Lindiwe Mazibuko steps down

The DA’s feisty Parliamentary leader is stepping down to study abroad at Harvard University.

Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko is stepping down to study abroad at Harvard University. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA)'s parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko has explained that she wants to study in the United States and has therefore stepped down from the DA's leadership.

Mazibuko, who became the party's parliamentary leader three years ago, reportedly informed DA leader Helen Zille of her decision on Saturday afternoon.

Lindiwe Mazibuko talks to journalists at the IEC national results centre in Pretoria on 8 May 2014. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

She is going to study at Harvard University.

Mazibuko's move comes after her public fallout out with Zille in November last year, over the DA parliamentary caucuses handling of employment equity legislation.

The disagreement led to speculation in the party that Mazibuko would be challenged by the DA's spokesperson Mmusi Maimane when fresh elections were held for the position of parliamentary leader.

However, Mazibuko insists her decision has nothing to do with her differences with the DA leader.

She says she took the decision in September during a visit to Yale University with others pursuing higher profile careers.

She is expected to be away for a year.

Meanwhile, Zille says she won't be going to parliament just yet, as she wants to remain premier for a second term.

The DA secured the Western Cape for another term in the elections, which took place on Wednesday last week.

The premier says she needs to stay in her current position.

"I think that five years in government, to turn around the ship, to embed a new plan and a budget, to structure the government and deliver that plan, is a very short space of time."

The DA leader says she was informed in time before Mazibuko disclosed to a newspaper that she was leaving and was asked whether it bothered her that Mazibuko had gone to the media.

"I don't see why it matters. As long as she told me before it appeared in the newspaper, the exact sequence of who she told first is really immaterial to me."

Zille was also asked she was also asked whether Maimane would be going to parliament.

"Lindi's leaving leaves a temporary vacuum in parliament. I think Mmusi has shown himself as an absolutely prodigious political talent and my job is to make space for all the talent coming up in the DA."