Lindiwe is a South African Politician, and the Democratic Alliance’s Parliamentary Leader and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly
Born in Swaziland on 9 April, 1980, Lindiwe moved with her parents to Umlazi in KwaZulu -Natal at age 6. Her father was a banker and her mother a nurse at the time. Lindiwe grew up in Durban and got enrolled into 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.
Lindiwe first got involved with the Democratic Alliance 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 interestingly resonates with her own ideologies and political vision for her country.
After completing her post-graduate degree she was employed to work as part of the DA’s Parliamentary operation. She saw this as a huge opportunity to get to action and show her stuff. And the most efficient way would be by “rolling up my sleeves” as she puts it.
She worked for a year as a researcher, after which she was appointed the party’s national media officer during the 2009 National Elections. That she thought was a good progress.
In 2008, Lindiwe decided to stand for public office and was elected to Parliament in 2009, where she became 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 Lindiwe took a step that launched her into the parliamentary leadership position. She braved the odds and took the step because she wanted a chance to build the party as an effective opposition, and more particularly, as an unbeatable government. Her goal was clear; to give a voice to her people and restore and maintain the dignity of the masses.
‘In Parliament, we can give a voice to the poor, the hungry and the unwell. We can stand up for South African children’s right to a quality education and a life of safety and security. We can stand up for the many decent and hardworking teachers, policemen and -women, health professionals and other citizens who give their lives to improving the lives their fellow-citizens. And we can stand up for honesty, freedom and integrity in public life. As public representatives elected to office by 3 million South African voters, we believe we have a duty to take the public into our confidence about what it is we have to offer as potential leaders of the Official Opposition.’
In October 2011, just as she wished for , Lindiwe was elected by the DA’s Parliamentary caucus as their Parliamentary Leader and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly making her the youngest, black woman leader in the history of the Democratic Alliance’s parliamentary caucus and the fourth youngest parliamentarian.
Since then, the young power woman has continued to soar in an unbelievable frequency, to the disappointment of her detractors.
And unlike them, she believes that maturity is not in one’s age but in the level of one’s understanding.
“I am 32 years old and it is very unusual to have a 32 year-old female politician in leadership in politics; people are already thrown by that. There is no point in trying to pretend that I am someone else and use camouflage to hide that aspect of [myself] that I should be celebrating; it should be what makes my offer or what it is that I have to say more compelling.”
Lindiwe is not one that desires the praises of men, her main interest is to carry out her responsibility to the fullest and not care if it pleases or displeases anyone. Not even the ruling party, exactly why she says;
“What I will not do is to interpret my job as an attempt to make the ANC like me,” she said. “A lot of opposition politicians get sucked into this idea that they don’t want to upset the ANC, they don’t want to make the ANC look bad. Our responsibility is to hold the governing party accountable, and so we would be neglecting our responsibility if we did not do that.”
An approach entirely different from that of her predecessor. Who was seen as soft and extremely gentle by the ANC.
In 2012, she was named South Africa’s most influential woman. Well deserving if you ask me.
Lindiwe is focused on her goal, she remains a wonder to many; especially to those that wonder if any good thing can come from one so young. Well the good news is that this leading lady has no intentions of slowing her pace, instead she has her eyes on the bigger picture; becoming the president of South Africa in ten years, precisely in the year 2024.
Arrogant? I don’t think so. Resilient? Yes! That’s Lindiwe Mazibuko.
© 2014 – 2017, Lovelyn Okafor. All rights reserved.