Pravin Gordhan has a pharmacy degree, UKZN confirms

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. (Alon Skuy, Gallo Images, Business Day, file)
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. (Alon Skuy, Gallo Images, Business Day, file)

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) confirmed this after the embattled minister's detractors spread a rumour on social media that he did not hold this qualification.

"The Office of the Registrar at the University of KwaZulu-Natal confirms that Pravin Jamnadas Gordhan studied and successfully completed the requirements for the Bachelor of Pharmacy degree in 1973," read a statement from Ashton Bodrick, the university's executive director for corporate relations.

"In addition, he received an honorary doctorate in 2003 and the Convocation Award in 2013 from the university."

While it is unclear what sparked the rumour, several tweets included one from 2016 by fact-checking organisation Africa Check, which read: "@UKZN Please let us know when we can expect a response to our query regarding Pravin Gordhan's qualifications?"

This was part of a fact check it did on a claim by then-president Jacob Zuma that Des van Rooyen was the most qualified person he had ever appointed as finance minister. Africa Check found this to be true.

On Monday, Africa Check tweeted that it had received confirmation from UKZN that Gordhan had indeed received his degree and that it had updated its page.

This apparently did little to sway the anti-Gordhan brigade on Twitter. Many proclaim affiliation to the EFF, which has been at loggerheads with the minister recently.

Toward the end of last year, as its own finances came under scrutiny, the EFF launched several attacks on Gordhan.

It has also come out as defenders of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane who, in May and last week, made adverse findings against Gordhan relating to former deputy SA Revenue Services (Sars) commissioner Ivan Pillay's early retirement and payout and the "Sars Rogue Unit".

Gordhan previously indicated he intends taking both reports on judicial review.  

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