 79)
Kroonstad, Free State
CitizenshipSouth African
Political partyAfrican National Congress
ParentsArchibald Campbell Jordan
Phyllis Ntantala-Jordan

Zweledinga Pallo Jordan (born 22 May 1942) is a South African politician. He was a member of the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress, and was a cabinet minister from 1994 until 2009.

Early life[edit]

Jordan is the son of the academics Archibald Campbell Jordan and Phyllis Ntantala-Jordan. Like his parents, Jordan was active in the Non-European Unity Movement against apartheid. He then joined the ANC and went into exile, studying in Britain and the United States.[1]

Political career[edit]

Jordan worked for the ANC in London and in African states. In 1982 he narrowly escaped the detonation of the letter bomb which the apartheid regime had sent to Ruth First and killed her.[2]

In 1985, he was elected to the ANC's National Executive Committee (NEC). He served as administrative secretary of the NEC Secretariat (1985–1988), on the NEC's Strategy and Tactics Committee as convenor (1985–1989), on the NEC's sub-committee on negotiations and the NEC's sub-committee on Constitutional Guidelines and as the Director of Information and Publicity (1989).[3]

Jordan returned to South Africa after the unbanning of the ANC in 1990. Having already participated in the 1987 negotiations in Senegal, he was also a negotiator in the CODESA.[2]

In 1994, he was elected to be a Member of Parliament in the National Assembly for the ANC. He became Minister of Posts, Telecommunications, and Broadcasting (1994–1996) and subsequently Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (1996–1999).

From 1999 to 2004, he served as Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the National Assembly. After the 2004 National Elections, Jordan was appointed Minister of Arts and Culture by President Thabo Mbeki, a post he held from April 2004 to May 2009.[1]

In the Eastern Cape Province town of Lady Grey, a school was named after Jordan, called the "Dr Pallo Jordan Primary School".[4]

2009 Scandal[edit]

In 2009 Jordan was forced to step down as Minister of Arts and Culture after it was discovered that he lied about his academic record. He studied at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in the United States and at the London School of Economics (LSE). His official biographies, as well as his official CV, claimed that he received a PhD and he has presented himself under the title Dr for numerous years, but a newspaper investigation revealed that he did not complete his degree at Wisconsin–Madison.[5][6] On 11 August 2014, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe announced that Jordan had resigned from Parliament and apologised to the ruling party after reports that his qualifications were false.[7] The ANC statement also revealed that Jordan had resigned from the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ANC and from the ANC.[7] At the same time, Jordan was fired from his position as a Business Day columnist because he failed to submit his weekly column for the publication.[6] The ANC's Chief Whip in Parliament Stone Sizani said that with or without academic qualifications Jordan remains a source of pride for the party.[7] [8]


  1. ^ a b Zweledinga Pallo Jordan, South African History Online
  2. ^ a b Miracle Rising: South Africa, History Channel
  3. ^ Pallo Zweledinga Jordan, South African Politician, Who's Who SA
  4. ^ Dr Pallo Jordan Primary School,; accessed 28 October 2015.
  5. ^ Pallo Jordan not a doctor - claim, News24, 4 August 2014
  6. ^ a b Pallo Jordan's phantom doctorate, Times Live, 4 August 2014
  7. ^ a b c Shamed, Pallo Jordan resigns, Independent Online, 11 August 2014
  8. ^ "'Dr' Pallo Jordan: Why I did it".

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Welgemoed, P.J.
Minister of Communications, Telecommunications and Postal Services.
Succeeded by
Jay Naidoo
Preceded by
Dawie de Villiers
Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism
Succeeded by
Valli Moosa
Preceded by
Ben Ngubane
as Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology
Minister of Arts and Culture
29 April 2004–10 May 2009
Succeeded by
Lulama Xingwana