A new report could be the latest threat to Mmusi Maimane’s leadership
DA leader Mmusi Maimane seems to be facing pressure on multiple fronts; the latest is a report compiled by Tony Leon at the party's request, looking into Maimane’s leadership.
Maimane seems to be facing pressure on multiple fronts; the latest is a report compiled by Tony Leon at the party's request, looking at Maimane’s leadership, as well as the DA’s poor performance at the polls in May.
The Sunday Times reported that Leon and senior DA members recommended in the compilation that Maimane step down as party leader.
DA spokesperson Solly Malatsi wouldn't confirm or deny the allegations.
“I don’t know the contents of the review report at this stage. We will have a clear view of what it says when it’s presented to the federal council.”
Malatsi said the contents of the report would be discussed by the leadership and made public soon.
Last week, the following a number of anonymous leaks and subsequent public speculation regarding the accommodation and travel arrangements of Maimane, the DA leader said he was open to investigation.
On Friday, the party released a statement and said that its finance committee found no wrongdoing against Maimane.
Maimane’s lifestyle came under the spotlight after he was accused of driving a vehicle gifted by disgraced businessman Markus Jooste. The rental vehicle was paid for by Steinhoff.
Jooste is accused of insider trading, cooking financial books and dodging taxes, all of which caused the company’s share price to crash.
There were also claims that Maimane wasn't paying a market-related lease for the house he currently stays in.
However, the party’s finance committee chair Dion George said he concluded that there was a delay in returning the car to Steinhoff because Maimane was on an international trip to the US.
He said that while there were no formal lease documents that existed, Maimane paid rent covering each month that he and his family have lived in the house.
“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.”
WATCH: Maimane: I never demanded the use of Steinhoff donor vehicle
Maimane last week took to social media to defend himself. He said: “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.”
In a wide-ranging interview with EWN, he also revealed that his integrity was under attack as some DA members were against diversity and wanted to reclaim what he called “the old DA”.
“People want to retain the DA as an organisation focused on the past. I wanted to bring diversity and sometimes when you bring diverse lists, some people are left out. Also, on the leadership battle in Parliament, you need a diverse group that represents all South Africans.”
WATCH: Maimane reveals his family received threats at parliamentary village
Additional reporting by Clement Manyathela.