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Maimane ready to fight for political life, DA values

Mmusi Maimane believes some DA leaders are at odds with him because of the ideals he has pushed for in the party.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane at Dobsonville Stadium on 4 May 2019 for the party’s final election rally. Picture: Kayleen Morgan /EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Some are describing it as a political war, others say it’s reminiscent of the ANC in 2007 ahead of its infamous Polokwane Conference.

But Mmusi Maimane believes some DA leaders are at odds with him because of the ideals he has pushed for in the party.

Maimane said he was ready for an early elective congress should the party decide on it, saying he’s willing to fight for his political life and the organisation’s values.

Several party leaders are gunning for Maimane and have made calls for the party to go to congress in attempts to oust him.

WATCH: Maimane: I never demanded the use of Steinhoff donor vehicle

This is after it was claimed that his Cape Town home, which he initially said he owned, was rented from a benefactor and that he insisted on using a Steinhoff-sponsored car months after the company’s fraud scandal was exposed.
Maimane has since called for the party's finance committee to probe the matters.

In a wide-ranging interview with Eyewitness News, he claimed it was those who are against diversity and want to reclaim what he called "the old DA", who were behind the attacks on his integrity.

But Maimane said he was not intimidated.

“Of course, when people attack they tarnish your image, they attack your family and your integrity. It’s hard but to be honest with you, we’re not intimidated. We’re focused.”

WATCH: Maimane reveals his family received threats at parliamentary village

Maimane said if the party decided to hold an early elective conference, he would be ready.

“I want to be clear that I was open to an early conference. If you want to discuss the direction of the party, then you must be able to have a congress. At our last congress we agreed to freedom and diversity.”

He said there were many DA members who believed in the principles of diversity and inclusivity.

‘MY LEADERSHIP SPEAKS FOR ITSELF’

Maimane said that he wanted his detractors in the party to know he was unapologetic about building an organisation that was inclusive of all South Africans.

He’s denied the claims and accused some of his colleagues in the party who are against diversity and inclusivity of planting false information about him to target his integrity.

Maimane said it was ridiculous that some within the DA thought they were more liberal than others and therefore believed they had a bigger claim to the party.

“The DA must be a party for all and by becoming a party for all it means they must be inclusive who don’t start off as liberal democrats. They may come from different political formations, they may believe different things. But the job of a political party is to be protective to all and bring people so you can share your values.”

WATCH: Maimane explains why it took DA a few months to return Steinhoff donor car

He said those who wanted him to step down and who were even using the party’s decline in this year’s elections
to justify the call, must forget it.

“I’m focused on the future, that project is there, my leadership speaks for itself. The same contribution, the same fight was evident in 2016 when we grew and took on more government.”

He said he was ready for the party’s early congress should that be decided.

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