statement by National Deputy-Secretary

Four councillors defected from the National Party and joined the United Democratic Movement. The four councillors represented the National Party in the North Central Sub structure in Durban. The four councillors said that they are joining the UDM because they believe it to be the only party that can take the ANC on in the 1999 elections. The UDM provides a political home to all South Africans irrespective of race or gender and its support base already clearly indicates that it is the most representative party in the country. The UDM provides the hope and direction that South Africans so desperately seeks.

The National Party’s cosmetic makeover, embodied in a new logo and a borrowed slogan, will have no impact on the fact that the voters do not believe in the NP anymore. The National Party is addressing all the wrong issues. It is no longer providing any hope or direction to the electorate. It suffers from weak and inefficient leadership. Its so-called new policy is a move to the right of the political spectrum and is nothing more than a mere repackaging of the “group interest” politics and differs little from the Freedom Front’s suggested policy of Community Councils and Cultural Forums. With this move back into the lager, we have lost what little confidence we have had in Marthinus van Schalkwyk as leader. The National Party is making a joke of broad South Africanism and is interested only in representing a small group – with that approach, the NP can never become a major player in the political arena.

The councillors will continue to serve in the council representing the UDM. They will now form UDM branches and will work actively in KwaZulu-Natal promoting the UDM towards the 1999 elections. The councillors are:
Dhanavelu Michael – Phoenix Ward
Frangula Adams; – Durban Beachfront Ward
Pat Paliam – Phoenix Ward
Ayoob Umar -; Phoenix Ward