Rev Kenneth Meshoe, MP
President, African Christian Democratic Party
Mr Mosiuoa Lekota, MP
President, Congress of the People
Mr Mmusi Maimane, MP
Leader, Democratic Alliance
Dr Pieter Groenewald, MP
Leader, Freedom Front Plus
STATUS OF THE UDM AS PART OF THE CO-GOVERNANCE AGREEMENT; SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT
Straight off the bat I wish to inform you that I take exception to the four signatories’ giving me a deadline to respond to your letter dated 1 September 2018 as if I am a schoolboy to be ordered about. This is not the collegial manner of communication I would expect amongst peers.
For your information, I was contacted by both the City Press and the Business Day on the 1st of September, that asked for comment on your letter, which I only received yesterday afternoon.
A question also arose in my mind as to why the United Democratic Movement (UDM) was not invited to the 31 August meeting of the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), the Congress of the People (Cope), the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Freedom Front Plus (FF+). Your letter clearly states that the meeting was “…to consider a number of issues relating to coalition led governments across South Africa.” I would be obliged if you could furnish the UDM with the other agenda items and explain why we were not invited.
That said, it seems as if the signatories suffer from collective amnesia given the history that led us to this point in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality (NMB Metro). The United Democratic Movement (UDM) herewith sets the record straight.
1. The three-person commission
The co-governance agreement clearly stipulates what should happen in the case of discord between the coalition partners.
I therefore remind you that the three-person commission – the coalition partners had tasked to make inquiry when the first differences within the coalition arose – had fingered both Mr Athol Trollip and Mr Mongameli Bobani. This inquiry also found that Mr Trollip had undermined the coalition and disobeyed the coalition partners’ collective instructions and by implication his own national leader.
Despite these facts, the DA refused to act against Mr Trollip and yet expected the UDM to do so. This is an obvious double-standard.
2. The PricewaterhouseCoopers saga
It was the DA which used the so-called draft report, that PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) had compiled, to discredit and defame Mr Bobani who at the time served as the NMB Metro’s Deputy Mayor.
The DA refused to deal with Mr Trollip after he came up with wild accusations about Mr Bobani. At that time, the UDM stated that we would not take Mr Trollip’s word on these allegations and that the matter should be investigated and tabled at council.
We were satisfied that council would apply its mind, once it received a report, and determine whether Mr Bobani was guilty of any wrongdoing. PwC’s interim report never reached council nor were the coalition partners privy to it.
Instead the DA’s leaders Mr Mmusi Maimane, Mr James Selfe as well as Mr Trollip ran around the country blackening Mr Bobani and the UDM’s name. After we read in the media that such a report existed, the coalition partners had to demand a copy from the DA. There was no mention of Mr Bobani.
The final PwC report was last year given to Mr Trollip, yet it remains in his hands. The coalition partners, council and even the media asked for its release and he has not done so. However, Herald eventually got hold of the report and reported that there were no findings that implicated Mr Bobani in any wrongdoing.
We understand that this DA project cost the taxpayer millions of rands, which it used for their own nefarious purposes. What kind of political party uses public funds to attack its coalition partner?
We have written to Mr Maimane in the past to demand that the DA and he must apologise to the UDM and Mr Bobani. He has not responded.
3. Regarding the DA’s “side deal” with the Patriotic Alliance
It was the very same DA that brought some questionable characters through the back door and arranged that the Patriotic Alliance (PA) move for a motion of no-confidence against Mr Bobani. We wondered at this PA/DA “side-marriage” that was clearly outside the coalition. It seemed like an old apartheid style move to play brother off against brother.
Our other coalition partners did nothing, and you clapped hands as you got rid of Mr Bobani. You chased us away and today have the temerity to ask about the status of the UDM as part of the coalition in the NMB Metro. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Now that you are out in the cold, you suddenly notice the UDM and try to blame us; yet you know very well that the DA is the sole reason for your fall. The UDM says stew in your own juice.
The onus is on you to convince the UDM to remain in what has turned out to be nothing else but a coalition of thugs and liars.
Lastly, he past two years paints a clear picture of the road that has led us to this juncture and I am surprised that the ACDP, Cope and the FF+ still tolerates the DA. Maybe you are still on a fool’s quest?
The UDM calls on the coalition partners to be honest with themselves and acknowledge that the DA has treated all of us like we are second class citizens and junior partners in the coalition.
Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP
President of the United Democratic Movement
CC: Mr Julius Malema, Commander in Chief of the Economic Freedom Fighters