Mmusi Maimane

Mmusi Maimane is a South African politician affiliated with the Democratic Alliance and as of May 29, 2014 he is the parliamentary leader of that political party in the National Assembly of South Africa. During the 2014 General Election of South Africa Mmusi Maimane was the Democratic Alliance’s candidate for the premier of the Gauteng province.

Mmusi Maimane
Born Aloysias Mmusi Maimane
June 6, 1980
Leratong Hospital
West Rand, Gauteng
South Africa
Origin Dobsonville, Soweto
Nationality South African
Political Party DA
Occupation Politician
Wife Natalie Maimane
2005 – to date
Children Kgalaletso Maimane
Kgosi Maimane
Education Wits University
University of Wales
Religion Catholic

DA Leader

May 10, 2015 – to date
Preceded by Helen Zille

DA Parliamentary Leader

May 29, 2014 – to date
Leader Helen Zille, Himself
Preceded by Lindiwe Mazibuko

DA National Spokesperson

November 2011 – May 2014
Leader Helen Zille
Preceded by Lindiwe Mazibuko
Succeeded by Phumzile van Damme

DA Deputy Federal Chairperson

November 2012 – May 10, 2015
Leader Helen Zille
Preceded by Dianne Kohler Barnard
Succeeded by Ivan Meyer

Mmusi Maimane was born Aloysias Mmusi Maimane in Leratong Hospital, in Krugersdorp in the West Rand in Gauteng (Transvaal at the time).

He is from and was raised in the township of Dobsonville in Soweto in the Gauteng province of South Africa – at the time Transvaal Province of apartheid South Africa.

Mmusi Maimane’s 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 Baphokeng clan.

Mmusi Maimane is the eldest of four siblings, this is according to a News24 article titled “8 things you didn’t know about Mmusi Maimane”.

He went to St Angela’s Primary School in Dobsonville township in Soweto, Gauteng.

Mmusi Maimane (presumably) attended to Pace Secondary School, this is according to a Sowetan article titled “The famous look back at their educators” in which he was quoted saying “My two other great teachers were Linda and Alec Galanakis. During apartheid they came to the township and gave us extra lessons at Pace [High School]. They were key in my getting a quality education.”

He graduated from the University of South Africa (UNISA) with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) Psychology Degree.

Mmusi Maimane completed a Masters Degree in Public and Development Management at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits University).

He also studied and completed a Masters in Theology at the University of Wales.

Mmusi Maimane was a lecturer at Gordon Institute of Business Science (Gibs), a business school of the University of Pretoria in Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa.

He founded and managed his consultancy fir; the firm consulted for various South African companies diversity management, change management and generational differences.

He also chaired numerous foundations involved in youth development and HIV/ AIDS management.

In 2010 Mmusi Maimane applied to run as a Democratic Alliance (DA) candidate for Johannesburg City Council and also for internal election as the Democratic Alliance candidate for Mayor of Johannesburg.

His Johannesburg mayoral candidacy announced at the Democratic Alliance Election Manifesto Launch at Walter Sisulu Square in Soweto, Johannesburg, Gauteng.

Inside the Democratic Alliance Mmusi Maimane defeated 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.

Mmusi Maimane never became Mayor of Johannesburg; the mayoral seat was won by the African National Congress (ANC) and he therefore took up the position of Leader of the Official Opposition in the Johannesburg City Council.

The Democratic Alliance won 34,62% of the vote in the 2011 Local Government Elections in Johannesburg, with 752,304 votes.

Mmusi Maimane led a caucus of 90 members of the 260 seats in Johannesburg City Council; he served on the Finance Committee, and on the Governance Committee which he personally pushed to have constituted.

He was selected Democratic Alliance national spokesperson, a duty he fulfilled while also serving on the Johannesburg City Council.

Despite speculation that Mmusi Maimane would run for Democratic Alliance Gauteng provincial leader in the 2012 Democratic Alliance Gauteng Provincial Congress held in March of that year, he did not.

At the 2012 Democratic Alliance Federal Congress, Mmusi Maimane was instead elected as Deputy Federal Chairperson, winning the most votes out of the party’s nine candidates.


An Unsuccessful Bid to Become Premier of the Gauteng Province

On July 31, 2013 at Baliskis in Alexandra township Mmusi Maimane announced his intention to run as Gauteng Premier Candidate for the Democratic Alliance in the 2014 General Election of South Africa.

In the Democratic Alliance internal race, he was joined by two other Gauteng Premier candidate hopefuls; Democratic Alliance Gauteng Health spokesperson, Jack Bloom and lesser known Vaughan Reineke who withdrew before the internal election was held.

On August 9, 2013 Mmusi Maimane emerged as the duly elected Democratic Alliance Gauteng Premier Candidate and accepted this election in writing to Democratic Alliance Federal Executive Chairperson, James Selfe.

On September 2, 2013 he visited visited small business owners in Vusimuzi, Thembisa, Johannesburg to discuss the impact that e-Tolls would have on their business.

On September 12, 2013 Mmusi Maimane made his first public address as Democratic Alliance Gauteng Premier Candidate, when he addressed a rally of survivors of the Marikana Massacre on the lawns of the Union Buildings in Pretoria, Gauteng.


  • Believe Campaign

Following the August 9, 2013 announcement of his candidature for Gauteng Premier, Mmusi Maimane began assembling his campaign team for the duration of a nine month campaign until the 2014 General Election of South Africa.

He selected from within the ranks of the Democratic Alliance for the team surrounding him. Democratic Alliance Provincial Communications head, Jamie-Ryan Turkington, was made Mmusi Maimane’s Chief of Staff, and under him Mmusi Maimane’s Support Officer in his role as National Spokesperson, Kelly Clarke, became head of campaign media.

For speech-writing 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.

Mmusi Maimane also brought in Mabine Seabe II to run the campaign’s social media platforms, from outside the Democratic Alliance staff ranks.

Towards the end of September 2013 Mmusi Maimane had a customized campaign bus on the road to transfer him between campaign stops daily.

The Believe Campaign Bus featured a working desk and office chair, fridge for refreshments and LED television display. It delivered him to campaign events across Gauteng, traveling to over 350 locations in the 9 month campaign period.

On September 21, 2013 the customized vehicle was launched to the media in Alexandra township, Johannesburg.

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”.

In the end, after the 2014 General Election of South Africa; the Democratic Alliance substantially grew it’s share of the vote in the Gauteng province, but the African National Congress (ANC) retained control of the province.

Mmusi Maimane’s bid to become premier of the Gauteng province of South Africa had failed.


“Ayisafani” Controversy

“Ayisafani” is a Zulu word which means “it is no longer the same”.

Ahead of the 2014 General Election of South Africa, Mmusi Maimane appeared in a political advert titled “Ayisafani” which suggested that the African National Congress under the leadership of President Jacob Zuma was no longer the “same” – as that of the likes of Oliver Tambo and Nelson Mandela.

The advert was pulled off air by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) after it was flighted on April 8 and 9 under the defence that the advert incited violence.

The Democratic Alliance laid a complaint with Icasa, and a public hearing was held. The Democratic Alliance and SABC came to an agreement on April 16, after which the public broadcaster again aired the advert.


Parliamentary Leader of the Democratic Alliance

After an unsuccessful bib to become premier of the Gauteng province Mmusi Maimane opted against going to the provincial legislature.

On May 21, 2014 he was instead sworn in as a member of the National Assembly of South Africa.

On May 29, 2014 the Democratic Alliance’s parliamentary caucus met to decide on a new parliamentary leadership.

Mmusi Maimane was the only candidate for the post of Leader of the Opposition in parliament following the dramatic and controversial departure of Lindiwe Mazibuko who reportedly temporarily left politics to study in the United States of America (USA).

As he was unopposed, Mmusi Maimane 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 June 5, 2014, at Parliament in Cape Town, Maimane announced his Shadow Cabinet.


Democratic Alliance Leadership Contest 2015

On Sunday April 12, 2015 Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille announced that she will not be available for re-election in the upcoming Federal Congress of that party to be held on May 9, 2015.

This began heavy speculation about Helen Zille‘s successor, Mmusi Maimane and Lindiwe Mazibuko were among the names thrown around.

On Monday April 13, 2015 Lindiwe Mazibuko stated that she will not avail herself for DA leadership, “I wish to clarify that I will not be making myself available for election to any leadership post at the DA’s 2015 Congress,” she wrote on her Twitter account.

On Saturday April 18, 2015 Mmusi Maimane accepted the nomination and confirmed that he will be contesting the position of Democratic Alliance leader.

“It has not been an easy decision,” Mmusi Maimane said in a letter sent to the DA’s public representatives on Saturday.

“I have thought long and hard about what it means for my young family. And I have had to consider whether the timing is right.

“In the end, I decided to accept this nomination because it is a unique opportunity to restore hope in the nation’s future.

“We need to build on the successes of those who went before us by becoming a party that can challenge for power on the national stage.

“This is my offer to you: A stronger DA for a better South Africa. Together, we can grow and we can win,” Mmusi Maimane said in that letter.

Mmusi Maimane was later joined by Wilmot James in the contest for DA Leader, “I can confirm that I have decided to stand for the position of Federal Leader of the Democratic Alliance,” Wilmot James was quoted saying in late April 2015.

“I will therefore spend the next two weeks sharing my vision for the future of our party and our country with delegates who will be attending the Democratic Alliance’s Federal Congress in Nelson Mandela Bay on 09/10 May 2015,” Wilmot James said.


DA Leader, May 10, 2015 – to date

On May 10, 2015 Mmusi Maimane defeated Wilmot James in the contest for Democratic Alliance leader and succeeded outgoing leader Helen Zille in the Federal Congress of the Democratic Alliance held in Nelson Mandela Bay from May 09 to  May 10, 2015.



Remarks on Kenny Kunene and the resulting Twitter spat

Mmusi Maimane drew harsh criticism from famed and controversial businessmen, Kenny Kunene, of ZAR nightclubs when he wrote an opinion piece on the Sunday Times which questioned him (Kenny Kunene) as a role model.

Kenny Kunene responded on Twitter “M.maimane I’m no role model 4glorified garden boy, who made u a judge. U f***** political cockroach. Focus on f****** ur wife b4 we do it 4u”.

He (Kenny Kunene) later apologized to Mmusi Maimane’s wife after a string of condemnations from Twitter users. Kenny Kunene, however, failed to apologize to Mmusi Maimane and said he (Mmusi Maimane) should apologize to him.

Mmusi Maimane was later quoted saying: “We live in a country where many people are poor, and you have people like Kenny Kunene who eat sushi off women’s bodies, while others don’t have anything to eat.

I grew up in a tough environment, and I am concerned about someone like Kenny who has achieved so much, but puts so little attention on the issues of morality and values in society and goes around telling people he can have sex with whichever women he wants”.


Personal Life

Mmusi Maimane is married to Natalie. They have two children; Kgalaletso Maimane born in 2010 and Kgosi Maimane born in 2012 0r 2013.

Mmusi and his wife Natalie MaimaneHis wife is white; this has been a subject of public and media scrutiny. Particularly as one of the prominent figures within the Democratic Alliance, a party that has long been perceived as white.

The fact that his wife is white has brought forward the questions of authenticity as well as sincerity.

He has often opened up about his wife’s race and family dynamics;

A News 24 article published on June 23, 2014 written by TO Molefe and titled “Why shouldn’t we notice Maimane’s wife’s race?” a part of it read “He only addressed the topic once, in a speech he gave at the Apartheid Museum about ‘race’ and identity. In it, he told the story of how he and Natalie agreed she would offer to make tea instead of accepting an offer to be served when she visited his family’s home for the first time. With that gesture, she showed that she did not have a superiority complex, that she was willing to make a gesture, however small, to gain acceptance [of Maimane’s family]”.

speaking to eNews Channel Africa (eNCA) prior to the 2014 General Election of South Africa Mmusi Maimane was quoted saying “We were at a funeral once. My wife and a cousin of mine stood in a line to get food after the processions. In the black culture, in events like funerals, all women have to be working either helping in the kitchen or anywhere there maybe a shortage of hands. My grandmother arrived to give both my cousin and my wife a tongue lashing, that they stood in the queue while everybody was working. That confirmed for me that they didn’t see her through the colour of her skin. But as a woman who is part of the family”.


  • Religion

Mmusi Maimane is a pastor and elder at Liberty Church, this is according to a Business Day Live article titled “The Right Reverend Aloysias Maimane” written by Gareth van Onselen.