POLITICAL NEWS - As another scandal emerged that Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane allegedly used a vehicle given to him by the controversial former Steinhoff chief executive officer, Markus Jooste, the opposition politician blamed a smear campaign by individuals on the issue.
Maimane is leading a charge to force President Cyril Ramaphosa to account for an amount of R500,000 allegedly donated to his CR17 campaign by the late Bosasa CEO, Gavin Watson.
The Financial Intelligence Centre has since found that no money laundering occurred in the donation, contrary to a finding by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, who asked for a probe.
A report by Afrikaans newspaper Rapport yesterday said Maimane was offered a Toyota Fortuner by Jooste for use ahead of the 2016 local government elections.
But the DA leader allegedly refused to return the vehicle, even when his party colleagues warned him about the risks of using the car concerning the DA’s and his own reputation.
Jooste is the man behind the dramatic crash of Steinhoff International share prices in late 2017.
Responding to The Citizen, DA national spokesperson Solly Malatsi said it was policy that the party never disclosed donors, nor the nature of donations.
Some donors have a reasonable apprehension that they would be disadvantaged in dealings with the state if it were known they donated to an opposition party.
Malatsi said as it was clear that the issue was misinformed, the DA made an exception.
“The DA received a donation in the form of the use of a vehicle for a limited period, to assist with campaigning in the Western Cape and to help [Maimane] with the execution of his duties.
“The car’s use “was facilitated through a hire car company”, and the cost “borne by Steinhoff”, Malatsi said.