[CORRECTION] Maimane: People call me mini-Mandela, accuse me of selling out

The DA leader says he's willing to be attacked for fighting for the legacy of the late former president.

FILE: DA Leader Mmusi Maimane addressing the crowd in Church Square near National Treasury in Pretoria on the 6 March 2018. Picture : Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

Editor’s note: On 27 April 2018, Eyewitness News reported on comments made by Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane at a Freedom Day event in Soshanguve.

We unreservedly apologise to Mmusi Maimane, our listeners and readers for not reporting on Mr Maimane’s comments with the necessary context and accuracy.

While we acknowledge that this story lacked the necessary context, we reject insinuations that the story contained any fabrications. We did not put words in Mr Maimane’s mouth, rather we erred by leaving words out.

Having interrogated the facts of the matter it is clear to us that our reporting lacked the necessary context and, as such, was left open to interpretation, creating the impression that those who were calling Maimane a “mini-Mandela” were doing so for positive reasons and not for believing he was a “sell-out”.

It is important to note that while the article clearly lacked the necessary context, no information was fabricated and any suggestion that this was the case is patently wrong.

In writing and producing his story the journalist cut the last sentence from his soundbyte as he was concerned about time length pressures. What he resolved to do was to reflect Maimane’s point that he was willing to be attacked for furthering Mandela’s legacy and values, reflecting that the “mini-Mandela” comments were a verbal attack and not compliments.

We have amended the article to more accurately reflect Maimane’s comments.

PRETORIA - DA leader Mmusi Maimane has told his supporters that his organisation is the party that former statesman Nelson Mandela dreamt of.

He also says some people refer to him as "mini-Mandela", accusing him of selling them out.

Maimane addressed a DA rally in Soshanguve in Pretoria on Friday in commemoration of Freedom Day.

Addressing the crowd, he asked: "which party would Nelson Mandela have dreamed of?"

Maimane said Mandela would never have never believed in a party that stole from the people it was meant to uplift.

"Where is his vision being lived out? His vision of a South Africa for all ... a party that asks South Africans to work together for the future of all South Africans."

He also told the gathering he was sometimes targeted by critics, who would call him a "mini-Mandela".

“People phone me. They are on Twitter. They are on Facebook. They say ‘Mmusi Maimane you are a mini-Mandela! You are a sellout of our people!’”

The DA leader says he is willing to be attacked for fighting for the legacy of the late former president.

(Edited by Refilwe Thobega)