Political parties continue to be a perfect mirror of how ‘democratic South Africa’ is misogynistic and racial inequality reigns supreme.
The election of John Steenhuisen as the DA’s interim leader compliments that assertion.
Yet another male leader is taking charge of a political party in South Africa, while women are expected to play a supportive role.
Majority of all the leading political parties in the National Assembly are led by men, with Patricia De Lille the only woman leading a party in the upper house of Parliament.
The common denominator of all parties in this country is that they preach gender equality.
However, 25 years into the country’s negotiated democracy the top five parties are all led by men.
It goes without saying that this country is blessed with an abundance of strong and capable women.
But for some unknown reason, women continue to be relegated to the support bench in all political formations and the DA is definitely not immune to this disease.
What makes it worse in the DA’s case, is that the party elected a white man who does not even possess a tertiary qualification.
Steenhuisen’s election to the party’s top position perfectly mirrors the normalised racial and unjust culture in South Africa, especially in Corporate South Africa.
White males, who possess no form of tertiary qualifications occupy top positions in many private companies, with degree-holding black females being reduced to secretarial posts.
The defence to such an unjust practice is that these white men possess a lot of work experience which many black people do not have.
This is the same argument that Steenhuisen’s supporters have been using in defence of his election, saying that his political experience is second to none.
Steenhuisen maintains that he does not need a tertiary qualification to be elected into a political office.
Granted, many government ministers do not even have a matric certificate and former President Jacob Zuma is a torchbearer of that culture.
However, will the same principle apply to a black leader in the DA?
Will a black female leader, without a matric, rise up to occupy the top position in the party as Steenhuisen has?
For a party that constantly preaches the principle of meritocracy, what merited Steenhuisen be elected in this position of power is beyond my understanding.
The truth is that Steenhuisen was elected to the position on the basis of his skin colour and gender.
It cannot be that he was the most suitable candidate in the party to occupy that seat.
While his political opponents might poke jokes about his qualifications, Steenhuisen represents a serious unfair racial treatment that continues to dehumanise black professionals in the private sector.