Thousands of people gathered in Mthatha, Eastern Cape for United Democratic Movement’s (UDM) 26th anniversary celebration on Saturday.
The party was formed in 1997 following the expulsion of party leader Bantu Holomisa from the governing African National Congress (ANC).
Mthatha used to be the capital town of Transkei of which Holomisa was a leader.
The UDM has had its ups and downs throughout the years. But through its resilience, it has stood the test of time.
“The UDM’s other challenge is that we were stripped of human resources as well as financial resources during a critical period with the floor crossing legislation. Also, due to political intolerance and pure intimidation tactics, we tragically lost members in killings in KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape,” says UDM’s leader General Bantu Holomisa.
The party believes it has played a pivotal role in holding those in power accountable.
“The United Democratic Movement has been betting on a wicket of anti-corruption and we have had many successes on that score. Today we no longer even have the CEO of IEC who leased the IEC building in a shady way. We’ve shown her the door.
Today I can say the UDM was leading in exposing corruption at PIC, a situation where we were vindicated by Mpathi commission. The UDM has been in the vanguard of coordinating other organisations in the opposition benches with a view to make sure that we call the government to account. The list is long,” adds Holomisa.
UDM is marking its 26th anniversary in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape:
All nine provinces were represented at the event. The Young and old still believe the party is the only hope for a better South Africa.
“I am satisfied with UDM. The fact that I am here shows that I am satisfied. The UDM doesn’t look down on the poor. It helps them with their needs. The party helped me find a site to build my home,” says Nophumzile Ndinga a party member.
“There’s many unemployed graduates. They have scarce skills but still they are not working. We plead with the government to assist with that. Secondly, we need assistance with farming. We want to do agriculture and we need capital. We would be very happy,” adds Nangamso Mtshakaci another party member.
The 26-year-old party once governed the now ANC-run KSD local municipality in the early 2000s, just a few years after its formation. The party also believes that young people should be given a chance to lead.
Subsequently, there are young people who hold positions in the party’s top six.
UDM 26th Anniversary Celebrations: