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Twitter divided over DA chief whip Steenhuisen's qualifications

The revelation of Johnson Steenhuisen's highest qualification prompted the Economic Freedom Fighters' Floyd Shivambu and Mbuyiseni Ndlozi to take to Twitter and mock the DA chief whip.

FILE: DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen in Parliament. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Twitter has taken sides after a Sunday Times report revealed that Democratic Alliance chief whip John Steenhuisen only has a matric qualification.

The report suggested that Steenhuisen could lose his position as chief whip if a proposal by the party's KwaZulu-Natal caucus to the Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers that only a member of Parliament with a university degree be considered for the position is adopted.

The revelation of Steenhuisen's qualification prompted the Economic Freedom Fighters' Floyd Shivambu and Mbuyiseni Ndlozi to take to Twitter and mock the DA chief whip.

Shivambu took to the social media platform on Sunday and tweeted: "So @jsteenhuisen doesn’t have a degree or diploma or certificate in anything? His shallowness explains the whole thing."

Ndlozi followed with his tweet: "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 hit back at the EFF MPs, referencing the EFF being implicated in the VBS Mutual Bank looting.

In response to Shivambu, he wrote: "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."

He also responded to Ndlozi: "For all your degrees and qualifications you’re still a bunch of VBS looters and thugs I’m sure those who have suffered as a result of your party’s greed and thuggery have taken cold comfort knowing you had a degree while you betrayed them."

Ndlozi then responded: "Witness a meltdown of an undereducated white man. White masculinity always posits itself as the moral superior & depends so much on portraying blacks as guilty before proven so. But think how many blacks out there are led by an undereducated white boy with an exaggerated salary?"

The EFF spokesperson then posted a number of memes, further mocking Steenhuisen.

The DA leader Mmusi Maimane and party MPs Phumzile Van Damme and Dean Macpherson defended Steenhuisen, praising his work as chief whip.

Twitter users, though, have taken the spat to another level, with some users demanding that Steenhuisen produce his matric certificate. Other users have said that the DA are hypocrites over the matter, highlighting the party's actions over Hlaudi Motsoeneng as well as the scandal over the former Tshwane chief of staff, Marietha Aucamp, who was fired earlier this year for not being qualified for the position.

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