‘Mr Maimane, good evening to you and, with the greatest of respect, who are you?’
This is how journalist Jeremy Maggs began his television interview with Mmusi Maimane in 2011 when he was unveiled as the Democratic Alliance’s mayoral candidate for Johannesburg. Since then, the charismatic Maimane’s rise from obscurity to leader of the DA in 2015 has been nothing short of meteoric.
His anointment as leader of the DA made history, marking the completion of this political party’s transformation from ‘white’ political party to one whose new leader shared similar experiences to those of the majority voters. Yet there are those, even within the party, who denounce Maimane as nothing more than a puppet dancing to the tune of white masters.
So who is the real Maimane? Experienced political reporter S’thembiso Msomi goes behind the scenes to examine how and why Maimane rose head up the opposition party. He delves into Maimane’s formative years, his time at the pulpit in the church, and his family, to bring substance to the man.
Msomi also examines Maimane’s first year as head of the DA in the run-up to the local government elections, assessing how this young man has negotiated the often treacherous waters of political power. Finally, the author attempts to answer these burning questions: is Maimane his own man, and can he deliver the electorate that the DA so fervently desires?
About the author
S’thembiso Msomi is a political journalist currently based at the Sunday Times where he is Deputy Editor. He began his career at the Natal Witness in the mid-1990s. Since then, he has worked at the Sunday Times Business Times as a labour reporter; parliamentary correspondent and political reporter. He has also worked at City Press as an investigative correspondent and political editor.
Mmusi Maimane: Prophet or Puppet is published by Jonathan Ball Publishers