DA youth leader praises new ‘vote winner’.

2011-10-28 00:00

NEW DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko’s good friend Mbali Ntuli was sick in bed back home in KwaZulu-Natal and missed out on the celebrations in Cape Town.

Ntuli, the DA’s national youth leader, was ecstatic because Mazibuko is not only her friend but her mentor. She added her voice of warm praise from Mazibuko’s home province.

Ntuli said that as a politician she can say that Mazibuko’s election to caucus leader was strategically right. “As a friend I have to say that I am so incredibly proud and as a young woman I am encouraged by the path she is carving out for us in a male-dominated terrain. Though looking at the DA you would hardly think so,” Ntuli said.

The youth leader said she was very encouraged by yesterday’s historic vote as it shows that young people do have a role to play in politics.

“We also have a role model in Mazibuko who sets the bar in so many ways, she is an excellent orator, she has the ability to translate policy in a way that ordinary people can understand. She is a vote winner and that is why getting this position is so important. I think a lot more young people are going to become interested in politics because of Lindiwe, added Ntuli.

Equally ecstatic was Mazibuko’s mother in Durban, June-Rose Mazibuko, a matron at Albert Luthuli Hospital who had told a Durban newspaper that she was going to keep her fingers crossed all morning.

KZN DA provincial leader Sizwe Mchunu said Mazibuko’s selection highlights the party’s commitment to diversity. Mchunu added that her appointment also brings strong representation for the province at national level.

He said Mazibuko and several other KZN parliamentarians look set to take centre stage within the National Assembly.

He thanked former party parliamentary leader Athol Trollip for serving the party with distinction.

Mazibuko’s Facebook page was swamped with well-wishers. Mpho Molefe wrote: “Congratulations Lindiwe! We may be on opposite sides of the political landscape but hey that is what democracy is all about!

“When a sister progresses in her career we have to take note and give you a big five! I hope your victory will generally benefit our young democracy, which is still in the process of maturing.”

• nalini@witness.co.za

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DA: New leader in parliament pays tribute to outgoing Trollip

CAPE TOWN — Democratic Alliance spokeswoman Lindiwe Mazibuko was yesterday elected as the party’s leader in Parliament.

She defeated incumbent Athol Trollip for the post.

Mazibuko (31) was expected to win the contest after a number of party stalwarts, including leader Helen Zille, voiced their support for her.

She was elected by the DA’s 83-member caucus. Zille also had a vote in the election.

No voting percentages were immediately released by the party, but several party sources said Mazibuko got 50 votes to 32 for Trollip. Only 81 caucus members voted.

One parliamentary seat is vacant since the retirement of veteran MP Mike Ellis.

In a statement later, Mazibuko said she was honoured to accept the position of parliamentary leader of the DA.

“I thank my colleagues in the parliamentary caucus for endorsing my candidacy and pledge to serve and lead them to the best of my ability as we work towards our objectives,” she said.

Mazibuko also paid tribute to Trollip.

He had served the caucus with distinction over the past two-and-a-half years and had accepted the outcome of the election with grace and aplomb, she said.

In the other mid-term caucus elections yesterday, Elza van Lingen was elected DA leader in the National Council of Provinces, Wilmot James caucus chairman, Marti Wenger deputy caucus chairwoman, and Sandy Kalyan deputy chief whip.

Mazibuko named Watty Watson for the position of chief whip.

The elected whips are Stuart Farrow, Dion George, Patricia Kopane, Erik Marais, David Maynier, Gareth Morgan, Piet Pretorius, and Mike Waters. — Sapa.

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