Mazibuko appeals to party leaders to discuss concerns with her

2013-07-22 00:00

DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko yesterday called on party leaders who have criticised her leadership style to discuss their concerns with her instead of turning to the press.

“Lindiwe has always been and continues to be available to all members of the caucus, should they have any concerns with her,” Mazibuko’s spokesperson Siviwe Gwarube said yesterday.

Gwarube made the statement for Mazibuko following a report in the Sunday Independent that she could be removed from her position in the next general elections.

Mazibuko was not answering her cellphone yesterday but Gwarube responded when a text message was sent to her.

The Sunday Independent quoted senior party members who rued what they described as Mazibuko’s poor leadership and management style.

Mazibuko took up the post when she beat former parliamentary leader Athol Trollip to head the parliamentary caucus.

The newspaper said Mazibuko faced serious challenges from inside her own party, and that many senior DA MPs would not be re-applying for their positions when the fifth democratic Parliament is formed after next year’s polls, because they felt sidelined by the party leadership.

“She’s very young, she’s not very self-assured or very confident of herself, and so these are a bad mix of ingredients, because everyone else becomes unsure and unstable,” said one senior MP, who asked to remain anonymous because he could get into trouble for speaking outside of the party.

“That is the principle in place. So everybody is unable to take leadership and everyone is holding back.”

One MP was quoted as saying many members of the caucus were deeply unhappy and another said there was a “big, big difference in styles of managing the caucus” between Mazibuko and her predecessor, Trollip.

“And I would say it comes with experience and age. In my personal experience she’s a bit autocratic. It’s an approach of ‘I’ll do it. You can be with me, but I will do it’,” he said.

When she took up the post, Mazibuko made a reshuffle, which caused some unhappiness within the caucus as some experienced people were shifted from their positions.

However, the newspaper said one of Mazibuko’s early backers said he believed she has served with distinction as parliamentary leader. “I happen to believe she is good at her core responsibilities,” he said.

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