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

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.”

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Mmanaledi Mataboge
Guest Author

Sassa disses disability grant applicants

Towards the end of level four of the lockdown, Sassa offices reopened for applications for old age pensions and childcare and foster care grants, but not for disability grants

Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku’s first rule: Don’t panic

As Gauteng braces for its Covid-19 peak, the province’s MEC for health, Bandile Masuku, is putting his training to the test as he leads efforts to tackle the impending public health crisis

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday