On 10 May 2015 Maimane was elected leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) at the party’s Federal Congress of 2015. He succeeded Helen Zille, presently the Western Cape Premier, as leader of the party. He is the first black South African to lead the Democratic Alliance, and is its youngest leader to date. He was backed by prominent businessman, Herman Mashaba.
Maimane was born on 6 June 1980 at the Leratong Hospital in Krugersdorp, Gauteng Province. His mother grew up in Covimvaba in the Eastern Cape Province and is of Xhosa descent. His father, Simon Maimane, was born in Soweto and is of Tswana ancestry. The parents met in 1977 and were married in Dobsonville in 1980. He grew up in Soweto as the eldest of four children
He attended Allen Glen High School, and matriculated in 1997. He graduated from the University of South Africa (UNISA) (BA Psychology), the University of the Witwatersrand (Masters in Public Administration), and the University of Wales – (Masters in Theology). Whilst studying for his Masters in Public Administration, Maimane served as Class Co-coordinator at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.
Before entering politics, he lectured at the Gordon Institute of Business Science, managed his own consultancy firm, and also chaired a number of foundations involved in rural youth development and HIV management.
He acted as a business consultant and trainer with a number of companies in South Africa and internationally. He married Natalie, a former high school teacher who now is a stay-at-home mom. The couple has a daughter Kgalaletso, 4, and son Daniel, or Kgosi, who is two and a half.
Mmusi Maimane and his family now live in the suburb of Randpark Ridge in Johannesburg. He is a Chiefs fan, and is himself a very good football player. He is a deeply religious person from an early age, and is known to preach at his church. He speaks six languages – English, Xhosa, Zulu, Sesotho, Setswana, and Sepedi.
He joined the Democratic Alliance in 2009 and stepped into the limelight n 2011, when he was elected to be the DA’s mayoral candidate for Johannesburg in the 2011 municipal elections. In that election, he assisted in growing the party’s voter base considerably. He was not elected Mayor, and thereafter served as Leader of the Official Opposition on the Johannesburg City Council up to May 2014, the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly of the Republic of South Africa, since 29 May 2014.