DA faces parliamentary leadership battle
Cape Town - DA parliamentary leader Athol Trollip says he will seek re-election to the post, after national spokesperson Lindiwe Mazibuko declared she would stand for the position.
"I am very pleased to formally announce that I have decided to stand as a candidate for the position of parliamentary leader in the mid-term caucus leadership elections," Mazibuko told reporters in Cape Town.
Mazibuko's move follows recent news reports that she has been lobbying members of the DA's 77-member caucus for their support. Elections for the post are set for October 27.
Responding to questions after her announcement on Tuesday, Mazibuko, who turned 31 in April, said she believed her age was an asset. Two-thirds of South Africans were under 35, and this would be significant factor in the 2014 elections.
"I intend to use my youth as a strength," she said.
Mazibuko said she told DA MP and Eastern Cape leader Athol Trollip on Sunday that she intended putting herself forward as a candidate for leadership of the parliamentary caucus. His reaction had been "very cordial".
Trollip, 47, is to seek re-election to the post.
He told a radio station on Tuesday: "I am making myself available to continue being the caucus leader and I'm very pleased that Lindiwe [Mazibuko] is going to contest the position."
Experience, expertise, vision
Mazibuko was flanked at Tuesday's media conference by DA federal chairperson Wilmot James and DA leader in the National Council of Provinces Watty Watson.
She said James would make himself available for election as chairperson of the party's parliamentary caucus, and Watson for the position of DA chief whip.
"As a team, the three of us represent what is best about the Democratic Alliance: a combination of experience, expertise, and a vibrant new vision for the future."
Time, however, was not on their side.
"The challenges facing South Africa are immense. Millions... are unemployed, crime has left South African feeling unsafe... and families go hungry and without shelter," Mazibuko said.
"We want to place these issues at the front and centre of Parliament's political agenda."