The DA said it found that party leader Mmusi Maimane committed no financial wrongdoing. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Johannesburg - The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Friday said it found that party leader Mmusi Maimane committed no financial wrongdoing.

"I am satisfied that there exists no financial illegality on behalf of Mr Maimane as it pertains to both the house and the car," DA federal finance chairperson Dion George said in a statement releasing the findings of an investigation.

George said he met with Maimane on Monday and Friday, where the party leader produced the relevant facts required – supported by documentation.

He said that the meetings followed a "number of anonymous leaks and subsequent public speculation regarding the accommodation and travel arrangements" of Maimane. George said that Maimane referred the matter to the party's finance committee for a "due diligence investigation in order to establish the facts".

"The DA's finance committee is an institution that acts as the custodian of the party’s assets, finances, financial regulations and ethics in relation to it, and we believe is best placed to advise the party in this regard," said George.

Last month, two separate news stories emerged surrounding Maimane that his detractors believe cast doubt on his integrity. One centred on his declaration to Parliament that he owned a property in the leafy Cape Town suburb of Claremont, then clarified that he actually rented it from a businessman and friend. The second concerned his use of a hire car sponsored by disgraced former Steinhoff boss Markus Jooste.

At the time a party spokesman said it was returned after the Steinhoff scandal broke.

In his findings George said: "As it relates to travel arrangements, Mr Maimane did enjoy the use of a Toyota Fortuner in the Western Cape, donated to the party by Steinhoff via their subsidiary, Hertz. After the Steinhoff scandal broke, the car was returned. There was a delay due in part to the leader’s international trip to the USA and a Federal Congress taking place in Gauteng.

"As it relates to the leader’s home, it has been established that no formal lease document exists. However, Mr Maimane has paid rent covering each month he and his family have lived in the house. I have had sight of the accounts of the business which owns the house."

George said he followed the financial trail and found that Maimane paid an initial deposit of R450 000 and from April 2018, R18 400 per month was deducted as for rent with the current balance standing at R100 540. The utility bill payments are made separately by Maimane and in addition to this rental amount.

"Mr Maimane nor his trust own shares in the business and the house. Mr Maimane indicated that the arrangement was a lease agreement and the financial trail confirms that. Therefore I am satisfied that there exists no financial illegality on behalf of Mr Maimane as it pertains to both the house and the car."

African News Agency (ANA)