Mazibuko gets KZN backing

2011-10-24 00:00

WITH just three days to go before the Democratic Alliance elects its parliamentary leader, the party’s national spokesperson, Lindiwe Mazibuko, received a local boost to her campaign to become the DA’s first black parliamentary leader.

This after the legislature caucus leader for the DA in KZN, Sizwe Mchunu, publically endorsed Mazibuko.

On Thursday Mazibuko will stand against the DA’s current parliamentary leader, Athol Trollip, in an election that will give the winner the R1,2-million salaried top post and — a lot more importantly — a commanding role in South African politics.

The battle lines are already drawn within DA ranks, with the 67 members of parliament in the DA expected to vote their new leader in the National Assembly.

In her campaign to be the first DA leader from KZN to hold this top position, Mazibuko made it clear that there will be changes to the list of MPs deployed to lead parliamentary portfolios.

Among the senior DA leaders who are backing Trollip, who is also the party’s Eastern Cape leader, are finance spokesperson Dion George of Gauteng; his deputy, Marius Swart, of Western Cape; economic development spokesperson Kobus Marais, also of the Western Cape, and public enterprises spokesperson Manie van Dyk of Gauteng.

Although DA president Helen Zille has not endorsed any candidate among the two, it is believed that she backs Mazibuko for the top post.

Mchunu said he endorsed Mazibuko “because I believe that she is the right candidate for the job”.

“She is the daughter of KZN and epitomises the values and principles of the DA as well as the DA’s vision for South Africa. Yesterday I phoned her to wish her good luck and I am confident that she will be elected,” Mchunu said.

Mazibuko is the party’s shadow minister of land and rural development.

It is not the first time that a senior black leader within the DA has challenged for the senior position.

Zille was challenged by the party’s national chairperson, Joe Seremane, when the position of party president became vacant with the departure of Tony Leon. Zille scored a landslide victory over Seremane.

Mazibuko’s election will play a pivotal role in the DA’s campaign to appeal to black support and help change perceptions the DA is a pro-white political

party.

• skhumbuzo.miya@witness.co.za

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