The Democratic Alliance has come to the defence of its leader Mmusi Maimane amid reports that he had continued to drive around a car paid for by former Steinhof chief executive officer Markus Jooste.
Rapport newspaper reported that Maimane had refused to return the car despite colleagues warning him about possible reputational damage to both him and the party.
DA spokesperson Solly Malatsi confirmed that a donation in the form of a vehicle was made to the official opposition.
"It was not for donation to an individual of Mmusi Maimane but to the DA. Once the revelation regarding Steinhof came to the fore, the party at leadership level had a discussion and rightfully resolved in light of the revelations it would be appropriate to return the car to Steinhof," he said.
Maimane has been accused of driving a rental vehicle sponsored by disgraced businessman Markus Jooste and paid for by Steinhoff ahead of the 2016 elections.
Meanwhile in his response to the article in the Rapport newspaper, Maimane claims that it's “complete lies” that he refused to hand the car back once the Steinhoff scandal broke.
The complete lies that I refused to hand the car back once the Steinhof 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.— Mmusi Maimane (@MmusiMaimane) September 29, 2019
The smear campaign continues. These are gutless individuals who will not be named and instead spread lies about me and my family.— Mmusi Maimane (@MmusiMaimane) September 29, 2019
I have always sought to build a South Africa for All.
I remain committed to that vision, regardless of how uncomfortable it may make others feel.