Zille denies Mazibuko fall-out rumours

The DA leader says she and Mazibuko only had minor differences of opinion.

FILE: Outgoing Parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille has downplayed an apparent fall-out between herself and the party's outgoing parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko, saying the only thing they had was a difference in opinion on some issues.

Zille said she did not believe this had anything to do with Mazibuko's decision to temporarily leave politics to further her studies.

News of Mazibuko's surprise move emerged at the weekend.

It's been widely speculated Mmusi Maimane would take over from Mazibuko as the DA's parliamentary leader, but he's playing his cards close to his chest.

Come what may, Maimane is heading to Parliament anyway, after the 2014 elections where the DA managed to retain the Western Cape for another term.

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While admitting to not always seeing eye-to-eye with Mazibuko over issues such as the party's stance on employment equity, Zille said it amounted to nothing more than robust debate.

"We did have a difference in opinion over the quota bill that emerged last year 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 at Harvard University in the United States.

She is expected to be away for a year.