Durban - Durban businessman Wessel Jacobs has broken his silence about his relationship and the R4million Cape Town house that DA leader Mmusi Maimane and his family lives in.
Jacobs, who was thrust into the limelight after it was reported last week that Maimane initially declared in a parliamentary register that he owned the Claremont home but later said he was a tenant there. It was reported, through a deed search, that the Claremont house belonged to Jacobs.
The businessman confirmed to the Sunday Tribune that one of his companies bought the house “in October 2017 as an investment property that is located in a well-established suburb”.
Jacobs, who grew up in Vryheid (northern KwaZulu-Natal) has since been a long time Durban resident.
He has many business interests and served on numerous company boards, which includes being a former non-executive director at Ithala bank.
He said he never occupied the Claremont house since it was purchased for R3.8m in October 2017.
About his relationship with Maimane, Jacobs said: “We are long-standing friends and I am a trustee of his family trust.”
He was at odds with media reports that speculated on why neither he nor Maimane were not prepared to divulge how much the politician was paying to rent the premises.
“Maimane is renting the property from the company at a market-related monthly rental. He (Maimane) pays the market-related rental as per his agreement with the company,” he said.
Jacobs denied financially backing Maimane’s political career.
“As far as any donations to Maimane’s campaigns are concerned, the answer is no,” said Jacobs.
DA national spokesperson Solly Malatsi said: “The FedEx discussed the matter of the DA leader’s private home, and the body is satisfied with Maimane’s response.
“There is no sense that any law or regulation has been violated.”
Malatsi said his party was concerned with the manner in which some media had reported the matter, including the publishing of pictures of Maimane’s home on its front page.
“This amounts to a violation of his privacy as well as that of his family,” Malatsi said.
Earlier this week Malatsi said Maimane declared the house as “rented property” and dismissed suggestions that the DA leader should face further scrutiny.