Democratic Alliance (DA) Chief Whip John Steenhuisen says he should be allowed to serve South Africans irrespective of his qualifications.
A Twitter spat erupted between the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the DA after it emerged at the weekend that the Member of Parliament highest qualification is a matric certificate.
The EFF’s Mbuyiseni Ndlozi tweeted that if Steenhuisen were a black leader The Sunday Times would have revealed his matric results, suggesting that he is being protected by white privilege.
Madoda, DA Chief Whip @jsteenhuisen doesn’t have a post-matric qualification?
If it were a black leader, this article would have even published his Matric results. So as to tarnish his standing as a chief whip for a serious law making institution like parliament #whiteprivilege https://t.co/PZjU1hIVQC
— Mbuyiseni Ndlozi (@MbuyiseniNdlozi) November 25, 2018
His colleague Floyd Shivambu also weighed in, criticising Steenhuisen saying that ‘his shallowness explains the whole thing’.
But Steenhuisen says that Parliament has no requirement in terms of academic qualifications.
“That a degree will be a requirement to be a public representative in Parliament to represent aspirations and views of the communities, then Parliament will become a very elite and only for the few in South Africa.”
Steenhuisen also hit back at the EFF on Twitter saying he would rather be degreeless and honest, and qualified and dishonest.
Your qualifications have obviously equipped you and your journeymen well for rational debate (beating up journalists) and VBS looting. I would rather be degreelesss and honest than qualified and dishonest like you. https://t.co/1fdDi8KuIC
— John Steenhuisen MP (@jsteenhuisen) November 25, 2018