Mmusi Maimane drove SUV 'donated' by Steinhoff's Markus Jooste - report

29 September 2019 - 09:49 By TimesLIVE
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DA leader Mmusi Maimane.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane.
Image: Rogan Ward

DA leader Mmusi Maimane drove around in a white Toyota Fortuner "donated" by Markus Jooste, former CEO of the scandal-hit retailer Steinhoff.

Maimane continued using the vehicle, despite being cautioned by party colleagues about potential damage to the reputation of the DA, after an accounting scandal engulfed Steinhoff in December 2017, Rapport newspaper revealed on Sunday.

Investments worth billions were wiped out when allegations of insider trading and accounting fraud caused the company’s share price to crash. Jooste resigned after auditors flagged "irregularities" in the company books.

Maimane’s spokesperson referred Rapport to DA federal executive chair James Selfe who said the vehicle was donated to help the party leader carry out his duties. Its use was facilitated by a car rental company and the costs were carried by Steinhoff.

He said the vehicle was returned after the Steinhoff scandal.

Rapport suggested, however, that Maimane continued to use the vehicle "for months" after the Steinhoff drama.

Maimane took to social media on Sunday, suggesting there was a smear campaign being waged against him.

In an earlier tweet he described as "complete lies that I refused to hand the car back once the Steinhoff scandal broke".

"I campaigned in Joburg and we wrote a letter sending the car back. I have since used my personal vehicle for work purposes," he wrote.

He is also under fire, within the DA, over a house worth nearly R4m which he rents in Cape Town. The Sunday Times reports that he was confronted at a heated meeting of the party’s federal executive over the property and whether he was paying for it from his own pocket.

Maimane said earlier this month that he moved from the parliamentary village in Cape Town to the house in Claremont because he and his family were getting death threats.

At the time, he was responding to reports in Rapport and City Press newspapers that he had listed a house worth almost R4m as an asset on the parliamentary registry – but did not own the home.

It was bought by a shelf company, owned by Durban businessman Wessel Jacobs, who purchased the house for R3.85m in September 2017.

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