No love lost: Mmusi Maimane blasts 'Judas' Steenhuisen

2020-02-01 12:26
Former DA leader Mmusi Maimane. (Chanté Schatz, News24)

Former DA leader Mmusi Maimane. (Chanté Schatz, News24) (Chanté Schatz)

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Former DA leader Mmusi Maimane has hit back at his one-time lieutenant John Steenhuisen, slamming him as a "Judas" over comments the party's interim leader made in KwaZulu-Natal on Friday.

Maimane took to Twitter on Saturday morning to defend his criticism of the ANC under its former president Jacob Zuma.

READ | John Steenhuisen: 'I'm not a handbag carrier for Helen Zille'

Maimane resigned as leader of the DA - and from the party as a whole - after the return of Helen Zille to a leadership position and the release of a hard-hitting review report into the party's performance in the 2019 general elections.

Steenhuisen was elected interim leader of the organisation until its elective conference later this year.

While touring the country as part of his "Real state of the nation" tour, Steenhuisen told a group in Durban that Maimane had focused too much on criticising the ANC and not enough effort on presenting solutions, Eyewitness News reported on Saturday morning.

Maimane reacted to the report in a series of tweets.

He started by saying "the previous administration was dismal" before adding, "All opposition parties were critical of the ANC under Zuma".

Maimane ends that first tweet by calling Steenhuisen "Judas Steenhuisen", seemingly in reference to Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus in the Bible.

He goes on to say that the man who served as chief whip under him was "in full agreement" with the party's approach at the time.

In a second tweet in the thread, Maimane writes that Steenhuisen should "keep my name out of his mouth", before warning that it "won't end well for him".

Maimane then tweeted a separate message, this time more veiled, simply saying "Do not mistake kindness for weakness" accompanied by a GIF of a young boy drinking from a mug.

The former DA leader posted that he had "no focus on the DA and it's [sic] current formation" but rather on "building an activist movement for all South Africans".

While Steenhuisen, who continued his tour on Saturday, had not responded to the tweets by 12:00, Maimane certainly got people talking, including DA parliamentarian Dean Macpherson, who had his own message for his former leader.

Maimane's tweets drew a wide range of responses, with many people asking if he viewed himself as Jesus and Steenhuisen as Judas.

- Compiled by Sheldon Morais

Read more on:    da  |  mmusi mai­mane  |  john steenhui­sen  |  politics

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