South Africa: Black woman to lead Democratic Alliance in Parliament?

By Crystal van Wyk
Posted on Wednesday, 28 September 2011 16:47

This is the question on everyone’s lips, following the announcement by the Democratic Alliance’s national spokesperson Lindiwe Mazibuko that she will stand for the post of parliamentary leader of the party.

The 31-year old MP has been a rising star within the party and is also the DA’s national spokesperson.

The post is currently held by DA MP and Eastern Cape leader Athol Trollip.

Mazibuko’s move follows recent news reports that she has been lobbying members of the DA’s caucus for their support. If she wins, Mazibuko is set to become the party’s first black person to hold such a senior position in the party.

According to the DA’s website, the shadow Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform first “got involved with the DA when she chose Helen Zille as the subject for her honours dissertation.

“In order to complete her dissertation, she spent some time doing research both into her tenure as Mayor of Cape Town and DA Leader, and into the party’s policies and programmes of action which she discovered were very much in sync with her own ideologies and political vision for this country.”

Trollip is preparing to defend his position and said he welcomed Mazibuko’s challenge.

Mazibuko said she aims not only to grow black support for the DA, but also young voters, “more than 50 percent of the voters roll is under the age of 30; South Africa is a young country as Zuma repeatedly tells us – two thirds of the country is the age of 35”.

She said the DA needs to capture those voters, particularly in 2014 and she believed her age is an asset.

The party’s mid-term caucus leadership election is scheduled for the 27th of October via secret ballot. Analyst said the Mazibuko’s rise is part of the DA’s campaign to attract a large number of black voters in the run up to the 2014 elections.

The Democratic Alliance was formed on 24 June 2000, following an alliance agreement between the Democratic Party and the New National Party.

Understand Africa's tomorrow... today

We believe that Africa is poorly represented, and badly under-estimated. Beyond the vast opportunity manifest in African markets, we highlight people who make a difference; leaders turning the tide, youth driving change, and an indefatigable business community. That is what we believe will change the continent, and that is what we report on. With hard-hitting investigations, innovative analysis and deep dives into countries and sectors, The Africa Report delivers the insight you need.

View subscription options