EXCUSES: DA chief whip John Steenhuisen only has matric. Photo: BHEKIKHAYA MABASO

In 2012, Munier went back to university to maak klaar. At the age of 34.

What a schlep: working and studying, and becoming a first-time dad in the same year.

Also having to mission from the office in town to the CPUT Bellville campus for evening classes.

Yoh. Never again!

But hey, these are the sacrifices we make. You need those diplomas because you never know what’s around the next corner; you could suddenly find yourself at home and having to update your CV.

With the competition fierce out there, you need to make sure you’ve got your qualifications in order.

For most top positions in the job market, a university degree is a minimum requirement.

But not in Parliament.


This week it was revealed that DA chief whip John Steenhuisen might lose his job because he only has a matric certificate.

Reports say a proposal, by the DA’s KwaZulu-Natal caucus, that only a MP with a university degree be considered for the chief whip position, may be adopted by the Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers.

It’s a great proposal!

We should demand only the best public representatives in Parliament. Not corrupt presidents who can’t count the fingers on their two hands.

In his defence, Jacob Zuma received no formal schooling as a poor kid and was active in Umkhonto we Sizwe at an age when most youngsters these days are at varsity. But ja, one wonders what kind of leader Zuma might have been had he had a proper education.

According to the book The President’s Keepers, it was JZ’s poor financial management (and lack of family planning) that landed him in debt to all the wrong people.

In Steenhuisen’s case, his excuse was: “I enrolled for a BA in politics and law at Unisa in 1994, however, like many South Africans, I never finished it due to financial and work pressures.”

Really? So as a DA councillor as far back as 1999, he couldn’t find the time nor money to finish his studies?

Come now. His former party colleague Lindiwe Mazibuko took time out and went to Harvard to study.

Even Julius Malema shook off his “G for Woodwork” tag and went on to get a BA degree in Philosophy through Unisa.

No. Steenhuisen was just lazy. Finish en klaar.

Still, there are those who have come out in defence of the chief whip, saying he is intelligent, experienced, well-spoken and entertaining in Parliament.

That much is true. Hy is glad met die bek.

On a point of order, however, it must be noted that Parliament is not Comedy Central.

And Steenhuisen isn’t a Roast Master (but perhaps his wit is better suited to stand-up).

TWEETED: Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi of EFF mocked Steenhuisen in Twitter post. Photo: MATTHEWS BALOY/ANA PICTURES

Being a leader of the opposition and a public representative is serious business, requiring serious credentials.

Jokes won’t be enough to rally support for next year’s elections.

Munier doesn’t envy Steenhuisen in the House right now.

The EFF’s Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi already took a dig, tweeting: “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”

Steenhuisen, in true under-grad fashion, was quick to point out that a degree does not make a man: “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.”

For once, the DA groot bek didn’t have a slim answer, and needed to deflect.

The EFF, for all its academic achievements, should shut the hell up, though.

The way they’ve been mouthing off at Pravin Gordhan and his family, calling him a “racist dog of white monopoly capital” is disgusting.

Is this anyway for educated, honourable members to speak?

Trying so hard to discredit Gordhan and the Zondo Commission, makes you wonder what they’ve got to hide?

Meanwhile, DA, leader Mmusi Maimane’s defence of his colleague was also disappointing.

“I’ve known @jsteenhuisen 10 years. He’s taught me everything I know in politics. Honesty, hard work, accountability, knowing your subject matter, dedication to my party & country. No degree can teach you that. SA & the DA is a better place because of people like John,” he tweeted.

So there you have it, between the two DA groot koppe, the message is this: you don’t need a degree - in administration, law or management - to be a good leader.

Sorry, but that’s unacceptable.

After Zuma, Hlaudi Motsoeneng and other unqualified flops, the people demand better from the office bearers in charge of running this country.

After all, you wouldn’t go to doctors simply because they were “honest” and hardworking”. No, you expect to see the heleste diplomas on their surgery walls, right?

Go back to school, Honourable Steenhuisen!

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