5 times Public Officials Have Resigned Over Fake Degrees

Education is perceptibly recognized as an aspect of pride to humankind. It is a much-needed commodity for society to have its civility and control. World governments have reaffirmed assurances to propagate its importance to every nook and cranny. With that in mind, man’s imagination aspires to have its validation and certification. This may come under the encroachment of the dubious scheme of 419 or conmanship. Lately, Sierra Leone has been stupendously buzzing over the intimidating and pulsating revelation of fake PhDs awarded to various public members. The authenticity of these universities and their respective administrative heads were under intense scrutiny. Most importantly, it was as if all hell was about to break loose after it was revealed that the country’s Inspector General of Police and Clerk of Parliament, had fake Doctorate degrees.There has been a public outcry for them to face the sack or resign given the circumstances. Therefore, here are 5 times Public Servants have resigned over fake degrees.

1) Pallo Jordan – For some countries, unlike Sierra Leone, academic mischief and fraud are very shameful doing. It warrants stigmatization and a total forfeit of reputation and respect. You can dazzle over the unfortunate situation of Pallo Jordan. He was a South African politician and anti-apartheid activist. He served as the country’s member of parliament before encountering his sad end.In 2014, it was widely speculated through media reports that the popular “Dr. Jordan” lied about having a doctorate from the London School of Economics. A story in South Africa’s Sunday Times newspaper said that its investigation found that the former minister and statesman had no degrees or diplomas.Even though a veteran of the African National Congress (ANC), his party’s stance was absent of favor or condoning. As a result, Pallo Jordan resigned as MP.

2) Jitender Singh Torma – Delhi’s law minister Jitender Singh Tomar relinquished his position. It came after an arrest for allegedly using fake degrees to enroll as an advocate.His troubles started when a petition in the high court accused the minister of using a fake undergraduate degree to enroll as a law student. His alma mater, the Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University, backed up these claims after they stated that his degree, mark sheet, and roll number were completely falsified. He was sent to four days of police custody on a complaint by the city’s bar council. Careful not to bring his political party to the dust, he tendered his resignation through his lawyer after being charged with cheating, forgery, and criminal conspiracy.

3) Vincent Mdunge – The erstwhile South African police spokesperson Vincent Mdunge found disfavor within the public eye after it was discovered that he had a fake matric certificate.He had joined the ranks of the police force in the 80s. However, a matric certificate wasn’t a requirement until he was promoted to colonel. After his arrest, in court, the prosecutor solidly established that Mdunge failed matric in 1985, and wrote supplementary exams in 1986, which he also failed. He further posited that the KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson’s matric certificate was fake and had been tampered with. The examination number on the certificate was Mdunge’s standard 8 examination number.When news of his fake matric certificate made it to the list of the public’s curiosity, he resigned in 2013. A year later, he was convicted of fraud and forgery. Vincent Mdunge served two years in prison and a further year on parole. Congratulations though! He has now earned a real one.

4) Salisu Buhari – It was one hell of a high-profile case. Buhari’s news first broke out in 1999 after an investigative news publication. He was a businessman before entering the field of politics. In 1999, he rose to the administrative position as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the fourth-highest office in Nigeria. Unfortunately, this feat was short-lived.The News Magazine, an investigative news publication, revealed that Buhari’s age and certificate were forged. Their investigations conveyed that Buhari was born in 1970, as opposed to his claim of 1963. He had also mentioned that he was a graduate of the University of Toronto. The article by the investigative outlet debunked Buhari’s claim by stating that not only did he not graduate, he never attended the university. But, why did he fabricate his age? Buhari lied because as stated per the Nigerian Constitution, persons below the age of 30 were disqualified from running for election to the house. He fell under that purview. Buhari’s dishonesty had no limit. He claimed that he completed his National Youth Service at Standard Construction in Kano. There was no record of his involvement or completion of the program.Buhari had threatened to sue the publisher and labeled the allegations as a witch hunt. Nevertheless, the magazine wrote to the University of Toronto, seeking confirmation as to the validity of Buhari’s said attendance. The university denied any connection. On 23 July 1999, draped in guilt and shame, Buhari admitted to falsifying his age and forging certificates. He then resigned from the House of Representatives.

5) Ellen Tshabalala – Zandile Ellen Tshabalala is a former Chairperson of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). She was appointed Chairperson of the Board in September 2013. She resigned on 17 December 2014.It was revealed that Madam Tshabalala lied on her CV when she applied for the post of Chairperson of the SABC. The CV she addressed before the parliamentary portfolio committee on communication, under which the activities of SABC fall, highlighted that she was a graduate of the University of South Africa (UNISA) with a BCom and a postgraduate diploma in labor relations. However, UNISA said she was not in the ownership of any of the qualifications that she claimed. She registered for a BCom degree in 1988 and 1996, but never completed the course. When she applied for a job at Mercedes Benz in 2011, the company had requested confirmation of her qualifications from UNISA. The University made it point-blank clear to an intermediary of her non-success to access the qualifications she claimed.She was found guilty on two charges: misconduct for lying to parliament about her qualifications, and for lying in an affidavit she had rendered to Parliament in respect of her academic records.

Author: Delvid Stanley-Coker

Delvid Stanley-Coker is a dedicated writer for The African Dream. His passion and desire to publicize the appreciable department of Africa, and voicing out the prevalent ills of society has adequately contributed to the promulgation of stories of different sort. He finds pleasure in reading novels, listening to soothing songs, and play video games for leisure purposes.