The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it's currently unable to confirm the exact dates a hired car, paid for by former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste, was received and then subsequently returned by the party.
DA spokesperson Solly Malatsi says the vehicle was made available to DA leader Mmusi Maimane to assist in the "execution of his duties" in the lead-up to the 2016 local government elections.
The party is denying having had any knowledge of the multi-billion rand fraud being carried out at Steinhoff at the time of the donation.
When the donation was made, the party was unaware of the extent of the controversy and unethical practices that Steinhoff was entangled in.— Solly Malatsi, National spokesperson - Democratic Alliance
Malatsi says once the scandal became a matter of public knowledge, a decision was taken within the DA about the status of the donation.
That discussion culminated in the decision being taken that, given what we know now which we didn't at the time, it would be right to return the vehicle so the party cannot be associated with that controversy.— Solly Malatsi, National spokesperson - Democratic Alliance
According to a report by Afrikaans newspaper _Rapport _at the weekend, the DA leader allegedly refused to return the vehicle, even when warned about the potential reputational risk.
Maimane has since denied those allegations.
Listen to the full interview below:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Did DA know about Steinhoff scandal when accepting Jooste vehicle donation?