By: Natasha Archary
OneSA leader Mmusi Maimane joins Sizwe Dhlomo on Kaya Drive for an in-depth discussion about the political landscape ahead of voting day.
Currently on a campaign trail with independent organisations in Gauteng, Eastern Cape and Western Cape, Maimane hopes to be the first independent to contest the national election.
Scratching the surface
Describing himself as an average “kasi boy” who is every bit of the traditional “7 colours Sunday lunch”, Maimane shared how he fell into politics.
“I grew up in the township, in Dobsonville, Soweto and attended a Model C school. There are multi-facets to me, I hold a Masters Degree in Public Administration and Theology as well as a BA in Psychology. Apart from politics, I dabbled in business, so essentially I am that “salad” on your Sunday lunch table, that dish with a bit of everything in it.” Maimane shared with Sizwe
Growing up he found that whether or not one had an interest in politics, it affected everyone.
“I was 14 in ’94 and I remember there was so much going on. My move to politics came about accidentally.”
Mmusi Maimane hosted a Christian TV show, Crux when he was younger. This allowed him to pursue other interests but helped him become comfortable being in the public eye.
He considers himself extremely shy in person and often enjoys his own company. The show helped him get comfortable as a public speaker.
Listen to the full interview with Mmusi Maimane on Kaya Drive here:
Leader of the DA
His career in politics started with the ruling African National Congress.
In the beginning he agreed with the party’s vision for equality but his decision to move to the DA was motivated by the ANC’s ability to deliver. While he agreed the ANC had promising plans, a lack of execution meant the people were being let down.
This is when Maimane joined the DA as a ward councillor. While many South Africans viewed the DA as the new National Party, which reigned during apartheid, Maimane said the vision was always unifying the nation.
Many South Africans view the DA as a “racist” party, but Maimane was the 3rd most powerful politician in the National Assembly as DA leader from 2015 to 2019.
“When I was in the DA, the bulk of my investment was to build a SA with shared values and a racially harmonised society. He said during his time as leader of the party, the vision was always to create “One SA”, a country that wasn’t divided.” Maimane shared with Sizwe.
When asked about his political ideology, Maimane said that since leaving the DA he’s been able to meditate long and hard about what “ubuntu” means.
“The unifying values comes from the definition of ubuntu. I believe in order for SA to prosper, we have to have a shared prosperity.” – Mmusi Maimane
Maimane shared with Sizwe that there has to then be justice to protect whatever it is politicians put on the tables of the people.
“Think about politics like singing. It doesn’t matter whether you think you’re good, if you sing in the shower or you record in the studio. All that matters is whether people buy your albums.” – Mmusi Maimane
OneSA is a movement
Maimane doesn’t have plans to move OneSA from a movement to a political party. He intends on keeping the character of the movement intact with the aim to give independence back to the communities.
He believes every community should take back its power. Working hard to build the movement over the past 2-years, Maimane believes the movement is growing because he’s not asking people to surrender their power, that’s what political parties do. OneSA wants to put the people in charge of their communities.