Now Mmusi Maimane under fire over car
Johannesburg - It never rains but it pours for DA leader Mmusi Maimane as he comes under scrutiny in his party ahead of the sitting of the federal council - the highest body between congresses - next month.
On Sunday, Rapport newspaper revealed that Maimane drove around in a car paid for by former Steinhof chief executive officer Markus Jooste.
News24, a sister publication of Rapport, said Maimane had refused to return the car despite colleagues warning him about possible reputational damage to both him and the party.
It was reported that Jooste made the white Fortuner available for Maimane’s use ahead of the municipal elections in 2016.
James Selfe, the DA Federal Executive chairperson, is quoted as confirming that the vehicle was owned by a car rental company and paid for by Steinhoff.
Selfe reportedly said that after the Steinhoff revelations, the party thought it best, under the circumstances, to return the vehicle, which they later did.
Maimane's spokesperson Azola Mboniswa was quoted as referring queries to Selfe as it had been a donation to the party while Jooste was said to have declined to comment and Steinhoff did not comment on the alleged activities of a former CEO.
The report comes two weeks after it emerged that Maimane initially declared in a parliamentary register that he owned a Claremont home, which later emerged to belong to Durban businessman Wessel Jacobs.
DA spokesperson Solly Malatsi has said the federal executive discussed the matter of Maimane’s private home, and was satisfied with his response.
"There is no sense that any law or regulation has been violated," Malatsi said at the time.
But, it appears the matter will not die down as the Sunday Times on Sunday reported that DA MP Mike Waters had demanded answers over the lease of the house at the federal executive meeting last week.
Apparently Waters, who was quoted as having declined to comment to the paper, had demanded to see documentary proof that Maimane paid for the lease from his own pockets.
This takes place against the failed bid by Maimane to push for early elections, which was rejected by other DA leaders.
On Sunday Maimane tweeted: "The smear campaign continues. These are gutless individuals who will not be named and instead spread lies about me and my family. I have always sought to build a South Africa for all. I remain committed to that vision, regardless of how uncomfortable it may make others feel."
The smear campaign continues. These are gutless individuals who will not be named and instead spread lies about me and my family.— Mmusi Maimane (@MmusiMaimane) September 29, 2019
I have always sought to build a South Africa for All.
I remain committed to that vision, regardless of how uncomfortable it may make others feel.
The City Press also reported on Sunday that Maimane said there were moves to taint him by leaking stories in the media about him to weaken his position.
"I have nothing to hide, they are running a campaign to discredit me, and ultimately I have put the facts before the party. We are focused on building a DA for all South Africans and if people want to continue this thing in public, they must be able to provide evidence," he reportedly said.