WATCH | 6 quotes from John Steenhuisen's qualifications clapback
John Steenhuisen has addressed claims that he may not be chief whip material without a degree. He also used the opportunity to take several swipes at the red berets in parliament.
Last week, the Sunday Times reported that the DA MP and chief whip had not studied beyond Grade 12.
This led to speculation about Steenhuisen's future, should the DA adopt the proposal that only a degree recipient should be allowed to hold the position of party chief whip.
On Tuesday during a parliamentary session, Steenhuisen reacted to the backlash that followed the revelations. He also chastised the EFF for using his lack of qualifications to draw attention away from its VBS skeletons.
WATCH: John Steenhuisen responds to claims that he should not be the DA's Chief Whip in Parliament without a university degree.— Democratic Alliance (@Our_DA) November 27, 2018
"The Constitution of the republic is very clear as to who qualifies to be a member of this house..."
🎞 Without the spurious points of order 🎞 pic.twitter.com/yvsgBAfdfo
These are just 6 quotes from Steenhuisen's presentation.
"How ironic it has been to see the EFF, the so-called vanguard of the working class, argue now for some sort of qualified franchise where only those with university qualifications can get elected and serve in this parliament. You see, this is the ultimate hypocrisy."
"I am not ashamed of this."
Steenhuisen explained the circumstances that prevented him from studying further.
"I enrolled for a BA in politics and law and due to financial and work pressures, I couldn't finish it. I'm not ashamed of this, and you can laugh all you like."
"I never used my position to line my own pockets"
He said he had a good track record of serving the country "honestly, diligently and with my very best efforts."
"I have never once used my position to line my own pockets. I have never once abused provincial tender processes to make myself and my family rich. I have never once stolen the savings from the poor and vulnerable to buy fancy houses and swimming pools."
"Smokescreen to mask the corruption"
Steenhuisen believes the EFF will do anything to divert attention away from itself.
"Whether it is this ridiculous attack on me or the disgustingly personal denigration of minister Gordhan and his family, or the vile abuse the EFF have meted out to journalists who've exposed them, it is a smokescreen, a smokescreen to mask the corruption of their party," Steenhuisen told parliament.
"Looting of VBS bank"
Steenhuisen has made no secret of the fact that he thinks the EFF know more about the "looting" at VBS bank than it is letting on.
In fact, the DA has opened a criminal case against Julius Malema and the EFF in relation to what has been dubbed "the great bank heist."
"The EFF knows that this is fatal to their brand because they have stolen from poor people that they claim to represent. They are desperate to refocus the public's attention on something else and they will use anything, me or minister Gordhan, to do so," alleged Steenhuisen.
The EFF's Mbuyiseni Ndlozi dismissed the DA's criminal case as pre-election jitters.
"This is born out of a desperate attempt to tarnish the image of the EFF because they [DA] hope that it will save them from losing the position of being the official opposition in 2019."
Steenhuisen told parliament that he would not give in to intimidation by the EFF.
"We are not afraid of this little band of wannabe revolutionaries with their academic posturing, who think that by quoting Karl Marx, Frantz Fanon and Chairman Mao, makes them friends of the working class. You don't need a degree to see the EFF for what it is - an elitist clique that steals from the poor and the downtrodden."