Lindiwe Mazibuko

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Biographical information

Synopsis:

Politician, former DA Parliamentary Leader and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly

First name: 
Lindiwe
Last name: 
Mazibuko
Date of birth: 
9 April 1980
Location of birth: 
Swaziland

Lives of Courage

Lindiwe Mazibuko was born on 9 April 1980 in Swaziland. 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 is quoted as saying: "From May 6, just after she (Zille) was elected, I started going through old news cutting [sic] and newspaper articles... and that was it.

"The more I read the more I realised that it wasn't this big monster that everybody assumes it to be and the more I realised I actually agreed with the DA on a lot of points."

On completion of her honours degree, Mazibuko was employed as researcher as part of the DA’s Parliamentary operation. She decided to stand for public office in 2008 and was elected to Parliament in 2009 when she was appointed the DA’s National Spokesperson and Shadow Deputy Minister for Communications. In 2010 she became the Shadow Minister for Rural Development and Land Reform. 

In 2011 Mazibuko was elected as the DA’s Parliamentary Leader and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, making her the youngest Black woman leader in the history of the DA’s parliamentary caucus.

After being sworn in, she committed herself and her team to make Parliament a centre of robust political debate and engagement in South Africa. An opportunity to prove herself true to her word arose when, on 22 November 2011, the South African parliament passed the Protection of State Information Bill, which the DA had been opposed to since its inception as it has serious censorship implications For South Africa’s democracy. In a strongly worded speech, Mazibuko condemned the passing of this Bill and committed the DA to fighting it all the way to the Constitutional Court.

Lindiwe Mazibuko was named South Africa’s Most Influential Woman in 2012.

Mazibuko temporarily resigned from her position as DA Parliamentary Leader, as announced by her on 11 May 2014, to study at Harvard University in the United States for a year.


References:
• Roussouw, M., (2009). Being black in the DA, from the Mail and Guardian, 26 September, [online], Available at www.mg.co.za [Accessed: 12 September 2013]
•  Who’s who Southern Africa. Lindiwe Mazibuko, from Who’s who Southern Africa [online], Available at www.whoswho.co.za [Accessed: 12 September 2013]
•  Webb, B., (2008). Black, young and gifted”¦, from IOL news, 6 May [online]. Available at www.iol.co.za [Accessed: 12 September 2013]
•  Democratic Alliance, Our people/Members of Parliament, Lindiwe Mazibuko, Available at www.da.org.za [Accessed: 11 September 2013]  

Last updated : 05-Aug-2014

This article was produced for South African History Online on 13-Sep-2013