Mmusi Maimane

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The Honourable
Mmusi Maimane
Mmusi Maimane (cropped).jpg
Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly of South Africa
Assumed office
29 May 2014
Preceded by Lindiwe Mazibuko
National Spokesperson: Democratic Alliance
In office
November 2011 – May 2014
Preceded by Lindiwe Mazibuko
Succeeded by Marius Redelinghuys
Deputy Federal Chairperson of the Democratic Alliance
Assumed office
November 2012
Preceded by Dianne Kohler Barnard
Personal details
Born (1980-06-06) 6 June 1980 (age 34)
Krugersdorp, South Africa
Political party Democratic Alliance
Spouse(s) Natalie Maimane[1]
Children 2[1]
Residence Johannesburg, Gauteng
Alma mater University of the Witwatersrand
University of South Africa
University of Wales
Profession Academic
Religion Roman Catholicism

Aloysias Mmusi Maimane[2] (born 6 June 1980) is a South African politician and current Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly of South Africa since May 29, 2014. He also currently serves as Deputy Federal Chairperson. He is the former leader of the Democratic Alliance in the Johannesburg City Council and the former Democratic Alliance National Spokesperson. His rise to national attention began in 2011, when he was elected to be the DA's Johannesburg mayoral candidate in the 2011 municipal elections. In that Election, Maimane helped to grow the party's voter base considerably,[3] but did not succeed in being elected as Mayor. Thereafter he served as Leader of the Official Opposition in Johannesburg City Council until May 2014.

Early life and career[edit]

Early years, education and family[edit]

Maimane was born on 6 June 1980, at the Leratong Hospital, in Krugersdorp, Gauteng. His mother, Ethel Maimane, was born in Cofimvaba, Eastern Cape, South Africa, and is of Xhosa ancestry in the Sidloyi clan. His father, Simon Maimane, was born in Soweto, Gauteng, South Africa, and is of Tswana ancestry in the Bafokeng clan.[1] His parents met in 1977 and were married by 1980 in Dobsonville, Soweto, Gauteng. Maimane visited the birthplace of his mother in 2000, at the age of 20 years.

Maimane has graduated from the University of South Africa (BA Psychology), the University of the Witwatersrand (Masters in Public Administration), and the University of Wales (Masters in Theology). While studying toward his Masters in Public Administration, Maimane served as Class Co-ordinator at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Political career[edit]

In 1989 Maimane encountered his first anti-apartheid action when strikes hit Dobsonville.[citation needed]

In 2010 he applied to run as a Democratic Alliance candidate for Johannesburg City Council and also for internal election as the Democratic Alliance candidate for Mayor of Johannesburg.

Mmusi Maimane was selected as DA National Spokesperson later in 2011, a position he held alongside his role in Johannesburg.[4]

In the run up to the Democratic Alliance Gauteng Provincial Congress held in March 2012, speculation was rife that Maimane would stand for the position of Gauteng Provincial Leader. However, he ultimately decided not to contest.[5] At the 2012 Democratic Alliance Federal Congress, Maimane was instead elected as Deputy Federal Chairperson, winning the most votes out of the nine candidates.[6]

Maimane applied to run as the Democratic Alliance candidate for Gauteng Premier in 2013. He was successful in this internal race, and stood as the Democratic Alliance candidate for Gauteng Premier during the 2014 national election.

Mayoral Race: 2011[edit]

Maimane's Johannesburg mayoral candidacy [7] was announced at the Democratic Alliance Election Manifesto Launch at Walter Sisulu Square in Soweto.[8] He overcame contender Vasco da Gama, a councillor in Johannesburg City Council, to be elected as the Democratic Alliance mayoral candidate for Johannesburg before a panel of 30 people, including party leader, Helen Zille.

The Democratic Alliance achieved 34,62% of the vote in the 2011 Local Government Elections in Johannesburg, with 752,304 votes.[9] He led a caucus of 90 members of the 260 seats in Johannesburg City Council. The mayoral seat was won by the ANC and Maimane therefore took up the position of Leader of the Official Opposition in the Johannesburg City Council

In Council, Maimane served on the Finance Committee, and on the Governance Committee which he personally pushed to have constituted.

2014 Gauteng Premier Campaign[edit]

Internal Campaign[edit]

On 31 July 2013 Maimane announced his intention to run for Democratic Alliance Gauteng Premier Candidate[10] in the 2014 Elections at Baliskis in Alexandra township. In the 8 days until an internal election process, Maimane ran a campaign that included leaflets, a full manifesto and a social media presence. Two opponents joined the internal race, DA Gauteng Health s pokesperson, Jack Bloom and unknown outsider Vaughan Reineke.[11] Reineke withdrew before the internal election was held.[12] Maimane emerged as the duly elected DA Gauteng Premier Candidate, on 9 August 2013.[13] Maimane accepted this election in writing to DA Federal Executive Chairperson, James Selfe.

Pre-campaign: August 2013 - September 2013[edit]

On 2 September, in Vusimusi, Thembisa, Gauteng, Maimane visited small business owners to discuss the impact that e-Tolls would have on their business.[14]

On 12 September Maimane made his first public address as DA Gauteng Premier Candidate, when he addressed a rally of survivors of the Marikana Massacre on the lawns of the Union Buildings in Pretoria, Gauteng.[15]

Believe Campaign: September 2013 - May 2014[edit]

By late-September 2013 Maimane had a campaign bus on the road to transfer him between campaign stops on a daily basis. The customised vehicle was launched to the media in Alexandra township, Johannesburg, on 21 September 2013.[16] The Believe Bus featured a working desk and office chair, fridge for refreshments and LED television display.

The Believe Bus delivered Maimane to campaign events across Gauteng, traveling to over 350 locations in the 9 month campaign period.

External campaign[edit]

After announcement of his candidature for Gauteng Premier, on 9 August 2013, Maimane began assembling his campaign team for the duration of a nine month campaign until Election 2014.

Campaign Team[edit]

Maimane selected from within the ranks of the Democratic Alliance for the team surrounding him. DA Provincial Communications head, Jamie-Ryan Turkington, was made Maimane's Chief of Staff, and under him Maimane's Support Officer in his role as National Spokesperson, Kelly Clarke, became head of campaign media. For speechwriting and campaign events design, Matthew Gerstner was brought in from his role as monitor of DA service delivery performance at the Party's national head office, with Lelo Motsoane appointed as campaign artwork and design head. Maimane also brought in Mabine Seabe II to run the campaign's social media platforms, from outside the Democratic Alliance staff ranks.

March 2014 Approval Rating[edit]

In a March 2014 Ipsos poll, Gauteng respondents were requested to rate him from 1 to 10 (with 1 being "totally against" and 10 being "totally in favour"), the result was an average of 4.9. Among only DA voters, just 8% rated him between 8 and 10. In the other direction, 27% of Gauteng residents rated him between 0 and 2 or "totally against".[17]

Campaign Controversies[edit]

Ahead of the 2014 national elections, Mmusi appeared in a political advert titled "Ayisafani" which suggested that the ANC under the leadership of Jacob Zuma had fallen from grace. The advert was banned by the SABC after it was flighted on April 8 and 9 under the defence that the advert incited violence. The DA laid a complaint with Icasa, and a public hearing was held. The DA and SABC came to an agreement on April 16, after which the broadcaster again aired the advert.[18]

Leader of the Opposition[edit]

DA grew their share of the vote in Gauteng substantially in the 2014 election, but the ANC retained control of the province; Maimane failed in his bid to become premier. Following this, he opted against going to the provincial legislature and was instead sworn in as a member of the National Assembly of South Africa, on 21 May 2014.[19]

The Democratic Alliance's parliamentary caucus met on 29 May 2014 to decide on a new parliamentary leadership. Maimane was the only candidate for the post of Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly. As he was unopposed, he was de facto elected as the new Leader of the Opposition, becoming the first black male to hold the position in South Africa's history.

On 5 June 2014, at Parliament in Cape Town, Maimane announced his Shadow Cabinet.[20]


  1. ^ a b c Williams, Murray (14 August 2014). "Maimane: We are a South African family". Cape Argus. Archived from the original on 16 August 2014. Retrieved 16 August 2014. We try and speak to them in both languages Tswana and English, just as an Afrikaans-English couple would, or a Xhosa and Tswana couple, as my parents are. 
  2. ^ Hlongwane, Sipho (10 August 2011). "DA's Maimane on race, identity and jobs". Daily Maverick. Archived from the original on 7 May 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  3. ^ Davis, Rebecca (2011-05-20). "Local elections 2011: Beyond ANC and DA numbers". Daily Maverick. Retrieved 2015-04-13. 
  4. ^ "Mmusi Maimane | Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans". Retrieved 2015-04-13. 
  5. ^ "I`m not standing for DA Gauteng leadership - Mmusi Maimane - PARTY". Politicsweb. Retrieved 2015-04-13. 
  6. ^ Davis, Rebecca (2012-11-26). "DA Congress: Project Gauteng on track with the rise of Maimane, Gana". Daily Maverick. Retrieved 2015-04-13. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "DA: Maimane: Address by the DA candidate for Johannesburg mayor, at the 2011 national election campaign launch, Soweto (26/03/2011)". Retrieved 2015-04-13. 
  9. ^ "2011 elections: Johannesburg results - DOCUMENTS". Politicsweb. Retrieved 2015-04-13. 
  10. ^ S'thembile Cele. "Mmusi Maimane joins DA race for Gauteng premier candidacy". City Press. Retrieved 2015-04-13. 
  11. ^ "DA candidate for Gauteng Premiership to be decided on August 9 - DA - PARTY". Politicsweb. Retrieved 2015-04-13. 
  12. ^ [1][dead link]
  13. ^ [2][dead link]
  14. ^ "e-Tolls will harm small business owners - Mmusi Maimane - PARTY". Politicsweb. Retrieved 2015-04-13. 
  15. ^ "DA to join Marikana march for funding - Politics | IOL News". SAPA. 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2015-04-13. 
  16. ^ "Maimane wants residents to believe as he launches campaign". SundayWorld. 2013-09-22. Retrieved 2015-04-13. 
  17. ^ Van onselen, GARETH (22 April 2014). "Mmusi Maimane: the Hollow Man". Business Day live. BDlive. Retrieved 18 May 2014. 
  18. ^ "Icasa upholds SAPS complaint against DA ad". SABC News. SAPA. 25 April 2014. Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  19. ^ Ferreira, Emsie (21 May 2014). "Chief justice swears in fifth Parliament's MPs". Mail & Guardian. Archived from the original on 23 July 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2014. 
  20. ^ Merten, Marianne (6 June 2014). "Maimane announces DA’s shadow cabinet". Cape Argus. Archived from the original on 23 July 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2014. 

External links[edit]

  1. 2015 Speech to Parliament
  2. The Soul of Your African: Celebration
  3. An erosion of the DA’s liberal values?
  4. Mmusi Maimane - Our people DA

Offices held[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Dianne Kohler Barnard
Democratic Alliance Deputy Federal Chairperson
Preceded by
Lindiwe Mazibuko
Parliamentary Leader for the Opposition
26 May 2014–present
Preceded by
Lindiwe Mazibuko
National Spokesperson for the Opposition
November 2011 - 29 May 2014
Succeeded by
Phumzile van Damme
Marius Redelinghuys