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“Failed financial submissions a grave oversight” - Maimane

“Failed financial submissions a grave oversight” - Maimane

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane has reportedly denied that allegations that he has anything to hide, following the party’s failure to declare his financial interest as required by Parliament’s ethics code.

Earlier this week, African National Congress Chief Whip Stone Sizani said the ruling party would launch an investigation into the DA’s failure to submit the statements of Maimane and ten other MP’s, who had campaigned for the various leadership positions in the run-up to its elective conference in Port Elizabeth in May.

“We believe that Maimane and his ten colleagues, who contested for positions at the party's electoral federal congress in May, failed to disclose financial donations they personally sought for their campaigns,” Sizani said.

“In the past, MPs who misled Parliament were given a public dressing down in the House, fined 30 days' salary and had their privileges suspended for 15 days. If precedence was to be applied by the ethics committee, Maimane and others should face similar sanctions as provided in the Code”.

Speaking in an interview with CityPress on Thursday, Maimane, who was campaigning against the party’s Federal Chairperson and Shadow Minister of Health Wilmot James, said the matter was immediately rectified, but still rated as a “grave oversight from my office”.

“The specific amounts of the donations and names of the donors have been submitted to the registrar of interests. We are not intent on hiding any information,” the paper quoted him saying.

Maimane also stated that none of the donors were regular party contributors and that he personally never received any of the money.

Also on Thursday, DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen, who confirmed that Maimane’s campaign allegedly totalled over R192 000, announced that the party had submitted its own list to Parliament’s Register, of 114 ANC MP’s who ran for leadership positions between 2012 and 2013, but failed to declare their financial interest.

Those implicated include, amongst others, former President Kgalema Motlanthe, Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalulu, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa, former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli and ANC Youth League President Collen Maine.

“That the ANC has made allegations against the DA for an oversight that was speedily remedied is inexplicable and is a demonstration that honest and ethical conduct is not its motivation but rather to besmirch the opposition and distract the South African public for its atrocious record in running clean and transparent elections,” Steenhuisen said.

“It is hypocrisy of the highest order for the ANC to pursue a complaint against the DA when so many of its MPs have fallen foul of the Ethics Code”.