Sipho Mabena

By Sipho Mabena

Premium Journalist


‘Plagiarist’ academic Edward Yusuf Mitole appears to be professor of lying

Besides not being a professor at Unisa, The Citizen has also reliably established that Mitole was never Jacob Zuma's political advisor.


The University of SA has distanced itself from the ‘plagiarist’ professor, who has been accused of passing an essay he picked up on Facebook as his own original work. ‘Dr’ Edward Yusuf Mitole has presented himself as ‘Professor of Development Studies’ at the University of South Africa on his LinkedIn page as well as on his rather colourful Curriculum Vitae, which he has not disputed. The Citizen has reliably established that he was never the political advisor to former president Jacob Zuma as he claims in his CV. https://twitter.com/EdwardMitole He has also claimed to have examined a PhD thesis on…

Subscribe to continue reading this article
and support trusted South African journalism

Access PREMIUM news, competitions
and exclusive benefits

SUBSCRIBE
Already a member? SIGN IN HERE

The University of SA has distanced itself from the ‘plagiarist’ professor, who has been accused of passing an essay he picked up on Facebook as his own original work.

‘Dr’ Edward Yusuf Mitole has presented himself as ‘Professor of Development Studies’ at the University of South Africa on his LinkedIn page as well as on his rather colourful Curriculum Vitae, which he has not disputed.

The Citizen has reliably established that he was never the political advisor to former president Jacob Zuma as he claims in his CV.

He has also claimed to have examined a PhD thesis on ‘Decoloniality and African Renaissance’ at the University of SA in 2019, and participated in week-long induction for new academic staff at the university in 2016.

ALSO READ: People are buying fake degrees now more than ever

Mitole further claims to have been a visiting professor at Unisa since 2018 to date, and even that he taught post-graduate students studying African Politics and History.

The only problem is that the university has no record of any of these things.

The Unisa Prof who wasn’t

When The Citizen challenged him to prove his credentials, Mitole, who has appeared on major local television news stations as an analyst or panellist on current affairs shows, claimed Unisa had deleted his profile.

‘Dr’ Edward Yusuf Mitole. Picture: Facebook

“I think they have taken down my profile. Maybe you can try from your side. But from my side, I can see my profile has been deleted,” he said.

He said he had never said he was working for Unisa, but that he was there in 2016 as a visiting professor and that it was possible that his records may no longer be available.

But when challenged on Unisa objecting to The Citizen referring to him as a member of their staff, Mitole suggested that the university may have a strong case.

“I have got lots of evidence to prove that I was a visiting professor at the Unisa Institute for African Renaissance Studies. But If I were you, I would apologise to the university and retract the article. You don’t control the backend of their website. The university retains the power to erase evidence. The last thing you want is to attract a lawsuit from the university,” Mitole said.

ALSO READ: ‘Plagiarist’ professor says author copied from him first, and ‘in Africa one can’t steal ideas’

But Unisa spokesperson Martin Ramotshela said the popular analyst has never been employed at the institution.

“We have checked our records to determine if ‘Prof’ or ‘Dr’ Edward Yusuf Mitole is attached to Unisa as an employee… Our records show that we have no employee by that name currently, nor did we ever have such an employee in the past.”

Ramotshela said if Mitole had been a visiting professor at the institution, they would have a record of this, as he would have accessed the campus.

As for Mitole’s claims of being affiliated with Unisa’s Institute for African Renaissance Studies, he said the university currently has the Thabo Mbeki School of Public and International Affairs, which incorporates institutes dealing with African and international political affairs.

Ramotshela said these include the Institute for African Renaissance Studies, Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute, Institute for Dispute Resolution (IDRA) and the School of Governance.

He explained that the Thabo Mbeki School of Public and International Affairs was established in September 2020, meaning the four institutes listed above have ceased to exist.

“Mitole is not part and was never [part] of the university before or currently. On the visiting professor part, the emphasis is that if he was, we would have a record of that on the system, including facilitating his access to the premises of the university. You cannot be a visiting a professor at any institution without the requisite paperwork and recording of the visit in the system of the institution. That would be utterly preposterous,” Ramotshela added.

Stole from wrong person

Mitole’s claims may have flown under the radar for who knows how long, had he not rubbed up president of Azanian People’s Organisation (Azapo) Nelvis Qekema the wrong way.

Qekema took to Facebook to complain that Mitole, without naming him directly, plagiarised his essay on Black Consciousness and Pan Africanism.

Qekema said the essay was published on the Azapo website and on Facebook on 30 May 2014, but that the essay was published on Modern Ghana’s website on 22 December 2022 under Mitole’s name.

“Everything about him is beginning to unravel now. He stole from the wrong person. I am sure he has done this before and got away with it,” Qekema said of the latest revelations against Mitole.

NOW READ: Author Jackie Phamotse accused of plagiarism

This video is no longer available.

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits