Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane has accused “gutless individuals” for “spreading lies” about him.
Maimane made the comments in a tweet he posted on Sunday.
The smear campaign continues. These are gutless individuals who will not be named and instead spread lies about me and my family.
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.Mmusi Maimane
Link to Steinhoff’s Markus Jooste
The DA leader was reacting to a Rapport report published on Sunday linking him to Markus Jooste, the controversial ex-CEO of Steinhoff International.
According to the report, Maimane drove a Toyota Fortuner paid for by Jooste for months in 2016.
He reportedly failed to return it despite being advised of risks to his reputation, sources claimed.
Jooste is alleged to have engaged in insider trading and financial impropriety as Steinhoff’s CEO.
He has been blamed for the company’s dramatic collapse, which wiped out a reported R20 billion in investments from public pension funds.
In another Twitter reply to a post by News24 editor Adriaan Basson, Maimane repeated his claim of lies being told about him.
He insisted that he had returned the vehicle as soon as the Steinhoff scandal broke.
The 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.Mmusi Maimane
Leaders make fun of Maimane
Nevertheless, the controversy has prompted several prominent leaders to make fun of Maimane on social media.
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) deputy president Floyd Shivambu quoted News24‘s tweet on the story and tweeted, “This side @MmusiMaimane!”
Gauteng MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi also shared a photo of the story and wrote, “Hola mjita @MmusiMaimane, O sharp?”
However, EFF leader Julius Malema was a little more sympathetic.
He tweeted, “Go tla loka bafanas [It will be okay, boy] @MmusiMaimane, hope you enjoyed church today.”