Just how book-smart are the leaders we’re about to vote for at the 2019 Elections? They all talk a good game, but not everyone has the paperwork to prove they should be the next elected president of South Africa. So we’re looking at the qualifications of the men and women gunning for top job, and seeing who’s CV stands out the most.
Of course, we’re aware that university qualifications don’t necessarily make someone smarter than the competition. But operating in a country where it seems some people have been utterly undeserving of senior positions (we’re looking at you, Hlaudi), it’s important to monitor who exactly has been hitting the books.
Qualifications of South African party leaders:
- Secured a B. Proc degree (Law) in 1981 from UNISA, after initially studying at the University of the North.
doctoratesfrom the University of Natal, the University of Port Elizabeth, the University of Cape Town, the University of the North, the University of Lesotho, the University of Venda and the University of Massachusetts.
- Got a BA in psychology from UNISA.
- Earned a Masters in Public Administration from Wits.
- Also has a Masters in Theology from the University of Wales.
- Awarded a Diploma in Youth Development from UNISA
- Then graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and African languages.
- Made it a hat-trick of UNISA qualifications with his BA Honours degree in Philosophy in 2017.
Qualifications of ANC leaders:
Gwede Mantashe is the party chairperson, and arguably has the best CV of his colleagues. He has his honours from UNISA, a Masters from Wits and an MBA earned at MANCOSA. Deputy President David Mabuza has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, matching the level of qualification attained by Ace Magashule (BA in Arts).
Paul Mashatile – the Treasurer General – has his Post Graduate Diploma in Economic Principles. However, Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu never completed his university degree at Fort Hare, with his Matric certificate remaining his highest educational qualification. Jessie Duarte’s only recorded qualifications are her matric results, too.
Qualifications of DA leaders:
We know this may be a sore subject for the opposition party, with two of their most well-known figures – Natasha Mazzone and John Steenhuisen – never progressing past matric. They haven’t done bad since, mind.
However, the party’s brightest bulb in the box is Dion George. He has a Doctorate in Business Leadership and several degrees, including his MBL from Wits University. Deputy Federal Chairperson Ivan Meyer has his PhD in Public Administration and Refiloe Nt’sekhe has a Diploma in Marketing, as well as degrees in Politics and Philosophy.
Qualifications of EFF leaders:
Floyd Shivambu snapped up his Honours in Political Studies and International Relations from Wits University, before embarking on his political career. He then returned to complete his Masters in 2014. The man once affectionately known as “the people’s bae” became “the people’s doctor” in 2017, when Mbuyiseni Ndlozi picked up his Philosophy Doctorate.
However, no member boasts a list of achievements quite like Dali Mpofu’s. The advocate has an LLB law degree and a BProc degree from Wits, awarded in 1992 and 1998 respectively. Add a certificate in Finance and Accounting – plus his ongoing Bachelor of Commerce degree – and you’ve got one seriously clued-up fella.
Who is South Africa’s most qualified political leader?
Well, this one might colour you surprised. The only leader of a mainstream political party with a Doctorate in South Africa is the Freedom Front Plus’ Pieter Groenewald. His highest qualification came in the subject of Politics, but has also acquired a Masters degree in Management and Development and a Diploma in Communications (acquired at Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education).
The best of the rest:
- Inthaka Freedom Party (IFP)
Mangosuthu Buthelezi: enrolled in a History and Bantu Administration course at the Fort Hare University and completed his studies at the University of Natal.
Patricia de Lille: Earned her Diploma in Industrial Relations.
- Congress of the People (COPE)
Mosiuoa Legota: studied for a Social Science degree at the University of the
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