How Didn't They Know?

It is simply impossible for public figures to fake credentials without the active or passive connivance of some people who know that they are living a lie. In this regard, Ellen Tshabalala is gone from the SABC, but the question remains: how did the Presidency make this appointment without picking up that she was an impostor? A few scenarios present themselves to explain this.

Pretoria News - Letter to the Editor

29 December 2014

It is simply impossible for public figures to fake credentials without the active or passive connivance of some people who know that they are living a lie.


In this regard, Ellen Tshabalala is gone from the SABC, but the question remains: how did the Presidency make this appointment without picking up that she was an impostor? A few scenarios present themselves to explain this.The obvious one is that no vetting of her credentials was done, with her name just being presented to the president, which would be a very serious matter. Making the discovery is not a difficult exercise, because Tshabalala did not even need to be requested to present her certificates.


The Presidency just had to discretely call Unisa and find out. This is done every day by organisations that jealously protect their integrity, that contact the universities which candidates for positions claim they have graduated from, when they appoint senior staff. Alternatively, a vetting committee would have discovered that she was faking her credentials.


Two developments could have resulted from this discovery Either, for what would clearly be an untenable reason, the president was not informed and he innocently made the appointment. Or most seriously, the president was advised of this danger and just went ahead and appointed her. Either way, society still needs a clear explanation as to what really happened that the country was dragged through such a mess.The same applies to Pallo Jordan. It is downright inconceivable that nobody within the ANC, his friends, family, colleagues and other people close to him did not know all these decades that he was living a lie. He could not out of the blue have emerged calling himself a doctor, like he did, and fooled all these people. Some had to have known the truth.


They either kept quiet or told him to stop and he refused or ignored them. Society should be eternally grateful to those who blew the whistle on Tsha­balala and Jordan, but those who knew the truth and kept quiet should forever be condemned.

Dr Thabisi Hoeane Senior lecturer, head of international politics, Unisa

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