11 May 2014

South Africa: Mazibuko's Depature Leaves a Void in Her Party and National Politics


The elections are over, the champagne has been toasted. If you wanted a break from politics, you're out of luck. The Democratic Alliance's (DA) Lindiwe Mazibuko has announced she won't be leading attempts to impeach the president this year. Instead she'll be walking the hallowed halls at Harvard. Not only has the move got the ANC's Fikile Mbalula in a huff, but it leaves the DA with another difficult dilemma. Who's to take their National Assembly throne?

During a press conference on Friday at the Independent Electoral Committee's results centre in Pretoria, DA leader Helen Zille was flanked by her two rising stars. Spokesperson and candidate for Gauteng premier Mmusi Maimane was to her left, with DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko to her right. Mazibuko, 34, and Maimane, 33, stand with Julius Malema, also 33, on the podium of the most influential young South African politicians. They're also leading examples of the DA's attempt to transform from a "white party" into a vibrant, racially inclusive option that can deliver on its promises.

Zille and Maimane fielded questions on their futures. Zille said she's not married to the leadership post but is committed to serving the party. Maimane,...

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