LINDIWE Mazibuko, once head-hunted by Helen Zille to lead the DA in Parliament has come under fire for her views on the ANC’s leadership battle. Earlier this week, Mazibuko was reported as having said that, while not an ANC supporter, she backed Cyril Ramaphosa to take over from Jacob Zuma as party president in December.
She claimed on social media that Ramaphosa was a far better presidential candidate than former AU Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma. Dismissing her intervention, several critics said Mazibuko was the last person to talk about how the ANC should elect its leader as she had “little experience” of democratic elections held within a party.
Mazibuko, they said, had not come through DA ranks but had been imperiously parachuted into the DA to lead the party in Parliament by Zille. “This was done in a style reminiscent of a colonial madam who knows what’s best for the natives.
“Zille acted in the same way when, without consulting her party, she tried to bring in Mamphele Ramphela as a presidential candidate in 2014,” a critic said. Mazibiko left the DA in 2014 to take up a fellowship at Harvard University.
Last October, News24 reported that in her autobiography, Not without a Fight, Zille gave details about backstabbing in the party before Mazibuko’s resignation. Zille also admitted in her book she was wrong to back Mazibuko against Athol Trollip for the position of parliamentary leader in 2011.
“There was blood on the floor before a single vote had been cast,” Zille said. But once she was in office, Mazibuko tried to be her own person, forgetting who had given her a helping hand. According to Zille, Mazibuko had erected a “Berlin Wall” between the offices of the DA’s party and parliamentary leaders.
“That’s not all. She also refused to share an office in Parliament with her benefactor.” That was the beginning of the end for Mazibuko. Mmusi Maimane became party leader. Critics say Mazibuko was the beneficiary of affirmative action – as practised by Zille – but who now wants to forget that recent history.