Zille on Mazibuko’s departure: ‘This is Lindi’s time to consolidate’

2014-05-11 09:00

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It was “a big shock and out of the blue” but she understands that this is Lindiwe Mazibuko’s “time to consolidate”, DA leader Helen Zille has said.

Zille’s comments come after Mazibuko (34) told Sunday Times she would quit her job as DA parliamentary leader to study at Harvard University in the US.

Zille said she only heard about Mazibuko’s plans late yesterday when the two met in Cape Town.

“She is young and rose very quickly in the DA. There is a time for growth and a time for consolidation. This is Lindi’s time to consolidate.”

Zille said it was too early to speculate about the impact of Mazibuko’s decision on the DA and the parliamentary caucus, which she has led for three years.

“But it’s not a permanent move, it’s only temporary. It is also not the first time this has happened. David Maynier (DA MP) did exactly the same thing and both David and the DA only benefited from it.”

Mmusi Maimane, DA spokesperson, said: “It will be a loss. We wish her all the best. The DA was, however, never a party that focused on prominent individuals but rather a party with good structures.”

With Mazibuko out of the picture, Maimane is now the leading contender for her position.

Zille and Mazibuko were often in disagreement over the past few months and Zille seemed to have been closer to Maimane.

Mazibuko has also been criticised for her role, as party leader in Parliament, during controversial caucus decisions. These include the DA’s “accidental” support for the Employment Equity Amendment Bill, under Mazibuko’s leadership.

Zille has denied that her relationship with Mazibuko soured.

Earlier this year, Mazibuko described their relationship to City Press as volatile. “We have a very volatile relationship. I argue with her [Zille] constantly.”

But she added anything else would be unhealthy.

Mazibuko, who, at the time, said she wanted to be president of the country in ten years’ time, was hospitalised shortly before the elections. Her illness could also have affected her decision.

Mazibuko could not immediately be reached for comment.

- Rapport

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