The Democratic Alliance (DA) Finance Committee says it has found no financial wrongdoing by party leader Mmusi Maimane. The committee’s chairperson Dion George says this follows a number of anonymous leaks and subsequent public speculation regarding the accommodation and travel arrangements of Maimane.

Maimane himself referred the matter to the committee for a due diligence investigation in order to establish the facts. The committee acts as the custodian of the party’s assets, finances, financial regulations and ethics.

George says he’s satisfied that no financial illegality exists on the behalf of Maimane regarding both the house and the car.

Earlier, former DA leader Helen Zille has announced her return to politics, as a candidate for the position of chair of the DA’s Federal Council. The position is the DA’s second most powerful position in the party after that of the Federal leader.

Zille says she has decided to avail herself for the position because she wants to save the party from the current deepening tension. Zille’s decision comes after the Institute of Race Relations has confirmed that she had voluntarily suspended her fellowship at the institute.

The Institute of Race Relations’ Michael Morris says Zille’s suspension of her fellowship at the institute is in accordance with the company policy. He says they expect Zille, who was a Senior Policy Fellow, to formally resign after the party elections.

Meanwhile, Director of the Auwal Socio-Economic Research Institute Angelo Fick says by throwing her hat in the ring, Helen Zille is signaling that her decision to leave politics could have been uncomfortable.

She resigned as DA leader in 2015 and was replaced by Mmusi Maimane, who is serving his second term.

“Helen Zille herself told us a few years ago that 24 hours is a very long time in politics. And it seems as if her departure from the premiership in May was not necessarily a comfortable move into the place where she finds herself at the institute for race relations. But what this also signals is that far from stabilizing what this indicates is a conservative element in the DA, and I mean that technically as in a return to what is known.”