Former Democratic Alliance (DA) leader and founder of One South Africa Movement, Mmusi Maimane apologised for calling Good Party MP Brett Herron corrupt and a racist criminal.
The apology comes four years after Maimane, the former DA leader, made the claims during a radio interview in December 2018.
Mmusi Maimane’s apology
At the time, Herron said he was offended by Maimane’s comments and claimed he endured “a smear campaign by the DA” for many months.
“To be called a racist, a criminal, and corrupt is profoundly egregious. It is dishonest and false, and I’m not going to tolerate it.”
Maimane said his remarks stemmed from a briefing he received on the contents of the Bowman’s Report on corruption in the City of Cape Town.
“Having now had ample opportunity to study the report, and consider the analysis of a trusted Senior Counsel, it is clear that what I said about Brett was unjustified, unfair and untrue.”
“I made the remarks at a difficult time for the DA following the decision of Ms Patricia De Lille, Brett and others to leave the party. As the DA leader, I adopted a generally robust and adversarial stance,” he said.
Maimane said in respect of Bowman’s Report, he relied on the interpretations of colleagues and on reflection accept that his comments were unwise and ill-considered.
“As a member of an interdependent human family in an interconnected society and world, I believe in acknowledging and taking responsibility for my mistakes.”
“I have therefore offered an unconditional apology to Brett which he has graciously accepted,” Maimane said.
Maimane said he has learnt from his mistakes.
“I have grown to appreciate the fact that there are many people out there who – despite wearing different colour hats to ours, and some wearing none at all – share similar sets of values and principles, and are similarly driven by patriotism and commitment.
“I have come to understand that those with whom we disagree in the game of politics are most often our strategic opponents in that moment, not our enemies,” Maimane added.