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Thuli Madonsela suggests SA follows Kenya’s degree requirement when hiring government officials

Former public protector Thuli Madonsela questioned whether it makes sense to ask people who have not been taught how to deal with complexity or interpret laws to make and enforce laws. File photo.
Former public protector Thuli Madonsela questioned whether it makes sense to ask people who have not been taught how to deal with complexity or interpret laws to make and enforce laws. File photo.
Image: SUNDAY TIMES/ ESA ALEXANDER

Former public protector Thuli Madonsela has weighed in on Kenya’s degree requirement for politicians running for governor, suggesting SA follows suit when hiring premiers, MECs, ministers, MPs and presidents.

This week she reacted to reports that the Commission for University Education (CUE) revoked its earlier recognition of a degree from a Ugandan university that Nairobi senator Johnson Sakaja presented for clearance to run for Nairobi County governor.

“In Kenya you need a degree for election as governor. Should we not require the same for our premiers, MECs, ministers, MPs and presidents?” asked Madonsela. 

“Does it make sense to ask people who have not been taught how to deal with complexity or interpret laws to make and enforce laws?”

Madonsela’s suggestion drew mixed reactions from many, including One SA Movement leader Mmusi Maimane, who said the requirements should also include having a clean track record.

This is not the first time Madonsela has been vocal about SA politicians.

Last week she shared her observations after watching the presidency budget vote debate, saying most MPs have no clue what a point of order means. 

“Watching parliament right now has convinced me a lot of public representatives have no clue what a point of order is.”

A point of order is a query in a formal debate or meeting about whether correct procedure is being followed.

In parliamentary procedure, a point of order occurs when someone draws attention to a rules violation in a meeting of a deliberative assembly.

Madonsela said parliament’s rules should be enforced with fines and not only kicking people out. 

“In ordinary clubs people are fined when they speak out of turn. Why is parliament not doing the same? Being hit in the pocket could make people give parliament the decorum it deserves,” she said. 

While Madonsela did not name the MPs in question, many thought her comment was a dig at EFF MPs.

During the debate, EFF MPs present in the National Assembly were thrown out of the chamber for repeatedly raising points of order for President Cyril Ramaphosa not to address parliament. 

EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu, who was attending via the virtual platform, was muted after shouting accusations at Ramaphosa.

He was asked to withdraw his statements, but refused and was removed from the virtual platform.

In a statement, the EFF condemned speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula’s actions to mute MPs, saying it was illegal and a criminal decision. 

“We condemn in the strongest terms the disgusting, barbaric and dictatorship conduct of the speaker of parliament, who unilaterally and without quoting any rule of the National Assembly muted more than 289 MPs on the parliamentary virtual platform,” said the party. 

“We further condemn the illogical, factional and suppressive decision to remove Malema, along with Shivambu, from the virtual platform without just cause.

“The EFF will not tire in the quest to ensure Ramaphosa is held accountable, no matter what threats may be made against members or any physical violence that may be deployed by the bloodthirsty Ramaphosa.”


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