DA leader Mmusi Maimane Picture: Bertram Malgas/African News Agency/ANA
Open letter to Mmusi Maimane.

I write to you as a patriotic and concerned citizen of South Africa.

As I pen this letter, I do so with the understanding that this past month (September) could well have been a terrible one for you and your party (DA). I say this because in this month South Africans learned that your party is not as clean as you want us to believe.

We learned of many issues that are unquestionably detrimental to the image of your party. Many of these issues were in the public domain, but perhaps let me list them so that you are clear which issues I am referring to. Some of the headlines included:

The DA’s proportional list councillor of Rand West City Local Municipality being arrested for alleged business robbery. In KwaZulu-Natal, particularly around my hometown Pietermaritzburg, we learned that your DA had let its Msunduzi councillor, Rooksana Ahmed, off the hook for failure to disclose her criminal record (as required) to both the DA and council. I guess this is just the inclination of the DA in KZN not to act against a selective troop of individuals when charges are levelled against them. No matter the evidence placed on the table, the leadership shall always selectively cover up for them.

You and James Selfe (the DA’s chairperson of its federal council) will recall that a similar case of an undisclosed criminal record against the current leader of the DA in KZN was swept under the carpet. Another headline that dominated the street poles of Pietermaritzburg was: “Racism row in DA”.

This story was based on a shocking exposé by the DA’s ward 25 councillor, Melika Singh, who wrote to you for intervention after three years of being subjected to painful racism. I remind you that all the councillors in KZN who have ditched your party happen to be black, coloured or Indian.

This letter serves to humbly ask you to come clean to South Africans about the benefits, gifts and donations that you have received since you became the leader of the DA and since you became a member of the National Assembly. It is also a request for you to subject yourself to a lifestyle audit as you have always sought to hold others to the highest standards and ethics.

I can’t help but recall an open letter you once penned to our deputy president, Honourable David Mabuza. You wrote: “Firstly, I’d like to commend you for agreeing in Parliament to subject yourself to a lifestyle audit. Given the magnitude of the allegations that have accumulated during your time in the Mpumalanga provincial government - many of them set out in great detail recently in the New York Times - it is crucial that South Africans know the truth.”

In the same spirit, I hasten to say the allegations about the ownership of “your” Cape Town residence and subsequent U-turn, of you renting the said property, need to be put to rest.

I, for one, don’t buy the narrative suggesting it was a mistake on your part to include the property in the members’ declaration record/parliamentary register as being your own property. Who in his right mind would ever forget whether or not he/she owns a particular property? Was this not in a way a lie that is tantamount to deliberately misleading of Parliament and South Africans?

It thus is paramount for you to come clean regarding the property in question. As it is now public knowledge that the Claremont, Cape Town, home in which you and your family live is owned by Durban businessman Wessel Jacobs, many questions arise.

Could it be that Jacobs is one of the many prominent white businessman financially supporting you and the DA? Is there no benefit, gift, sponsorship etc. that you may have received from Jacobs that you need to declare to Parliament? Surely you should by now have realised that divulging the exact rental you pay and proof thereof will somewhat help in putting this matter to bed.

Why can’t you do just that? Should we conclude that your rent is also sponsored? It has also emerged that part of your reason for not living in the parliamentary accommodation made available for you is because of death threats you have received. It is also concerning that you have not been able to indicate when or whether or not you ever reported the said threats, and what the nature of the threats was.

The media has also drawn a very perturbing link between yourself and Steinhoff. The allegations and your admission that you led the DA’s campaign while being chauffeured in a Toyota Fortuner SUV that was sponsored by Steinhoff’s Markus Jooste, leave much to be desired.

In simple terms, you and the DA are the direct beneficiaries of Steinhoff’s fraud and irregularities.

Again you have an opportunity to come clean in regards to whether or not you received any other sponsors, gifts, benefits etc from Steinhoff and Jooste and if you ever declared/disclosed any of the said benefits to parliament.

It appears that the writing is on the wall for exposés of the opposition party and leader capture. Mmusi, are you and the DA captured?

Would you open yourself and your party to any form of scrutiny in this regard?

Mmusi Maimane, would you be willing to avail yourself for a lifestyle audit and an investigation of gifts, sponsorships, benefits etc that you received in your capacity as a public representative/member of South Africa’s National Assembly, and never declared or disclosed to Parliament?

* Mchunu is a former DA KwaZulu-Natal provincial leader and currently a senior member of the ANC in KZN. He is writing in his personal capacity.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.