Degrees of separation: It's 'well known I only have matric' - Mazzone denies having legal qualifications

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DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone
DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone
PHOTO: Jan Gerber/News24
  • DA MP Natasha Mazzone has quashed claims that she too lied about her qualifications.
  • She has denied claiming to have any legal qualifications, saying her occupation is as a politician.
  • Opposition parties say if the DA is transparent, the claims must be investigated.

DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone has denied lying about her qualifications, saying it is well known that she only has a matric certificate, insisting that she did her legal articles, but did not complete her degree.

Political parties have demanded answers after they claimed that Mazzone's Wikipedia biography was updated on Thursday to remove "advocate" from her qualifications.

This followed after DA Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madikizela was suspended amid claims that he lied about his Bcom qualification.

Mazzone said:

Wikipedia can be changed by 'anyone'. It is very well known that I only have a matric. I did do my articles. But I could never be admitted because I did not finish my degree. And it clearly says so on my bio.

But party insiders said on Friday that Mazzone had claimed to be an attorney and secured a position on the party's Federal Legal Commission because of that.

The party listed Mazzone as having "legal qualifications" when she was elected deputy federal council chairperson.

READ | Western Cape Premier Alan Winde suspends Bonginkosi Madikizela over false degree claims

Mazzone insisted that she was pursuing her legal degree from the University of Pretoria, but did not claim to complete it.

She accused her detractors of fiddling with her Wikipedia page. "It’s all nonsense. My occupation is a politician," she said.

Good Party's Brett Herron said Mazzone should be suspended like Madikizela.

Herron said:

We call for honesty and integrity and for people who've dishonoured their positions by lying about their qualifications to step down or be fired. Last night I laid criminal charges against Madikizela because lying about a qualification is a criminal offence. And the DA is very quick to run to the police to lay criminal charges against everybody, including some of their own members.

Herron said Mazzone must join the already axed Madikizela on the sidelines.

"Biographies of the party's Chief Whip in the National Assembly Natasha Mazzone on various websites were altered from listing her as having legal qualifications to having none.

"Her updated Wikipedia biography listed two universities as her Alma Maters, but her highest academic qualification as matric. Her profession was altered from 'advocate' to 'None'," Herron said.

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