Lindiwe Mazibuko

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Lindiwe Mazibuko
Lindiwe Mazibuko in 2011.png
Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly of South Africa
In office
27 October 2011 – 6 May 2014
LeaderHelen Zille
Preceded byAthol Trollip
Succeeded byMmusi Maimane
In office
6 May 2009 – 21 May 2014
Personal details
Born (1980-04-09) 9 April 1980 (age 38)
NationalitySouth African
Political partyDemocratic Alliance
Alma materUniversity of Cape Town
University of KwaZulu-Natal
Harvard University

Lindiwe Mazibuko (born 9 April 1980) is a South African academic, former politician, musician and the former Parliamentary Leader for the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA).[1][2] She was varyingly labelled a "rising star in Parliament" and a possible future DA leader.[3][4] She was elected the new DA parliamentary leader on 27 October 2011,[5] beating incumbent Athol Trollip in a tight race,[6] becoming the first non-white person to lead the Democratic Alliance in parliament.

Mazibuko resigned from her position as DA Parliamentary Leader in 2014, to study at Harvard University in the United States for a year. She stated that her resignation had nothing to do with differences within the DA, but that it would improve what she could offer the party politically.[7] It does appear, however, that there was a serious and fundamental tension between her and party leader Helen Zille that led to her departure.[8][9] Zille stated that Mazibuko knew she would lose the election for Parliamentary Leader, calling her move to Harvard "plan B".[10] She became less popular towards the end of her tenure, and was described as arrogant and autocratic by members in the DA's caucus in Parliament.[11]

In May 2015, she graduated from Harvard University with a master's degree in Public Administration.[12] She is currently a resident fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics.[13][14]

Early life and education[edit]

Lindiwe Mazibuko was born on 9 April 1980 in Swaziland into a mixed-race family. At the age of six she moved to KwaZulu-Natal with her parents. Her father was a banker and her mother a nurse.

Mazibuko grew up in Durban and matriculated at St Mary’s DSG in Kloof in 1997. She pursued a Bachelor of Music at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and then moved on to obtaining a BA (French, Classics, Media & Writing) at the University of Cape Town in 2006 and a BA Honours (Political Communication) in 2007.

Mazibuko’s career in politics started when she decided to write her honours dissertation on Helen Zille at the time when Zille took over leadership of the Democratic Alliance (DA) from Tony Leon. Mazibuko spent time doing research into Zille’s tenure as Mayor of Cape Town and DA Leader, as well as into the DA's policies and programmes of action. She found them to be very much in agreement with her own ideologies and political vision for South Africa.

Mazibuko also holds a master's degree in Public Administration from Harvard University.


After matriculating at St Mary's DSG Kloof, Lindiwe Mazibuko chose to further her studies at university. A graduate of the University of Cape Town, Mazibuko wrote a paper on the DA after then party leader Tony Leon stepped down in 2006.[15] Upon graduating Mazibuko took up a post in the DA as the party's media liaison officer in Parliament.[16]

Labelled a "star performer" by party leader Helen Zille,[17] Mazibuko became a parliamentary candidate for the party in the 2009 general elections. She appeared third on the DA's KwaZulu-Natal list,[18] thus qualifying for a seat in Parliament as the DA retained its status as official opposition.[2] She was subsequently appointed as the DA's Shadow Deputy Minister of Communications, and also succeeded Donald Lee as the party's National Spokesperson.[1]

In December 2013 Mazibuko appeared on a special edition of the BBC’s Question Time, broadcast from Johannesburg. Other panelists on the show included Peter Hain, Andile Mngxitama, Eusebius McKaiser and Pik Botha. The main focus of the show was the legacy of Nelson Mandela.[19][20]

In 2016, Mazibuko criticised the almost total dominance of white males within the DA's 'brains trust'.[21] Despite being at odds with her party, she has also remained an ardent critic of the ANC, however.[22]

Other sources[edit]

  • Owning the Future: Mazibuko and the Changing Face of the DA (2013), by Donwald Pressly, Kwela Books, Cape Town, ISBN 9780795706240.


  1. ^ a b "DA shadow cabinet - full list of names".
  2. ^ a b "National List MPs" (PDF).
  3. ^ Rossouw, Mandy (26 September 2009). "Being black in the DA". Mail & Guardian.
  4. ^ Terreblanche, Christelle (13 May 2010), "DA MP challenges Zuma", IOL – Independent Online, retrieved 22 August 2008
  5. ^ Rice, Catherine (27 October 2011). "Mazibuko wins top DA post". Eye Witness News.
  6. ^ Grootes, Stephen (27 October 2011). "DA Parliamentary leader post to be announced". Eye Witness News.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  13. ^ Jason Felix (2015-08-07). "I'm not done with Harvard, says Lindiwe Mazibuko".
  14. ^ "Lindiwe Mazibuko". Harvard Institute of Politics.
  15. ^ Webb, Boyd (6 May 2008), "Black, young and gifted...", The Star, retrieved 22 August 2008
  16. ^ Mabanga, Thebe (30 January 2009). "DA PARTY LIST: A varied selection". Financial Mail.
  17. ^ Davis, Gaye (25 January 2009). "DA unveils fresh faces". IOL – Independent Online.
  18. ^ "The DA's candidates for the 2009 elections". Politicsweb. 25 January 2009.
  19. ^ "BBC Question Time in South Africa: Who's Who". 12 December 2013.
  20. ^ "Videos: BBC Question Time's Debate on What the Future Holds for South Africa Now that Mandela is Gone - Books LIVE". Books LIVE @ Books LIVE.
  21. ^
  22. ^

Offices held[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Dene Smuts
South African Shadow Deputy Minister of Communications
Succeeded by
Niekie van den Berg
Preceded by
Donald Lee
National Spokesperson for the Opposition
Succeeded by
Mmusi Maimane
Preceded by
Athol Trollip
Parliamentary Leader of the Opposition
27 October 2011 - 21 May 2014
Succeeded by
Mmusi Maimane