Our People/Members of Parliament
Parliamentary Leader of the Democratic Alliance
Lindiwe was born in Swaziland and at the age of 6 years her parents moved the family to Kwazulu-Natal, in South Africa.
She is the daughter of a banker/small-business owner, and a nurse.
She went to school at St Mary's DSG in Kloof, where she matriculated in 1997. From there she went on to the University of KwaZulu-Natal to pursue a Bachelor of Music degree then to the University of Cape Town, where she obtained a BA (French, Classics, Media & Writing) in 2006 and a BA Honours (Political Communication) degree in 2007.
Her interest in politics began surfacing after she moved to England to study. When the September 11 terrorist attacks happened she was disturbed by the way Muslims were negatively portrayed and this reminded her of Apartheid South Africa.
At the same time, she began to look at South Africa from afar and began to change her view of the role government should play in people’s lives. She had previously believed that government needed to pull people up, she began to adopt the view that government empowers people to help themselves.
Lindiwe first got involved with the DA 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 she discovered were very much in sync with her own ideologies and political vision for this country.
After completing her post-graduate degree she was employed to work as part of the DA’s Parliamentary operation. She saw this as an opportunity to put her words and thoughts into action by "rolling up my sleeves" as she puts it. She found her involvement in the political process exhilarating and after a year as a researcher, was appointed the party's national media officer during the 2009 National Elections.
Lindiwe decided to stand for public office in 2008 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 decided to run for the parliamentary leader position. She decided to stand because she wanted a chance to build the party as an effective opposition, and more particularly, as a government in waiting.
In October 2011, Ms Mazibuko 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.
In her time in office, Lindiwe has led the DA caucus in Parliament through a number of milestones.
On the 22nd of November 2011 the South African parliament passed the Protection of State Information Bill in Parliament, a bill which the DA had been opposed to since its inception as it has serious censorship implications thought to have died with the apartheid era.
Lindiwe delivered a strong worded speech on behalf of the DA caucus condemning the passing of this bill and committing the DA to fighting the bill all the way to the constitutional court.
Soon after Lindiwe had been sworn into office, she committed herself and her team, during her term in office, to making Parliament the true centre of robust political debate and engagement in South Africa.
In realising this vision, Lindiwe has:
• Met with the Deputy President of South Africa, Kgalema Motlanthe to discuss how he, leader of government can work to ensuring that Parliament regains its relevance in the South African Political landscape.
• Pushed for the Youth Wage Subsidy, a policy that aims to benefit the thousands of unemployed young people, but continues to be blocked by the battle of ideologies in the ruling party (ANC), to be debated in Parliament.
• Pushed for the National Planning Commission to present their work on the National Development Plan to Parliament.
• Requested that Parliament debates the Marikana Massacre, a tragedy that led to the death of 45 people during wage strike.
‘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.’ - Lindiwe Mazibuko MP, DA Parliamentary Leader