Former DA leader Mmusi Maimane. File photo:Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA).
Former DA leader Mmusi Maimane. File photo:Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA).

Analysts: Questions over Bosasa donation 'opened can of worms', led to Maimane's downfall

By SIHLE MAVUSO Time of article published Oct 24, 2019

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The constant pursuit of President Cyril Ramaphosa over the Bosasa donation by former DA national leader, Mmusi Maimane, led to his fall from grace, political analysts say.  

Prof Sipho Seepe, said Maimane’s downfall as DA leader started when he first demanded answers from President Cyril Ramaphosa about the infamous R500 000 Bosasa donation to the CR17 campaign fund ahead of the 2017 Nasrec conference of the ANC.

He said if Maimane had not asked that question, Ramaphosa, whom he described as a favorite for liberals and capitalists, would have not come under pressure to provide answers and later be probed by the Public Protector. 

This eventually led to the exposure of the donors to the fund, who happen to also donate to the DA. 

He said the DA needed somebody who was not going to disturb Ramaphosa, a presidency they support because it was led by someone with the same ideology as them and in him, they have found the Maimane they were looking for, a black liberal.

“Remember the president can only respond to what is presented in Parliament and Maimane asked a question he could not ignore.The Public Protector would have been busy with other things and when it was brought to her attention and she is obligated by law to investigate. The fact is that it opened a can of worms. Tony Leon’s friend had donated and they did not want it to be known ... Maimane was not getting it… It is a matter of fact that Leon was not happy. It was a matter of fact that Helen Zille was not happy with that and pronounced herself as such,” Seepe said. 

Concurring with Seepe, another political analyst, Mighti Jamie, said what can be deduced from Maimane's sudden change of political fortunes in the DA can be traced back to this relentless pursuit of the Bosasa donation. 

“I think what we can ascertain from that is that it did shift a lot support and goodwill that he had, it reduced it and that is what was protecting him... I think after that whole Ramaphosa thing a lot of people within the traditional DA voter base are sympathetic to Ramaphosa and they viewed Mmusi as having played a role that made him vulnerable to other parties such as the EFF and the people who they view as the Zuma faction. That definitely did undermine the goodwill, the goodwill that he was enjoying within the Democratic Alliance and it did open a window for those who wanted him to be removed to make an aggressive push against him,” Jamie said.

Political Bureau

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