Mbalula was speculating on social media platform Twitter about the reasons behind Mazibuko’s shock announcement on Saturday that she would be taking a one-year sabbatical from the party to study at the prestigious Harvard University in the United States.
“Lindiwe had a public fallout with Helen Zille last year over Employment Equity Act, suddenly now she is going to university,” Mbalula tweeted yesterday.
He was referring to a public disagreement between Mazibuko and Zille in November last year over the DA parliamentary caucus’s handling of employment equity legislation.
Mbalula speculated that Mazibuko’s decision to study was in fact a veiled “exit strategy” after the DA collected just over 22% of national votes.
In a Sunday Times report, Mazibuko insisted she made the decision in September, prior to the “falling out”. She believed the move would allow her to better serve the DA and South Africa upon her return – even if it meant her starting again from the bottom and working her way up.
“Lindiwe is an intelligent young woman used by a racist political party as a weapon of mass destruction,” Mbalula commented yesterday. “I’m not campaign just telling the truth nothing wrong with studies, it’s a better option than to stay and be tormented by racists,” he added.
Mazibuko remained silent on the matter, but she was not without support.
“Ekse (I say) @MbalulaFikile Lindiwe Mazibuko is leaving politics to go further her studies. Maybe you should also leave to go further yours,” said Sir Kgaugelo in direct response to Mbalula.
Others questioned how a decision to further one’s studies and knowledge could be viewed as a step back. Many South Africans wished Mazibuko well in her new endeavour.
“Lindiwe Mazibuko’s decision to study is brave and commendable. Strength to you,” read one message. Mazibuko will attend the Kennedy School of Governance at the tertiary institution often touted as the best in the world.
Mazibuko made the announcement to media before breaking the news to DA leader Helen Zille, who reportedly supported the “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity after failing to convince Mazibuko to stay.