Many South Africans were shocked that the DA’s John Steenhuisen may not meet his party’s proposed minimum requirement for holding public office - a degree qualification.
The Sunday Times reported that the DA in KZN suggested that the position of the party’s chief whip should be filled by a degree holder.
Show host Eusebius McKaiser says he thinks Steenhuisen is excellent as a chief whip.
So much so that I have always assumed as a political analyst, as an engaged South African citizen who loves politics and current affairs, I have actually assumed that he is a qualified lawyer.— Eusebius McKaiser, Show Host
That is how good he is at his job. Do I think that secondly, he needs a degree in order to be a chief whip? I think no.— Eusebius McKaiser, Show Host
I think that there is some real politics going on here. I think the DA in KZN who are agitating for this to be a requirement of chief whips, simply don't like John Steenhuisen politically.— Eusebius McKaiser, Show Host
He adds that he thinks if the DA is honest about where this proposal is coming from, it comes from just simply wanting to clip John Steenhuisen's wings.
Eusebius says Steenhuisen is an example of why a degree is not necessary in order for you to do your job.
So is John Steenhuisen excellent at his job? Absolutely. Is John Steenhuisen an example that a degree is no bar to being an effective chief whip? Absolutely he is. I dare you to tell me about a lawyer in Parliament black or white who has got a more ministerial grasp of parliamentary rules and processes than Steenhuisen.— Eusebius McKaiser, Show Host
So John Steenhuisen is a good example of why you shouldn't be needing a degree in order to be a chief whip.— Eusebius McKaiser, Show Host
He adds that the point of a democracy is to ask people who they trust to be seconded to the state for five years.
There are many examples of people who have degrees like Robert Mugabe who are political disasters. And then there are examples of people like Pallo Jordan who didn't have degrees but who were excellent.— Eusebius McKaiser, Show Host
I don't think in order to have a political career particularly in a country like ours where there are many clever poor people and poor black people more specifically who had no opportunities for formal education that we squeeze them out of the option of careers in politics by imposing all sorts of unnecessary forms of qualification.— Eusebius McKaiser, Show Host
Here is the most important thing that I want to say, John Steenhuisen is a beneficiary of white male privilege.— Eusebius McKaiser, Show Host
He says it is absolutely possible to be good at your job as a white man without a degree and still be a beneficiary of white male privilege.
Watch below what Eusebius McKaiser had to say:
Listen below to Eusebius McKaiser weigh in on John Steenhuisen: