Lindiwe Mazibuko: The time for me to lead the DA is not now

Former DA Parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko will not raise her hand to lead the official opposition party.

Former DA Parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko will not raise her hand to lead the official opposition party.

Former DA Parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko will not put herself in the running to lead the official opposition party, despite her name being mentioned as one of the favourites to succeed outgoing leader Helen Zille.

Mazibuko told the media in a statement that “I will not be making myself available for election to any leadership post at the DA’s 2015 congress” scheduled for May 9 in Port Elizabeth.

Though she did not go into details and has ruled out giving media interviews, Mazibuko implied she was not ready to take over the reins.

“When the time is right, I will make myself available for whichever position I believe will enable me to best make a contribution towards building a better South Africa, she said. “That time, however, is not now.” 

Zille’s sudden announcement on Sunday that she would not make herself available for re-election to the position she has held since 2007 has sent the DA into a frantic search for a replacement just four weeks before the national congress.

Though she had a fallout with Zille last year after she announced her decision to quit politics and study at Harvard University in the USA, Mazibuko praised the outgoing leader for leading the DA with “courage and distinction” adding that the party’s support increased under her leadership.

“She has achieved this under often unbearably strenuous circumstances, and all the while leading two of the most successful regional governments in South Africa – the City of Cape Town, and, since 2009, the Western Cape provincial government. For her extraordinary work leading South Africa’s biggest opposition party, Helen must be congratulated.”

Mazibuko, who is currently studying towards a master’s degree in public administration at Harvard, said she would be “watching and supporting my friends, colleagues and fellow-democrats from across the Atlantic”.

“I remain deeply and fundamentally committed to my country … and to a life of public service. I believe that I have much to contribute to the project of building a better country for all our people, and I remain committed to the Democratic Alliance as the only political organisation that can lead South Africa to a prosperous future.”

Mmanaledi Mataboge

Mmanaledi Mataboge

Mmanaledi Mataboge is the Mail & Guardian's political editor. Raised in a rural village, she later studied journalism in a township where she fell in love with the medium of radio. This former radio presenter and producer previously worked as a senior politics reporter for the Mail & Guardian, and writes on politics, government, and anything that gives the disadvantaged, poor, and the oppressed a voice. Read more from Mmanaledi Mataboge


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