DA’s Lindiwe Maz­ibuko for Joburg mayor?

CityPress - - Front Page - ANDISIWE MAK­I­NANA andisiwe.mak­i­nana@city­press.co.za

When Lindiwe Maz­ibuko an­nounced this week that she was on her way back to South Africa, talk in­creased within the DA about nom­i­nat­ing her as the party’s can­di­date for the post of mayor of Johannesburg.

Maz­ibuko with­drew from ac­tive pol­i­tics in May last year. She sud­denly quit her job as the DA’s par­lia­men­tary leader and an­nounced she would be pur­su­ing her stud­ies at Ivy League univer­sity Har­vard in the US for a year.

She has now re­ceived her master’s in public ad­min­is­tra­tion and will be re­turn­ing from cam­pus life in Mas­sachusetts.

James Selfe, the chair­per­son of the DA’s fed­eral ex­ec­u­tive and the man who heads its elec­toral col­lege, thinks Maz­ibuko would be a good can­di­date.

“I can tell you that I’ve heard the same story and, ob­vi­ously, if she is avail­able and will­ing and ca­pa­ble, she would be a very at­trac­tive can­di­date.

“I have heard there are some peo­ple who may have in­vited her to make her­self avail­able,” he said.

Selfe added that the process of se­lect­ing a may­oral can­di­date for Johannesburg had not yet of­fi­cially be­gun.

Last week­end, DA leader Mmusi Maimane hinted at the pos­si­bil­ity of Maz­ibuko re­turn­ing to ac­tive pol­i­tics.

In­de­pen­dent News­pa­pers quoted him as hav­ing said: “Lindiwe was cer­tainly not shoved out of the party like some were sug­gest­ing. I have made ef­forts to com­mu­ni­cate with her. We would welcome her back with open arms.”

Party sources claim Maz­ibuko has been un­of­fi­cially ap­proached, while oth­ers have heard the ru­mours of her run­ning for the Johannesburg may­oral of­fice. They say the pos­si­bil­ity is be­ing dis­cussed by the party’s lead­er­ship. This week, how­ever, Maz­ibuko told City Press she had not been ap­proached about run­ning as a DA may­oral can­di­date.

“And I am not con­sid­er­ing do­ing so,” she wrote by email.

But she did not an­swer on whether she would con­sider such an of­fer.

While some in the party think she would make a won­der­ful can­di­date, they are scep­ti­cal about the pow­ers that be in the party mak­ing the of­fer to her. “It would in­tro­duce a sec­ond cen­tre of power into the party,” said one.

Another source, an MP, told City Press that, de­spite cur­rent party leader Maimane be­ing from Gaut­eng, his de­trac­tors were also mainly in that province.

The source said that by hav­ing Maz­ibuko based in Johannesburg for the cam­paign, a space – or at least a per­cep­tion – would be cre­ated for them to strengthen around her.

The party’s na­tional lead­er­ship re­cently met Gaut­eng’s pro­vin­cial lead­er­ship to dis­cuss a sched­ule for choos­ing may­ors for the province’s mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.

Lindiwe Maz­ibuko

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