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DA candidates will be required to submit copies of qualifications amid recent scandals

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Aspirant candidates who wish to represent the DA will now be required to submit copies of their qualifications. This was revealed by the DA’s federal council chairperson, Helen Zille.

DA’s federal council chairperson Helen Zille. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

ASPIRANT candidates who wish to represent the DA will now be required to submit copies of their qualifications. This was revealed by the DA’s federal council chairperson Helen Zille.

The DA has been faced with qualification scandals over the last few weeks. First, Bonginkosi Madikizela admitted to not completing his degree even though his biography suggested otherwise. Saldanha mayor Marius Koen is also said to have lied about his qualification. Most recently, it was revealed by Independent Media that Mayco member Xanthea Limberg misrepresented her qualifications not only to the DA but to institutions that worked with her as a representative of the municipality.

“We have, in the past, taken DA public representatives at their word if they claim a tertiary qualification because we do not expect people to misrepresent their qualifications and there is no reason to do so, as a degree is not necessary to become a public representative,” Zille told Independent Media. “However, in future, we will require every aspirant candidate to submit applications with certified copies of degree or tertiary qualification certificates, if they claim to hold these qualifications.”

Zille also repeated that they are looking to verify the qualifications of current representatives in a bid to curb qualification misrepresentation which is currently putting the party under the spotlight.

“The DA leader, John Steenhuisen, has instructed that the qualifications of every DA public representative should be independently verified. We are busy sourcing an independent service provider to undertake this significant task for us.”

Zille said the DA had strong systems and fair processes and they would handle these matters consistently through the Federal Legal Commission.

Political analyst Asanda Ngoasheng said: “The DA has been embroiled in various qualifications scandals, which is ironic because for the longest time the DA’s biggest point of criticism against the ANC was the lack of qualifications of cadres deployed by the ANC. Meanwhile, the same DA has placed unqualified candidates for its highest position which has caused a public outcry.

“How can the DA blame lack of qualifications in ANC cadres but treat its own members as special cases when they are exposed as not qualified for their posts?”

“The DA is only coming out now to say they will do a qualifications audit. When Natasha Mazzone was exposed for her lies about her degree she didn’t face any sanctions but Madikizela has faced harsh sanctions for the same offence. It speaks to the DA’s continued use of different standards for black versus white members.”