Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko

Parliament - Police Minister Nathi Nhleko was on Monday forced to list his academic qualifications after a DA MP claimed he left school at “standard nine”.

“Honourable member Kohler-Barnard, I hold a masters in leadership and change management with the Leeds Metropolitan University in the United Kingdom,” Nhleko said while responding to a heated debate in Parliament on the police budget vote.

“I also do hold what they call a national diploma in labour law at an honours level with the graduate institute of management and technology, so that matter is out there and I do not know where you are actually looking on the one hand.”

Earlier, Democratic Alliance MP Dianne Kohler-Barnard was ordered to withdraw remarks in which she questioned Nhleko's competence.

“I looked at his slim CV, and it took me a while to dig out some background information. He seems to have left school somewhere in Standard 9, has no further education yet he mysteriously ended up as the DG (director general) for labour,” Kohler-Barnard told MPs.

“I do know he had a shot at being an acting municipal manager until they found he had no relevant qualifications, but it all came together when I saw that he was appointed the regional commissioner of correctional services (KwaZulu-Natal), who then advocated for the parole of No 1’s financial adviser and benefactor, Schabir Shaik, on dubious medical grounds.”

Justice and Correctional Services Minister Mike Masutha jumped to Nhleko's defence, asking debate chairman Cedric Frolick to rule Kohler-Barnard's remarks “out of order”.

Frolick agreed that the opposition party MP's comments were out of order, and she was asked to withdraw.