'Mazibuko is an asset'

New DA MP Mmusi Maimane has wished outgoing parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko well.

Lindiwe Mazibuko will take a year off from politics while furthering her studies at Havard University in America. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA)'s Mmusi Maimane has wished the party's outgoing parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko well, as she plans to further her studies abroad.

Maimane is heading to Parliament following the 2014 elections, after the DA managed to retain the Western Cape.

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But it is still unclear as to whether he'll be replacing Mazibuko.

The DA's now former parliamentary leader is leaving politics temporarily to study at Harvard University.

Maimane says Mazibuko is an asset.

"Lindiwe as a colleague has served our party and I want to wish her well in her new adventure going forward and I think she'll be a great asset for the DA."

Mazibuko became the DA's parliamentary leader three years ago and it's been reported she 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.

Her 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 Maimane, who was the DA's spokesperson at the time, 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.

Meanwhile, Zille has admitted she may not have seen eye to eye with Mazibuko over issues such as the party's stance of the Employment Equity.

But she says it amounted to nothing more than a robust debate.

"We did have a difference in opinion but when she saw the regulations that emerged from the quota bill, she was completely at one with me."

It remains to be seen what position Mazibuko takes up when she finishes her studies.

She is expected to be away for a year.