Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
29 Sep 2019
11:13 am

Maimane’s car was a gift from Steinhoff’s Markus Jooste, DA confirms

Citizen Reporter

A white Toyota Fortuner driven by Maimane in 2016 was reportedly a donation which he only returned after scandals within Steinhoff emerged.

Mmusi Maimane, leader of the Democratic Alliance, the main political opposition party in South Africa, warned of a crackdown on corruption at the launch of the DA manifesto ahead of May polls. AFP/File/WIKUS DE WET

The Toyota Fortuner driven by Mmusi Maimane, leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA), ahead of the 2016 municipal elections, was a gift from Steinhoff’s former CEO Markus Jooste. 

This was revealed by Rapport on Sunday, and confirmed by DA Federal Executive chairperson James Selfe. Selfe explained that the car was owned by a rental company, but was funded by Steinhoff. 

In December 2017, Steinhoff’s share value plummeted by as much as 98% over accounting irregularities. Some called Steinhoff’s fall from grace the biggest corporate scandal in South African history. 

In June, Steinhoff announced it would attempt to get former CEO Markus Jooste to pay over R850 million because of his role in the accounting crisis that almost led to the business’s collapse. This was rejectected by Jooste, who said Steinhoff’s claim was “vague and embarrassing”, Bloomberg reported.

After Steinhoff’s near-collapse, Selfe says the DA urged Maimane to return the vehicle, which he reportedly refused to do for months. 

Letters from fellow DA colleagues citing possible reputational damage inflicted on Maimane and the party resulted in Maimane begrudgingly returning the vehicle. 

Maimane is also in hot water with party MP Mike Waters regarding a property leased by Maimane in Cape Town, which he previously told parliament he owned.

Sunday Times reported on Sunday that some party members are now demanding to see proof that Maimane was paying his own rent. Waters allegedly demanded bank statements from Maimane at the party’s federal executive meeting, to determine how much rent he pays, an anonymous source revealed. 

Amid media coverage on Maimane’s car and home, he responded to allegations on Twitter on Sunday morning, in which he states that he remains committed to building a better country for everyone, despite “how uncomfortable it may make others feel.”

He later added that his alleged refusal to return is inaccurate, and that the car was promptly returned after the Steinhoff scandal emerged. He said that since this, he was using his personal car for work purposes.

(Compiled by Nica Schreuder)

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