DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone File picture: African News Agency (ANA)
DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone File picture: African News Agency (ANA)

DA under fire for suspending Bonginkosi Madikizela over CV ’while others also at fault’

By Athandile Siyo Time of article published Apr 19, 2021

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Cape Town – The DA has come under fire for its quick suspension of Transport MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela, while other members are under close scrutiny over their own qualifications.

This after the Good party’s secretary-general Brett Herron raised the alarm about the qualifications of chief whip Natasha Mazzone, MEC for Human Settlements Tertius Simmers and Saldanha Bay Mayor Marius Koen at the weekend.

Herron said, according to unverified information from a source, Mazzone had allegedly edited her Wikipedia page to remove the word “advocate” from the qualifications in her biography, while Simmers allegedly lied in his LinkedIn profile about a degree in cost management and Koen regarding a degree from Stellenbosch University (SU).

In a statement on social media, Madikizela called for fair treatment.

“We must be frank here, this so-called ‘exposé’ has nothing to do with a noble act to correct the wrong, it has everything to do with Cape Town mayorship contest. The idea of having someone they can’t control or look after their interest terrified them. This is what I go through every time I contest for a position in the party or in government.

“I will humble myself, allow the process to unfold, and accept the punishment which I hope will fit the crime. As wrong as this was, I didn’t pretend to be a doctor and performed surgeries that put people’s lives in danger or an engineer that built bridges that will collapse and kill people.

’’A degree was never a requirement in the positions I’ve occupied before and now, this never benefited me in any way.

“I also hope people will not apply double standards, what is done on the left must also be done on the right.”

Herron yesterday said the leaking of Madikizela’s false claim to a qualification came from within the DA.

“When he (Madikizela) raises questions about hypocrisy within the DA he's clearly referring to others who have misrepresented qualifications or professions so far without consequences. I can see this is an internal war.”

On social media, Mazzone rubbished the claims and said she had always teased herself for only having her matriculant.

Simmers said: “I cannot speak for anything I did not post or claim. I have not earned a BComm or an MBA. I can speak to no other records than my CV, meticulously updated since 2011 to accurately reflect my career, and records of all candidate applications on the relevant DA platform since 2011, and my LinkedIn online profile.”

DA national spokesperson Siviwe Gwarube said the allegation against Koen was proven untrue in 2019.

“In 2019, an allegation was made that Koen indicated that he was the holder of an MBA and that this was untrue. The matter was referred to the Federal Legal Commission for investigation, upon which the committee assistant was shown both Koen's MBA certificate and dissertation, in book form.

’’It was recommended that there were no grounds to prosecute the complaint, which recommendation was accepted by the Federal Executive.”

She added that a fake graphic of Simmers’ alleged LinkedIn account was being circulated with the intent to spread misinformation.

“We can confirm that Simmer’s Linkedin page does not contain reference to a BCom degree, nor does his CV.”

DA leader John Steenhuisen and Koen could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Cape Times

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