‘No financial irregularity’: DA clears Maimane over vehicle, house

2019-10-04 18:12

The Democratic Alliance’s finance committee – a unit within the party that acts as custodian of the party’s assets, financial regulations and ethics – has found no wrongdoing with regards to its leader Mmusi Maimane and his use of a Toyota Fortuner donated by Steinhoff and a Cape Town home valued at nearly R4 million that he has been residing in.

The finding was communicated by the party on Friday following an investigation by federal finance chairperson Dion George following a string of anonymous leaks and subsequent public speculation regarding the accommodation and travel arrangements utilised by the DA leader.

In the statement circulated on Friday, George said he had met with Maimane on Monday and Friday in his capacity as chairperson of the finance committee and the DA leader had “produced the relevant facts required” – supported by documentation – and as such he had found no evidence of wrongdoing.

Read: Maimane: ‘I have nothing to hide, they are running a campaign to discredit me’

The car

“As it relates to travel arrangements, Mr Maimane did enjoy the use of a Toyota Fortuner in the Western Cape, donated to the party by Steinhoff via their subsidiary, Hertz. After the Steinhoff scandal broke, the car was returned. There was a delay due in part to the leader’s international trip to the US and a federal congress taking place in Gauteng,” said George.

City Press and its sister publication Rapport last month reported that while the DA MPs were busy hauling Steinhoff’s Markus Jooste over the coals regarding hundreds of millions of rands being wiped from the company’s books amid allegations of corporate fraud, Maimane was driving a car that was given to the DA by Jooste.

It was alleged that Maimane refused to return the vehicle for months, despite desperate warnings from colleagues about the possible associated risks for him and the party. But this investigation has cleared the under-fire DA leader.

The house

George added that as it related to the leader’s home – City Press reported last month that Maimane had declared the R4-million residence as his own, even though deeds office records contradicted this – he had not found any apparent misconduct.

“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,” said George.

Read: Various leaders approached me: Zille to contest DA chair

He found that Maimane made “an initial deposit of R450 000” and “from April 2018, an amount of R18 400 was deducted per month as rental” from the DA leader’s account.

“The current balance is R100 540 and the utility bill payments are made separately by Mr Maimane and in addition to this rental amount,” found the internal investigation.

Neither Maimane nor his trust owned shares in the business under which the home was registered.

“Therefore I am satisfied that there exists no financial illegality on behalf of Mr Maimane as it pertains to both the house and the car,” concluded George.

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October 13 2019