Daniel Friedman
2 minute read
18 Nov 2019
12:41 pm

Without an education you could end up leader of the ANC or DA, jokes Mpofu

Daniel Friedman

The EFF chairperson managed to take jabs at both former president Jacob Zuma and newly appointed DA leader John Steenhuisen.

Advocate Dali Mpofu at the EFF Election Manifesto launch. Picture: EFF Website.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) national chairperson Dali Mpofu took to Twitter on Sunday afternoon to share a joke.

“Me to my daughter:

You must work hard… Where the hell do you think you will end up in life without education…??

She to me :
Duh… As leader of the ANC or the DA, of course!

Me: Errrrr… What time is Bafana playing?”

The EFF leader is referencing the fact that John Steenhuisen, who on Sunday became the interim leader of South Africa’s official opposition – the Democratic Alliance (DA) – has no tertiary education.

The party’s interim parliamentary leader Natasha Mazzone is in the same boat, having started but not completed a law degree.

His reference to the ANC, meanwhile, is probably a jab at former president Jacob Zuma, who did not receive a formal education and taught himself to read and write.

READ MORE: Ndlozi shocked Steenhuisen only has matric and could lose his job

The party’s current leader, Cyril Ramaphosa, does indeed have a BProc – a Baccalaureus Procurationis course, which is what was needed in order to qualify as an attorney in SA, but has since been phased out.

The ANC’s national government has also faced criticism for the appointment of several ministers and deputy ministers to portfolios for which they’ve had no formal education. Misrepresentation of qualifications has led to some politicians losing their jobs.

Steenhuisen’s lack of a degree earned him criticism and attacks on Twitter late last year, after a Sunday Times report indicated that the DA caucus in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature has proposed that only an MP with a university degree be considered for the position of chief whip.

The report stated that Steenhuisen – who was chief whip at the time – may have been at risk of being demoted to being a “backbencher” after this year’s elections, if a proposal by his party to the Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers was considered, an event that clearly did not come to pass.

At the time, his lack of education earned him attacks, particularly from supporters of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

The party has been on a drive to obtain as much tertiary education as possible, which in recent years has included leader Julius Malema obtaining a BA Honours degree in Philosophy in 2016, spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi achieving a PhD in Philosophy in Politics in 2017 and, most recently, secretary-general Godrich Gardee receiving his LLB in 2018.

Mpofu has a BProc as well as an LLB.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.