It is probably too much to hope that a happy accident has killed off one of the great myths of this country’s democracy. The accident is the news that DA chief whip John Steenhuisen has no university degree. In a country in which for many in the public debate “unqualified” is another word for “black”, and “qualified” is a way of saying “white”, this was bound to prompt an interesting bout of double standards. White DA supporters on social media, who often decry the lack of qualifications of black officials and politicians, rushed to Steenhuisen’s defence. The EFF, which still peddles the fiction that it speaks for the poor, turned on him with elitist disdain, flashing their post-graduate degrees as evidence of their superiority. As usual, views on Steenhuisen showed how racial division polarises debate here — both his loudest supporters and detractors were more interested in his race than the principle at stake. But what made the loudness of the debate ironic is that the prejudice d...

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