Clergyman accused of plagiarism

2001-04-23 13:30

Cape Town û The Reverend Terblanche Jordaan, controversial writer/clergyman and dramatist, will no longer contribute weekly column Metronoom to JIP, a supplement for teenagers in Cape Town newspaper Die Burger.

This follows the latest controversy which erupted on Sunday when allegations of plagiarism were levelled against Terblanche.

The Sunday newspaper Rapport reported that parts of Jordaan's new book Metronoom II were direct translations from material found on the Internet.

Metornoom II is made up of a selection of Jordaan's weekly columns in Die Burger's supplement for teenagers, JIP.

Die Burger editor Arrie Rossouw on Sunday indicated that the newspaper would sever all ties with Jordaan, who has been writing the column for the last three years.

The step, however, did not imply that the newspaper was accusing Jordaan of plagiarism, Rossouw was quick to add.

The column was being terminated as it had become too controversial.

Jordaan, who until recently wrote a column Op die Man Af, (Straight talk) for Afrikaans women's magazine Sarie, confirmed that Sarie had also terminated his services.

He stressed that Sarie's decision followed on an entire restructuring of the magazine, and had no bearing on the present situation.

Rapport said that some of his articles had not been adapted but were "direct translations of material published on several Internet sites."

A recent Metronoom article, for instance (April 16), was published under the title Vir vandag, net vandag is ek joune (For today, and only today, I'm yours) and appears on the Internet as an all but word-for-word copy.

Die Burger's search came up with several close versions of the article under the titles Today, just for today or To My Child, copyrighted to one Sally Meyer on websites such as www.tucker.dode and Poetry Corner at

In response, a highly distraught and beleaguered Jordaan emphatically denied that the Internet had served as a direct departure point or framework for his column.

He added that although he regularly used the Internet as a resource and reference tool his articles were "definitely not based on specific Internet searches".

Responding to a question whether he is guilty of Internet plagiarism he said all writers, poets or painters "borrowed" from material written or said by others.

Jordaan added that he had never visited the website Rapport refers to and which he reportedly translated verbatim.

The column under fire, Vir vandag, net vir vandag is ek joune, had been given to him by somebody at some stage.

"I donÆt know where the person found it but they definitely did not get it off the Internet.

"I however, did indicate of my own account that I had used material in the column somebody had given to me."