I have not misled Parliament - Maimane

2015-11-09 09:10
DA leader Mmusi Maimane. (File, News24)

DA leader Mmusi Maimane. (File, News24)

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Johannesburg - It has been a tough few weeks for DA leader Mmusi Maimane, who has had to deal with the axing of party veteran Dianne Kohler Barnard and complaints against him for not declaring his sponsors.

Speaking to News24, Maimane said that as leader of the official opposition he had always been aware of and prepared for the challenges of the position, however, he would not comment on the Kohler Barnard issue.

"It would not be appropriate for me to comment given that Federal Executive is a closed meeting and that the matter is subject to an appeal."

There had been reports that Maimane pleaded for Kohler Barnard to keep her party membership.

She had her membership terminated after she shared a Facebook post from journalist Paul Kirk, praising former apartheid president PW Botha. Kohler Barnard said she did not read the post fully before sharing it.

She has lodged a notice of intent to appeal her axing.

Nothing to hide from Parliament

On him failing to declare donations made during his campaign for Democratic Alliance leader, Maimane said this was a "grave and regrettable" oversight and insisted he had nothing to hide.

"I have not misled Parliament," he said.

"I have submitted the details and amounts of all donations received by my campaign manager for my internal campaign. I await with great interest the submission of details relating to donations received by ANC MPs who contested internal elections."

- Read more here: I wasn't trying to hide anything - Maimane

Maimane claimed that Parliament's Ethics Committee was being used as a political hit squad by the ruling African National Congress.

Last week DA chief whip John Steenhuisen admitted that 11 MPs had not declared campaign donations for the party’s May elective conference.

"If indeed this is a principled matter, all ANC members who have stood for party positions, should also be hauled before the Ethics Committee," said Maimane.

The ANC in Parliament has called for DA MPs who did not make the declarations to face harsh sanctions.

Maimane was elected DA leader six months ago at the party's elective congress held in Port Elizabeth.

This was after long-time leader Helen Zille announced that she would not be standing for re-election.

Best and worst moments

Talking about his time as leader, Maimane recounted his best and worst moments.

His best had been during the launch of his Vision 2029, which Maimane ended in the Northern Cape this weekend.

He travelled the country speaking to people about the party's plan for South Africa.

This comes on the heels of next year's local government elections where the DA is hoping to win a number of the country's big metros from the ANC.

Maimane said his worst moment was watching President Jacob Zuma brief the nation on the Marikana Commission report.

- Read more here: Marikana commission - Probe needed to determine criminal liability

"That night, I watched a president who had a complete disregard of the suffering and pain of the victims of the greatest tragedy in democratic South Africa’s history.

"Here was a president who had finally lost touch with the people he swore an oath to represent. That night reinforced my determination to do the very best I can to lead the DA to the Union Buildings because for South Africa to succeed, the DA must succeed," he said.

Read more on:    da  |  mmusi maimane  |  helen zille  |  dianne kohler barnard  |  politics

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