Mmusi Maimane causes fresh ructions in the DA
Durban - Five months after resigning in a huff Mmusi Maimane, the Democratic Alliance's former national leader, is at the centre of fresh rumblings in the divided opposition party.
This time around the rumbling, which is likely to grow into internal commotion, was caused by KZN DA leader Zwakele Mncwango's decision to invite Maimane as one of his two “special guests” for the KZN State of the Province Address (SOPA) held early this month in Pietermaritzburg.
Some members of the party view this as a “betrayal” by Mncwango who was first elected into the position in 2015 during a conference held in Richard Bay and was supported by Maimane.
On Wednesday, Independent Media received a leaked copy of the legislature guests list showing that Maimane was invited but he did not attend. In the guest list, Maimane is clearly marked as a guest of Mncwango.
Despite several attempts made to contact Mncwango to get his side of the story, he did not take the opportunity to respond. The first batch of attempts was made on Wednesday where Mncwango was called and sent Whatsapp messages. The same was Thursday and he did not respond.
When called about the invitation, Maimane said all questions should be directed to the legislature but during the brief telephonic conversation with Independent Media he said: “I got a call (from Mncwango) asking me if I was interested”.
He, however, stuck to his argument that the party best placed to comment on the matter is the legislature.
The national spokesperson for the DA, Solly Malatsi, said all questions should be referred to Mncwango.
The legislature’s media liaison Wesley Canham confirmed that the guest list was authentic and Maimane was listed as Mncwango’s guest.
“Well, we can confirm that indeed Mr Mmusi Maimane was a guest for Hon Mncwango. Following your question on whether he did attend, we can confirm again that he did not attend,” Canham said in a written response.
Mncwango is no stranger to controversy involving former DA leaders.
At his lavish wedding held in Nongoma in June last year, he posed for photos with Patricia De Lille, another former DA mayor of Cape Town who left the party on bad terms.
He weathered that political storm and moved on when the DA said it was a private celebration of love.